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Resurrection of the Daleks is a serial in the Britishmarker science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in two weekly parts from February 8 to February 15, 1984. This story marks the final regular appearance of Janet Fielding as companion Tegan Jovanka, who leaves the Fifth Doctor for the second time.


Caught in a time corridor, the TARDIS gets dragged to Earth in 1984. But there are mercenaries from the future at work, and at the other end of the corridor, a strike force plans the prison break of the man who created the ultimate evil. The Daleks are back, and they want Davros

Yet they remain under the threat of the Movellan virus, has Davros got the cure?


Part One

A group of futuristic humanoids are running down a London alley in 1984. As they attempt to escape, they are gunned down by two policemen led by Commander Lytton. Two of the humanoids, Galloway and Quartermaster Sergeant Stein, escape to a warehouse where a time corridor is situated. Galloway is killed, leaving Stein alone. Lytton transports back to his battle cruiser and prepares to attack a prison space station whose only prisoner is Davros, the creator of the Daleks.

Meanwhile, the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are being dragged down a time corridor in the TARDIS following on from the events at the end of Frontios. When the time machine lands, they find themselves in the London docklandsmarker.

In the meantime, the Daleks try a direct frontal assault on the prison station which yields poor results, as the station crew, led by Dr. Styles and Lt. Mercer, fight back with considerable force. Lytton then persuades the Dalek Supreme to use poisonous gas to get the crew out of the way. The plan proves to be a success and the Daleks have little trouble taking over the ship. Following orders, Watch Officer Osborn attempts to destroy Davros, first using a non-functional automated system, then in person. However, Lytton and an engineer break into the cell and kill Osborn before she can complete her mission, then release Davros from his cryogenic imprisonment.

The Doctor and his friends have by now met a traumatised Stein, who joins them in returning to the warehouse to hunt for the end of the time corridor. There they meet a military bomb disposal squad, called in after builders uncovered what they thought to be unexploded bombs. While the others are distracted, Turlough stumbles into the time corridor, ending up on the Dalek ship.

Having learned that the Doctor is in the warehouse, the Supreme Dalek orders a Dalek to be dispatched to detain him. The Dalek travels through the time corridor and appears as if from nowhere. The Doctor yells at everyone to take cover as it prepares to exterminate them...

Part Two

The Dalek kills several of the squad's men before the Doctor advises them to focus their fire on its eyestalk, blinding it. In the resulting struggle, the humans push the Dalek out of the warehouse window, and it explodes on hitting the ground. Tegan suffers a head injury, and blacks out.Meanwhile, on the prison station, only Styles, Mercer, and two guards are left alive of the original crew. Disguised in uniforms taken from Lytton's guards, they plan to blow up the station via its self-destruct system.

Speaking to Lytton, Davros explains that his cryogenic sentence lasted for "90 years of mind-numbing boredom." He then vows to take his revenge upon "that meddling Time Lord," the Doctor. Lytton insists he is in their grasp. While Davros's travel chair is undergoing maintenance by the engineer Kiston, Lytton explains that the Daleks lost their war against the Movellans due to the development of a virus that specifically attacks Dalek tissue, and have awakened Davros to find a cure. Despite Lytton's reservations, Davros demands that he remain on the prison ship while working on the virus, as it may be necessary for him to be refrozen. When Lytton leaves to discuss this with the Supreme Dalek, Davros uses a hypodermic-like mind control device to take control of Kiston.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and the members of the bomb disposal squad, having brought the remnants of the destroyed Dalek machine back inside, are searching for the Kaled mutant that was housed inside it. They eventually find and kill it, but only after it wounds one of the squad's men. While the medical officer of the squad looks after the victim and a recovering Tegan, the Doctor and Stein head into the TARDIS to find out what is happening at the other end of the time corridor.

The TARDIS materialises inside the Dalek ship and, narrowly avoiding being captured by a guard, the Doctor tells Stein that they should find Turlough and make a swift exit. But Stein points his own weapon at the Doctor, revealing that he himself is an agent of the Daleks...

Part Three

A squadron of Daleks close in to exterminate the Doctor, but Lytton enters and informs them that the Supreme Dalek has ordered that the Doctor must not be killed - yet. The Daleks confirm this as the truth and lead the Doctor away.

On the prison ship, Turlough joins forces with the remnants of the crew, informing them of the existence of the time corridor, as a possible way of escaping the effects of the ship's self-destruct.

On Earth, the man attacked by the Dalek creature is behaving very strangely and wanders away, mumbling nonsense. The group commander, Colonel Archer, decides to radio for help, although his own radio is dead. He heads outside, finds two policemen (Lytton's associates), and asks them for assistance. As he tries the radio, a policeman holds a gun to his head.

The Daleks reveal their plan of cloning the Doctor and his companions, and to use the clones to assassinate the High Council of Time Lords on Gallifrey. Stien begins the mind-copying sequence while the Doctor tries to talk him into resisting his Dalek mind conditioning. While this is going on, Styles and the two station guards are killed when trying to activate the station's self-destruct system.

Back on Earth, Colonel Archer returns to the warehouse, obviously under Dalek control. Tegan makes an escape attempt, but is soon recaptured by the policemen and taken through the time corridor to the Dalek ship. The squad's scientific advisor, Professor Laird, is shot while trying to flee the soldiers.

Meanwhile, in the duplication chamber, Stein is overcome with confusion: the Doctor has realized that Stein's conditioning is unstable and begins challenging his ability to think for himself. Just as the mind-copying sequence nears completion, Stein breaks his conditioning and stops the process, freeing the Doctor. The Doctor finds Turlough and Tegan, and they return to the TARDIS along with Stein and the last surviving station crew member. Rather than depart, the Doctor decides he must destroy Davros once and for all. With Stein and Lt. Mercer he heads to the station lab, leaving Tegan and Turlough in the TARDIS, which he has surreptitiously programmed on time delay to return them to the warehouse. Davros then yells out that hewill build a new race of Daleks, and they shall once more become the supreme beings...

Part Four

The Doctor confronts Davros in the lab, but his chance to kill him is lost when Stein's conditioning re-asserts itself long enough to let Lytton's troops kill Lt. Mercer. Horrified by his actions, Stein refuses to accompany the Doctor back to the time corridor, and runs off into the station.

Davros' army (consisting of a biochemist, Kiston, a soldier, and two Daleks) is growing and he dispatches his Daleks to Earth. Anticipating resistance from the Daleks not loyal to him, Davros breaks opens a capsule of the Movellan virus. Two Daleks then enter with the intention of exterminating him, but are themselves killed instead by the virus.

Back at the warehouse, a huge battle is taking place between Davros' Daleks and those loyal to the Supreme Dalek. The TARDIS has arrived and the Doctor returns through the time corridor. He now knows that the "unexploded bombs" discovered earlier on were in fact canisters containing the Movellan virus. He opens a canister that Tegan and Turlough have brought into the TARDIS, and places it behind the Daleks who soon all start to die.

Lytton has escaped, and gleefully watches the Daleks' demise. He swaps his Dalek uniform for that of a policeman, and joins his two fellow "bobbies" on their next vigil. Back on the space station, Davros prepares to use an escape pod to flee from the station, but the Movellan virus attacks and seemingly kills him.

The Daleks are dead, and Tegan is appalled at the deaths that have taken place. The Dalek Supreme appears on the TARDIS scanner and threatens the Doctor, claiming that the Daleks have duplicates of prominent humans all over Earth, and it is just a matter of time before Earth falls.

Meanwhile, a wounded Stein is trying to activate the self-destruct sequence. Just as he is about to finish, the Daleks enter and exterminate him. With his last ounce of life, he completes the sequence and destroys both the station and the Dalek ship.

The Doctor calls for them all to leave, but Tegan refuses; this has been one massacre too far. She no longer enjoys her adventures and wants to give it up, so she runs off. The Doctor is saddened by this, and he and Turlough leave. As the TARDIS vanishes, Tegan runs back, remembering the Doctor's old admonishment: "Brave heart, Tegan." She calls out to the empty air that she will miss him.

Cast notes

  • Making guest appearances in this serial are Leslie Grantham, Rula Lenska, and Rodney Bewes. See also Celebrity appearances in Doctor Who.
  • This is often wrongly stated as Leslie Grantham's TV debut (He was in a series called "Goodnight and God Bless" in 1983 for one episode called "Little Green Eyed Monster" as a character called Frank. This is on the listing for Leslie Grantham on IMDB); he was offered the roles of either Galloway or Kiston, and chose the latter because it would afford him more screen time. He went on to play the notorious "Dirty" Den Watts in the long-running soap opera EastEnders, again being cast by Matthew Robinson; in a 2004 edition of the show, he addressed another character, a wheelchair-bound Ian Beale, as "Davros", a meta-reference to his Doctor Who appearance.


  • No explanation is given for companion Kamelion's absence from this story.
  • The sequence where the Doctor shoots a Kaled mutant is a rare instance of the character using a gun to kill (although it is only fired off-screen). In the previous Dalek story, Destiny of the Daleks, set during the war with the Movellans, it was implied that the Daleks had lost their organic component and become entirely robotic. However, in Resurrection the Daleks are clearly living creatures again.
  • With the exception of the brief cameo in The Five Doctors (1983), this was the only story to feature the Daleks during the Peter Davison era. Davison has stated that he would have been upset if he had left the show without having faced the Doctor's iconic foes.
  • The death count shown (not counting Daleks)is: 43 (21 in part 1, 22 in part 2)
  • In Part Two of the two-part version of the story, Davros calls the Doctor "a meddling Time Lord", despite never having been told the Doctor's race on screen. Similarly, it is never explained how the Daleks know of Gallifrey, its High Council or the concept of regeneration, all of which Davros seems to understand fully in Revelation of the Daleks. However, given that the Daleks have had occasion to read the Doctor's mind in the past- such as when they attempted to program the Second Doctor with the Dalek Factor in The Evil of the Daleks or in their encounter with the Third Doctor in Day of the Daleks-, it may be that they were able to gain information about the Time Lords from data they gathered from the Doctor's mind on these occasions.
  • During the sequence where the Doctor's brain is scanned, images of all the previous Doctors and most of his former companions appear on a screen. The only companions missing from the sequence are Leela, who was omitted in error during post-production, and Kamelion.
  • In the fan novelisation by Paul Scoones, it is stated that Professor Laird is UNIT's scientific advisor, on attachment to Colonel Archer's bomb disposal squad. This was not derived from any information given in the television version.
  • An article by Russell T. Davies in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 suggested that the Dalek Supreme's attempt to assassinate the High Council was one of the initial clashes in the Time War mentioned in the 2005 series.
  • The Cloister Bell can be heard ringing when the Doctor is trying to free the TARDIS from the Daleks' time corridor.
  • The Daleks' eyepiece is depicted as being vulnerable to conventional small arms fire, with one being disabled by 5.56mm rounds fired from a Steyr AUG. In the revived series, G36 assault rifles firing the same calibre are shown to be similarly effective when fire is concentrated on this weak spot.
  • The Dalek's ability to time travel was referenced in earlier stories: The Chase, The Evil of the Daleks and Day of the Daleks. It was also referred to in later stories: Remembrance of the Daleks, Doomsday and Evolution of the Daleks. Their time technology is described as crude compared with that of the Time Lords.
  • When revived, Lytton tells Davros that the Daleks and Movellans were locked in military stalemate. He already knew of the Movellan War and the reason the Daleks sought him in Destiny of the Daleks, yet he seems surprised and fascinated by Lytton's statement (Although, as cryostasis has been known to cause memory loss, as seen in Dragonfire, it may be that Davros has simply forgotten some of the specific details of his last defeat).
  • The 2006 audio story The Gathering has Tegan and the Fifth Doctor meet many years after they had last parted company.


  • The working titles of this story were The Warhead, The Return, and The Resurrection.
  • The story was originally due to be produced as the climax of Season 20. However due to industrial action, the story was cancelled. With minor rewrites, the serial was resurrected for Season 21. Because of the delay, Michael Wisher, who had originated the role of Davros, was unavailable, and the role was given to Terry Molloy instead.
  • The story was originally supposed to be directed by returning director Peter Grimwade. When the electricians' strike forced the postponement of the story, Grimwade took the cast and crew out to dinner, but did not invite John Nathan-Turner, because he had intended to take Nathan-Turner out separately. But Nathan-Turner felt slighted by the omission and refused to allow Grimwade to direct the story when it was re-scheduled for Season 21. However, Saward had already promised Grimwade that he could provide a script for the season, so Grimwade was allowed to write "Planet of Fire".
  • This serial was partly shot in Shad Thamesmarker.
  • Director Matthew Robinson stated on the DVD commentary that, much to his surprise, the aspect of the story that the BBC received the most complaints about was not the graphic violence of the serial, but rather that one of the prison crew is seen to be smoking a cigarette early in the first episode.

Story format

This story was intended to be four parts of the usual 25-minute length. However due to the BBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics held in Sarajevomarker, Yugoslavia, the series' regular slot was not available. Rather than interrupt transmission, the decision was taken to transmit the story as two double-length episodes (45 and 50 minutes, respectively), on back-to-back Wednesdays rather than the normal Thursday/Friday timeslot of the Fifth Doctor-era stories. It is often asserted that it was directly because of the success of the two-part experiment that the following season was produced in the same format. However, this decision had already been taken.

The first copy of the story to be sold to American PBS stations by the BBC was done in the original four-part serial format. However, part two had a raw soundtrack, lacking sound effects and music. The movie version, in which the entire story is compiled into one feature-length episode, had the entire second half with the raw soundtrack, but the second quarter with music and effects intact. The portions with the raw soundtrack also included some extra scenes not used in the final four-part cut. At least one station, WNYCmarker, broadcast a movie version with all music and effects intact.

Outside references

  • The serial has been widely reported to contain a higher body count than The Terminator. Seven people are killed within the first minute of episode one. Estimates have placed the actual bodycount in the range of 60-76, roughly the combined bodycount of the first five Friday the 13th films.

In print

This is one of five Doctor Who serials that were never novelised by Target Books as they were unable to come to an agreement with Eric Saward and Daleks creator Terry Nation that would have allowed Saward or another writer to adapt the script; although Virgin Books (the successor to Target) did announce plans to publish a novelisation by Saward in the early 1990s, this ultimately did not occur. A fan group in New Zealand did publish an unofficial novelisation of the story in 2000, later republishing it as an online eBook titled Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks.

Broadcast, VHS and DVD releases

  • This story was released on VHS in November 1993.
  • Both the VHS (now out of print) and DVD releases of this story reverted to the four-episode format. The previously unused episode breaks are when the first Dalek comes through the time corridor in the warehouse, and in the second half of the story, when Davros begins preparing the Movellan virus, promising to exact vengeance on the Doctor and set himself up as the leader of a new Dalek race.
  • This story was released on DVD in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2002. Special features include deleted scenes, trailer and a 5.1 digital surround sound mix. A short feature "Resurrection of the Daleks - On Location" was also included, directed by Paul Vanezis, which was recorded at Shad Thames in March 2002. It included interviews with Matthew Robinson, Eric Saward and the final on-screen interview conducted with John Nathan-Turner before his death in May of that year. It was re-released in 2003 as part of a limited run box set with The Dalek Invasion of Earth and Remembrance of the Daleks and in 2007 as part of a box set that contains Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks.

See also


External links


Fan novelisation

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