Resurrection of the Daleks: Part 2
Broadcast on February 15th, 1984 @ 6.45pm (8 million viewers)
Originally recorded as a four-parter this serial was broadcast in two parts instead, a prelude to the duration changes which would take affect the following season with 45-minute episodes becoming the norm. The story saw the Fifth Doctor do battle with the Daleks, continuing the trend of every Doctor facing the tinpot menaces from Skaro in televised adventures with the exception of the ‘one night only’ Eighth incarnation. Davros continues to play a significant role as events develop further from the Doctor’s previous encounter with him on Skaro in ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. Once again the Daleks are in need of help from their creator, seeking a cure for the Movellan virus which has turned the direction of the war and that provides the central concept for the story. However, there are a number of other plot threads which muddle the story.
Following on from the only cliffhanger in this two-part version, the Doctor is to be duplicated in a Dalek mission to assassinate the members of the High Council on Gallifrey, a plot which would no doubt inflame tensions between the two races and trigger the Time War. On top of this more duplicates are in prominent positions across planet Earth for a Dalek invasion and Davros has his own intentions to create Daleks loyal only to him. In a similar way to the 2007 movie ‘Spiderman 3’, these competing elements hamper the story’s development with not enough time dedicated to any of them in order to thrive, as had been the case with the superhero movie. Although there are issues with the tale it is an explosive and engaging narrative with some, particularly shocking moments. For example, the Doctor, particularly the Fifth Doctor who is notably kinder and urbane than previously seen, is seen brandishing a pistol in Part 1 but also aims another weapon squarely at the head of Davros in this episode. To say these moments are uncharacteristic is an understatement, to say the least. It is however in keeping with the rest of the story which features a staggering body count with humanoids and Daleks gunned down, gassed and succumbing to the Movellan virus. All this death and destruction would have a dramatic effect on one companion in particular and trigger her departure.
Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)
A lot of good people have died today. I’m sick of it.
It’s stopped being fun, Doctor.
Part of the successes of the modern revitalisation of Doctor Who in the 21st Century was the inclusion of more emotional material, in keeping with the popular soap operas of the UK that always post high audience ratings. The scene between the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler at the end of ‘Doomsday’ for instance, left viewers in floods of tears and was even voted as the greatest Sci-fi scene ever in SFX magazine. However, to claim that ‘classic’ Doctor Who never managed to deliver emotion would be grossly inaccurate. The departure of Tegan Jovanka from the TARDIS is a significant moment, the first step in a process which would see the trio of central characters all departing the show. It is not often that a travelling companion of the Doctor’s has enough of the glamorous life of travelling through space and time but never is it clearer than in this scene that the sometimes violent adventures can take their toll. When Tegan states that she is staying on Earth the Doctor is clearly shaken and begins to question himself and ponders that he should mend his ways. The final shot of the episode is quite rightly of Tegan as she, and no doubt the audience, bursts into tears.
It is a sad end to a character who initially had no intention of travelling in time and space but stumbled aboard the TARDIS and although complained about not being taken back to Earth for the next few stories, became a stalwart companion of the Fifth Doctor. Janet Fielding’s portrayal of a strong female character also continued the development of women in the show and shaped the companions who we know and love today.
The Doctor – Peter Davison
Tegan – Janet Fielding
Turlough – Mark Strickson
Davros – Terry Molloy
Stien – Rodney Bewes
Lytton – Maurice Colbourne
Director – Matthew Robinson
Producer – John Nathan-Turner
Writer – Eric Saward
Also first aired On This Day…
- The Edge of Destruction: The Brink of Disaster
- The Seeds of Death: Episode 4
- The Ark in Space: Episode 4
- The Visitation: Part 1
- Terminus: Part 1
I wish they would bring back Tegan like they did with Sarah Jane in the new series.