Davros is back! Resurrection of the Daleks does for the Daleks what Earthshock did for the Cybermen. It updates the concept by drawing extensively on passed successes. If Destiny of the Daleks was the story which disgraced the Doctor’s most famous arch-enemies, then Resurrection of the Daleks has surely redeemed them. After Earthshock it was difficult to see how Eric Saward could come up with a story as good, but he has succeeded in doing just that. Almost everything about this story was first rate, but I would especially highlight the hunt for the Dalek creature in the warehouse, the releasing of Davros, the confrontation between the Doctor and Davros and the climactic battle and explosion. Maurice Colbourne was superb as Lytton and the exchanges of dialogue between him and the Supreme Dalek were a delight.The worrying thing about Resurrection of the Daleks though is the sheer number of elements that it plunders from earlier stories. Some of the main examples are: The Daleks presence in London with an army of controlled humans is straight out of The Dalek Invasion of Earth; the Daleks’ ability to time travel and the fact that they specifically want the Doctor hail from The Chase; Davros’s wish to restore instinct is suggestive of The Evil of the Daleks, as is the Dalek civil war which occurred between the Daleks loyal to the Dalek Supreme and those loyal to Davros; Day of the Daleks is commemorated by the obligatory flashback sequence with the Doctor tied to the operating table; the Doctor’s hesitation at killing Davros was a deliberate re-enactment of the similar scene in Genesis of the Daleks and finally the war with the Movellans brought us bang up to date with Destiny of the Daleks. Davros’s return was only to be expected, and it’s unfortunate, in some respects, that we can’t seem to have a Dalek story now without their creator appearing as well. A shame also, that the production team left a possibility for the scientist’s return in a future story. The new mask, presumably designed to take into account the effects of cryogenic suspension, came across far better than might have been expected, partly because it responded to movement so realistically, but mainly due to Terry Molloy’s portrayal. Molloy’s performance is certainly a major improvement on David Gooderson’s in Destiny of the Daleks, and to me is the best actor to play Davros, but the character now comes across as a one-dimensional lunatic who rants a lot and sounds more and more like one of his own creations. Even the subtleties of Davros’s original mask have been lost, and the third ‘eye’ is now bigger and more blatantly a flashing light bulb than before. But still, Resurrection marks as one of the Daleks all time best stories. Well worth to be bought!
The second best dalek story This story scores so highly because it stands up well even today as a terse drama with much better than average special effects, and some really quite horrifying moments- look out for the effects of the daleks’ plague bacillus near the beginning. The acting is unhampered by hamminess, which is a marked improvement on the 1970’s. Peter Davison’s performance is very good (as good as, say, Tom Baker in Pyramids of Mars), as well as those of Turlough (probably the Doctor’s most interesting companion) and Tegan (although the deus ex machina of her literally running off at the end was rather silly). The plot is somewhat muddled- for example, why are the movellan virus cannisters put on earth, and why doesn’t the Dalek Supreme (who is following in the ill-fated footsteps of the Dalek Emperor, the Golden Dalek and the Black Dalek) insist Davros accompany them off the station? But, you hardly notice this in a story that rivets the attention right from the first scene, where some shockingly cold-blooded policemen machine-gun down a group of escapees from the future. As I said, the special effects are much better than in previous dalek stories: you get to see the kaled mutants inside punctured dalek casings, and finally the daleks get a decent death ray. Only one real disappointment: Davros for me will always be the Michael Wisher version from Genesis- for a start the make-up and facemask in the original story were incomparably better.
Defining moment between Davros and the Doctor Here we are given a fascinating insight into how the Daleks operate and an overview of their later history. The Daleks have been defeated by an old foe (the Movellans) and have sought their creator, Davros, to provide a way to renew the strength of their empire. Somehow or other the Doctor and co. get caught up in all of this. It seems that the Daleks use cloning techniques to build up an army – at one point a Dalek tells the Doctor the clones are “merely an extension of Dalek technology”, a rather chilling view of the abuse genetics could be put to. And then we have the stand off between the 5th Doctor and Davros: but I shall leave that for you to enjoy in this classic installment of the later Dalek stories. Watch out for human Dalek troopers helmets which are like miniature Daleks themselves. The Daleks are actually rather scary and menacing and in any case the story (as always with the Doctor) takes precedence over the effects (unlike modern SF). Order it now!!
You must be logged in to post a comment.