‘RESURRECTION OF THE DALEKS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Daleks and Davros with the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough
This was the third ‘Doctor Who’ TV story I’d seen from the Peter Davison era!
‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ is a remarkable and enjoyable experience. I’m so glad that Peter Davison managed to get his battle with the Daleks as the Fifth Doctor before he departed from the TV series. Every Doctor must have a battle with the Daleks on TV and Peter’s Doctor has an explosive one in this.
It was after doing my winter A Level exams in January 2007 that I received both ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ and ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’ on DVD from my parents to enjoy. It was an exciting experience. I’d just seen ‘Earthshock’ and ‘The Five Doctors’ with Peter Davison’s Doctor beforehand.
I’ve had the original DVD cover of ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ signed by Peter Davison at the ‘Stars of Time Film and Comic Con @ The Tropicana’ in Weston-super-Mare, August 2016. I’ve also had it signed by Janet Fielding at the ‘Science of the Time Lords 2019’ event at the National Space Centre, Leicester, January 2019; Mark Strickson at the ‘Time Warp’ event in Weston-super-Mare, July 2014 and by Terry Molloy and Brian Miller at the ‘celebrate 50 – The Peter Davison Years’ event in Chiswick; London, April 2013.
When I saw ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ on DVD back in 2007, I had it as a four-part version of the story. It was later on that I discovered ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ was transmitted as a 2 x 45 minute episode story on TV back in February 1984. Why it was first released as a four-part story on DVD, I do not know.
This Dalek story is by Eric Saward, who was ‘Doctor Who’s script editor at the time. It’s a story that Eric wasn’t entirely happy with. He felt he didn’t do the Daleks justice. It’s true there are too many ideas in the tale to keep track of. But it certainly is a remarkable story and it doesn’t bore throughout.
In the story, the TARDIS gets caught in a time corridor following the events of ‘Frontios’. The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough find themselves dragged to Earth as the TARDIS lands in London on the Shad Thames in 1984. They soon find this warehouse where the source of the time corridor gets contained.
Meanwhile, in the far future, a space station gets under attack by Dalek forces. They’ve come to rescue their creator Davros from his cryogenic sleep. They want Davros to save the Daleks from a deadly virus that was created by their enemies, the Movellans, from ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. Will Davros save them?
In this story, Davros is now played by Terry Molloy. This was the first time I saw Terry as Davros and I found his performance very mesmerizing indeed. He captured the essence of the original Davros as played by Michael Wisher from ‘Genesis of the Daleks’. Terry has played Davros in more stories lately.
He’s played Davros in both the TV series and the Big Finish audios. I like it when Terry Molloy rants and raves as Davros and I love that scene where the Doctor confronts Davros when on the verge of killing him. Davros taunts the Doctor in the moment, especially when the Doctor’s reluctant to kill him.
That shot of Davros being released from his frozen tomb in ‘Part One’ was a thrilling moment to watch. Terry Molloy of course doesn’t just rant and rave like the original Davros did. He also has his quiet moments, especially when he is outlining his plans on improving the Daleks to become the supreme beings.
I enjoyed seeing the Daleks in this adventure. However it would be fair to say that they are slightly underused when Davros casts his shadow. The Dalek voices are done by Brian Miller (who previously guest starred in ‘Snakedance’ and was Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)’s husband) and Royce Mills.
The Daleks are quite manic in this adventure (as they usually are). 😀 I loved that moment when a Dalek’s eyestalk gets blown up and it goes into a panic. The Daleks exterminate a lot. Some deaths are over-the-top like Colonel Archer’s doing a strange disco dance as he dies. I can’t take that seriously. 😀
This story contains quite a number of violent scenes throughout. This includes policemen shooting people in a street and space station crew members killed by gas which disfigures their faces. I found that pretty gruesome to watch. I’m sure there were many complaints from viewers who watched this.
This story features special guest star Rodney Bewes as Stein. Rodney Bewes is well-known for starring in ‘The Likely Lads’. Stein’s a ragged character who’s scared and has a stammer. I like that Stien is the heart of this story. It was a shock when Stein turned against the Doctor, revealing he’s a Dalek agent.
There’s also Maurice Colbourne as Commander Lytton. Lytton is a mercenary who works for the Daleks and leads his own army of human Dalek troopers. Lytton is a real tough guy, who’s easily frustrated when he’s working with the Daleks and rescuing Davros. But he manages to keep his cool throughout.
The other guest stars in ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ include Rula Lenska as Styles, the space station’s chief medical officer and Jim Findley as Mercer. There’s also Leslie Grantham, who would go on to play ‘Dirty Den’ in the BBC soap opera series ‘EastEnders’, as Kiston, as well as Del Henney as Colonel Archer.
The regular cast of ‘Doctor Who’ are great to watch here too. Peter Davison delivers a brilliant performance as the Doctor and does remarkably well facing the Daleks on TV. I liked his scenes when he tries to break Stein’s Dalek conditioning and when he faces Davros for the first time as he is about to kill him.
Janet Fielding is remarkable as Tegan in this story too. She gets to have her own adventure as well as use her own initiative. I liked it when Tegan and Chloe Ashcroft as Professor Laird realise that Colonel Archer and his men aren’t what they seem to be as they deceive them to bluff their way out to escape.
Mark Strickson as Turlough seems a little short changed in this adventure though. At first, he’s lurking about the corridors avoiding Daleks on board their ship. He eventually meets up with Mercer; Styles and the other space station crew as he witnesses them setting off the self-destruct to blow up the station.
One of my favourite moments from the story is when the Doctor’s past lives and companions are shown up on the Daleks’ screen when he’s plugged into their duplication machine. Nyssa’s face featured in that montage of companions. For me, being a Nyssa/Sarah Sutton, this was a joy to watch on screen. 😀
‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ is of course where we say goodbye to Tegan. She left once before in ‘Time-Flight’. Now she definitely leaves here. I found Tegan’s departure moving and sad, since she’s had enough of all the death and destruction and she considers travelling with the Doctor not ‘fun’ anymore.
Saying that however, I didn’t really like how Tegan’s departure was handled since it seems rushed and there was no build up to her leaving. They obviously put Janet’s farewell into the Dalek story at the last minute, without considering the development required to make Tegan’s departure so worthwhile.
Mind you, I still find Tegan’s departure moving and found it very touching when she ran back to have one last chance to be with the Doctor again before the TARDIS leaves. Tegan will meet the Doctor again though. Janet Fielding later played her in the audio story, ‘The Gathering’. “Brave heart, Tegan!”
‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ was originally released on DVD in 2002 as a four-part story on 1 disc. The DVD special features are as follows. There’s ‘On Location’ – a making-of featurette in London’s Shad Thames and there’s a ‘Breakfast Time’ interview with Janet Fielding and producer John Nathan-Turner. There are deleted scenes from the story, a trailer for ‘Part One’ of the story; a 5.1 sound mix; a music-only option by Malcolm Clarke, a photo gallery of the story and an info-text commentary option to enjoy. There’s also an enjoyable DVD audio commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and director Matthew Robinson. There are some ‘Easter Eggs’ to look out for on the DVD and a ‘TARDIS-Cam’ CGI sequence.
This story was later re-released into a brand-new 2-disc Special Edition DVD for the ‘Revisitations 2’ DVD box set that also included ‘The Seeds of Death’ with Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury as well as ‘Carnival of Monsters’ with Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning. On both discs of the ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ Special Edition DVD, there are two versions of the story. On Disc 1, there’s the two-part version that was initially shown on TV in 1984 and on Disc 2, there’s the four-part version. There are DVD audio commentaries on both discs of the Special Edition DVD. On Disc 1, there’s a commentary with Terry Molloy, writer/script editor Eric Saward and visual effects designer Peter Wragg, moderated by Nicholas Pegg. On Disc 2, there’s the commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and director Matthew Robinson from the original DVD release of ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’. There are new documentaries on the Special Edition DVD for ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’. These include ‘Casting Far and Wide’ with Toby Hadoke and ‘Come In Number Five’ which focuses on the Fifth Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ overall and is presented by David Tennant. Sadly there’s not much Sarah Sutton or Nyssa featured much on that documentary which I found pretty disappointing. There’s the ‘Tomorrow’s Times – The Fifth Doctor’ presented by Frazer Hines, ‘The Last Dalek’ – a behind-the-scenes look on ‘The Evil of the Daleks’, and there’s a ‘Walrus’ short sketch with a Dalek which was quite amusing.
‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ is an enjoyable Dalek TV adventure from the Peter Davison era. It’s quite violent and gruesome in places, but it is certainly a thrill to watch. It’s one of the best of Peter Davison’s era since it’s an action-packed adventure and features a moving departure for Janet Fielding as Tegan.
‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ rating – 8/10
‘DOCTOR WHO – RESURRECTION OF THE DALEKS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Fifth Doctor Dalek Story with Davros and New Series Dalek Voices
35 years since the story was first transmitted on TV? WOW!!!
I’ve enjoyed reading/listening to the novelization/audiobook of ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ by Eric Saward. I was hoping for a novelization on both this story as well as ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ since they hadn’t been novelized in the 1980s following TV transmission. Now they can be enjoyed as books.
At this point, ‘Doctor Who’ novelizations are becoming a thing again with the juicy novelizations of Douglas Adams stories such as ‘Shada’, ‘City of Death’, ‘The Pirate Planet’ and the unused TV story ‘Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen’. There are also Target novelizations of new series TV episodes getting made
I did wonder if Eric Saward’s two Dalek TV stories would ever see the light of day as novelizations and whether Eric would agree to novelizing them. Thankfully he did say ‘yes’ to novelizing them and I was happy about it. I was looking forward to how Eric would tackle those two Dalek stories he did as books.
It was a surprise mind when I found the hardback books of ‘Resurrection’ and ‘Revelation’ not as huge, bumpier and juicer as the Douglas Adams books that had been out. But Eric was novelizing his stories as they would’ve been done for the Target novelization range which did make sense thinking about it.
I like ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ as a ‘Doctor Who’ story. It does have flaws in terms of storytelling, but I recall it being a thrilling action-packed adventure with Peter Davison’s Doctor when I first saw it on DVD. Eric Saward however wasn’t too happy with the finished result when it came out on TV in 1984.
Therefore, Eric clearly saw the novelization as an opportunity to improve on what he felt were weaker aspects of the story as shown on TV. This I can appreciate. From reading/hearing the novelization and recalling what I saw of the tale on DVD, there were some weaker aspects that needed clarification on.
This isn’t the first time Eric’s done a ‘Doctor Who’ novelization before. Oh no! The first novelization he did was on ‘The Visitation’. He also novelized ‘The Twin Dilemma’, ‘Attack of the Cybermen’ and ‘Slipback’. He probably didn’t have time to do the novelizations of his two Daleks tales when he was script editor.
The novelization is divided into 11 chapters with a coda at the end. I purchased the hardback at Waterstones in Cardiff. I also purchased the audiobook as a download from Audible. The story is read by Terry Molloy, who played Davros in the TV story. It was right for him to be reading the adventure. 🙂
There are also Dalek voices provided by Nicholas Briggs himself. I had a thrill from hearing Nick Briggs doing the Dalek voices in the audiobook. And meaning no disrespect to the actors who voiced the Daleks in the TV story, but I feel that Nick Briggs’ Dalek voices for ‘Resurrection’ are very superior here.
Nick takes advantage of Eric Saward’s writing in the novelization by homing in one the emotions of various Dalek characters such as the Supreme Dalek as well as the Alpha Dalek, Beta Dalek, Gamma Dalek, Delta Dalek and Epsilon Dalek. He also makes the Daleks sound very much like new series Daleks.
I know that’s an odd thing to say considering Nick Briggs does Dalek voices for the new series anyway. But from watching the TV story countless times, I recall how they sounded with being monotone and simply barking orders. The Daleks in the audio sound calculating and manipulative including Supreme.
And with the greatest respect to Eric Saward, he’s better writing for Daleks than he is for Cybermen. With Daleks, they’re allowed to have more emotion-like dialogue, especially when they’re ranting and such. The same can be said for Davros, who can vary from being quiet at times to ranting pretty loudly.
Going back to Terry Molloy, he’s very good as a reader of the story and providing voices for other characters as well as Davros. Yeah, his voices for the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough, Stein and the rest don’t match to the actors who played them, but they are very decent voices when I was hearing them.
What I’ve noticed from reading/hearing the novelization/audiobook is that Eric Saward amends a lot of dialogue between characters. When hearing them on TV, some of the characters sounded clumsy when talking. This was properly due to the scripts getting written in a rush before transmission on TV.
With the novelization however, Eric’s able to tighten the dialogue between characters in order to make them sharper and believable. Eric also gets a chance to explore more character, especially with the supporting ones. It allows us to emphasise with the characters compared to watching them on TV.
I liked it when the novelization allowed us to get to know Mr. Jones, the old man with the cigarette who gets killed by the fake policemen early on in the story. There’s the man looking for treasure named PJ who gets killed by the fake policemen when Tegan calls out to him. Great character touches.
There are setbacks to the novelization however. For one thing, Kiston’s recruitment into Davros’ service is briefly glanced over in one paragraph which was disappointing for me. There’s also Colonel Archer being killed by the fake policemen getting reduced to a paragraph. It was pretty dramatic on TV.
I noticed when reading/hearing the novelization that Eric made a lot of references to the Terileptils from ‘The Visitation’. I suppose Eric’s making up for the lack of the Terileptils’ development in ‘The Visitation’ novelization. I’m okay with that, but I wish it was done for ‘Visitation’ than in ‘Resurrection’.
The prison space station gets a name in the novelization as it’s called the Vipod Mor. Wait! There was a spaceship also called the Vipod Mor in the audio adventure ‘Slipback’. Could these two be the same thing? Perhaps the Vipod Mor would soon get renamed as Terminus to cause the ‘big bang’ explosion. 😀
To be fair, Eric Saward did say in an interview that he forgot he already used the name for a spaceship in ‘Slipback’. And to be fair, ‘Slipback’s a pretty forgettable adventure anyway. But it makes me curious on whether ‘Resurrection’, ‘Slipback’, ‘Terminus’ and ‘Castrovalva’ are all connected to each other. 😀
The book also features a cat named Sir Runcible on the Vipod Mor. I thought it was the cat the Doctor and army men found in the warehouse with the Morvellan virus cylinders. But it turns out to be a different cat and one that can talk. No, seriously! The cat talks to the Doctor at one point for this story.
This happens when Sir Runcible is escaping with the Fifth Doctor through the time corridor down to the warehouse. I was gobsmacked as much as the Doctor was. I don’t know how that cat can talk and I don’t know if we’ll ever see that cat again. I want answers about that cat please, Mr. Eric Saward! 😀
Lytton gets more development in this story as well as a first name which happens to be ‘Gustav’ instead of ‘Gustave’ in the novelization. Apparently, Lytton knows who the Doctor is before this adventure and vice versa. It does explain how the Doctor knew Lytton well in ‘Attack of the Cybermen’.
There’s also more development on the interaction between Mercer and Styles when meeting each other aboard the Vipod Mor for the first time. There’s also a sense of ‘sexual attraction’ on Mercer’s part towards Styles in the novelization I believe, which I don’t believe was hinted at in the TV version.
Interestingly, the novelization has the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough finding out it’s the Daleks involved with the time corridor in the TARDIS before they arrive at Shad Thames in 1984. This was interesting compared to the TV story where the Doctor became surprised to see a Dalek appear in the warehouse.
Another interesting aspect about the novelization is that it has Tegan not knowing who the Daleks are as if it was the first time she encountered them in this adventure. Clearly Eric Saward didn’t hear the Big Finish audio ‘The Elite’ where Tegan saw a Dalek for the first time. A big continuity error there for me!
The novelization handles Osborn’s death differently compared to the TV story. In the TV version, the crewmember that got infected with a deadly disease, now named Senior Ensign ‘Baz’ Seaton in the novelization, was shot down in cold blood by Osborn before she got shot by the troopers led by Lytton.
In the novelization, Seaton was responsible for sabotaging Airlock 3 so that the Dalek could invade because they paid him well. Seaton gets killed in the process before Osborn does by Lytton’s troopers. This works better in the novelization compared to the TV story which I found uncomfortable to watch.
Stein gets to see more of the TARDIS interior compared to what was shown in TV story. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Chris Parsons’ exploration of the TARDIS in the ‘Shada’ novelization by Gareth Roberts. It was nice for Stein to experience more of the TARDIS interior compared to the TV story here.
An astonishing aspect of the TARDIS interior is that there’s an unseen robot chef named Ooba-Doa who provides the meals. Whilst it does explain how people in the TARDIS got food and drink in ‘The Five Doctors’, how come we never saw Ooba-Doa the robot chef before in the TV series. It’s so insane!
I personally would’ve used Hargreaves, the robot Jeeves from the Big Finish audio ‘Aquitaine’ to provide the TARDIS teams’ meals instead of Ooba-Doa. Gosh, I should’ve used Ooba-Doa in one of my stories. It would’ve saved Billy Walker cooking spaghetti bolognese for Nyssa in my own story ‘Junglos 4198’. 😀
I enjoyed reading/hearing the scenes where the Doctor was almost about to kill Davros at point blank range in the novelization/audiobook. I’d just written an alternative version of the Fifth Doctor about to kill Davros in a ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ setting called ‘Psychic Image’. Amazing that’s come full circle.
I like how Stein’s journey is handled in the novelization, especially when he grows from a stuttering wreck to turning out to a Dalek agent to becoming redeemed in stopping the Daleks’ plans before blowing himself and the Vipor Mor up with Daleks on board. It’s done well on TV, but it’s great in book.
Tegan’s exit from ‘Doctor Who’ is handled well in book just slightly. More hints at her departure are handled earlier on in the tale, especially when she’s shocked over the Doctor nearly about to commit murder on Davros as well as seeing all the horror and violence being caused by the Daleks in the story.
The announcement of Tegan leaving the Doctor and the TARDIS is not so sudden in the book as it was in the TV story. There isn’t the “I’m not coming with you” line uttered by Tegan as she questions all that’s happened with the Daleks, Lytton and everything before she departs in an emotional state by the end.
Tegan’s decision to leave the Doctor is also reflected in the coda at the end of the book. She questions minutes after she’s left on whether she made the right choice to leave the Doctor after all the adventures they’ve had. I do appreciate Eric going out of his way to include that in the book’s coda.
The book also ends differently with the Doctor and Turlough intending to pursue Lytton rather than warning Earth authorities about the Dalek duplicates. There’s also Tegan being pursued again by Lytton’s policemen in the coda where she jumps off a bridge onto a boat to escape with ‘super strength’.
I’m not sure what the mystery of Tegan’s ‘super strength’ is at the end of the book, considering the fake policemen’s surprise at it before informing Lytton about it. Whether Tegan’s real or a duplicate is a matter of debate. It’s a question left open to interpretation and it’s never answered in ‘The Gathering’.
In all seriousness, the ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ novelization/audiobook is very good. There are issues regarding certain scenes reduced to one paragraph and such, but I feel Eric Saward has done a superb job novelizing this story in a way that he would’ve done it for the Target range of novelizations.
I enjoyed reading the book whilst listening to the audiobook in the background. Terry Molloy’s reading of the story is excellent and the Dalek voices provided by Nicholas Briggs are sublime. As I write this review, I’m looking forward to finding out how Eric Saward novelized ‘Revelation of the Daleks’! I can’t wait!
‘Doctor Who – Resurrection of the Daleks’ rating – 8/10
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