5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks [DVD]  (DVD)
This by far one of the stand out stories in Doctor Who's history. It's been one of the most repeated on terrestrial TV and there's a chance that your copy may have a sticker proclaiming it being voted the best story ever. There are so many reasons why this story deserves these accolades that I wont have enough time to tell them.
Story wise this is a reimagining of the Dalek origins as The Doctor is sent back in time to stop or halt their development. The way this is done adds a new layer to the story in the fact that it fits in with the time war of recent seasons and can be seen as the Time Lords launching a pre-emptive strike. The Doctor and companions are thrown into the last days of a war between the two Skaro factions Kaleds and Thals. The early episodes show The Doctor getting caught up in the war events while trying to save his companions when the later episodes become tight character episodes featuring the scientists who created the Daleks.
An important introduction in this story is Davros who is really the villain in the story (the Daleks are not at the forefront as much as other stories but do have an important part). This isn't the panto villain of later appearances but a serious portrayal by Michael Wisher, possibly one of the most impressive guest performances and one other actors to play the part would never equal. Peter Miles as Nyder is the other standout guest performance but there are others who perform well including a few faces you may recognise.
This is an incredibly tight (for a 6 parter) and heavily plotted story. Director David Maloney didn't do much Who but he certainly did a few crackers. This story is from the early Baker era when they were focussing on horror which is why it has a PG rating, while there's nothing to alarm children it is worth mentioning that this story is pretty dark and has little panto elements which some Who stories are known for.
Of note in the extras is the commentary featuring Tom Baker (who is wonderfully random as you'd expect), Liz Sladen, Peter Myles and David Maloney. Genesis of a Classic has now become my favourite Who DVD Documentary, the Dalek Tapes showing Dalek history are also worthy of a mention.