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Resurrection of the Daleks

Reviewed by Jamas Enright


'Action takes courage. That is something you lack.'

One word summarises most of this story: sloppy. The opening shot is a horrendous tracking sequence by a very shaky camera, and the action it moves on to...

The first three episodes contain horrible acting, pathetic special effects, and an amazingly over-complicated plot. Remove the entire duplicate sub-plot, and rewrite for just the prison ship, the attackers, and the bomb disposal squad. Eric Saward admitted that it got rather messy, and he was right. Fortunately, although the plot to assassinate the High Council of Gallifrey is completely asinine, it is really only a one-liner, and so can be mercifully forgotten.

Rodney Bewes and Maurice Colbourne give strong portrayals as the conflict-ridden Stien and the grim Commander Lytton, but they are unable to save the story from its own demise.

The only redeeming features are in the fourth episode. The stand-off between the Doctor and Davros is brilliantly done, where we are treated to Davros' warped viewpoint of his true vision of the Daleks, and we are shown the Doctor's own morality, which makes him unable to carry out his own desire and kill Davros. However, that same morality does not extend to the Daleks, who he is prepared to use any means necessary, packets of dynamite and the Movellan virus, to get rid of them, although this level of violence finally drives Tegan to leave.

Tegan's departure is one of the uncommon ones, the companions usually choosing to stay and help in whatever situation they are (e.g. Steven in The Savages, and Nyssa in Terminus), but Tegan leaves because she isn't having fun any more. In the final scene, the Doctor is shown that the ends do not justify the means, and he is forced to reconsider his lifestyle (although he doesn't seem any less squeamish in killing off Kamelion in the next story).

Resurrection of the Daleks is the start of the splitting of the Dalek factions, under Davros and the Supreme Dalek, and it is nice to see the Daleks being so devious, even though that isn't strictly logical. The Daleks are also getting to be very good shots, managing to kill three humans for one blast!

But even the strength of the final episode isn't enough to totally overcome the stupidity of the fight sequences, and explain why people can't seem to die realistically, and as for those ridiculous hats that Lytton and co. wear ... Resurrection will not be one of the all time greats, leaving the equivalent of a bitter taste in the mouth after watching. Pity.

This item appeared in TSV 49 (November 1996).

Index nodes: Resurrection of the Daleks