on 30 May 2011
This DVD is a great for whovians discovering or rediscovering the classic world of Doctor Who. The first part has a gripping cliff-hanger and it is a must have as it is not only the Daleks final classic appearance but Davros doesn't have an appearance for another 20 years! So I highly recommend you buy this and quick! The updated version is brilliant, you wouldn't have thought it was from 24 years ago!
on 13 November 2005
Determined to finish off business not completed the last time he was in 1963's London, the Doctor has the TARDIS materialise in the old Trotters Lane scrap yard where the adventure had begun 36 years previously. He had an old piece of Galifreyan technology to hide in the local graveyard in an attempt to hide it from those who would take it from the Time Lords.
But already the Daleks were on his trail and had ensconced themselves in the locality. Indeed, there were two factions involved: the Imperials with a new paint scheme and a heavy weapons dalek that wouldn't let anything get in it's way, and the old style Daleks led by the Black Dalek. Both sides had the odd little enhancement and while the Imperial's Special Weapons Dalek looked the most spectacular, the expression on the Doctor's face after turning back to taunt the older style dalek that had teleported into the cellar was priceless as it levitated up the staircase behind him...
I would still like to have seen what the 'new TV series' we just missed the opening credits for was (not Doctor Who, probably).
This was to be the last dalek story until the Eccleston Doctor came along more than 16 years later and it used the relatively limited numbers available (all real props - no computer animations for them to play about with here!) quite well, especially the 'gun-eye' view we get of the special weapons dalek.
The special features include an extended scene of the discussion of consequences between the Doctor and John in the Cafe and other similar out takes in the extended version part of the DVD.
This is one of the best McCoy/Aldred story lines, with both actors playing their parts with a conviction that would become less apparent in later stories. It's also the first attempt to make the Doctor something other than a mere Time Lord.
In 1988, the 25th anniversary season of Doctor Who was launched. In the 5 years since the 21st anniversary, when the programme had seemed to be in the best of health, Doctor Who had seen the departure of 2 Doctor's, a decline in ratings and most significantly had overcome the threat of cancellation. With all these factors in play, it was something of an achievement that the programme even made it to its 25th birthday. For the opening story of the season, producer John Nathan Turner elected to reintroduce the series most popular enemies, The Daleks, and he also returned the programme to the location of the very serial from 1963. In the process an explanation would be offered for why the original Doctor, William Hartnell, had been living in a London scrapeyard with his granddaughter all those years earlier.
After 2 very lacklustre seasons, Remembrance Of The Daleks, is the first really good story since Revelation of the Daleks, ironically the last story to feature the aliens. Thanks to the influence of script editor, Andrew Cartmel, the series was also able to move in a new direction. With darker stories and the development of the 7th Doctor as a manipulator, who influences the events around himself, the show was able to take its self in a fresh direction. This really suit McCoys portrayal. In addition, he works very well with his new companion Ace, introduced in the previous serial.
As with The Trial of a Timelord, the serial opens with an impressive shot of a spaceship, in this case one heading towards Earth. The location of 1963 works well, although perhaps more could have been done to hide the odd modern office block in the background. A scene early on, in which The Doctor is driving along a road, is hampered by the appearances of modern day cars. Nevertheless despite this, Remembrance is very good indeed. The Daleks for the first time in some years, are very much given the central role of the villains. The script features 2 Dalek factions both attempting to steal the hand of omega, a weapon device hidden by the original Doctor on Earth. Themes of racism and fascism are also dealt with in the script. The extras include a commentary by the actors
on 26 July 2015
Rather than make another boxset of the earlier releases, the BBC decided to bring this one out on it's own. To it's own merit it's totally worth getting. 2 Discs full of info and a great Dalek story. Personally I can't tell the difference in image and sound quality, but it's quite cheap considering it didn't come out too long ago.
If you want to start watching McCoy's Doctor this is a perfect one to go with. If not for him then for Ace and her amazing 'swing away' action ;)
This is very much Doctor Who for post-Aliens, post-Terminator audiences. It's action-packed from start to finish, with little let up for some exposition from Sylvester, and it's clear to see where the BBC blew their budget - literally. Daleks explode left and right, as do most of the sets at one point or another, plus a certain alien homeworld as well.
In fact, the Aliens analogy is quite appropriate. Whilst in the first Alien film the alien beastie was a thing to fear, by the time of its sequel they were just there in sheer numbers, itching for a good scrap with puny humans. In this story, much the same could be said for the Daleks. It's hard not to watch this story and remember just how scary the Daleks used to be in stories like Genesis Of The Daleks. If this story has one flaw that's more damaging than any other, it's that the Daleks are trading far too much on their reputation as being the baddest of the bad, rather than actually being truly scary. It does make you wonder if the series grew stale because it grew so insular in this way.
Another niggle is the convuluted first episode where it seems like only the Doctor knows what is going on. This calls for a barrage of expositional dialogue later on. This just about works, because Sylvester McCoy can pull off this kind of manipulative, slightly manic authority figure with aplomb. If his performance seems uneven at times, I can only imagine it's because there's enough material here for a six-parter, yet there are only four. At times the story's breakneck pace sometimes slips into appearing merely a rush job.
If this review seems to be making too much of the negative, then I'm being misleading. This is one of the best stories of 1980s Who, and the fourth episode renews all faith in the makers to make classic stories. Everything that baffles and makes you wonder throughout the first three episodes comes to a head in an exciting conflagaration that truly does its concept justice. The idea of a Dalek vs Dalek war across time and space was an excellent idea introduced in the Colin Baker story Revelation Of The Daleks (a story that viewing prior to this would make Remembrance a lot clearer) but never milked to its full potential. Remembrance does that in spades, and then some. You can even forgive the scriptwriters for who the Emperor Dalek turns out to be at the end of the episode - and they're a pale, snivelling imitation of who they used to be, I can tell you that much.
And of course, you can't beat the McCoy title music, either.
on 11 February 2001
Remembrance of the Daleks, being the first Doctor Who story I ever saw, is naturally one of my favourites. This and Ghost Light represent for me the finest hour of the BBC's most original and innovative science fiction programme. Remembrance of the Daleks has a political subtext, about fascism and splinter-groups, racism, homophobia and general xenophobia. Davros is in his coolest form ever: all wires and electrodes. The Daleks themselves look great: black and grey versus white and cream - logical colours for a political satire. The attention to detail is impressive. Atmosphere is brilliant, with a very evocative and soulful score by Keff McCulloch. Acting is on top form. The dialogue, particularly between the doctor and Ace, represents the first truly mature, realistic and moving dialogue Dr Who ever had, and set the scene for the following series which expanded on the ideas in this story. Special effects are surprisingly convincing for Dr Who, and the daleks' ray guns are amazing! Look out for the soldiers getting thrown backwards in the air and their skeletons appearing for a few frames! Everyone who liked Dr Who in the eighties must see Remembrance of the Daleks. Though I have not seen the DVD version, it has deleted scenes and an isolated soundtrack, which should be fabulous. Buy it.
on 28 July 2013
Never was a budget more gloriously exceeded.
There *had* been shadows in the Seventh Doctor before this, but viewed through the new glorious Cartmel-scope they got deepened and turned into something really rather wonderful. I don't judge Sylvester McCoy on his first four stories (with which he appears not to have been particularly happy in any case) but on his last eight.
We are back in 1963 Coal Hill; it can only be two or three weeks after the First Doctor vanished, taking two school teachers with him, and now, at long last, the Seventh Doctor returns to finish the job.
This is emphatically not the Swinging Sixties (that oscillation is not due for a few years yet) but Kennedy and King are giving their speeches over the pre-title sequence, just before the Dalek mother ship hoves into view.
References to Unearthly Child are neat and economical (though a `Missing' poster featuring Mr Chesterton and Miss Wright would have been nice) - you don't need to know why there's a book on the French Revolution in the Science room - 76 Totters Lane is the same junk yard (albeit a bit tidier), and Coal Hill School has a headmaster - isn't that Michael Sheard? Of course.
The story is very well told, following faithfully from Revelation, the only question is which Daleks are which? There's two sides, but which side are for Davros? The special chair is a very fine red herring.
And then there's the very ugly business of racism; Daleks may be the ultimate champions of genetic purity, but some humans can give them a run for their money, while the Dr chats with Jacob, the black guy in the café (and of course it's the black guy on the night shift! Nice reference to the bitter winter of 62/63 too. It's not a scene that the previous season would have had any time for), Ratcliffe is running a nasty little team of Nazis, and that nice clean cut army sergeant is one of them - and his mum's boarding house has a sign in the window - `No Coloureds'.
It's got balls this.
And it's not just that the Daleks can go upstairs, they've got a good deal harder; there's lots of explosions, a stunning cliff-hanger at the end of Ep 2, and then - just when it looks like it can't get any better, Ep 3 ends with a space ship landing in the school playground - and they really do it, no model, no CSO - blowing all the windows out of the science room in the process, and then Daleks come out of it, have a big fight with the other Daleks, more massive explosions, and the Bomb Squad really did get called out.
Finally the `Emperor Dalek' just like in the 1960s comic strips with the huge gold globe - is revealed to be Davros - sublime. And there's Sylvester conducting his manipulations via a concertina camera. Somebody's thought about this.
The Discontinuity Guide points out (a little too primly) that if the show about the start on the telly is Dr Who it should be dark outside, and that's quite right, but I still think it's a very clever moment, and I enjoy it.
I've only one question; this Group Captain `Chunky' Gilmore character, played so well by the dashing Simon Williams, surely he ought to have been named Major Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart? Because in all but name isn't that really who he is?
on 8 May 2013
It's pretty much universally agreed that this story is one of Sylvester McCoy's best, if not THE best. This story is gripping right from the start and carries being so throughout. The Cartmel Masterplan had begun and we were already being given hints of a darker manipulating his enemies and to a certain extent his companion. For once we have the Daleks being bad-ass villains as we see the Dalek Civil War come to an explosive end. And finally the jokes about the Dalek's inability to get past stairs is finally put to a rest.This story also quite a fresh feel to it despite the fact the Daleks are wobbling all over the place, but don't let that put you off. This story is really quite brilliant apart from the fact the doctor commits genocide against the Daleks, despite the fact he was resiliant at doing so in 'Genesis of the Daleks'. Nonetheless, a fantastic story. Highly reccommended
on 28 January 2014
I would have given this 3 1/2 stars, but it deserves the 4 I gave it here I think. The story was fairly ambitious but as was typical of the McCoy early era it relied too much on comedy and parody than on telling anything considered too dramatic. If this were done in today's eras I feel it would have been given that flare and justice to tell the story of a powerful weapon destined to destroy on such a scale (the moment anyone?). That being said there are some good action moments, such as the opening battle with the RAF soldiers and the Ace battles afterwards, and whilst I downplay the comedy side, it was a strength of McCoy's that brought some chuckling moments, such as the unlimited rice pudding speech with Davros - brilliant!
This DVD again suffers also from not having sufficient extras, which would make it a solid 4 stars.
on 30 January 2013
This was one of the first classic Doctor Who episodes I bought in order to satisfy my need to delve into the past of Doctor Who. I certainly wasn't disappointed. I think McCoy's Doctor (like Colin Baker's) has got a bit of a bad reputation, but from this I see no reason for it. He's a perfectly fine Doctor and Ace is a cool and feisty proto-type for modern companions.
If you're a long-term fan of Doctor Who, there's nothing I can do to persuade you to buy or not to buy this DVD other than comment on its disturbing lack of special features compared to more recent releases - you either liked the episode and want to see it again or not.
For the 21st Century viewer who is (like me) looking to experience some of the older Doctor Who; I found it to be an accessible episode with a good story. It's a must have for budding DVD collectors.