Resurrection of the Daleks (1984)

Following the successful return of the Cybermen the previous year, it seemed like the natural progression to bring the Daleks back after a near five years absence. The Daleks were last seen in Destiny of the Daleks and for anyone who’s seen that story will know it wasn’t their finest hour (and a half). This story also marks the departure of Janet Fielding as Tegan who had been with the show since Logopolis in 1981. This story is famous for the fact that it has a high death count than Terminator 2 which is funny when you think about it.

After a poor previous story, it was good to see the Daleks restored to their proper glory and I mean that both in terms of storytelling and also production wise. Another thing that has improved is the character of Davros. Terry Molloy appears in his first of three performances and it’s a great performance. The mask fits Molloy and whilst its not a patch on Michael Wisher, its still a good outing.

Maurice Coburn is one of the best of the supporting artists. The character of Lytton is a very well written one and superbly played by Coburn. He was so good he would return the following year but it’s not a patch on this performance. It’s never quite explained why Lytton is working with the Daleks. It’s not that Lytton is a prisoner or a slave of the Daleks but neither is he in charge of them. Another big name in this story was Rodney Bewes who is most famous for ‘Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?’. I can’t quite make my mind up about his performance because he’s good when we think he’s a good guy but when there is the plot twist I find it difficult to believe. It’s a bit like Beryl Reid in ‘Earthshock’, it just seems like John-Nathan Turner hired him because he’s a big name.

The departure of Tegan isn’t handled particularly well because there is a scuffle with a Dalek and gets a slight mark on her head and spends the rest of the story in bed. So after spending a long time on her back she then decides to leave the Doctor. Having spent three years on the show it was clear that there was nothing more that Janet Fielding could do with the role and this was a classic example of how at times she was badly used. Mark Strickson does a good job in this story leading the fight to get the prison ship that Davros is on blown up. He doesn’t do much for the early part of the story and it’s only when he ends up on the prison ship that he gets into his stride. Peter Davison is on good form in this story. The best moment comes when the Doctor has the power to kill Davros, it’s quite a thing and it echoes the moment in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ where the Doctor has the power to wipe out the Daleks but doesn’t go through with it.

There are issues with this story. The helmets that the Dalek troopers have to wear are very stupid. It was only noticed at a very late stage and too late to change. Well they could have taken them off and it would have improved things drastically. I also found some of the prison staff to be very annoying. I thought that Rula Lenska was miscast and deserved a more important role. Also Professor Laird was a character that was totally pointless. Well actually she wasn’t that pointless because it was another female character for Tegan to interact with. Her death was amusing purely because of the scream that Chloe Ashcroft gave.

Resurrection of the Daleks is a good story but there are some flaws to it. The Daleks are used more effectively than in previous stories and Davros is also better. Eric Saward (writer) wasn’t keen on this story but I think he’s doing himself an injustice because its well written and very dark and grim.

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