The Fifth Doctor encounters his most iconic enemies for the first and as it would turn out last time in this serial. The Winter Olympics would necessitate a running time change that would eventually be adopted for the series. There’s much to offer, some silliness, but otherwise a solid effort with some goodbyes to familiar faces.
The TARDIS becomes caught in a time corridor but the Doctor (Peter Davison) manages to free it and it then materializes in present day London within sight of Tower Bridge. Investigating some nearby warehouses, the Doctor, Tegan (Janet Fielding), and Turlough (Mark Strickson) stumble into a trap that the Daleks have set for them.
The Daleks also attack a space station orbiting Earth in the future. Their aim is to rescue their creator, Davros (Terry Malloy), who has been held there in suspended animation since his capture by humanity. They want him to help them find an antidote to an anti-Dalek virus created by the Movellans.
In addition, the Daleks have enlisted Commander Lytton (Maurice Colbourne) and constructed android duplicates and installed some of them in key positions of authority on Earth. They now intend to send duplicates of the Doctor and his companions to Gallifrey in order to assassinate the High Council of the Time Lords.
1982 saw the return of the Cybermen so fans were anxiously awaiting Davison’s Doctor to meet his most feared foe, the Daleks. The Five Doctors, the twentieth anniversary special, would see the surviving Doctors (with cameo footage of Tom Baker and the first Doctor recast) help out the fifth incarnation and a cameo by the Daleks. 1984 would finally witness their full return, although a bit past their glory since they had to employ humans, wearing some silly Dalek army hats, and breaking into prison to free their creator Davros for leadership and also cure a virus that laid waste to their ranks. Davros would be played with sinister histrionic glee by Terry Malloy who would continue the role through the remainder of the classic series.
By this time though, Davison’s TARDIS full of companions was being whittled down and this would feature another emotional departure. The format would also have a change in that the Winter Olympics forced the show from its regular time slot and necessitated two 45 minute episodes, a format that would be adopted for the sixth Doctor. Although the standard four part 25 minute version also appears on this release, which is the first time I think it has appeared in this running time. The return of the Daleks is a welcome event and even better that Davros is thawed out to menace once again.
Resurrection of the Daleks is presented in fullscreen. Some special features have been ported over from the 2003 DVD and are marked with an asterisk. Disc one has the two-part edit with commentary with Malloy, writer Eric Saward, and visual effects Peter Wragg, and moderated by Nicholas Pegg, and isolated score*, a 5.1 audio option*, a pop-up trivia text*, the 32 minute “Casting Far and Wide” cast interviews, the 18 minute “On Location” which features both interviews with crew and returning to the locations*, 7 minutes of deleted and extended scenes*, the 8 minute “Breakfast Time” program*, a 33 second commercial, the 9 minute “Last Dalek” that has footage from a lost Troughton episode and commentary from the technicians (this was on the old Seeds of Death DVD)*, the 43 second TARDIS Cam no.4*, and the Radio Times Listings on DVD-ROM. Disc two has the four part edit of the episode with commentary by Davison, Fielding, and directors Matthew Robinson*, the 56 minute “Come in Number Five” about Davison’s Doctor and hosted by David Tennant, the 12 minute “Tomorrow’s Times-the Fifth Doctor” about Davison’s press, the 1 minute “Walrus” comedy sketch featuring a Dalek, and a photo gallery*.
The Doctor’s greatest foes make a welcome return and this release adds new special features as well as a return to the traditional running time. It also moves some other special features back to a Dalek release instead of being forced to shack up with Ice Warriors. It’s also wonderful to see David Tennant pay tribute to “his” Doctor.
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