Sunday, 26 April 2015

399 Revenge of the Cybermen: Part Two

EPISODE: Revenge of the Cybermen: Part Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 26 April 1975
WRITER: Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Michael Briant
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 8.3 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Cybermen Box Set

"All resistance overcome. The Beacon is ours."

The Doctor escapes from the room and hearing Sarah's scrams rushes to the crew room where he finds her having been bitten by a Cybermat. The Doctor & Harry take her to the Transmat to use it to purge the poison from her system but they find the pentallion drive removed and the Transmat not functioning, concluding Kellman is responsible and working for the Cybermen. The Doctor jury rigs a replacement circuit while Stevens & Lester go to arrest Kellman who is now armed. Sarah & Harry are transmatted to Voga but the circuit explodes stranding them there. Harry finds gold, which is abundant on the planet, but his curiosity gets them into trouble when they are found and captured by the Vogans. Lester & Stevens capture & disarm Kellman. The Doctor explains to Lester & Stevens that the Cybermen are allergic to gold because it clogs their breathing apparatus. The Doctor threatens Kellman with the Cybermat as the Cybermen approach the station. Harry & Sarah are taken to Vorus who seems to know a lot about what has been happening on the beacon and tells them only four humans were meant to be left alive. Vorus is summoned by councillor Tyrum. Kellman tells the Doctor where the missing pentallion drive is. Tyrum sends his militia into the gold mines to relieve Vorus' guardians under protest from Vorus. Fighting breaks out between the two factions. The Doctor reactivates the transmat but using it fails to return Sarah & Harry who escape from their gold chains and are taken to Tyrum. The Cybership nears the station and docks. Stevens, Lester & The Doctor attempt to stop them but the Cybermen open fire and all three are gunned down!

It takes a while for the Cybermen to properly show up in this story. They pop up here and there through the first two episodes but don't get to interact with anyone else until the end of the episode when they storm the beacon. So half way through the story and effectively they've only just showed up. For a monster that I've not seen for six years I'd be wanting a bit more a bit sooner. Gerry Davies, who's been busy writing Doomwatch since his last Doctor Who (1967's The Tomb of the Cybermen), has used this structure with the Cybermen before: They're not fully revealed in either The Moonbase or Tomb of the Cybermen till the end of the second episode. As we've said this is the first proper Cybermen story for six and half years, although they had brief cameos in The War Games, Mind of Evil & Carnival of Monsters. As is traditional for the Cybermen they've had a redesign. Essentially these Cybermen are the Invasion version wearing the Moonbase/Tomb chest units with cabling on the limbs replaced by ribbed vacuum cleaner hose which also surrounds the tubes projecting from the head.

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The Invasion Cybermen are the successors to the Wheel in Space version, but are the most major redesign. The retain the tear-drops on the eyes and circle at the top of the chest unit, caused by the Wheel Cybermen wearing their chest units upside down! So it's a little odd to see the earlier chest unit return especially mounted the right way up! It's interesting seeing all four versions together and looking at how the Cybermen have evolved in appearance.

Since we last saw the Cybermen they've gained a new weakness!

DOCTOR: Voga, otherwise known as the Planet of Gold, is hated and feared by Cybermen because gold is lethal to them.
DOCTOR: It's the perfect non-corrodible metal. It plates their breathing apparatus and in effect suffocates them.
Clogs their breathing apparatus? That's a little strange since we saw Cybermen operating in a vacuum in The Moonbase & Wheel in Space so I would have thought that they didn't need to breathe. I suppose you could argue that they need to take in air in environments where it's present or the ones from space have been specially adapted.... The gold allergy joins a lengthy list of Cyber weaknesses which also includes radiation (Tenth Planet), gravity & plastic solvents (The Moonbase) and emotions (The Invasion, see they did it in the classic series too take that everyone who hated the end of Closing Time!). Unlike the other weaknesses this one sticks and resurfaces in Earthshock and Silver Nemesis.

For the first time we get a designated Cyberleader, who has a black helmet with a silver face plate. The Cybermen now have no hand weapons and instead fire blasts from the "lamp" on their helmet, previously a flat disc, which is now four tubes.

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Neither of the Cybermen with their names listed in speaking roles have played the monsters before but both have been in Doctor Who previously. The Cyberleader, Christopher Robbie was in the Mind Robber as the Karkus while the credited Cyberman Melville Jones was a guard in The Time Monster. Other non speaking Cybermen include Tony Lord, a guard in Monster of Peladon, and regular extra Pat Gorman who, amongst his myriad other credits, had been a Cyberman in The Invasion and would repeat the role in Attack of the Cybermen!

Onto the Vogan cast members in this story: Playing Vorus is David Collings on his Doctor Who debut. He'll return as Poul in The Robots of Death (directed by Michael Briant) and Mawdryn in Mawdryn Undead. He's best known to telefantasy fans for playing Silver in Sapphire & Steel. His rocket scientist Magrik is played by Michael Wisher who we've just seen in Genesis of the Daleks as Davros although the story was recorded after Revenge of the Cybermen. See Genesis of the Daleks episode 2 for a complete list of his Doctor Who roles.

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Vogan Elder Tyrum is a final Doctor Who role for Kevin Stoney who was Mavic Chen in The Daleks' Master Plan and Tobias Vaughan in The Invasion, both directed by Douglas Camfield. In 1984 his death was erroneously reported by fan publication Doctor Who Bulletin so it was a great shock to fans when he appeared on stage at a 1987 convention! He eventually passed away in 2008, aged 86, after a long battle with skin cancer. Brian Grellis is Sheprah and we'll see him again as Safran in The Invisible Enemy and the Megaphone Man in Snakedance.

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Stuntman Terry Walsh is also credited on IMDB as Sherpah: I'm guessing this is something to do with the location filming in the tunnels.

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This is the first look we've got of the location, filmed underground in Wookey Hole, more of which next episode, and it looks fabulous!

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There were two little cart trains used in Genesis of the Daleks: The Kaleds had one and the Thals were using one to load their rocket. Here's another in the Vogan caves.

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What's interesting about this one is that it appears in studio and on location!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

398 Revenge of the Cybermen: Part One

EPISODE: Revenge of the Cybermen: Part One
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 19 April 1975
WRITER: Gerry Davis
DIRECTOR: Michael Briant
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 9.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Cybermen Box Set

"My colleague is a doctor of medicine and I'm a doctor of many things."

The Doctor, Sarah & Harry materialise on Nerva Beacon, with the time ring that brought them there vanishing. They immediately find a number of dead bodies left where they had fallen. In a control room beacon operator Warner wards a spaceship away due to a plague infection. A request for information is referred to Commander Stevens who tells Warner to lie. The civilian on the station Professor Kellman questions how much longer Stevens can run the station with just him, Warner & Lester left alive. The Doctor explains to Sarah & Harry they've arrived in an earlier point in the Ark's history when it was still a navigational beacon. Unseen by then a silver creature moves between the bodies. Warner picks up an alien transmission. He thinks it may have come from the Asteroid Voga that they orbit but Kellman insists Voga is lifeless. The Doctor unlocks the door unsealing the section they were in which alerts Warner. Lester & Stevens investigate. On Voga the body of the being making the transmission is taken to Vorus, a Vogan leader, who is planning something with Magrik. Magrik fears the Cybermen may be monitoring them. Warner is attacked by the silver creature and a network of red lines grows on his face. Kellman seizes the recording Warner made, but is disturbed by the Doctor's party arriving next door. They are apprehended by Stevens & Lester, and Kellman shows them Warner. Kellman wants them killed as plague carriers. Kellman monitors the Doctor & Stevens: The Doctor is convinced it's not a plague and wonders about the missing tape. Lester tells them that this is the 79 day of the plague and the station has been isolated during this time. The Doctor recognises the name Voga as the planet of gold that was a key player in the war with the Cybermen. Kellman contacts his allies by a concealed radio: The Cybermen direct their ship towards the station. Harry finds puncture marks on Warner's body and the Doctor begins to suspect what has caused the plague. He visits Kellman's room and searches it discovering the monitoring device & transmitter, but is forced to hide when Kellman returns setting a trap electrifying the floor causing smoke to fill the room. As Sarah waits for the Doctor's return she is attacked by the silver creature which bites her neck......

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We're back on Nerva station after eight episode wandering round Earth and Skaro. In some respects this idea is similar to the Hartnell story the Ark where they spend two episodes on The Ark leaving earth and two episodes years later arriving on Refusis. Here though we're back at the previous location we saw in Ark in Space some time in the past.

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So it's only natural that Revenge of the Cybermen reuses several sets from Ark in Space, notably the corridor contained in the beacon's ring and the transmat room. Ark in Space and Revenge of the Cybermen were filmed back to back, with Sontaran Experiment preceding them and Genesis of the Daleks following, to allow this to happen.


If you look some elements have been altered, the colour of the Transmat booth and the panels round the corridor ring.

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Some good science here:

WARNER: Where did that rock come from, anyway? What system?
KELLMAN: Nobody knows. It was first detected in our system fifty years ago and it was captured by Jupiter.
Jupiter is known to capture asteroids due to it's immense gravitational pull and indeed has probably prevented a fair few from colliding with Earth!

There's also some information that's now VERY out of date:

DOCTOR: Who's your civilian?
STEVENSON: Professor Kellman. He's an exographer.
DOCTOR: Interesting. Planetary survey. Of what?
DOCTOR: I thought Jupiter had already been thoroughly studied.
STEVENSON: Yes. He's interested in its new satellite.
DOCTOR: What, do you mean there are now thirteen?
STEVENSON: Turned up fifty years ago. That's why this beacon's out here. A lot of the Great Circle freighters haven't got it on their charts yet.
In fact that information was already out of date by the time the episode was broadcast! Jupiter's 12th moon Anake was discovered in 1951 but in September 1974, after the majority of the work on the script had been completed, a 13th Leda was discovered and another, Thermisto sighted later in 1975! Voyager found three more moons but from 1999 onwards a whole slew of moons was detected bringing the current total to 67!

This discrepancy between reality and what was stated on screen obviously irritated Doctor Who author Stephen Cole that he wrote an entire book, To The Slaughter, to explain why Jupiter only had 12 moons in this story!

The Doctor then asks the obvious question about the new moon which leads the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place

DOCTOR: What's it called?
STEVENSON: Neo Phobos, originally, but Kellman's renamed it Voga.
DOCTOR: Voga. Of course. Has he been down there?
STEVENSON: Kellman? He set up a transmat. Why?
DOCTOR: Voga. Voga. Planet of gold. Yes, it's all coming back to me now.
STEVENSON: What's coming back to you?
DOCTOR: Cybermen. That's what we're up against, Commander. Cybermen.
STEVENSON: But surely, Doctor, Cybermen died out centuries ago.
DOCTOR: They disappeared after their attack on Voga at the end of the Cyber War. Not the same thing as dying out, Commander. They're utterly ruthless. Total machine creatures.
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Huzzah, at long last over six years after their last appearance the Cybermen are back. Unfortunately the story mucks their reveal up something chronic. Yes, I know they're in the title but...... They get name checked by the Vogans before they are shown, and then the reveal is three of them standing around in their spaceship. A little wasted perhaps, no big end of episode reveal as they crash through the airlock.

Returning writer Gerry Davis, former Doctor Who script editor and co-creator of the Cybermen raids his own back catalogue for other Cyber elements to insert into this tale.

The silver creature is some form of Cybermat which we previously saw in Tomb of the Cybermen & Wheel in Space

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The virus is very similar, involving an updated effect to the one that the Cybermen used in the Moonbase.

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However since all three stories were by some distance in the past reusing them is perfectly fine. And, once you remove the botched Cyberman reveal, so is this episode.

Warner shuffles off this mortal coil during this episode so we probably aught to talk about the actor who plays him now, Alec Wallis, who was previously Leading Telegraphist Bowman in The Sea Devils which, like Revenge of the Cybermen, was directed by Michael Briant. We'll do the rest of the beacon's crew now while we're on the subject. Ronald Leigh-Hunt plays Commander Stevenson and we saw him as Commander Radnor in The Seeds of Death.

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Lester is a bit trusting isn't he: 2 minutes after meeting the Doctor & friends, with air of suspicion still surrounding them he gives Sarah his gun! He's played by William Marlowe who was previously criminal Harry Mailer in The Mind of Evil. Many publications claim he was married to another performer in that story, Fernanda Marlowe, purely on the basis that they share the same surname but this isn't the case. He was married to Catherine Schell (Countess Scarlioni in City of Death) at the time both of his Who appearances were filmed but later married Kismet Delgado, the widow of Roger Delgado, the actor who played the Master in many Pertwee stories. Jeremy Wilkin, playing Kellman, is the only member of the cast with no other Doctor Who appearances to his name. However he was the voice of Virgil Tracy in the second series of Thunderbirds, Captain Ochre & the original Captain Black in Captain Scarlet and was in the very first episode of Blake's 7, The Way Back, as Dev Tarrant.

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There is what looks like a very bad piece of special effects in this episode:

KELLMAN: What are you doing?
WARNER: Logging it. Unidentified call apparently from the direction of Voga.
Unfortunately the display showing Warner's data entry looks positioned too far to the left!

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And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, the thing hanging in the back of Vorus' rooms is what will later become known as the Seal of the High Council of the Time Lords. Designer Roger Murray-Leach worked on this story and the Deadly Assassin where he reused the design in the Gallifreyan Capitol giving it the association it's had ever since.


Four days after this episode aired, on 23rd April 1975, William Hartnell died. He'd been suffering from arteriosclerosis for a number of years, then had a number of strokes during the early part of 1975 and died peacefully in his sleep of heart failure on 23 April 1975.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

397 Genesis of the Daleks: Part Six

EPISODE: Genesis of the Daleks: Part Six
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 12 April 1975
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 9.1 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks

"Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other, and that's it. The Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear, in peace... and never even know the word "Dalek""

Sarah & Harry save the Doctor from the Dalek mutant but as he stands ready to blow the incubator room up he's unsure of his actions:

SARAH: What are you waiting for?
DOCTOR: Just touch these two strands together and the Daleks are finished. Have I that right?
SARAH: To destroy the Daleks? You can't doubt it.

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DOCTOR: Well, I do. You see, some things could be better with the Daleks. Many future worlds will become allies just because of their fear of the Daleks.
SARAH: But it isn't like that.
DOCTOR: But the final responsibility is mine, and mine alone. If someone who knew the future, pointed out a child to you and told you that that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives... could you then kill that child?
Sarah: We're talking about the Daleks; the most evil creatures ever invented! You must destroy them! You must complete your mission for the Time Lords!
The Doctor: Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other, and that's it. The Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear, in peace... and never even know the word "Dalek".
Sarah: Then why wait? If it was a disease or some sort of bacteria you were destroying, you wouldn't hesitate!
The Doctor: But if I kill... wipe out a whole intelligent life-form... then I become like them. I'd be no better than the Daleks.

Compare with The Doctor's debate with Davros in the last episode: Davros wants the ultimate power but given the choice as to if he should destroy the Daleks here the Doctor does his best to refuse it.

However Gharman interrupts telling them about the meeting which they attend.
Now the Doctor knows that Davros gave the Thals the secret to penetrating the Kaled dome. why doesn't he bring that up? DAVROS: The issues are simple and clear cut. I have given my life's work to the survival of our race. The travel machine I designed, the Dalek, will give the creature into which we will mutate its only possibility of continued existence.
GHARMAN: But you have deviated from that intention. You have introduced genetic changes that will alter the mutation into a creature without morals and without ethics.
DAVROS: I have introduced aggression, without which no race can survive.
GHARMAN: But aggression without a conscience.
DAVROS: History will show that cooperation between different species is impossible. One race must survive all others, and to do this it must dominate. Ruthlessly. Now I intend that when all the bickering and battling is over, the supreme victor shall be our race, the Daleks. At this very moment, the production lines stand ready, totally automated, fully programmed. The Daleks are no longer dependant on us. The machinery is ready. They are a power in their own right. If any one of you would destroy everything that we have ever achieved, then here is a destruct button. Press it, and you will destroy this bunker and everything in it. Only this room will remain. Press it and you will wipe out our entire race, destroy the Daleks forever. Which of you will do it?

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DAVROS: You are men without courage. You have lost your right to survive.

Hovering at the back they retrieve their possessions from Ronson's desk and find the Time Ring nearby.
The items on the desk, including the sonic screwdriver, were confiscated from the Doctor when he was captured in part 1. The Time ring was confiscated when he was scanned in part 2.
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The Daleks enter the corridor to the bunker pursued by Bettan's Thal group.

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Davros activates the door to the Bunker allowing them in. Bettan's group follows and starts laying charges at the entrance but knowing time is running out Sevrin goes further in to seek his friends. As Davros issues his final ultimatum The Doctor spots Nyder leaving the room.

DAVROS: Kravos, I saved your life once. In your chest is a tiny instrument which I designed. It keeps your heart beating. Will you now turn that heart against me?

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Now Kravos here played byAndrew Johns, is an edition to the cast for this episode. Is he a replacement for Kavell, played by Tom Georgeson, as seen in the previous episodes? Was Georgeson unavailable?

Other Kaled Scientist in this episode that we've not seen before include Mike Reynell who was an Exillon in Death to the Daleks and Tony Hayes who will be a Mentiad in The Pirate Planet.

They catch up with him in a corridor where they struggle and while they're doing so the Time Ring roles away unnoticed:
You have to laugh at the time ring getting lost in the corridor: It's an old fashioned Terry Nation "this has happened to the Tardis to keep the heroes trapped here" plot line :-)

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DOCTOR: Now where are you going in such a hurry?
NYDER: Davros has lost. I am getting away while I can.
DOCTOR: Oh. Somehow that just doesn't ring true.
SARAH: Why didn't you just join the other side?
DOCTOR: Now that's a good question. Do you have a good answer? Evidently not. Well then, let's try something else. That tape recording you took, where is it?
NYDER: It's put away in a safe in Davros' office.
DOCTOR: Shall we go and see?
NYDER: Down here.

Sevrin searches the corridors for them, narrowly evading patrolling Daleks.
What's the first thing I see when they enter Davros' office? Yup, that's right a UFO control panel! They even draw attention to it with a close up of Sarah looking at it. This one is a slightly different shape to the others, incorporating a desk but it's definitely from UFO, you can see it in this shot from the series

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vlcsnap-2014-12-15-16h05m00s125 Then a few moments later they pan round the room ...... and there's a bank of four of the control panels piled on each other agaonst the wall adjoining the corridor!

For a story that I'd never seen a UFO control panel in I can't get away from them now!

DOCTOR: Now, be reasonable and open it for us.
NYDER: Only Davros knows the combination.
HARRY: Come on, Nyder, you can do better than that.
SARAH: Perhaps he's telling the truth.
DOCTOR: Oh, no, no. On the contrary. Now, Davros can't rise from his chair, correct?
NYDER: Well?
DOCTOR: And he has the use of only one hand, this hand. And Davros never goes anywhere without you, Nyder.

He did in episode 1! Sarah saw him too!

DOCTOR: So you must open the safe for him. Open it for us.
DOCTOR: Thank you. Now let's destroy it.
SARAH: Er, how about this?
DOCTOR: How very apt. A Dalek gun.

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Nyder escapes, locking them in the office where they realise the Time Ring must have been dropped in the corridor outside.
The Doctor: Even the sonic screwdriver won't open this door.
Bettan's party finish planting the explosives in the entrance corridor.
The Thal Survivor who reports progress to Bettan is played by John Gleeson who will return as Charles Winlett in The Seeds of Doom in just under a year. Other Thal Survivors in this episode are David Billa, Timothy Blackstone and Reg Turner all of whom were Thals in earlier episodes.

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Through a viewscreen showing the main lab the Doctor, Sarah & Harry witness Davros calling for those who support him to stand with him
Davros is so paranoid he's got a screen in his office so he can observe those working for him?

DAVROS: This is your last chance. Move to join me now or suffer the consequences.
GHARMAN: Why don't you just accept the fact that you have lost. It's over for you, Davros.
DAVROS: Do you believe that I would let a lifetime's work be ended by the will of spineless fools like you? You have won nothing. I allowed this charade to be played out for one reason only. To find those men who were truly loyal to me and to discover those who would betray me! We, I will go on!
GHARMAN: You are insane, Davros.
DAVROS: Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

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They see the remainder, including Gharman & Kavell, gunned down by Daleks. Sevrin, worrying about his friends, has entered the Bunker and frees them. The Doctor sends him, Sarah & Harry to the surface where Bettan is preparing to blow up the Bunker. He returns to the Incubator room which is destroyed when a Dalek rolls over the exposed detonation cables triggering an explosion.
The Doctor's wearing his heavy overcoat again, not seen since the opening part of the story. Where did he get it back from? Was it with the rest of their stuff on Ronson's desk? He wasn't wearing, or carrying, it in Davros' office!

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Davros notices the automated Dalek production line is running.
DAVROS: The automated Dalek production line has been started. I gave no such order. Who did?
DALEK: I gave the command.
DAVROS: You will perform no function unless ordered by me. You will obey only my commands. The production line is to be halted immediately. You heard my order. Obey! Obey! Nyder.
NYDER: Yes, Davros.

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DALEK: Production will continue.

Thus perishes one of THE all time great, if not the greatest, Doctor Who henchmen. any other story he'd make a great lead villain all by himself. Top work from Peter Miles throughout making his last Doctor Who appearance here.

The Doctor flees from the Bunker, with Bettan detonating the explosives destroying the Daleks pursuing him and sealing the Bunker.

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They access the Bunker's closed circuit tv system and witness the extermination of the remaining Kaled scientists and Davros pleading with his creations.

DAVROS: You must obey me! I created you! I am the master, not you. I! I! I!
DALEK: Our programming does not permit to acknowledge that any creature is superior to the Daleks.
DAVROS: You cannot exist without me. You cannot progress.
DALEK: We are programmed to survive. We have the ability to develop in any way necessary to ensure that survival.
DALEK 2: Main exit blocked by explosion for a length of at least one thousand yards.

SARAH: The incubator room, were you able to do anything?
DOCTOR: Yes, with a little help from a Dalek. But I'm afraid I've only delayed them for a short time. Perhaps a thousand years.
SARAH: What?
DOCTOR: In the total time scale, no more than that.

Given the debate the Doctor was having with himself earlier as to whether to destroy the incubation room, now that a Dalek has done it for him the Doctor almost downplays the significance.

The Thousand Yards/Years in the last two scenes is interesting given the repeated number each with a different measurement beginning with Y. Has someone muffed their lines but it wasn't noticed at the time?

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DALEK: All inferior creatures are to be considered the enemy of the Daleks and destroyed.
DAVROS: No, wait! Those men are scientists. They can help you. Let them live. Have pity!
DALEK: Pity? I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. Exterminate!

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DAVROS: For the last time, I am your creator! You must, you will obey me! DALEK: We obey no one. We are the superior beings.

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DALEK: Exterminate!

What a fabulous death! Davros learns that valuable lesson that so many Doctor Who characters have: Never trust the Daleks. His creations turn on him and he ends up pleading for them to use one of the very traits that he himself ordered eliminated from their makeup. He's been one of the very best Doctor villains, of which much is down to Michael Wisher's performance and, like his creations, has been comprehensibly destroyed on his first appearance.....

... or has he? You don't actually see Davros killed, just his hand caught in the edge of the blast from a Dalek gun. Surely they weren't looking to bring him back?

The Daleks were back a little under a year after their first appearance but it takes Davros slightly longer to return. Many think he never should have and would have preferred him confined to just this one appearance as the Daleks seem weaker with him in later stories. Maybe that then is the true outcome of the Doctor's mission: he's somehow caused Davros' survival, perhaps warning him during that recorded session of the Daleks' history of treachery, and Davros' presence in the future disrupts the Daleks and dilutes their effectiveness.

All together now, I suspect many Doctor Who fans know this bit by heart:

DALEK: We are entombed, but we live on. This is only the beginning. We will prepare. We will grow stronger. When the time is right, we will emerge and take our rightful place as the supreme power of the universe!

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This closes the LP/Cassette presentation of the story and the Daleks' words are etched in my mind!

The Doctor, Sarah & Harry bid goodbye to Sevrin & Bettan

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They activate the Time Ring to take them back to the Tardis the Doctor contemplates their mission

The Doctor: Failed? No, not really. You see, I know that although the Daleks will create havoc and destruction for millions of years, I know also that out of their evil must come something good.

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Remember during episode 1 I said I'd done the episode summary from memory? Well apart from a few minor details I managed the same for all six episodes of this story!

Genesis of the Daleks was broadcast roughly a year after their previous appearance in Death to the Daleks but the Daleks & Davros however would have to wait much longer for their next return: They wouldn't be back until September 1979's Destiny of the Daleks. But the next story sees the return of a monster that's been absent from the show, bar brief cameos, for over six years!

Genesis of the Daleks is something special, not just because it's really Doctor Who's only go at an origin story for one of it's monsters. It's a superb tale from start to finish, darker than most with possibly the best villain the show has ever seen. I'd argue that it'd not a particularly good Dalek story though as the creatures themselves are hardly in it and for much of the time are reduced to mindless shock troops in Davros' hands (hand?) till they take charge of their destiny in the closing moments of the story. It's highly thought of by Doctor Who fans but I suspect the one of the reasons it's not exhorted as "the best Doctor Who story" is our over familiarity with it. It's been repeated FOUR times by the terrestrial BBC:

Annual Christmas Repeat
85-minute compilation
27 December 1975BBC 1
Doctor Who & The Monsters
two 45-minute episodes
26 July to 2 August 1982BBC 1
30th anniversary repeats8 January to 12 February 1993BBC 2
Aborted Pertwee Repeats1 to 29 February 2000BBC 2

It seems almost every time the BBC do a repeat run that Genesis is what they reach for leading to a little bit of "oh know, not Genesis again, why aren't they repeating Invasion of the Blagblasters?" But it's Tom Baker, arguably the most popular classic Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Smith, arguably the best companion, Davros, arguably the best villain the series has had and The Daleks who are by someway the best monsters.

And we continue to lap Genesis of the Daleks up even if it's not on the television. Terrance Dicks' 1976 novelization is reputed to be the best selling Target book. It's the only Doctor Who story to have a record released of it's soundtrack - I played the cassette version over and over as a child - and it's since been re-released on CD several times. It was initially released on video as a double pack with The Sontaran Experiment in October 1991 (alongside the Deadly Assassin) then resurfaced in a WHSmiths exclusive boxset alongside Davros' other appearances in Destiny of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revalation of the Daleks & Remembrance of the Daleks. The BBC isn't keen on releasing DVD sales figures that often but up to December 2007 the Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks DVD had sold 81,000 copies since it's release on April 26th 2006. By comparison The Five Doctors, released in 1999, had sold 61,000 copies in the eight years to the same date. Genesis of the Daleks was re-released in Doctor Who : The Davros Collection DVD set, again containing all five of Davros' on screen appearances but also including the Big Finish stories he features in.