The publication of ‘Revelation of the Daleks‘ finally completes the list of Doctor Who stories broadcast during the initial television run that have been brought to print. So was it worth the wait?

Writer Eric Saward has revisited his original story and interpreted it in the form of the printed word. It took a while for the story to be released onto video and even longer for this novelisation. However, it remains an excellent addition to the archive of Dalek stories, not that the Daleks are even remotely prominent. Continuing the trend post ‘Genesis of the Daleks‘, it is Davros who hogs the limelight. Instead, the more fascinating element is the source of the new Dalek creatures.

Alongside the interesting setup and new, grisly Dalek origins, it is the broad cast of individuals who populate the story which make for such an entertaining read. Characters such as Tasambeker and Jobel work particularly well in print. Tasambeker is painfully tragic whilst Jobel is amusingly ridiculous. However, it is difficult not to picture Jenny Tomasin and Clive Swift as those characters.

The cover of the novelization of Revelation of the Daleks by Eric Saward. (c) BBC Books
The cover of the novelisation of Revelation of the Daleks by Eric Saward. (c) BBC Books

Revelation Revisited

Much like the ‘Resurrection of the Daleks‘ novelisation, reviewed here, the printed pages allow for greater details. ‘Revelation of the Daleks‘ opens with a scene inside the TARDIS, something not in the televised version. Further details and backstory are also provided. For instance, Takis’ family and the DJ’s journey to Necros flesh out these characters. Even though the two broadcast 45-minute episodes seem pedestrian by today’s standards, the expansion of the story highlights how speedily the plot progresses. That said, The Doctor and Peri do still take their time getting caught up in the action!

Revisiting Revelation also allows for some brand new scenes. Whereas the Resurrection novelisation remained largely faithful to the source material, this new version of Revelation does expand on what could only be alluded to given the budget restraints of the television production. I won’t say anymore for risk of spoilers but it’s definitely worth looking out for.

Although I think the Terileptil references across the two books have been perhaps a little excessive and ignoring the wider universe, they’re still nice things to spot. Aside from that minor criticism it is lovely to finally have both of these 1980’s Dalek stories in print. Was it worth the wait? Affirmative. Thanks to Eric Saward for both books and congratulations on such a sterling job.

Revelation of the Daleks is available in hardback now. The book has an RRP of £12.99, US $16.99 and CAN $ 27.99.

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Bedwyr Gullidge
Assistant Director (uncredited) on Doctor Who episodes ‘Dark Water/Death in Heaven’, ‘Last Christmas’, 'The Return of Doctor Mysterio' and ‘Thin Ice’. A fan and collector since 6 years of age having watched Doctor Who repeats on BBC2. Equally enthusiastic about Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Lucky enough to own original costumes worn by Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman and Elisabeth Sladen. Author of a book chronicling the history of Doctor Who exhibitions coming soon from Telos Publishing.

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