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Dalek helmets, Time Corridon’ts and about fifty different plots coalesce in this terrible/wonderful companion exit serial

The Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and still no Kamelion get themselves stuck in a Time Corridor and shunted to the 1980s London South Bank, where strange things are afoot, but where they’ll barely spend any time at all, because space is more exciting and this serial is brimming with badass sets just itching to be used. Seemingly normal human policemen are shooting space-age cowards and innocent loiterers on smoke breaks, and soon their paths and the TARDIS Team’s will cross. Separated from one another, each one of them will embark on some of the darkest, most violent adventures to date, with lasers, Dalek helmets and over — and under — acting a plenty.

How about a bit of context, hmm? Following a casualty-heavy war with sexy disco droids, the Movellans, the Daleks have all but been eradicated by bio weapons. Only one hope for their survival remains, namely, to rescue Davros, who has been cryogenically frozen for 90 years, and ask him kindly to engineer a cure for them. And while they’re at it, they plot to kidnap The Doctor, duplicate him and his companions, and send them to Gallifrey to assassinate the members of the High Council. Pretty ambitious stuff. So why the Time Corridor? And why 1980s London? Good questions.

Here's what we think of C134 Resurrection of the Daleks

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

4.6

Jim | @jimmythewho

2.4

Here's what we think of C134 Resurrection of the Daleks

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

4.6

Jim | @jimmythewho

2.4

Here's what you think 15 Responses to “C134 Resurrection of the Daleks”
  1. Jethro Roose | @jethro_roose

    My dear old things!

    I have succumbed and subscribed to Britbox. I am fortune’s fool!

    Anyway, here is a list of things I loved about Ressy of the D-dogs;

    • The metropolitan police doing metropolitan police things.
    • Hats! Glorious hats for everyone!
    • Turlough Wan Kenobi
    • 1980’s Osgood and the Escape from alcatraz cylinder bed trick
    • Stien’s perfect hair
    • Stein’s Road warrior hawk level of ‘no selling’ getting shot in the face (you might need to Google that… #wrestlespeak)
    • Dalek corona makes you jizz like niagra falls
    • Davros having a drug fuelled sex heart attack jizzing like niagra falls.

    Things I wasn’t a fan of;

    • The amount of spectacularly shit falling over
    • The even shitter guns.
    • A good going romp of a story which flew by in a bottle of vino collapso.

    3.8/5

    Cheers!
    Jethro

  2. Dan from Devon

    Hi Jim and Leon,
    So many great things about this serial, and yet so many really not-great things too. I can’t stand the confusion in my mind!
    Likes: Doc is in his best run of form, keeping up the energy and grim determination he showed in Frontios (but what’s with all the gun-toting suddenly?). Terry Molloy and Maurice Colbourne are terrific, giving Davison strong opposition to rise to. The sets and location filming look great, as do the effects; I particularly loved the ‘Alien’esque roaming mutant. The pacing and music ramp up the tension nicely. And the dénouement between Doc and Davros is one of Five’s defining moments.
    Beefs: Rodney Bewes is terribly miscast and either over-or underplays every line he’s given. The companions spend too much of their time just pottering about or having a little lie down. The level of mid-Eighties gore does tip over the line for a family show, and there’s no excuse for those mudlarker-murdering policemen. Also: is it just me that finds it distracting that the battle-weary soldiers from the future have permanently immaculate makeup and nail-polish?
    Overall, this story stands out as one of the better productions of the era, but one that leans too heavily on violence and forgets that the Doctor is there to come up with clever, weaponless ways to avoid bloodshed.
    Most appropriate quote: “Dark, isn’t it?”
    My rating: 2.6 bubblewrap-popping duplication couches out of five.

  3. Derek Moore

    Dearest Whovians,

    We have entered a personal landmark for me—this is the first Doctor Who story I remember watching as an 8 or 9 year old. Frankly, I’m surprised I still watched Doctor Who after this, because well, the story is: the Doctor and his friends meet some new people, and….they all die. The Doctor even uses a gun in this one—what the fuck? I can honestly say, I’ve seen this one about three or four times more as an adult, and I still only understand about 20% of the plot of this story. I’m not even sure why the Time Corridor exists. Doesn’t Doctor Who already have enough corridors?

    Yet, despite all of this, the Fifth Doctor is my first watched and still favorite. Why? I’ll tell you in a couple of series as he kicks time-traveling ass towards the end of his tenure. Sentimentality adds two stars to my rating, so Resurrection of the Daleks gets a total of…two stars. Well, the good news is I get to listen to your awesome review of it anyway!

    Sincerely,

    Derek Moore

  4. Kristaps Paddock

    I had this on VHS, and as a result it was one of the first serials I remember watching. Frankly, it’s a wonder I ever watched more. Kudos to the BBC for casting some Black actors, but that’s about the only redeeming aspect here. It’s dark, grim, and brutal, possibly the most so of any Classic Dr. Who serial. It’s a crap Dalek story, it’s a crap Davros story, Tegan gets a crap send off, and The Doctor is so casually violent that he’s nearly unrecognizable at times. Unfortunately, this story heralds more of what is to come; The Caves of Androzani is one of Classic Who’s greatest serials, but Colin Baker’s tenure sees more stories like this one. Two point one. I probably ought to rate it lower.

  5. Steven from Canada | @SAndreyechen

    I had a lot of fun with this one. It’s a gritty modern Dalek story, much in the same vein of EarthShock or Genesis of the Daleks. Everyone is on top form; casting is excellent, story is intriguing, and the Daleks are as evil as ever.

    Costumes are cool but it is strange how everyone either looks like a Sci-fi Peter Pan or a bootleg samurai.

    I know it’s a bit out of character but the surreal image of the Doctor popping caps into a Dalek mutant with a real world pistol was metal A.F.!
    Though it makes his hesitancy to kill Davros a bit unbelievable.

    I love the continuity between this story and Destiny of the Daleks, all the relevant things are called back to, except this time Davros doesn’t look like shit!

    While on the subject, this was my first time seeing a Terry Molloy Davros performance and I absolutely love it. I think he may be my favourite.

    Oh Teagan, what an impactful departure scene, full of raw emotion. I really wish I could have grown to like you as much as the others, but you really got on my nerves. I’m afraid you’re my least favourite of the 5th Doctor companions (and that includes Adric and Turlough). Maybe next run through….

    This is another instance where I award the increasingly less rare 5 little blue egg things out of 5.

    Steven From Canada

  6. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    ‘There’s too much confusion in my mind!’

    Oh wow, so many plot lines, so many deaths! Welcome to the story with the highest on-screen body count (Logopolis has the highest conceptually). Yeah, this is a grim one. And yeah so many plot lines it weighs itself down.

    Let’s see, the dalek plots are: rescuing Davros from the space station, getting a cure to the virus, kidnapping the Doctor and then duplicating him and co so they can then go back to gallifrey to assassinate the High Council of the Time Lords, and also infiltrating Earth society. Any less and the Dalek plans would work in this.

    This has some odd trivia with it being produced as a four-parter as you would expect, only to be edited as two ca. 45 min episodes for transmission due to it clashing with the 1984 Winter Olympic coverage. The VHS and the first DVD release present it in the originally intended 4-parter form, while the special edition DVD has the transmission version as well (I do not have the SE version). I wonder whether the reason the guns used by the troopers and station crew just have a light and a noise is because they ran out of time and couldn’t go through and add laser effects over all of the shots. I hope the eventual blu-ray release gives an option to watch with enhanced effects.

    What to give this? I dunno, the Dalek action is great; some of the best we’ve had for ages but it’s all too grim and messy.

    3.1/5 (?)

    Cheers

    Kieren

  7. Ed Corbet

    This is one with mercenaries in definitely-not-Imperial-uniforms (and awesomely terrible Dalek helmets), a gun-toting Doctor and guest appearances from 80s UK TV all over the place (though atypically they don’t cause a massive distraction).

    One of the issues I remember people raising with the Daleks in this era is that they are subservient and second-fiddle to Davros; while in this story they pander to Davros, they certainly don’t serve him. I enjoyed the power struggle between them with Lytton in the middle trying to be the sane one, while not getting exterminated.

    Once again Doc chokes when in a position to kill his greatest enemy; luckily he gets away with it when they inevitably turn on each other and throw-away their certain victory. It’s nice to see that these more brutal Daleks are in no way more competent.

    I noticed that when being brain-scanned, the Doctor has teeth-fillings, which means he can only access 20th century dental-care, and either teeth don’t regenerate or the fifth doc has a serious sugar addiction (may be over-analysing).

    This is the famously brutal one; watching it now I can’t believe they let me watch it as a kid (I think they got in proper trouble for this one), although it makes Tegan’s sudden departure less abrupt, as it’s not the usual falling in love or helping the natives, it seems a very real shock-reaction to witnessing a blood-bath (and Doc’s lack of empathy means he leaves without giving her a chance to rethink).

    4.3

  8. Peter Zunitch

    I’m very forgiving of coincidences in Doctor Who. Things happen in order to have a fun and action packed show, I get it, it’s fine. However even as a young teen I felt very uncomfortable with the basis of this story.

    I fail to see how the Daleks, in all their wisdom thought it was a good idea to hide the one thing that could easily wipe them out, on the one planet that their biggest foe visits most often, during the time period he hangs around in the most, in the part of the world he most often frequents. Someone please tell me why they thought this was a good idea? Honestly I can only think of one explanation for this particular coincidence. It’s because the script editor told them to. They found out Tegan was leaving and they shifted wherever the original hiding place was to London just so she could be dropped off at home when she left the series. And that just sucks. Again, I can forgive coincidences when they are placed within the context of the story, but this one insults me as a viewer. To make matters worse, there is literally no level of explanation attempted in the script. It’s just wrong.

    The rest of this action packed thrill ride is just wonderful. I love it all. But I was insulted then and I’m insulted now and that drags the score down from something close to perfect. Don’t mess with a good script 4.3

  9. Tanz Sixfingers | @tanz6fingers & @tanzsixfingers (insta)

    Greetings Leon and Jim!

    While I don’t normally like the Dalek stories, I thought this one had a bit more going for it. It is a sequel to Destiny of the Daleks, with the Movellan Dalek-killing virus at the center of it. It was written by Eric Saward, and as such, has lots of gratuitous violence. So much that it should be added to the list of “No One Gets Out Alive” stories, except that Lytton and the two fake cops survive. The serial, including mood, sets, and sound, seem to be reminiscent of “Earthshock”, also by Saward. Another similarity between the two is that the Doctor again uses a gun, and actually uses two different guns.

    I believe this is the first time we see human Dalek troopers, with their helmets designed to look like daleks. Also, I think this is the start of Davros making his own Daleks fight those of the Supreme Dalek.

    I think Stein, played by Rodney Bewes, was a standout character; too bad he didn’t get to return (like Lytton). I especially liked the part where he is fighting against his programming to retain his humanity, which eventually wins, even if it means sacrificing himself.

    I was sad to see Tegan go, but at least she had a great serial in which to depart. And I really liked her reason for leaving; it is too true.

    I really enjoyed this story, so I give it 4.3 out of 5.

  10. GP Haynes

    Hello lovely Podcast announcers!

    Here is my mini- review for ROTDs

    Ah, the uber violent 5th Doctor Dalek story, not highly rated by some, but I loved it!

    The 1st person is killed at just 56 seconds in, and by 1 minute 4 seconds in, well, there’s at least 5 dead…

    For me, this set up the gloomy and atmospheric location setting right at the beginning.

    Fantastic sets and costumes ( although those Dalek helmets take a bit of getting used to ). Davros was angry, commanding and just plain excellent. Even Turlough is bearable

    This is one of the best Dalek stories of the classic area, ranking up with “ Genesis” and the 7th Doctors ( Voice please ? ) superb serial “ Remembrance of the Daleks”- ( now THAT’s an orgasmic one! )

    The Daleks are finally menacing again, in a way that is seldom duplicated in new Who, and I enjoyed he continuity going on with the Movellan Androids conflict.

    Only gripe? Failing to clarify exactly how the Daleks utilise time travel. My personal explanation is that they are somehow limited in how they can use it, otherwise who knows what the universe would look like?

    Great episode, 5th Doctor finishing strongly and the perfect reason for Tegan to depart.

    Rating: 4.5 Secret Davros viruses

    Cheers

    GP Haynes

    Australia

  11. Tracey from America | @yecartniatnouf

    I never know what way to feel about the Dalek stories.
    On the one hand, Daleks make a frightening enemy because they are both powerful and assured of their rightness.
    On the other hand, they are very one note “EXTERMINATE!” How many different ways can they roll around onscreen killing people? And I get confused trying to follow Dalek politics at any given time.

    This serial gets real interesting around the 3/4 mark though. The Doctor faces down Davros with the intention of killing him, and finds he can’t quite pull the trigger. But a deadly virus that kills Daleks? He has no trouble releasing that. What is it that makes the difference? Did the Doctor trust Davros’ story about softening the Daleks? Does the Doctor see Davros as more philosophically changeable while the Daleks are rigid? Is it because the weapon is a more direct method of killing than airborne virus? Or is it simply that Davros, for all his gnarly skin, has a face and looks humanoid?

    A few stray observations:
    Omg the helmets have Dalek bumps.
    Davros can really go off can’t he?
    Feels like Turlough does a lot of shall we say Voord lurking in this one.

    Lastly, I’m sad to lose Tegan. I’d forgotten she leaves before Turlough does. It’s a nice bit of philosophy she leaves us with: if what you are doing isn’t fun anymore, it’s time to move on.

    Rating: Box grater with a can of shaving foam inside.

  12. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Likes:

    • Turlough getting punched in the stomach.
    • Duplicitous Davros.
    • General nastiness – scary cop clones, uzi massacres, the melty man face. Even the usually hilarious Dalek squid is gross and yucky.
    • Is this really the same production team as Warriors? Did the lighting crew get ‘re-educated’? It looks great.
    • *That* companion departure.

    Beefs:

    • There’s a few too many plot-convenient tactical screw-ups. ‘Send one Dalek to the warehouse to capture the Doctor’. How about send ten! ‘All guards leave the room while we copy the Doctors brain’. No, keep them all there! Pack em’ in!
    • Is it a bit too dark? Clearly not a children’s show. It’s grimmer than Christmas Eastenders.
    • Is too much happening? The Daleks plan to assassinate the Time Lord High Council is a B plot!

    Summary: the episodic equivalent of being bludgeoned in the face with a turnip.

    Rating: 4.8/5 post-episode stiff whiskeys required.

  13. Andy Parkinson | @caffreys71

    Hi Guys

    Resurrection sees the return of the Daleks and in a dark and violent story with a body count higher than every Die Hard movie combined!

    Likes

    • The location setting London docklands looks dark and menacing. Very atmospheric.
    • The flesh melting virus! Gooey, grizzly and gorgeous!!
    • Rula Lenska is great as the world weary and cynical Styles
    • Terry Molloy gives Davros back the silky soft-spoken menace and maniacal raving.
    • Maurice Colbourne is good as the treacherous Lytton.

    Beefs

    • The prison ship crew’s uniforms. They look like rejects from a Thunderbirds convention.
    • Those soldiers were duplicated rather quickly? Also, if you’re going to duplicate people shouldn’t you duplicate their manner too? Archer and co are clearly not the real thing – Tegan and Laird are instantly suspicious.
    • The majority of the prison ship crew seem to have been cast straight from RADA and are utterly unconvincing.

    Resurrection is a bit of a rambling mess; the Daleks seem to have a hundred different plans on the go all at once. Some of the pacing is off, the whole Self Destruct chamber and Doctor cloning sequences seem to go on for ever, so much so they end up somewhat anticlimactic. That said the main cast are all in top form, with Turlough and Tegan getting lots to do. It’s also a very violent story – the body count is massive, some of the death scenes are horrific and even the Doctor is dark, firstly using a gun to kill the Dalek mutant and the threatening to murder Davros. It’s no wonder Tegan bids a tearful farewell, I would too! I vividly remember seeing this story on first broadcast and loved it, and still do despite all the flaws.

    I award this 4.0 jizz squirting Daleks out of 5

    Andy Parkinson
    @caffreys71

  14. Paul Waring | @pwaring

    Resurrection of the Daleks has a great opening scene – seeing people fleeing from and then being gunned down by ‘police officers’ sticks in my memory.

    Lytton makes a great antagonist, and he gets around the problem of the Daleks lacking individual personalities. I like the links back to Destiny of the Daleks too – from Genesis onwards we have a broad arc for Dalek stories. It’s also interesting that the Doctor now regrets his inability to destroy the Daleks in Genesis.

    The effect of the gas used by the Dalek troopers is particularly gruesome, although it’s not clear how it spreads as it seems to affect everyone on the ship within a few minutes, yet disperses by the time Lytton comes on board.

    It’s a shame to see Tegan leave, but at least she gets a goodbye speech and isn’t married off to some bloke she’s just met (like Susan, Jo, Leela etc.) – although “it’s stopped being fun” is a bit of an understatement for a story where nearly everyone they’ve met has been killed.

    I do have a few questions though. Why does a prison ship have a laboratory? Why is security so lax, given that Davros is a high-profile prisoner? And how were the duplicates of Tegan and Turlough created, given that they were not captured beforehand?

    Overall, this isn’t the best Dalek story, but it’s still very enjoyable.

    4/5

  15. Caleb from Australia

    Hey hey hello,

    Of all the Doctor Who stories, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one was inked in blood – bar The Stones of Blood for obvious thematic reasons but don’t get it twisted, this story is cold, damp and melting at the face… And has one-too-many sub-plots. The direction, music, sets, characters and – most of the – plot make this episode wholly unforgettable.

    Matthew Robinson shoots with a keen eye, pushing for an interesting angle or camera movement – it keeps things pacey where needed, and engaging where lingering.
    The opening scene is a stand-out, with Malcom Clarke’s synth-heavy score highlighting the atmosphere to a palpable degree. The subdued blues and greys of the overcast sky, worn buildings and metallic-clad Dalek prisoners emphasise the industrial landscape – which extends onto the prison ship.
    The artistic directions of this episode are a masterful demonstration on how to craft your story.

    However, when presenting your ‘masterful demonstration’, best leave out the plot. The Dalek scheme of cloning prisoners is interesting and purposeful in illustrating a take-over, but oversteps its bounds when extending to the High-Council.
    Inconsistencies in past-events between this and the last Dalek outing are drastic – it would take a member of the Royal Family to cover a mess this big. Yet the rest of the plot and characters don’t rub me the wrong way.

    Tegan’s departure is considered to be ‘understated’ and I quite agree – there was enough bloodshed in this story to justify her intentions.

    All-in-all, Resurrection gets a 4.3/5.

    Caleb from Australia.

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