Thursday 22 December 2011

395 Genesis of the Daleks Part Four

EPISODE: Genesis of the Daleks Part Four
TRANSMITTED: 29 March 1975
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks

The Doctor is rendered unconscious by the electric current. He recovers in time to watch helplessly as the missile launch and destroy the city he's sent his friends to. Davros watches the destruction from his Bunker and orders a retaliation that starts with the death of the arch traitor, the Thal spy Ronson who is gunned down by a squad of Daleks who are then sent to the Thal city. Davros orders new chromosomal variations introduced into the Daleks which Gharman objects to. Under a general amnesty the Doctor is released but as he is escorted out of the city by the Thal Bettan the Daleks enter and begin exterminating all the Thals. The Doctor urges Bettan to round up the survivors, gather explosives and meet him at the Kaled bunker. Travelling back through the wasteland he meets Sarah, Harry & Sevrin who were delayed getting to the Kaled city and survived the attack. Gharman meets Kavill and urges him to act against Davros. The Doctor sends Sevrin to Bettan while he, Sarah & Harry attempt to get back into the bunker. Gharman has a secret meeting with Nyder to voice his concerns at the Daleks but after telling Nyder who else is worried Nyder reveals it's a trap he's fallen into. The Doctor, Sarah & Harry are intercepted entering the bunker and taken for interrogation. With his companions wired up to pain inducing machines the Doctor is instructed to reveal the reason for every future Dalek defeat to Davros.

The irony is not lost on me that Ronson, who 2 episodes earlier saves The Doctor from becoming the first victim of a Dalek, does himself become the Daleks' first victim in this episode. Of course he doesn't stay their sole victim for long as the Daleks go on the rampage in the Thal city, mowing down the celebrating Thals. Daleks always look good in corridors and it's no exception here as we get what's probably the closest thing we'll ever see to the massacre in Power of the Daleks 6. Then there's for me one of the enduring images of this serial: The Doctor and Bettan hiding in the trenches, a Dalek towering over them framed against the night sky with the light from the destroyed Thal city in the background. After that it all quietens down somewhat for the rest of the episode. The big deeds have been done, the Thals (can we lay their deaths at the Time Lords' feet too?) & the Kaleds have been wiped out, the Daleks exist.

Joining us this episode is Harriet Philpin as Bettan, the *only* female guest artist in the entire serial. Those male scientists in the Kaled bunker are in trouble if there's no women there to prolong their species with. There again they've got to last beyond the Daleks returning home yet! She was in the opening episode of Blake's 7 series 2: Deliverance as an Alta, one of the race that built the Liberator. She's also the wife in the original R-White's Lemonade Advert! Playing the Muto Sevrin is Stephen Yardley who'll return as Arak in Vengeance on Varos. He's probably best known for his role as Ken Masters in Howard's Way alongside many other Doctor Who participants. We'll look at that either during Resurrection of the Daleks or Attack of the Cybermen.

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