RESURRECTION OF THE DALEKS

I thought long and hard about which version of Resurrection to screen. Should I make Sue watch the two-part double-length version transmitted by the BBC in 1984, or would the four-part edit that was originally planned by the production team be a better option? I went to Facebook and Twitter looking for advice and the following exchange really made me laugh:

John Williams: If you show her the 4-part version, I’ll petrol bomb the house.
Robert Dick: Show her the four parter but two episodes each night. And after part two explain to her why you insisted on watching two.
John Williams: It’s almost as if you want me to petrol bomb the house.

I decided to go with the two-part version. For the sake of the scientific accuracy, you understand. Nothing to do with my fear of John Williams (he knows where I live) or the chance to trick my wife into believing she might be in for an easy ride. No, of course not.

 

Part One

Sue: Hey, there’s only two episodes. Shall we knock both out tonight?

I shrug my shoulders and say nothing.

Sue clocks the title screen.

Resurrection of the DaleksSue: Ooh, Daleks. It’s always Something of the Daleks, isn’t it? I’m surprised you didn’t hide that from me.
Me: I’ve strung you along for the sake of a cheap gag far too many times. I’m going to be honest with you from now on.
Sue: There’s a first time for everything, I suppose.

There are so many celebrities in this particular story, I’m not going to quiz Sue every few minutes, I’ll let her call them out instead. Get your Resurrection of the Daleks bingo cards ready.

The story begins with the police gunning down people in cold blood.

Sue: What’s going on here, then? Is it a dystopian future where the police have a shoot to kill policy?
Me: It’s either that or the IRA dressed really strangely in the 1980s.

The policemen even kill a tramp.

Sue: Hey! He was only smoking a rollie! Jesus, that’s a bit harsh.

One of the survivors of this bloodbath is none other than.

Sue: Rodney! He’s the last person I expected to turn up in Doctor Who.

Having said that, Sue is really pleased with the way things have begun:

Sue: A decent director at last. You can tell by the camera movement, the angles and the lighting. This in a different league to what we usually get.

The leader of this death squad is Commander Lytton. He is played by Maurice Colbourne.

Resurrection of the DaleksSue: Oh, it’s him.
Me
: Where do you know him from?
Sue: He was in that stupid Gangsters programme that you made me watch when we lived in the caravan. The one where they all turned to the camera at the end and gave up. That one.
Me: Stupid? STUPID? That’s even worse than what you said about Snakedance.

A bell is tolling on the TARDIS.

Sue: Oh no, it’s the Doomsday Bell.
Me: Cloister.
Sue: Same thing. If you hear it ring, things are going tits up.

Meanwhile, on a space station.

Sue: It’s Rula Lenska! Why is she working in the Clinique store at Fenwicks with the cast of Thunderbirds?

The Army turn up at the warehouse on Earth.

Sue: Oh good, it’s UNIT. I feel safer already.

Meanwhile, the crew of the space station chill out on the bridge.

Resurrection of the DaleksSue: Is she smoking? You wait ages for someone to turn up with a tab in their mouth and then two come along at once. The same goes for the casting of ethnic minorities in this show. This story is very progressive when it comes to its casting.
Me: I know. Letting a sitcom actor appear in straight drama was a risky move back then.

The TARDIS materialises beside the river Thames in 1984.

Sue: Tegan could visit her relations. Unless they’ve gone into hiding, that is.

The Doctor wants to investigate the source of the mysterious time corridor which managed to ensnare his ship earlier.

Sue: Why is the Doctor carrying a scroll around with him?
Me: That’s his hat.
Sue: Oh.

The location for this story meets with Sue’s approval.

Resurrection of the DaleksSue: I bet it’s really nice there now. I bet the house prices are extortionate.
Me: Yes, a consortium of Doctor Who fans bought up all the property. You can’t move for the ****ers now.

The Doctor bumps into Stein outside the warehouse.

Sue: Rodney isn’t a very good actor, is he? I think he’s out of his depth in this. Where’s Terry when you need him?

The space station is attacked by an alien battle cruiser. The invaders breach the airlock… It’s the Daleks!

Sue: Here they come… That was a very impressive entrance, actually. Very iconic. The direction certainly helped.

At one point, a hand-held tracking shot is used to crank up the tension.

Sue: There are other directors who wouldn’t have bothered panning, there. The direction is excellent. It’s little touches like that that make all the difference.

Resurrection of the DaleksThe Daleks release a gas canister – its impact on human physiognomy is horrific.

Sue: Not. For. Kids.

The crew of the space station are worried about the safety of their prisoner.

Me: Who do you think that might be?
Sue: Is it the Master? Don’t give me that look. He works with the Daleks, doesn’t he?

The Daleks exterminate anyone who stands in their way.

Sue: That Dalek just exterminated three people with one shot. Impressive.

The Doctor and his companions are interrogated by a bomb disposal unit who have been sent to investigate strange canisters in the warehouse. I’m sorry, but if you are pulling for Del Henney or Chloe Ashcroft, you are shit out of luck.

The space station’s prisoner is none other than…

Sue: Davros! How did I miss that? It’s obvious.
Me: I always thought it was a bit weird that they didn’t reveal Davros with a big scary close-up. He’s just sitting over there in the background. It’s weird.
Sue: It’s more frightening that way. The director has obviously thought it through. It can’t be accidental.

The antechamber leading to Davros’ cell is flooded with poisonous gas.

Sue: The make-up is horrific. This episode is a bloodbath. It’s complete carnage!

Resurrection of the DaleksSue admires the Dalek troopers’ uniforms.

Sue: I like the Dalek hats. It’s a good way for the Daleks to maintain strong brand awareness when they are out conquering the universe.

A Dalek appears in the warehouse on Earth via the time corridor. The Doctor tells the Army to aim for its eyepiece.

Me: My vision is impaired! I cannot see! My vision is impaired! I cannot see!
Sue: Shut up, Neil.
Me: Sorry.

The Doctor pushes the Dalek through a loading hatch. It falls to the street below.

Sue: It’s a bloody good job another tramp wasn’t standing outside when he did that. Great sequence, though. This is very exciting.

The Dalek Supreme promises to deal with the Doctor in due course.

Sue: His balls are too big.
Me: That’s one way of putting it, I suppose.

Resurrection of the DaleksDavros is looking forward to taking his rightful place as King of the Daleks.

Sue: Davros is great when he goes into one of his rants. He reminds me of you when you’re watching Question Time.

The Doctor searches for a Kaled mutant which has escaped from its casing.

Sue: Peter Davison shouldn’t be walking around with a gun. That’s not right.

Colonel Archer leaves the warehouse to call for reinforcements, but when he asks the local police for assistance, he gets a gun in his face.

Sue: How did they get away with that? Seriously, that’s a terrible message to send out to kids. Honestly.

Back on the space station, a technician named Kiston is making repairs to Davros’ chair.

Resurrection of the DaleksSue: That isn’t Dirty Den, is it? It can’t be. Is it?
Me: HOUSE!
Sue: What?
Me: Nothing. Yes, it’s Leslie Grantham. This was his second acting job, I believe. He hadn’t been out of prison long.
Sue: Incredibly, hiring a convicted murderer wasn’t the worst thing the BBC did in the 1980s.

The Doctor continues his hunt for the Kaled mutant, but he uncovers something else instead.

Sue: Awww, bless, it’s a little kitten. Pop it in your pocket and take it with you. You could call it Adric.

The Doctor blasts a Kaled mutant to bits with his revolver.

Sue: That doesn’t feel right. The Doctor shouldn’t be Dirty Harry. He’s surrounded by soldiers – let them to the dirty work.

Stein doesn’t want to return to the Daleks’ ship.

Sue: I’ve only just realised that Rodney Bewes is putting on a stutter. I thought he was just ****ing his lines up. I can’t tell whether he’s good or not now.

A soldier has been bitten by the Kaled mutant.

Resurrection of the DaleksLaird: It was caused by an alien. We don’t know what infection may have entered his bloodstream.
Me: Maybe Little Ted knows a song about alien viruses.
Sue: What the hell are you talking about?
Me: That’s Chloe Ashcroft from Play School. You probably won’t remember her because you’re too old.

I duck as a cushion sails by.

Sue: She looks like she’d rather be on Greenham Common.

Davros is glad to be out and about again.

Davros: Ninety years I was frozen in that. Ninety years of mind-numbing boredom!
Sue: I know the feeling, mate, and I’ve only been doing this for two years.

I throw the cushion back at her.

Sue: I’m only joking. If only they were all as good as this.

Lytton tells Davros that the Doctor’s capture is imminent.

Davros: Excellent!
Sue: Seriously, who holds the copyright on that catchphrase?

Three Daleks prepare to enter the time corridor.

Sue: Even the Daleks have been choreographed. Who directed this?
Me: Matthew Robinson. He’s new.
Sue: He’s brilliant.
Me: Somebody should tell him that one day. He’s very modest.

In fact, Sue is enjoying Resurrection of the Daleks so much…

Sue: I wish this story was four parts instead of two.

Resurrection of the DaleksThe episode concludes when the Doctor and Stein arrive on the Daleks’ battle cruiser in the TARDIS. But there’s a twist.

Stein: I serve the Daleks. I’m a Dalek agent.
Sue: Noooooooo! Rodney, you b-b-b-b-bastard!

The credits roll.

Me: Did you enjoy that?
Sue: Very much. I don’t understand why it felt so long, though. It can’t have been the direction. Maybe I’m just tired.

I tell her the truth. Not that I lied earlier. Not really.

Me: Don’t blame me. Blame Torvill and Dean.

 

Part Two

Resurrection of the DaleksWe are introduced to the space station’s self-destruct mechanism.

Sue: It looks like a giant game of Frustration.

The Doctor is led to the Daleks’ duplication room. He tries to reason with Stein.

Stein: It is unwise to provoke the Daleks, Doctor.
Sue: Terry wouldn’t be happy if he saw Bob wearing an ear-ring.

The Doctor is instructed to lie on a bed made from bubble wrap.

Sue: Stand-by for some undignified popping.

POP! POP! POP!

Sue: I was only joking!

The Daleks show off some duplicates of Tegan and Turlough they made earlier.

Resurrection of the DaleksSue: Who would you make a duplicate of, Neil?
Me: I’m not going to answer that question on the grounds that it will probably incriminate me.
Sue: I would make a duplicate of you.
Me: That’s sweet.
Sue: Yeah, one that didn’t make me watch Doctor bloody Who.

Tegan digs up a canister that has been buried inside the warehouse.

Sue: Why is the virus here on Earth in the first place? This bit doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Me: I’ve seen this dozens of times and it still doesn’t make any sense to me.

The Daleks plan on sending duplicates of the Doctor and his companions to Gallifrey where they will assassinate the High Council of the Time Lords.

Sue: Things are very complicated all of a sudden. Where the hell did that come from?

Stein fights against his Dalek programming.

Resurrection of the DaleksSue: I get it now. Rodney’s performance almost makes sense. Almost.

She is certain of one thing, though:

Sue: Rula Lenska is bloody brilliant in this. She’d be a great companion. I hope she makes it out of this story alive. I love her blasé attitude to everything that’s going on around her.

Tegan escapes from the warehouse but she is immediately intercepted by Lytton’s policemen. They silence a beachcomber with a bullet, just to be on the safe side.

Sue: He wasn’t even looking in their direction. Is that the most pointless death in Doctor Who‘s history?
Me: Apart from Adric’s, you mean? Possibly.

The Doctor is hooked up to the Daleks’ brain pattern recorder.

Sue: The Doctor has a lot of fillings.

Resurrection of the DaleksThe policeman escort Tegan back to the warehouse.

Sue: They’re going to charge her with soliciting.

The Dalek troopers shoot Rula Lenska dead.

Sue: NO! They can’t do that. She’s Rula Lenska!

Minutes later, Chloe Ashcroft bites the dust as well.

Sue: They’re dropping like nine pins.

The Doctor’s ex-companions flash before his eyes. Sue audibly reacted to the following faces: Adric (“Awwww”), Romana I (“Ahhh”), K9 (“K9!”), Sarah Jane (“Ahhh”), and the Brig (“Yay!”).

Me: Did you notice anything wrong with that montage?

Sue: No. Did they get the order wrong?
Me: No. Have another look at it.

Resurrection of the DaleksI replay the scene.

Sue: Oh yes, someone’s missing… There’s no Leela. What happened?
Me: Ian Levine happened.

Liston has some good news for Davros.

Liston: The Daleks have secured the self-destruct chamber. The station is safe.
Sue: I keep expecting Leslie Grantham to finish his sentences with ‘Princess’. (as Kiston) “The Daleks have taken the Doctor prisoner, Princess”.

Tegan and Turlough are reunited.

Sue: Turlough can’t take his eyes off Tegan’s tits. One glance. And another. And one more for luck. Get a room!

And then the moment we’ve all been waiting for. A moment so gobsmacking, Sue will insist that we watch it again. And again. And again.

Sue: I can’t tell if Rodney is brilliant or dreadful. I really can’t.

The time has come for the Doctor to pop a cap in Davros’ ass…

Sue: No way. Let Rodney kill Davros instead. Don’t get your hands dirty.

Resurrection of the DaleksThe Doctor and Davros face off. It’s an electrifying scene and Sue doesn’t have any fingernails when its finished.

Sue: That was a great scene. That was ****ing tense.

Sadly, it’s here that Sue loses her grip on the plot.

Sue: There’s too much going on. I can’t tell who’s working for who any more. I can’t stand the confusion in my mind.

Two Daleks are sent to the warehouse to kill the duplicate soldiers.

Sue: Right in the balls. Nasty.

The last one to die screams his lungs out.

Sue: He was going for his Equity Card.

And the deaths keep on mounting up.

Sue: They’re running out of cast members. Still, at least it simplifies the plot, which I still don’t understand. I’m just going with it now. I don’t know which Dalek is which.

Resurrection of the DaleksStein reaches the self-destruct chamber. He puts his hands on his hips and sighs.

Sue: Yes, it’s the weirdest performance in Doctor Who so far. No doubt about it.

Stein struggles to make sense of the controls.

Sue: This is you trying to use the washing machine, Neil.

Back at the warehouse, the Doctor uses packs of explosives to destroy the Daleks.

Sue: He’s too much like Rambo. I don’t like it.

Davros unleashes his virus and the Daleks succumb to its effects.

Sue: Ooh, he’s excited!

In the heat of the battle, Lytton takes out of one his own men.

Sue: Ooh, a red light in the face. Nasty.

The warehouse is steeped in death, thanks to the Doctor’s decision to unleash another canister of the Movellan virus.

Sue: Maybe he’s finally had enough of the Daleks after all this time. It’s the only thing that makes any sense.

The Dalek Supreme appears on the TARDIS scanner screen. He claims to have control over an army of duplicates who have infiltrated key positions on Earth.

Me: That explains the Tory government in 1984, then.

Stein is shot by a Dalek.

Sue: Rodney, you plonker.

But he still comes good when he belly flops onto the self-destruct button.

Sue: That was… different.

Lytton and his men walk off into the sunset.

Sue: Eh? Where the hell do they think they’re going?

Resurrection of the DaleksTegan’s snap decision to stay on Earth makes Sue gasp.

Sue: Oh no.

You could have heard a pin drop during the leaving scene. Until:

Sue: Don’t tell me she’s changed her mind again!

But she’s too late.

Tegan: Brave heart, Tegan. Doctor, I will miss you.

The credits roll.

Sue: That was really sad. And bleak. I didn’t like Tegan at all at first but I don’t want her to go now. It won’t be the same without her.
Me: I’m sorry, I think I’ve accidentally got something in my eye.

 

The Score

Sue: The script let it down. It was too complicated. It would have been on for a 9 or a 10 if I’d followed the plot. It was needlessly complex. But it looked great, and the actors were really good, too. Even Rodney was entertaining. The direction, the music, and the sets – they were all top-notch. I really enjoyed it.

8/10

That’s about six marks more than I would have given it. But who cares what I think?

Me: So, what did you think of the 45-minute format?
Sue: I think I preferred it. You can really get into it when you don’t have the breaks.

 

Coming Soon

 

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Comments

  1. Glen Allen  November 3, 2012

    Bagsie first posting

    • Glen Allen  November 3, 2012

      Sue: That was really sad. And bleak. I didn’t like Tegan at all at first but I don’t want her to go now. It won’t be the same without her.

      YAY!!!

      • Frankymole  November 4, 2012

        Can’t she come back on a Children and Need or something? Let’s hope some Sontarans fix her a new hairdo… 😉

        • Andrew Bowman  November 5, 2012

          Now then, was that particular extra-curricular scene ever in the running to be watched by Sue? If so, is it still in the running, despite everything that we’ve since learned about one of the players? I can justify its inclusion, but I know others may not. Hmmm…

          • Neil Perryman  November 5, 2012

            Not in a million years.

          • Frankymole  November 5, 2012

            To be fair, the TARDIS crew do express deep disgust when JS’s face appears on the scanner screen…

          • Dave Sanders  November 6, 2012

            The next release of The Two Doctors will have one of their regular features where they examine how the location chosen to film the story in has changed over time. It’ll be called ‘Now Then Now Then Now Then.’

          • Nick Mays  November 6, 2012

            LOL! How’s about that then?

          • Andrew Bowman  November 6, 2012

            If anyone’s interested, and apologies for going off-topic, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share something I wrote a few years ago which hopefully helps to go somewhere towards trying to explain the weirdness of the non-canonical Sontaran story mentioned above. Hope you like it 🙂 http://www.whofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=36819

    • Dave Sanders  November 3, 2012

      Lucky we didn’t have the internet back in the 1960s, or William Hartnell would have been tagging FIRST with every story he was in.

  2. CJJC  November 3, 2012

    I CAN’T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY WIFE!

  3. John S. Hall  November 3, 2012

    I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’ve heard/read that originally the part of Stein was going to be Kamelion’s part in the story (back when it was supposed to be the ender for Season 20 and instead of leaving, Tegan would’ve stayed and the Doctor would’ve brought her and Turlough to the Eye of Orion in “The Five Doctors” for some down time).

    It certainly would explain why the character’s loyalties keep changing like the wind… 😉

    • Warren Andrews  November 3, 2012

      I believed that about Stien/ unmentionable missing thing (a website mentioned it in an analysis) but apparently no version of the scripts bear that out. So it’s just atrocious writing.:)

  4. Jusyn Farr  November 3, 2012

    I’m glad this one rated so highly, I’ve always had a soft spot for it. It’s so bleak and violent, it terrified me as a child – and I do believe it’s the final story which gave me that childhood “Doctor Who magic” – none of the following stories really felt as exciting as this one or gave me the same buzz… until it all just started to seem like just a tired old TV show, rather than a butterflies-in-the-stomach event, round about 1986. There was still fun to be had, but this is the last one which felt… right.

    I don’t care if the plot makes no sense. It’s horrific and I love it. There, I said it.

    • Jusyn Farr  November 3, 2012

      Also, I’m surprised you didn’t mention to Sue the director’s celebrity brother…

      • Neil Perryman  November 4, 2012

        It pains me to admit that I’ve only just found out about that. I’ll tell Sue immediately 😉

        • chris-too-old-to-watch  November 5, 2012

          And Sue’s reaction?

  5. matt bartley  November 3, 2012

    What’s the Ian Levine story behind Leela’s non-appearance?

    • Neil Perryman  November 3, 2012

      There isn’t one. I just thought it was his job to spot it.

      • David Brunt  November 3, 2012

        Levine was the one who put the clips montage together. He was the one who forgot to include her…

        • Antti Björklund  November 4, 2012

          I remember reading that it got taken away in post-production?

      • matt bartley  November 4, 2012

        Ah, OK. I just blame him by default by now.

        • Frankymole  November 4, 2012

          The fanon / retcon explanation for K-9 being missing (what, no-one noticed?) and Leela not being in the flashback/brain-drain is that the Doctor deliberately skips them, so that there is a slight chance that the Dalek duplicate might expose itself as a fake on Gallifrey by not recognising them… a desperate hope, and a bit weak, but it’s an idea.

          • John Miller  November 4, 2012

            To be fair to Ian, there were times when he DID spot these things, and JNT overruled him/simply didn’t care. Incredible, but true:There are people who don’t agonise over continuity points from several Seasons back. I think I need to have a sit down just thinking about it.

          • Leo  November 4, 2012

            K9 does appear in the flashbacks though.

          • Robert Dick  November 4, 2012

            K9 *is* there. People are tongue-in-cheek and say he should be there *twice*. So they’re saying The Doctor blocked out Leela and MkI.

        • Frankymole  November 5, 2012

          But there are two different K-9s – both companions – Mark I and Mark 2. The clip doesn’t show two, so the one on Gallifrey is missed out. That’s the fan explanation, anyway.

  6. David McKee  November 3, 2012

    I love this story. Love that after all the deaths in Who that it actually affects a main character. True Rodney is a bit, well, odd it almost works. The helmets are too funny tho.

  7. Jonathan  November 3, 2012

    I remember seeing in the Radio Times it was a two parter and being disappointed until I realised how long the episodes were. It felt “grown up” at last.
    So what’s the Leela story?

    • Glen Allen  November 3, 2012

      Well shes missing from the flashback

      • Jonathan  November 4, 2012

        Yes but why? What’s Levine got to do with it? Intrigued…

        • Neil Perryman  November 4, 2012

          As continuity advisor, he should have spotted it.

          • Jonathan  November 4, 2012

            Oh I thought it was some sort of snub. Just incompetence then…

          • Jazza1971  November 4, 2012

            According to one website, Ian Levine compiled a collection of clips for the sequence and included one of Leela from “The Face of Evil” but the clip ended up being omitted during editing. I don’t know how accurate that is, but the website does include a list of source information. http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/serials/6p.html

  8. Dave Sanders  November 3, 2012

    Yes – I knew Sue would get on well with such an action-packed story. I watched this so many times back in 1984 when it really felt special, I would have forgiven the story anything. Yes it’s complicated, and certain bits seem to come out of nowhere, but it only seems to be the sticklers who turn their noses up at Eric Saward anyway that seem to have a problem with it. A lot of apparent inconsistencies could easily be explained away with the inclusion of an extra line or two. Why leave the canisters on Earth? Because the Daleks are massively overconfident bastards with a grudge against Earth who still think despte everything that they could have the planet anyday. Why does Stein’s whole personality appear to change on a sixpence when he and the Doctor enter the Dalek ship? That’s his conditioning kicking in, and his true mission, to capture the Doctor, was hidden in his subconcious up until then. And so forth.

    Resurrection also gets a lot of stick for how much Eric Saward sidelines the Fifth Doctor, but that’s a good thing here. He’s central to the Daleks’ plans, but the story isn’t really *about* him – it’s the reverse of the setup in Androzani, in which he messes up the status quo simply by being there. Here, everyone else anticipates his arrival and jerk him along on a string without his prior knowledge. And Saward isn’t doing anything here that Terry Nation, in his better scripts guided by other writers, hasn’t taken an interest in as well. Outside of the black and white era, it’s only with the Fifth Doctor, in Saward’s writing or editing hands, that anyone really dares to tell us to our faces that the places the Doctor visits, and the events he is caught up in, should themselves be as involving as their ultimate resolution, and that sometimes we *should* be seeing events unfold without the Doctor being the focal point or our centre of attention the whole time. There are certainly a lot of Tennant and Smith episodes where, at times, we wished he’d take more of a back seat as well.

    And yes, even the meek Fifth Doctor is that sick of the Daleks by now, and after being ensnared, ritually humiliated and left out of his depth, it also makes perfect sense to me that he’d totally overcompensate afterwards to make up for it to himself, but still be unable to go through with it. Watch how the Ninth Doctor behaves in Resurrection’s closest cousin, Parting Of The Ways (stop sniggering there, it happens to be true), and see how close they are.

    • Glen Allen  November 3, 2012

      Please note that I’m saying this tongue in cheek, and slightly channeling Shatner

      “It’s just a TV show”
      🙂

      • Dave Sanders  November 3, 2012

        You haven’t heard my song yet. 😛

        • Glen Allen  November 3, 2012

          Oh God. LOL

          • Dave Sanders  November 4, 2012

            Oh come on, you can’t knock my songs when they’re the only ones that don’t have ‘Is it the Master’ in them. 🙂

        • John Callaghan  November 4, 2012

          (Coughs, points to self.) Ahem. No such quote in one of mine, either. So ner.

          Mind you, you haven’t heard the song I’ve submitted for the *next* podcast.

          • Dave Sanders  November 6, 2012

            How many songs will change the quote to, “*Why* is it The Master?” 🙂

    • Noodles  November 3, 2012

      I absolutely adore this story. After “Full Circle” I’d have to say that it’s probably my favourite old-series story.

      That said, I can’t pretend that it has a great plot. And even Saward is on record as saying that he doesn’t think the script is very good. It’s lots of fun, and it’s very well directed, but it’s not well-written.

      And, just as a piece of trivia – this story contains more on-screen deaths than the first 5 “Friday The 13th” films put together. And “Friday The 13th Part 5” alone has 25. IIRC, this is the story with the largest number of on-screen deaths, but I’m not as sure of that fact as I am the Voorhees one.

    • Thomas  November 4, 2012

      “Outside of the black and white era, it’s only with the Fifth Doctor, in Saward’s writing or editing hands, that anyone really dares to tell us to our faces that the places the Doctor visits, and the events he is caught up in, should themselves be as involving as their ultimate resolution”

      Sounds like the Bidmead era to me, personally.

    • John G  November 4, 2012

      “And yes, even the meek Fifth Doctor is that sick of the Daleks by now, and after being ensnared, ritually humiliated and left out of his depth, it also makes perfect sense to me that he’d totally overcompensate afterwards to make up for it to himself, but still be unable to go through with it.”

      The overriding theme of Season 21 does seem to be the gradual breaking down of the fifth Doctor’s strong sense of self-control, as he is confronted by an increasingly hostile universe and is made ever more aware of his own shortcomings as a result. This makes him ever more desperate and more likely to go to extremes, a process that will culminate in the events of the story after next, and in my view helps to explain why the next Doctor behaves as he does…

  9. Smith  November 3, 2012

    This, I feel, will make Season 22 easier for you. 😀

    Also, no mention of the Thing That’s Missing being missing. You’re letting the side down.

    • Dave Sanders  November 3, 2012

      This is beginning to sound like a Spitting Image sketch now. “‘The Thing That’s Missing Is Missing’… is missing, where the hell is it? Join us next week for another episode of ‘The That’s Missing Is Missing… Is Missing.'”.

      • John Callaghan  November 4, 2012

        I notice the picture accompanying Glen’s Next Time trailer. Has this been remarked on by Sue?

        • Neil Perryman  November 4, 2012

          No. I made sure she didn’t see it.

          • Wholahoop  November 4, 2012

            Does that mean we can mention the bloody thing now?

  10. SpaceSquid  November 3, 2012

    This is the only Doctor Who story I still can’t watch without looking away. The effects of the Dalek gas just horrify me too much, particularly with the poor guy asking “What’s happening to me?” as his face turns to corned beef hash…

    • Christopher Pittard  November 4, 2012

      I think that bit of dialogue was meant to go something like “Oooh, what happened to you / Whatever happened to me?…”

  11. Warren Andrews  November 3, 2012

    As a child, this story offered me everything I wanted – explosions, laser guns, explosions, Daleks, sliding doors.

    As an adult, I find it totally joyless and has none of the fun I want from Doctor Who. Yes it has direction from someone who is actually trying and a cracking score from Malcolm Clarke but the script is awful (Saward kept running out of plots that went nowhere and kept adding more, it needed a script editor!). Loads and loads of unlikeable characters wandering around being sarcastic with one another and the TARDIS crew are included in that. It’s the total opposite to something like Horror of Fang Rock that has a simple plot, in a small location and a few characters yet manages to be far more engaging.

    I can see why Sue would engage with it after the dirge of much of this era.

    • bbqplatypus  November 5, 2012

      I’m with you on this one. Like every script Saward ever did (except The Visitation), it’s a leaden, humorless, character-free mess of a story that mistakes violence for drama. I just don’t care about anything that happens in it.

      Not fond of this era at all.

  12. Melvin  November 3, 2012

    Completely agree with Sue that a Davros adventure always benefits from a good rant or two. While “Resurrection” is bleak, that’s a strength of any Davros story – he’s a completely monomaniacal and implacable, if a curious and engaging foe. I wish they’d bring him back to face Matt Smith’s Doctor.

  13. Dan  November 3, 2012

    You’d have given it 2/10 Neil?

    • Dave Sanders  November 3, 2012

      Watching it in 1984 aged about fourteen might have made all the difference. It did with me.

      • Dan  November 4, 2012

        Maybe that”s it. I was interested in this entry because this one made some impression and I actually remember the feel of it.

  14. encyclops  November 4, 2012

    Even as a kid I don’t think I liked this story very much. But even then I probably would have rated it my third favorite of the season (and back then I didn’t totally hate the season ender, believe it or not). I didn’t mind grim, dark, violent, gruesome even at the age I was seeing this stuff — I was totally fascinated by the first two Alien movies — but somehow I never liked seeing it in Doctor Who. I don’t know if it’s that this show doesn’t do it that well; Sue’s reactions alone would contradict that. She’s pretty consistently rated this kind of stuff highly (“Seeds of Doom,” “Earthshock,” and now this). Maybe it’s just that they’re sort of imaginatively closed off…I didn’t spend much time thinking about Dalek wars after the episode was through, the way I might have thought about the Mara. But I’ve been meaning to rewatch this and now I want to even more.

  15. P.Sanders  November 4, 2012

    Sue has it on the button – nice direction, convoluted plot. But still very watchable. To be fair to Rodney, I don’t think there’s an actor on Earth that could have made Saward’s clunky line of script work. Sadly Nicola Bryant (among others) comes a cropper a few times next season thanks to Saward’s occasionally tin ear (again no fault of her own).

  16. Jusyn Farr  November 4, 2012

    A friend of mine has a photo of herself in which Rodney Bewes appears randomly in the background adjusting his trousers.

    • Ollie  November 4, 2012

      A few years ago I saw Rodney Bewes getting into his car. He’d clocked that I’d clocked him and I had to bite down hard on my lip to stop myself from saying the immortal line…

      “I CAN’T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY MIND!”

      Ahh.

    • Paul Mc Elvaney  November 5, 2012

      Whatever *did* happen to the Likely Lads? I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer to that question…

      • Nick Mays  November 5, 2012

        They stopped talking to each other after their film came out. Bewes upset Bolam.

        • Wholahoop  November 6, 2012

          I heard a radio interview with R-R-Rodney where his version of the fall out was that in a radio interview in the 70’s he mentioned James Bolam’s wife in passing and JB took exception to this and they have not spoken in over 30 years. I don’t know what JB’s version of the story was

  17. Paul Greaves  November 4, 2012

    I have always loved this story. I was 11 when it was transmitted and it completely took me over. I love Eric Saward’s time on DW and I’m not ashamed to admit it. You couldn’t do Who as bleak as this every week but every now and then it really works. Roll on Revelation, one of the best 80s stories ever…

  18. fromEssex  November 4, 2012

    I had this on video, but still haven’t got the dvd. But remembering back this was still a cracking story. The Police were so brutal. Coppers shooting ordinary people… maybe it was a bit of a pastiche on how powerful the police had become during the early 80’s..

    The downside was that I never really rated Terry Molloy’s Davros. Michael Wisher’s rendition was definitive and I don’t think that his version has ever been topped.

    The only other thing that struck me was how weird that Chloe from Playschool was in it..

    • John Miller  November 4, 2012

      I agree with you about Molloy. Fandom is supposed to gush and fawn over his Davros, but he’s not even a shadow of Wisher’s definitive performance.

      • Dalek toenail clipper  November 4, 2012

        dunno, the impression i have got is that fandom are supposed to gush and fawn over Wishers Davros. Don’t think i’ve ever seen Molloy win a Davros poll (though admittedly i don’t pay massive amounts of attention). I see far more putting down of Molloys Davros than i have seen of Wishers. Personally i like him 🙂 that i feel the ‘elite’ old skool prefer Wisher makes me like him even more 😀

        • John G  November 4, 2012

          I think Molly is pretty good as Davros – not as good as Wisher, but it’s a perfectly respectable performance. That said, Revelation is where he really gets to shine.

          • Dave Sanders  November 4, 2012

            Because he’s decently-written in that one. Really, Micheal Wisher had such an unfair advantage – if he had come back for Destiny, it would have taken a lot of the shine off.

            Note though how it’s the Molloy Davros that was the model for Journey’s End, and not the Wisher one.

          • Korv  November 4, 2012

            Also in Big Finish Molloy get the chance to explore Davros very deeply

      • Steve White  November 4, 2012

        Completely agree with you both about Malloy’s Davros. But for me it wasn’t helped by the mask. The Genesis version by John Friedlander was a brilliant creation. It looked like a wizened, scarred cadaver being kept alive long after its should have died, by artificial means and force of will…

        THe Resurrection one looks like its been left near a fire far too long…

        As for Malloy’s performance though, I would recommend anyone interested dig out Big Finish’s I Davros stories. especially the last two parts. They show how Malloy could have knocked Wisher aside if only he’d had better scripts…

        That said I do like Resurrection. in fact season 21 is one of my favorites… Other than Warriors of the Deep there isn’t a bad story in it!

        • Paul Mc Elvaney  November 5, 2012

          I do hope you’ve only forgotten what comes at the end of this season 🙂

    • Dave Sanders  November 4, 2012

      *shrug* Brian Cant was exterminated twice while he was doing Play School in the black and white days, and one of those was in The Dominators. He looked even less dignified in that one.

  19. Thomas  November 4, 2012

    I quite enjoy this one. Often in spite of itself (the morals are terrible, after all), but it’s a lot of fun and has a lot to recommend it (Bewes is my favorite part, curiously enough- I think the performance is wonderful).

    Suppose that makes up for me not enjoying ‘Earthshock’.

  20. Ollie  November 4, 2012

    Anyway, I like this story. I agree with Sue again.

  21. DPC  November 4, 2012

    “Sue: Seriously, who holds the copyright on that catchphrase?”

    Hehehehehe! 😉

    I liked the original part one cliffhanger, but it was shown as two edited parts…

    “Resurrection” is a mess, but it’s well directed…

    As always, great reviews – thank you both!

    • Dave Sanders  November 4, 2012

      Eric Saward does, of course.

  22. Jazza1971  November 4, 2012

    “Sue: I like the Dalek hats. It’s a good way for the Daleks to maintain strong brand awareness when they are out conquering the universe.”

    Superb!

    • DPC  November 4, 2012

      Yet another of many “hehehehe!” moments, Sue’s comments are indeed superb.

  23. Gavin Noble  November 4, 2012

    I was so annoyed with the BBC when they released the story on VHS as a four parter and then on DVD as a four parter. I wanted it released how it had been transmitted because I remember enjoying it in the new length a lot when it was shown in 1984. Glad they finally did the release on DVD in two parts but a shame it took a Special Edition to do it! But the Special Editions are another bee in my bonnet that is completely off topic (though I have to recommend the recent Axos release just for the John Levene feature).

    I don’t like or dislike this story. It has some good moments and some cringe inducing moments but I have to concur with Sue’s view that the direction is very good overall. I thought the location was great and the fact Tegan has left makes it so much better. I never warmed to her, though I like listening to Janet Fielding’s views on the DVD commentaries.

  24. BWT  November 4, 2012

    This is the one Davo that I really can’t remember anything about. I missed the first time ’round. (I know! What was I thinking?) Each successive repeat season I also missed it. Oh well…

    Oh, yes – and the Dalek hats are fetish. I mean, big helmets with nobs on…? Seriously? You’d look a right cock in one of those…

    • DPC  November 4, 2012

      The Completely Useless Encyclopedia gives those Dalek troopers a rather different name, which is fitting given that headgear… 😮

  25. Richard Lyth  November 4, 2012

    I don’t remember seeing this the first time round – surprising the Daleks didn’t stick in my memory, but maybe it was just too bleak for me to get excited about. Now I’d say it’s the second-best story of that season, brilliantly directed even though the plot doesn’t make a great deal of sense (I still don’t understand who all the people Lytton’s men gun down at the start are supposed to be) and the twist with Stein being a Dalek agent is genuinely shocking, perhaps because he never acts like one even when he’s alone. Tegan’s departure is a great scene as well, even if the Doctor’s vow to mend his ways goes out of the window about two stories from now.

    • DPC  November 4, 2012

      That’s the best way!

      Deliberate or not, it was a nice little shock to see Stein be revealed as a Dalek agent… maybe one small hint could have been added, but too many of those would render the reveal to be underwhelming…

      True – the escaped prisoners at the start are gunned down without mercy, but the plot doesn’t really state what they need prisoners *for*. Maybe they were the progenitors of the duplicates being made, but – again – who they are and why… it all is glossed over, unfortunately. Unlike other tv shows or movies that do the surprise action scenes for no reason, at least one wants to know more about these escaped prisoners.

      And the Doctor does mend his ways – he went from being passive to being more action-oriented… but I won’t spoil anything until it’s after officially shown, of course… 🙂

      • Dave Sanders  November 4, 2012

        There’s a thought – the Doctor muses to Stein at one point, ‘I wonder what happened to the real you’. I wonder if that was the real Stein we saw with Galloway, but he was also nobbled not long after and replaced with his duplicate by the time he met the Doctor.

  26. Dave Cross  November 4, 2012

    “I bet it’s really nice there now. I bet the house prices are extortionate.”

    Sue might enjoy this set of photos comparing shots from the story with the same locations in 2008.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tetramesh/sets/72157606399924466/

    • Jazza1971  November 4, 2012

      Fantastic set of photos. Really interesting to see how a run down area has been transformed.

  27. Nick Mays  November 4, 2012

    Being an avowed Dalek fan from when I was a little kid, I was blownaway by thius story in ’84. The Daleks were back, looking a LOT better than in ‘Destiny’ and being taken seriously for a change. AND you get to see the mutations within the casings when they get blown up. And a flashback sequence! What’s not to like?

    We-eee-lll… Not to like: The ease with which the warehouse Dalek is despatched and the fact that the mutation could survive outside of the casing… The fa c that UNIT didn’t get assigned to the alien explosives. Chloe Ashcroft. (I mean, why???) Tegan leaving in such an arbitrary way. And lots of plot shoehorned in randomly.

    The funny thing was, I forgave it all of that and out of Dalek loyalty voted this the best story of Season 22 in the DWM Season Survey, ahead of ‘Androzani’, which of course is a much better story as I see now. But back in the day, ‘Resurrection’ was the best Dalek tale we’d got and it was a welcome return for the Doctor’s oldest foes.

    It remained high in my affections until Sylvester’s encounter with the metal meanies in ‘Remembrance’ in ’88 and, of course, until Rob Shearman’s ‘Dalek’ re-wrote the manual in 2005…

  28. Tempusfugit  November 4, 2012

    This site is made of awesome!
    I just finished all classic series, I’m waiting forward for Sue’s comments on the C. Baker era 😉
    BTW, sorry of the off topic, but I needed to share with fellow English-speaking whovians how totally RUBBISH are the Spanish dalek voices. I usually watch the new series in Spanish(The classic ones in English with subs) but I just cannot stand the garbage they have made of spanish dalek voices :/ so when any dalek appears I just turn it to English
    Just a sample

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fue0IKigFVs

    BTW, I luv Sue, go on with the experiment, Sue FTW

    Greetings from Barcelona, Spain

    • Tempusfugit  November 4, 2012

      Another example of how shitty are Spanish Dalek voices. This drives me nuts every Daleks episode in the new series

      • John Callaghan  November 4, 2012

        Hello there! I agree with you about the Dalek voices, but I prefer the Spanish Cybermen!

      • Jazza1971  November 4, 2012

        Yeah, the Spanish Dalek’s sound a bit like really pissed off Mexican bandits inside a washing machine. The cybermen are good though. Out of interest, does the voice of the Doctor change when he regenerates?

        • PolarityReversed  November 4, 2012

          Interesting question that. I’d suspect not, as Spanish dubs, in my experience, sound like the same half dozen newsreaders moonlighting.,.

          Tempus: Having said that, is it my imagination, or have they slightly tried to chav up Rose with hints of a southern accent?

          • Tempusfugit  November 5, 2012

            Hello

            The voice of the Doctor changes, since every actor has his own dub. But the doctor’s voices are ok to me, is the Dalek voices that sound like rubbish. They didn’t sounded that to me when I started to watch the new series first, since I started to watch all series in Spanish dub, but then, I decided to watch the classic series and they were only available in English with subs, so I got my ears used to the English voices. As for cybermen voices, my all-time favourites were the ones from first Troughton era, then they changed and sounded “less robotic” (I’m talking of classic series English voices).

          • Tempusfugit  November 5, 2012

            I don’t know about Rose’s accent, sorry!

      • Frankymole  November 5, 2012

        The Daleks seem to be played by Moloch from Blakes 7!

        • Dave Sanders  November 5, 2012

          SHE WILL, TENNANT. SHE WILL. SHE WILL.

    • Dave Sanders  November 4, 2012

      They sound like they just stepped out of a Kamen Rider episode.

    • Justaguy.  November 4, 2012

      As a huge french doctor who fan, I can tell that spanish voices aren’t that bad !
      The french dub is so bad that every doctor who fan that I know watch the series in english !
      I mean, at least your daleks don’t sound like humans ! They sound terrible, but not “evil cartoon caracter” terrible !

      I mean (and I know that nobody cares here), the french dub is bad beyond belief !
      THEY DIDN’T CHANGE THE VOICE ACTOR FROM THE 9TH DOCTOR TO THE TENTH. THEY HAVE THE SAME VOICE. THINGS AREN’T TRANSLATED THE SAME WAY BETWEEN SEASONS (THE SONIC SCREWDRIVER IS A “ULTRAWAVE SCREWDRIVER” (SERIOUSLY) DURING THE 9TH DOCTOR TENURE, THEN BECAME SONIC SCREWDRIVER (Well, “tournevis sonique” but it’s the correct translation so it’s ok).

      The french dub of the classic series is craptastic too ; Tom Baker sounds like he’s fifteen , and Davros and most monsters are even harder to understand ! (And cybermen are called “cybernator” for some reason)

      Your blog is amazing by the way ; it brightened my lunch time for months ! IOh, and I’ve just listened to your intervention in radio free skaro , that was nice !

      Good luck for what’s coming next (Colin is my second favorite doctor next to Davison, but I must admit that most of his stories aren’t that great), and have a nice day !

      • chris-too-old-to-watch  November 5, 2012

        Slightly off-topic, but “Allo Allo” in German is amazing: Herr Flick could be a cyberman……

      • Tempusfugit  November 5, 2012

        Wow, that is worse than Spanish dubs! I mean, the same voice for different actors? Here changed the dub voice from Chris to David, at least, and Matt has another voice. Matt’s Daleks (the colorful ones) have still rubbish voices :/
        I haven’t had the chance to liste the classic in Spanish, so I watched it entirtely in English. Tom’s voice was amazing!! I think he had one of the greatest voices!

        Some of David Tennant stuff sounded much better in English (like the timey wimey wibbly wobbly stuff, in Spanish they translated it like a ball that stubles).

        • PolarityReversed  November 5, 2012

          re: the same voice for different actors
          Russian dubs used to be hilarious for that – even when they’d got over the dodgy bootleg era, they’d often just hire one man and one woman to voice everything.

          “On u menya na khvost! Ne mogu – argghhhh!”
          “Ispolzuy Fors, Luke…”

          From the clips you posted, I find it hard to hear los Daleks properly (still, Murray Gold was still at his soupy extravagant extreme at the time, so maybe they just replicated the confusion). Perhaps they used a bullring modulator?

          Must go and check out Herr Flick in German now – Richard was a lovely bloke by the way, I met him when he was subbing at the Independent.

  29. John G  November 4, 2012

    “They’re going to charge her with soliciting”

    I could sense that one coming, but it was still very funny when it did! A great post, with plenty of laugh-out-loud comments and a refreshingly positive perspective on a story that has had its fair share of critical kickings over the years. There are some plot problems, and the overall tone of the story is a shade too mean-spirited and nihilistic for my tastes, but there is no denying that it is very stylishly directed and compelling. Shad Thames was certainly an inspired choice of location – I was there a couple of months back and there is still something rather eerie about it, even though it is now highly gentrified. Rodney’s performance is certainly odd, but I think he just about gets away with it, and Tegan’s leaving scene is very touching; it is somewhat abrupt, but such is the scale of the slaughter I think it is also understandable. I’m glad Sue did warm to Tegan in the end – the character was irritating early on, and Janet’s first few performances were not very good, but she got a lot better and I think Tegan evolved into a loyal and dependable stalwart of a companion.

    Resurrection is also something of a special story for me, as it is the only one that I have a clear memory of from the time. I remember watching quite a lot of Davison episodes in 1983-84, but the Daleks seared this story onto my 4-year-old brain. I distinctly remember watching Torvill & Dean winning their Olympic gold at the time too, my first real sporting memory…

  30. Dave Sanders  November 4, 2012

    This is what Malcolm Clarke’s music will sound like to Sue’s ears by the time this season is over.

  31. Korv  November 4, 2012

    The last time I watched this I uprated it dramatically from the morass of Saward plotting errors I’d previously consigned it too. The subplot of the Fifth Doctor’s struggle to stay pure in a violent and amoral Universe really begins to kick in here. If you watch very carefully the scene in Part One where the Kaled mutant is shot, the Doctor is the only one who doesn’t fire his gun…

    • Thomas  November 5, 2012

      Wait, isn’t that the scene where he grabs the mutant and shoots it at point-blank range?

      • Leo  November 5, 2012

        It’s the soldiers who fire at it. The Doctor is holding a gun at it, but if you look carefully he doesn’t fire it in that scene.

        • John Miller  November 5, 2012

          Although The Doctor holding a gun at all didn’t go down particularly well, whether he actually used it or not. At least he didn’t shout “Die! Hideous Creature! Die!”

        • DamonD  November 5, 2012

          Yeah, I think he makes as if to fire but reacts as if the safety was still on, and by the time he’s taken it off the others have already finished firing.

          Wouldn’t surprise me at all if that was a little bit of business by Davison to avoid firing, and if so I approve of the dodge.

        • Thomas  November 5, 2012

          The scene cuts away before we actually see him fire, but I think the clear intention is that he was one of the ones shooting at it. The scene doesn’t suggest otherwise.

          • Leo  November 6, 2012

            Nevertheless the action does not show him firing.

            Not that it’s much different to him firing at an Ogron or a Fendahleen.

          • Thomas  November 6, 2012

            It doesn’t show anyone firing, though- the scene has a cut straight to the bag showing it being shot to pieces. It just happens to cut right before we see the Doctor fire his gun, but there is absolutely no indication whatsoever that the Doctor didn’t use it.

          • Leo  November 6, 2012

            No, I’m sorry, but you’re mistaken on the detail. At least one of the soldiers is shown firing in the shot where the Doctor is still visible, with the shots hitting the blanket, before cutting to a close up of the same blanket with some further shots hitting it.

            It doesn’t matter what you think it implies – the only person in the scene who is definitely shown as shooting at it is not the Doctor.

          • Thomas  November 6, 2012

            You’re right, but using it as proof that he doesn’t fire *at all* at the mutant (when the editing of the scene is structured to tell us he did) and then use that as a larger example of the Doctor “struggling to stay pure in a violent and amoral universe” is just a bit silly.

            Especially when he’s later very cavalier about killing them with plague.

          • Leo  November 7, 2012

            I’m not claiming that it proves he didn’t fire, just pointing out that as it doesn’t show it for sure, whether you infer that he does or not is essentially a matter of choice. I’m not insisting anyone make either choice, just trying to demonstrate that both are possible.

          • Neil Perryman  November 7, 2012

            Bloody hell, people have analysed the Zapruder film less than this…

          • Nick Mays  November 7, 2012

            LOL! Good one, Neil!

            Of course, the Doctor was in Dallas that day too. As was the Master. And James Stevens…

  32. Christopher Pittard  November 4, 2012

    Tiresome methodological question! Would Sue be likely to give this one such a high score if she watched it again? Surely a lot of the stuff in the first episode (OK, the Bewes stuff) makes no sense whatsoever if you know how the story unfolds…

    • Frankymole  November 5, 2012

      On what way, “makes no sense”? The whole point of the duplicates is that they are not even aware themselves of being agents until their conditioning kicks in – though they may subconsciously go along with escapes etc (surely why Stien was planted with the ‘slaves’, just in case) until events reach a decisive point where the Dalek control rises to their conscious to resolve things. In fact, he may even have some kind of “tracer” implant allowing Lytton to find where the escapers have gone. Similarly, the politicians that the Daleks have replaced on earth could be “sleepers” for years – doesn’t the Supreme or the Doctor actually mention this?

      • Andrew Bowman  November 5, 2012

        A kind of Manchurian Candidate, you mean? Or like the Torchwood episode Sleeper?

      • Dave Sanders  November 5, 2012

        No, they don’t, not fully; and that’s where the confusion lies. One simple line would have clarified everything.

        • Dave Sanders  November 5, 2012

          Oh, and one other thing – it’s never clear as to whether Lytton is a duplicate or not.

          • Leo  November 5, 2012

            Stein does say that they all are, so that’s arguably a statement implying that Lytton is too.

          • Frankymole  November 6, 2012

            Watching the first half again yesterday, Lytton and his troopers do seem to be “hired help” since the Daleks were weakened by losing the Movellan war. Events in a future story seem to show Lytton is a free agent, although his loyalties are kept in some doubt for some time, for dramatic purposes…

          • Nick Mays  November 6, 2012

            Agreed Franky; I’d always thought that Lytton was a free agent/mercenary, and events a couple of stories hence seem to bear this out.

            Interestingly, Maurice Colbourne also played a mercenary called Jake Lipton in ‘the drama Johnny Jarvis’ which came out a year before. Then, of course, there was ‘Howard’s Way’… ahem…

        • Leo  November 6, 2012

          Lytton being a free agent/mercenary wouldn’t necessarily have to preclude the version seen in this story as being a duplicate. It would only be necessary for the original to have been captured and killed at some point, and for the duplicate to have already overcome the conditioning before this story started. Hence the personality and memories of the original would have already re-asserted themselves in him, so he’d be in a position where he was serving the Daleks for the time being out of necessity, while keeping an eye out for some possible way of escaping, which is what he does eventually.

          • Frankymole  November 7, 2012

            Yes, the second half muddies the waters still further by showing that Stien is one of Lytton’s elite guard (Kiston says so). So if Lytton as a Dalek troop leader is quite happy to have possibly-unstable duplicates as his most trusted lieutenants, he could well be a duplicate himself. When the Doctor asks Stien “are you all duplicates?” he replies in the affirmative. How Lytton breaks his conditioning without the Daleks realising until the eleventh hour, and manages to get his policemen to do the same, is unknown- Perhaps he’d been working on others (including Stien?) for some time since breaking his own conditioning? Then again, perhaps the real Lytton had escaped and killed his duplicate early on, taking his place… it’s all full of unknowns. I CAN’T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY MIND!!

          • Nick Mays  November 7, 2012

            I feel your pain Franky. I think it’s summed up very simply: SAWARD!

  33. Mark McDonnell  November 5, 2012

    My first comment! Well, first of all huge thank you to you both for such a brilliant and entertaining site/project.
    I feel I must answer the quandry of Rodney Bewes performance, it is shite! Wooden and crap. And I think the ill-executed stutter was his idea.
    I worked with him once and afterwards I ran away from him to go to another pub. He really is that annoying!
    Keep up the good work!

  34. chris-too-old-to-watch  November 5, 2012

    Great story, but the quality of direction (Thanks Robinson bros), and (some) of the acting make this one of my favourites. I always felt unhappy about it’s overshadowing by Andonazi in the season, but that’s just personal taste.
    An abiding memory is the fuss in all the papers and on most of the media about showing “Policemen” gunning down innocent civilians. I think it’s one of the (many) times DW was threatened with censorship…

    • John Miller  November 5, 2012

      Strange that. If you were going to invade/create havoc, it obviously follows that you would disguise yourself as a respected member of the community(Ahem!). Or perhaps an average run-of-the-mill inconspicuous type of person. However, that generates complaints. So apparently every villain ever must wear a black hat and carry around a large sign saying “I am not very nice.”

      • chris-too-old-to-watch  November 5, 2012

        Remember this was the 1980’s when Margaret “I am not a Replicant” Thatcher was in power and everything was hunky-dory in GB, so that no-one could possibly imagine in their wildest dreams policemen doing things they shouldn’t…..

  35. AntonB  November 5, 2012

    ‘It’s Rula Lenska! Why is she working in the Clinique store at Fenwicks with the cast of Thunderbirds?’

    Best. Sue comment. Ever.

    Those Spanish clips have made me want to watch Tennant’s run again. In Spanish. The Dalek’s voices aren’t that bad. They sound like petulant alien children which is pretty much what they are and the Cybermen sound great.

  36. Wholahoop  November 6, 2012

    A classic throw everything at it and hope it works approach which whilst it was an enjoyable romp, the actual story does not for me, stand up to too much scrutiny. Could I get away with “a classic example of style over substance”?

    • Dave Sanders  November 6, 2012

      Not really, unless you mean like a warehouse full of Ikea shelving – there’s plenty of substance, but it’s the glue holding it together that lets it down.

      • PolarityReversed  November 7, 2012

        Praps they should have hired Allen Key as Production Manager?

  37. Paul Mudie  November 7, 2012

    I can’t stand the confusion in my mind either! I sort of like this one, but it is awfully bleak, as though Eric Saward was in a particularly grumpy mood when he wrote it. I agree with Sue that it’s wrong for the Doctor to be running about with guns, and I also can’t make my mind up about Rodney’s performance. And the plot makes no sense!

    Still, it’s very well directed, the production values are very high, it’s got the Daleks and Davros in it, and Peter Davison gives a very strong performance. And Tegan’s farewell is very well handled, after all her false departures. I’d probably give it a 7.

  38. JM Casey  November 8, 2012

    Hey. First time commenting here. Love these writeups; so many of them are funny as hell!

    I haven’t seen this one in ages, but I’ve been thinking about it lately and wanting to view it again. This was actually the first Dalek story I ever saw..I was, I think, no older than five! And you know what? Today Cannibal Holocaust is one of my favourite movies, and yet I still think this is one terribly bloody-minded and mean Doctor Who story. Most of the deaths do feel totally pointless, especially Laird’s as she just gets shot in the face for strugglign and moaning a bit. Saward definitely had a bitter thing going on during this time. He still writes some pretty horrible dialogue, but I do like this one better than Earthshock.

    I like a bit of ambiguity in my Doctor Who, so it doesn’t really trouble me that the script didn’t seem to bother to explain certain things. My imagination basically filled in the gaps. I think they left the cannisters on Earth because it was supposed to be a “safe” location. The Daleks are basically terrified of the virus, and don’t want to risk it breaking loose on their ship or a Dalek planet and possibly infecting loads more of the apparently dwindling Dalek population. They chose Earth because it is linked with Davros’s imprisonment (though why 1984, I have no idea….maybe there was an aborted invasion attempt with duplicates earlier on that was brought to a standstill by the Movelan war?). Getting the Doctor to assassinate the High Council is for sure not a significant part of the story, but I don’t see why the line surprises anybody. Why bother to make a duplicate of the Doctor otherwise? And surely it seems like just the sort of thing the Daleks would always have on the backburner in case they ever got control of the Doctor or made a copy of him? It’s no different from it suddenly being announced in episode 7 or whatever of Evil of the Daleks that the Doctor’s going to take the Dalek Factor back to Earth and infect everyone.