Daleks! Genesis of Terror

Posted in Audio by - May 28, 2023
Daleks! Genesis of Terror

Released May 2023


Since The Lost Stories range began, Big Finish has developed numerous unmade scripts and storylines into full-cast adventures to breathe life into intriguing and oft-forgotten parts of Doctor Who history. Recently, the intent of the range has seemingly changed, however, with ‘Return of the Cybermen’ and the upcoming ‘The Ark’ bringing forth original drafts of stories that would become part of Tom Baker’s classic inaugural run of adventures. However, ‘Daleks! Genesis of Terror’ does something altogether different again, dramatizing the completed draft script- complete with stage directions- for the first episode of what would go on to become ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ and then simply reading the intended storyline summaries for the subsequent five episodes.

With only one episode complete in any true sense, ‘Daleks! Genesis of Terror’ is an incomplete product and charging for it will assuredly rub many fans the wrong way. Presenting this important and engaging piece of history is wonderful, but doing so either as presented here as an extra paired with the upcoming ‘The Ark’ or else expanding the storylines into a fully dramatized story as the range has done with so many others would have been immensely more satisfying and resonant. Because this is just the first episode which is mostly tasked with introducing ideas and settings, there aren’t many marked differences between what is presented here and what made it into the classic televised serial, though the descriptions and action are certainly more vibrant and grim as the Kaled war efforts dependent on such young individuals are experienced and developed. Otherwise, aside from a nighttime setting on Skaro and the manner by which the Time Lords send the Doctor to Skaro to avert the Daleks’ creation, to find a weakness hitherto unknown, or to change their destiny to one of good, the overall experience is quite similar to established events and can’t begin to delve into the more substantial narrative divergences that naturally would have developed as the story ran its course.

Of course, Tom Baker, Sadie Miller, and Christopher Naylor are excellent as the Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Harry find themselves separated in such a dangerous setting. However, with this only being the first episode, none of the leads get a chance to really showcase their talents since the peak of danger and emotions as well as the ultimate resolution are unseen. And while the interlinking narration from Nicholas Briggs that includes original stage directions from Terry Nation does help provide context and insight into the writer’s original intentions, these interjections are naturally somewhat jarring and contribute to the rather disjointed and incomplete nature of this release. That these moments refer to the Doctor as ‘Doctor Who’ while the character is called the Doctor within the dialogue is a small but prime example. This war that has been raging for centuries with teenagers now the last remaining fighters continuing on with the last remaining weapons has so much narrative potential, and glossing over the physical and emotional turmoil of this world as well as Davros’s own scheme to change Kaled history forever with his newest weapon with just a couple of minutes dedicated to each of what would have been the five remaining episodes is a tremendous disservice regardless of how well-known and beloved ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ is.

In every respect, ‘Daleks! Genesis of Terror’ should not have been released in its current state. With notably decreased sound quality compared to other remotely recorded tales, this is neither a lost story nor, in fact, a story at all. It’s an intriguing look at what might have been, but the one episode as presented in not substantively different enough to warrant just dramatizing it without the remainder of the storylines also being developed. Big Finish does seemingly realize this and tries to ameliorate the situation by including an in-depth and very enlightening interview between Philip Hinchcliffe and BBC broadcaster and journalist Samira Ahmed, but this is quite possibly the most incomplete and unfulfilling Doctor Who production the company has ever released.

This post was written by

1 Comment on "Daleks! Genesis of Terror"

  • Harry West

    Agreed. This is terrible, an insult to BF fans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.