'Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks'
(Tom Baker, et al / DVD / NR / (1975) 2006 / BBC Video)
Overview: The Doctor is a renegade Time Lord: an eccentric, highly-intelligent scientist from a distant planet. He travels through time and space in the TARDIS, a curious device, larger on the inside than on the outside, which was designed to change its appearance to suit its surroundings. Unfortunately, the Doctor's TARDIS seems to be broken, and always appears as a blue British police box. The Doctor has a soft spot for the planet Earth, and often visits there, either to save it from various alien threats or to whisk a choice few inhabitants away to the distant parts of the galaxy to help him fight evil there. The Doctor has many foes, including Daleks (led by Davros), and The Master, another renegade Time Lord. Time Lord biology enables them to regenerate their bodies, and so both the Doctor and the Master appear evolve over the years...
DVD Verdict: 'Genesis of the Daleks' was one of the first Doctor Who stories I remember watching when I first started watching the program on PBS. Genesis was actually the first Dalek story I had ever seen, and it remains my overall favorite today, as well as one of my overall favorite Doctor Who stories. After years of thrilling stories with the Doctor's oldest archenemies, The DW production staff, along with writer/Dalek creator Terry Nation, decided to explain the origins of the psychotic, megalomaniacal pepperpots in Genesis of the Daleks. The Doctor (Tom Baker) and his companions Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) are brought to Skaro, the Daleks' homeworld, by the Time Lords at a time before the Dalek race existed. The Time Lords want the Doctor to either prevent the Daleks from having ever existed, or alter their development so that they evolve into less aggressive creatures. The Doctor, Harry and Sarah find themselves in the middle of a long-running war of attrition between two humanoid races--the Kaleds and the Thals. They discover that the nuclear bombardments have caused people on both sides to mutate. The Kaleds, who are into racial purity, have expelled their mutants (called Mutos) into the wastelands outside their city. One exception is Davros (Michael Wisher), their chief scientist. Davros, believing these mutations are speeding up the evolution of the Kaleds, is performing experiments which lead to the creation of the first Daleks. But Davros' experiments cause the Daleks to lose their sense of emotion--love, hate, pity, compassion. They are driven by one thing--the need for power over the Thals and other "lesser" races. Davros betrays the Kaleds by helping the Thals nuke the Kaled city and destroy his own race. He then turns on the Thals by sending an army of Daleks into their city to exterminate them, sending the survivors running into the wastelands. In addition to Baker, Marter, Sladen and Wisher, some other great performances come from Peter Miles as Nyder, Harriet Philpin as Bettan and James Garbutt as Ronson. Although Resurrection of the Daleks was a very good story, 'Genesis of the Daleks' is probably the last Dalek story from the original series that could truly be considered a classic, and I am thrilled that it is finally here on DVD for me to own. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary by: Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Peter Miles, and director David Maloney
"Genesis of a Classic" making-of documentary
"The Dalek Tapes" documentary on the show's iconic villains
"Blue Peter" featurette
PC-ROM accessible "Doctor Who Annual" and "Radio Times Billings" from 1976
Production note option