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159b 'The Genocide Machine'

CD and audio cassette adventure released June 2000, 4 episodes

Writer: Mike Tucker
Director: Nicholas Briggs

Roots: The Dalek Chronicles comic series (the gold Emperor), the Peter Cushing/Amicus Dalek movies (Dalek time units - see Goofs). Star Wars (Tarrant's team member Tika sounds like a Wookie), Alien (female voice for security systems).

Intertextuality: Tarrant refers to Coralee, a planet which features in Mike Tucker's BBC Book Storm Harvest.

Goofs: In fairness, inconsistency with the Dalek movies is pettiness personified. However -  Daleks count time in "rels", but these rels and "official" rels differ. In the films, 1 rel is approximately 1.3 seconds, but it takes a Dalek nearly 25 seconds to get to 5 rels in this story.

Given that a Dalek 'swims' with ease in 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth', How are the indigenous Kar-Charratans able to get into the Dalek machine casings to drown them [perhaps the creatures are able to detect and permeate otherwise watertight sections of the casing]?

Technobabble: Daleks can sense individuals by their biorhythms - perhaps they are better at this some days than others?

Double Entendres: 'I know this is going to be hard, but we're out - we're free'

Dialogue Disasters: "A replication generator oh no..."

"Daleks in the library complex - heaven knows what damage they could do to my precious books" etc.

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: 'The Daleks always bring out the worst in people - the worst in me.'

Continuity: The Doctor hasn't reorganised the TARDIS library in aeons (there doesn't appear to be a classification system). Among the collection are the Dickens' Bleak House, plus the titles Dieter of Rafkar, Remeck of Rafkar and Trees of Rafkar. Hundreds of years earlier when he was last on Kar-Charrat he borrowed some books (including three heavy volumes of Juggling for Alpha Centauans) from the Library and has since neglected to return them. The Library purportedly holds every scrap of information from every civilised planet in the Universe; it is one of the wonders of the Universe (see: 'Death to the Daleks', 'The Sirens of Time'). It is protected by a defence grid and a temporal barrier which gives it an image of how it would look three and a half thousand years in the future, thanks to Time Lord assistance. This barrier may be penetrated using the correct DNA key, or by a time-sensitive. It also has a landing platform, and its lobby is larger than St Paul's Cathedral. During his last visit the Doctor heard tales of 'ghosts' in the jungle, stories which Elgin dismisses as foolish spaceport rumours.

According to the Doctor the [human] Kar-Charratians are 'very elegant architects'. Kar-Charrat is a good twelve day flight from any of the major space lanes and lies very close to the edge of its galaxy - its jungles are inhabited by insects, birds (Bev and Ace hear them), and by the 'Phantoms'. The Phantoms are the true natives of Kar-Charrat, a living essence which can inhabit any form of water, including the rivers and the oceans, the waterfall, the rain and everywhere water is to be found on the planet. This can include a [dead] human body. Their blood isn't red.

The Ziggurat is supposed to be 1270 years old. As the Doctor fears, it is not an ancient artefact at all, but a Dalek deep hibernation unit. The Daleks have a space-worthy battle cruiser and a mother ship in geostationary orbit. They can detect individuals by their biorhythms. Their upper casing is not impervious to penetration by fluids. Skaro exists.

The Daleks have used time corridor technology to plant agents on every planet in the sector, and having failed to penetrate the barrier in the past have waited hundreds of years for a Time Lord to arrive, yet they haven't achieved time sensitivity. Their human replicants aren't warm as they should be (the Doctor says this is something the Daleks never got right). They can re-route power to separate parts (e.g. the shielding) of their travelling machines.

While taunting a Dalek Ace mentions Strepsils and Duracell batteries.

Links: 'The Sirens of Time' (The Doctor refers to Type 70 TARDISes) 'Remembrance of the Daleks (the Daleks once more employ Special Weapons models - the first instance of one outside Davros' Imperial army) 'Planet of the Daleks' (Scout and Chief Scientist Daleks), 'The Chase' (duplicate humans - albeit with the backup original retained - 'Resurrection of the Daleks'). 'Resurrection of the Daleks' (time corridor technology)

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor has visited Kar-Charrat before, while the Time Lords were helping them with their defence grid. Elgin says that the Doctor was 'taller' during his last visit, which at least suggests he was in another body, but doesn't offer any more clues as to which. The Doctor has seen wet-works facilities on other worlds

Location: The Library of Kar-charrat, c.4162 (see below)

The Bottom Line: 'Humans are impatient. Daleks have no such weaknesses'.

The Daleks return in a gripping production which combines an interesting and evocative setting with some sound Dalek continuity from the breadth of the TV series' canon. And they're more devious than ever before. The downfalls are a stock support female from the late '80s era (at least it's not inappropriate) and an appalling librarian stereotype, but the rest of the production is done with such class and devotion you barely notice. A most welcome return.

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