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TME > Video > Commercial Releases

Genesis of the Daleks

The Doctor's own people - the Time Lords - have foreseen a time in which the Daleks dominate all other lifeforms in the universe. So disturbing is this possibility, that they break their own Laws of Time in an attempt to change the future. And who better to send on this quest than their own renegade number - the Doctor.

Unwillingly transported into the fields and trenches of a battle-exhausted Skaro, the Doctor must face his most dangerous mission ever - to prevent the Daleks from ever being created.

-- from the DVD release, 2006

Widely considered one of the best Doctor Who stories ever, it is somewhat perplexing that it took so long to be given the DVD treatment (or VHS for that matter) - but fans would agree that this lavish package was worth the wait.

Episode timings on DVD: 24'33", 24'56", 22'41", 23'42", 23'31", 23'34"
Episode timings on PasB: 24'30", 24'51", 22'38", 23'38", 23'27", 23'30"


VHS releases

07/10/1991: UK - BBC Enterprises Ltd - BBCV4643
03/08/1992: Aus/NZ - PolyGram - BBC46432
??/??/1994: US - CBS/Fox - 5946 [renumbered to E1201 in 2000 by Warner Home Video]
15/07/1995: Aus/NZ - Roadshow - B00082/Z00082 [not pictured]
18/09/2001: UK - BBC Worldwide - BBCV7241
??/??/2002: Aus - Roadshow Entertainment - Cat# Unknown [not pictured]
First cover art by Andrew Skilleter, which was later released as artwork (see above-right). Two-tape pack with The Sontaran Experiment - the first release of a two-part story, and therefore the first to be paired up with its neighbour in such a way (with the first two episodes of 'Genesis' on tape one, along with 'Sontaran' - except in Australia where each tape contained one complete story). The Rescue/The Romans, The Visitation/Black Orchid, The King's Demons/The Five Doctors and The Awakening/Frontios would follow.

The 2001 release was part of the WHSmith exclusive Davros boxset (BBCV7241), which also included Genesis, Destiny, Resurrection and Revelation of the Daleks. This set was limited to 10,000 copies and the videos were simply new runs of the existing VHS releases - except Remembrance, which was taken from the current PAL master at the time - with the corrected effects that would only appear on the NTSC DVDs, but the Billy J Kramer version of Do You Want To Know A Secret as on the PAL DVD, and also Genesis, which was taken from the cleaned up version prepared in 1999 for the BBC2 repeat. With the exception of Revelation (which already had a Black Sheep design), the covers were all created anew in the style of the current VHSs (but with a linking spine illustration), and the new Remembrance cover was used on the following year's US DVD release.

DVD releases

10/04/2006: UK - 2Entertain - BBCDVD1813
04/05/2006: Aus/NZ - Roadshow Entertainment - Cat# Unknown
06/06/2006: US - Warner Home Video - E2503
02/07/2007: UK - 2|entertain - BBCDVD1813
27/07/2007: UK - 2|entertain/Amazon - Cat# Unknown
26/11/2008: UK - 2|entertain - Cat# Unknown

Cover art by Clayton Hickman for UK/Aus. The image of Davros was flipped for aesthetic reasons, but did mean that he had the wrong hand held up.

This story was voted for release by Doctor Who Magazine readers and as such featured a sticker reading "Doctor Who No. 1 Story EVER" on the cellophane wrapping.

In early 2007, Amazon exclusively packaged together The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Genesis of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks into a box set - the contents and sleeve designs were as before, just with an added slipcase.

In Summer 2007, 2|entertain repackaged Spearhead from Space, Genesis of the Daleks, The Hand of Fear, Earthshock, The Five Doctors, Revelation of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks and The 1996 Movie in new packaging, generally based on the existing art inside a circle motif - these were, however, just cardboard slipcases over the existing releases, and at a lower price-point.

For Christmas 2008, 2|entertain released The Davros Collection. This packaged together the existing discs for Genesis of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks along with an enhanced Remembrance of the Daleks, the simultaneously-released Destiny of the Daleks and a new disc featuring the documentary Davros Connections, plus an eighth disc containing the Big Finish Davros audios along with a new production The Davros Mission.

DVD Bonus features

By Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Peter Miles and David Moloney

Production Subtitles
By Richard Molesworth.
Genesis of a Classic (62'07"")
An in-depth look back at the story, from those most closely involved in its production.
  • Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts relate how Terry Nation became involved with Doctor Who once more and the original pitch's links to the past.
  • David Moloney explains the handover of production teams, which Letts and Philip Hinchcliffe (clips are shown of him from Whose Doctor Who to help illustrate) expand on. Elisabeth Sladen expresses her regrets at Barry leaving. Dick Mills offers his perspective on production changes. Tom Baker gives us his point of view (with more clips from Whose).
  • Letts, Hinchcliffe and Dicks talk about handing over with the Daleks and Cybermen, and Hinchcliffe and Moloney about making the story's pacier. Dicks, Letts and Hinchcliffe cover Holmes' introduction and horror in the show. Baker remembers him smoking a pipe.
  • Mills and Baker agree that Holmes was inspired by other mediums, and Dicks remembers having to restrain him - he wonders how different Genesis would have been.
  • Roy Skelton demonstrates his Dalek voice.
  • Moloney, Hinchcliffe, Dicks, Letts, James Garbutt, Peter Miles and Huy Siner (amongst others) compare the Kaleds to Nazis.  Mills, Hinchcliffe, Dicks and Moloney talk about the shades of grey of the Kaleds and Thals.
  • Roy Skelton shows us his Dalek voice again.
  • Hinchcliffe talks of the face-off between the Doctor and Davros, Sladen, Baker and Hinchcliffe of the final moral question, Sladen, Dicks, Miles and Baker remember Mary Whitehouse. Baker defends that television can be more frightening, but Sladen and Siner admit there is a lot of death.
  • Skelton with his Dalek voice again.
  • Mills, Skelton, Hinchcliffe and Duncan Brown remember the art of the lighting director. Brown and Siner are slightly surprised by how well it stands up to modern TV.
  • Dalek voices again.
  • Dennis Chinnery shares his memories of Baker, Baker himself takes a phone call, Siner, Miles and Mills give some opinions and Baker leaves his call to tell us about his approach to acting.
  • The penultimate Skelton-does-Daleks sequence.
  • Skelton talks about being fascinated by Davros and Peter Day shows his early designs for the villain. Hinchcliffe compares him to the Mekon. Day, Hinchcliffe, Sylvia James and Mills then give us a better insight into the creation of the mask. Siner recalls being shocked. Dicks and Letts join in the enthusiasm.
  • Michael Wisher (in footage from one of the Myth Makers videos) describes Davros as hysterical. Sladen, Baker, Mills and Hinchcliffe praise him as an actor and remember his sense of humour. Moloney and Wisher recall his rehearsal process. Baker remembers leaving Wisher behind at lunchtime and Hinchclife waxes lyrical on the power of Davros' character.
  • The final Dalek voice "lesson" from Skelton.
  • Cy Town and John Scott Martin share their memories of being inside a Dalek and the actor pecking order.
  • Skelton tells us how much he enjoyed playing villains, Wisher tells us how easy it was to create Daleks voices, Martin talks about flashing lights, Wisher and Skelton remember what providing voiceovers was like.
  • Baker, Miles, Monoley, and Sladen offer their final thoughts...

Sound: Angus Anderson
Camera: Une Herzer, John Kelly
Special Thanks to Andrew Beech, Derek Handley, Ralph Montagu, Steve Broster
Music Produced by Clive Scott
From the Original Score written by Dudley Simpson
Video Footage of Michael Wisher supplied by Reeltime Pictures
Editor and Assistant Producer: Adi Denney
Produced and Directed by Ian Levine
BBC Worldwide (C) BBC MMVI

The Dalek Tapes (53'21")
A documentary covering the making of the original series Dalek stories, with pillarboxed clips from all (including a colourised one from The Daleks' Master Plan) and sequences where Terry Molloy explains the fictional story of the Daleks.
  • In clips from an interview with Alan Whicker, Terry Nation talks about his inspiration. Critic Kim Newman and actor Nicholas Briggs compare them to frightened Nazis - Terrance Dicks explains that Nation was anti-fascist, and describes the Daleks has having "hissy fits". Briggs, director Richard Martin and fan Andrew Beech, talk about their inferiority complexes. Briggs talks about why the Daleks are frightening.
  • Moving onto The Dalek Invasion of Earth, a clip of a trailer is shown and Martin, Newman and Briggs explain why it's a better story than the previous one. Ian McLachlan remembers the iconic nature of the Daleks and Martin remembers submerging a Dalek.
  • Covering The Chase, Briggs defends its intentions, McLachlan explains the plot and Beech blames the comedy on Dennis Spooner. Derek Dodd speaks of his memories of Cusick, Ken Grieve and Anneke Wills pity the Dalek actors, Cy Town tells us what it was like inside, Grieve on careful shooting, Royce Mills on making the Daleks frightening, Martin, Briggs and Roy Skelton on Peter Hawkins' voice, Briggs on Skelton joining, Skelton on feeling the emotion, Mills and Skelton on trying to outdo each other.
  • We see a clip of the Blue Peter Dalek cakes segment, and then discussion moves to Mission to the Unknown and The Daleks' Master Plan. Newman and McLachlan covers the expansive plot, Beech on the horrifying story, Briggs on the consequences and he and Beech on the direction and Newman and McLachlan on the Daleks' alliances.
  • The Power of the Daleks is reviewed by Newman, Briggs (we see the fairly new trailer clip), Wills and Beech. Wills also talks about the development of the Daleks, Briggs and Wills about Lesterson.
  • Only The Evil of the Daleks, Beech, Timothy Combe and Newman pay tribute to David Whittaker, Peter Day talks about the final battle sequence and about leaving the Daleks alive.
  • We see a Dalek interlude, and a clip of a 1971 Blue Peter.
  • Onto Day of the Daleks, Dicks talks about the Dalek reveal, McLachlan about surprise (or lack of) and Briggs about the production team getting used to Daleks again.
  • On Planet of the Daleks, Briggs covers the authenticness of the story and on Death to the Daleks he talks about them not having guns and about the new Michael Wisher voices.
  • Genesis of the Daleks: Philip Hinchcliffe, Newman, Briggs and Beech explain Davros, Hinchcliffe credits Bob Holmes and Beech explains how much Davros changed the Daleks. David Maloney remembers directing the monsters and we see clips of the Blue Peter's stolen Dalek appeal.
  • Briggs finds things about Destiny of the Daleks to enthuse about, but questions the Dalek motivation - Beech agrees, describing them as "emasculated". Newman loves the ending, however. Grieve shares more directing memories.
  • A followup to Blue Peter's stolen Dalek report is shown, with both returned.
  • Resurrection and Revelation are covered as one: Newman, Beech and Eric Saward offer their opinions. Terry Molloy talks about Davros' reintroduction. Harper talks of his excitement at being involved and about pushing the fear.

Narrator: Terry Molloy
Davros: Himself
Interviewers: Andrew Beech, Victoria Berry
Photographic Research: Derek Handley, Ralph Montagu
Consultant: Andrew Pixley
Clip Colourisation: Stuart Humphreys, James Russell
Music: Nick Stott, Tristram Cary, Roger Limb
Special Sounds: Brian Hodgson, Dick Mills
Camera: Une Herzer
Sound: Angus Anderson
Colourist: Dave Hawley
Produced & Directed by John Kelly
BBC Worldwide (C) BBC MMVI

Continuity Compilation
With thanks to Jan Vincent-Rudzki, Ian Williams, Steven Bagley
BBC Worldwide (C) BBC MMVI

Blue Peter
Photo Gallery
92 b/w and colour photos
With thanks to BBC Photography Library, Derek Handley
BBC Worldwide (C) MMVI

And PDFs of the Radio Times clippings and the 1976 Doctor Who annual.

Restoration Notes

Transferred from the D3 copies of the original 2" master tapes, and thousands of dropouts and offlocks (including a particularly bad one, likely present on the original broadcast as it also featured in the 1975 omnibus version) from the first episode alone were repaired. The other main problem was a CSO effect in the fourth episode causing Baker's head to partially disappear. Consideration was given to including the 90 minute omnibus version broadcast December 1975, but the second disc was ultimately too full to fit it on without seriously compromising the quality.


23/07/1991 - Passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK.
30/01/2006 - Bonus features (except The Dalek Tapes) passed as 'PG' by the BBFC for the UK.
16/03/2006 - Passed as 'PG' (for "Mild violence, Infrequent mild course language") by the OFLC for Aus/NZ.

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