It’s time to wheel out the pepper pots again, as the Daleks return from the brink of annihilation to retrieve their creator Davros, after losing horribly in their war with the Movellans. How the Daleks ever managed to survive before Davros was retconned into their genesis, I will never know!
Resurrection of the Daleks has a rather complicated plot, particularly by the standards of most Dalek episodes. Although the Daleks free Davros from his space prison, they are not under his command and want to merely use him to find a cure for their deadly virus. Likewise, Davros is unhappy with the Daleks and wants to create a new breed. But the Daleks are also after the Doctor, having snagged him into a time tunnel and pulled him to 1980s Earth, which is also where they’re keeping the virus samples and from where they’re taking humans and then cloning them and brainwashing the clones to use as slaves, and hope to create a clone of the Doctor to invade Gallifrey and kill the Time Lord high council [breathe], all the while Davros tries to reprogram his Daleks to obey him instead. Ambitious bunch, aren’t they?
With all the twists and double-crossings, even between Daleks, it’s hard to know what’s going on at any one time or what anybody’s motivation is. Many of the ideas aren’t expanded upon. The Daleks creating genetic duplicates of humans and brainwashing them could be a huge deal, but they’re basically just slaves or “Dalek agents” to do their dirty work for them. The briefest of concern over a possible invasion at the end is just shrugged off with “oh, don’t worry, the clones are unstable”. Riiiight.
Davros is Davros, of course, and as over-the-top as ever, but is becoming a generic babbling villain now, with repetitive prose. The Doctor, however, seems to have developed a more ruthless side to him, since he has no qualms with killing the Dalek mutants, nor Davros himself. Who says the Doctor doesn’t use guns? Ultimately, Davros is left to die on the spaceship as it explodes due to the conveniently named “self destruct room”, but is this really the end of him? I can’t believe it. Besides, the Daleks have time travel; they’ll find a way back. I do hope next time it’s a more straightforward adventure. Sometimes less is more.
This story sees Tegan finally decide to give up the stressful life of adventuring and stay behind on Earth, not unlike several others before her. It’s not the first time she’s considered leaving the Tardis behind, but this time it is for good. A reluctant companion from the offset, Tegan was caught up in the adventure by accident, but stuck around for a surprisingly long time considering how much she complained about everything. Her departure is a reminder to me that Davison’s tenure is almost up. It’s strange, it feels like it’s barely started.