Another old Who review. This one just got a Special Edition rerelease; the review is of the Not-Special Edition. And as before, it contains spoilers of some 28-year-old Doctor Who serials.
Originally posted on Brontoforumus, 2008-11-25.
Just watched the inappropriately-named Resurrection of the Daleks. Not bad, but a whole lot like Earthshock: a Davison serial with one of the Big Two enemy races, a lot of running around on a spaceship (and Rula Lenska's character is pretty much identical to the Captain in Earthshock), and ending with someone sacrificing himself to destroy the ship and a companion leaving. Of course, that last similarity actually works pretty well -- while Adric isn't mentioned, it's easy to assume Stien's death reminds Teagan too much of his and that's part of why she's so shaken up at the end.
The premise -- that the Daleks are totally helpless by themselves and forced to reluctantly rescue Davros in order to get out of a jam -- is almost as thin here as it was in Destiny of the Daleks, but at least the "we need a genetic engineer" explanation fits better than the rather nonsensical "we are slaves to logic and don't know how to improvise in a war" explanation used in the latter. Plus, Davros as much as says these Daleks aren't very advanced models and he's going to work on making them better; of course that's the bastard about time travel stories. In the Dalek timeline, this has to take place well before their first few appearances.
The climax is the Doctor's confrontation with Davros, which echoes the Fourth Doctor's "Have I the right?" scene in Genesis of the Daleks, and which still makes for decent drama here even though you just want him to pull the effing trigger already. It's not the ethical dilemma it was in Genesis (is it okay to kill the first batch of Daleks before they do any harm?) or, years later, The Parting of the Ways (is it worth taking out the entire Earth to kill the Daleks?); it's just the Doctor and Davros, with no innocent lives in the balance. And the Doctor's already killed several Daleks by this point.
This is the first I've seen of Turlough, and I can immediately understand why people like him: the companions are a pretty fucking bland and indistinguishable bunch, and he stands out by being more complex than most of them. He's intelligent but also arrogant and self-serving; that's a lot more compelling than just the girlfriend du jour.
Of all the DVD's I've watched, this one had the most noticeable issues with the transfer. There are a couple of places where the picture ripples noticeably. It's not a big deal but distracting enough to make note of; seems like they could have put more effort into fixing that.
Anyway. Not a bad Dalek serial; better than the previous one but not as good as Genesis. (Of course, Genesis is probably the best one, so that's sort of a meaningless comparison.) Decent; I'd put this one in the "rent, don't buy" pile.