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The Genesis of Davros – Part 1
“Nothing dies of old age on Skaro!”
“Who is this Davros?” the Fourth Doctor asked. “Our greatest scientist!” Nyder replied in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’. But how did this all start? Where did it all start? When? What happened in the beginning?
‘Innocence’ is the first episode of a four-part mini-series featuring the Kaled scientist who created the Daleks on Skaro. ‘I, Davros’ is a fascinating mini-series produced by Big Finish starring Terry Molloy. When I first started listening to this mini-series, I was very keen to find out more about Davros’ origins.
Davros has been and always will be one of the greatest baddies in ‘Doctor Who’. Since his first appearance in ‘Genesis’, Davros has terrified the nation with his ideology and his obsessive race hatred in creating the Daleks. So it was very interesting that Big Finish managed to explore Davros’ beginnings.
Each of the four episodes of the ‘I, Davros’ mini-series is over an hour long and they are all directed by Gary Russell, who has done some superb directorial duties on many ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventures. He directed some of my favourite Fifth Doctor and Nyssa stories and I’ve met him in real-life.
‘I, Davros’ begins with Davros being put on trial by the Daleks on Skaro after he was taken from Necros in ‘Revelation of the Daleks’. It was so interesting to hear how the series starts with Davros on trial by the Daleks as he recollects how it began for him many years ago on Skaro before he created the Daleks.
The first episode called ‘Innocence’ is by Gary Hopkins. I like how Gary begins this series with the first episode, since we find out what Davros was like as a young boy before he grew up and became the monster in later life. The audio mini-series is set before the events of ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ happened.
The Kaleds and the Thals are at war with each on Skaro. No side is winning. No one knows how this war even started. No one even cares. Yet within the house of a wealthy family of Kaled society, a young sixteen-year-old boy named Davros will grow up to do great things, whether it is his will or not.
Terry Molloy doesn’t feature much as Davros in this episode as he appears in the bookended scenes when he’s being put on trial by the Daleks. In this episode, the young Davros is played by Rory Jennings. Rory delivers a very intriguing performance as a young Davros from being innocent to not so later on.
It was interesting to discover that Davros came from a wealthy family where his father was a Kaled colonel; his mother was a member of the Kaled House of Congress and his sister was a part of the military youth. Everyone has high expectations of Davros, but has different goals to achieve in his life.
It was eerie to hear Rory Jennings as the young Davros who distances himself from his family and has his own scientific interests. When no-one is interested in what Davros wants, he makes to assert himself and get his own way. But he does it with such quietness and calmness throughout the episode.
Richard Franklin guest stars as Colonel Nasgard, Davros’ stepfather. Richard is well-known to ‘Doctor Who’ fans as Captain Mike Yates from the Jon Pertwee era. So it was quite a surprise to hear him in this audio adventure as somebody else, but it was so welcome and he delivers a superb performance.
Nasgard is a senior member of the Military Elite of the Kaled people. When Davros tells his stepfather that he wants to be a scientist, Nasgard dismisses it as he wants his stepson to go into the military and be a soldier. It turns out Nasgard is not Davros’ biological father and he gets killed in a terrible accident.
Carolyn Jones guest stars as Lady Calcula, Davros’ mother. Calcula is a devious and scheming woman who wants her son to be a scientist but for her own selfish reasons. Calcula is pretty cold, especially when unable to mourn for Nasgard’s death and is determined to have Major Brogan killed as a traitor.
Lizzie Hopley guest stars as Yarvell, Davros’ half-sister. Yarvell doesn’t get on well with her half-brother Davros, especially as he’s more favoured by his mother than she is. Yarvell tries to impress by going into the military, but is soon appalled by her mother and when Davros conducts horrible experiments.
The guest cast also includes Richard Grieve as Major Brogan; Sean Connolly as Councillor Quested; Rita Davies as Tashek and Peter Sowerbutts as Tutor Magarantine. It turns out that Councillor Quested is actually Davros’ biological father. Magarantine tutors Davros in these pretty intriguing experiments.
The story gets interesting when Davros takes an interest in conducting an experiment involving radiation affecting people and mutating them. There’s a horrible scene when the young Davros locks Magarantine up inside a chamber and exposes him to the radiation that causes him to mutate horribly.
All these things become significant to Davros in later life, especially when it transpires how many people influenced him like his mother Calcula and his tutor Magarantine. Davros’ cruelty develops which makes him less innocent, especially when he kills his real biological father Quested in cold blood.
The episode ends with a scene on Skaro years later when Davros is on trial by the Daleks. After listening to the main part of the episode, I found it pretty interesting to discover more about Davros’ past. There are glimpses of things to come, as teasers are previewed from the future episodes of ‘I, Davros’.
‘Innocence’ is a great opening episode to the ‘I, Davros’ mini-series. I expected to find it slow-going when listening to this series. But by the second half, it gets more interesting and I was looking forward to finding out what will happen next as Davros continues his ambition to become the greatest scientist.
Will Davros secure the longevity of his people? Who knows?
‘Innocence’ (I,D) rating – 8/10
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