Audio Club: The Genocide Machine

The next Main Range episode for the Audio Club is The Genocide Machine. Spoiler: it’s got Daleks in it! :dalek:

Also featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace.

Buy it online using the link above, or listen for free - you’ll find links where to listen free on the story page.

Once you’ve listened, talk about it below! Even if you listened to it before and just want to discuss it - dive right in! Just please use spoiler tags where appropriate.

Everyone who participates will get a badge! :medal_military:

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I like the idea that knowledge is the greatest weapon and that even the Daleks recognize that.


I believe the working title of this story was Wet Works - I think The Genocide Machine is better even if it’s a bit ‘Doctor Who generic’.

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I think I might listen to this audio in conjunction with this animation from Josh Snares.

I believe @Merganman4 of this parish may have contributed to the animation.


ah another one I simply can not remember! Looking forward to a relisten haha



So, this is the debut of the Daleks in Big Finish and the first installment of the loose Dalek Empire ark, and it’s a wildly uneven affair for me. McCoy and Aldred are great here (Aldred is very good as the Dalek copy of Ace, even if Ace herself is mishandled and never given anything interesting to do). Bev Tarrant is an interesting early-recurring character who is pretty underutilised here, and the librarian is funny.

The first epiode builds a fantastic atmosphere, and I love how well the sound design and writing establish the evocative setting. However, the story loses its clarity in the latter half, the sound design and direction become disorganized, and some of the later revelations, particularly those about the planet’s natives and the nature of the rain, remain intriguing but not fully explored.

This is also the official debut of Nick Briggs as the go-to voice of the Daleks, and he’s already pretty good at it. The Daleks themselves are pretty boring and barely play a pivotal role in the story. It also bugs me that they essentially ruined a potential shock reveal at the end of Part 1 by featuring a Dalek on the cover and teasing their involvement in a couple of short scenes at the start before involving them properly later in the story. They once again use clones as part of their plan, and it works just as well as you’d expect, especially since the Doctor figures it out after five minutes, so it removes potential tension from the story.

So there’s plenty of good and bad here, and that’s why I’d rate it a 6.5/10.

By the way, I wish I had remembered Josh Snares’ animation for this. I have never watched it, but I believe it might have improved the experience. Perhaps I’ll give it a go the next time I relisten to this.


I always get this one and The Mutant Phase mixed up, though I think this is a decent Dalek story with some good ideas and well fleshed out characters.

I love that the title is deliberately misleading, it was really the Librarians who were committing that crime.

Sylvester McCoy really sells his outrage against Elgin in the final part in that special way that only the 7th Doctor is truly capable of.

I can’t decide whether I would have preferred to not have Prink speak at all - just have that recurring joke continue all the way through.

Overall I would rank this at 3,5/5 :star:


I remember hating that when I first listened to it. Didn’t find it amusing at all!


First time I was thinking Prink was a mental construct or a hallucination Elgin had, I was a tad disappointed that it was only a running joke :grin:

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The similarity - and yet differences - between Elgin and Prink compared to Gantman and Napton in Whispers of Terror is striking.

The fact that one is played for laughs and the other for plot/drama is an interesting contrast. I much prefer the latter. I remember at the time, being surprised that someone thought a character who didn’t speak in an audio was a good idea.

And it’s only just struck me that we have two ‘library’ settings within the space of a few releases.


Very good point :+1:

It’s not terrible, but I think it’s the weakest of the original four Big Finish Dalek stories. I can’t stand librarian Elgin, I agree that the Prink joke is dumb, and I thought the Dalek voices in this sounded off. If it’s Briggs’ first time doing them, that somewhat makes sense, plus you also have Alistair Lock providing some of them. I’ll probably listen to this later next week when I have time to listen along with the Josh Snares animation.


I just listened to this, whilst watching the Josh Snares animation.

The animation definitely added something which helped stop me fall asleep at some points - it was a pretty dull and standard audio, at least until the reveal about the water race although I agree it was a bit underutilised.

Prink had all the best lines! :wink:

I am not a huge fan of standard Dalek episodes, and they felt a bit underwhelming here and too easily dispatched. Why they thought doing the equivalent of downloading Wikipedia into a Dalek would help them become the most powerful race in the universe, I still don’t understand. I guess we will see what the next part of their plan is soon!



3 parts in and it’s… fine. It’s a standard Dalek episode. Which is fair for their first foray but when you consider what is coming after… it’s a shame.


Yeah having finished and slept on it: it’s fine. Sylv gets big kudos for his performance. He rarely gets to play furious like he does here and he is outstanding in the final episode as he just gets angrier and angrier with the situation he discovers


I did watch a bit of the Josh Snares animation paired with the audio. It’s quite good, I just didn’t have two hours to sit and watch since my computer only pauses one thing at a time if I’m playing in two different windows.

Yeah, I realised I’m going to have this issue after watching 15 minutes to see what it was like.

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Ah, The Genocide Machine. I’m currently part way through Part 2, so some of this is off my memory of previous listens. I really don’t care for this one, it’s terribly vanilla. That’s not to say it doesn’t have some good ideas, it’s just that it’s not a very interesting Dalek story. I’m not warming to Bev Terrant (a very Terry Nation-esque name by the way) and I don’t feel that the Daleks are all that necessary. The idea of a sentient hard drive that gets its mind wiped when used is the much more interesting idea. The Daleks downloading “space wikipedia”, as @shauny pointed out, isn’t. As a first go of the Daleks, it’s… fine. It’s just nothing outstanding. It also doesn’t help that the guest cast isn’t anything special either and that the Dalek voices seem off. Compared to the first Cyberman story, where, while a standard story, the Cybermen voices sound right and the cast is much more engaging (plus you have McGann in that one). And, as pointed out, Elgin is insufferable and the Prink running gag is just stupid. I might have more thoughts once I’ve finished.