|Reviews for Resurrection of the Daleks
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|Adrian Sherlock, Melbourne, Australia
|Wednesday 28 April 2004
This is one of the four best Dr.Who stories I ever saw on TV growing up, the others were Earthshock, The Five Doctors (the original brisk version, not the rather slow special edition we seem to be stuck with) and Caves of Androzani. Oddly, Eric Saward, who was one of the best things in the much criticised 80s decade has, illogically, been blamed for the all the bad things in 80s Who, by fans.
Criticising this story for it's flaws is like focusing on the orange clams that try and gnaw Harry Sullivan's leg off in Genesis of the Daleks, this story has a ton of action, so there's more that can go wrong in a low budget production, but overall, this is a classy and exciting adventure.
Eric Saward is oft deried for his plots, but Saward's real strength is in his ability to imagine gripping situations. In Earthshock it was dark cave tunnels where futuristic troops clash with faceless androids and a massive space freighter where a tiny crew are beseiged by glittering Cybermen.
Here it's a dark, rain swept London docklands, where police and soldiers are killed and swiftly, silently replaced with cold blooded clone duplicates who serve the Daleks. It's drenched with atmosphere, brutally realistic, and deeply paranoic. We eventually learn that the Daleks are secreting these evil impostors in key postions of society to cause Earth society to collapse, a much more subtle idea that their usual conquer the Universe by sheer force approach. It's bomb disposal squad investigating alien objects mistaken for unexploded bombs is straight out of Quatermass and the Pit, while the clone thing is very Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the type of films Robert Holmes often paid homage to during the Gothic Horror era.
Then there's the delapidated space station where the Daleks blast their way in and kill the crew and try to free their creator Davros. A classic base under seige tale is given a dark twist, because the Doctor fails to get there in time to help, and they all die.
For once, we get to see the senseless violence and shocking horror which the Daleks bring, instead of just hearing about it. And when the Doctor decides enough in enough and confronts Davros to execute him, a stunning thing happens: Davros tries to justify this horror and carnage, by telling the Doctor "history is...littered with atrocities and ambition for empire, it is a universal way of life" and that the Doctor, by not accepting this, is denying "what is real". This only serves to stir the Doctor's moral outrage and ironically, his moral sense seems to prevent him pulling the trigger. Dr.Who in the 1980s was often called "style over substance", but this has more real substance, more themes and issues which relate to the real world, than many 70s Who classics. If Hitler had been captured alive, would it have been ethically and morally more desirable to execute him, or "leave him to slowly rot and die" in prison, as Davros says? The same question arose when Saddam Hussein was captured recently. This story dares to suggest that war is shocking, violent and disturbing, that things get out of hand and become senseless and bloody and that there are no easy answers for someone like the Doctor in a Universe in which there is no black and white, not even where Davros and the Daleks are concerned.
Since Genesis of the Daleks is often praised for suggesting the morality of wiping out the Daleks may not be clear cut, this then is surely a worthy follow up, and probably better than many Dalek stories, particularly the Pertwee era clashes like Planet of the Daleks, or The Chase or Destiny, all of which seem childishly simple and poorly produced next to this.
All in all, it's a fantastic story which has become tragicly underappreciated by the critics. I love it and have watched it over and over.
|Michael C Smith, Edinburgh, UK
|Friday 15 April 2005
Lets get the rotten aspects of this story out of the way: the rubbish one-dimensional characters on the prison ship, the hammy deaths, the lazy script editing, the obligatory 'mind analysis' sequence, the body count, Terry Molloy's inferior performance as Davros (though better than Gooderson) and of course, Turlough; the oldest school boy EVER.
Phew... now onto the reasons why Resurrection is a smashing yawn, and in desperate need of a re-evaluation by the critics. Firstly- the gorgeous design work. So often design is based on contemporary fashions but here (apart from the obvious example of Tegan's blouse!) the spaceship, the uniforms, the excellent Dalek-troopers are totally convincing and uniquely alien allowing the production to out-survive it's original transmission date. The action here is expertly executed too, never feeling laboured or padded, but actually helping to add depth to the story, returning the Daleks to their original status of truly terrifying killing machines. The location work too is always impressive, and I'm sure I'm not the first to get a chill down my spine when walking around the now redeveloped and exclusive Butlers Wharf.
I have to mention Tegan's leaving scene; disconcertingly no warning is given that this is coming, adding to the impact when Tegan lambastes recent events, implying the Doctors lack of humanity is endangering her own. Haven’t we all had that feeling where we lose a friend and are left with no way of getting back in touch? Cue tear to the eye.
An excellent romp, it was never going to change the world. It's a no-brainer, yes, but much better than the cabbage-firing antics of the A Team on the other side.
|Huw Davies, Taunton, United Kingdom
|Sunday 1 November 2009
The year: 2009. The place: my sitting room. The DVD: Resurrection of the Daleks...
It's a super title, I have to say. If I was ever watching 'new' Doctor Who and that title came on now, I'd be practically crying with excitement. And this is no damp squib; it's a SUPER story.
The TARDIS lands in Butler's Wharf in 1984, but when the Doctor discovers freedom fighters from the future fighting soldiers with super-cool Dalek helmets, and a time corridor in a warehouse, it's obvious something is up. The action then shifts to various futuristic space stations and prisons, where we find Davros, now played by the super Terry Molloy, and the brilliant-looking Supreme Dalek.
This story gives us a new Davros, and one is far superior to David Gooderson, who appeared in 'Destiny of the Daleks'. To be honest, I prefer Molloy to Michael Wisher - he puts extra emotion into the role which I don't believe the original Dalek creator had.
The story holds up well, with solid cliffhangers and a sad ending as Tegan leaves the TARDIS after nearly four years. Unfortunately there are a few too many unfinished sub-plots which do distract the viewer slightly.
As a relatively early release the extras are fairly paltry - some studio footage as well as some news items. Most welcome is a 5.1 soundtrack - this always adds to the experience.
|Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
|Friday 1 April 2011
The Peter Davison dalek story is definitely the most action oriented. But this is a special tale because there is thought behind the story too, unlike Earthshock, which i believe is Eric Saward's weakest script. I cant understand his views when it comes to his script for Ressurection. Its a neat and classy tale that isnt light hearted and has no dull background characters.
Tegan's farewell scene is excellently done too. I love Janet's obvious upset at leaving the crew of the TARDIS. Very convincing and a brilliant end to the story which is a real rollercoaster ride with sadly more death than the Terminator. Terry Molloy makes a very impressive debut as the cretinous Davros.
The Doctor's moral fibre coming to fruition again within this tale is very good too. When he starts out to kill Davros, you just know he wont see it through because he actually possesses a conscience (yeah, he did back in the classic series) You also get a brilliant one off appearance from Rula Lenska, who is truly great. Her role is very sympathtic and believable. Even the Dalek mutant designs are better than the last ones, they dont look like a mass of floppy skin! They are big mutant blobs that totally look like they mean business! All the plot threads within the story join together very neatly and the pace just never lets up.
Davros' total instability makes him a classic villain, and Terry has taken over from Michael and David brilliantly. That he should start to be affected by the movellan virus too is a brilliant touch. And the character of Stein is very interesting, as he really has some decent character developement through the story. And the gas effects make up is pretty disustingly realistic too. So I cant really see whats wrong with this story. Even those creepy policemen are totally soulless and inhuman, adding even more of a dark edge to the tale. After Kinda, Snakedance, Caves of Androzani and Planet of Fire this is probably Pete's best story. The daleks are back on good form, looking for a cure for the Movellan virus.
Perhaps the only thing I find a bit off with this tale is that that woman planning to blow up Davros dies so early, i feel there could have been a great character in her. Even in the few minutes shes in shes bold and yet also callous to the core, when she shoots her comrade down. Mind you, I dont think he would have wanted to keep his face when it was like that! In fact to be honest, this story could have easily have been a film if it werent just for the fact that its shot partly on tv camera and partly on film, as it is that grand in its thinking and its many complex elements. Even the woven in threat to the high council of time lords is done well, and all the plot elements tie together so well. This is a hugely enjoyable, and tense, and pretty sad tale. There was no playing about in this story, and its all the better for it!