Revelation of the Daleks

Chase - Posted on 29 July 2009


Okay this has the novel idea of setting the Daleks (who appear, despite some reports, after the first 8 minutes) and Davros in the setting of a funeral planet. Once again, though, things happen fast and furious or rather they are told to us fast and furious. The Doc has a friend on this funeral planet who has died, he lands far away from the funeral place, there's a girl Natasha and her medic (who says thing fast and furious and things like Dr. McCoy from STAR TREK like "I'm not a magician, I'm a medic" or the like) who want to either rob bodies as we're told or find her father's body, there's a man inside a Dalek with organs grown outside his head (WHY? like that?) which is disgusting, there's a bunch of interplay between the caretakers of this Tranquil Repose funeral place (MUCH OF IT STOLEN from one or two other books---see ABOUT TIME 6), and there's an assasination plot started by a woman named Kara (on another planet or Earth?) and her aide, and there's the assassin and his unwashed aide. ANd tha'ts just the start!

Ther'e's also a mutant that attacks the DOctor...and he's dripping all over his face and hands. Gross and his teeth are gross just like Orcini's aide. YUCK!

And wha't is with the water thing? What was that? Some kind of life form? The mutant eating Peri's nut roast that looked to me like an orange?  

Too much too soon, too little explained. Peri and the Doc or rather Nicola and Colin have rarely been better here. They are the best things about this. The setting is amazing looking, both inside and out, the snow refreshing and invigorating, the factory like settings of this planet and Kara's (Earth?) are well done, the scenes of Peri and the Doctor taking, oh, about 45 minutes to get to the main setting, are very, very nice. It's also a nice scare that the Doc might have arrived after his own death...and Peri seems more interested in her own future than the Doc's! She also breaks his watch and kicks him in the groin.

Darvos, confined to his head in a scientific box and machine that looks oddly like a console from a TARDIS (I was half expecting him to dematerialize like a TARDIS) is also very, very well done and he's rarely been this scary and this menacing from such a confined space. That said, here we have another villain confined to a wheelchair type setting.

The staff of the Repose are unsympathetic, boring at times, and cold and uncaring...I don't care about them as characters. As villains I guess they are all okay but they spend so much time on might have been more upsetting to have given us some reason to like any of them...but the Tsamwhatever lady is set up as a loser as is Jobel and his two villainous aides who torture the two who tried to save Natasha's father. They are all most unpleasant dyfunctional characters who, rather like real life I guess, do and say all the wrong things and make all the wrong decisions. The unsympathetic, pathetic characters, most of them ripped off from other sources, coupled with stuff like "Frothing" female bodies, nose picking, and cleaning the scrubbing room with a toothbrush and more is just presenting a disgusting bottom line image and tone. Add to that the assassin's aide not taking to bathing or washing and smelling gross, this is just almost more than one stomach can bear. It's gutter. On top of THAT, we have Orcini's fake leg that tends to jam when he sits! And on top of all that are Jobel's two men who seem...rather fem and gay in a cliche way; Kara's aide who seems gay and Jobel with a fake looking wig and a sort of fem diva way about him! It's all most unpleasant.    

Speaking of tone, what's with the DJ? I know most fans might/must find him funny but I don't. And speaking of the DJ, DW's major failing in this era and most others is to not present a full planet. Whom is the DJ djaying for? Are there more people on this planet? Is he projecting to the other on other planets? Is Tranquil all there is? The staff? The deceased's relatives and friends on other planets? Himself? He's an embarassment to be honest, not funny at all and sorta reminding me of Wolfman Jack. I"m sure he has an equivalent in the UK. INcluding him in this is not good.

Speaking of not good: Eric Saward wrote Orcini, the killer into this just to prove to Colin Baker that Colin was all wrong in playing Bayban in BLAKE'S 7-CITY AT THE EDGE OF FOREVER (Title?). What a reason to write a character into a tv series you're working on. That said, Orcini is solidly played but to be honest, I found both Colin's Bayban and Orcini workable from two diffrent stand points. Both worked.

One thing that Saward and other writers at this time and perhaps even in the Davison time were trying to do and they someshat succeeded was to inject BUTCH CASSIDY, DIRTY DOZEN,  THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, DIRTY HARRY, DEATH WISH, etc type characters who were killers and criminals and maybe even bad guys but to be honest, the writers and even the likable actors were not charismatic enough to carry any of it off to the extent of Hollywood movies and movie stars.   

Also: doesn't anyone here recognize Davros or the Daleks? Surely the Daleks have made a name for themselves across time and space, especially in the future.

For some reason, this version seems different than the version I remember seeing in the 1980s. The structure seems different but it could just be my memory cheating me. 

Not a terrible start to a story but hardly totally original and it sort of leaves a bad taste in the mouth and almost makes me want to vomit.

One interesting note was that JNT offered Sir Laurance Olivier (spelling?) the part of the mutant. Is he kidding? That was what he offered to a great actor? For that matter, why didn't he offer him Tekka in TIMELASH since Paul Darrow played Tekka like Olivier in Richard the 3rd?           

Okay the end. I guess. Bad stuff: How did Davros just avoid being shot by two PROFESSIONAL ASSASSINS????? Add to that that the DJ just comes out from behind his very effective gun machine TO GET SHOT! Add to that that the Doc remains behind...why? Did I miss something? It seemed he remained behind to do something or just to provide Peri with a "I'm waiting for the Doc" GENESIS OF THE DALEKS like moment (you know the one, where Sarah waits by the door for the Doc to come running and she fakes it until he really appears and lucky for her he does just as she fakes it). Oh and the deaths of Jobel and Tsambaker are just...difficult to watch. It's hard not to feel sorry for them and so much time is spent on's rather sad, really. Ditto Natasha and her medic friend...whom the Doctor basically sends to their deaths and as Davros points out later, pointless deaths. What else? Oh yeah the two basically horrible henchmen who have tortured and killed now turn good and help Peri out and have the whole planet's future put in their hands? By the Doctor? Okayyyy.

Kara seems to rule the galaxy...and to do this she betrays the two strongest beings in it. And dies. Like her secretery.

The Black Daleks have the Doctor and yet...they dont take him at the same time as Davros and don't know who he is.

Again, the whole thing seems to fall apart at the end but not as badly as TIMELASH and at least Davros is stopped and doesn't "die" as in past stories but is taken by the Daleks who hate him. To stand trial. Uhm...

On the plus side, Colin is good in this despite some bad puns ("No arm in it").  Nicola is also good in this and the Doc uses a gun on a Dalek...tough luck for them. I'ts about time...again. The whole thing fails to really impress to be honest.

The season, not my favorite, is not as bad as a I recall but there's a declining feeling and a feeling that no one really cares except Colin and Nicola. There's a lot of slow moments, bad pacing, tasteless deaths,  gross moments, poor dialog (especially bad in some of this and most of TIMELASH's second part), cliche characters and writting that gets in over its head. All in all, the show was heading for a total decline and wouldn't come out of it until about DELTA AND THE BANNERMEN and REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS. And even then we had to put up with even worse  crap like DRAGONFIRE and semi good stories like BATTLEFIELD. It never fully recovered. And even stories like GHOSTLIGHT and CURSE OF FENRIC have major problems.     

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