Wednesday 17 February 2010

Resurrection of the Daleks

Why did John Nathan Turner have to keep sticking Davros in every Dalek story? His elimination at the end of Genesis of the Daleks was a satisfactory end for his character. I think the need to keep bringing back Davros betrayed a terrible lack of imagination. At least in Rembrance of the Daleks (in my opinion the best story Dr. Who story ever) he only appears briefly.

There are some who defend this story, but I am afraid I hate it.

Not that the production values are poor- the photography is superb, it has some great sets, the costumes are decent enough and the acting from the regulars and some of the guests is excellent. However, it is still a terrible story.

The biggest problem is that the story does not make much sense at all. We start the story with a group of prisoners whose origin is never explained. We move into a Dalek plot that gets more and more complex. What are the Daleks up to? Rescue Davros, cure the Movellan virus, kill the Doctor, conquer the earth, assasinate the gallifreyan High Council? How does Davros get his mind control device? Did he have it while in suspended animation? When did he learn about the Time Lords? How did the Daleks create duplicates of the Doctor's companions?

The Daleks are more sinister and evil than ever, but they are a bit overshadowed by Davros and Lytton. Of course, the Doctor himself gets pretty overshadowed too, in a story in which he does very little (in some good stories like Seeds of Doom, the Doctor does very little, but the key is that those are good stories, not bad ones). Neither does Tegan do very much. She ought to seeing as it is her swansong.

There are too many characters who are not uninteresting, but get killed before we can appreciate them. And there is far too much killing. For a show with an audience that includes a large number of children there simply should not be such an high body count.

Ironically, it must be said that Peter Davison's performance here is one of his best. He is really convicing in a script that does not convince. The Doctor happily sluaghters Daleks, but when he steels himself to kill Davros, he is talked out of it by an opponent who he knows full well he cannot trust.

This story represents everything that was wrong with the Saward-era.


  1. Definitely an excellent production - the best special effects of the season to be sure. Season 21 was perhaps the best looking season of classic Who. Very solid looking.