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Davros soufflés the venerable dead and Soylent-Greens the rest while an annoying DJ provides the narration

There’s no preamble to this one, Doc and Peri arrive slap-bang on the planet-of-the-week, Necros, to pay their respects to the recently deceased professor, Arthur Stengos (one of the finest agronomists in the galaxy, don’t you know). As they head to the Tranquil Repose funeral home we get a little peek behind the curtain of the operation and, surprise surprise, things are not quite as they seem. No one here is really dead, for a start; they’re just in suspended animation. Or so Davros would have you believe. Yes, that’s right, Davros is here with a small contingent of Daleks in tow.

With a planet called Necros, a guy called Davros, a bunch of Daleks, some rebels, and a couple of food suppliers that have their own galaxy-ruling dreams, you can bet your arse that the death count in this one is going to hit the ceiling. Throw in the mercenary, Orcini and his squire, Bostock, and watch the heads roll. Probably should say more about the plot at this point but, well, that’s a little hard to grasp. Hey, let’s distract ourselves with this DJ guy! I bet Alexei Sayle can fill us in on everything that’s going on. What’s that, he’s just here to be an annoying version of every American DJ trope you can think of? Oh, nuts.

(Listener Minis will be added to this page later today… /Leon)

Here's what we think of C143 Revelation 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

2.0

Jim | @jimmythewho

2.9

Here's what we think of C143 Revelation 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

2.0

Jim | @jimmythewho

2.9

Here's what you think 12 Responses to “C143 Revelation of the Daleks”
  1. David Levine

    Revelation of the Daleks is such a fun story, even if it is a bit overflowing with plot and characters. The Doctor and Peri almost seem like part of an ensemble cast rather than the stars of the story. The supporting characters are wonderful: Orcini, Bostock, Kara, Vogel, Tasambeker, Jobel, Takis, Lilt, Natasha, Grigory, the DJ, and Davros. Most of them are dead by the end but they are all pluses in my book.

    Orcini and Bostock, what a pair! I wouldn’t have minded seeing a set piece intro for them, before they were summoned by Kara. Tasambeker was annoying but she played her part well and it felt real. Jobel was a piece of work, blinded by his own image of himself such that he couldn’t see how he was responsible for his own death. The DJ stood out like a sore thumb. He didn’t feel like he belonged but he did add some color to the story.

    How come Davros recognized the Doctor but the dark grey Daleks didn’t? That seemed odd. Davros was great, as usual. He was so passionate, so intense.

    It’s a shame that they didn’t have more budget or time to devote to this story. I think another 45 minute episode would have really helped to pace the story a little better.

    I rate this story 4 Knights of the Grand Order of Oberon out of 5, mostly for the supporting cast. A great supporting character or cast can really make all the difference.

    Dalek Dave Levine

    You can find my full write up on Revelation of the Daleks at my TV/Movie blog. It is broken into two pieces as was this story.

    Part 1: https://smallscreenscrawls.blogspot.com/2022/09/doctor-who-1963-220601.html
    Part 2: https://smallscreenscrawls.blogspot.com/2022/09/doctor-who-1963-220602.html

  2. Dan from Devon

    Revelation is a funny one. It’s got some original and darkly comic ideas, memorable visuals and impressive performances (especially Terry Molloy and William Gaunt). But all of these are undercut by terrible pacing (*how* long before Doc turns up and does anything?), some of the worst acting that Equity had to offer in 1985 (hello, Jenny Tomasin) and that characteristic Eric Saward blend of callous brutality and brash 80s styling that always makes me feel a bit queasy.
    Colin does his best with what he’s been given but, a full seven adventures into his run, Sixie is still hard to love, particularly when he’s talking to (or ignoring) Peri. If he’d had a companion like Evelyn who could take him down a peg or two, his sharper corners might have been smoothed off a bit, but as it is season 22 always feels to me like watching two of my best friends splitting up in public.
    All in all, maybe the hiatus wasn’t such a bad thing.
    Most appropriate quote: “It’s creepy.” “And it’ll get a good deal creepier.”
    My rating: 2.2 bad wigs out of 5
    Dan from Devon

  3. Caleb from Australia

    Hey hey hello!

    Apologies for not writing in for what feels like the duration of my favourite season of Doctor Who! And now you have reached the cream-of-the-crop, bellissimo, c’est magnifique.

    Revelation of the Daleks was my first and endures as my favourite. My gateway into horror and blunt sarcasm at the age of six.

    Steeped in atmosphere, it’s concepts are just as genius as they are hideous, aided by the bitey dialogue written by Eric Saward; some highlights include:

    “I hope they’re on time. She’s already started to froth and we know what that leads to. Thank goodness the casket is lead lined.”

    “But did you bother to tell anyone they might be eating their own relatives?” “Certainly not. That would have created what I believe is termed, consumer resistance.”

    The Doctor and Peri continue to exemplify their affection for one another, tinged with juvenile teasing. I find their relationship almost familial – endearing and quite different from any other Doctor-companion duo in the past.

    Each supporting character has been crafted with care and is immediately memorable – they make the frosty planet of Necros feel like a (mal) functioning, lived-in place.

    The score from Roger Limb is one of my favourites and perfectly compliments the heightened direction from Graeme Harper; who never fails to highlight the exquisite art direction.

    I wish I could continue complementing this story, but for now I conclude by giving it a score of 5/5. I think it’s pretty cool.

    Caleb from Australia.

  4. Steven from Canada | @SAndreyechen

    This story is dark and nasty… and I love it!

    Well actually love is a bit too strong, there are a few things about it that I dislike.

    First off the constant comments about Peri’s weight are mean spirited and would be completely unpleasant if not for the irony of being said by Colin Baker.

    Secondly I’m getting a bit tired of Peri being lusted after, in Caves of Androzani I get they were going for a sort of Phantom of the Opera thing but in this it’s somewhat irrelevant. That’s not to say you can’t have predatory characters in media but they really shouldn’t be in Doctor Who since it cannot be properly addressed in a way suitable for its intended audience.

    Come to think of it this story despite having some of the most iconic of Doctor Who imagery present (ie Davros and the Daleks) it really doesn’t feel like an episode of Doctor Who. On one hand I can see this fact turning some people off but I think it works well. This is such an interesting story that I think would be heralded as a fantastic cult film if it had nothing to do with this I.P.

    I also think the DJ stuff was unnecessary and a bit confusing at first but I came around to it. Also some of the perspective on some of the special effect shots looked rough.

    There were many stand out parts but none that stick in my mind like that man being turned into a Dalek and begging for his daughter to kill him. I really liked it but I’m surprised it was something they got away with on TV, it feels like something Big Finish would do.

    Overall this story earns 4.9 little Davros finger chunks out of 5.

    Steven From Canada

  5. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    An Eric Saward Dalek story. Much like Resurrection and Attack of the Cybermen, this one shares the wonky plot issues of those. Saward style is multiple strands coming together at the end. This one I feel is better than Resurrection but weaker than Attack. There’s less in it than in the former and they mesh better, but the latter has better character points I feel. And like Saward’s other ones, there’s a violent gruesome streak. The talking head as a dalek which is destroyed by his daughter, wow. And the stiffs being turned into food is straight out of Soylent Green. Jobel’s death is particularly brutal. The dark humour is a bit hit and miss, I like the consumer resistance line.

    Once again it takes ages for the Doctor and Peri to turn up. If you discount the mutant scene, they spend the entire first part walking to the facility. That said I like them filming it in the snow, it gives it a nice atmosphere. Also this is the last time location work was done on film, next season onwards video is used outside and only model work is (sometimes) on film.

    Some nice ideas and some Dalek-on-Dalek action and Daleks going boom. I suppose you can’t complain too much 3.4/5 falling fake statues (JNT had had one made for some reason and then asked them to use it)

    …And the show is cancelled. Well, not quite, but almost. It was close. The end is coming and the vultures are circling, The show is very much on trial…

    Cheers

    Kieren

  6. Richie Von Sexington | @richiesexington

    Professional communist Alexei Sayle as a DJ in a funeral home run by Hyacinth Bucket’s husband who is doted on by someone who is either the worst actress I have ever seen or is deep deep into her part. Slap in some space bounty hunters, and people that don’t learn that you can’t trust Davros and we have ourselves 90 minutes of Doctor Who fun

    Again the ideas are big the Dalek Civil War itself could be a season arc on its own. Have the Doctor be in the middle of it as it rages around him as he saves people from it. But alas we just get a nibble on the sandwich and it is the bit without pickle

    The 80s shine through but not enough to kill the enjoyment of this one. Re watching I do think Colin Baker was hard done to and I prefer him to Davison

    Also necros the funeral planet to you get it nudge nudge necros. Mr Nation would be proud

    Score is 3.4 pointless non death scenes involving non tombstone tombstones

    Richie Von Sexington

  7. Ed Corbet

    Episode one starts with a location-shoot in a nice atmospheric snowscape and Doc and Peri spend the entire episode side-lined so we can be introduced to the guest-characters, but since:

    a) the title contains the word “Daleks”

    b) It’s written by Eric Saward

    c) It’s Doctor Who in 1985

    We know not to get too invested, they are all going to die horribly.

    William Gaunt’s Orcini is the stand-out guest-character; a past-his-prime assassin, looking for a last death or glory mission to redeem himself. He is also the only character that’s ever been able to handle the Doctor without receiving a hint of defiance, disapproval or indignation in the process.

    Standing out for a different reason is Alexei Sayle’s DJ. He’s supposed to be the in-house entertainment for the interred, but I think he’s really there to punish them for their hubris in trying to cheat death. I realise it’s supposed to be a parody of 80’s DJs, but he goes too far with it and I could barely understand a word he said.

    They introduced an interesting idea of having Doc find his own gravestone. This could have formed the basis of an interesting story, but is thrown away here for a cheap cliff-hanger, diminished even during execution by Peri suspecting (and Davros confirming) it’s a trick.

    A continuation of the Dalek civil-war plot-line introduced in Resurrection. The Daleks’ sparing use in the 80s, means their final stories are some of their best.

    4.1

    Ed Corbet

  8. Bob Balderdash

    Bob here! I’m not sure how to feel about this one. Generally, I really liked the serial, but I can’t ignore the fact that Peri and the Doctor are completely irrelevant until the very end. All of the side characters carry the plot forward. Even Davros’ downfall was not from the actions of the Doctor or Peri.

    Likes:
    -Kara’s chemistry with her secretary
    -The costumes and sets
    -The Doctor and Peri’s relationship. Peri also had a lot of agency and was pretty bearable.
    -The Dalek Dad scene was so dark and I loved it
    -The multitude of factions. It made the plot a lot more interesting
    -Davros’ Palpatine Powers

    BEEFS:
    -Peri kills someone? Why was that necessary?
    -Peri breaks the Doctor’s watch? Why was that necessary?
    -Chekhov’s Flower
    -Peri and the DJ’s terrible American accents (and the way they pronounced “DJ”)
    -As is present in every single Collin Baker serial so far, a creep slobbers over Peri
    -Why is Davros alive? “Escape pod” cannot fix the fact that he was poisoned and then blown up
    -Jobel and his assistant plot line. It was so long, and it ended with the assistant being killed anyway, making that whole subplot void.
    -Ending was a bit rushed

    All in all, a 2.44 ways of pronouncing the name “Jobel” out of 5.

  9. Neil | @neilandrozani & @neiljamesactor

    Good morrow Who Back When dudes!

    Another classic season in the bank. The end is sadly in sight!

    Thanks for the continued hard work you put in for us fans.

    Revelation Of The Daleks (212 words):
    It’s obvious from very early on that this story has been graced with a good director. Welcome back to The Caves Of Androzani’s Graeme Harper! The early sequence with Peri exiting the Tardis and stumbling down to the stream is stunning. I love all this location stuff in the snow with the exciting mutant attack. The mutant’s make up is wonderfully horrible, and the Doc and Peri look great in their blue outfits.

    The problem though, is that the pace is way too slow – it takes the Doc the entire first episode just to arrive at Tranquil Repose. The acting is a bit of a mixed bag. I like performances of Jobel, Bostock and Kara. Sadly, I find the actress playing Tasambeker to be borderline unwatchable. And the DJ was fucking bollocks. The best thing about this story is definitely the character and performance of Orcini – now there’s a spin-off we should have had! Watching Orcini assassinate evil bastards every week would have been ace!

    So, to sum up, I think it’s good, but a little grim. There has been a violent nastiness to a lot of this season and I do see it again here in Revelation. But on the plus side, Davros using his head-in-a-jar as a decoy was fantastic.
    Rating – 2.8

    Neil

  10. GP Haynes | @FindingGspots (Insta & YouTube)

    Colin Bakers Dalek episode is disappointing. The return of Davros equally so is below par

    A rather confusing and grim planet is the setting, and I admit in parts its quite creepy.

    However the tone is all over the place, along with the plot.

    And what’s with this stupid DJ? He couldn’t be more annoying if he tried.

    I dislike all of the characters, except perhaps Orcini the Assassin!

    Still, the production is quite high and I’m still enjoying Baker, and his partnership with Peri is more mature.

    But why does Peri continue to be treated as just an object of prettiness and perhaps sexual desire?

    This episode does not do her any service.

    For an episode of Daleks, it doesn’t really have that many, but I guess that’s the plot ( from what sense I can make ) for Davros to turn people into Daleks, a-la Cybermen to increase his personal army

    Its halfway into the 2nd part before we see a few Daleks in multiple scenes. The highlight being different Daleks trying to destroy each other.

    Overall, sorry, this just doesn’t work for me!

    Rating: 1.7 disappointing Great Healer experiments

    Cheers

    GP Haynes

    Australia

  11. Peter Zunitch

    How do I love thee? Let me not count the ways. First, in this 90-minute saga, the Doctor and Peri do exactly three things, club a mutant, shoot a Dalek, and walk around. Second, Davros’s Daleks do exactly two things, kill random allies at the strangest times, and move around. Third, Davros does two things, (both of them poorly) shouts and manipulates. Fourth, the true saviors of the day are the Imperial Daleks, and an ok character we’ll never see again. Fifth, the premise is a farce, the Daleks could have just killed everyone and taken over. Honestly, someone had the balls to call this a script? I love Eric Saward’s writing. However there are many consistent errors this season point to a poor script editor.

    There are exactly 4 great, but fleeting moments various pairs of characters. These fail to compensate for everything else. Why? Because when you throw characters into random scenes, but totally fail to actually properly introduce them until the third act, your viewers are not only confused, but totally apathetic to anything they do, say or experience. The first 20 minutes were so confusing. First I fell asleep. Then I horrifically had to rewatch it just to understand anything. Finally, the cast (even Colin) is a letdown. The only stand-out actors, Kara and her assistant are unfortunately totally superfluous to the story. What a waste of Alexi Sayle.

    Proper Dr. Who doesn’t make me angry. Worse than Twin Dilemma, Slightly edges out Celestial Toymaker. 0.8

  12. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Likes:

    – The Doctor killing the Dalek with an Uzi.
    – Davros – everything! His bonkers scheme, his piss-take dialogue on ‘customer resistance’, his fake swivel head, his random decisions to stir shit up and kill people for no discernible reason. Why did he even lure the Doctor here? Makes no sense! Love it.
    – the Knight and his smelly squire, and the ‘you first’ stab fest. Amazing.
    – The Doctor going to shake Davros’s blown off hand. Colin Baker is a comedy genius. There’s a really good Big Finish with the Sixth Doctor and this Davros (the Juggernauts, or something) where the Doctor and Davros are forced to work together and it’s full of comedy duo moments.
    – Random character assassination: Characters that are SS torturing gits in Episode one and suddenly the heros in Episode 2…
    – A Dalek Civil War – a teaser for things to come…

    Only beefs: the worst actress award ever (you know who), although her finale was engaging. And no trip to Blackpool to battle Michal Gough. Booo.

    Rating: 4.8/5 dead people, turned into Daleks or fed to starving people or something. Who cares. So so good.

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