Tuesday 20 December 2011

393 Genesis of the Daleks Part Two

EPISODE: Genesis of the Daleks Part Two
TRANSMITTED: 15 March 1975
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks

Sarah is found in the wasteland by two Mutos who argue as to if they should kill her. The Doctor & Harry are taken to the bunker where the Time Ring is confiscated along with the Doctor's other possessions and they are questioned by Senior Researcher Ronson. The Mutos are in turn found by Thals who shoot one when he tries to escape and capture the other, Sevrin, and Sarah. The Doctor & Harry are present when Davros demonstrates his Mark 3 Travel machine which the Doctor identifies as a primitive Dalek, missing it's gun stick, which is then fitted in front of the audience and the machine turned over to total self control. It recognises the Doctor as an alien and decides to exterminate him, but is stopped by Ronson who deactivates the machine earning Davros' wrath. Sarah & Sevrin are put to work with loading the Thals' last great missile with explosives, designed to penetrate the dome covering the Kaled city, putting them at risk of distronic toximia. Ronson visits the Doctor & Harry in the cells expressing his concern for Davros' experiments which Davros announces shall henceforth be known as a Dalek. He shows them where Davros is incubating the Dalek creatures. Ronson helps the Doctor & Harry escape so they can reach the Kaled city and warn their leaders what Davros is doing. Sarah leads an escape attempt climbing up the gantry supporting the rocket, but the Thals discover what's happening and open fire on the escapees. Attempting to get to safety Sarah misjudges her jump onto the rocket and plummets towards the floor....

It's amazing how little coincidences crop up: There's lots of stuff to do with the ends of episodes connected with this part of the story! The start of this episode is odd as there's no reprise of the end of the previous episode, which is generally unusual but Director David Maloney also did it on Planet of the Daleks. The end of the episode is unusual too it's the first use of a freeze frame in Doctor Who as Sarah falls. And then slap bang in the middle of the action is a scene that aught to have been an episode cliffhanger but isn't as the Dalek points it's gunstick at the Doctor and says exterminate. It's a fabulous scene, the laboratory demonstration of the Mark III Travel Machine but the Doctor's "very primitive, but undeniably a Dalek" is a bit odd as it's *obviously* a Dalek, albeit one missing it's gunstick. Maybe if they'd have stripped the Dalek down removing the power slats and painted it silver, like the original Daleks, the statement would have made more sense. As it is the Power Slats, mounted round the shoulders, pose a problem as they're missing from the first two `Dalek stories so you're left asking what happened to those Daleks to loose them and, given that you see the prototype Dalek in the wasteland with Davros & Garhman, how did the Daleks in The Daleks loose their mobility and become confined to the city?

Davros is a towering design triumph though. Half human (well half Kaled) and effectively half Dalek thanks to the black base housing his life support machine. His scarred and twisted features are one of the best masks the show has made and Michael Wisher's performance brings the character to life (he also provides the Dalek voice in this episode). Reputedly he rehearsed the role with a paper bag over his head before the mask was made. Wisher was previously seen in The Ambassadors of Death as John Wakefield, Terror of the Autons as Rex Farrel, Carnival of Monsters as Kalik, and Frontier in Space, Planet of the Daleks & Death to the Daleks as Dalek voices. Before this story was filmed he recorded the following story, Revenge of the Cybermen, in which he played Magrik. He'll return in Planet of Evil as Morelli and voice of Ranjit. His henchman, Nyder, is played by
Peter Miles who we saw in Doctor Who and the Silurians as Dr. Lawrence and Invasion of the Dinosaurs as Professor Whitaker. Lead scientist Gharman is played by Dennis Chinnery who was Albert C. Richardson in The Chase and will be Sylvest in The Twin Dilemma. His CV includes many noted cult shows including The Prisoner & Survivors while James Garbutt, Ronson , has an extensive career in television. Two Doctor regulars are involved in this episode too: John Scott Martin is the Dalek Operator while regular extra Pat Gorman is a Thal Soldier. Incidentally the radiation suited Thal guard is clutching what is actually a gun first used by the Drahvins in Galaxy Four ten years earlier!

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