Tom Baker as Doctor Who

Tom Baker as Doctor Who

Sunday, 29 March 2015

395 Genesis of the Daleks: Part Four

EPISODE: Genesis of the Daleks: Part Four
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 395
STORY NUMBER: 078
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 29 March 1975
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 8.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks

"You will tell me the reason for every Dalek defeat. With that knowledge, I will programme them. With that knowledge, they will know their errors and how to avoid them. With that knowledge, there shall be no defeats!"

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.

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It's a bit hard to see from that photo but the top of the control console is yet another Moonbase control panel from UFO

One of the Thal Generals is extra John Beardmore who'll return as a Man in Market in Snakedance and Captain Revere in Frontios.

In the LP/Cassette version of Genesis of the Daleks, which I avidly listened to as a youngster, this marked the moment where the breaks in the two sides occurred.

Davros watches the destruction from his Bunker
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DAVROS: Switch if off. We will avenge the annihilation of our people with a retaliation so massive, so merciless, that it will live in history.

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DAVROS: Let the vengeance begin with the death of the arch traitor, the Thal spy Ronson!
RONSON: No! Davros.

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DAVROS: Exterminate! Exterminate!
RONSON: No.
DAVROS: Exterminate!
RONSON: No! No!

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DAVROS: Today, the Kaled race is ended, consumed in a fire of war, but from its ashes will rise a new race, the supreme creature, the ultimate conqueror of the universe, the Dalek! The action you take today is the beginning of a journey that will take the Daleks to their destiny of universal and absolute supremacy. You have been conditioned and programmed to complete a task. You will now carry out that programme.
DALEK: We obey.

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A horrific, monstrous scene. First the majority of the Kaled people die, then an innocent is scapegoated for what happened and then the Daleks are dispatched on their first deadly mission.

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! He doesn't stay their only victim for long though!

A new edition to the roster of Kaled Scientists in this episode is Charles Erskine who was a Parisian Man in The Massacre 4: War of God and a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians Episode 3.

The Doctor, like all other prisoners, is freed by the Thal leaders. He meets Bettan, a member of their leader's inner circle.
BETTAN: Did you have friends in the Kaled city?
DOCTOR: Yes. Two people very dear to me. I sent them into that holocaust.
BETTAN: What will you do now?
DOCTOR: Start again. Try and find a way to complete what I set out to do and stop the development of the Daleks.
BETTAN: Daleks?
DOCTOR: Yes. Machine creatures that Davros is developing. Monsters.
BETTAN: Davros? No, you're wrong. It was he who told us how to destroy the Kaled dome. His only interest is in achieving peace.
DOCTOR: Let me tell you something. The Kaled government was on the point of stopping Davros' experiments, and rather than let that happen, he helped you to destroy his own race.
BETTAN: You'll never convince my people of that. Davros is a hero.
DOCTOR: Yes, for how long, I wonder.
BETTAN: I must go. Under the general amnesty, you're free to leave whenever you want.
DOCTOR: Thank you.

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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!

Of all the characters in the serial Bettan seems the most innocent: we don't see her involved in the war at all so don't know what she did but for her to be in the room with the Thal leaders watching the bombardment indicates she must be something in their command structure..... So what did you do in the war Bettan?

Davros orders new chromosomal variations introduced into the Daleks which Gharman objects to.
DAVROS: That outlines the chromosomal variations to be introduced into the embryo Daleks. It is to be implemented at once, Gharman.
GHARMAN: Davros, this will create enormous mental defects.
DAVROS: Not defects, improvements.
GHARMAN: It'll mean creatures without conscience, no sense of right or wrong, no pity. They'll be without feeling or emotion. DAVROS: Correct. Now see that my orders are carried out.
GHARMAN: But you
DAVROS: Without question, Gharman.

It's this moment that Gharman's devotion to Davros falters as, for him, Davros crosses the line. From now on he'll be the leading figure resisting the Kaled scientist from within the bunker.

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DAVROS: Well?
NYDER: The Daleks are in position. They will act on your command.
DAVROS: I see no reason to delay any longer.

Under a general amnesty the Doctor is released but as he goes to leave the city the Daleks enter and begin exterminating all the Thals.
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This really is horrific. First the Doctor runs into a group of celebrating Thals, one of whom he gives his guard disguise to. Just turning a corner transforms them from them from joyful triumph to fear at their first sight of a Dalek.

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The inevitable follows

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Leaving the Daleks to advance past the Thals' fallen bodies. It's just Bettan's good fortune that she runs into the Doctor who puts years of experience hiding from Daleks to good use.

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It was obvious that Ronson wouldn't stay the Daleks sole victim for long and sure enough the count quickly increases 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.

Of the "extras" listed in this episode, presumably playing the Thals here, Julian Hudson has and will have form: He was in Planet of the Spiders: Part One as an Audience member / Meditator and will return in director David Maloney's next story, Planet of Evil, as a Morestran/crew member. He's an extra in Invasion of Time and a Seabase guard in the first three episodes of Warriors of the Deep.

The Doctor urges Bettan to round up the survivors, gather explosives and meet him at the Kaled bunker.
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We're back in the Kaled trench we saw in episode 1: told you we'd see that set again!

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, for both the episode and the story: the Thals (can we lay their deaths at the Time Lords' feet too?) & the Kaleds have been wiped out, the Daleks exist.

DAVROS: The beginning, only the beginning. From this moment, all other research must cease. Absolute priority is to be given to the building of my Dalek force. Nothing, absolutely nothing, must delay this glorious project!

Travelling back through the wasteland he is waylaid by Mutos ....
One of whom is another appearance for regular stuntman Terry Walsh.
.... but is saved by Sarah, Harry & Sevrin who were delayed getting to the Kaled city and survived the attack he thought they perished in.
SARAH: Doctor?
DOCTOR: Harry!
HARRY: Hello.
DOCTOR: Sarah! I can hardly believe it.
SARAH: What's the matter with you?
DOCTOR: I thought you were in the Kaled dome when it was hit.
SARAH: We didn't get there.
HARRY: No. No, you see, halfway across the wastelands we were attacked by a band of mutos.
SARAH: And that's when the rocket was launched.
HARRY: And then when the Kaled dome exploded
SARAH: The mutos just ran for their lives.
HARRY: Well, of course, I knew you'd try to get back into the bunker through the cave.
DOCTOR: You were absolutely right, Harry. It's vital we go back into the bunker.
SARAH: Why?
HARRY: Because they took the Time Ring.
DOCTOR: The bracelet that the Time Lord gave me is our lifeline. Without it we can never escape from this planet.

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We have rather forgotten about the Time Ring since it's confiscation in episode 2!

Gharman meets Kavell and urges him to act against Davros.
GHARMAN: We must stop the Daleks, Kavell.
KAVELL: I don't want to get involved. You saw what happened to Ronson. Davros wouldn't hesitate to have us killed if he suspected we were plotting against him.
GHARMAN: Then we must make our plans so he won't suspect anything.
KAVELL: Elite troops will stay loyal to him.
GHARMAN: That's not important! If the whole of the scientific corps act against Davros, he can't proceed. We can then demand that the Dalek project is halted. His whole concept is monstrous. It's evil and immoral.
KAVELL: What do you want me to do?
GHARMAN: Spread the word. Convince those who waver how vital it is that the whole Dalek project be ended.
KAVELL: I'll do what I can.

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They are unaware that Nyder has heard every word they have said. The Doctor sends Sevrin to Bettan while he, Sarah & Harry attempt to get back into the bunker. Nyder confides in Gharman that he too has doubts and arranges to meet him privately. Getting into the tunnel back into the bunker something occurs to Sarah:
SARAH: Listen, I've been down tunnels before and I've just had a rather nasty thought.
DOCTOR: Really?
SARAH: Yes. Suppose something's waiting for us in there.
DOCTOR: That is nasty. Better not tell Harry, he's gone first.

Fabulous delivery from Tom Baker there!

Gharman has a secret meeting with Nyder to voice his concerns at the Daleks but after telling Nyder who else is worried Nyder reveals that Gharman has fallen into a trap and as Davros reveals himself he knocks Gharman out.
DAVROS: A pity. He has a good scientific mind.
NYDER: Shall I kill him?
DAVROS: No. A little surgery on the brain will remove these stupid emotions and still allow us to make use of his inventive skills.
NYDER: And the other plotters?
DAVROS: The same for them. But we must move carefully, not force their hands. Let us learn who are our allies and who are our enemies. Leave Gharman here, safely locked away.
They hear a noise in the ventilation system and catch the Doctor's party entering the Bunker.
DAVROS: Welcome back.
DOCTOR: You were right, Sarah, about there being something nasty waiting for us.

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The Doctor is taken away for interrogation.
DAVROS: I have read the initial reports of your interrogation. The suggestion that you have travelled through space and time was utterly dismissed by the computer analysis.
DOCTOR: I imagine it had never been programmed for such a concept.
DAVROS: Precisely. I, however, I am perhaps more flexible. Though the power of such travel is beyond my scientific comprehension, it is not beyond my imagination. Why did you come here?
DOCTOR: To stop the development of the Daleks.
DAVROS: Why?
DOCTOR: Because having lived in what you would call the future, I have seen the carnage and destruction they have caused.
DAVROS: Then my Daleks do go on. They do survive.
DOCTOR: Yes, as weapons of hate and machines of war.
DAVROS: Fascinating.
DOCTOR: But there's still time to change all that. Why not make them a force for good throughout the universe?
DAVROS: I could do it.
DOCTOR: Then do it. Be remembered for that.
DAVROS: You have seen my Daleks in battle?
DOCTOR: Many times. I've fought against them.
DAVROS: And do they win? Do they always win?
DOCTOR: Not always. They have been defeated, but never utterly defeated. The Dalek menace always remains.
DAVROS: If, as you say, they become the supreme creatures of war, how can they lose? How can they fail?
DOCTOR: Misfortune, lack of information, sometimes overwhelming opposition.
DAVROS: Yes, but tell me, how do the Daleks fail?
DOCTOR: No, Davros, that is a question that the future must keep secret.
DAVROS: What mistakes do they make? You will tell me!
DOCTOR: No.
DAVROS: You will tell me!
DOCTOR: No, I will not!
DAVROS: Nyder. You will tell me because you have a weakness that I have totally eliminated from the minds of the Daleks so they will always be superior. A weakness that will make you give me the knowledge to change the future. You are afflicted with a conscience.
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With his companions wired up to pain inducing machines the Doctor is instructed to reveal the reason for every future Dalek defeat to Davros.

DAVROS: Nyder. Let me tell you what is going to happen. You will answer my questions. You will answer them carefully and precisely. The instruments to which you are wired are particularly sensitive. They will detect instantly any attempt to lie.
DOCTOR: And if I do lie?
DAVROS: If you lie, your friends will suffer. I can create in their bodies all the torments and agonies ever known.
SARAH: Don't tell him, Doctor!
DAVROS: Now, you will tell me the reason for every Dalek defeat. With that knowledge, I will programme them. With that knowledge, they will know their errors and how to avoid them. With that knowledge, there shall be no defeats! We will begin.
DOCTOR: Davros, if I tell you what you want to know, I betray millions of people in the future. I can't do that.
DAVROS: But you can! You will tell me. You will tell me! You will tell me!
The final scene here is made by the noise: the increasing in volume and frequency of the throb throb of the machines generating then pain.

Fabulous episode. Just doesn't stop. Loads of action, lots of it involving the Daleks which is good because so far they haven't been in it much yet here they're a major factor for much of the episode.

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