DVD Verdict
Home About Deals Gift Guide Blu-ray DVD Reviews Upcoming DVD Releases Contest Podcasts Judges Jury Room Contact  

Case Number 24167

Buy Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks (Special Edition) at Amazon

Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks (Special Edition)

BBC Video // 1984 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Mac McEntire // July 20th, 2012

• View Appellate Judge McEntire's Dossier
• E-mail Appellate Judge McEntire
• Printer Friendly Review


Every purchase you make through these Amazon links supports DVD Verdict's reviewing efforts. Thank you!




 

All Rise...

Appellate Judge Mac McEntire is almost as good-looking as Davros.

The Charge

"Excellent!"—Davros

Opening Statement

Doctor Who is one of the most enduring television franchises in history, and the main character's rivalry with his enemies the Daleks has, over the years, been symbolically representative of…Oohh, crap, this is a Turlough episode

Facts of the Case

The Doctor (Peter Davison, All Creatures Great and Small) is a Time Lord, traveling throughout the whole of time and space, with his companions Tegan (Janet Fielding) and freakin' Turlough (Mark Strickson). The Doctor's time machine, the TARDIS, gets caught in a trap, landing unexpectedly in the "present" of 1984, only to find a link between the present and the future. There, the Doctor's enemies the Daleks have a plot brewing, which involves freeing their sinister creator, Davros (Terry Molloy), from suspended animation.

The Evidence

For the most part, this has all the goofy charm we love about these old Doctor Who episodes, with a lot of running around, clunky monsters, cheap sets, head-scratching sci-fi weirdness, all backed up by quirky dialogue and likable characters. The episode concludes, however, with two big confrontations, which take the Doctor out of his comfort zone, challenging him emotionally, rather than mentally or physically.

This episode is somewhat controversial among fans, because of a scene in which the Doctor picks up a gun and goes after Davros, with the intent to kill. This is not "the Doctor goes Rambo," as some have described it. It's out of character, to sure, for a hero that a wise man once famously described as "all about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism." However, in the case of this episode, it's out of character by design. When the Doctor picks up that gun, it's because he's been pushed to absolute extremes. There's a big buildup to this moment, and everyone else is just as shocked as the audience when the Doctor goes off with that gun. Even then, with the gun in his hands aimed at Davros's head, the Doctor still argues in favor of compassion.

This powerful scene is followed by another, in which Tegan breaks down in front the Doctor, saying she's had enough of monsters and seeing people die. This puts the Doctor on the spot, forcing him to question himself, and how far is too far—even for him. It's a beautifully acted scene, surprisingly dramatic and downbeat from a time when the show tended to be more light and funny. For as much as the modern-day Doctor Who gets criticized for being so-called "emo," here's the classic series doing a heartbreaking scene, and doing it well.

Make no mistake, though, there is also a lot of fun to be had. Part of the plot has to do with the Daleks wanting to make duplicates of humans, and the Doctor winds up almost being duplicated as well, complete with mini-flashbacks on a screen behind him referencing past regenerations and companions. The Daleks, as usual, walk a fine line between menacing and goofy, while Davros is at his slimy best. His constant refrain of "Excellent!" has me wondering if this episode is where writers for The Simpsons got their idea for Mr. Burns's catch phrase.

And now, a poem.

I hate you, Turlough
I hate you, Turlough
You started out evil
Then you became good
But you're still a weasel

You wander off
With trouble you toy
For no plot reason
Except to annoy

You kind of look
Like Conan O'Brien
But you're not as funny
With all of your whinin'

You serve no purpose
You are script logic's foe
You make me cringe
I hate you, Turlough

This two-disc special edition features the episode, which originally aired in 1984 in two hour-long episodes, as opposed to the usual four half-hour episodes. The set also includes an alternate four-episode version, which was made for repeats and syndication. This release adds a few new bonus features and ports over the rest from the previous DVD. The highlight of the new extras is a commentary moderated by Simon Pegg, star of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. He chats with actor Terry Molloy, writer Eric Seward and special effects artist Peter Wragg for a fun and lively track. Also good is the original commentary with Davison and Fielding, and the subtitle text production notes commentary. From there, we get an hour-long documentary looking back at the fifth Doctor's run, hosted by tenth Doctor David Tennant. This is followed by actor interviews, a look at the filming locations today, extended and deleted scenes, 1967 Dalek footage, an isolated music track, a photo gallery, a trailer, PDF materials, and another short "TARDIS-cam" feature. Overall, another outstanding package of bonus materials for a Doctor Who release.

Closing Statement

Not even the presence of the always-annoying Turlough swayed me from enjoying this one. It's a fun Dalek adventure with a gripping ending. Give it a shot.

The Verdict

"Excellent!"

Give us your feedback!

Did we give Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks (Special Edition) a fair trial? yes / no

Share This Review


Follow DVD Verdict


Other Reviews You Might Enjoy

• Tortilla Soup
• Cruel Intentions
• Losing Isaiah
• Warm Springs

DVD Reviews Quick Index

• DVD Releases
• Recent DVD Reviews
• Search for a DVD review...

Scales of Justice

Video: 75
Audio: 75
Extras: 100
Acting: 85
Story: 80
Judgment: 88

Perp Profile

Studio: BBC Video
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 1984
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Adventure
• Cult
• Drama
• Family
• Foreign
• Science Fiction
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentaries
• Trivia Track
• Featurettes
• Extended/Deleted Scenes
• Isolated Music Track
• Photo Gallery
• PDF Materials
• Trailer

Accomplices

• IMDb
• Official Site
• Doctorin' the TARDIS








DVD | Blu-ray | Upcoming DVD Releases | About | Staff | Jobs | Contact | Subscribe | Find us on Google+ | Privacy Policy

Review content copyright © 2012 Mac McEntire; Site design and review layout copyright © 2014 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.