Monday, May 18, 2015

The One that Started it all - Genesis of the Daleks

Over the last wee while, my watching has been getting closer and closer to the blog deadline. Mostly thanks to new job and things like Netflix's Daredevil (which is awesome!). I was worried that at some point I'd fall behind. That's now happened. As I write this I'm a third of the way through Planet of the Daleks. Instead, I figured since he's been hard done by this run through, we'd go back to Tom Baker.

I’ve probably mentioned this in a few places by now, but Genesis of the Daleks was the first proper Classic Who I watched, and quite possibly the serial that started this whole thing rolling. This is simply because I didn’t like it.

Yep, one of the serials often held up as one of the best Classic ever did and I think it’s a bit rubbish.

Not the premise of the story. Going back to the final days of the Thal/Kaled war is genius, even if I lacked any context at the time. Davros figuring out that a potential future evolution of his race was a slimy mutated tentacle thing consumed by hate, and fell in love with the savagery of it, and then set about creating this creature a battle tank and making sure they were hate incarnate is fantastic.

In fact a lot of what Genesis does is great. The set up, the Nazi-esque Kaleds, Davros. Davros' wheelchair and life support gear resembling the Dalek armour is an incredible genius move. No, what ruins it are what most consider to be two plot holes.

We’re told that the war has reduced both sides down to two massive city states hidden under domes that protect from nuclear attack. Which is fine. But then we have the Doctor, Sarah Jane and Davros travelling between these two cities with no real time penalty, and they move at the speed of plot. It made what was a horrible world consuming nuclear war into a bickering argument between two neighbours.

But much worse than that, was after Davros had finished crossing the road a couple of times, he’d managed to manipulate both the Thals and the Kaleds into destroying each other, leaving just the people hidden away in the Kaled Science Bunker alive. However, rather than be consumed that the entire population has been eradicated, the Science Council somehow seem more consumed about whether Davros’ experiments with the Daleks is valid or not. Erm, your entire race has just been wiped out. There are slightly more pressing matters than a battle tank.

Between those two flaws in logic, I was completely and utterly taken out of the story. It nearly put me completely off Classic Who, and it was only when another mate suggested one serial per Classic Doctor for the 50th that reignited my interest. Appropriately enough, that serial was The Daleks.

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