Sunday, 22 March 2015

394 Genesis of the Daleks: Part Three

EPISODE: Genesis of the Daleks: Part Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 22 March 1975
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 8.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks

"Excuse me, can you help me? I'm a spy!"

Sarah's fall is broken by her landing on the gantry.

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No, I'm sorry, ridiculous cop out. She was forming straight down. So there just happens to a platform sticking out the gantry in the right place?

She & Sevrin and they continue their climb but are caught by the Thals as they reach the top of the rocket.
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Two of the actors in this episode have a connection: They were both in Allo Allo, the BBC Comedy about the French Resistance. One of them is Guy Siner who returns here as the Kaled General Ravon previously seen in episode 1: he played Lieutenant Gruber. On the other side of the conflict here is Hilary Minster, playing a Thal Soldier, was Marat in Planet of the Daleks making him the only person to play two different credited Thals in Doctor Who. Meanwhile in Allo Allo he played Gruber's superior General von Klinkerhoffen. Other Who actors to be involved in Allo Allo include Carmen Silvera (as Edith Artois) who was in The Celestial Toymaker as Clara the Clown, Mrs. Wiggs, and the Queen of Hearts, and appeared as Ruth in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. John D Collins (who was Flight Lieutenant Fairfax) was Talor in Ark of Infinity.

The other Thal guard here is Max Faulkner, a regular guest artist for the series, He'd already been a UNIT Soldier in The Ambassadors of Death, an Exxilon in Death to the Daleks,a Miner in The Monster of Peladon and the Second Guard Captain in Planet of the Spiders. He'll return as a Crew Member in Planet of Evil, Corporal Adams in The Android Invasion, a Guard/Tribesman in The Face of Evil, a Rebel in The Sun Makers and Nesbin in the last 4 parts of The Invasion of Time. David Maloney must have liked him because he has Blake's 7, a Death Squad Trooper in Power play, and The Day of the Triffids to his name.

Davros continues to order improvements to the Daleks.
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Joining the production in this episode are Roy Skelton, providing the Dalek voices and Cy Town as a Dalek operator. Both have fulfilled these roles in several previous Doctor Who stories: Skelton in Evil & Planet of the Daleks, Town in Frontier in Space, Planet of & Death to the Daleks. Making his only Dalek appearance in the other shell is Keith Ashley who'll be back as a Zygon in Terror of the Zygons and a Kraal android in The Android Invasion.

Kavell, the scientist in charge of communications, tells Ronson that his prisoners have been seen in the Kaled city and confides in Ronson that he has doubts about the work they are doing.
KAVELL: Does Davros know the prisoners have escaped?
RONSON: I don't know what you mean. The prisoners are in their cell.
KAVELL: Don't worry, I won't betray you. You're not the only one concerned about the morality of the work we are doing here. Now answer me. Does Davros know they've gone?
RONSON: The prisoners are in the detention room for further interrogation.
KAVELL: Well, I have news for you. They've reached the city and made contact with the leaders whose names you gave> RONSON: How do you know?
KAVELL: There is some advantage in being in charge of the communication system. All we can hope for now is that they convince the leaders that Davros' work here must be ended.
RONSON: They must. They must!

Tom Georgeson, playing Kavell, returns as the Detective Inspector in Logopolis but has a significant number of recognisable roles to his name, most famously in Between the Lines.

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However their conversation catches Nyder's attention. The Doctor & Harry make it to the Kaled city where they brief the Kaled leaders on what Davros is doing.
MOGRAN: Doctor, will you please tell the councillors what you have told me?
DOCTOR: Yes, of course, and some of what I will tell you relates to events in the future. Not only on this planet but also on others whose existence you don't even know of. But my knowledge is scientific fact. Now, Davros has created a machine creature, a monster which will terrorise and destroy millions and millions of lives and lands throughout all eternity. He has given this machine a name, a Dalek. It is a word new to you, but for a thousand generations it is a name that will bring fear and terror. Now undoubtedly Davros has one of the finest scientific minds in existence, but he has a fanatical desire to perpetuate himself in his machine. He works without conscience, without soul, without pity, and his machines are equally devoid of these qualities.

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That's an impassioned speech by the Doctor!

All three of the Kaled council are worth looking at: George Romanov The Massacre 2: Priest of Death as the Usher and in Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode 6, presumably one of the crowd scene extras. Ronald Nunnery has also been in Blake's 7 as a Federation Trooper in Bounty. Anthony Lang's cv also stretches back to the Hartnell era: He'd been an Egyptian Slave in Golden Death & Escape Switch, the ninth and tenth episode of Dalek Masterplan, an Extra in The Highlanders, Airport Personnel on Plane in The Faceless Ones and a Time Lord in The Three Doctors. He'd later appear as Sim Aloo - Emperor Palpatine's Advisor in Return of the Jedi but IMDB's claim that he appears in Star Wars as BoShek, wearing a spacesuit seen in the Doctor Who stories The Tenth Planet & Wheel in Space, appears to be a bit spurious. Yes I can see a resemblance but m'learned colleagues assure me it isn't him!

Nyder informs Davros of the meeting in the city and that Ronson's prisoners are there.
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Now if you're thinking that Ronson's future doesn't look too bright..... then you're right!

The council leader Mogran delivers the news that the councillors refuse to close down the Bunker but agree to stop Davros' work while an investigation is carried out.
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Ivor Roberts, playing Kaled leader Mogran, is another actor in this episode with roles in David Croft sitcoms, playing Arnold Thomas in Oh, Doctor Beeching! and Mr Barnes in You Rang, M'Lord?.

General Ravon gives the Doctor & Harry news of Sarah's escape attempt and tells them how to get into the Thal city.
HARRY: Now I think it's high time we looked for Sarah, don't you?
RAVON: The one you left behind in the wastelands?
HARRY: Yes. You have some news of her?
RAVON: I can't be certain, you understand, but our agents inside the Thal dome report a newly arrived girl prisoner who led an attempted breakout. Gave the Thals quite a bit of trouble.
HARRY: That'll be her.

Certainly sounds like it!

DOCTOR: In the Thal dome, you say?
RAVON: The Thals are using prisoners to load their last great rocket.
HARRY: Rocket?
RAVON: They think they'll win the war with it. What they don't know is that no matter how powerful their rocket, it cannot penetrate our protective dome. Only a matter of months ago, Davros perfected a new substance which has the strength of thirty foot thick reinforced concrete.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, well never mind about that. Could you help us to find Sarah?
RAVON: One of my agents could lead you into the service shafts underneath the Thal city.
DOCTOR: Oh, good, good.
RAVON: But after that you're strictly on your own.
HARRY: Fair enough.
RAVON: Right, I'll give you a map showing how to reach the rocket silo area.
DOCTOR: Thank you.
HARRY: Well, Doctor, looks as though we've got to cross the wastelands again.
DOCTOR: Yes, and that's when our troubles really begin.

If General Ravon knows of a secret passage into the Thal city then why hasn't a crack commando team of Kaleds stormed it years ago? Also consider the geography in the story: the cities appear to be relatively close to each other. If so how have they managed to sustain a war for so long? I suppose they could have started out a much further distance apart and are now trapped together in the only habitable regions of the radiation scarred Skaro.

Davros agrees to the investigation but is angered by his leaders actions.
DAVROS: An investigation? But of course, Mogran. I welcome any inquiry into our work here. I think the idea is an excellent one. The Kaled people sacrifice much so that we should have the materials we need. They have the right to know how our work is progressing. And when they learn of our achievements, their patriotism will be refired. It is vital that our soldiers know that they and we of the Elite are as one, working together to bring the final victory.
MOGRAN: I'm grateful that you've accepted this decision so, so patriotically. There's one thing more. Until the inquiry, all work is to be suspended.
DAVROS: If that is your wish, then naturally I will obey. It will take some time to close down certain pieces of equipment. Shall we say, er, twenty four hours?
MOGRAN: Twelve.
DAVROS: It will be difficult, but it will be done.
MOGRAN: The members of the tribunal will arrive in that time. Thank you, Davros, for your cooperation.
DAVROS: It is simply my duty. The inquiry will reveal nothing, except our loyalty and total dedication to the cause of the Kaled people.

Davros can turn on the charm when he needs to!

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NYDER: We cannot allow this investigation. They cannot fail to see the dangers to themselves in the Dalek project.
DAVROS: Calm yourself, Nyder. There will be no investigation.
NYDER: But you can't stop it now.
DAVROS: I can and will! The council has signed the death warrant of the whole of the Kaled people. Only we, the Elite, we and the Daleks will go on.
NYDER: The whole of the Kaled people? You would go that far?
DAVROS: Did you ever doubt it?
DAVROS: There is much to do. I want the genetically conditioned creatures installed in the machines immediately. Twenty of them.
NYDER: Twenty?
DAVROS: They are our troops in this battle for survival.
NYDER: But they're still very erratic, unstable.
DAVROS: They will not be allowed self control. I will prepare a computer programme that will limit their actions. After that, we are going on a journey.

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It's interesting that Nyder is relatively calm at the idea of them causing the destruction of the Kaled people. Perhaps he's long since excepted that their end is coming and their only hope of survival lies in the machines that they're building. However he is truly shaken when Davros orders Twenty Daleks activated, the only time in the entire series his composure really cracks.

The Doctor & Harry enter the Thal city.
Tom Baker looks like he's having fun with the trapdoor!

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They find Davros & Nyder there, giving the Thal leaders the formula for the dome covering the Kaled city and how to penetrate it.
DAVROS: And I am no longer influenced by words such as patriotism and nationalism. My concern is only for peace, an end to this carnage that has virtually destroyed both our races.
COUNCILLOR: Why aren't you telling this to your own government and people?
DAVROS: I have tried. Time and again, I have tried. But now they will be satisfied with nothing other than total annihilation of the Thal people.
COUNCILLOR: Then they deserve to perish, and perish they will when we launch our rocket. It's primed and ready. The countdown for firing can begin immediately.
DAVROS: And it will fail.
COUNCILLOR: It can't fail.
DAVROS: The Kaled dome cannot be penetrated. Your great rocket will hardly scratch it. This is the measure of my faith. Nyder.

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NYDER: It is a simple chemical formula. If the substance is loaded into artillery shells and fired onto the surface of the Kaled dome, it will weaken the molecular structure and make it brittle. Your rocket will then be able to penetrate without resistance.
COUNCILLOR: Why are you giving us this information? You know that your own people, the Kaleds, will be utterly exterminated.
DAVROS: No price is too great to pay for peace. I only ask that when the war is over I be allowed to help in the reconstruction of our planet.
NYDER: We want only to see the conflict brought to an end. This formula give you the power to bring that about.
DAVROS: By dawn tomorrow, our world could be at peace.

More honey coated words charming the Thal leaders into doing his bidding. His real self is revealed as they leave the room:

NYDER: You think they believed you?
DAVROS: It is unimportant. They are hungry for victory. They will use the formula and fire their rocket no matter what they believe my motives to be. And when they do, Nyder, when they do.....

We now get to see the lengths that Davros will go to for his project, so certain is he that it's the future of his race that he's willing to sacrifice all of the surviving Kaled people so that the Daleks will continue. But follow the chain of events back. Davros acts in this way because of the Kaled councillor's enquiry. The enquiry is sparked by the Doctor. Is the Doctor (and thus are the Time Lords) responsible for the annihilation of the Kaled people?

Of course we know that Davros isn't to be trusted and most viewers can probably predict what lies in the Thals' immediate future. Davros' commissioning of twenty new Dalek units in this episode might be a bit of a clue....

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The Thal Politician is played by Michael Lynch who was previously Spencer in The War Games.

Sarah & Sevrin, their work done, have been locked in the missile silo with the surviving slaves.
SARAH: The rocket's loaded. Why are they still keeping us here?
SEVRIN: Why take the trouble to move us? It's easier to leave us here.
SARAH: Yes, but when it's fired, the exhaust blast will burn us up....

The fate of Rogin in the Ark in Space, very nearly shared by the Doctor, killed as the shuttle launched is fresh in Sarah's mind.

The Doctor & Harry free Sarah, Sevrin and the remaining slaves. Harry, Sarah & Sevrin leave to warn the Kaled city, with the Doctor remaining behind to sabotage the Thal rocket, but he touches an electrified grid and is electrocuted.

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As episode endings go that's pretty horrific seeing both the electric shock and the agony in the Doctor's face!

A slower, moving the pieces round the board episode brings to a close the first half of the story. We've not had much of the Daleks in it so far but they've been very careful to give us a Dalek appearance every episode to keep us interested. As you'll see the machinations of this episode very much serve to up the ante next week!

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