‘Revelation of the Daleks’ (TV)

‘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

I’ve had my DVD cover of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ signed by many people!

This is incredible as I’ve had more signatures on my DVD cover for this story than any other. The people who have signed it are as follows. They are Colin Baker at the ‘Collectormania Glasgow 2012’ event in August 2012; Terry Molloy and director Graeme Harper at ‘Regenerations 2010’ in Swansea, September 2010; Colin Spaull at ‘Regenerations 2013’ in Swansea, September 2013; Trevor Cooper, John Ogwen and Bridget Lynch Blosse at ‘Pandorica 2014’ in Bristol, September 2014 and composer Roger Limb at the ‘celebrate 50 – The Peter Davison Years’ event in Chiswick, London in April 2013.

‘Revelation of the Daleks’ is a pretty disturbing and thought-provoking tale by Eric Saward and is very well-directed by Graeme Harper. It’s a 2 x 45 minute-episode adventure starring Colin Baker as the Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri. But it’s not the typical, exciting Dalek adventure that you may expect.

The story is pretty gruesome in places as it is balanced by moments of black comedy throughout. I found this a compelling story to watch and it’s interesting how this was the season finale to Colin Baker’s first season as the Doctor (Season 22). Afterwards, ‘Doctor Who’ went on an 18 month hiatus.

By the way, the 2005 DVD release of ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ I purchased does suffer a fault. It goes into a loop within ten minutes of the first episode. I solved the problem by switching the CGI effects option on and off to avoid the story getting into loops. Maybe this will get rectified in a Blu-ray release.

In the story, the Sixth Doctor and Peri visit the planet Necros. It’s a planet dedicated to funerals and perpetual stasis. The Doctor hopes to see an old friend. But as they approach, a sinister conspiracy takes place. Necros is run by the Great Healer who turns out to be Davros. He is creating human Daleks.

Eric Saward wrote a Dalek adventure previously in ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ with Peter Davison’s Doctor. But Eric felt he didn’t do the Daleks justice in that story and wanted to have another go. Here he approaches the Daleks and Davros from a different angle, reinforcing the theme of death into the tale.

This story does feel very character-driven as it features a superb guest cast. However the story does tend focus more on the supporting characters rather than on the Doctor and Peri who make a long trek to Tranquil Repose. I would’ve liked it if the Doctor and Peri got involved more in the tale’s action.

The story features Clive Swift as Jobel and Jenny Tomasin as Tasambeker. Clive Swift is well-known for playing Richard Bucket (‘Bouquet’) in ‘Keeping Up Appearances’. Here Clive plays a man who thinks highly of himself as the chief embalmer on Necros. Tasambeker has feelings for Jobel as he rejects her.

There’s also Colin Spaull as Lilt and Trevor Cooper as Takis. Lilt and Takis are a bit like a Laurel & Hardy double act. They both work for Jobel and they tease Tasambeker on her feelings towards him. They’re also quite ruthless when it comes to interrogating ‘body snatchers’. But are they the bad guys?

There’s Eleanor Brom as Kara and Hugh Walters as Vogel. Kara runs the food distribution company on the Great Healer/Davros’ behalf with Vogel helping her as his secretary. Both are elegantly dressed and posh-sounding. They also hire assassins to kill Davros. Are Kara and Vogel romantically connected?

There’s also William Gaunt as Orcini and John Ogwen as Bostock. Oricini is a knight of the Grand Order of Oberon. Both he and Bostock have been assigned by Kara and Vogel to assassinate Davros. Oricini is a man of honour who has lost his leg and he confides in Bostock who is a scruffy yet charming person.

There’s Bridget Lynch Blosse as Natasha and Stephen Flynn as Grigory. Both Natasha and Grigory are body snatchers as they are trying to find Natasha’s father, Arthur Stengos. Both don’t get on with each other and they discover Natasha’s father in the catacombs as he’s been converted into a human Dalek.

There’s also Alexei Sayle as the DJ, who I pretty found annoying. Watching his scenes make me cringe, as I didn’t really understand why he was there. He didn’t add anything to story and he slowed it up. My best mate Stephen couldn’t stand him either and was pleased when the Daleks exterminated him.

Terry Molloy returns as Davros. He previously met the Sixth Doctor in the audio story, ‘Davros’. In this, Davros makes himself the Great Healer on Necros. Terry is the best actor to play Davros following Michael Wisher. More facets are explored on Davros’ character. He does not rant much as he used to.

I did feel that the Daleks were overshadowed by the huge cast of characters and weren’t so manipulative. There are two types of Daleks. One are the white Daleks created by Davros and the second are the black Daleks from Skaro. The idea of Davros converting humans into Daleks is terrifying.

I also felt that the story lacked the Sixth Doctor and Peri. It’s a shame since this is the only TV story where Colin’s Doctor faces the Daleks. I enjoyed Colin Baker’s Doctor despite his minimal screen time. I also enjoyed Colin’s scenes with Peri when they walk together as they head towards Tranquil Repose.

Nicola Bryant as Peri is lovely, but she also gets little screen time and is pretty underused in this story. But I did like her scenes with the DJ, since it connected to her feeling homesick and being reminded of Earth. I also found it both amusing and cringing when Peri was attended to by Jobel as he fancied her.

The director Graeme Harper delivers an extraordinarily intriguing Dalek adventure. I really like the stories Graeme directs since he delivers so many visuals and knows how to tell a compelling action-packed story. I liked how Graeme provides input for the supporting characters as the story progresses.

The sets of this Dalek adventure are pretty well-built. These include Davros’ laboratory and lair as well as the catacombs; the funeral parlours; Kara’s office; etc. The lighting for this story is also pretty effective, especially when Natasha and Grigory journey into those gloomy corridors of the catacombs.

The story also has the Doctor and Peri walking in the snow on Necros. It was really snowing that day when they filmed the exterior sequences which caused problems. But the snow adds something extra to the tale and it works very well, especially when the Doctor and Peri are wearing blue-clad garments.

The story’s music is composed by Roger Limb. The music provides an eerie, unsettling atmosphere to this story that works well. I enjoyed the cues that come up once and a while and are easily recognisable. The 50th Anniversary Collection CD of ‘Doctor Who’ contained a suite of the tale’s music.

The DVD special features are as follows. There’s the making-of documentary called ‘Revelation Exhumed’ with behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews; there is a CGI effects option to watch; and behind-the-scenes footage with an optional commentary by Graeme Harper and Terry Molloy.

There are also some deleted scenes; continuity announcements of the story; a photo gallery of the story and an info-text commentary option to watch. There’s an Easter Egg to look out for on this DVD.

There are some audio options on the DVD to enjoy. They include a commentary with Nicola Bryant; Terry Molloy; director Graeme Harper and writer Eric Saward. There’s also an isolated music score option by Roger Limb and a 5.1 surround sound audio mix option.

‘Revelation of the Daleks’ is a fascinating and intriguing Dalek adventure. It features a superb guest cast and Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant deliver good performances as the Doctor and Peri. It is one of the most standout Dalek TV tales with Davros that is pretty disturbing, violent and gruesome in places.

The story ends with the Doctor offering to take Peri somewhere ‘fun’. “Alright!” he says to Peri. “I’ll take you to…” The end credits and music cut what Colin Baker was going to say next as they were about to go to Blackpool next time. Sadly this was never shown on TV. It was depicted in an audio drama though.

‘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/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’ve 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 he wrote the TV story in 1985, Eric Saward is given the chance to novelize this ‘Doctor Who’ story alongside ‘Resurrection’ for BBC Books. Like ‘Resurrection’, Eric novelizes ‘Revelation’ as a Target novelization like he’d done for previous ‘Doctor Who’ tales he wrote before.

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 doesn’t really change a lot to the tale 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 tale that Eric wrote. 🙂

Eric is also very fond of this story for writing the supporting characters he created in this book. He still does well in 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 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 audio in 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 too. I found Nick Briggs 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 voices emulated by Terry based on the performances by the actors who played them. It was easy to see Clive Swift’s Jobel voiced by Terry Molloy in this as well as William Gaunt’s Oricini in the audio. 🙂

In terms of the differences in the book from 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 via TARDIS on Necros and are still inside, preparing to go out in the snow.

Peri searches for something to wear before ending up with the blue overcoat. The Doctor also cooks nut roast for him and Peri to eat for breakfast. The nut roast aspect is taken from the Doctor’s change to have a vegetarian diet as he said he and Peri would have that following ‘The Two Doctors’.

I’m surprised the Doctor cooks nut roast for him and Peri though. Doesn’t he have that 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’s 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 does 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. Very intriguing aspect that.

The food production planet 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 live 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 Liverpool accents.

It was also interesting to hear Takis and Lilt’s back-stories. Apparently they met serving in the Peninsular Wars on 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 killed Jobel. Apparently, Davros had been watching her on the monitor screens, seeing her betrayal to him once she’d tried to persuade Jobel to leave with her.

The backstory to Oricini and Bostock is also given in the book. It is revealed Orcini invited Bostock to join him in the Grand Order of Oberon after seeing his bravery at the Battle of Vavetron. There’s 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 times of war, I don’t know! I hope Eric Saward gets a chance to share more of his world-making 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 novelization that lives on Tranquil Repose. The cat’s name is called Lord Plunkett. I wonder what Eric Saward’s obsession with cats is about in these two Dalek novelizations. 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. He’s one of Davros’ victims for experimentation apparently, who gets freed and helps the Doctor to sabotage the hydro-stabilisation systems for Davros’ human gold-sphere white Daleks. He’s even there at the tale’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 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 come to capture Davros on Necros, including the Alpha and Beta Daleks from ‘Resurrection’, human Dalek troopers accompany 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 Dalek in the tale. She was 25 as 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 ‘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 book and audio. Vogel is stated to give a ‘I love you’ look to Kara before he’s killed by 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’s left unfinished and is 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 go to Blackpool in ‘The Nightmare Fair’ next in book and 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. It’s nice to read and hear that, especially with Terry Molloy reading it.

Nicholas Briggs is also superb in supplying the Dalek voices for this story in the audiobook. I’ve enjoyed reading/hearing Eric Saward’s novelizations for ‘Resurrection’ and ‘Revelation’ very much. They’re not 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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6 thoughts on “‘Revelation of the Daleks’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      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.

      Many thanks.

      Tim. 🙂

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  2. Timelord007

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      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. 😀

      Tim. 🙂

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  3. Timelord 007

    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.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      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.

      Tim. 🙂

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