The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Peri to the planet Necros, where the Doctor plans to visit his old friend Professor Arthur Stengos. But after an encounter with the Great Healer, Stengos is not quite the man the Doctor once... more » knew. The Great Healer works in the catacombs beneath Tranquil Repose, the galactically-famous final resting place for the dead and the not-quite-yet-dead. In the upper chambers the busy workers prepare the deceased for their final burial, while deep below the Great Healer is using their bodies for a sinister project of his own. For the Great Healer is also known by another name - Davros, creator of the Daleks, who's using the bodies to build himself a brand new Dalek army. The Doctor attempts to stop Davros while Stengos' daughter searches for her missing father and the local DJ uses rock 'n' roll music as a defense against the Daleks. Many are searching for Davros, but the evil scientist has a plan that will eradicate all opposition and enable him to lead his Daleks on a new mission of universal conquest... This stylish adventure with its uniquely dark humor was first broadcast 23-30 March 1985.« less
A first-rate Dalek story. The peak of an under-rated era.
G.Spider | 12/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Doctor and Peri arrive on Necros, the 'planet of the dead', where there is a whole complex filled with people in suspended animation whilst the Great Healer works on cures for whatever diseases they are suffering from.But before long the 'Great Healer' is revealed to be none other than Davros, sinister genetic engineer and creator of the Daleks. Having been abandoned by the original Daleks, he is engineering replacements.This is not only the best Colin Baker story, but also one of the finest Dalek adventures ever made. There is a very grown-up feel about it with genuine suspence, sexual undercurrents and horror which is suggestive rather than tasteless. The whole thing is filled with strong characters such as bounty hunters (a space-age knight and his squire), a superbly cold-hearted female villain and a futuristically-weird DJ. Davros and the Daleks (with impressive new white casings) are at their dramatic best and the music and scenery are first-rate. Watch for one partically memorable scene involving a glass Dalek.Highly recommended. Even if you dislike Colin Baker (though personally I think he was an under-rated Doctor who should have been given more time in the series), this adventure is still unmissable."
Welcome to Tranquil Repose...and to ivory and gold Daleks
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 03/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The final story of the 22nd season of Doctor Who has the Time Lord dealing with his worst enemies, those Dalek pepperpots, only this time they have a really nice ivory and gold colour scheme. The Doctor and Peri are paying their respects to Arthur Stengos, one of the galaxy's finest agronomists. His body is lying in the Tranquil Repose on the planet Nekros (perfect place for a funeral planet!). TR is a cryogenics repository where people with incurable diseases are suspended and later restored to life when a cure for their condition has been found. At the same time, TR's vain and arrogant supervisor, Jobel is ready to make funerary history, as he has just finished the president's wife and is ready, with his staff to receive the president. Jobel is played by Clive Swift, best known as Richard, Hyacinth's husband in Keeping Up Appearances. He has a great line at the Doctor's expense. After being insulted by the Doctor, who has survived a phony statue falling on him, Jobel retorts, "If the statue had been made of stone I doubt if would've killed you. ... It would take a mountain to crush an ego like yours."Then there's Grigori and Natasha, the latter Stengos's daughter, who break into the catacombs, where the vaults are. She suspects her father's body has been stolen, and indeed it has. But where's the head? She and her partner find it, and it's being put to grotesque use.However, that's not all the work going on at Tranquil Repose. The turbaned Kara (Eleanor Bron) is in charge of a factory manufacturing a high protein concentrate ready to sell to developing planets at such a low price, their accountants are embarrassed. Whatever profit she gains is being squeezed by the Great Healer, an alias used by Davros, creator of the Daleks and now master of a new breed of Daleks subservient to him rather than the Supreme Dalek. However, not to worry-she has hired Orcini, a professional assassin and excommunicated member of the Grand Order of the Knights of Oberon to get rid of Davros, and he is dedicated. He has an artificial leg with a faulty hydraulic valve, and rather than getting it replaced, he prefers the inconvenience as a reminder of his mortality and to keep his mind alert. He's also conscientious, as he gives any fees he gets to charity. Assassinating Davros is an honourary job he is willing to undertake.Davros himself is aware of the Doctor's presence, but he has eyes and ears around TR. He rants against Jobel, who refused his offer of immortality, and uses Tasambeker, played by Jenny Tomasin (Ruby from Upstairs Downstairs) a fawning and not too good looking female employee infatuated with him, as a loyal servant, and later, orders her to kill Jobel, who conspires with employees Takis and Lilt against him. And he thinks the DJ, a prattling disc jockey, played funnily by Alexi Sayle, who pipes in announcements and 50's/60's music to the bodies in state, knows too much.There is all sorts of violence here. A leg is blown off one person, a hand off another, but Script Editor Eric Saward defended the violence as being realistic instead of the phony violence one sees in US action movies. If you shoot someone's hand at close range, it gets blown off, plain and simple.Saward had read Evelyn's Waugh's The Loved One, which takes place in a funeral parlour, where Aimee Thanatogenos, a crematorium cosmetician becomes infatuated with artiste embalmer Mr. Joyboy. Here, Joyboy becomes Jobel, and Thanatogenos becomes Tasambeker. Indeed, a line from Jobel on the president's wife also mentions the title: "she's a loved one who's passed on to pastures finer and lusher than those she knew in life."There are actually places like Tranquil Repose on Earth, but would they be economically feasible? With overpopulation, future generations have no incentive to cure the sick from generations back, as they would be technologically and culturally out-of-date. What could they do if cured?A worthwhile story, given that most of the story dealt with the non-Dalek shenanigans going on in TR, but afterwards, it was clear that Doctor Who was living on borrowed time."
Two of the very best from the Dalek canon
JKO | New York, NY USA | 06/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Daleks! Two words that genuinely strike fear into British children of a certain age, no matter how old they may be now! The `pepper pot' enemies of the BBC TV's heroic Time Lord - Doctor Who, made their debut in the second story ever broadcast from their long running serial and were so successful that they appeared and again and again in the subsequent 26 year run of the show and indeed made a stunning re-appearance in the new adventures in 2005. This pair of DVD releases from BBC Video celebrates two of their encounters with the Doctor, dating from 1975 and 1985. And they're both classics.
Genesis of the Daleks was the fourth of five stories broadcast in Tom Baker's first season as the fourth Doctor, albeit recorded fifth. It has to be said that by the time the mutant Skarosians met the Gallifreyan in this story, the Daleks seemed to have run out of steam. Their three appearances in the last three seasons starring the third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, were somewhat lackluster and certainly covered a lot of ground previously explored by writer and Dalek creator Terry Nation. Thankfully, when he submitted yet another retread of the Dalek tales, outgoing producer Barry Letts and his script editor Terrance Dicks, tactfully pointed out to Nation that it was all getting a bit tired and that perhaps a story about the Genesis of the Daleks would be more interesting. Nation leapt on the idea and came back with arguably one of the greatest stories in the entire Doctor Who canon. Genesis has been seen on the BBC five times over the years, a record for any Doctor Who story, albeit in two cut down versions on occasions. The full six-part adventure is re-mastered and released on DVD for the first time now in it's episodic format as originally broadcast in the late winter, early spring of 1975. It is almost a faultless story and the execution of the script beyond parallel. Indeed, although a fan of the Letts/Dicks era, I do wonder how it would stand up had they still been in charge when the show was made. It was left to new producer Philip Hinchcliffe and his script editor Robert Holmes to bring the show to the screen and this story goes a long way to proving why they are regarded as the show's most successful production team.
If you are a Doctor Who devotee, there are some niggling continuity problems to worry about in terms of the Dalek history that had been established over the preceding 11 or so years, but Nation has indeed done a great job in reinventing his malevolent creatures without too much disruption to their past storyline. The Daleks themselves play a relatively minor role in the story as the focus is on their evil genius creator Davros and his team of humanoid henchmen. The performance of Michael Wisher as Davros is truly outstanding and one of the finest and most chilling turns ever presented in the series. The regular cast of Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter are simply superb and the guest cast dazzles. It is rare for everything to come together so perfectly in Doctor Who and Genesis is truly one of the best examples of such an occasion.
Revelation of the Daleks, made and broadcast in 1985 and starring Colin Baker as Doctor number six isn't quite up to the same standard, and will probably suffer in comparison to the earlier story, but when taken in context of Baker's short run as the Time Lord, this really is one of his classic adventures. Made as two 45-minute episodes and broadcast in March 1985 at the end of Baker's first season, alas the story came to air just after it had been announced that the next season had been postponed and the show was going to be off the air for 18 months. The BBC was blaming the overtly violent nature of the show as their reasoning for the cancellation, and this story does indeed highlight many of their concerns. But it is also a very humorous script, albeit darkly so; and again the performances and the production values do go a long way to raising it up in an otherwise mediocre season.
Davros makes a fourth appearance in this story, penned by script editor Eric Saward, this time played by Terry Molloy. Although Molloy turns in a good performance, comparison with the `original' Davros is inevitable and he may disappoint as a result. Colin Baker takes something of a back seat in this story, as do the Daleks themselves, which allows the assembled guest cast the chance to shine and indeed dominate. Clive Swift, Eleanor Bron, William Gaunt, John Ogwen, Hugh Walters and even the incomprehensibly bad Jenny Tomasin, really stand out in this story, with a neat cameo from Alexei Sayle almost stealing the show. Even the minor characters really stand out in this adventure. It's a shame that this story aired when it did. Despite ratings of over 7.5 million viewers (something David Tennant's much hyped Doctor is struggling to achieve), the earlier disappointments of this twenty-second season of the Doctor had rung the death knell loud and clear.
The extras for these two stories are as always superb. The six-part Genesis is contained on one disc, with commentary by Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah-Jane), Director David Maloney and guest actor Peter Miles (Nyder). The quartet provide a very, very interesting and entertaining insight into the making of the show as does the accompanying disc featuring two lengthy documentaries. One covers the making of the show from concept to screen; the other is a potted history of the Daleks. There are also continuity announcements, a Blue Peter featurette, Photos and other PDF files accessible on your computer. The only minor (very minor) criticism I have is that the information subtitles that follow the storyline are somewhat repetitive of what features in the documentaries and the commentary and in a lot of cases are on screen so briefly, that hitting the pause button is the only way to read them. For Revelation, the extras include a commentary from Nicola Bryant (the Doctor's companion Peri), Terry Molloy (Davros), Director Graeme Harper and writer/script editor Eric Saward. Molloy is billed as "Malloy" on the sleeve. Oops! There's also outtakes and `in studio' footage from the recording, new CGI effects, continuity announcements, photos and soundtrack options. Full credit goes to BBC Video for such interesting and indeed extensive extras. These alone make the purchase worthwhile.
The Dalek stories that remain on the shelves are perhaps the least interesting from their canon, but if the folks at BBC Video can pull together the same quality of extras that they have for these two releases, they will be worth waiting for."
BE AT PEACE
Thomas E. O'Sullivan | Knoxville, Maryland United States | 08/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"By 1985 DOCTOR WHO had not only been wounded, but it was bleeding and blood was in the water - it was only a matter of time before the axe fell and the show once believed would never die would be dead. And died it did - but not before REVELATION OF THE DALEKS was finished and ready for release. Had the show stopped here, some might have been disappointed - while others might have rejoiced. Either way going out with a Dalek story, and a Dalek story about death and rebirth - you couldn't have asked for better.
REVELATION is one of the few DOCTOR WHO stories that is so much a DOCTOR WHO story, yet almost has NOTHING to do with DOCTOR WHO. Both Peri and the Doctor play secondary roles here. They arrive on the scene at the end of a much longer, and mostly unseen, story and fall into and fill in the gaps and the cracks in the plot. The Doctor literally takes a backseat here. He's always playing catch up, and when he finally gets caught up, he's being pushed out of the story by bigger and better characters, larger plots and a final showdown between his enemies with him stuck in the background only able to look on. Peri's role is expanded a little here as she's allowed to wander off into trouble and not be resuced at the last moment by the Doctor. Death is literally around every corner - and there is the very real sense that anyone could really die.
There's also love, passion, romance, lust, revenge and villiany - and Daleks. Davros is back and has taken his new Daleks deeper into racial purity by casting them in cream white cases with gold accents. They're the new Angels, and his old creations are his own Fallen, and they're back as well looking to punish their creator. Everything about this story screams invention, ideas, concept, charm and wit. Funny, scary, brutal, over the top and underplayed all at once, it bookends neatly with the true, final story of DOCTOR WHO - GHOST LIGHT.
Just as in REVELATION the Doctor in GHOST LIGHT takes a back seat to all the action, deep characters and already involved story. And they both nearly end the same as well - with the Doctor and his companion sharing a moment, a musing and moving on. In the case of the Seventh Doctor it would be in SURVIVAL, as for the Sixth it would be into limbo... and public outcry.
This is another well stocked DVD with a host of extras that help to accent the already excellent story. Commentary is included and is very fun. Everyone involved is very involved with the story and with each other, they bring the facts with them, their memories and the good times are brought to the fore with a lot of laughter. The only real downside is that Colin Baker is not on had to add his own thoughts to the mix.
There's a solid MAKING OF documentary and the production notes help to add more background to both the production and the story. But by far the best feature is IN STUDIO A another look at the show from behind the camera where everything is happening at once. Action, direction, special effects, problems, retakes and makeup - you name it, it's all going on. The Doctor also takes a back seat here as well - it's the Daleks, Davros and the rest that get the most camera time - a fantastic feature (and one that appears on the release of GHOST LIGHT as well).
For some this story was a waste of time. For others it was just another Dalek story - for myself, it was another example of just how flexible this show could be when allowed to run. REVELATION OF THE DALEKS is one of the best the series produced and a must for those new to the series and us old hands (just watch your fingers).
"It would take a mountain to crush an ego like yours."
rnorton828 | Riverbend, IL | 04/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Doctor Who's twenty-second season (Colin Baker's first season as Doctor Number Six) closed in the spring of 1985 with Revelation of the Daleks, written by then-script editor Eric Saward and directed by Graeme Harper. Revelation may not be as strong as Genesis of the Daleks (with Tom Baker) or Resurrection of the Daleks (with Peter Davison), but it is one of the stronger Sixth Doctor stories. The Doctor and Peri (Nicola Bryant) arrive on the funeral planet of Necros, home of the cryogenics repository run by Jobel (played by Keeping Up Appearances' Clive Swift). The time travelers have come to pay their respects to the late agronomist Arthur Stengos. Terry Malloy returns as Davros, the creator of the Doctor's oldest enemies, the Daleks. Malloy is the third actor to play Davros, and the only actor to repeat the role. Davros has created a whole new breed of Daleks obedient only to him rather than the Supreme Dalek on Skaro, the Daleks' original homeworld. I love the ivory and gold color scheme for Davros' Daleks. Eleanor Bron (who made a cameo in the Tom Baker story City of Death) plays Kara, who runs a factory which produces and distributes protein concentrates as food for developing planets. Kara's profits are being sucked away by The Great Healer (a.k.a. Davros) to fund the creation of his new Daleks. She hires Orcini (William Gaunt), a former member of the Grand Order of the Knights of Oberon, to assassinate Davros. Alexei Sayle of The Young Ones fame adds some comic relief as the DJ, who provides music along with humorous announcements. Producer John Nathan-Turner had been gradually increasing the violence over the past three seasons with Peter Davison's Doctor, and Season 22 was the most violent yet, and Revelation was, without a doubt, the most violent story of the season. The story's greatest strengths come from acting performances--especially from the supporting cast, including Swift, Bron and Gaunt--as well as Eric Saward's writing (Saward also wrote Earthshock and Resurrection of the Daleks, two of the best stories from the Peter Davison era) and the direction of Graeme Harper (The Caves of Androzani). Revelation of the Daleks made a strong close to a largely disappointing season, and I expect this to make an excellent DVD release."