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Revelation of the Daleks (TV story)

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Revelation of the Daleks
Imperial Dalek under attack
Doctor: Sixth Doctor
Companion(s): Peri
Main enemy:
Main setting: Tranquil Repose, Necros
Key crew
Writer: Eric Saward
Director: Graeme Harper
Producer: John Nathan-Turner
Release details
Story number: 142
Number of episodes: 2
Season/series: Season 22
Premiere broadcast: 23 March - 30 March 1985
Premiere network: BBC1
Format: 2x45-minute episodes
Production code: 6Z
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Davros the great healer - Doctor Who - Revelation of the Daleks - BBC03:25

Davros the great healer - Doctor Who - Revelation of the Daleks - BBC

Revelation of the Daleks was the sixth and final story of Season 22 of Doctor Who. The story introduced a schism between the Daleks into the Imperial and Renegade factions, featured the Sixth Doctor's first interactions with Davros, and the destruction of Davros's right hand. It was the last Doctor Who story to be produced in forty-five-minute episodes until Rose in 2005. It was also the last Doctor Who story to be produced in a mixture of video (for interior studio scenes) and film (for exterior locations).

This story was nearly the final Doctor Who serial ever made; ultimately, the show was put on hiatus for the following eighteen months instead. The original ending had the Doctor tell Peri they were off to Blackpool. This would have led into The Nightmare Fair. The ending was frozen before the Doctor could complete the sentence, leaving his destination open. (DOC: The Lost Season)

Synopsis

The Doctor and Peri arrive on the planet Necros in a facility called Tranquil Repose, where the wealthy can have their newly-deceased bodies cryogenically frozen until medical science can cure whatever killed them. The Doctor wishes to pay his last respects to his friend, Professor Arthur Stengos, but it turns out this is just a ruse to lure him into a trap. The Great Healer masterminding Tranquil Repose is Davros, using the organic material in cryogenic storage to create a whole new army of Daleks to conquer the universe. The Doctor must foil Davros' evil plans.

Plot

Part one

The TARDIS lands on Necros, at the funeral home and suspended animation centre Tranquil Repose. The Sixth Doctor and Peri have come to visit a deceased acquaintance. On the way, the Doctor points out great numbers of flowers similar to the soybean in food versatility. The Doctor is attacked by a mutant and Peri kills him to save the Doctor. Before he dies, the mutant tells the Doctor the Great Healer used him as a genetic experiment. His appearance and hostility were caused by the experiments.

At Tranquil Repose, a disc jockey plays songs and chats to entertain those in suspended animation. He keeps them aware of current events, but saves for moments of private reflection the fact that cures for some of the afflicted were perfected decades ago.

Memento

The Sixth Doctor finds a statue, created in memory of him.

A couple, Natasha and Grigory, have illegally entered Tranquil Repose, also looking for the scientist the Doctor is visiting — Arthur Stengos, her father. They find his assigned suspended animation capsule empty. Shocked, they continue looking and proceed downward. They find a dark room filled with pulsating brains and other experiments. Grigory walks past a Glass Dalek casing with a mutating red creature inside it. It opens its eye and Grigory comments on how gruesome the thing is. When Natasha looks at it, the creature opens its mouth and starts saying, "Na.. tasha? Natasha?". Natasha realises it is the head of her father and he is being changed into a Dalek.

Kara, whose company distributes food throughout the galaxy, is a pawn of the Great Healer, in actuality Davros (now apparently reduced to a disembodied head in a tank as a result of being infected by the Movellan virus). He takes virtually all the money she makes. To dissolve this arrangement, she has hired the mercenary Orcini and his squire, Bostock. She has given Orcini a transmitter with a five-button passcode. This must be entered when Orcini enters Davros's headquarters. Orcini accepts the contract solely for the honour of killing Davros. With Davros eliminated, she believes she will have the power and the capital to control the galaxy.

Arthur Stengos, who is now just a head with red flesh growing over him, explains to Natasha and Grigory what's going on. He tells them that the brains of everybody in Tranquil Repose are being used to change into new Dalek mutants. He says his mind has been conditioned to serve "the Great Healer", but he can't remember who "the Great Healer" actually is. He orders his daughter to kill him before he fully mutates. While she hesitates, Grigory pulls his own gun, but Natasha stops him and shoots her father herself. The two are captured, thrown in a cell and questioned by Takis and Lilt, who try rum on Grigory as a truth serum.

As they are about to enter the Tranquil Repose, the Doctor and Peri find a giant statue of the Doctor in the Garden of Fond Memories. He realises this means that he will die here in his current incarnation. Peri cries out in alarm as the statue topples over, falls towards the Doctor and collapses on top of him...

Part two

Peri sees Mr Jobel, and tells him what has happened. He tells Peri the Doctor may be dead. However, the statue is not made of stone, so the Doctor isn't harmed. He believes somebody raised it to get his attention. Inside Tranquil Repose, he and Peri are greeted by Tasambeker. Intrigued by the DJ's recordings, Peri wants to meet him and the Doctor urges her to do so, despite having Jobel as a companion. The Doctor wants to see the person who erected the statue dedicated to his passing and suspects trouble.

Orcini destroys a Dalek, and Davros is notified. He is convinced Kara has sent assassins, so he deploys Daleks to bring her to him. They arrive, kill her secretary and take her back.

Davros hover

Orcini, with only one leg.

Peri departs and the Daleks capture the Doctor. He is thrown in a cell with Natasha and Grigory, who are soon rescued by Orcini. Orcini penetrates Davros's lair. He and Bostock empty their guns into Davros' life-support system. Davros appears killed by the ensuing explosion, but Orcini realises the kill was too easy. Sure enough, the real Davros — who has survived the virus unscathed — appears with a group of Daleks. Orcini and Bostock try to shoot their way out, but they are quickly subdued, with one of Orcini's legs blown off in the fight. Kara is brought in and he betrays her motives to Davros. Shocked, Kara states that they are both dead. Orcini responds, "You before me," and kills her for her betrayal — the "transmitter" was actually a bomb.

Revelation part2

The Doctor's meeting with Davros.

Natasha and Grigory infiltrate the incubator room yet again. They plan to destroy the brains scheduled for metamorphosis. When Natasha tries to fire her gun, it dies for lack of power. Grigory reckons there's a self-destruct switch on the brain incubator console. He presses some buttons, but stops as Natasha sees a glass Dalek incubator materialise.

The Doctor, via communicator, warns Peri to get back to the TARDIS and hail the President's ship, which is on en route with the body of the deceased First Lady. The DJ persuades Peri to use his equipment. Overhearing the transmission, Davros orders the DJ killed and Peri captured. The DJ produces a sonar weapon. He blows up two Daleks as they enter his room, but is killed when a third Dalek enters. Peri is captured. The Doctor overhears the events via broadcast. He rushes to save her but is caught by two Daleks en route. Both meet in Davros' laboratory where he reveals he has a new army of Daleks, hidden in catacombs somewhere underneath his laboratory.

Natasha and Grigory plan to escape the incubator room before the Dalek fully grows. They make their way to the door, but Natasha turns around and notices the glass Dalek has disappeared. The two look up to see a Dalek machine flying high above the ground towards them. They try to open the door, but the flying Dalek exterminates them before self-destructing.

Daleks not loyal to Davros arrive from Skaro, called by Takis, who now realise what has been going on. The Skaro Daleks demand to be taken to Davros. Takis leads the way. Shortly, some of the Davros' Daleks appear and the two factions battle. The Skaro Daleks win and progress toward Davros.

Davros is shocked when the newly-arrived Daleks enter the room. He tries to persuade them to capture the Doctor, however they do not recognise the Doctor because of his regeneration. They take Davros back to Skaro to be put on trial for crimes against the Daleks.

I'll take you to-

"I'll take you to-"

Orcini wants to explode the bomb before Davros's ship leaves — he hesitates and allows all to leave only because of the Doctor. The Doctor wants to set a timer, but Orcini says there is no time. They all rush out, and Orcini blows the bomb after hugging the body of Bostock, who was exterminated by a Dalek minutes before. The Doctor says that Orcini died for something very honourable: the destruction of Davros's new generation of Daleks.

Peri wants a vacation, so the Doctor agrees. "All right, I'll take you to--"

(A freeze-frame occurs before the Doctor can name the intended destination.)

Cast

Production Crew

References

Daleks

Davros

  • Davros' Daleks recognise the Sixth Doctor, but those of the Supreme Dalek do not.
  • Davros and his Daleks can hover.
  • Humans are aware of Davros and know what he basically looks like. He constructs a robotic head of himself as a duplicate to fool them.
  • Davros knows about regeneration, and already has ambitions to be Emperor.
  • Davros can now fire electric bolts from his hand.
  • Davros' blood is green. He came straight to Necros in his escape pod (having escaped the effects of the Movellan virus), having got a lift from a carrier.
  • The galaxy is free of famine, thanks in part to the 'Great Healer' (Davros).

Individuals

Story notes

  • This story had a working title of The End of the Road.
  • A transparent Dalek (frequently known as a Glass Dalek) appears for the first time — an idea devised by the series' original story editor, David Whitaker, for his 1964 novelisation of the creatures' debut story.
  • This is the first time Davros and his Daleks are seen on screen to hover above the ground. However, Remembrance of the Daleks would be the first to show a Dalek hovering up stairs.
  • In part two, the DJ wears a pinstripe suit very similar to the one worn by the Tenth Doctor.
  • The story was supposed to end with the Doctor saying "Blackpool" to Peri, however this was cut prior to transmission (as a result it ends with a freeze-frame before the Doctor reveals this destination). This was to have led into the story The Nightmare Fair, production of which was cancelled due to the hiatus, though it was later adapted as a novel by Target Books and a Big Finish Productions audio story; the adventure would have featured the return of the Celestial Toymaker, last seen in 1966.
  • This was the last Doctor Who story to alternate between video and film, with film being used for exterior locations, a practice that had been in place since The Reign of Terror in 1964 and in many other British television productions, although it had been falling out of favour since the start of the 1980s. Discounting the 1996 telefilm, it wasn't until Rose in 2005 that a film-like look was once again applied to Doctor Who, although in fact the series is recorded on standard-definition video and then "filmized". Therefore Revelation of the Daleks remains the last standard television story to use true film.
  • Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant appear entirely on film in part one and have no interaction with the actors portrayed in the video segments.
  • This was the final serial to use Peter Howell's arrangement of the "Doctor Who Theme" that had been introduced in 1980.
  • The Radio Times programme listing for part one was accompanied by a black and white full-length photographic cut-out image of two of Davros's white and gold Daleks, with the accompanying caption "The Daleks are back and so is Davros, as The Doctor discovers when he visits the planet Necros / BBC1, 5.20 p.m. Doctor Who".
  • Following the broadcast of this serial, the BBC decided to postpone the broadcast of the next season of Doctor Who. Although frequently called an "eighteen-month hiatus", the broadcast of the next episode of Doctor Who was only delayed by about nine months. It actually marked a return to an autumn premiere, as had been the standard during most seasons of the Hartnell, Troughton and Tom Baker eras. While this was technically the longest break between seasons of the 1963 version of the show, it was not entirely without precedent. Throughout the show's broadcast history, the BBC changed the time of year in which the show was broadcast, meaning that there was no "standard" gap between seasons. Viewers then used to a gap of only about three months between seasons were forced to endure a six-month gap between Seasons 6 and 7. A gap of six months then became the de facto standard of the Pertwee/Baker eras. However, the exact inverse of what happened between Seasons 22 and 23 occurred between Seasons 12 and 13. Then, the BBC moved the broadcast of Doctor Who up by a quarter, collapsing the gap between the two seasons to just three months in its desire to return the show to the autumn schedule. Things changed substantially immediately upon Tom Baker's departure. Viewers had to wait nine months between his final story and Peter Davison's first. The new twice-weekly broadcast schedule reduced the total time for a broadcast season to just three months. Nine-month gaps became the standard for the rest of the original series' run. Viewed in this light, an eighteen-month gap was the equivalent to the nine-month gap between Seasons 18 and 19.
  • "Moonlight Serenade" by Glenn Miller is being played by the DJ. The same song was also heard in The Empty Child. Both stories involve people speaking with American accents, despite not being from America — namely, the DJ and Jack Harkness respectively.
  • The synthesis of food protein from those Tranquil Repose clients Davros considers unworthy of becoming Daleks is highly reminiscent of Soylent Green.
  • Eric Saward confirms fan speculation that the Evelyn Waugh novel The Loved One was his main inspiration for this story in the 2005 DVD commentary, with several characters in Tranquil Repose based directly upon names from Waugh's novel.
  • In the fan novelisation, it is mentioned that the Doctor was in his second incarnation when he last met Arthur Stengos, and at the time was travelling in the TARDIS with Jamie and Zoe. This was not derived from any information given in the televised version.
  • When this story was broadcast in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, it was as four twenty-five-minute episodes. "Part One" sees Natasha and Grigory hiding in the catacombs as Takis and Lilt are wheeling a body through the tunnels, while the cliffhanger in "Part Three" features either the Doctor telling Peri that she's in great danger, or — in some edits of the story — Davros ordering his Daleks to kill the DJ.
  • Peri first appears in part one eating something (a "nut roll", according to the fan novelisation) as she exits the TARDIS, and when she makes a remark about her outfit being too tight, the Doctor makes the untactful remark that she eats too much. If this was ever intended to be an ongoing issue with Peri, it was never mentioned again after this story.
  • The complete footage of the Doctor finishing his line "...Blackpool" at the end of the episode (a scene that was cut, being replaced by a freeze-frame in the finished programme) now no longer exists.

Ratings

  • Part One - 7.4 million viewers
  • Part Two - 7.7 million viewers

Filming locations

  • Bolinge Hill Farm, Buriton, Petersfield, Hampshire (Location of the TARDIS' arrival)
  • Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Gravel Hill, Horndean, Hampshire
  • Park Lane, Halnaker, West Sussex
  • Butser Hill, Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Horndean, Hampshire
  • IBM North Harbour Building, Portsmouth, Hampshire
  • Tangmere Aerodrome, Tangmere, West Sussex
  • BBC Television Centre (TC1 & TC8), Shepherd's Bush, London

Production errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
Can you move yor legs

Orcini appears to move through Davros.

  • At the beginning of part one, the TARDIS door has clearly been left open.
  • Davros' chair is missing a bit of its base when hovering, leading to Orcini passing his leg through it. (This error has been corrected for the BBC DVD release.)
  • At the end of part two, the Doctor blows the Dalek up with a gun and checks for any more. Even though one is clearly seen down the tunnel, the Doctor continues as if it wasn't there.
  • The grey Dalek that is destroyed in Davros' laboratory clearly switches props from fully-functional Dalek to 'stunt' Dalek as it is exploded: the prop that is blown up has a lighter coloured mesh around its mid-section than the fully functional Dalek.
  • When Orcini kills one of the guards during part two, the gun he uses doesn't appear to fire — yet the guard drops dead anyway.

Continuity

DVD and audio releases

DVD releases

  • This story was released as Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks.

It was released:

PAL - BBC DVD BBCDVD1357
NTSC- Warner Video E2504

Contents:

  • Commentary by Nicola Bryant, Terry Molloy, Eric Saward and Graeme Harper.
  • Revelation Exhumed - The cast and crew of Revelation of the Daleks look back on the making of the story in this specially-made documentary.
  • CGI Effects - The option to watch this story with some of the original effects replaced with new CGI versions.
  • In Studio - A 15-minute look behind the scenes showing re-takes, fluffs and the working pattern of a BBC studio.
  • Deleted Scenes - Three short scenes excised from the finished story.
  • Optional Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Mix - A new sound mix created especially for this DVD.
  • Music-only Option - Listen to Roger Limb's music score on an isolated soundtrack.
  • Continuity Announcements
  • Photo Gallery
  • Production Subtitles
  • Easter Egg- Navigate down to the second option on the main menu, Episode Selection, and hit the left arrow to highlight a hidden Doctor Who logo. Press select to see some of the original cast re-recording some of their lines.

Notes:

Differences between original and Special Edition

Revelation SE comparrison D

Some of the more subtle changes.

There were many differences between the original version of the program and the DVD special edition. For one, the Special Edition was re-mixed into stereo, with new Dalek voices in later scenes. The original (non-DVD release) of the episode also featured Jimi Hendrix's song "Fire", which could not be cleared for commercial release and so was replaced with a generic piece of music.

Revelation SE comparrison K

Some other changes, including the Dalek-teleport effect and the Davros-after explosion colour.

In the first episode, no apparent re-edits to the film were apparent. However, in the second, a bulk of the special effects were replaced. In the scene where the men try to kill Davros, for instance, Davros' lightning was replaced with slightly brighter CGI lightning. The explosion that occurs at the fake-Davros' tank was originally turned purple, but in the re-edit it was returned to normal. The colour after the explosion was changed from purple to blue. The Dalek extermination was replaced with a brighter effect, with the inverted area better selected. When Davros hovers, the effect under him is more defined.

Revelation SE comparrison M

The less subtle affect changes.

In later scenes, less subtle changes were made. One Dalek in the original was a model from the company Sevans, but it didn't give the right effect. The special edition has this replaced with another Sevans Dalek. Its explosion effect greatly varied from the original. The final explosion at the end of the episode also varied greatly from the original, changing from a swirling-green-effect to a red-glowing affect.

Novelisation

  • This story was never novelised by Target Books due to unsuccessful negotiations with the story's author Eric Saward.

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