Thursday, January 27, 2011

Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks audio review

A quick history lesson for all you young people out there before we begin. You know before these new fangled DVDs that you have? Well there was a thing called ‘video tape.’ Imagine that! Films on a big clunky tape! And before that, do you know what we had? Nothing.
That’s right- once a film or TV show was finished that was it- we’d never see it again, unless it was repeated sometime at a later date.
For something like Doctor Who, this was a terrible thing for the fans- sci-fi fans are a strange bunch and we like to watch the things we love again and again. But for Who, what we had were the Target novelizations. They were adaptations of the television scripts, and almost always seemed to be written by Terrance Dicks.
Now, why am I telling you all this?
Because in 1979 the BBC released a version of the classic tale Genesis of the Daleks on vinyl LP. By the way, for those too young to know- vinyl was what we had before CDs. What this release was, was abridged version of the episodes of the story with bridging narration read by the then Doctor Tom Baker.
Now Audio Go have rereleased it on CD, so a whole new generation can get to hear it.
First up, I should mention the packaging, which is a reproduction of the original LP sleeve. And then there is the CD itself, which is a thing of beauty as you can see:

The recording itself is a marvellous artefact, and an interesting piece of old merchandising. But as well as that, it is also very entertaining indeed. For all that we love the story, I doubt there are many fans out there who would deny that it is very flabby around the middle with a series of pointless capture/escape scenes padding things out. Shorn of all that, what you get here is an hour long version which amounts to all the best scenes, including the classic one where Davros and the Doctor speak “Not as prisoner and captor, but as men of science,” held together by some nice narration by Baker.
While I’m a big fan of most of the Who audio stuff, I’d go further with this one and say that it is pretty much essential.

No comments:

Post a Comment