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Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks - Episode 143 [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

William Hartnell , Patrick Troughton , Graeme Harper    DVD

Price: 9.99
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Celebrating 25 years since The Five Doctors was originally broadcast, this brand new double disc special edition is a real treat for new and old fans of the show. For not only is the adventure itself good fun, but the special features package is exceptionally strong too.

The story - broadcast to celebrate the-then 20th anniversary of Doctor Who - brings five incarnations of the Doctor together. Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison return to their roles, while Richard Hurndall steps in for William Hartnell, and archive footage of Tom Baker is used to cover his decision not to take part in the story. The various generations of the Doctor are then, one by one, brought to the Time Lord’s home planet Gallifrey, where they encounter many of their old assistants, and many of their deadliest foes.

The story of The Five Doctors proves to be as much a battle about giving everyone something to do, but Terrance Dicks’ script does just that, and while it’s not one of the Time Lord’s very best adventures, it is an entertaining one.

The extra features package peaks with the assorted commentary tracks: there’s one that brings together a series of Doctor Who assistants, another that unites writer Terrance Dicks with Peter Davison, and a hidden Easter Egg commentary where David Tennant, Phil Collinson and Helen Raynor take the microphone. Each is a fascinating listen, for differing reasons.

The Five Doctors DVD is then rounded off with a wide selection of archive material, and a 50-minute documentary looking at Doctor Who’s birthday celebrations. And given the wealth of features there is to dig through, it’s a release that’ll be enjoyed for a long time after both the original and extended cut of the main feature have been viewed. A terrific release. --Simon Brew


This film is a Doctor Who fan's fantasy come true. This legendary special is a grand one-time-only reunion of the first five Doctors, as well as a reunion of all their most famous friends, foes, and monsters.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A first-rate Dalek story. The peak of an under-rated era. 7 Dec 2000
By G.Spider - Published on
The Doctor and Peri arrive on Necros, the 'planet of the dead', where there is a whole complex filled with people in suspended animation whilst the Great Healer works on cures for whatever diseases they are suffering from.
But before long the 'Great Healer' is revealed to be none other than Davros, sinister genetic engineer and creator of the Daleks. Having been abandoned by the original Daleks, he is engineering replacements.
This is not only the best Colin Baker story, but also one of the finest Dalek adventures ever made. There is a very grown-up feel about it with genuine suspence, sexual undercurrents and horror which is suggestive rather than tasteless. The whole thing is filled with strong characters such as bounty hunters (a space-age knight and his squire), a superbly cold-hearted female villain and a futuristically-weird DJ. Davros and the Daleks (with impressive new white casings) are at their dramatic best and the music and scenery are first-rate. Watch for one partically memorable scene involving a glass Dalek.
Highly recommended. Even if you dislike Colin Baker (though personally I think he was an under-rated Doctor who should have been given more time in the series), this adventure is still unmissable.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BE AT PEACE 21 Aug 2006
By Thomas E. O'Sullivan - Published on
By 1985 DOCTOR WHO had not only been wounded, but it was bleeding and blood was in the water - it was only a matter of time before the axe fell and the show once believed would never die would be dead. And died it did - but not before REVELATION OF THE DALEKS was finished and ready for release. Had the show stopped here, some might have been disappointed - while others might have rejoiced. Either way going out with a Dalek story, and a Dalek story about death and rebirth - you couldn't have asked for better.

REVELATION is one of the few DOCTOR WHO stories that is so much a DOCTOR WHO story, yet almost has NOTHING to do with DOCTOR WHO. Both Peri and the Doctor play secondary roles here. They arrive on the scene at the end of a much longer, and mostly unseen, story and fall into and fill in the gaps and the cracks in the plot. The Doctor literally takes a backseat here. He's always playing catch up, and when he finally gets caught up, he's being pushed out of the story by bigger and better characters, larger plots and a final showdown between his enemies with him stuck in the background only able to look on. Peri's role is expanded a little here as she's allowed to wander off into trouble and not be resuced at the last moment by the Doctor. Death is literally around every corner - and there is the very real sense that anyone could really die.

There's also love, passion, romance, lust, revenge and villiany - and Daleks. Davros is back and has taken his new Daleks deeper into racial purity by casting them in cream white cases with gold accents. They're the new Angels, and his old creations are his own Fallen, and they're back as well looking to punish their creator. Everything about this story screams invention, ideas, concept, charm and wit. Funny, scary, brutal, over the top and underplayed all at once, it bookends neatly with the true, final story of DOCTOR WHO - GHOST LIGHT.

Just as in REVELATION the Doctor in GHOST LIGHT takes a back seat to all the action, deep characters and already involved story. And they both nearly end the same as well - with the Doctor and his companion sharing a moment, a musing and moving on. In the case of the Seventh Doctor it would be in SURVIVAL, as for the Sixth it would be into limbo... and public outcry.

This is another well stocked DVD with a host of extras that help to accent the already excellent story. Commentary is included and is very fun. Everyone involved is very involved with the story and with each other, they bring the facts with them, their memories and the good times are brought to the fore with a lot of laughter. The only real downside is that Colin Baker is not on had to add his own thoughts to the mix.

There's a solid MAKING OF documentary and the production notes help to add more background to both the production and the story. But by far the best feature is IN STUDIO A another look at the show from behind the camera where everything is happening at once. Action, direction, special effects, problems, retakes and makeup - you name it, it's all going on. The Doctor also takes a back seat here as well - it's the Daleks, Davros and the rest that get the most camera time - a fantastic feature (and one that appears on the release of GHOST LIGHT as well).

For some this story was a waste of time. For others it was just another Dalek story - for myself, it was another example of just how flexible this show could be when allowed to run. REVELATION OF THE DALEKS is one of the best the series produced and a must for those new to the series and us old hands (just watch your fingers).
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Tranquil Repose...and to ivory and gold Daleks 1 Mar 2004
By Daniel J. Hamlow - Published on
The final story of the 22nd season of Doctor Who has the Time Lord dealing with his worst enemies, those Dalek pepperpots, only this time they have a really nice ivory and gold colour scheme.
The Doctor and Peri are paying their respects to Arthur Stengos, one of the galaxy's finest agronomists. His body is lying in the Tranquil Repose on the planet Nekros (perfect place for a funeral planet!). TR is a cryogenics repository where people with incurable diseases are suspended and later restored to life when a cure for their condition has been found. At the same time, TR's vain and arrogant supervisor, Jobel is ready to make funerary history, as he has just finished the president's wife and is ready, with his staff to receive the president. Jobel is played by Clive Swift, best known as Richard, Hyacinth's husband in Keeping Up Appearances. He has a great line at the Doctor's expense. After being insulted by the Doctor, who has survived a phony statue falling on him, Jobel retorts, "If the statue had been made of stone I doubt if would've killed you. ... It would take a mountain to crush an ego like yours."
Then there's Grigori and Natasha, the latter Stengos's daughter, who break into the catacombs, where the vaults are. She suspects her father's body has been stolen, and indeed it has. But where's the head? She and her partner find it, and it's being put to grotesque use.
However, that's not all the work going on at Tranquil Repose. The turbaned Kara (Eleanor Bron) is in charge of a factory manufacturing a high protein concentrate ready to sell to developing planets at such a low price, their accountants are embarrassed. Whatever profit she gains is being squeezed by the Great Healer, an alias used by Davros, creator of the Daleks and now master of a new breed of Daleks subservient to him rather than the Supreme Dalek. However, not to worry-she has hired Orcini, a professional assassin and excommunicated member of the Grand Order of the Knights of Oberon to get rid of Davros, and he is dedicated. He has an artificial leg with a faulty hydraulic valve, and rather than getting it replaced, he prefers the inconvenience as a reminder of his mortality and to keep his mind alert. He's also conscientious, as he gives any fees he gets to charity. Assassinating Davros is an honourary job he is willing to undertake.
Davros himself is aware of the Doctor's presence, but he has eyes and ears around TR. He rants against Jobel, who refused his offer of immortality, and uses Tasambeker, played by Jenny Tomasin (Ruby from Upstairs Downstairs) a fawning and not too good looking female employee infatuated with him, as a loyal servant, and later, orders her to kill Jobel, who conspires with employees Takis and Lilt against him. And he thinks the DJ, a prattling disc jockey, played funnily by Alexi Sayle, who pipes in announcements and 50's/60's music to the bodies in state, knows too much.
There is all sorts of violence here. A leg is blown off one person, a hand off another, but Script Editor Eric Saward defended the violence as being realistic instead of the phony violence one sees in US action movies. If you shoot someone's hand at close range, it gets blown off, plain and simple.
Saward had read Evelyn's Waugh's The Loved One, which takes place in a funeral parlour, where Aimee Thanatogenos, a crematorium cosmetician becomes infatuated with artiste embalmer Mr. Joyboy. Here, Joyboy becomes Jobel, and Thanatogenos becomes Tasambeker. Indeed, a line from Jobel on the president's wife also mentions the title: "she's a loved one who's passed on to pastures finer and lusher than those she knew in life."
There are actually places like Tranquil Repose on Earth, but would they be economically feasible? With overpopulation, future generations have no incentive to cure the sick from generations back, as they would be technologically and culturally out-of-date. What could they do if cured?
A worthwhile story, given that most of the story dealt with the non-Dalek shenanigans going on in TR, but afterwards, it was clear that Doctor Who was living on borrowed time.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I never thought precognizance of my own death would be so disturbing." 16 Aug 2007
By Crazy Fox - Published on
Well, if the Daleks have a Genesis and experience a Resurrection, I suppose it only follows that a Revelation is in store, and besides, the sixth Doctor well deserves his chance to reestablish his credentials as their enemy. To do so though invites the very real risk of simply churning out a cookie-cutter Dalek plot in a perfunctory manner, and that is exactly what does NOT happen here. "Revelation of the Daleks" is an incredibly inventive and creative storyline, almost to the point of being weird--just when you think a twenty-some-year-old TV show is out of surprises, it goes and throws you for a loop with something like this. Of course, sad to say, it was precisely around this time that the show's future was cast in serious doubt, making the cliffhanger where the Doctor is disturbed at coming across what seems like his own gravestone one of those surreal moments where fiction seems to be mirroring reality.

The Doctor's not the only one to get the willies, though. There's a lot that's disturbing in this one, along with some pretty gross imagery both on-screen and off. Much of this has to do with the setting: the planet Necros, funeral home and cemetery to the galaxy. The nitty-gritty details of death, what it does to one's corporeal remains, and the nasty job of obscuring these details from the bereaved during funeral ceremonies (stuff we usually like to not think about) are always hovering around in the background and in the conversations of the supporting characters. But then we go one step worse with Davros using a portion of these corpses to genetically engineer a new race of Daleks loyal to him and using the rest to fund his research in that regard (How? Well, that's grosser than gross, but I won't give it away). Finally, increasing the funereal atmosphere is the extremely high body count, with people killing and getting killed at every turn, including but hardly limited to some old-fashioned extermination courtesy of two different sets of competing Daleks--even Davros gets his one good hand shot off in plain sight of the camera, poor guy.

Speaking of Davros, yes, he's still around overshadowing his creations (this is really his "revelation" rather than that of the Daleks, truth be told). I'm sternly of the opinion that he should've stayed dead in "Genesis of the Daleks" and only the intent to avoid beating a dead horse keeps me from knocking this otherwise fine story down a star on his account. Besides, given that like it or not his survival is by now a done deal, one has to look at how his character is used in this story, and it is actually integral to the plot and makes sense. Besides, he's a far more interesting character here than the ranting two-dimensional lunatic of "Destiny" and "Resurrection", more sinister actually and yet we get creepy little glimpses of his psychology as we didn't before.

Whatever one thinks of Davros, though, everything else about this one shines unambiguously. A great concept, a fine script, top-notch directing. There is a large supporting cast of different characters all interacting in different ways, way too many to list here and yet each one very vivid and distinct and memorable, each with a definite role in the plot and all brought to life by really excellent acting. Colin Baker is superb as the Doctor once again, witty and yet a bit pensive, eccentric and yet crazy like a fox, short-tempered and yet extremely concerned for the welfare of Peri--speaking of which, she's still annoying but less so in this one, and after more than a year Nicola Bryant's acting, while not stellar, has improved discernibly. Her chemistry with the Doctor seems plausible here, and her character's distinctive interests (as in botany and rock music) are highlighted so that she's finally more than just a pretty face for the dads (and teenage dads-in-the-making). Moreover, the sets are incredibly convincing: futuristic buildings with slate-grey pyramidal mausoleums in the background, tacky glitzy gold and marble funeral halls built on top of old stone catacombs littered with different and various votive images and religious icons--all just what you'd expect from such a planet and yet overflowing with just the right kind of moody atmosphere this bizarre tale calls for. And on top of all of that, we get treated to morbidly dark humor as only the British can deliver. It only goes to show, "Doctor Who" is one series that just never gets old.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last great story of the last great Doctor 7 Jun 2006
By John Liosatos - Published on
The heading says it all. Too bad the next season would be Colin Baker's last. He deserved more time on the show. If only I had a Tardis, I'd go back to 1986 and exterminate Michael Grade, but alas... I agree with the reviewers who praise Alexi Sayle's performance as the DJ. As Peri exclaims in her phoney American accent, "he's greeeaat!" Speaking of accents, most American accents on Doctor Who are very transparent. However, Mr. Sayle truly sounds like an American. The only detraction from this story is the annoying Tasambeker, played by Jenny Tomasin. This may be a politically incorrect statement, but she looks and sounds retarded. Other than that, this is a wonderful adventure worth many repeated viewings.
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