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Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks (Story 78)

4.8 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks (Episode 78) (Dbl DVD)

One of the most popular story arcs from Doctor Who's "Fourth Doctor" period (starring Tom Baker as the Doctor), writer Terry Nation's Genesis of the Daleks not only fleshes out the back story of the Doctor's most fearsome nemeses--the megalomaniacal, robotic Daleks--but also serves up athoughtful storyline that doesn't skimp on the action. First aired on the BBC in 1975, the six-episode story has the Doctor and companions Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry (Ian Marter) summoned to the Daleks'home planet of Skaros at a time prior to their rise to power. Hoping toprevent the domination-hungry beings from developing their warlike behavior, they soon find themselves in the middle of a war between two races, the Kaleds and the Thals, and uncover a plot by a Kaled scientist, Davros, to render his people invincible as the metal-encased Daleks. A gripping story with elements that remain topical even today (ancient cultures locked in an endless war, genetic experimentation, eugenics), Genesis of the Daleks is an excellent starting point for first-time Who viewers,and a fine reminder of the show at its best for longtime fans. The two-disc DVD offers a considerable amount of extras, most notably a commentary track by Baker, Sladen, co-star Peter Miles, and director David Maloney. "Genesis of a Classic" is an hour-long featurette about the story, with interviews from all the major (surviving) cast and crew members, while "The Dalek Tapes" explores the creatures' history via rare clips and interviews with performers and production staff. There's also a clip from a vintage episode of the U.K. children's series Blue Peter that's devoted to Doctor Who models and creatures, as well as the detailed photo gallery and subtitled text commentary that are standards on all Doctor WhoDVDs. Those with DVD-ROM can access PDF documents of the 1976 Doctor Who Annual and listings from the Radio Times.

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One of the most popular story arcs from Doctor Who's "Fourth Doctor" period (starring Tom Baker as the Doctor), writer Terry Nation's Genesis of the Daleks not only fleshes out the back story of the Doctor's most fearsome nemeses--the megalomaniacal, robotic Daleks--but also serves up a thoughtful storyline that doesn't skimp on the action. First aired on the BBC in 1975, the six-episode story has the Doctor and companions Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry (Ian Marter) summoned to the Daleks' home planet of Skaros at a time prior to their rise to power. Hoping to prevent the domination-hungry beings from developing their warlike behavior, they soon find themselves in the middle of a war between two races, the Kaleds and the Thals, and uncover a plot by a Kaled scientist, Davros, to render his people invincible as the metal-encased Daleks. A gripping story with elements that remain topical even today (ancient cultures locked in an endless war, genetic experimentation, eugenics), Genesis of the Daleks is an excellent starting point for first-time Who viewers, and a fine reminder of the show at its best for longtime fans. The two-disc DVD offers a considerable amount of extras, most notably a commentary track by Baker, Sladen, co-star Peter Miles, and director David Maloney. "Genesis of a Classic" is an hour-long featurette about the story, with interviews from all the major (surviving) cast and crew members, while "The Dalek Tapes" explores the creatures' history via rare clips and interviews with performers and production staff. There's also a clip from a vintage episode of the U.K. children's series Blue Peter that's devoted to Doctor Who models and creatures, as well as the detailed photo gallery and subtitled text commentary that are standards on all Doctor Who DVDs. Those with DVD-ROM can access PDF documents of the 1976 Doctor Who Annual and listings from the Radio Times. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

Deleted Scenes: Includes deleted scenesDeleted Scenes: Includes deleted scenesDeleted Scenes: Includes deleted scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Ian Marter, Michael Wisher
  • Directors: David Maloney
  • Writers: Terry Nation
  • Producers: Philip Hinchcliffe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EMG918
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,477 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks (Story 78)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Imagine you could pick your favorite villains, from your favorite TV show, and do more than just reinvent those villains, but invent those villains, infront of the eyes of a viewer totally familiar with who those villains are, then go back and tell the story of their origin from the perspective of the protagonist. When that protagonist is a TIMELORD, it's easy to tell that story. That is just what Genesis of the Daleks is, the story of how the Doctor's greatest enemy comes to be. But, this concept is taken further than just telling their origin, the Doctor's mission is to stop that origin!

This is truely one of the best story arcs of the 4th incarnation of the Doctor, as played by fan-favorite, Tom Baker (currently narrator on the successful "Little Brittain" series).

This gritty and sometimes extremely dark story is one I and many fans have been waiting on for DVD release. The Doctor questions his own morality, wrestling with the decision to wipe out the Daleks like some terrible disease: To destroy an intelligent life form, wiping out a race, would 'he' be any better than the Daleks.

One short-coming is the price of BBC 2-disc sets is high and the special-bonus material is usually less-than special.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's hard for me to make up a list of the best "Doctor Who" episodes. Well, let me restate that. I can make a list from here to Ravalox and back, but it's hard to put them into any order. It's a list the contains things like Doctor Who - The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Doctor Who - The Tomb of the Cybermen, and, of course, "Genesis of the Daleks". I'm not sure if it's the best story (what's your favorite? Comment!), but it's definately the best Dalek story.

The story opens with our heroes trying to return to Earth after one of their most recent adventures. They get, essentially, pulled over by the Time Lords. One of them, dressed, for some odd reason, rather like Tim the Enchanter, explains to the Doctor that he's on Skaro and must prevent the construction of the Daleks.

Now this opens up a great many interesting doors, including such things as the grandfather paradox. A lot of them don't get opened, but some do, such as the Doctor questioning the morality of destroying the Daleks. He sites the evil that they do, but also explains that by forcing various species to work together against them they also cause good (in Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch it's observed that evil sows the seeds of its own destruction. This is a great example).

The story is also notable for the introduction of Davros. Ah, Davros. For some reason, despite the Daleks appearing every-other episode of the new series, he hasn't shown up yet.
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Format: DVD
This was the story that got me hooked on Doctor Who back in the early 80's. My friend was a fan long before me and was always getting me to sit down and watch episodes on local TV with commercials. I was not impressed by what I saw until they ran Genesis of the Daleks during a PBS pledge drive. That was all it took to make me a diehard fan. Other reviewers have gone into detail about why this story is so good so I won't repeat their excellent comments here.

With this release my Top 5 favorite stories are now on DVD. Shame about the price increase though. On the plus side we're getting one of the Tom Baker's best stories and he's even doing a commentary!

Now if the BBC will only release Pertwee's Dalek stories...
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