Revelation Of The Daleks: Doctor Who: Season 22








Revelation Of The Daleks SYNOPSIS: 

The Doctor and Peri have arrived on Necros so he can pay last respects to his friend Arthur Stengos at Tranquil Repose. The Great Healer rules Tranquil Repose and the staff live in fear of him. The great Healer is actually dalek creator Davros who is synthesizing human remains supposedly kept in suspended animation there to build a new race of daleks loyal only to him. 

Senior staff such as Jobel and Takis are aware of the great Healer's plans and are trying to ferment rebellion. Davros is also turning discarded human remains into a protein which has eliminated famine from the galaxy. Necros administrator Kara distributes this for Davros but she wishes to depose him as well so she can take over herself. 

After encountering a human turned mutant the Doctor and Peri realise something is wrong at Tranquil Repose and finding a gravestone of himself confirms an old enemy of the Doctor's is behind the operation. Too late he finds new daleks are there with Davros and is captured. Kara has Contracted Grand knight Orcini to assassinate Davros but has secretly supplied Orcini with a bomb which will dispose of the dalek breeding ground. 

The Doctor and two imprisoned grave robbers Grigory and Natasha can only watch events unfold and the Doctor hopes to save Peri, the DJ and as many Tranquil Repose people he can and destroy the dalek breeding ground before Davros succeeds in finishing his new dalek army. 

Return to top of page 

Revelation Of The Daleks DETAILS: 



Run Time

Viewership (In Millions)

Part One




Part Two




Return to top of page 

Revelation Of The Daleks CAST & CREW 

The Doctor: 
Colin Baker (Sixth Doctor) 

Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown) 

Guest Stars: 
Terry Molloy — Davros 
Eleanor Bron — Kara 
Hugh Walters — Vogel 
Clive Swift — Jobel 
Jenny Tomasin — Tasambeker 
Trevor Cooper — Takis 
Colin Spaull — Lilt 
Alexei Sayle — DJ 
William Gaunt — Orcini 
John Ogwen — Bostock 
Stephen Flynn — Grigory 
Bridget Lynch-Blosse — Natasha 
Alec Linstead — Stengos 
Penelope Lee — Computer Voice 
John Scott Martin, Cy Town, Tony Starr, Toby Byrne — Daleks Royce Mills, Roy Skelton — Dalek Voices 
Ken Barker — Mutant 

Production Staff for Serial 6Z: 
Writer - Eric Saward 
Director - Graeme Harper 
Script editor - Eric Saward 
Producer John Nathan-Turner 

Return to top of page 

Revelation Of The Daleks REVIEWS 


So from boring arse old clinical Karfel to the sweeping frozen plains of Necros…

FINALLY after writers, script editors, producers, designers & directors had failed to get the new style and the new Doctor quite right, they finally succeeded in meshing it all perfectly together for the final story, Revelation of the Daleks. But too little, too late. The series had already been cancelled, then re-instated and then postponed for 18 months while the BBC sucked away some of it's budget to put toward Eastenders - it's new flagship soap opera that was now to occupy the 7 pm weekday slot that Who used to occupy.

Revelation of the Daleks has the distinction of being unique, there was nothing before like it before or after in terms of story. Imagine had the original season 23 not been cancelled or if the production team had been on the ball at the start of season 22 had all the stories been like this? Comically dark, moody and atmospheric - a perfect black comedy, what the sixth Doctor's era should have been without being overladen with continuity or old monsters and the TARDIS team constantly arguing.

Speaking of which Revelation of the Daleks has old monsters, the oldest and most classic monsters of all but manages to use them properly by hardly showing them or referring to them at all in the first half. This also has the Doctor and Peri trading words, but it's light hearted and they actually seem to really care for each other again, evident especially where the Doctor comforts her after she's killed the mutant. Plus the Doctor now makes nut roast rolls, which on top of previous mentions of his cooking, it seems the sixth Doctor is a bit of a chef! Baker and Bryant give their strongest performances here, understated and very good byplay. Ironic really that their characters are both superfluous to the plot and the progression of the whole story. Like Androzani everything happens in Revelation of the Daleks despite them being there and they don't interact with the other people on the planet until the halfway mark of the story. They only contribute at the end, to help resolve matters. Weird that the main character around whom Revelation of the Daleks revolves is the bad guy - Davros.

It's Eric Saward's best script and the director and actors milk it for all it's worth. Graeme Harper produces his gold best, he casts perfectly (except for Tasembekker), makes Revelation of the Daleks interesting visually, gets the production design, the music, sound and editing right, tight paced for a wordy script and brings a doom laden, funeral like atmosphere, perfect for the subject matter of Tranquil Repose. The actors likewise make all the characters believable and three dimensional, showing what they can do with good writing. Nearly all of them are double acts too. The best being William Gaunt as Orcini and John Ogwen as Bostock. A disgraced knight and great warrior trying to recapture his honour and his smelly but acutely instinctive squire sent to assassinate Davros. Very regally played by both of them.

The list goes with the traitorous Kara & her fawning secretary beautifully played by Elenor Bron and Hugh Walters who hire Orcini to off Davros for not any noble cause, just so she can control the food supply of the whole galaxy. There's the Laurel and Hardy team of thugs, Takis and Lilt, the grave robbers, Gregory & Natasha and the unlikely failed love story between the pompous Jobel and the badly acted Tasembekker. Nice how all apart from the latter and the grave robbers they are all trying to conspire to have Davros overthrown.

While them man himself, Davvy to his friends, seems to have become no more than a head but is no longer just ranting but menacing and plotting, underplayed for the first and last time as a character. Turning frozen stored humans into a food supply for the galaxy if he can't turn them into a new breed of daleks loyal only to him is a unique plan, especially now he's realised the originals don't really want him back. He and the DJ are the only non double acts in this one. How weird to have a DJ basically narrating the story, it's bizarre enough to have him speaking to dead bodies but it somehow that works too. The daleks are more creepy too when kept to a minimum and the scene with the glass dalek with the yucky mutated human head inside mentally switching back and forth from being a dalek to a human in front of his daughter and screaming to be killed is probably one of the most chilling scenes in the entire series.

Nice action, plot and a great build up to a sudden and unexpected appearance of the original daleks at the very end to capture Davros. (Hmmm why put him on trial though? Have the daleks developed a judicial system? Do they wear wigs and gowns? Do they scream OBJECTION instead of or before screaming exterminate?) The use of the leads may have been minimal but Colin and Nicola didn't mind being sidelined in such a great script.

The only really puzzling thing in Revelation of the Daleks is why is there a statue of the Doctor in his current form at Tranquil Repose and so obviously made of cardboard? Added nothing to the plot was totally unnecessary. Apparently JN-T wanted a statue of the Doctor written in according to Saward on the commentary. Another interesting tit bit that came out of the commentary was that the budget for the show had been exactly the same but adjusted for annual inflation, as it had been in 1963! Meaning if they cancelled the show and not done it for a couple of years they would have been granted a proper budget to match what sci fi actually required! No wonder they never had any money to make it! Still Revelation of the Daleks is as close to classic as a Colin Baker story gets so from me it's a 9.5/10 


Could Revelation of the Daleks be the Colin Baker they finally got right? I'd say most likely for the simple reason that the Sixth Doctor is kept firmly in the background. For once I don't mean that in my usual "I hate the Sixth Doctor" stance but for once (and only, really) in this season the Doctor is just a casual observer in the story. He and Peri arrive on Necros with the intention of looking for Professor Arthur Stengos. Likewise with Androzani, the Doctor's presence is neither needed nor required. The events play out the same whether he is there or not. Even at the end when the Daleks arrive they fail to recognize him and they carry on without him. Orcini and Bostock carry the dirty work of dispatching daleks left right and centre while Kara is the one who taunts Davros the most.

In hindsight, if they got rid of that bloody multi-coloured coat and whacked Colin Baker into his original choice of black then Revelation of the Daleks would be a perfect story for the Doctor cos he would have been uninvolved and unnoticed. And just to stress to my two learned colleagues here - I am NOT having a go at Colin (for once!) but saying that in this TYPE of story he works better as an unobserved witness.

Okay, the script....I've never really got into Eric Saward's scripts. His characters always seem to be tough loners with a chip on their shoulders waiting to off someone to right a previous wrong. Or they're the sort of macho types that do a lot of strutting about and posturing. On top of that, he can't really write for women - his female characters tend to be cyphers and don't carry too much depth. Eric said that he wanted to write Revelation of the Daleks to right the wrongs of Resurrection of the Daleks cos he felt the daleks were badly served in terms of plot. Hmmm...can't see daleks arguing over who is getting the better lines in a story; their props Eric!

Anyway, Eric takes another bash at it and for most of Revelation of the Daleks he succeeds although it does seem to be a little self aware that "this is a dark comedy piece about death and how to handle it". Yes; there are a couple of superfluous story lines and I reckon its the one about Natasha and Grigory would probably be the one I'd axe. I'd probably cut down the DJ scenes too, but that is more cos I never got into Alexi Sayle either as a performer or as a comedian. On the plus side, Eric has obviously being reading up on "Robert Holmes for You at Home" and has created some very nice double acts such as Orcini and Bostock, Kara and Grigory (who is a past master of the double-entry!) and Takis (which is very well played by Ross Mack) and Lilt (most likely played by Goldby).

Perhaps the next double act is Jobel and Tasambeker and its full credit to the two actors who portray them that they work so well. Although Jenny Tomlinson comes in for some flack for her portrayal of Tasambeker I personally found nothing wrong with her or what she did - the character is a whiney, miserable, slow-witted little grizzler and Jenny played the part to a tee. I never warmed to Terry Malloy's portrayal of Davros as he seems to lack Michael Wisher's understated and gripping vocal performance as instead Terry goes for the more ranty and shouty delivery. However, you can see and appreciate that Terry is giving his all to the role and clearly wants it to succeed so good on him. The scene with him spinning about in his tank are very well shot and edited together as Graeme Harper not only goes in on the low angles but some nice close ups - I particularly liked that little shot of Tasembekker being offered the chance to become a dalek and she glances round and sees a dalek eyestalk close to her head and says its an offer she cannot refuse.

Director Graeme Harper starts Revelation of the Daleks with a complete recreation of the "planet from space" shot that he did for Androzani. He also peppers it with a nice amount of gore, pain and violence. While the violence was gratuitous in The Two Doctors, in this story it actually works within the context of the script. The daleks come across exceptionally well here as Graeme Harper shoots them from low angles and gives them a sense of menace. Also he goes against tradition of building up a dalek's entrance the first time we see it by casually having one glide across the screen which serves as our first glimpse. Of course, since the title of the story has the word "Dalek" in it its therefore no great surprise to see one. Also, Graeme and the gang were blessed with some unseasonal snow which add to the quality of the production. Graeme is so good, he even makes the obligatory chase scenes through corridors look dramatic.

And so to the end of Revelation of the Daleks and the season as a hole (mispelling intentional). For the first time since Logopolis, the production team managed to end their latest Dr Who season on a high note. And the removal of the word "Blackpool" really adds to the ending too making it more ambiguous and dramatic. Who knows what happens next?

Anyway, I'll follow the others and go a 9/10 


Apparently Revelation of the Daleks was originally going to be called Elevation of the Daleks, but they couldn't get the camera effect right in the scene where Natasha and her bloke got exterminated by Davros' Dalek… so they had to change it to revelation…

It's tough to work out which one is the superfluous un-needed storyline here. It does exist though. Is it Jobel and Tadrmbeker? Probably not, as their story is similar to the Evelyn Waugh one that Saward based the story on… and it's brilliant. Is it Orcini? Possibly, but his character is great, and opens up a whole new interesting arc (that's never explored - I want to know what this order of Oberon thing is!). Is it DJ Alexei? Probably - although I guess he's there to break things up a bit, and create a reason for the Doctor and Peri to be split up. So I guess that leaves Kara… although if her Presidency was explained a little clearer, and there was something a bit more plausible than "providing food for the entire galaxy", then maybe she wouldn't have been superfluous… and it would have been the Doctor and Peri! Lets face it, they don't do too much in Revelation of the Daleks - apart from a dying plot device, they speak to nobody other than each other in Part one… and it seems to work well… although the ending may be a little rushed.

That said, I'd forgotten just how good Revelation of the Daleks was till last night. There are some brilliant set pieces - none better than the awesome little scene between Natasha and Grigory and her Father mutating into a Dalek… if that had happened in Genesis, that little bit would possibly be remembered as one of the all time classic scenes. It's dark, it's scary and it really shows the pain of a Dalek. Second only to this scene is the brilliant Jobel and Tasembekker ending… their story is like a Shakespearean tragedy… it adds nothing to the Davros plot of course, but it's beautiful… and sad… and brilliantly executed by both.

The return of Davros is handled really well. Sure, we don't know how he cured himself of the Movellan virus - nor do we know how he managed to take over Tranquil Repose all by himself - but he comes across as the genius he was in Genesis here - so it's believable. The only flaw in Revelation of the Daleks is that the ending seems a bit tacked on. I wonder if Saward had this great little story, and then got told that Elanor Bron had to be written in… so he invented a sub-plot about food supply, and used that to round off the story? Not sure, but that's what it kind of felt like a bit… but I guess her story did give us something that would have made Terry Nation very happy. A really big bomb to end a Dalek story!

It is very good though, and as always Saward delivers an air tight script. He may not have been the greatest script editor in his later years, but he could certainly write. And at times, especially at the end of Part 1, it's a bit eerie how close to the 1985 status of Dr Who the plot is getting. No more regenerations? He's coming here to rest? When this was screened, this looked like the case… although when Saward wrote this Grade hadn't really got his grubby mitts on the show yet… maybe Saward knew what was coming after letting Timelash get through!

There are no bad performances in Revelation of the Daleks. I particularly like William Gaunt's Orcini - as I said a brilliantly dark character that I'd love to know more about… might have been better bringing him back than Sabalon Glitz? He could easily have been added without Kara's contract… and then he might not have needed the big bomb to blow up all the Daleks that we never see… so probably didn't need to be there. Terry Molloy is more controlled, and better in his second outing - especially when he comes back in the chair… I like the chair… and the bit where he gets his hand shot off is pretty cool. And Alexei… I've always been a big fan of Alexei - and he does a great job as the DJ… but I just don't know if the DJ was that necessary.

Production wise, Graeme Harper does another brilliant job… you can tell why he's the only old series Director that's been brought back to the new series… he really knows how tell a Dr Who story. The contrast between the snow and the catacombs is stunning - and some of the shots are just brilliant. The Jobel death scene for example is possibly some of the best work we've seen in Dr Who.

All up, Revelation of the Daleks is a very very strong tale - but maybe with 1 or 2 too many things going on… so in the end it gets a tiny bit muddled… points off for that, but points on again for some brilliant set pieces… including Saward telling JNT how shit that coat is by saying "as a mark of respect, you have to wear blue on necros"!


BTW - it was a complete lie about elevation… 

Return to top of page

› Revelation Of The Daleks