Beginning of end of the Peter Davison era,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Resurrection of The Daleks (VHS Tape)Resurrection of the Daleks is the beginning of a phasing out trilogy. In May 1983, Peter Davison (The Doctor) decided that the upcoming season would be his last one, so scripts were rewritten to phase out Tegan, Turlough, and the Doctor. When it happened, it took place in the last Peter Davison stories.
In 1984, a series of mysterious cylinders have been found in a London warehouse and are under investigation by Colonel Archer of the Bomb Disposal Squad. This was also the same scene where a pair of policemen gun down all but two of a group of escaping fugitives. The survivor, the cowardly and wounded Stien, meets the Doctor, Tegan, and Turlough, who have been dragged down to Earth by a time corridor.
In space, a group of commandos led by Lytton and some Daleks lead an attack on a space station holding Davros prisoner. It's not too difficult, as the low morale and a lackadaisical attitude observed by recently-arrived Lieutenant Mercer lead to nearly all the crew being killed.
The seeds for the Dalek schism that would plague both remaining Dalek stories are set here, as Davros, who has been freed to help the Daleks develop an antidote to a virus that led to their defeat in a war against their foes the Movellans (q.v. Destiny Of The Daleks), has decided to create some new Daleks obedient to him and not to the Supreme Dalek. He gains followers in his circle, including human troops, whom he conditions. Yet, he rants and raves throughout most of this story, and at times, his dialogue is unintelligible, maybe because of microphone troubles beneath the mask or it being drowned by the music.
Interesting effects in this story is a scary scene of someone's whose face is rotting away, and the way the Daleks succumb to the virus.
Maurice Colbourne (Lytton) and his two bodyguards would reappear in Attack of the Cybermen where they would be killed off. The character of Lytton, the ruthless and no-nonsense mercenary unafraid to tell the Daleks off, is one of the few interesting ones. Same with Stien, a cowardly, uncertain, and later on, divided personality, and Rodney Bewes does a good portrayal to that effect. All the other characters seem unimportant, as many are unnamed or unidentified until later episodes.
As this is Tegan's departure story, Janet Fielding has a good emotional leaving scene, where her character is sickened by the carnage that has taken place. Indeed, only three humanoid characters survive in this extremely high body count story.
This story has been compared to Earthshock, which was also written by Eric Saward and featured the Cybermen, and has been criticized for being all gloss and no substance. While the action sequences and regular characters are good, the lack of strong characters, and maybe too many characters who just fill up the story and get killed off.