21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
The writer of Resurrection of the Daleks, Eric Saward, stated that his story was the worst one in the programmes history. This is far from true. Resurrection boasts some excellent scenes, an engaging if somewhat convoluted storyline and good pace direction from Matthew Robinson. Broadcast as part of Peter Davison's final and best season, Resurrection never pauses for breath, and is a real contrast to other stories from this period such as Terminus and Four to Doomsday which seemed slow moving and padded out. This probably makes it more appealing to viewers today who want to see fast moving television. The dark and gritty adventure has an air of gloominess about it, from the opening scene in which a group of escaped prisoners from the far future, are ruthlessly murdered by Police officers, in the derelict docklands of 1980s London, to the final scene in which long serving companion Tegan unhappily works away from her life with The Doctor. The docklands of London are a central location for this story, prior to their redevelopment as luxury apartment blocks. Here they present an image of a decaying, haunted area of London, abandoned for nearly a century. An ideal location then for The Daleks to hide some canister's of a virus, which has infected their race. Meanwhile in the far future, The Daleks rescue their creator Davros from his prison on a space station, with the intention of getting him to develop an antidote to this virus. The Doctor and his companions, having been dragged in the Tardis to modern day London via the Daleks time corridor, come across the lone survivor of the earlier massacre Stein, but is he all he seems, and why are The Daleks so intent on capturing The Doctor.
In contrast to his previous story, Earthshock, here the writer and also the script editor, Eric Saward, does compact too many story threads into this serial. Certainly, a few elements could have been eliminated from his script. It also has quite few famous faces, such as Rodney Bewes as Stein, Rula Lenska as Styles, and Leslie Grantham as a dalek mercenary, cast just months before he achieved national fame as Den Watts in EastEnders. Mel Smith was the original choice for the role of Stein and maybe would have been better than Bewes, who is often remembered by fans for the bad delivery of his line, "I can't stand the confusion in my mind".
All in all this is highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2013
This was the third story I'd seen from Peter Davison's era of 'Doctor Who'!
'Resurrection of the Daleks' was truly a remarkable and enjoyable experience. I'm so glad that Peter managed to get his battle with the Daleks as the Doctor before departing the series.
I've had the DVD cover of 'Resurrection of the Daleks' signed by Mark Strickson (Turlough); Terry Molloy (Davros) and Brian Miller (one of the Dalek voices).
The story is by Eric Saward ('Doctor Who's script editor). It's a story that Eric's not entirely happy with, as he felt he didn't the Daleks justice. It's true there are too many ideas in this story to keep track of, but it certainly is a remarkable tale and doesn't bore all the way through.
The TARDIS gets caught in a time corridor following 'Frontios' and the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough find themselves dragged to Earth in London on the Shad, Thames in 1984. In the far future, a space station is under attack by Daleks who have come to rescue Davros to save them.
Davros is now played by Terry Molloy. This was the first time I saw Terry as Davros and I found his performance mesmerising. He's captured the essence of the original Davros (Michael Wisher) from 'Genesis of the Daleks' and has now played him in more stories for TV and audio.
I like it when Terry rants and raves as Davros. I loved that scene where the Doctor confronts Davros and is on the verge of killing him but is reluctant to do so. Davros taunts the Doctor in that moment. Davros being released from his frozen tomb is a thrilling moment to watch.
I enjoyed seeing the Daleks, though it would be fair to say they are slightly underused when Davros casts his shadow. The Dalek voices include Brian Miller (who previously appeared in 'Snakedance' and is the husband of Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)) and Royce Mills.
The Daleks are quite manic as they usually are. I love 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 doing a strange disco dance when he dies, which I can't take seriously.
This story contains a number of violent scenes. These include policemen shooting people in a street and space station crew members killed by gas disfiguring their faces which is gruesome.
The story guest stars Rodney Bewes (well-known for 'The Likely Lads') as Stein. He's a ragged character who's scared; afraid and has a stammer. I really like Stien who is the heart of this story. It was a shock when Stein turns against the Doctor and reveals he's a Dalek agent.
There's also Maurice Colbourne as Commander Lytton. Lytton is a mercenary working for the Daleks and leads his own army of human Dalek troopers. Lytton is a real tough guy, who's easily frustrated when working with the Daleks and saving Davros, but manages to keep his cool.
Other guest stars include Rula Lenska as Styles, the space station's chief medical officer; Jim Findley as Mercer; Leslie Grantham ('Dirty Den' of Eastenders) as Kiston and Del Henney as Colonel Archer.
The regular cast are great to watch. Peter Davison delivers a brilliant performance as the Doctor and does remarkably well facing the Daleks. I like it when he has scenes trying to break Stein's Dalek conditioning and when he's facing Davros for the first time and is about to kill him.
Janet Fielding is remarkable as Tegan and gets to have her own adventure and use her initiative. Tegan and Professor Laird realise that Colonel Archer and his men aren't what they seem and deceive them using a canister containing the Movellan virus to bluff their way out.
Mark Strickson as Turlough seems a little short changed. At first he's lurking about corridors avoiding Daleks on board their ship, but eventually meets up with Mercer, Styles and the others and witnesses them setting the self-destruct to blow up the space station.
One of my favourite moments is the Doctor's past lives and companions are shown on screen when plugged into the duplicate machine. Nyssa's featured in that montage of companions, which was a joy for me to see.
This story is where we say goodbye to Tegan. She left once before in 'Doctor Who'. Now she definitely leaves. I found Tegan's departure very moving; sad and upsetting, as she's had enough of all the death and destruction and she considers travelling with the Doctor not fun anymore.
Saying that, I didn't really like Tegan's departure as 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 worthwhile.
I still find Tegan's departure moving and found it very touching when she ran back to have one last chance before the TARDIS leaves. Tegan will meet the Doctor again. "Brave heart, Tegan!"
This story was 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 'Breakfast Time' interviews with Janet Fielding and producer John Nathan-Turner.
There are deleted scenes, a trailer for 'Part One'; a 5.1 sound mix; a music-only option, a photo gallery and an info-text commentary option. There's also a commentary with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Matthew Robinson; some Easter Eggs a 'TARDIS-Cam' CGI sequence.
This story was re-released in a brand-new 2-disc special edition DVD for the 'Revisitations 2' DVD box set. On both discs, there are two versions of the story. On Disc 1, there's the 2-part version originally transmitted in 1984 and on Disc 2, there's the 4-part version.
There are commentaries on both discs. On Disc 1, there's a commentary with Terry Molloy, Eric Saward and visual effects designer Peter Wragg, moderated by Nicholas Pegg. On Disc 2, there's the commentary with Peter, Janet and Matthew from the original DVD release.
There are new documentaries including 'Casting Far and Wide' with Toby Hadoke and 'Come In Number Five' focusing on the Fifth Doctor era and presented by David Tennant.
There's the 'Tomorrow Times - The Fifth Doctor', presented by Frazer Hines; 'The Last Dalek' - a behind-the-scenes look of `The Evil of the Daleks'; and there's a 'Walrus' short with a Dalek.
'Resurrection of the Daleks' is an enjoyable Dalek story. It's quite violent and gruesome in places, but is certainly a thrill to watch. It's one of the best of Peter Davison's era as it's an action-packed adventure and features a moving departure for Janet Fielding as Tegan.
The next story for the Doctor and Turlough is 'Lords of the Storm'.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This is what the 1980s turned Doctor Who into. All of a sudden, after all the puns and clowning around we have this story, in which pretty much everyone dies and a pervading sense of hope is hard to find. Yet isn't that what the Daleks are about?
There's a moment here when the Doctor reaches the overrun space station, picks up a weapon and uncomfortably announces his intentions to kill Davros. This is a fine moment, both in terms of acting on Davison's part but also in Doctor Who chronology. The Daleks could easily have slipped into self-parody after two decades as TV's biggest bad guys, yet this injection of nihilism and fatalism reaffirms them as the baddest of the bad.
In terms of production values, they only get slightly creaky on the space station, but never to the point where it shatters the illusion of reality. This is an absorbing story, written and acted by people who totally believe in what they're doing. Those who accuse the series of being TV's answer to a Christmas panto need only watch this particular story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Back from the frozen dead, Davros rises again to challenge the Doctor - and his own Dalek creations - in a tense, surprisingly violent story that has great intentions and mostly lives up to them. One of the best of all Dalek stories, this is a must-see. 5*
Eric Saward's `Resurrection of the Daleks' is my second favourite of all `Dalek' stories, after only the fabulous `Genesis of the Daleks'. I know that fan opinion is divided on this story and yes, there were many other fine `Dalek' stories and my apologies especially to `my' Doctor, Jon Pertwee - I did enjoy the three contests he fought with them, even if he famously didn't think much of Daleks!
But this story depicts the Daleks as they should be seen; it's not an easy or relaxing watch, it obviously wasn't meant to be. Free of any comedy, free too of the control of Davros, in `Resurrection' the Daleks are clever, manipulative, power hungry, totally evil and actually menacing.
The best way to buy this story is in the newly restored Special Edition version as part of the `Revisitations 2' box set, which will also get you the excellent Jon Pertwee comedy adventure `Carnival of Monsters' and the Patrick Troughton Ice Warrior story `The Seeds of Death'. This review is of the original single DVD release (2002). Whichever edition you watch, the story has a quite visceral impact and did for the Daleks what `Earthshock' did for the Cybermen - brought them back after a long absence with a huge impact and a traumatic ending.
The story outline is simple, but within that there is a complex and fast-moving plot. Davros is a prisoner, the Daleks need his help and he wants to take back control of his creations. Both sides want the Doctor, for his knowledge of the Daleks from across Time, for subterfuge and simply for revenge ... Shifting between the derelict riverside buildings of London, 1984, and a prison ship and Dalek ship in the far future, the Doctor and his companions Tegan and Turlough are pawns in the power struggle between Davros and his evil `offspring'.
Peter Davison plays this role perfectly, with that hint of uncertainty the Fifth Doctor often had that made us think it was just possible he might *not* win every time, but with a mostly-hidden side of quite ruthless determination already seen, for example, in `Earthshock'. (There's some telling dialogue at the end where the Doctor questions his own actions in this respect.) Although he is caught in the mesh of two evil plans, the Doctor manages to take control to at least save himself and his friends - can he also foil the schemes of the Daleks and Davros, or are there other forces at work?
`Resurrection' has an exceptionally large and famous cast, there are four lead characters beyond the Doctor and Davros (Terry Molloy, in an superb performance as the insane, evil genius), and many smaller but well cast and significant roles in a complex set of sub-plots, where some of the leads never meet but their actions unintentionally combine to (of course) defeat the Daleks' plan. Rula Lenska (Doctor Styles), Maurice Colbourne (excellent as the enigmatic Lytton) and Del Henney (Colonel Archer) all play their parts well as people caught up in the Dalek schemes for various reasons. Rodney Bewes' character of Stien has been criticised, but if he seems cast against type then that gives extra impact to a twist in his story here. Stien struggles with a stutter that hints at the mental turmoil within, which is clever acting; notice how his stutter vanishes when his internal doubts also vanish, although this is not necessarily a good sign ...
Matthew Robinson's direction gets great results from the atmospheric location filming around the disused, dilapidated warehouses that then lined the Thames by Tower Bridge. This blends almost seamlessly into the convincing warehouse sets and the excellent sets of the Dalek ship and Davros' crumbling prison, designed by John Anderson. The lighting, model work and effects are still impressive today, including one studio special effects `bang' big and real enough that (according to the commentary) official complaints were raised at the BBC! Malcolm Clarke's musical score is another reason for the success of this story and the 5:1 stereo remastered option on the DVD is a great addition.
This is a hard-hitting story with a level of violence that wouldn't be broadcast at 6.50 pm now (as the original trailer says episode 1 was). Survival rates are extremely low and some of it is particularly unpleasant, but none of it seems gratuitous, despite the guns, gas, germs, lasers and bangs of various sizes. Daleks represent a regime of total evil armed with an advanced technology (the analogy with the Nazis has always been obvious); defeating them and their followers should never seem easy or cost-free. Anyone who still thinks of classic-era `Doctor Who' or the Fifth Doctor's era as somehow `lightweight' should watch this story (or `Earthshock' or `The Caves of Androzani'.)
Don't expect a happy ending, because there isn't one. Victory, yes, but at a price and a price which proves too high for Tegan. Janet Fielding's departure one story earlier than planned was apparently written in as a late addition, but you'd never guess it from the writing and acting of the scene, which are perfect, almost like a tragic mirror-image of the exit of `Jo Grant' ten years before. There's no happiness this time and I'm sure that for viewers who grew up watching this Doctor and companion for three years (as I had done with their predecessors) the impact of suddenly losing this popular and well played character must have been huge.
The drawback to her `farewell story' is that Tegan, and for that matter Mark Strickson as Turlough, don't get much to do when the action is so busy with other fine characters and sub-plots. This is a four-parter that demands to be a six-parter - there is actually too much plot almost to fit in. The Dalek scheme that needs the Doctor (for far more than simply revenge) is brilliant and could have been used as the basis for an entire second story, or as a dazzling twist to set off two final episodes that would have raised this already excellent story to epic status. Instead, the situation is escaped from quite easily, before the plot moves on again.
`Resurrection of the Daleks' is one of the most famous Fifth Doctor stories, for good reasons. Enjoy it with the new stereo soundtrack for the full effect. Complex, exciting and filled with action, this adventure is 1980s `Doctor Who' at its very best. 5*
Thanks for reading.
DVD Special Features:
The commentary, with Peter Davison and Janet Fielding joined by director Matthew Robinson is just as entertaining and informative as all the other Fifth Doctor commentaries I've heard. It's a very early one (2002), recorded of course before `Doctor Who' underwent its own `resurrection' and huge success with the new series. Personally, I very much enjoy the light-hearted commentaries (their one for `Earthshock' is especially fun) and it doesn't conflict in any way with also taking the story seriously or appreciating the work everyone put in to making the classic series. And they're still great to watch, in this case 30 years later!
`On Location' is a short (20 min) but excellent feature where director Matthew Robinson, writer Eric Saward and producer John Nathan-Turner revisit the riverside locations in 2002 and talk about making the story. The dramatic transformation of East London during the late 80s and 90s is shown by the once-derelict warehouses now converted into attractive waterfront developments. There should be a `blue plaque' on one building to mark the spot where the Doctor sent a Dalek plunging to its doom!
There are also some interesting deleted and extended scenes, a BBC `Breakfast Time' interview with Janet Fielding and JNT that also highlights the sound engineers and music, a short photo gallery, one of the `TARDIS-Cam' short animations and the original trailer. The new box set edition has additional special features.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2013
The blast front of celebration through the halls of residence was palpable: Dr Who has got balls again - at long last! The first 45 mins kept many of us glued to the screen right from the uniformed bobbies machine-gunning a tramp to the thrilling cliffhanger - even though it didn't quite make sense - Dr Who was Dr Who again, and about time too!
The location - Shad Thames - was wonderfully grim (I made a point of checking it out the following Easter), and the studio filming does look like it really is a warehouse, not a set (if it had been in the real warehouse, they'd probably have gone through the floor), and in fact, the whole thing really does look the business, very well designed - Dalek trooper uniforms, prison staff with different coloured uniforms for medic, soldier, engineer - somebody's thought about this (and it does also look like money's been spent as well). I'm not sure where the fugitives in the first scene have escaped from, but I think it may have been Blake's 7.
The cast really is something special - Rula Lenska, Rodney Bewes, Maurice Colbourne, Chloe Ashcroft, Del Henney, Phillip McGough - but that's just the stars, everyone is good, everyone lives, which is important really, because by the end of the story only six are left on their feet.
Davros is not restored to the starry welkin of villainy that he occupied in Genesis, but he is certainly much recovered from his slough of Destiny - I'm sorry Mr Gooderson, I know you're a good actor, it's just that Mr Molloy, on this occasion, is doing a better job than you did. It happens.
And Leslie Grantham is suitably chilling, in not his first (but possibly his second) TV role, but he's still not nearly as nasty as those two policemen. They really are sinister, especially when one of them guns down an innocent beachcomber, who hasn't seen anything he shouldn't anyway.
If it has a shortcoming, it's probably in just a couple of ideas too many - assassinating the High Council is superfluous, and the replicas really don't need to be replicas - it's over complicated, and if they were just ordinary brain-washed people, Stein's fight with his conscience would be so much stronger. But those really are quibbles - this is very good indeed.
Tegan's exit - because as far as she knows, there are no other survivors - is very, very well played. It's a good story for all three TARDIS crew in fact.
And it got complaints! But not for the body count, not even for policemen killing the homeless (this was Thatcher's Britain, and many people voted for that sort of thing), but because the tramp had been smoking, as had the female crewperson on the space station; get killed by Daleks if you must, but don't smoke whatever you do! This was the 1980s.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2010
Watching Resurrection is akin to watching the 96 FA cup Final. It has a brief moment of magic (several) but everything surrounding it is just very grim to sit through. This is a serial which could have been outstanding (yes I do mean that!). Davison's performance here is brilliant- matched only by Maurice Colbourne's cold and callous Lytton. Davison's character range here is a wonderful prelude to the Caves of Androzani. Moreover, this is a serial which re-establishes the Daleks. These are bad Daleks, very bad Daleks; Daleks which will kill you for no reason other than they can. For the first time in a long while the Daleks have a sadistic edge to them which has not been seen since the 60s (I leave out Genesis purely because the Daleks don't feature in it much, though they are badass in that one too). Davros is also a well played balance of quiet and ranting, and the staredown in the final episode is brilliant. On the production side the serial can rank fairly high as well. Robinson's direction is majestic in places, and the set designs are good- the grim warehouse, the dalek ship, the old space station. The story itself is also not devoid of merit, there are some very good ideas floating around: the duplicates, the Movellan Virus, the double-crossing (and double-double crossing). The problems can be summed up in 2 words: narrative, characters. The story falls apart drastically in episodes 3 and 4- too many built up points are left unexplained, and quite a few elements are nonsensical (the Companion duplicates, Stein's character personality, Turlough's meandering around the Dalek ship). More importantly, the number of ideas and their combination with a companion departure means that the narrative itself is swamped by its own ambition; each idea is sound, but putting all of them together makes the serial unwieldy- in a similar way to Army of Ghosts/Doomsday. The other big weakness, which helps the collapse of the narrative, is characters. The narrative may have been more palatable had Saward written some solid, and well acted characters. As it is the story is crammed full of apathetic ship crew, voiceless mercenaries, and canon fodder soldiers- only Lytton and Stein really stand out aside from Davison and Davros. Furthermore, the wooden ciphers written by Saward translate into wooden performances. None of them seem excited by what they are playing and as such they generate no conviction in what they are doing, helping to weaken the story in the process. On the extras side, since it is an early release, the extras are fairly sparse. The location documentary is informative, but a making of documentray would have been preferable if limited to one or the other. With sparse extras what is needed is a cracking story, as it is all that is there is a frustrating one. If you are a fan of Davison, or concentrate on the good things that the story does, then get this DVD. If not, then you might be better off borrowing it off a friend.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2010
Opinion seems to be divided about this Doctor Who story which was The Fifth Doctor's only encounter with the sadistic salt pots from Skaro. Some people regard "Resurrection Of The Daleks" as a classic Doctor Who story but others think that it's a load of old nonsense. To be fair, I think that "Resurrection...." falls somewhere in the middle. It is certainly not a classic and is not even one of the better stories to feature The Daleks but it's not all that bad either.
I think one of the problems is that the two previous Dalek stories - "Genesis Of The Daleks" and "Destiny Of The Daleks" were so good that it is hard for "Resurrection...." to live up to these and is ultimately a bit disappointing after these two great stories from the 1970s. Another problem I have is with Peter Davison as The Doctor. Don't get me wrong, Peter is a nice bloke and a brilliant actor and he has been in some great stuff on tv. He is fine as The Doctor but I don't think he is one of the best Doctors. I grew up watching Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker battling The Daleks and other foes and I thought they were great. I thought that Jon and Tom were hard acts to follow and I found it difficult to accept Peter Davison in the role. I do know some people though who think that Peter is the best Doctor so it's all down to personal opinion and preference I suppose.
"Resurrection...." does have its good points. The supporting cast is a real bonus and features well-known faces such as Rodney Bewes, Rula Lenska and Leslie Grantham. Del Henney, who was in the films "Straw Dogs" and "Brannigan", also appears as Colonel Archer. This story also sees the return of Davros, The Daleks' evil creator, after spending a few years in cold storage, so to speak. The scenes featuring both The Doctor and Davros are always exhilarating and this adventure proves to be a very significant one for The Doctor's assistant, Tegan (Janet Fielding).
So if you like The Daleks and you are a fan of Peter Davison as The Doctor then you'll probably want to check out this adventure from the 1980s.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2008
Sciptwriter Eric Saward was under a lot of pressure writing this adventure: he had a prickly relationship with series producer John Nathan-Turner, Who had lost viewers and fans had been severely disappointed in the Daleks' last outing in "Destiny of the Daleks".Therefore it is understandible that this effort tries far too hard for its own good.Its convoluted plot and hysterical pace unfortunately doesn't suit the Daleks' strengths: brooding menace and the prospect of sudden, violent death.
From its grim openning where a ragbag of slaves are gunned down this is an action-packed but rather charmless romp. The high body count, gunfire and the use of disturbing flesh-eating chemical weaponry reveal the show's insecurity due to, and therefore subsequent embracing of, the mid 80's fashion for dark, disturbing sci-fi. This the age that gave birth to "The Terminator" and Who is at heart a very dark show but not really an action series and the clumsy combat scenes show this all too well. In addition, Saward was a keen admirer of Phillip Hinchliffe's tenure as series producer and scriptwriter Robert Holmes' contributions to the Who canon both of whom liked to send little viewing tykes running to hide behind the sofa.The grim tone cries out for black humour but none is present. Molloy's portrayal of Davros is great but this particular adventure is really a waste of the old schemer and Davidson's Doctor looks rather out of place in what is really a souped-up Blake's 7 story. Rodney Bewes is poorly miscast as a slave with a secret and the ridiculous helmets worn by the Dalek troops invokes a crude and obscene insult that is very popular in today's Britain.
Despite these flaws the direction is zippy and you cannot claim that effort hasn't been made to create a classic but unfortunately the result is light without heat and shouting but no message to convey. A watchable, dissapointing but ambitious, average adventure.
The commentary is great and a documentary on the locations used is okay but really not a lot more needs to be said. A good try but not enough craft or guile.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2006
The Peter Davison Doctor Who was often said by fans to be 'one of the lesser Doctors'. I, however am a Doctor Who fan who disagrees with this opinion.
In this DVD release, we see the Doctor and co. battle Davros and the Daleks yet again.
There is not much to say about this story only that its written by opne of most talented Doctor Who writers (Eric Saward), features Davros and the Daleks,and ends with an interesting and unexpected plot twist.
The acting in this story is top quality (particularly Davros and the Doctor.)
Resurrection of the Daleks is truely on of the best Davison stories (only beaten by Earthshock) and even one of the best 80's Who's. A must have for Dalek and Davison fans.
(But when are the BBC finaly going to bring out Mawdryn Undead on DVD.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2014
Excellent dalek story during Peter Davidson's custody of the role. One of the better dalek stories, nestling nicely in an altogether dark and menacing atmosphere. The opening scenes clearly echo the tones of Tom Baker's 'Genesis'. The daleks and their henchmen here are clearly nasty and the body count is quite impressive. The story still stands up well though the role of the Doctor's companions has moved on and developed somewhat since the 1980s and a modern audience will find the pace a little slow at times. Ordered and received in a matter of days. Perhaps it was me, I hadn't taken in this was a Dutch import. I needn't have worried, all spoken dialogue is in English despite the Dutch text on the DVD cover. Definitely recommended viewing if you like Dr Who and even more so the daleks.