"I'm not coming with you."
Jason A. Miller | New York, New York USA | 09/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Resurrection of the Daleks" is the first of the stories available on DVD that I saw as a fan. I was only eleven years old and had only been watching the show (aired nightly on PBS) for a month. It made a huge impact on me and led, indirectly, to my sitting here on a perfectly pleasant September evening 19 years later, writing this review.A lot of "Resurrection" is still effective today. I saw this story first the year that it debuted -- 1984 -- and, of course, a lot of the acting and special effects seem woefully dated today. What I like is the air of actual *menace* around these Daleks, as opposed to a string of predictable, less-than-memorable 1970s outings. These Daleks actually instill horror in their victims. They shoot on sight and play fast and loose with biological weapons. "Resurrection" is a violent, gruesome story whose impact is only slightly dulled by the two dozen badly-acted death scenes of random extras. One of the extras, referred to on the commentary track only as "the Geek", looks a lot like David Letterman. For what it's worth.The DVD extras make this package the better of the two "DW" stories released in the US this summer. The obligatory text commentary, full of location filming dates and guest actor credits, also describes in detail the evolution of the story's script over the three years it took to get to screen. We learn how actor Terry Molloy (the third and final "Davros") spent hours practicing the voice, to make the character sound like Michael Wisher, the original (and best) Davros. Molloy truly is excellent playing a ranting wheelchair-bound villain in a latex mask (which, we learn, caused "lakes of sweat" to pool inside the oversized rubber chin), and would go on to play the role right up through the end of "Doctor Who" as a series.The audio track is also a winner. Peter Davison (the Doctor) is back for his third DVD and is, as always, hilarious. Janet Fielding (Tegan, who makes her emotional departure at the end of "Resurrection") puts in her first DVD performance. She's done her homework, giving a lot of convincing detail, and still finds time to count the many furtive glances that co-star Mark Strickson (Turlough) shot to the camera as he strived to get more face time. Story director Matthew Robinson seems to remember the setup for every camera angle and every shot in the story, and lets us know it. Still, it's the level of detail and humor that puts this in the "above average" range of DW audio commentaries, after a rather dull recent run by actors and directors with distressingly porous memories.Another good extra is the lengthy "on location" segment, which returns to the narrow, dank Thames waterfront alleys where the story was filmed. It's all gone upscale now. Robinson re-enacts old scenes by lurking in alcoves that have since become pastry shop windows. Also interspersed here is an interview with producer John Nathan-Turner, evidently the last interview he gave before his death last year. Also in the "deleted scenes" is the alternative cliffhanger to Part Two... which was actually the cliffhanger used when I first saw this story in the US in 1984. I like this "alternate" version better than the "official" one, as it ends a couple of menacing beats later.The ultimate goal, I think, is to get as much of Davison's Season 21 output on DVD as possible. We have two of his six stories out now, and that's just not enough."
Brave heart, Tegan
rnorton828 | Riverbend, IL | 09/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Resurrection of the Daleks marked the return of the Doctor's oldest enemies for the first time in four years. This story is set on two opposing ends of a time corridor generated by the Daleks. One end is in 1984 London, where the Daleks are keeping samples of the deadly Movellan virus that has wiped out untold numbers of Daleks. The other end is aboard the Daleks' command ship several centuries into the future where their creator Davros has been imprisoned aboard a space station for the last 90 years. The Daleks' plan is to rescue Davros and free him from his cyogenic chamber, then force him to develop a cure for the Movellan virus. The Doctor's TARDIS gets caught in the time corridor and is dragged to London, where the Doctor begins to seek out what's being guarded in the warehouse nearby, and why it is so important. We see some great performances from several supporting cast members in this story, including Rula Lenska (as Styles) and Rodney Bewes (Stein), Lesley Grantham (Kiston) and, of course Terry Molloy as Davros. Resurrection is one of the stronger Dalek stories during the latter years of the classic Doctor Who series, and one of the best DW stories of the 80's. It also represents the beginning in the turnover in DW's cast which took place during the show's twenty-first season as Tegan Jovanka (played by Janet Fielding) leaves the series at the end of this story. The following story Planet of Fire included the introduction of Nicola Bryant as Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown as well as the departure of Mark Strickson as Turlough. And then of course, The Caves of Androzani sees the departure of Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and the introduction of Colin Baker as Doctor Number Six. Resurrection of the Daleks was one of the strongest stories of what was arguably the best season of Peter Davison's run as the Doctor."
A good story made into an excellent DVD
D. M. Farmbrough | Wisconsin, USA | 05/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must congratulate the BBC's DVD department. They just cram these Doctor Who discs full of features.This is a pretty good story anyway, continuing the story of the Davros character from a previous story, but it stands alone as well, so you will not be lost if you have not seen the other story. The Doctor's party arrives at Shad Thames in London (Some particularly good filming of a historic dockyard, shortly before 1980s redevelopment into trendy restaurants and flats) where the Daleks are operating a time corridor into the future with the assistance of a mercenary called Lytton, robot duplicates and fake policemen. The Daleks' plan is to rescue their creator Davros from imprisonment, and er... well probably take over the Earth or something. The plot's not that important sadly, but the dialogue and performances more than make up for this.The regulars turn in good performances, particularly Peter Davison, whose Doctor goes through the mill in this adventure, showing great sadness at the end of the story as one of his companions departs. There are perhaps too many guest stars (the story is a little cluttered with characters) but the calibre of actor is very high, with Rodney Bewes and Maurice Colbourne particularly worthy of note. Terry Molloy is also pretty good as chief villain Davros, having a difficult job to take over the role from another actor at short notice.The DVD has an informed and interesting commentary by Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, and director Matthew Robinson. They treat their work on the programme with both a great seriousness and also an irreverent humour, which is just right for the subject matter.The isolated music score is a little curious. I can't really see anyone watching the DVD with just the music and no dialogue/effects noises. I tried this and it looked curiously like a silent movie. Perhaps this is more for fans of the music, which is a pretty good score by Malcolm Clarke.The TARDIS-Cam No. 4 features a small underwater scene and is nothing spectacular.The Breakfast Time interviews are interesting and good to have on this DVD as they help put the programme into the context of its time.The on-location documentary is a little short and is hampered by the fact that producer John Nathan-Turner was interviewed separately from the director and writer.The subtitled production notes are informative but there's so much information it's difficult to follow these at the same time as the commentary.The extended and deleted scenes are nothing special, but it's nice to have them, and the same goes for the BBC1 trailer. There was supposed to be something called 'Whose Who' (it's listed on the back) but I couldn't find it! The Photo gallery is well-presented as usual, and much more watchable than most DVD galleries.One point must be made, that the DVD transfer is very clear, the sound quality is superb, in particular the stereo re-mastering of the score and soundtrack. All in all, an excellent product."
Beginning of end of the Peter Davison era
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 02/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Resurrection of the Daleks is the beginning of a phasing out trilogy. In May 1983, Peter Davison (The Doctor) decided that the upcoming season would be his last one, so scripts were rewritten to phase out Tegan, Turlough, and the Doctor. When it happened, it took place in the last Peter Davison stories.In 1984, a series of mysterious cylinders have been found in a London warehouse and are under investigation by Colonel Archer of the Bomb Disposal Squad. This was also the same scene where a pair of policemen gun down all but two of a group of escaping fugitives. The survivor, the cowardly and wounded Stien, meets the Doctor, Tegan, and Turlough, who have been dragged down to Earth by a time corridor.In space, a group of commandos led by Lytton and some Daleks lead an attack on a space station holding Davros prisoner. It's not too difficult, as the low morale and a lackadaisical attitude observed by recently-arrived Lieutenant Mercer lead to nearly all the crew being killed.The seeds for the Dalek schism that would plague both remaining Dalek stories are set here, as Davros, who has been freed to help the Daleks develop an antidote to a virus that led to their defeat in a war against their foes the Movellans (q.v. Destiny Of The Daleks), has decided to create some new Daleks obedient to him and not to the Supreme Dalek. He gains followers in his circle, including human troops, whom he conditions. Yet, he rants and raves throughout most of this story, and at times, his dialogue is unintelligible, maybe because of microphone troubles beneath the mask or it being drowned by the music.Interesting effects in this story is a scary scene of someone's whose face is rotting away, and the way the Daleks succumb to the virus.Maurice Colbourne (Lytton) and his two bodyguards would reappear in Attack of the Cybermen where they would be killed off. The character of Lytton, the ruthless and no-nonsense mercenary unafraid to tell the Daleks off, is one of the few interesting ones. Same with Stien, a cowardly, uncertain, and later on, divided personality, and Rodney Bewes does a good portrayal to that effect. All the other characters seem unimportant, as many are unnamed or unidentified until later episodes.As this is Tegan's departure story, Janet Fielding has a good emotional leaving scene, where her character is sickened by the carnage that has taken place. Indeed, only three humanoid characters survive in this extremely high body count story.This story has been compared to Earthshock, which was also written by Eric Saward and featured the Cybermen, and has been criticized for being all gloss and no substance. While the action sequences and regular characters are good, the lack of strong characters, and maybe too many characters who just fill up the story and get killed off."