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"Doctor Who" Genesis of the Daleks: Part One (TV Episode 1975) Poster

Trivia

It is said that the Last Great Time War (a theme introduced in the revival Doctor Who (2005)) is caused by the events of this story.
Genesis of the Daleks is one of only five serials in which the TARDIS is not featured.
First appearance in the series of Davros, the mad scientist and creator of the Daleks.
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Voted Best Story in the Doctor Who Apprecation Society Season Poll.
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A technical innovation in the studio meant that this was the first time the Daleks' guns fired a beam - previously the screen had merely turned negative to indicate the weapon's discharge.
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Voted by fans as the fourth greatest Doctor Who (1963) serial in Outpost Gallifrey's poll in 2003 to celebrate 40 years of the series.
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The brutal nature of the war between the Kaleds and Thals was inspired by Things to Come (1936). Terry Nation also decided to play up the Nazi allusions which, he now realised, had influenced his original conception of the Daleks.
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This episode was watched by 10.7 million viewers on its original transmission.
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Tom Baker named Genesis of the Daleks as one of his favourite Doctor Who (1963) serials.
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This serial was Michael Wisher's only appearance as Davros. He was the third choice for it after David Baillie and Roy Skelton passed. Wisher was wanted back for Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks: Episode One (1979) and Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks: Part One (1984) but was unavailable on both occasions. Terry Molloy, who became Wisher's permanent replacement in the 1980s, admitted that he based his own performance in Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks: Part One (1984) on Wisher's performance in this serial.
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Michael Wisher prepared for his masked role of Davros by wearing a paper bag over his head during rehearsals, to help him convey much of the emotion of the part purely through dialogue. Wisher, a heavy smoker, put two holes in the top of the bag so he could smoke underneath it in rehearsals.
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The opening conversation between the Doctor and the Time Lord was inspired by The Seventh Seal (1957). Originally, the scene took place in a garden, but David Maloney and Philip Hinchcliffe disliked the idea..
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Terry Nation intended the Mutos to be much more bestial in appearance, their forms usually hidden by their rags.
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Mary Whitehouse of the National Viewers and Listeners' Association famously complained to the BBC about this serial, saying it was "teatime brutality for tots...this series has moved from fantasy to real-life violence with cruelty, corpses, poison gas and Nazi-type stormtroopers, not to mention revolting experiments in human genetics".
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Katy Manning has said she thinks the Daleks lost their menace beginning with this story because of the introduction of Davros. She said "suddenly it's half a bloke in there... There's nothing human about a Dalek". Although Katy Manning criticised this serial for the introduction of Davros, former producer Barry Letts called this "Terry Nation's masterpiece, even better than the very first Dalek story".
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Hilary Minister was first cast in another role.
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This six-part serial was released by the BBC on video cassette in the UK in October 1991 as part of a double video pack with the two-parter that preceded it, Doctor Who: The Sontaran Experiment: Part One (1975).
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Two children visiting Tom Baker at the BBC studios were scared by Michael Wisher in costume - they thought he was a statue at first.
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Writer Gareth Roberts has compared the Time Lord to the ghost of Hamlet's father, setting the protagonist (the Doctor) on a violent mission with which he has moral qualms.
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Davros attracted the attention of BBC prosthetics designer John Friedlander who agreed to come off another show to make Davros' mask. The latex mask was moulded to Michael Wisher's face by make-up artist Sylvia James. Wisher could even eat while wearing the mask. Regular latex instead of the more mouldable foam latex was used because the latter was too expensive.
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The working title for this story was Daleks - Genesis of Terror.
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Davros' design was inspired by the Mekon, the arch-enemy of British comic-strip hero Dan Dare.
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Producer Philip Hinchcliffe didn't want to do a story featuring Daleks but inherited this script from outgoing producer Barry Letts. However, Hinchcliffe has since said that this turned out to be a very good story and a successful production that he is proud of. Having been landed with a Dalek story he didn't really want, he impressed upon director David Maloney his desire to give it a different feel from previous Dalek stories and to make them more compelling than in some of their previous appearances.
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The gas attack was achieved through dry ice and green lighting.
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Ravon's role was originally filled by a character named General Greiner.
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David Maloney cast John Franklyn-Robbins as the Time Lord because he had worked with him before.
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The electric trolley used by the Kaleds worked in tests, but collapsed when Tom Baker and Ian Marter boarded it.
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David Maloney came up with the opening scene of gas-masked soldiers being machine-gunned to death. Even Terry Nation thought that this went too far.
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When planning stories for season 12, outgoing producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks felt that it was time for Terry Nation to return to the series and write another Dalek adventure. Letts and Dicks enjoyed the script Nation sent in, but found it too "reminiscent" of previous Dalek stories. Letts suggested to Nation that he could write a story about the genesis of the Daleks, hence the eventual title. The stories lined up for the season were handed over by Letts and Dicks to their successors, Philip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes, with whom the story gained a darker tone. Hinchcliffe and Holmes were not fans of the Daleks, feeling they had been used too often already, but Letts and Dicks were convinced they would be a guaranteed ratings draw for the new Doctor's first season.
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In a 2006 interview, Terrance Dicks said that he does not believe the story would have been much different if he and Barry Letts were in charge, though he remarked he would have added some lighter moments to soften the "grim" tone.
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The character of Davros was designed by Terry Nation to have created the Daleks in his image, and to also be a "spokesperson" for the Daleks as he felt it was "boring" listening to Daleks giving speeches.
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Having had trouble with the Daleks on location in the Jon Pertwee serial Doctor Who: Planet of the Daleks: Episode One (1973), David Maloney scheduled shooting so that they only appeared in studio scenes.
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Guy Siner plays a Nazi-esque officer. He would later play a Nazi in 'Allo 'Allo! (1982).
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David Maloney stated that the images of war at the beginning of the serial were intended to create atmosphere, and he had no intention of losing the younger audience.
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Nyder wears an Iron Cross medal in this episode only. Although the Kaled Elite were supposed to be reminiscent of the Nazis, it was decided during filming that the Iron Cross was too blatant a reference, so that element of his costume was eliminated for the rest of the story.
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Producer Philip Hinchcliffe was very pleased with David Maloney's work on this serial and he became his most prolific director, working on three further serials for him. Hinchcliffe later said Maloney and Douglas Camfield were his two favourite directors.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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