Doctor Who (1963)

Season 12 Episode 16

Genesis of the Daleks, Part Six

Aired Saturday 5:15 PM Apr 12, 1975 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Genesis of the Daleks, Part Six
The events on Skaro reach their climax as the Elite fight amongst themselves. The very future of the Universe is at stake as they try to stop the Daleks…

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  • The Time Lords recruit the Doctor and his companions to disrupt the creation of the Daleks. This begins an odyssey across the planet Skaro, where the Kaleds and the Thal struggle to wipe each other out in a genocidal war that has spanned centuries.moreless

    The Genesis of the Daleks was the very first Doctor Who series that I ever saw; because of it, I became a Doctor Who Fan. This episode showcases the multiple plots and colorful characters that epitomize the golden era of Doctor Who. In order to watch older Doctor Who, the viewer has to let go of the expectation of awesome special effects. Doctor Who is more or less a theater experience, and has a lot less polish than we've become accustomed to. Now, I personally find this dynamic to be refreshing, and it lets me focus more on substance and less on polish (which too many shows rely on).

    This series is classic Who. It is one of the true masterpieces of the Baker era, and I thoroughly recommend it.moreless
  • Best Dalek story, best villain, exciting story well worth its six parts

    Voted best all time story some years back and it probably is. From beginning to end, a well written & acted story. Davros is by far the best villain of the series, his talk with the Doctor about the virus is truely frightening. Davros' subsequent appearences never stood up to this debut. Perhaps he should have been left dead as he was at the end of this one. The Daleks are used quite sparringly here which helps increase their menace. So many of the older stories had them running about & talking for most of the story & they did not come off well. The Kaleds are obviously Nazis with the Elite as the SS & Dr. Mengele types. They even work in a bunker. Davros seems to be a Hitler who was disfigured. The Thals aren't good guys until the end & come off a bit like the Russians here as if the Skaro war is the Russian front of 1941. But it also looks like World War I with the trenches & gas masks. Very effective. The Daleks could only have come from a 1000 year war. Their upgraded origin is far superior to the simplistic one from their first story back in 1963. Some quibbles: they make a point of saying that working on the Thal rocket means death but as soon as Sarah is rescued, she's OK & it's not mentioned again. The monsters that Davros rejected in the tunnel turn out to be just a few killer clams. Part 2's cliffhanger is a bit of a cheat. Hasn't the Doctor committed genocide (or near to it) before when facing Daleks or Cybermen or Yeti? None of these takes away from watching this one & certainly the Doctor & Sarah discussing the morality of destroying the Daleks forever is an all time series moment that anyone era would be hard pressed to top.moreless
  • An excellent moral dilemma, a memorable piece of science fiction drama.

    (This is a review of all six parts of Genesis of the Daelks)

    If you had the opportunity to kill Hitler as a child, could you do it? It's a question that has intrigued writers for decades, and is one that is explored, if not directly, in this lauded six part episode of Doctor Who.

    Regarded as a masterpiece in the history of Who, Genesis of the Daleks sees the Doctor being reluctantly sent back in time to prevent the creation of the dreaded Daleks. It's hard to talk about why this story is so good without giving away the ending, but this quote, featured elsewhere on this website, sums up the dilemma the Doctor faces in his genocide mission:

    "But the final responsibility is mine, and mine alone. Listen: 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?"

    In my opinion, this adventure loses marks for being a bit slow moving and often unexciting, but the issues presented are dealt with such dramatic efficiency as to imbue the episode a real sense of dread.

    Technical and special effects in Genesis are as good as they get in classic Doctor Who and haven't dated. While the whole cast is good, the show is stolen by Michael Wisher as Davros, the first time we see the twisted, horrific creator of the Daleks and Tom Baker, here in his element as a hero suffering from a clash of morals unlike any he has experienced or will experience in any of his thirteen lives.

    It is the sincerity of Baker's performance that gives Genesis of the Daleks a believable sense that the Doctor is dealing in a life or death situation, and it is that that makes this story essential.moreless
Harriet Philpin

Harriet Philpin


Guest Star

Andrew Johns

Andrew Johns


Guest Star

John Gleeson

John Gleeson

Thal Soldier

Guest Star

Ian Marter

Ian Marter

Harry Sullivan

Recurring Role

Michael Wisher

Michael Wisher


Recurring Role

Peter Miles (II)

Peter Miles (II)


Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Continuity: When the Thals blow the Bunker entrance, smoke emerges from the door before the switch is thrown.

    • Other Mistake: In the closing scenes, the Dalek lights are often out of sequence with their voices, notably when they are saying, "Pity?"

    • Continuity: During the struggle with Nyder, the Time Ring falls against the wall. When the Doctor retrieves it, it has moved to the centre of the hall.

    • The Doctor's big brown overcoat was taken by the regular Kaled army in Part One and disappeared. But when he emerges from the incubator room at the end, it has been magically returned to him.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Sarah Jane: You don't sound dissapointed. We've failed, haven't we?
      The Doctor: Failed? No, not really. You see, I know that, although the Daleks will cause havoc and destruction for millions of years, I know also that out of their evil must come something good.

    • Dalek: We are entombed, but we live on. This is only the beginning… When the time is right we will emerge and take our rightful place as the supreme power of the Universe!

    • The Doctor: But the final responsibility is mine, and mine alone. Listen: 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 Jane Smith: 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 Jane SmithThen 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.

  • NOTES (2)