Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Genesis of the Daleks

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2006-04-22 Radio Times.jpg


Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks BBC/2ENTERTAIN SCI-FI 150 MINS

Five years ago, Doctor Who was a joke, its fans derided as dweebs, its storylines and sets a soft target for unimaginative stand-ups. Now it's cooler and sexier than ever before thanks to Eccleston, Piper, Tennant and, of course, Russell T Davies.

So, let's revisit what many think of as an earlier golden age —1975 to be exact — the era of Tom Baker's fruity Doctor and Elisabeth Sladen's elfin Sarah Jane; of long scarves and sonic screwdrivers. Apparently this six-parter, written by Daleks creator Terry Nation, was voted best storyline ever by fans, though that was surely before Steven Moffat's chilling, absorbing The Empty Child from 2005. It's pretty good, though: prime interstellar hokum overlaid with some echoes of Nazism and the conflict between might and right. Mary Whitehouse thought it unsuitable for children, but then she probably felt the same about Andy Pandy.

After bumping into another Time Lord in the ubiquitous gravel pit, the Doctor finds he's been sent back in time to the planet Skaro to prevent Davros, leathery mastermind of the Dalek race, from getting his nasty offspring into full production. He sort of succeeds until a frankly unbelievable pang of conscience stops him destroying the terrible tin cans for ever and thus sets up several rematches for subsequent Docs.

The commentary is a delight. Sladen and Baker engage in priceless actorly reminiscence ("Look, there's Jimmy: fine actor, marvellous in When the Boat Comes In. I was in What the Butler Saw with him at York ...") and poke gentle and affectionate fun at themselves while clearly proud of their efforts. They should be, too.

Stuart Maconie presents his new daytime show, Saturdays Radio 2


Writer Terry Nation had written different Dalek origin stories before in TV Century 21 comic and a 1973 RT special

Caption: HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT The Doctor soon realises Davros doesn't want his jelly babies

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  • APA 6th ed.: Maconie, Stuart (2006-04-22). Genesis of the Daleks. Radio Times p. 40.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Maconie, Stuart. "Genesis of the Daleks." Radio Times [add city] 2006-04-22, 40. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Maconie, Stuart. "Genesis of the Daleks." Radio Times, edition, sec., 2006-04-22
  • Turabian: Maconie, Stuart. "Genesis of the Daleks." Radio Times, 2006-04-22, section, 40 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Genesis of the Daleks | url= | work=Radio Times | pages=40 | date=2006-04-22 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Genesis of the Daleks | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2020}}</ref>