Main content

The Fourth Dimension

Genesis of the Daleks

ENTER THE CREATOR

The Daleks’ creator, Davros, makes his first appearance in Doctor Who. He is kept alive by life-support mechanisms and is permanently in a ‘wheelchair’ that resembles the lower half of a Dalek. He has the use of only his right arm and, although his own eyes are gone, he is able to see through a single electronic eye placed on his forehead. Davros would return in future Dalek stories, but is played here for the first and only time by Michael Wisher.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

The second episode of the story climaxes with Sarah apparently falling to her death from some scaffolding. As she falls, the image is momentarily frozen and the theme music crashes in. This was the first instance in the series of an episode ending on a freeze frame.

CREATION MYTH

With this story, the facts of how the Daleks were created are slightly changed from what we’d previously learn in the very first Dalek story in 1963. In that story, there was no mention of Davros and we were told that the Daleks were originally called Dals. Here they are Kaleds, an anagram of Daleks.

GHARMAN THE GUARD

Dennis Chinnery played Gharman and had previously fought the Daleks when he appeared in The Chase in 1965 as Richardson, the first mate aboard the Mary Celeste when it is boarded by Daleks. He would later take the part of Professor Sylvest, father of the twins, Romulus and Remus, in Colin Baker’s first adventure as the Sixth Doctor, The Twin Dilemma.

HELLO KALEDS

Guy Siner, who plays General Ravon, and Hilary Minster, who plays a Thal Soldier, would both later play regular roles in the long-running Allo, Allo sitcom. Ironically, Siner’s Allo, Allo character of the Nazi Lieutenant Gruber was not hugely dissimilar from Ravon who also had Nazi overtones.

I’VE SEEN THAT GUN BEFORE

Some of the Thal soldiers are seen using weapons that had previously been used by the Drahvins in the 1965 story Galaxy 4.

CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE

One of Doctor Who’s greatest moments takes place in Part 6 where the Doctor, poised to destroy the Daleks forever, ponders if he has the right to wipe out an entire species, even one as evil as the Daleks.

GREEN AND SCALY

As the Doctor and Harry escape Davros’s bunker to journey to the Kaled city, they have to pass through a cave full of mutated creatures. One of the creatures that slithers past was partly made from an Ice Warrior’s body shell.

FROM SKARO TO VAROS

Stephen Yardley plays the Muto, Sevrin who befriends Sarah. He would later return to Doctor Who in the 1985 adventure, Vengeance on Varos in which he played Arak. Yardley would also have leading roles in Howards’ Way, Family Affairs and Widows and guest-starred in the Blake’s 7 episode, Sand.

DVD RELEASE

All six episodes of Genesis of the Daleks have been restored and remastered and are available on a double DVD set. The story is accompanied by a commentary from actors Tom Baker (the Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah), Peter Miles (Nyder) and director David Maloney. Also included is the documentary, Genesis of a Classic which looks in detail at the making of the programme; and The Dalek Tapes which relates the history of the Daleks as seen on screen.

Related Content