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Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks (Story 143)

4.2 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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(Jun 06, 2006)
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Product Description

Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks (Episode 143) (DVD)

The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Peri to the planet Necros, where the Doctor plans to visit his old friend Professor Arthur Stengos. But after an encounter with the Great Healer, Stengos is not quite the man the Doctor once knew. The Great Healer works in the catacombs beneath Tranquil Repose, the galactically-famous final resting place for the dead and the not-quite-yet-dead. In the upper chambers the busy workers prepare the deceased for their final burial, while deep below the Great Healer is using their bodies for a sinister project of his own. For the Great Healer is also known by another name - Davros, creator of the Daleks, who's using the bodies to build himself a brand new Dalek army. The Doctor attempts to stop Davros while Stengos' daughter searches for her missing father and the local DJ uses rock 'n' roll music as a defense against the Daleks. Many are searching for Davros, but the evil scientist has a plan that will eradicate all opposition and enable him to lead his Daleks on a new mission of universal conquest... This stylish adventure with its uniquely dark humor was first broadcast 23-30 March 1985.


The sixth embodiment of Doctor Who, Colin Baker, faces his long-running foes the Daleks in this two-part story from 1985. Revelation has the Doctor and companion Peri (Nicola Bryant) traveling to the planet Necros, where a plan to pay respects to a late friend uncovers a scheme by Dalek scientist Davros (Terry Malloy, the only actor to play the role more than once) to use the bodies of the recently deceased to build a new and terrible Dalek army. The only Dalek story to be produced during the Colin Baker years, Revelation doesn’t quite rise to the level of classic Dalek episodes from the past (like Genesis of the Daleks, with Tom Baker), but Who fans will still find much excitement and intrigue to enjoy here. The story is probably better known for its historical impact as the last Doctor Who serial to be produced before the BBC imposed an 18-month hiatus on the series in 1985. Extras include commentary by Bryant, Malloy, writer/script editor Eric Saward, and director Graeme Harper, as well as the featurette "Revelation Exhumed," which examines the story through interviews with the cast and crew (including comedian Alexei Sayle, who contributes an amusing performance to the story as a DJ), though Baker is noticeably absent. There’s also an optional video track that allows viewers to watch the story with improved visual effects, as well as an isolated score audio option, and a selection of deleted scenes. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

Deleted Scenes: Includes deleted scenesDeleted Scenes: Includes deleted scenesDeleted Scenes: Includes deleted scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Terry Malloy
  • Directors: Graham Harper
  • Writers: Eric Saward
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EMG91I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,485 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks (Story 143)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The Doctor and Peri arrive on Necros, the 'planet of the dead', where there is a whole complex filled with people in suspended animation whilst the Great Healer works on cures for whatever diseases they are suffering from.
But before long the 'Great Healer' is revealed to be none other than Davros, sinister genetic engineer and creator of the Daleks. Having been abandoned by the original Daleks, he is engineering replacements.
This is not only the best Colin Baker story, but also one of the finest Dalek adventures ever made. There is a very grown-up feel about it with genuine suspence, sexual undercurrents and horror which is suggestive rather than tasteless. The whole thing is filled with strong characters such as bounty hunters (a space-age knight and his squire), a superbly cold-hearted female villain and a futuristically-weird DJ. Davros and the Daleks (with impressive new white casings) are at their dramatic best and the music and scenery are first-rate. Watch for one partically memorable scene involving a glass Dalek.
Highly recommended. Even if you dislike Colin Baker (though personally I think he was an under-rated Doctor who should have been given more time in the series), this adventure is still unmissable.
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Okay, so... um.. yeah... in the grand scope of my Doctor Who collection, 65+ serials and growing, I can only really recommend this particular adventure for those into Dalek lore (like I am) or dedicated Colin Baker fans (which I am not, but I still really like his strongly animated performances). Frankly, this adventure has a very cool story idea but on the whole is perhaps 35 minutes of actual story and 55 minutes of total extraneous, silly fluff.

Honestly, this entire serial of two 45 minute episodes felt like a generic SciFi special GUEST STARRING the Doctor, and not an actual Dr. Who adventure. Even the Daleks take a back seat to all the other supporting cast interactions- what an opportunity missed by not cutting out the entire subplot of a scorned lover and her resulting angst and having far longer sequences of the Gray Daleks duking it out with Davros' White Daleks with the Doctor in the middle, perhaps in a moral dilemma of needing to help the Gray Daleks?

Look at it this way- compare GENESIS OF THE DALEKS side-by-side with REVELATION OF THE DALEKS, both grim in atmosphere and in many ways parallel in plot elements: plot for plot, script to script, the GENESIS' forward moving central story and strong scene-to-scene coherency to ... REVELATION'S unceasing supporting cast cutaway montages that have little to do with the quintessential Doctor Who. Now we see REVELATIONS as a muddled mess.

Don't get me wrong, I got an absolute HOOT out of seeing Alexi Sayle (whom I had no idea was even in this... a personal favorite British Comedian of the time), but his entire role could (and should have been) completely excised.
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Well, if the Daleks have a Genesis and experience a Resurrection, I suppose it only follows that a Revelation is in store, and besides, the sixth Doctor well deserves his chance to reestablish his credentials as their enemy. To do so though invites the very real risk of simply churning out a cookie-cutter Dalek plot in a perfunctory manner, and that is exactly what does NOT happen here. "Revelation of the Daleks" is an incredibly inventive and creative storyline, almost to the point of being weird--just when you think a twenty-some-year-old TV show is out of surprises, it goes and throws you for a loop with something like this. Of course, sad to say, it was precisely around this time that the show's future was cast in serious doubt, making the cliffhanger where the Doctor is disturbed at coming across what seems like his own gravestone one of those surreal moments where fiction seems to be mirroring reality.

The Doctor's not the only one to get the willies, though. There's a lot that's disturbing in this one, along with some pretty gross imagery both on-screen and off. Much of this has to do with the setting: the planet Necros, funeral home and cemetery to the galaxy. The nitty-gritty details of death, what it does to one's corporeal remains, and the nasty job of obscuring these details from the bereaved during funeral ceremonies (stuff we usually like to not think about) are always hovering around in the background and in the conversations of the supporting characters. But then we go one step worse with Davros using a portion of these corpses to genetically engineer a new race of Daleks loyal to him and using the rest to fund his research in that regard (How? Well, that's grosser than gross, but I won't give it away).
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Revelation of the Daleks is Graeme Harper's second turn directing Doctor Who after the acclaimed Caves of Androzani and this story has a similar feel in the story of the Doctor arriving on Necros where Davros has taken over Tranquil Repose where cryogenically frozen bodies await cures to their diseases but Davros has other stomach-turning plans.

The directing is superb from start to finish. There are so many little touches that show Harper's competence behind the camera. One of my favorite is when Jobel is preparing workers for the receipt of the president's wife's body. The scene would be meaningless background usually but the way it's shot makes interesting and compelling.

The characters are amazing here. The DJ, Orcini, Jobel, and Kara could all be the most interesting charactern a good episode of Doctor Who. Having them all is really an embarrassment of riches. In the worst Doctor Who stories, you go back and forth between a wide variety of characters and situations you really couldn't care less about. Here, there's no character that's not interesting.

The story's tone is grim with lots of doses of black humor, which is appropriate as this is a story that's about Davros and there's no doubt that this it the second best televised Davros story ever. In both Destiny of the Daleks and Resurrection of the Daleks, Davros comes off as a very dangerous mad scientist. In Revelation of the Daleks, we see him as he was in Genesis of the Daleks, the most evil individual the Doctor has faced. The malevolence shows itself in how he gets rid of Jovel, and his callousness to the very idea of decency. He's the evil twisted mastermind behind it all, and he's one step ahead of almost everyone, but just like in Genesis, his arrogance proves to be his undoing.
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