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Resurrection of the Daleks

Video review by Phillip Braithwaite

It was something of a treat to watch Resurrection of the Daleks for many reasons. One is I have only a slightly less than wonderful pirated copy of The Five Doctors to represent the Peter Davison era in my video collection; another is his era is the only I have not watched since it was last screened; and the last is I am quite fond of his Doctor both because his acting is very good and because his is the first full era of Doctor Who that I watched as a child.

Resurrection of the Daleks overall is a fairly decent story. However it is more notable for its entertainment value than for its solid plot. Indeed the plot is something of a jumble.

Firstly the idea of the Daleks rescuing Davros from some sort of cryogenics chamber so that he might help them cure the Movellan virus is a rather good one. But the trouble begins with Eric Saward throwing in the other almost pointless plot strand where canisters of the virus are stored on Earth. This is not a logical part of the plot. Saward could also have totally avoided the ridiculous 'assassinate the President of Gallifrey' throwaway line, which served no purpose in the story whatsoever, presumably simply included so a flashback sequence could be thrown in. The duplication idea was also completely pointless - why clone people if you can have the real ones?

I assume that Saward was attempting to achieve intelligent eighties-style plots by using different plot strands and having them all link up at the end of the story as he did fairly effectively in the excellent Earthshock. But with this story he has simply made it a thousand times more complicated than it needed to be.

The ending is something of a disappointment. It was thoroughly predictable and obvious that they would release the canisters in the ship; there was no difficulty in doing it. Why does Davros die? He said himself that he wasn't a Dalek!

The scene of Stein hurling himself at the ship's self destruct system also leaves much to be desired as I feel it was rather an easy way out; and hadn't the Daleks already been destroyed?

The acting is of a high standard. Peter Davison and Janet Fielding are, as usual, excellent. The very good departure scene at the end is one of the highlights of the story.

The effects are generally quite good; the Daleks' lasers are one step off the excellence achieved in Remembrance of the Daleks and the Daleks bursting with foam at the end is probably one of the best monster death scenes ever.

On the down side, the weapons that the opposing side uses make tinny noises, generate no visible beam and look rather like children's toys! The Daleks are a little shaky and close up they sometimes look as if they are going to fall apart.

Overall Resurrection is a good piece of entertainment, but as a logically developed story, well...

This item appeared in TSV 39 (May 1994).

Index nodes: Resurrection of the Daleks