‘Genesis Of The Daleks’, that perennial Doctor Who fan favourite, is here released yet again, this time with a vintage look to encourage the completists to shell out once more.
There’s a definite conscious decision to appeal to nostalgia, using the original ’70s BBC LP sleeve artwork, which should succeed in making any Doctor Who fan of a certain age get all misty-eyed and sentimental over having the vinyl version as a kid.
The problem lies in that ‘Genesis Of The Daleks’ is possibly the most released Doctor Who story. For those unfamiliar with the tale, the Doctor and companions Sarah and Harry are summoned by the Time Lords to Skaro, home planet of the Daleks, to avert the metal monsters’ creation or at least affect their development.
In order for the story to work as an abridged standalone release, some of the story details which were part of an ongoing narrative were changed. For example, it’s pointed out on this audio that the TARDIS lands at the start, while the TARDIS was never in this story on its 1975 TV run.
If you’re into your Doctor Who minutiae, this is the story that introduces Davros, the crippled scientist who created the Daleks, into the timeline. Here the role is played to creepy, rusty-voiced perfection played by Michael Wisher. The character was a big success, returning to further menace the fourth to seventh classic-Who Doctors, before making a triumphant comeback in 2008’s ‘The Stolen Earth’.
Missing from all later stories that feature Davros, and mostly edited out of this audio release, are the heavy and none-too-subtle Nazi influences from Dalek creator Terry Nation. It does, however, still showcase Davros’s complete lack of morals or sense of loyalty, leading to a chilling outcome for planet Skaro’s residents. The original release’s single cliffhanger and episode-closing theme tune are still present here too, to hammer home the LP nostalgia even further. All that’s missing is the need to turn the CD over.
With Tom Baker providing a linking narration for the more visual scenes, this is essentially a shortened version of the TV soundtrack, reduced from 150 minutes to a single hour of audio.
Ultimately, if you’re a fan of the story, you probably own the DVD or a dusty VHS already. For completists, however, it’s a nice enough retro treat and the digitally remastered sound at least slightly justifies its purchase.
Released on CD and download on Thursday 3rd February 2011 by AudioGo.