Review By Paul Mount, 3 out of 5
Hottish on the heels of the recent DVD release of ?he Aztecs? another tale of derring-do from TV? legendary death-defying Time Lord. Resurrection of the Daleks hailing from fifth Doc Peter Davison? third and final season in the role, is a grim beast indeed. Less a story and more a series of set pieces strung together, this is probably the weakest DOCTOR WHO DVD issue yet (bar the unwatchable Colin Baker yarn Vengeance on Varos. The Daleks returned to the screen in 1984 after a five-year absence and despite the fact that the production team were determined to make their return a spectacular, star-studded extravaganza, it? all a bit of a damp squib. The story is all over the place; Dalek creator Davros has been held in cryogenic suspension aboard a battered prison spaceship for nearly a hundred years. The Daleks set about releasing him to help them combat a lethal virus unleashed by their deadly enemies the Movellans. Meanwhile, there are mysterious goings-on in London? rundown docklands and when the Doctor and his companions Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Turlough (Mark Strickson) are dragged into a ?ime corridor? the scene is set for much whiz-bangery and corridor-running. Halfway through the Daleks reveal their plan to replace human leaders and the High Council of Gallifrey (?) with Dalek replicant agents and it all goes terminally pear-shaped when the Daleks start fighting one another and they start spurting foam. Davros lives to fight another day, by the way. It? bright and breezy enough but the scale of the narrative is way beyond DOCTOR WHO? meagre resources so the explosions are feeble and the gun-battles are unconvincing (despite the high death toll it? hard to care much because there are no real characters here). The cast is crawling with minor 1970s/80s thesps; Rodney Bewes, Rula Lenska, Del Henney, Chloe Ashcroft and Maurice Colbourne. But none of them – with the notable exception of Colborne – are remotely competent in their roles and when it all runs out of steam in a dismal Dalek gun battle we?e just left with memories of when DOCTOR WHO was much better than this and when the Daleks were a genuine TV phenomenon. Tegan leaves the TARDIS crew at the end of the story. ?t? stopped being fun, Doctor,?she whines at one point. It? hard not to imagine much of the Tv audience at the time saying much the same thing before turning over to watch CORONATION STREET.
THE DISC: Better extras than the story deserves. The highlight is the twenty-minute ?n Location?documentary where enthusiastic director Matthew Robinson marvels at how the Docklands locations have become a yuppie wonderland. He? joined by portly writer Eric Saward who doesn? seem particularly bothered about the whole thing and late producer John Nathan-Turner adds his own words of wisdom from a different location. Other features include a lumbering BREAKFAST TIME item featuring Nathan-Turner and Janet Fielding in a sweater scarier than anything ever seen in the series, yet another dull and pointless TARDIS cam, a trailer for episode one (I?e still got that on VHS somewhere!), extended/deleted scenes and a nice commentary by Davison, Robinson and Fielding who, it appears, has decided to succumb to the inevitable and rejoin the DOCTOR WHO fold after years of rubbishing the series. Nice extras, shame about the story. Oh, and that limited edition rubber sleeve?r,what? that all about then, Mr BBC?