‘REVELATION OF THE DALEKS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Davros, the Daleks and a DJ on Necros with the Sixth Doctor and Peri
And thus, we come to the season finale of Season 22 of ‘Doctor Who’ with Colin Baker! This is ‘Revelation of the Daleks’, a two-part 45-minute episode story by script editor Eric Saward. It’s quite funny to talk about ‘Revelation’, since I have had my DVD cover of the story signed by many people. 🙂
It’s also incredible. I’ve had more signatures on my ‘Revelation’ DVD cover from people who were involved in the making of it compared to other ‘Doctor Who’ DVD covers I’ve had signed. Sarah Sutton and Michael Cochrane have signed my ‘Black Orchid’ audiobook CD sleeve notes, but it’s just Sarah who’s signed my DVD cover of the story.
I’ve had my ‘Revelation’ DVD cover signed by people like Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor) at ‘Collectormania Glasgow 2012’ back in August 2012. I’ve also had it signed by Terry Molloy (who plays Davros) and director Graeme Harper at ‘Regenerations 2010’ in Swansea in September 2010. 🙂
I’ve also had it signed by Colin Spaull (who plays Lilt) at ‘Regenerations 2013’ in Swansea in September 2013. There’s also Trevor Cooper (Takis), John Ogwen (Bostock) and Bridget Lynch Blosse (Natasha) at ‘Pandorica 2014’ in Bristol in September 2014. It’s amazing I’ve met all of these people.
And there’s the story’s composer Roger Limb, who signed my ‘Revelation’ DVD cover at ‘celebrate 50 – The Peter Davison Years’ in Chiswick, London in April 2013. ‘Revelation’ must have had a big impact on me in order to get a lot of signatures on a DVD cover for a ‘Doctor Who’ story such as this.
Once again, Colin Baker is back as the Sixth Doctor as well as Nicola Bryant as Peri. ‘Revelation’ is not the typical and exciting Dalek adventure you might expect. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it, since there’s a lot to take away from it, especially with the story’s direction and its cast of characters.
In the story, the Sixth Doctor and Peri visit the planet Necros. Necros is the location of Tranquil Repose, a funeral business dedicated to the nearly deceased in suspended animation. The Doctor hopes to find an old friend of his – Arthur Stengos. He’s surprised he ended up on the planet Necros.
As they approach Tranquil Repose, a sinister conspiracy takes place. It turns out that the place is being controlled by the Great Healer, who happens to be Davros, the creator of the Daleks. He’s building and creating new Daleks, based on the remains of nearly deceased. Can Davros be stopped?
It’s unusual for script editor Eric Saward to be credited as the author of ‘Revelation’, since he couldn’t have ‘Attack of the Cybermen’ credited by himself instead of ‘Paula Moore’. Mind you, Eric was somehow able to be credited as author of ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ in the previous season. 🙂
Speaking of which, when Eric Saward wrote ‘Resurrection’ with Peter Davison’s Doctor, he felt he didn’t do the Daleks justice in that story. Whilst I find ‘Resurrection’ to be one of Eric’s best stories in 1980s ‘Doctor Who’, I appreciate why he felt he didn’t do the Daleks justice as he hoped he would. 🙂
There were quite a lot of ideas featured throughout that story. Some of them weren’t resolved satisfactorily and some were left open-ended. I enjoyed ‘Resurrection’ for the most part, involving the action sequences and at least Tegan’s departure was moving. But the issues in it can’t be denied.
Therefore, Eric had another go and he approached Davros and the Daleks from a different angle when writing ‘Revelation’. Apparently, Eric Saward was inspired by ‘The Loved One’, a darkly comic novel by Evelyn Waugh. I’ve not read the book, but I could taste its atmosphere and tone in the tale.
This is especially when the theme of death is reinforced by the story’s author. ‘Revelation’ also feels very character-driven, especially when it features a superb guest cast of characters. Mind you, whilst I enjoyed the guest characters featured in this, the Doctor and Peri do appear to be sidelined in this.
There’s more focus on the story’s supporting characters, as the Doctor and Peri take a long trek to get to Tranquil Repose. I’m not sure why Eric Saward did it like that. I would have preferred it if the Doctor and Peri were involved in the action more rather than be in most of ‘Part Two’ of the story. 😦
Although Russell T. Davies would apparently repeat the same story technique Eric Saward employed in ‘Revelation’ for ‘Mind of the Hodaic’. And according to Eric Saward, Colin Baker enjoyed making ‘Revelation’ despite being side-lined for most of ‘Part One’, which sounds quite interesting to hear. 🙂
‘Revelation’ is arguably considered one of the best ‘Doctor Who’ stories featured in the 1980s as well as the Colin Baker era in general. It’s also a pretty disturbing and thought-provoking story by Eric Saward. We’ve gone back to ‘Attack of the Cybermen’ and ‘Vengeance on Varos’ territory again.
With that said, ‘Revelation’ isn’t as hard-going or depressing like the first two stories of Season 22 tended to be. The story is pretty gruesome in places, but it’s balanced out by moments of black comedy throughout. There’s also a moral centre featured at the story’s heart that I really appreciate.
I found ‘Revelation’ quite a compelling ‘Doctor Who’ story to watch on DVD and it’s also quite compelling to watch on Blu-ray. My Mum found the gruesome elements of the story off-putting, but at least the story’s second episode is far better than the story’s first episode, which she agreed with.
It’s interesting how ‘Revelation’ ended up being the season finale to Colin Baker’s first season of ‘Doctor Who’. It could easily have been the final story of the classic series era, especially as the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series was put on an 18-month hiatus before returning with Season 23 in late 1986.
Out of the two arguably best stories in Season 22, including ‘The Two Doctors’ and ‘Revelation of the Daleks’, I enjoyed ‘The Two Doctors’ more. This is because ‘The Two Doctors’ had juicier comedic elements to enjoy compared to ‘Revelation’, and ‘The Two Doctors’ is way sunnier than ‘Revelation’.
And yes! That is real snow that the Doctor and Peri are walking in when they’re visiting the planet Necros in ‘Revelation’. Apparently, a snowstorm happened during the location shoot of the story. Some might consider it a good or a bad thing, but at least it’s very effective in the storytelling process.
I know snow can cause problems when you’re filming a scene in a TV or film production, but snow can either add something extra special to a story or not. Here, it works effectively well, especially when the Doctor and Peri are wearing blue-clad garments to keep warm as well as showing respect.
‘Revelation’ is very well-directed by Graeme Harper. In Season 21, Graeme Harper directed his first ‘Doctor Who’ story, which was ‘The Caves of Androzani’, featuring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor. Beforehand, Graeme was assistant floor manager and production assistant on many 1970s stories. 🙂
After ‘Revelation’, Graeme directed many new series ‘Doctor Who’ stories like ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’The Age of Steel’, ‘Army of Ghosts’/’Doomsday’, ’42’, ‘Time Crash’, ‘Planet of the Ood’, ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’, ‘Turn Left’, ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’ and ‘The Waters of Mars’.
It’s amazing that Graeme Harper got recognition from his work on ‘The Caves of Androzani’ and ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ to be involved in the new ‘Doctor Who’ TV series under Russell T. Davies’ reign from 2005 to 2010. I’m so pleased to have met him at a number of conventions over the years.
Graeme Harper delivers an extraordinarily intriguing Dalek adventure here. I really like how enthusiastic Graeme seems to be in his ‘Doctor Who’ stories, especially when he delivers so many impressive visual elements and he knows how to tell a compelling action story, both classic and new.
I quite like how Graeme provided creative input for the supporting characters as the story progressed, based on Eric Saward’s scripts. This of course would be the first of many Dalek stories to be directed by Graeme Harper in ‘Doctor Who’ and it’s so clear he knows how to handle Daleks well.
Incidentally, when I watched ‘Revelation’ on its 2005 DVD release, there were technical faults. The story went into a loop within ten minutes of ‘Part One’. This occurred several times when I was getting into later scenes of the story, as there were loops throughout. It was quite frustrating for me.
Thankfully, I solved the issue by switching the CGI effects option of the story on and off in order to avoid it getting into loops. It’s not an ideal situation when you’re watching the story on DVD, but it was the only method to solve it. I hoped this technical issue would be rectified in the Blu-ray release.
Fortunately, when checking out the story in the Season 22 Blu-ray box set, the ‘loop’ issue didn’t seem to be there. I was able to enjoy the story throughout without any hiccups. I was able to enjoy ‘Revelation’ with the CGI effects option on as well as the 5.1. surround sound audio mix option on. 🙂
Mind you, there is an issue I need to raise regarding ‘Revelation’ on Blu-ray. There’s an extended version of ‘Part One’ of the story to enjoy. Whilst I’m pleased there’s an extended version of ‘Part One’ of the story to enjoy, I’m very disappointed the entire story hasn’t been extended on Blu-ray. 😦
How come ‘Vengeance on Varos’ gets the extended version treatment but not ‘The Two Doctors’ and ‘Revelation’ where it’s just one episode extended for their stories and not the others? It’s the ‘Black Orchid’ situation again, where ‘Part One’ of that story was extended on Blu-ray, but not ‘Part Two’. 😦
It’s often frustrating when checking out these ‘Doctor Who’ Blu-ray box sets. I don’t mean to sound harsh, as the people who make these classic ‘Doctor Who’ Blu-ray box sets have done wonderful jobs. But it’s so sad when certain classic ‘Doctor Who’ stories aren’t extended in their entirety on Blu-ray.
It’s even painful when checking out the ‘deleted scenes’ special feature on DVD and Blu-ray. You discover it’s only one scene included in the extended version of ‘Part One’ of ‘Revelation’ whereas ‘Part Two’ has more deleted scenes to be included than ‘Part One’ had. I don’t get the logic of this. 😦
Why would you not extend ‘Part Two’ of the story whereas you can easily extend ‘Part One’ to feature one scene between Tasambeker, Takis and Lilt? Is it because the ‘Revelation’ Blu-ray disc was running out of space? Is that what it is? If so, why doesn’t ‘Revelation’ have 2 Blu-ray discs instead?
I’m also not sure if the CGI effects option is included for the story’s extended ‘Part One’ compared to the story’s original ‘Parts One and Two’. The 5.1 surround sound audio mix option seems to be okay for the extended ‘Part One’, but I don’t think it’s the case when you switch the CGI effects option on.
Let’s talk about the guest cast. For the story’s majority, there are several double acts featured throughout this story. I don’t know if Eric Saward was trying to emulate Robert Holmes’ writing in his ‘Doctor Who’ stories, as Holmes often featured double acts in his ‘Doctor Who’ stories in the 1970s.
There’s Clive Swift as Jobel and Jenny Tomasin as Tasambeker. Jobel is the chief embalmer of Tranquil Repose on Necros. Tasambeker is an employee of Tranquil Repose and a third-year student working under Jobel. Tasambeker is in love with Jobel, but sadly those feelings aren’t returned to her.
Clive Swift is well-known for playing Richard Bucket (‘Bouquet’) in the BBC sitcom series ‘Keeping Up Appearances’. He would later go on to be in the ‘Doctor Who’ 2007 Christmas Special called ‘Voyage of the Damned’ with David Tennant and Kylie Minogue. It was funny to see Clive Swift in this ‘Doctor Who’ story.
I don’t think Hyacinth Bucket would approve though and ‘Sheridan would be appalled’. 😀 Clive Swift plays a man who thinks highly of himself as well as being a ladies’ man. He tries to make a pass with Peri, which thankfully doesn’t work. Jobel could easily have been another Sharaz Jek person for Peri.
It’s clear that Tasambeker has feelings for Jobel, even though he rejects her. I wonder if Jobel and Tasambeker did have a romantic relationship with each other before the events of ‘Revelation’. Jobel is so nasty to Tasambaker, especially when she’s trying to risk her life to save him from Davros.
Jobel: “Do you honestly think I could possibly be interested in you? I have the pick of the women. I would rather run away with my mother than own a fawning little creep like you.”
Even though that line of dialogue is funny, it’s still very cruel of Jobel to say that to her. Even Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding seem to think so when watching the story in the ‘Behind the Sofa’ item. It’s probably just as well that Tasambeker stabbed and killed Jobel with the syringe. 🙂
As Colin Baker’s Doctor would say,
Sixth Doctor: “Your just desserts.”
It was funny when Clive Swift as Jobel slowly fell down the stairs after he had been stabbed by Tasambeker that his wig came off in the process. Throughout the story, Jobel was checking in mirrors to see that his toupee was still on. He did better than Captain Mainwaring in ‘Dad’s Army’. 🙂
There’s also Colin Spaull as Lilt and Trevor Cooper as Takis, two security men at Tranquil Repose on Necros. Colin Spaull would later go on to play Mr. Crane in ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’The Age of Steel’, also directed by Graeme Harper. He’s also guest starred in a Series 4 episode of ‘The Brittas Empire’.
Trevor Cooper has had his fair share of ‘Doctor Who’ stories, both on TV and audio. As well as ‘Revelation’, Trevor Cooper later appeared in ‘Robot of Sherwood’ with Peter Capaldi. He’s also been in Big Finish audios like ‘The Haunting of Thomas Brewster’, ‘Castle of Fear’ and ‘The Emerald Tiger’.
As well as ‘Doctor Who’, Trevor Cooper is well-known for playing Colin Devis in ‘Star Cops’ and Sgt. Woolf in ‘Call the Midwife’. I’m amazed that I’ve seen and heard Trevor Cooper in more TV and audio productions compared to first seeing him in ‘Revelation’. And I’ve met him in real life as well. 🙂
Both him and Colin Spaull. 😀 Their characters of Lilt and Takis are a bit like a Laurel & Hardy double act, with Lilt being Stan and Takis being Ollie. 😀 Mind you, and no disrespect to Colin and Trevor, Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly did better interpretations of Stan and Ollie in the 2019 film they did. 😀
Lilt and Takis both work for Jobel and at times, they tease Tasambeker on her feelings towards their employer. They’re also quite ruthless when it comes to interrogating ‘body snatchers’. This is case when they capture Natasha and Grigory. Lilt is more aggressive in his methods compared to Takis. 😐
But it turns out the two may not be as bad as they seem to be in ‘Part One’. Takis summons the black Daleks to Necros and both he and Lilt escort them to Davros’ chamber where he’s to be taken back to Skaro. Takis and Lilt also help the Doctor, Peri and Orcini during the story’s explosive climax.
There’s Eleanor Brom as Kara and Hugh Walters as Vogel. This isn’t Eleanor Brom’s first association with ‘Doctor Who’ as she did a cameo with John Cleese in ‘City of Death’, one of my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ stories. She also starred in a Big Finish audio called ‘Loups-Garoux’ with Peter Davison.
Hugh Walters has also done a couple of ‘Doctor Who’ stories before ‘Revelation’, including ‘The Chase’ where he played William Shakespeare and ‘The Deadly Assassin’ where he played Runcible. He’s also been in the Big Finish audio called ‘The Fearmonger’ with Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor. 🙂
He’s also been in an episode of ‘The Brittas Empire’ and a Christmas Special of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. In this ‘Doctor Who’ story, Kara is the manager of a food production plant on the planet Necros on the Great Healer/Davros’ behalf. The name for Kara’s company is called Kara’s Kitchen, according to the novelization.
Vogel helps Kara as his secretary. Both are elegantly dressed and posh sounding compared to certain members working in Tranquil Repose. There is a sense of “Are they?” or “Are they not?” in love, but it’s never established. I believe Vogel is in love with Kara, but she doesn’t exactly return the feelings.
Kara and Vogel hire assassins to kill Davros and they are Orcini and Bostock. Unfortunately, Vogel gets exterminated by Davros’ Daleks when they invade their headquarters. Kara also gets stabbed by Orcini when he gets back at her for nearly attempting to kill him and Davros with ‘a great big bomb’.
Incidentally, Kara’s look was apparently inspired by the Disney film ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ with the Queen’s character. An interesting artistic choice. I do wonder whether Eleanor Bron was ever inspired by that when she went on to play Miss Minchin in the 1995 film ‘A Little Princess’. 😀
There’s also William Gaunt as Orcini and John Ogwen as Bostock. Outside of ‘Doctor Who’, I’ve seen William Gaunt in an episode of ‘The Agatha Christie Hour’ TV series. Apparently, William Gaunt went on to play Georgi Selestru in ‘Dalek Empire III’ by Big Finish. I must check out that series sometime. 🙂
I’ve met John Ogwen briefly at ‘Pandorica 2014’ and had a nice encounter with him. He’s a Welshman and apparently, he narrated the ‘Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends’ TV series for Welsh speakers. I enjoyed the interaction William Gaunt and John Ogwen had as their characters. 🙂
Orcini is a knight of the Grand Order of Oberon. Both he and his squire Bostock have been assigned by Kara and Vogel to assassinate Davros. Orcini and Bostock see it as an opportunity for ‘death and glory’ compared to Kara and Vogel who want Davros dead before they can continue running their business.
It’s clear Orcini is a man of honour, despite losing his leg and having to wear an artificial one. He confides in Bostock, who’s faithfully loyal to him. Whereas Orcini is clean and well-refined, Bostock is a scruffy man despite being charming. Kara instantly dislikes Bostock, since he lacks personal hygiene. 😦
It’s interesting how Orcini and Bostock suspect that they haven’t been told the whole truth when they set out to assassinate Davros on Kara and Vogel’s behalf. They do fall into a trap when trying to kill Davros’ disembodied head, only to find him still intact in his Dalek chair, ready to attack them. 😐
Unfortunately, Bostock gets killed after severing Davros’ right hand in the story. It was a shock when Orcini stabbed Kara after her duplicity was revealed to both him and Davros. I liked it when Orcini cradled Bostock, as he set off Kara’s bomb to self-sacrifice himself in order to destroy Davros’ Daleks.
There’s Bridget Lynch Blosse as Natasha and Stephen Flynn as Grigory. Bridget Lynch Blosse has also been in a ‘Star Cops’ episode called ‘Little Green Men and Other Martians’ where she played a co-pilot. Lately, she’s given up acting and is currently working as a counsellor, which is very intriguing. 🙂
In the story, Natasha and Grigory are body snatchers, attempting to find Natasha’s father, Arthur Stengos. It was interesting to see these two together, as they both don’t get on well with each other, despite being members of the ‘Tranquil Repose freedom fighters’ to free their loved ones on Necros.
Grigory is an alcoholic and a coward, despite being a medical doctor. He easily gets nervous and sometimes steadies himself with drink, which often prompts him to make jokes about organs plopping out. Whilst I appreciate Grigory being afraid at times, I wish he was a little bit braver in this.
I also wish that Natasha was nicer to Grigory at times in the story. Yes, I know, these two are under pressure when they’re having to go through restricted areas and being chased by security guards in Tranquil Repose. But very often, Natasha can be cold to Grigory and unsensitive about his feelings. 😐
It was tense when Natasha and Grigory discovered her father Arthur Stengos, played by Alec Linstead (who has also been in ‘The Dæmons’ and ‘Robot’), in the catacombs and converted into a human Dalek. Stengos tells her daughter to kill him but she struggles to do so eventually in the story.
Natasha and Grigory do get to meet the Doctor when he’s locked up with them after they’ve been interrogated by Lilt and Takis. Unfortunately, Natasha and Grigory get killed by a Dalek when it forms itself in the catacombs. Guest characters get killed off easily in Eric Saward’s ‘Doctor Who’ stories, don’t they?
And there’s Alexei Sayle as the DJ, who I found pretty annoying in this story. Now, I appreciate the DJ is there to provide entertainment for the resting consciousnesses of the resting ones at Tranquil Repose on Necros by playing music from the 1950s and 1960s. He also played Glenn Miller music. 😀
To be fair, hearing ‘Moonlight Serenade’ and ‘In the Mood’ in 1980s style is rather good. But I’m sorry. Watching the DJ’s scenes in this story made me cringe. I don’t get why he had to perform in that style, especially when he shifted between personalities such as Bob Geldof (?) and Elvis Priestly.
Also, for most of the time, the DJ didn’t add much to the story. In fact, he slowed the story down when vital scenes were needed. His purpose came in ‘Part Two’, but for most of ‘Part One’, he was annoying when he gave off his talk show. I’m not sure how those nearly deceased could stand him. 😦
I’m pretty sure the nearly deceased in their caskets were going, “Please kill me! Just kill me now!” and were thumping their lids to be let out. My best mate from school Stephen couldn’t stand the DJ either when he saw ‘Revelation’. It was easy to make fun of the DJ whilst we watched ‘Revelation’. 😦
I know the DJ could provide comic relief at times in this quite bleak and gruesome story, but I didn’t find his stuff funny enough and I just wanted to move on to the next scene. It was nice to see him with Peri and they shared some nice exchanges with each other when she visited him in his studio. 🙂
My best mate Stephen was relieved when the Daleks exterminated the DJ. Yes, I know, he had that cool ‘rock n’ roll’ gun to blast the Daleks as they trundled into his studio. Great! But it was stupid that he came out of his defence position to be exterminated. “Stay put till everything is clear, DJ!!!”
Terry Molloy returns as Davros in this ‘Doctor Who’ story. It’s a contrast to see Terry Molloy in the season finale of Season 22 of ‘Doctor Who’, having appeared in the season opener ‘Attack of the Cybermen’. In that, he played a human. In this, he returns as the Daleks’ creator from ‘Resurrection’.
You might be wondering how Davros managed to survive the events of ‘Resurrection’ when he was infected with Movellan virus at the end of that story. I don’t think it’s properly explained in the TV version of ‘Revelation’. I know it’s said he managed to escape in the escape pod from ‘Resurrection’.
However, it’s not made clear how he managed to cheat death, as the Movellan virus was clearly attacking him. It was interesting to see him as a disembodied head for most of ‘Part One’. Did the Movellan virus cause that? Mind you, he was intact when he revealed himself to Orcini and Bostock.
This isn’t the first time that Davros has encountered the Sixth Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’. He previously met him in the Big Finish audio called ‘Davros’. Having listened to that audio story, it was fascinating to compare and contrast the Sixth Doctor and Davros meeting each other when they’re adversaries.
In ‘Revelation’, Davros appoints himself as the Great Healer at Tranquil Repose on the planet Necros. It was fascinating to see more facets of Davros’ character explored, especially when he interacts with Tasambeker. He doesn’t rant so much in this story and he often speaks in quieter manipulative tones.
I feel that Terry Molloy is the best actor to play Davros in the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series, following Michael Wisher. Yes, Julian Bleach is an equally good Davros in the new TV series, but whenever I think of Davros in the Big Finish audios, I can’t think of anyone better to play him than Terry Molloy.
Whilst Eric Saward was keen to have another go at handling the Daleks in ‘Revelation’ compared to ‘Resurrection’, I feel that the Daleks are overshadowed by the number of guest characters in the story. They weren’t that manipulative compared to the previous stories that the Daleks appeared in.
This is especially when Davros was in charge of them on Necros. Mind you, that’s the ‘humanised’ bleach-white Daleks that we encounter on Necros. When the black Skaro Daleks come to Necros, they mean business and we get some thrilling battle scenes between the black and the white Daleks.
This story is the beginning of the war between the Renegade and the Imperial Dalek factions, as established in the next TV story featuring Daleks called ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ with Sylvester McCoy. It’s interesting Eric Saward unintentionally set that story arc up for the Daleks in ‘Doctor Who’. 🙂
The arc also featured in the audio story called ‘The Juggernauts’, set between ‘Revelation’ and ‘Remembrance’. The notion of Davros converting the remains of the nearly deceased on Necros into Daleks is a terrifying one. This occurred before the Daleks in ‘The Parting of the Ways’ came along. 🙂
Incidentally, I know Sylvester McCoy claims that his story ‘Remembrance’ started it off first with a flying Dalek before the Dalek in ‘Dalek’ came along. But I’m pretty sure there’s a flying Dalek in ‘Revelation’ where it kills off Natasha and Grigory. I’m also sure Davros levitates in one scene as well.
At this point, Davros seems to be appearing in every Dalek story ever since he debuted in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ back in 1975. Whilst it’s nice to have Davros in these Dalek stories, I often feel that it’s his show instead of the Daleks, especially when they are sidelined and not barking out many orders.
In this story, the Daleks are operated by John Scott Martin, Cy Town, Tony Starr and Toby Byrne. The Daleks are also voiced by Royce Mills and Roy Skelton. Whenever Roy Skelton is voicing the Daleks in ‘Doctor Who’, it’s very easy to think of Zippy from ‘Rainbow’, having watched the TV show as a kid. 🙂
As established, this story lacks a lot of Sixth Doctor and Peri in it, especially in ‘Part One’. This is a shame, as this is like the only TV story where Colin Baker’s Doctor gets to face the Daleks. I’m pleased that more Dalek stories featuring the Sixth Doctor by Big Finish audio have made up for that.
Despite his minimal screen-time, I enjoyed Colin Baker’s Doctor. I especially enjoyed the Doctor’s scenes with Peri where they were walking together towards Tranquil Repose. There’s still the bickering going on between them, but I’d like to think they’ve got used to their banters by this stage.
It was funny when it turned out that Peri damaged the Doctor’s watch when she climbed over a wall. The build-up to that reveal is so amusing, especially when you’re wondering what it was Peri broke to make the Doctor so irritated. Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant do deliver that scene in spades in this.
It was tense when the Doctor found himself fighting a mutant, played by Ken Barker (who could have easily been played by Laurence Olivier, according to Colin Baker in the ‘Behind the Sofa’ item 😀 ). I liked it when the Doctor and Peri managed to calm the mutant down before he sadly passed away. 🙂
When the Doctor and Peri arrive at Tranquil Repose, the Doctor is shocked to find his statue at the Garden of Fond Memories. He reflects that he could end up dead at Tranquil Repose in his current incarnation. Thankfully, the statue is a fake, especially as it collapses on him at the end of ‘Part One’.
I also enjoyed Colin Baker’s interaction with Terry Molloy as Davros, especially after having worked with him in ‘Attack of the Cybermen’. I liked the Doctor’s lines to Peri at the story’s end when he states Orcini didn’t die for nothing, as he managed to destroy Davros’ Daleks on the planet Necros. 🙂
Nicola Bryant is lovely as Peri in this ‘Doctor Who’ story. Like Colin Baker though, she gets less screen-time in ‘Part One’ compared to ‘Part Two’. She also seems very underused, despite getting a chance to meet the DJ and joining him when they defended his studio against the Daleks coming for her.
I quite like her scenes with the DJ in ‘Revelation’. This especially connects to her feelings of homesickness and being reminded of Earth. This would be touched upon in a ‘Doctor Who’ story like ‘The Reaping’ where she returns home to her family in Baltimore as well as ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’.
I also liked it when Peri reflected on how the Ken Barker mutant forgave her after she seemed to kill him with a branch off a tree to save the Doctor. It emphasises her compassion in that scene as well as her wondering why the mutant was ‘so nice about it’ before the Doctor tells her she had ‘no choice’.
I found it amusing and cringy when Peri was being attended to by Jobel who fancied her in this. I’m glad she was able to get away from him once inside the DJ’s studio. At least she was polite about it before he left. 😀 As I said before, Hyacinth Bucket would disapprove and ‘Sheridan would be appalled’. 🙂
It’s also good to see Peri in warmer clothes compared to the skimpy outfits she wore in the first four stories of Season 22. Eric Saward was very considerate of Nicola Bryant and thankfully he wrote in the script that she wore blue mourning clothes in order to cope with freezing cold snowy weather. 🙂
It’s interesting how she didn’t recognise a Dalek and called it ‘some sort of machinery’ in ‘Part One’. I know this is nitpicky, but didn’t she know about Daleks and their time corridors in ‘Timelash’? Maybe Eric Saward forgot that part when he script-edited that story before he began working on ‘Revelation’. 😐
The set designs for this Dalek adventure are very well-built. This includes Davros’ laboratory and lair underneath Tranquil Repose as well as the catacombs. There’s also the reception area, the Chapel of Rest and the preparation room of Tranquil Repose; Kara’s office in her HQ, and the DJ’s radio studio.
The story’s lighting is also atmospheric and very effective throughout. This is especially when Natasha and Grigory are journeying into the gloomy corridors before they hide from Daleks as well as well as venturing into the catacombs before they find the Stengos-Dalek in the incubation chamber. 🙂
‘Revelation’s music is composed by Roger Limb. I like Roger Limb’s musical score for ‘Revelation’. He seems to be a better music composer under Graeme Harper’s direction, compared to when he started composing music for ‘The Keeper of Traken’ and when he was working for other directors. 🙂
The incidental music provides an eerie, unsettling atmosphere throughout the story that works very well. I enjoyed the cues that came up once and a while, since they’re easily recognisable. This is the case when hearing the story’s isolated music audio option on DVD/Blu-ray and a suite of it on a CD. 🙂
On a sidenote, I found it funny in the ‘Behind the Sofa’ item when Davros said, “You have not heard the last of me. I shall return!” and the Doctor said, “And I shall be waiting for you” before Sylvester McCoy went, “No, you won’t. It’s me, Colin, sorry.” Just watching that moment on Blu-ray is magical.
‘Revelation’ ends with the Doctor offering to take Peri somewhere ‘truly tranquil, peaceful, restful’ before Peri suggests “Can’t we go somewhere fun?” With that said, he eventually says, “Alright! I’ll take you to–” The end credits and the theme music cut out what Colin Baker was going to say next. 😦
The next ‘Doctor Who’ story would have been ‘The Nightmare Fair’, which takes place in Blackpool where the Doctor suggests they’d go next. Sadly, this didn’t happen, as the original Season 23 of ‘Doctor Who’ was cancelled. Fortunately, ‘The Nightmare Fair’ can be heard as a story in audio form.
The original DVD special features were as follows. There was the making-of documentary called ‘Revelation Exhumed’, featuring behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews. There were some behind-the-scenes highlights featuring an optional audio commentary with director Graeme Harper and Terry Molloy. There was an info-text commentary option to enjoy, a CGI effects option of the story to enjoy, deleted scenes of the story, BBC continuity announcements of the story, and a photo gallery of the story. There were audio options, including a mono sound audio mix option for the story; a 5.1 surround sound audio mix option for the story; an audio commentary with Nicola Bryant, Terry Molloy, director Graeme Harper and writer Eric Saward; and an isolated music option by Roger Limb to enjoy. There was also an Easter Egg to look out for on the DVD via the main menu, which happened to be some of the story’s cast members talking for the 5.1 surround sound audio mix option for the story, I believe.
On Disc 8 of the ‘Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 22’ Blu-ray, the ‘Revelation Exhumed’ making-of documentary, the behind-the-scenes highlights with optional audio commentary, the story’s deleted scenes, the mono sound audio mix option, the 5.1 surround sound audio mix option, the DVD audio commentary, the isolated music option, and the cast members talking DVD Easter Egg can be found on there. The info-text commentary option, the CGI effects option and the photo gallery have been updated for 2022 on the Blu-ray. The BBC continuity announcements of the story have been updated into the BBC trailers and continuity announcements of the story on Blu-ray.
The new special features on Blu-ray include the extended version of ‘Part One’ of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ and the ‘Behind the Sofa’ feature on ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ with Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri) and Terry Molloy (Davros) as well as Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and Janet Fielding (Tegan) as well as Sylvester McCoy (The Seventh Doctor) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe). There’s the ‘Directing Who: Then and Now’ interview with director Graeme Harper (taken from ‘The Caves of Androzani’ 2-disc Special Edition DVD), ‘The Eternal Mystery’ Season 22 Blu-ray trailer, the amusing ‘Lenny Henry Show’ comedy sketch featuring Lenny Henry as the Doctor (taken from the ‘Mindwarp’ DVD disc of ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’), and the ‘Children In Need’ item that was shown in 1985 (also taken from the ‘Mindwarp’ DVD disc of ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’). There are three ‘Breakfast Time’ items. The first one is a preview of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ and an interview with Eleanor Brom. The second one is a ‘Doctor Who’ exhibitions feature. And the third one is an interview with producer John Nathan-Turner. There’s a ‘Take Two’ item, a ‘Micro Live’ item with Colin Baker in his Sixth Doctor costume, and film rushes of ‘Revelation’. There’s also some studio footage of the story and the ‘Doctor In Distress’ music video (taken from ‘The Ultimate Foe’ DVD disc of ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’). There’s also a ‘coming soon’ trailer for ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ with Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Bonnie Langford (taken from the ‘Black Orchid’ and ‘The Brain of Morbius’ DVDs). There’s also a brand-new Blu-ray audio commentary for ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ with Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Terry Molloy and Alexei Sayle, moderated by Toby Hadoke.
On the PDF front, there are production documents and scripts for the story, including two rehearsal scripts, two camera scripts, two post-production scripts and one draft script. There are set design drawings and the ‘Radio Times Listings’ of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’.
‘Revelation of the Daleks’ is a fascinating and very intriguing Dalek story in the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series. It has a superb guest cast of characters and Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant deliver good performances as the Sixth Doctor and Peri, despite the amount of screentime they have in the story.
This is also one of the most standout TV adventures to feature Davros and the Daleks, especially when it’s pretty disturbing, violent and gruesome in places. I’m not sure if this will be for everyone, but it had an impact on me, especially with my DVD cover of the story having so many signatures on it. 🙂
As for Season 22 of ‘Doctor Who’ overall, I find it a decent season. There are issues I have regarding the violence featured in some of the stories and how the variety of stories were presented by producer John Nathan Turner and script editor Eric Saward, but I enjoyed the season in general here.
‘The Two Doctors’ is my absolute favourite story out of the season, especially with its sunny atmosphere and its delicious comedic flavour. ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ comes second in my list of favourite stories from Season 22, followed by ‘The Mark of the Rani’, as they’re compelling stories. 🙂
Whilst I have issues concerning how ‘Attack of the Cybermen’ and ‘Vengeance on Varos’ were presented as ‘Doctor Who’ stories, there’s merit to be found in them, regarding their messages and themes. Sadly, ‘Timelash’ is the weakest of the six stories in Season 22, due to its production values.
This is in spite of the fact that Glen McCoy had some decent ideas for ‘Timelash’ that were poorly executed and not helped by a hammy performance from Paul Darrow as Tekker. On the whole though, for Colin Baker’s first season of the Sixth Doctor, it comes across as a pretty decent effort. 🙂
Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant also shine throughout Season 22 playing the Sixth Doctor and Peri in Season 22, despite the argumentative interactions they had. Had the original Season 23 of ‘Doctor Who’ gone ahead, we might have been able to have seen more of Colin Baker’s Doctor developed. 🙂
It would have been nice to have seen Colin Baker’s Doctor be less abrasive and more likeable compared to how he started in ‘The Twin Dilemma’. Colin Baker’s Doctor almost seemed to be going in that direction at the end of ‘Revelation’, as he and Peri seemed to like each other more in the series.
Sadly, Colin Baker’s ‘Doctor Who’ era seemed to be curtailed. Once ‘Revelation’ was finished, the show would be rested for 18 months before it returned triumphantly in September 1986. Colin would do another season of ‘Doctor Who’ in 1986, but this was the start of his era going downhill. 😦
It’s a shame that this was the case, as Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant are delightful to watch as the Sixth Doctor and Peri. It’s also a shame that the relationship between producer John Nathan-Turner and script editor Eric Saward started to deteriorate when they got onto working on the new Season 23.
Thankfully, ‘Doctor Who’ fans wouldn’t be without the show during the 18-month hiatus between Seasons 22 and Season 23, as Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant took part in the ‘Slipback’ radio drama, which was shown from July to August 1986. Now, that is a good thing (whether you like it or not 😀 ).
I’m pleased I’ve been able to revisit Season 22 of ‘Doctor Who’ in its glory in its Blu-ray box set. It’s also been nice to enjoy the special features, including the ‘Behind the Sofa’ items. Season 22 is undeniably a flawed ‘Doctor Who’ season, but I enjoyed the stories it was trying to tell throughout it.
With Season 22 over and the show put on an 18-month hiatus from 1985 to 1986, it was a matter of time, as the ‘Doctor Who’ fans wondered how the show would return. What would happen to the Sixth Doctor and Peri once they made their return to TV screens and have more exciting adventures?
In the end, ‘Doctor Who’ returned in September 1986, only to find itself in an epic 14-part story in the form of Season 23. Things also wouldn’t be the same when the Sixth Doctor and Peri returned. For the Doctor and the ‘Doctor Who’ TV show would be on trial for their lives…in more ways than one!
As of September 2022, I’ve had the Blu-ray booklet of Season 22 of ‘Doctor Who’ signed by Colin Baker at the ‘Collectormania 27 – Film & Comic Con Birmingham’ in September 2022.
‘Revelation of the Daleks’ rating – 8/10
‘DOCTOR WHO – REVELATION OF THE DALEKS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Sixth Doctor Dalek Story with Davros and New Series Dalek Voices
Beware the hands that heal!
After enjoying the novelization/audiobook of ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ by Eric Saward, I was keen to get onto reading and hearing the novelization/audibook of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ by Eric Saward. There’s no doubt in my mind that Eric Saward is very fond of this Dalek story when he novelized it. 🙂
‘Revelation of the Daleks’ was the season finale to Season 22 of ‘Doctor Who’ with Colin Baker. It would have been a fitting story for Eric Saward to go out on as script editor. Sadly, that wasn’t the case and ‘Revelation’ was one of two stories Eric Saward didn’t get to novelize in his time as script editor.
Thankfully, decades after his TV story was transmitted in 1985, Eric Saward was given the chance to novelize this ‘Doctor Who’ story alongside ‘Resurrection’ for BBC Books. Like ‘Resurrection’, Eric novelized ‘Revelation’ as a Target novelization like he’d done for previous ‘Doctor Who’ stories he wrote beforehand.
It’s interesting to talk about ‘Revelation’, as it’s a ‘Doctor Who’ story Eric didn’t have issues with when writing it for TV. He considers both this and ‘Earthshock’ as his finest works for the show. So in terms of novelizing it for BBC Books, he didn’t really change much to the story as with ‘Resurrection’.
There are a few notable differences in the book compared to the TV story, including the inclusion of a new character to the story as well as notable shifting of dialogue to other characters, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Otherwise, this is a pretty straight-forward novelization of a TV story that Eric wrote. 🙂
Eric is clearly very fond of this story in terms of writing the supporting characters he created. He still does well with writing for the Sixth Doctor and Peri, especially in book form, but for the most part, characters like Jobel, Tasambeker, Takis, Lilt, Orcini, Bostock and Davros get to stand out more and pretty well.
The story is divided into 9 chapters compared to ‘Resurrection’ which had 11 chapters and a coda. I purchased the book in hardback form from Waterstones in Cardiff. I also purchased the audiobook of ‘Revelation’ as a download from Audible. It was nice to read the book with the audio in the background. 🙂
Once again, Terry Molloy reads the novelization in audiobook form like he did for ‘Resurrection’. Nicholas Briggs also provdes the Dalek voices for the ‘Revelation’ audiobook as well. I found Nick Briggs was voicing more Daleks for ‘Revelation’ compared to ‘Resurrection’ with pretty new series-like tones. 😀
Terry Molloy clearly gets into the characters of ‘Revelation’. I could visualise the characters with the voices emulated by Terry, based on the performances of the actors who played them. It was easy to visualise Clive Swift’s Jobel voiced by Terry Molloy in the audiobook as well as William Gaunt’s Oricini. 🙂
In terms of the differences between the book and the TV story, like I said, there’s not many plot differences. Certain new scenes are included in the book. This is especially at the beginning where the Doctor and Peri arrive on Necros via TARDIS and they’re still inside in the TARDIS, preparing to go out in the snow.
Peri searches for something to wear before ending up with the blue overcoat. The Doctor also cooks a nut roast for him and Peri to eat for breakfast. The nut roast aspect is taken from the Doctor’s change to having a vegetarian diet, as he said he and Peri would have that following ‘The Two Doctors’.
I’m surprised the Doctor cooks a nut roast for him and Peri though. Doesn’t he have the robot chef Ooba-Doa, as established in the ‘Resurrection’ novelization, to cook for him and Peri? He even makes a reference to Ooba-Doa in the book? How come it’s still not Hargreaves from ‘Aquitaine’? 😀
Eric also specifies it’s a Wednesday morning in the TARDIS and that the ‘old girl’ is on Necros for an hour before the Doctor and Peri exit. I don’t think time matters inside the TARDIS. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Wednesday or a Thursday, and it might be a second for the Doctor and Peri inside the TARDIS.
Peri is also described as having a New York accent in the ‘Revelation’ book. But…how can that be if Peri is said to have come from Baltimore according to ‘The Reaping’. Unless of course she’s a New York girl who happens to live in Baltimore… Why am I over-thinking this issue? I really must stop doing that! 😀
Apparently the characters in ‘Revelation’ are given full names – except for Orcini and Bostock. That’s mean. 😀 Jobel’s first name is Joshua, Tasambeker’s surname is Brown, Takis’ first name is Lancelot, Lilt’s first name is August, Vogel’s first name is Justin and so on. A very intriguing aspect, that.
The food production plant that Kara owns on Necros happens to be called Kara’s Kitchen. I can’t help but think of Hell’s Kitchen in New York when hearing that name. I wonder if the Necros equivalent of Daredevil would be living in that area. It’d probably make the story even more intriguing. 😀
Apparently, when Peri first glimpses a Dalek, she remarks that it looks ‘cute’. This wasn’t the case in the TV story, as she wasn’t sure what it was and described it as ‘some sort of machinery’. Though, didn’t she know about Daleks and time corridors according to ‘Timelash’? Am I over-thinking this again?! 😀
Going back to characters and names, the DJ happens to be called Derek Johnson. He has a backstory where he began his career attending the Lowwrie Institute of Technology in the star system Sygma 18. This was before he got kidnapped by pirates, who didn’t like his music before he came to Necros.
It’s a shame really that the people of Necros aren’t good judges of Derek Johnson’s DJ antics, since he’s still annoying in the novelization as he was in the TV story. To be fair though, Terry Molloy does a good voice of the DJ, based on Alexei Sayle’s performance from the American to the Liverpool accents.
It was also interesting to hear Takis and Lilt’s backstories. Apparently, they met serving in the Peninsular Wars on the planet JJ33 and entertained troops by impersonating Laurel & Hardy. (muses) Laurel & Hardy? (Pause; amused) Okay, that was a cute tongue-and-cheek reference that. I liked that.
I enjoyed the story of Jobel and Tasambeker when reading the novelization. Jobel, aged 51 and born in the star system Sifton 31, had a father who was purveyor of meats and a mother who was a stage make-up artist. As for Tasambeker, she’s been working at Tranquil Repose for at least a few months.
It was quite moving and amusing to read when Tasambeker tries to win the affections of Jobel whilst working at Tranquil Repose and failing miserably. Even when Tasambeker stabs Jobel with a syringe and kills him, he’s still vain and doesn’t regret mistreating her, considering himself to be ‘perfection’.
A thing made clearer in the book compared to the TV story is the reason why the Daleks exterminated Tasambeker after she had just killed Jobel. Apparently, Davros had been watching her on the monitor screens, seeing her betrayal to him once she tried to persuade Jobel to leave with her.
The backstories of Oricini and Bostock are also given in the book. It’s revealed that Orcini invited Bostock to join him in the Grand Order of Oberon, after seeing his bravery at the Battle of Vavetron. There is depth to Oricni and the Grand Order of Oberon, which I’d like to see explored more in another story.
Apparently, Oricini’s medal in the story is inscribed with Terileptil writing. Whether the Terileptils and the Grand Order of Oberon have had a history together once in their times of war, I don’t know. I hope Eric Saward gets a chance to share more of his world-building in future ‘Doctor Who’ stories in books.
Another reference to the Terileptils and ‘The Visitation’ is that Lilt served a five-year prison sentence once in the Tinclavic mines on Raga. I wonder if more Terileptil references are given in other ‘Doctor Who’ novelizations by Eric Saward, like ‘The Twin Dilemma’, ‘Attack of the Cybermen’ and ‘Slipback’.
Like ‘Resurrection’, a cat gets introduced in the ‘Revelation’ story via the novelization, as it lives on Tranquil Repose. The cat’s name is called Lord Plunkett. I wonder what Eric Saward’s obsession with cats is in these two Dalek novelizations he wrote. 😀 The cat doesn’t talk though. That just felt so disappointing for me! 😀
As I said, a new character gets introduced in the story called Alex Sagovski. Apparently, he’s one of Davros’ victims for experimentation. He gets freed and he helps the Doctor to sabotage the hydro-stabilisation systems for Davros’ human gold-sphere white Daleks. He’s even there at the story’s end.
Alex Sagovski gets to take over the DJ’s position on Necros to incite a rebellion that was first started by the previous DJ – Derek Johnson himself. Sagovski manages to protect himself from the Daleks, using the former DJ’s ‘rock n’ roll’ machine! Quite surprising! I was expecting him to die at the story’s end.
When the grey Daleks, including the Alpha and Beta Daleks from ‘Resurrection’, come to capture Davros on Necros, human Dalek troopers are accompanying them. I don’t think this was in the TV story. I wonder if the Dalek human troopers were meant in the TV story or if they had been in it and I missed them completely.
In the book, Grigory and Natasha start an electrical fire to disrupt Tranquil Repose’s system before they’re attacked by three Daleks instead of being killed by one Dalek as in the TV story. Natasha commits suicide with her last shot, after she destroys the Daleks in the story. She was 25 when she died. 😦
Davros almost died waiting for months after escaping the prison station in ‘Resurrection’ before he was picked up by a transporter. I’m not sure if that was the case according to the Big Finish audio drama ‘Davros’, but we’ll assume Eric Saward hasn’t heard that story. Davros was on Necros for over a year.
There’s an extra scene in the book where Kara is on Tranquil Repose, being escorted by Daleks. Before that, there was an intriguing difference in the book and the audiobook. Vogel is stated to give a “I love you” look to Kara before he’s killed by the Daleks, whereas in the book by Eric Saward, it’s not the case. 😐
The book ends with the Doctor saying the final line to Peri, “I’ll take you to…” That line is left unfinished and it’s said in the book that it would remain a secret for quite some time. Although it’s no secret, as we know the Doctor and Peri went to Blackpool in ‘The Nightmare Fair’ next in book and in audio. 🙂
The ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ novelization/audiobook is very good. Eric Saward clearly enjoyed novelizing this ‘Doctor Who’ story, as it’s one of his favourite works. He gets into developing the supporting characters further, and it’s nice to read and hear that, especially with Terry Molloy reading the story.
Nicholas Briggs is also superb in supplying the Dalek voices for this story in the audiobook. I’ve enjoyed reading and hearing Eric Saward’s novelizations for ‘Resurrection’ and ‘Revelation’ very much. They’re not as chunky as the Douglas Adams stories, but I’m really happy Eric had the chance to novelize them.
‘Doctor Who – Revelation of the Daleks’ rating – 8/10
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This story terrified me upon transmission, there was something very hammer horror about the plot of this adventure with Davros re-animating dead bodies turning them into Daleks, the lightings moody & atmospheric, Davros is possibly the scariest he’s ever been & the scene Natasha is begged by her father to kill him as he becomes a Dalek literally traumatised me that rewatching it on DVD i still got nervous when i knew that scene was coming up.
This is Doctor Who at it’s scariest & i love it, great memorable characters, strong storyline, Colin Baker & Nicola Bryant are brilliant in fact the only negative i have is Alexei Sayle as the DJ if i was dead I’d want rest in peace not have this pillock waffling on in my ear 24/7, i think at the time Alexei was part of the “alternative comedians” & J-N-T thought be good idea cast him in Doctor Who.
The glitch irks me on the DVD, you can only watch the version with CGI effects uninterrupted, if you want watch the original version too bad you can’t as it glitches & i can’t believe 2Entertain never remedied this glitch.
Fantastic review Tim, glad you rate this excellent adventure so highly.
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Yeah that scene where Natasha had to kill her father when asked to was pretty gut-wrenching to watch. I agree, Davros is at his most scariest but also his most interesting when differing layers of his characters get unravelled in this story. I can imagine you being terrified from watching this Dalek adventure with Colin Baker. It must’ve been a pretty exciting time watching this adventure on TV.
Glad you agree with me that the DJ got on your nerves. I couldn’t understand why he needed to be there apart from delivering messages to people in stasis on Necros. He came across as annoying and I can imagine people in their sleeping beds getting pretty annoyed by his voice. He didn’t seem to serve any purpose in the story, apart from adding some character moments for Peri and saving her life before getting exterminated by the Daleks, to which my best mate Stephen was pleased about.
I’m hoping when Colin Baker’s first season of ‘Doctor Who’ gets re-released in its entirety on Blu-ray, that glitch with the CGI option extra for the story will be recitified. I can’t believe they haven’t remedied it either, as I have to switch on the CGI option or switch it off again to get to enjoy watching the story. It was the second time I watched this story that I discovered it.
Very pleased you enjoyed my review, Simon. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it. I do rate the story highly for its interesting characters. It’s a shame Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant didn’t get enough screen time in ‘Part One’ as they did in ‘Part Two’. But I’m glad Colin did get to face the Daleks and Davros at some point in his TV era that was curtailed in 1985 to 86.
I remember this scaring me so much my nan told me to stop watching it, she never understood why I enjoyed being scared by Doctor Who or horror in general I think it’s when your absorbed in something your taken away from the realities of the real world into something scary & adventurous.
Imagine watching this in the dark on a black & white tv it made it all the more spooky & atmospheric, if I had a time machine I’d take you back to 1985 & you could watch Doctor Who with a 10 yr old me & eat plenty of chip butties.
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Well at least your nan was concerned about you when you were being scared by ‘Doctor Who’. And I suppose you needed that in order to reassure you that you were enjoying ‘Doctor Who’ and that you had to let her know you were enjoying it. It’s good she was there to look out for you when you watching the series back in the 80s.
I wish I could travel back in time to watch these ‘Doctor Who’ stories back when they were originally transmitted in the 1980s. I’m sure they will have been very exciting to watch. I’m also sure I will enjoy eating chip butties so long as there’s a jumbo sausage and a coke to go with it. 😀
Brilliant review,Tim you’ve tempted me to part with my Lizzie Windsors & purchase this CD, i still think this Dalek story one of the darkest most gruesome stories the shows ever done & looking forward to hear the additional content not featured in the transmission episodes.
I always remember the scene when Natasha meets the Dalek who is actually her dad & he slowly begins turning into a Dalek , i literary freaked out watching that scene when i was 10 way back in 1985, oh those were the days Tim.
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Glad I persuaded you to purchase the ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ audiobook on CD with my review. I hope you’ll enjoy it. It should be good with all the additional stuff added into the story by Eric Saward.
The scenes with Natasha interacting with the Doctor are very good, as there’s more unveiling about her father in the scenes they have together. I wish those scenes were included in the TV story. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the scene where Natasha’s father is a Dalek in book/audio form.
I’m currently reading/hearing the novelization/audiobook of ‘Survival’, read by Lisa Bowerman. Greatly enjoying it.
“It seems I’ve arrived in my own future… And I’m dead.”
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mark “Revelation of the Daleks”. The sunset point in Doctor Who’s hiatus period. The Sixth Doctor would continue in adventures largely confined to the page, at the time, but for the programme, this would’ve been it. This was the moment that it was cut down mid-stride. As such, Eric Saward’s final credited story acts as a strange requiem and features a number of finalities for the series.
For Doctor Who’s original unbroken 26-year run, this is the last serial directed by Graham Harper, the last to employ the 45-minute format, the last to have location footage shot on film, the last two-parter (by a technicality), in the show’s last ‘full’ season (internationally released as 26 episodes at 25-minutes, apiece), and so on. The series concluded officially in 1989, but “Revelation” brokers its own fair share of denouncements. It could have been the end forever.
The series survived. Thanks to a fierce campaign that brought it back for four abbreviated years and even featured a new incarnation of the Doctor. No small feat. And neither is “Revelation of the Daleks”. By 1985, Doctor Who hasn’t been this overtly mature in quite some time. The events on Necros—beautifully realised by Graham Harper’s inimitable direction—speak frankly on the subject of death, transformation, and remembrance.
Season 22 gets a lot of flak for its structure (and more of Doctor and Peri is the only thing missing from this tale), but this is one of the pinnacle moments in the series where the guest characters breathe as much life as our leads. Everyone here has character arcs and an extraordinary amount of detail is delivered to each performance from Kara to Tasembeker. It’s all part of that mid-80s wave of memorable background characters and another final hurrah, of sorts, to this style of writing until the Cartmel era settles in.
I love the characters of Orcini and Bostock. They’re another shadow-pair of the Doctor and Peri similar to Oscar and Anita in “The Two Doctors”. Orcini, in many ways, represents an old-school noble hero that struggles to persist in this new Sawardian landscape. He’s every bit the so-called relic that the Doctor can be and yet his death feels like a moment of, well… revelation. For the Doctor, it’s a keen reminder of Lytton and recontextualises his sacrifice in “Attack of the Cybermen”. Reminding him that although people die, it’s what they die *for* that counts just as much.
Terry Molloy shines as Davros, giving us one of the cruellest and sadistic interpretations of the character to that point. Saward gives him a sense of gallows humour, a whispering callousness to a one-sided infatuation, and suddenly the genetic creator of the Daleks transforms into a complex and genuinely frightening figure. One that would echo for decades, returning for “Davros”, “The Juggernauts”, et al. In many ways, this is the beginning of a definitive villain for the Sixth Doctor’s audio era. His dark shadow. You can see that chemistry crackle between Baker and Molloy even here.
And finally, the tone… I can definitely see the comparisons to Robert Holmes. There’s a bountifully baroque and plummy quality to the characterisations. The homage to the structure of “The Caves of Androzani” is quite prominent. However, I want to also draw attention to one of Holmes’s close friends and a writer who has sadly left us recently—Chris Boucher.
Had you told me that Boucher had written this script post-“Blake”, post-Gauda Prime, post-Blake’s 7, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. It contains all the acerbic wit, cold logic, unsympathetic systemic failure, and combative charm of one of his scripts. Saward had come a long way since the days of “The Visitation” and this—like his debut—is one of his best.
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Thanks for your thoughts on ‘Revelation of the Daleks’. I enjoyed reading what you thought of the story and the characters and how enjoyed them. Good of you to compare Eric Saward’s writing from ‘The Visitation’ to ‘Revelation’. Also good of you to pay tribute to Chris Boucher. I enjoyed his writing in the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series and how he handled script-editing ‘Blake’s 7’ and how he showran ‘Star Cops’.
Yes, it’s always interesting comparing where a writer started to where they ended up. From mechanised Death in arcadian England to a funeral home in the snowswept tundra. Like spring and winter. Holmesian Lite to a story influenced by working with the man himself.
Chris Boucher has been, I think in quite a prominent way, one of the many strong influences on how I write. Especially with his work on “Blake’s 7” where he practiced a lot of character drama. His time on ‘Bergerac’ also gave us “Fires in the Fall” (continuing his penchant for supernatural crime stories) and “The Memory Man” (which pushed the show’s envelope in a completely different way). Both tap into his strengths and, although quite dark, are well worth checking out (the latter is directed by Graham Harper, post-Who/pre-Star Cops).
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I’ve still yet to check out ‘Corpse Maker’ by Chris Boucher, which I have the 2014 reprint and the audiobook read by David Collings for. Hopefully I’ll check it out soon, perhaps for the 60th anniversary celebrations.