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Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks was a novelisation based on the 1975 television serial Genesis of the Daleks.

Publisher's summary[]

1976 Target Books edition[]

The place: Skaro

Time: The Birth of the Daleks

After a thousand years of futile war against the Thals, DAVROS has perfected the physical form that will carry his race into eternity – the dreaded DALEK. Without feeling, conscience or pity, the Dalek is programmed to EXTERMINATE. At the command of the Time Lords, DOCTOR WHO travels back through time in an effort to totally destroy this terrible menace of the future.

But even the Doctor cannot always win ...

1991 Target Books edition[]


Skaro, a scarred, ravaged planet, where the war between the Thals and the Kaleds is reaching its final stages. And Davros, the Kaleds' greatest mind, has finally perfected the machine which will house the mutated creatures into which the Kaleds will finally evolve...

The Daleks are about to be born, and the Doctor is sent back through time in an attempt to destroy utterly this terrible threat to the future...

Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks was first broadcast in 1975 and was written by Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks. This novelization is by Terrance Dicks, who was script editor of the series for five years; he is also the author of Exodus, the second novel in the TYMEWYRM series of original Doctor Who fiction.

2016 BBC Books edition[]

'Alien,'croaked the Dalek suddenly. 'Exterminate...exterminate...exterminate!' Slowly the gun stick raised until it was pointed straight at the Doctor.

The Time Lords have a mission for the Doctor. Together with Sarah and Harry, he finds himself stranded on Skaro where the conflict between the Thals and the Kaleds has been raging for a thousand years. Kaled scientist Davros has perfected a life support system and travel machine for the creature he knows his race will ultimately evolve into - the Dalek.

The Doctor must stop the creation of the Daleks, or perhaps affect their development so they evolve into less aggressive creatures. But with Davros's plans to destroy the Thals and to wipe out any dissenters among his own ranks in progress, is the Doctor already too late?


Featuring the Fourth Doctor as played by Tom Baker with his companions Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan.

Chapter titles[]

  1. Secret Mission
  2. Prisoners of War
  3. The Secret Weapon
  4. Rocket of Doom
  5. Escape to Danger
  6. Betrayal
  7. Countdown to Destruction
  8. Captives of Davros
  9. Rebellion
  10. Decision for the Doctor
  11. Triumph of the Daleks
  12. A Kind of Victory

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The Time Lords' latest temporal projections foresee a time stream when the Daleks become dominant over all other life.
  • After the Doctor, Sarah and Harry take cover in the crater from the artillery bombardment, they are unsure if the Thal soldier they come across is dead or alive, who is described as crouching with his rifle pointed at them, whereas on TV the soldier is lying flat and is clearly dead.
  • In the televised story, the Doctor and Harry are captured when the Kaleds gun down their Thal assailants. However, the novel has a lengthier hand-to-hand combat before this happens.
  • In the televised story, Nyder is ordered by Davros to shut off the production line. In the book, he decides to of his own accord.
  • In the book, the mutant that tried to kill Sarah tries to escape by climbing up a wall.
  • The book describes the accident which crippled Davros (a Thal nuclear strike).
  • The Thal and Kaled cities use normal doors as opposed to sliding ones.
  • Davros' office is covered in rejected Dalek designs.
  • Minor dialogue changes in the scene in Davros's office: in the book, the Doctor has an added line that Harry will throttle Nyder if he doesn't open the safe. The book also drops Sarah's line about Nyder possibly being truthful about only Davros knowing the safe's combination, before the Doctor reasons why this cannot be the case.
  • In the book, it is Harry who gives the Doctor the Dalek gun to destroy the tape spool whereas on screen it is Sarah who does so.
  • Davros explodes when he is shot.
  • The Daleks decide to build a city. (TV: The Daleks)
  • The Doctor explains their mission to Sarah and Harry while crossing the wasteland.
  • The Doctor knocks out the Kaled communications officer in Ravon's office instead of just handcuffing him.
  • Nyder uses a handheld communicator rather than a wall panel.
  • Gerrill is unnamed.
  • The Kaled Leader is killed by Thals firing on the group on the ground; on television, he is shot while trying to help Sarah climb the scaffolding.
  • Sevrin catches Sarah when she falls from the scaffolding rather than her simply landing on a lower level.
  • Gharman and Kavell are respectively described as tall and thin, and short and plump. On screen, Kavell is tall and thin while Gharman is of average build.
  • It is Gharman who kills the guard on the weapons locker, after he has shot one of the scientists with him.
  • The trap that electrocutes the Doctor in the rocket silo has been set automatically, rather than being triggered by the Thal guard.
  • The Doctor is strapped to a gurney while the rocket is launched.
  • The first meeting between Sevrin and Bettan is depicted.
  • One of the members of the Elite who sided with Davros objects to the executions and is thrown in with the other victims; he effectively takes on the dialogue of Kravos, who is only mentioned in passing as one of those Davros tries to get to change sides.
  • When the Doctor plants the explosives in the incubator room, he is described as being attacked by a black nutrient slime, which slowly engulfs him, not by the Dalek mutants themselves, as occurs on TV. Also, Sarah and Harry go inside the room to rescue the Doctor whereas on TV he makes it outside.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • The inside page includes the comment: "THE CHANGING FACE OF DOCTOR WHO. The cover illustration of this book portrays the fourth DOCTOR WHO"

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

  • Hardback
W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback


Re-issued 1991 with new cover art by Alister Pearson

Editions published outside Britain[]

  • Published in the USA by Pinnacle Books in 1979 as a paperback edition, it was one of ten American novelisations; an introduction by Harlan Ellison features in all the editions.
  • Published again in the USA by Nelson Doubleday in 1979 as a combined Hardback edition, it comprised this story, Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen and Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster. The introduction by Harlan Ellison was included.
  • Published yet again in the USA by Aeonian Press in 1985 as a hardback edition; it was one of seven novelisations published in the mid-1980's.


An audiobook version read by Terry Molloy was released by the RNIB in July 2012. It was only available to the registered blind. A second version was released on 5 October 2017 complete and unabridged by BBC Physical Audio and read by Jon Culshaw with Dalek voices by Nicholas Briggs.

The cover blurb and thumbnail illustrations were retained in the accompanying booklet with sleevenotes by David J. Howe. Music and sound effects by Simon Power.

The audiobook version was re-released in June 2020 as part of The Dalek Collection box set.

External links[]