Genesis of the Genesis of the Daleks
Before I get to today's viewing, a bit of a story: At some point in the evolution of the Time Treadmill I fell into a pattern of ending most of my above-the-fold paragraphs with "...so let's talk about that." (or some very close variation thereof. I don't know when I started doing that, I'd have to go back and look and that's more effort than I feel like expending, but in any case it pretty much became my default at some point. You can imagine, then, how chagrined I was last night when for some reason I watched an episode of the popular YouTube show Good Mythical Morning, and discovered that "let's talk about that" is their catch phrase -- to the point where now they have created a spinoff "show about the show" called (you guessed it) Let's Talk About That. Now, I have watched their videos before on occasion. I am not a subscriber, not a fan to the point of watching on any kind of regular basis, but I have definitely watched more than a few episodes. I honestly, truly, did not set out to poach their phrase. I don't even know whether I heard them say it before I started writing it, but it is possible. Which makes me a dirty, filthy plagiarist. So, um... why don't.. we... have a conversation... about the aforementioned subject...? (Crap, that just ain't gonna work.) Nah, let's just hit the Time Treadmill and talk about Terry Nation unknowingly plagiarizing himself.
Genesis of the Daleks - Parts 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
(My Previous Watch)
I wrote about the substance of these episodes last year when I watched it, so I won't rehash that again. The fun thing I learned today from watching the BluRay version with the InfoText turned on, was that this was not the original story that Dalek creator Terry Nation pitched. See, back in the early 70's Nation had an informal agreement with producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks that he would submit a new Dalek story for each season. This led to Day of the Daleks in '72, Planet of the Daleks in '73, and Death to the Daleks in '74. So it was that in 1975 Nation handed in a story treatment for the new season, and new producer Philip Hinchcliffe and new script editor Robert Holmes just kind of went... NAH.
They were nice about it, sure, but they politely declined the story. When Nation was puzzled at the response, extolling how great the story was, their diplomatic response was essentially: Yes, it's a great story. It was great story all the other times the BBC purchased it from you. Then they proceeded to walk through the story treatment point-by-point and highlight all of the recurring tropes that Nation reflexively used in virtually all of his stories. The thing is, Terry Nation legitimately had no idea. He was completely blind to this fact, I can attest that this is definitely a thing that happens. The problem comes in when somebody reaches a level of success where nobody has the authority to tell them something is a bad idea (case study: George Lucas).
To his credit, Terry Nation took the criticism very well. They kicked around a few ideas, and landed on the notion of going back and exploring how the Daleks actually came to be. This led to the creation of Davros, and arguably the single best and most important story in the show's history. Bravo to the Holmes/Hinchcliffe team for demanding better, and bravo to Nation for not only taking the criticism well but actually turning into pure gold.
And on that note, it's after midnight and I am going to bed. G'nite.
Companion(s): Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan
Episode(s): Genesis of the Daleks - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,689 today, 3,683,341 total
Distance Walked: 4.07 miles today, 1,925.19 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 6,794 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 1,029 total
Weight: 251.42 lbs (five day moving average), net change -55.88 lbs