Doctor Who Target Book Club Podcast discussion

Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks

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message 1: by Tony (new)

Tony Whitt (goodreadscomemperordalek) | 91 comments Mod
Here we are discussing Terrance Dicks' novelization of GENESIS OF THE DALEKS! If you want to hear your review of or comments on this book read on the air, or you have a specific question about the book, please post it here by no later than 5pm CST on Friday, September 25!

message 2: by Dave (last edited Sep 11, 2020 09:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dave  Davis | 49 comments There are probably more versions of Genesis of the Daleks than any other Doctor Who story. The original six television episodes, of course, then an omnibus edition, followed by this novelisation, then a vinyl edition with linking narration by Tom Baker (plus cassette tape and CD versions), and two different audiobooks of the novelisation, one read by Terry Molloy, who took on the role of Davros when Peter Davison played the Doctor, and the other by Jon Culshaw, with Nicholas Briggs providing the Dalek voices. I'm not aware of a graphic novel, but there is an abridged, illustrated version in the "Doctor Who and the Daleks Omnibus", in 1976.
The TV version, airing in 1975, is a little dated, but no more so than any other television drama of the time, and has a well deserved high reputation among fans. So, beyond being the only way of having the story on hand for nearly three years, there wouldn't seem to be much point to this book.
Except that it races along, in a way that the TV version, though enjoyable, doesn't. There are changes here and there, but nothing major that I noticed.
Not surprisingly, Sarah faints again but, surprisingly, it makes some sense this time. On screen, Sarah is descended upon by a group of mutos and disappears from sight. There's a cutaway to a scene in the Kaled dome, then we come back and see her seemingly unconscious with two mutos arguing about whether or not to kill her, interrupted by a Thal patrol who, after killing one muto and scattering most of the others, find one, Sevrin, with Sarah who is now wide awake. There's no explanation that links these scenes, but Dicks puts in the only one that makes sense, adding that Sarah is angry with herself for fainting as she doesn't tend to do that. The only problem I can see here is that the author appears not to have read any books by Terrance Dicks, as he has her fainting all the time!
Davros was probably never intended to return, as the book has him explode at the end, but it's not so explicit that it can't be downplayed when we next encounter him.
Some people complain about the revisionism of having the Dals, mentioned in the first Dalek story now called Kaleds. I take the view that it's just the way history works, sometimes, especially if oral history is involved.
I wrote the above, having read the book, before the "Ark in Space" podcast went online, and thought I'd better slow down to avoid getting too far ahead, so I though I'd give the audiobook a try. The Terry Molloy one, though perfectly fine, is a straightforward reading, so a little dull if you've just read the book yourself, but the Jon Culshaw version, with Dalek voices by Nick Briggs, felt almost like watching the original. Culshaw is well known, in the UK at least, for his impersonation of Tom Baker's voice, even convincing Sylvester McCoy, during a prank call for a radio show, that he was a slightly drunk Tom Baker! (Google "Dead Ringers Sylvester McCoy" to hear it on YouTube) Often, with Daleks in audiobooks, the Dalek voices are a distraction, but Briggs *IS* the Daleks, on TV and audio.

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