Originally posted Brontoforumus, 2009-08-18.
Remembrance of the Daleks delivers what it promises: not just Daleks, but also remembrance. The Doctor travels back to 1963, to the same scrapyard where the series started, and throws out a slew of references to the earlier shows (including a delightful, R-rolling impression of Pertwee with "Now you listen to me, Brrrrrigadier! -- I mean, Group Captain.").
But it's less interesting for looking at what came before as what came after: in many ways, this serial is the template for the current series; all the coolest shit from Davies's run has seeds here. The Daleks have gained some rudimentary time-travel capabilities and set their sights on the Time Lords in the hopes of perfecting the technology; meanwhile, their use of humans continues, and their factioning and infighting continues.
But more than that, it's the Doctor's depiction here that leads directly into the 2005 series. When he executes his coup de grace, it's brutal, and he's utterly cold and remorseless. #7 was really the first You Do Not Fuck With the Doctor Doctor, and even though I still haven't read the original Human Nature novel, I have hit a moment of thinking, "Oh, well of course it was originally written for the Seventh Doctor." While the last few Dalek serials were marked with an increasingly annoying reluctance to violence on the Doctor's part, #7 has no such compunctions, and his actions here make it believable that he could bring himself to push that button, to annihilate his own planet and his entire race if that's what it took to destroy the Daleks.
And because of all that, it's quite a neat little serial -- not as good as Genesis or Revelation, but worth the $15 at Amazon (or $20 for the Special Edition, if that's your thing). Not a good one to start off with; it's worth checking out An Unearthly Child, some Third Doctor stuff (Green Death and Inferno, as mentioned earlier, are my favorites), and some other Davros serials (at least Genesis and Revelation) first, and you'll appreciate it more if you've seen the current series too.