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Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks

Doctor Who 5th Doctor

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#1 Virgil Vox

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 10:44 PM

I really wanted to like this story. It is the 5th Doctor’s only real meeting with the Daleks and also sees Tegan leaving. While there are some good things in these episodes the whole is pretty much a mess.

Just like what happened with Nyssa when she left, Tegan isn’t given much to do in her final appearance. She spends a good chunk of time with a concussion not doing much and then ends up spending a lot of time in the TARDIS. It really is too bad. I never thought about it while watching these episodes but Tegan was a long serving companion. She started right at the end of the 4th Doctor’s tenure and spent three seasons with the 5th, leaving right before he regenerates. She is in 18 stories plus the anniversary special. That puts her right up there with Sarah Jane for longevity. That is pretty impressive. She deserved a better send-off.

Her departure did at least have more of an impact than Nyssa’s and felt more natural. Tegan has seen a lot of death and destruction with the Doctor, especially this season. I can understand her saying that it isn’t fun anymore and wanting to leave. It is also a cold splash of water in the Doctor’s face, who realizes he needs to mend his ways.

It is strange seeing Tegan’s farewell story before I see her introductory episode. I’m saying goodbye to a character that I haven’t formally said hello to. That is a bit of timey wimey nonsense that the Doctor would appreciate.

I liked seeing the Daleks return and there was some interesting concepts done with them but it was a case of too much being done. They lost the war against the Movellans because of a virus so they are breaking out Davros so he can find a cure. They are also kidnapping humans, cloning them, and then using the clones to help take over Earth. They want to clone the Doctor and his companions so they can assassinate the High Council on Gallifrey. Then you have Davros using a device to mind control people and Daleks to create his own army while planning on creating a new race of Daleks. Add to that the mess with the time corridor to 1984, the virus hidden there by the Daleks and the bomb squad sent there to investigate that gets cloned and it is all just a mess of a story where none of these ideas gets the development they need.

Just like Tegan, Turlough is wasted here. He gets put on the Dalek ship early on and spends a good chunk of time just wandering around. He then gets captured (it is like the writers have a fetish about Turlough getting captured and tied up/locked up) only to wander around the ship some more. It just isn’t a good showing for him.

The moral debate about whether the Doctor should kill Davros felt rather lame. This is a Doctor who shot the Cyber Leader point blank multiple times. He used poison gas to kill off all the Silurians and Sea Devils. He also killed the Myrka. He uses bombs to kill several Daleks and then releases the poison gas to wipe out the rest. He has killed a lot of beings so acting like he is too decent to kill Davros just doesn’t fit.

Once again we have a story with a high body count. Aside from “The Awakening” this has been a pretty bloody season of Doctor Who. Aside from the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough, Lytton and his two cronies everyone else is killed. Sure, I know Davros returns since he is in New Who but at least at the end of the story he appears to be extremely dead what with being affected by the virus and then being blown up.

It’s not all bad. I felt the attack on the prison was handled rather well and had some nice tension to it. I knew the Daleks were the main bad guys but I didn’t expect them to burst from the airlock like that. I assumed it would be their human foot soldiers so that was a nice surprise.

Stien was a good, complex character. The fact that he was a Dalek agent was another surprise that I didn’t see coming at all so hats off to the writer. He had a good arc over this story, going from a Dalek agent to fighting their brainwashing and being something of a hero.

Lytton surviving at the end and leaving with his two henchmen was something of a shock. Normally these stories are self-contained with the threats being neutralized by the end. One of the main bad guys still being around and able to cause problems could lead to some good story telling if this particular thread is picked up again later. For all I know we never see Lytton again.

All in all, I was disappointed with “Resurrection of the Daleks”. I was expecting a much better story than this convoluted mess. It had its moments and a gut punch ending with Tegan leaving but that wasn't enough to salvage it IMO.
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#2 Christopher

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 08:00 AM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 31 December 2019 - 10:44 PM, said:

The moral debate about whether the Doctor should kill Davros felt rather lame. This is a Doctor who shot the Cyber Leader point blank multiple times. He used poison gas to kill off all the Silurians and Sea Devils. He also killed the Myrka. He uses bombs to kill several Daleks and then releases the poison gas to wipe out the rest. He has killed a lot of beings so acting like he is too decent to kill Davros just doesn’t fit.


There's a difference between self-defense and premeditated murder. In theory, the Doctor only kills as a last resort when other options have failed, in the heat of battle where it's the only way to save lives (although in practice he does so an awful lot for an avowed pacifist). So it's crossing a line for him to choose to kill pre-emptively.
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#3 RJDiogenes

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 05:31 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 31 December 2019 - 10:44 PM, said:

I really wanted to like this story. It is the 5th Doctor’s only real meeting with the Daleks and also sees Tegan leaving. While there are some good things in these episodes the whole is pretty much a mess.  
We must be pretty near the end of Dr Davison's run.  I seem to recall that he met Peri right after Tegan left, and regenerated during his meeting with Peri.
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#4 Christopher

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Posted 01 January 2020 - 06:28 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 01 January 2020 - 05:31 PM, said:

We must be pretty near the end of Dr Davison's run.  I seem to recall that he met Peri right after Tegan left, and regenerated during his meeting with Peri.


Not quite. After "Resurrection of the Daleks" comes "Planet of Fire," in which Peri debuts and Turlough leaves, and then "The Caves of Androzani," Peri's first solo story, in which the Doctor regenerates. ("Androzani" is probably the highest point of Davison's run, one of Robert Holmes's most classic serials, so he goes out on top.)
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