1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The darkest 'Who' of the entire era
Hot on the heels of one of the most violent Doctor Who Dalek stories comes 'Revelation of the Daleks,' clearly the darkest. The story finds the Doctor visiting the colony of Tranquil Repose at the behest of one of his friends. Upon arrival however, the Doctor and Peri are assaulted by a gruesome human who has been viciously scarred due to genetic tampering...
Published on May 25 2011 by Derek Draven
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Bad Story
Let me get this out of the way first: In my humble opinion, Colin Baker was one of the most annoying Doctors.
However, there's some odd about his reign as the good Doctor in it of the fact that he has some of the best scripts and stories. So, on one hand, I cringe everytime I see him, the stories he's in are really good: risky, thoughtful,...
Published on May 31 2006 by Eric J. Kregel
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The darkest 'Who' of the entire era,
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The Doctor and Peri follow the trail to the Tranquil Repose colony, which serves as a cold storage medium for the rich and privileged who have been put into suspended animation until a cure can be found for their specific terminal illnesses or injuries. At the heart of the institution's elite is Davros, having escaped certain death at the end of the Doctor Who audio adventure 'Davros' (not Resurrection of the Daleks, as commonly believed). Davros has become something of an icon, masquerading under the title of "the Great Healer," a title which serves to hide his true identity from the Daleks which have placed an assassination order on him after the events of 'Resurrection.' Having solved a major galactic food shortage, Davros is given leeway to conduct experiments within the bowels of the Tranquil Repose complex, and those experiments involve turning human cadavers into a new breed of Dalek.
'Revelation' doesn't shy away from controversy. Not one bit. In fact, I've never seen a Doctor Who story more focused on disturbing its audience (which are, ironically, children). Themes of cannibalism and necrophilia run rampant, limbs get blown off, and people die all sorts of horrible deaths. One particular scene stands tall as the series' most gruesome, showcasing a severed, pulsating human head inside a skeletal Dalek frame. This scene is tremendously upsetting for a Doctor Who story, though quite effective for sucker-punching the audience right in the gut. The story is so devoid of humor that it becomes dreadful, which was perhaps the goal of the staff. Who knows?
The story is wonderfully shot, however. Tranquil Repose feels like a real place on another world, both inside and out. There's a strong attention to detail in this story which is sometimes overlooked in other 'Who' episodes. Colin Baker's Doctor is likeable in this feature, showcasing a clear regret as to his identity, especially when he glimpses his own tombstone for the first time. Davros is in top form and as manipulative as ever. The use of his "head inside a jar" is a very clever plot twist that is totally believable, though the character is clearly more insane than ever. I liked the several subplots involving the assassin Orcini, Natasha and Grigory, and the comedic/tragic relationship between administrator Jobel and his unattractive admirer Tasambeker (all of which end terribly, I should add).
The Daleks themselves sport a brand new color scheme as befitting their new origins. The use of human bodies to serve as Davros' new Dalek line sets up a great battle involving the original pureblooded Daleks, who arrive for the purpose of finding Davros himself. They are also terrible shots who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, each and every one. Regardless, the story really comes alive in the 4th and final episode with some climatic shootouts, surprises and plot twists. A few Davros plot elements from this story are re-visited in the 2008 episode 'Stolen Earth,' which shows his cybernetic hand and ability to summon and project an electrical-based attack from his very fingertips.
'Revelation' isn't a miss. Not by a long shot. It's hard to classify its merit as a story due to the oppressive and difficult subject matter, but it's one of the strongest Dalek stories to come out of the original series' later years, which were beginning to run into decline as 1989 began fast approaching. Minor plot elements would be revisited in the 2005 re-launch series, but for the most part, this is a story that can stand alone on its very own.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Bad Story,
However, there's some odd about his reign as the good Doctor in it of the fact that he has some of the best scripts and stories. So, on one hand, I cringe everytime I see him, the stories he's in are really good: risky, thoughtful, and somewhat dark.
Revelations of the Daleks is a good example of this. It delves into some of the mythology of the show-Dalek creation, Davros, the Supreme Dalek, Dalek evolution, etc.- while intertwining it with the another world and culture.
The plot does suffer from a redundancy within Colin's era: they go back to turning people into established monsters (this is following the Cyberman plot of a previous season). I mean, it's a clever metaphor: the monsters feared by children for decades were once human. But it's recycled here, yet more effectively rendered in this story than it's Cyber-sibiling.
Peri is in this one a bit more modest in both attire and personality, which is thankful because her voice can grate and, simply put, Americans didn't dress the way the Brits thought they did in the 80's.
Worth a watch!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Untranquil Tranquil Repose...,
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There is all sorts of violence in this story, which is not out of place with the majority of the rest of the 22nd season... a leg is blown off one person, a hand off someone else... at the time, Script Editor Eric Saward defended the violence as being realistic.
The story itself is one that sees the Doctor and Peri being on the periphery of the action until the last 20 minutes or so (those who don't like the 6th Doctor's persona will say this is a positive point to the story...). Plotting in the 22nd season was a problem, as writers tried to make the switch from 25 minute episodes to 45... in many cases this meant over half the story was finished before the Doctor arrived "on scene", and RotD is no different.
The polt revolves around Davros using Tranquil Repose, a sort of galactic funeral parlour and storage facility, to do experiments designed to build himself a new race of Daleks, which will be loyal only to him.
While there were a number of strong characters in this story, it was also cursed by one of the most poorly realized of the 26+ year history of the show in the DJ... which is saying a lot given that almost every supporting character simply shouts at people (and poor acting to boot). On par with most of the Eric Saward stories, almost everyone dies, and the only guest characters who survive are ones we really don't care about.
Colin Baker is one of my favourite Doctors... that's saying something given the generally poor stories he was saddled with in his all too short tennure in the role. RotD had the potential to be so much better than it turned out, but, having said that, it was still one of the better stories of the 22nd season.
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Tranquil Repose...and to ivory and gold Daleks,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Revelation of The Daleks (VHS Tape)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.
3.0 out of 5 stars Flashy Tedium,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Revelation of The Daleks (VHS Tape)Even when I was 12 I knew there was something "off" about the Colin Baker years. In the beginning I just wanted to watch "Doctor Who", so I never turned a critical eye to stories like "The Twin Dilemma" or "Vengeance on Varos". I was only bothered by the nonsensical formatting of the episodes screened in the US: I didn't know that Doctor Who had been converted to 45-minute episodes, because they were still screened here in 25-minute blocks. Each story from Season 22 had arbitrary cliffhangers ("Can you show us to this hacienda?" "Of course, it is this way") mixed in with the "real" ones. And that made no sense.
Through the years my individual opinions on the Season 22 stories have fluctuated. I have "Vengeance on Varos" on my "ugh" list even though I loved it once, and "Revelation of the Daleks" was usually on the "good" list. You had Daleks, and Graeme Harper directing, and a layered script with lots of action going on... what wasn't to like?
But tonight, I'm just wondering what the fuss is about.
Well, the direction is still superb, obviously. Graeme Harper brings back welcome tricks from his previous story, "The Caves of Androzani" -- there's someone walking behind a hologram again -- but there's now expanded use of computer graphics, and a wonderful sight gag with the vertical hold in which the screen appears to start flipping. The opening frames of the story show the TARDIS crash-landing on Necros, and the exteriors (a snowbound landscape with steam escaping from the water) are gorgeous.
Only towards the end does it start to look silly: suddenly, Davros's chair can levitate, and he can blast forks of blue fire from his fingertips. The scene after that is totally incomprehensible, as a Dalek begins flying, exterminates two people, and then explodes into pixels for no good reason.
So this is, I think, a case of great direction crushing an empty script. To be exceedingly reductionist, the supporting cast of "Revelation of the Daleks" is just a bunch of people with annoying voices, shouting at one another. Every time Tasambeker the love-struck medical student raised her voice ("Meanwhile... find the intruders!"), I cringed. It's neat that Kara, the greedy industrialist, has such great chemistry with Vogel, her administrative assistant from the John Waters school of acting, but it's all spoiled when another character has to peer into the camera and tell us they're "like a double act".
"Revelation" is often compared to "Androzani", probably because they were both directed by Graeme Harper. But consider this: one lacks the themes of the other. There is no grand opera in "Revelation", pitting Morgus against Sharaz Jek. There is no higher morality, of the Doctor trying to save Peri's life by finding the antidote. There is no grand political bantering between Morgus and the President. In "Androzani", the Doctor's presence served as a catalyst to change the motivations of the guest characters (Morgus, Jek); here, the entire story happens without the Doctor's involvement. In "Revelation", Kara would still have been killed by Orcini, and the Skaro Daleks would still have arrested Davros, and Orcini would still have destroyed Davros's laboratory, even if the Doctor never walked into Tranquil Repose.
Maybe comparison to "Androzani" is unfair, but I'm still not convinced of the merit of what's left standing alone. The tragic figure of "Revelation", Orcini, a disgraced space knight, prattles on and on about honor and noble self-sacrifice until he blows up an empty room (with a thousand unseen Daleks allegedly off camera). So? And the other incidental characters have been overpraised: Vogel's death scene is ludricous -- if the Daleks were truly scary, their death-rays wouldn't have left him time to scowl comically before falling. Jobel's dialogue is some of the worst Doctor Who ever saw -- the TV series wasn't really about a mann who'd comb his toupee, or talk about nose picking, or lips meant for kissing. Grigory (the definition of "cipher") is the most inebriated character in "Doctor Who" history -- he's even tortured with a whiskey hip flask, for goodness sakes! This may have worked on "Red Dwarf", but not for the man in the blue box.
The best part of "Revelation of the Daleks" -- again, I'm going against popular opinion -- is the DJ. Yes, he falls into the annoying-voice syndrome with everyone else in Part One. But once he's introduced to Peri in Part Two, we see this DJ really is a decent guy. Alexei Sayle even affects the best "American" accent we ever got in the show. When he destroys a few Daleks with a "highly directional, ultrasonic beam of rock and roll!", it's a stand up and cheer moment, finally -- we're getting the self-aware humor that Jobel and Orcini so conspicuously lacked. But when the DJ is exterminated, so is the story's moral centerpiece. The only guest characters who survive are ones we really don't care about.
The Doctor's final lesson, that you can build an economy on flowers rather than corpses, allows "Revelation of the Daleks" to breathe again, to stand proudly with the lessons of, say, "The Savages" and "Enlightenment". But by then, it's too late.
5.0 out of 5 stars I mean it when I say this is the *best* of the whole series.,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Revelation of The Daleks (VHS Tape)My title really means something, considering that Doctor Who lasted 26 years and featured 160 different stories. But indeed, "Revelation of the Daleks" is in my opinion the very best of not only Colin Baker's all-too-brief reign as the Doctor, but of the entire series. It really has it all, starting with a great Doctor/Companion partnership... the Sixth Doctor and Peri interact marvellously, and have been together long enough for anyone to see that they have become good friends (even if the Doctor can still be snappy and childishly passive-aggressive... Peri's used to it by now, and doesn't take it personally). Each have a number of fantastic scenes, from scrambling over the wall after being unable to find a door ('watch it, Porky!'), to individual moments with the Doctor ('ah! There you are! They went that way.') But the heart of this story isn't the Doctor and Peri... it's Davros, and the colourful cast of characters that share the world on Necros with him.
But first let me comment on Necros... I love that planet! From the first shot of the frozen lake the TARDIS materializes beside, to the exterior shots of the Tranquil Repose Mortuary, where the story is for the most part set, it really feels REAL. Necros feels like a world that really extends beyond the little we see of it in the story, unlike the majority of the planets we see on Doctor Who, and I appreciate it. All the grim stuff that happens there aside, it's really a place I'd like to visit. Plus, the sets of the interiors to Tranquil Repose are vast and intricately detailed... a real treat after so much sterility in so many of the stories that came before this one. I mean really... is there one location in this story that can be described as boring? From the hallways to the catacombs to even the waiting room where the Doctor and Peri arrive to unravel the mystery of the place?
Now, the characters. There seems to be no end of them, and each one is bizarre and interesting. From Mr. Jobel to the DeeJay to Orsini... all are brilliantly thought out and performed. Though many don't like the DeeJay, as played by "The Young Ones"' Alexei Sayle, I actually find him to be the best guest character in the story. I mean, his obnoxious radio voice is after all, just a part of his character's performance... the man behind the voice is revealed to be a very kind and warm-hearted man, and his scenes with Peri are absolutely wonderful.
Davros is the centrepiece of the story, though. I sometimes feel that his name should have been in the story title rather than his creations'. I hate to give away too much of the plot, but his scheme, though a complicated one, is by far his most villainous (touches of the revelation of "Soylent Green" aside, it's his method of "healing" the sick people under his care that really send chills down my spine). Terry Molloy deserves more credit... true, he isn't Michael Wisher, but he still did a fabulous job with the character.
Let me just close by saying that "Revelation of the Daleks" is the one Doctor Who story to watch if you want to be entertained by something truly atmospheric and different. There's so much going for it that you'll never get tired of seeing it, and will probably appreciate it more with each repeated viewing. If you're one of those Doctor Who fans who can't stand the Colin Baker era, at least give this one a try. Even if it doesn't change your mind about him (though it should!), I have a feeling you'll still enjoy this story.
Carry on Carry on,
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story,
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who: Revelation of The Daleks (VHS Tape)THE GOOD
When I first watched R.O.D I liked it very much and gave it 4 stars. The second time I watched I loved it and changed to 5. The characters in the story is are its strongest point. Jobril is so sleazy if you look closely you can probobly see a slime trail behind him when he walks. Kara is also well done and its a nice twist her being a villainess underlying the idea of maybe she may not agree with Davros and what he's doing doesen't mean she's all good(a similar idea was in Destiny of Daleks with the Morvellans). Orcini and his squire wreak of coolness and the Dj(usuall a character type destined for the most annoying character list) is pretty cool too. The violence is kept to a miminum and is not as bad as Ressurection was(I heard they actually cut a few things) and is typical of any other story in the series. Also there's some cute double entendre when the Doctor and Peri go over the wall.
The nurse and the Kara's secretary are a little annoying and the 2 graverobbers were kind of pointless(I know the girl was Stengrosses daughter but...) Also as had already been pointed out this is more a Davros story than a Dalek story and the Daleks reduced to Davro's fetching boys. Also they should've kept the fact that Davros was the Great Healer a secret for a while. Oh well.
The mutant that attacks the Doctor and Peri at the beginning of the story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome episode,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Revelation of The Daleks (VHS Tape)Dr Who and all its quirkiness is in its best form in this episode. Heavy on the satire with excellent "one-liners" and other gags (the Doctor offering his hand to Davros) and the Daleks looking their best in a long time. Colin Baker is tied with Tom Baker for my favorite Doctor and Terry Molloy is again excellent as Davros. The sets and effects are better than usual, especially for Doctor Who's pathetic budget. Good theme music sets the tone for the "creepiness" of this episode and all around strong acting. Entertaining all around. Glad to see this released on video as my original taped copy is starting to wearout.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Dalek adventure!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who: Revelation of The Daleks (VHS Tape)This was the first Doctor Who adventure I had ever seen and when I first watched it, I didn't care for it that much. I then saw other Dalek stories and I started to get interested in Doctor Who, and wanted to go back to this one. When I watch it again, I realized how good a story it was. It was fun to play along with, there was action, comedy and suspense....Colin Baker's performance is at his best, and Terry Malloy plays a better Davros then he play in Resurrection, but he still will never be as good as Michael Wisher. Clive Swift is hilarious as always (If you have seem him in "Keeping Up Appearances", playing the funny Richard Bucket)and the DJ isn't that bad.This one is a quality Doctor Who adventure.
4.0 out of 5 stars when i die, turn me into a dalek,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Revelation of The Daleks (VHS Tape)Revelation of the Daleks was a huge positive surprise to me, as big as the disappointment of the awful Resurrection of the Daleks (It's easy to confuse the names, so beware). Written by the same guy, Eric Saward, this Dalek story is every bit as violent and grim as its precedessor, however with a few crucial differences.
Revelation has a plot, with some nice black humor (two great jokes involving lost limbs) and memorable characters with good lines, played by charismatic actors. Especially notable are Kara (Eleanor Bron) and the killer Orcini (William Gaunt), a character funny and dignified at the same time.
While Revelation of the Daleks is not perfect, it has enough memorable moments (like the doctor facing his own death) to make it probably the only Colin Baker-era Doctor Who story i would like to see again. Baker can be exciting and charismatic, if only they had given him more stories like this...
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Doctor Who: Revelation of The Daleks by William Hartnell (VHS Tape - 2003)
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