Reviewed: Vintage Beeb’s Genesis of the Daleks CD

Back in 2011-12, the Vintage Beeb label was a wonderful new line that entailed releasing classic albums onto CD. Titles includes Dad’s Army, Monty Python, Round the Horne, and various other comedic favourites, all with original sleeve designs – plus the CDs themselves look like mini vinyl LPs. Genesis Of The Daleks  was originally released in 1979 and condenses the original 6-part story into around an hour, which is pretty good going, don’t you think? It’s pretty fitting, seeing as so-called ‘NuWho‘ manages to condense a full tale in 45 minutes (okay, occasionally more). This CD was released in – can it really be five years ago?! – February 2011, but you can still find it online and in select stores.

(In fact, it was even rereleased earlier this year, in its original LP form, for Record Store Day, but as a limited edition, you might find difficulty in sourcing a copy!)

The blurb on the back informs us of the exciting adventure that awaits us:

Doctor Who, with his travelling companions Sarah and Harry, has landed on a desolate planet called Skaro. As he surveys the barren landscape, a Time Lord appears and tells him he has been brought there to try and advert the creation of theDaleks, and thus prevent them from being the dominant creature in the universe…

With narration from Tom Baker, here in a suitably solemn mood, this is still one of the finest Doctor Who adventures of his reign. None of the impact is lost on audio: the Doctor is serious and dramatic, Davros remains a dark and sinister creation, and the Daleks themselves sound even more chilling in audio-only mode. Nyder, played perfectly by Peter Miles, scoops the prize for most thrilling vocal. Nyder was almost as evil as Davros and is probably Terry Nation’s most perfect humanoid creation.

The linking material by Derek Goom captures the eerie essence of this adventure. One mustn’t forget the tone of this adventure is incredibly dark and the way it deals with the oppression is skilfully written.

The selling point of the CD is the way this has been packed. This is a great release – just seeing the old BBC Records and Tapes logo sends a chill up my spine and the reproduction of the original record label adds that authentic touch. The remastering is good without spoiling the experience; you can still hear the roughness of the studio recording.

Whether you’re a completist or casual fan, this is a great way of enjoying the adventure in a compact way (pun intended!).

(This article is adapted from a review originally published on Kasterborous in March 2011)