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 televised two-parter until Dimensions in Time in 1993, and the last full-length two-parter until Aliens of London / World War Three in 2005. It was also the last Doctor Who story to have its location scenes shot on film.
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, leading directly into The Nightmare Fair. The ending was frozen before the Doctor could complete the sentence, leaving his destination open. (DOC: The Lost Season) It was later adapted into a novel in 1989, and eventually produced in the form of an an audio story in 2009.
The Doctor and Peri arrive on the planet Necros to visit a facility called Tranquil Repose, where the wealthy can have their newly deceased bodies cryogenically frozen until medical science can cure them of their ailment. 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 in fact Davros, who has been using the organic material in cryogenic storage to create a whole new army of Daleks to conquer the universe.
Part one Edit
The TARDIS lands on Necros, at the funeral home and suspended animation centre Tranquil Repose. The Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown 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, who Peri accidentally kills whilst trying 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.
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) who is leading the Imperial Daleks. 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 Edit
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.
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.
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 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 en route by two Daleks. Both meet in Davros's 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.
Davros gleefully informs the Doctor of Natasha and Grigory's deaths and reveals that even had they succeeded in destroying the laboratory, it would have achieved nothing, as his main force of Daleks is safely hidden elsewhere. As he goes to activate his Daleks, Bostock retrieves his gun and blows off Davros's hand. Bostock is immediately exterminated by a nearby Dalek, and a furious Davros vows to have the Doctor and Peri converted into Daleks, as revenge for all the problems the Time Lord has ever caused him.
Meanwhile, Daleks loyal to the Supreme Renegade Dalek and not to Davros arrive from Skaro, called by Takis who sought to end the Imperial Daleks control over Necros after realising what has been going on. The Renegade Daleks demand to be taken to Davros, and Takis leads the way. Shortly, some of the Imperial Daleks appear and the two factions battle. The Renegade Daleks win and progress toward Davros.
Davros is shocked when the newly arrived Renegade Daleks enter the room. He tries to persuade them to capture the Doctor; however, they do not recognise the Doctor because of his regeneration. The Daleks inform Davros that he is to be taken back to Skaro to be put on trial for crimes against the Daleks, while Davros's Imperial Daleks will be reprogrammed to serve the Supreme Dalek. Before being escorted away by the Daleks, Davros tells the Doctor that he will return. "And I shall be waiting for you," replies the Doctor.
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. Unfortunately, the blast does not destroy the escaping Renegade Dalek ship, which causes Peri to think that Orcini threw his life away for nothing. The Doctor reassures her that Orcini died for something very honourable: the destruction of Davros's new generation of Daleks.
With Tranquil Repose now devoid of its clients, and most of the facility having been destroyed by the explosion, the Doctor tells the surviving staff that they can continue to live their lives by cultivating the native weed plant, which can replace the food that Davros and Kara were supplying. Peri asks for a vacation, so the Doctor agrees, proclaiming "All right, I'll take you to—"
(A freeze-frame occurs before the Doctor can name the intended destination.)
- The Doctor — Colin Baker
- Peri Brown — Nicola Bryant
- Davros — Terry Molloy
- Kara — Eleanor Bron
- Vogel — Hugh Walters
- Jobel — Clive Swift
- Tasambeker — Jenny Tomasin
- Takis — Trevor Cooper
- Lilt — Colin Spaull
- DJ — Alexei Sayle
- Orcini — William Gaunt
- Bostock — John Ogwen
- Grigory — Stephen Flynn
- Natasha — Bridget Lynch-Blosse
- Head of Arthur Stengos — Alec Linstead
- Computer Voice — Penelope Lee
- Daleks — John Scott Martin, Cy Town, Tony Starr, Toby Byrne
- Dalek Voices — Royce Mills, Roy Skelton
- Mutant — Ken Barker
- Assistant Floor Manager - Jo O'Leary
- Camera Supervisor - Alec Wheal
- Costumes - Pat Godfrey
- Designer - Alan Spalding
- Director - Graeme Harper
- Film Cameraman - John Walker
- Film Editor - Ray Wingrove
- Film Sound - Steve Gatland
- Incidental Music - Roger Limb
- Make-Up - Dorka Nieradzik
- Producer - John Nathan-Turner
- Production Assistant - Elizabeth Sherry
- Production Associate - Angela Smith
- Production Manager - Michael Cameron
- Script Editor - Eric Saward
- Special Sounds - Dick Mills
- Studio Lighting - Don Babbage
- Studio Sound - Andy Stacey
- Technical Co-Ordinator - Alan Arbuthnott
- Theme Arrangement - Peter Howell
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Video Effects - Dave Chapman
- Videotape Editor - Steve Newnham
- Vision Mixer - Dinah Long
- Visual Effects Designer - John Brace
- Bodies are supposedly kept in suspended animation at Tranquil Repose.
- The flowers of Necros are known as Herbabaculum vitae or weed plant.
- A speelsnape is a Necrosian animal.
- The Doctor recognises the Grand Order of Oberon.
- The Doctor tries to use hypnosis to pacify the mutant, but is unsuccessful.
- The Doctor offers several synonyms for the word "interment".
- Bastic bullets can destroy Daleks.
- A Necros Dalek visibly levitates at one point, without the aid of an antigravity mat or any similar device.
- Davros's Daleks recognise the Sixth Doctor, but those of the Supreme Dalek do not.
- Davros's chair 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 knows he is being hunted by the Supreme Dalek's forces.
- Arthur Stengos, the agronomist, was an old friend of the Doctor's.
- The galaxy is ruled by a male President called Vargos.
Story notes Edit
- 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, but 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 use the practise of shooting interior scenes on videotape and location scenes on film, something 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 (HD from 2009-present) video and then "filmized". Therefore, Revelation of the Daleks remains the last standard television story to use true film in major scenes (film would still be used for most model shots for the rest of the classic series however).
- Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant appear entirely on film in part one and have no interaction with the actors portrayed in the video segments, i.e. in studio.
- This was the final televised serial to use Peter Howell's arrangement of the "Doctor Who Theme" that had been introduced in 1980. It was replaced by the arrangement by Dominic Glynn for Season 23.
- 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.
- Although Doctor Who returned to air in 1986, it was still 'cancelled' after Revelation in the sense that the original season 23 was scrapped, with its associated costs being written off. The Trial season was mounted as part of the next financial year as opposed to being an immediate replacement for the aborted season.
- "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. Other songs that can be heard are "A Whiter Shade of Pale", originally by Procol Harum and "Blue Suede Shoes", originally by Carl Perkins.
- Grigory references Star Trek's Doctor McCoy by saying "I'm a doctor, not a magician".
- 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.
- When this story was broadcast in the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, United Arab Emirates 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 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.
- This is the first Dalek story to explicitly show a Dalek that is capable of levitation. Though this ability was first implied in The Chase, the Daleks' groundedness was a recurring source of mockery among fans and even served as the butt of a joke in Destiny of the Daleks. From this story until Journey's End, all televised appearances of the Daleks would feature them levitating.
- Part one - 7.4 million viewers
- Part two - 7.7 million viewers
Filming locations Edit
- 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 Edit
- At the beginning of part one, the TARDIS door has clearly been left open.
- Davros's chair is missing part 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's 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 midsection 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.
- Davros survived the Dalek ship's explosion during his last meeting with the Doctor, (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks) stating that he managed to escape the Dalek ship via an escape pod.
- Davros learned about the food shortage while working from TransAllied, Inc which was formed in the 38th century. (AUDIO: Davros)
- In PROSE: Lucifer Rising the origins of the Grand Order of Oberon are explored further.
- The Dalek Emperor would later also create Daleks using humans after the Last Great Time War. (TV: Bad Wolf, The Parting of the Ways) Many other humans were later converted into Daleks after the Last Great Time War as well, with one example being Oswin Oswald. (TV: The Parting of the Ways, Asylum of the Daleks)
- Bastic bullets are again used to repel Daleks another time, with only moderate effectiveness. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)
- Davros's hand is shot off by Bostok. In COMIC: Emperor of the Daleks/Up Above the Gods he is seen with a robotic claw replacing his lost hand. In AUDIO: The Davros Mission, Daleks replace his hand with a hand-like robotic version. When the Tenth Doctor encounters Davros post-Time War, he has a robotic hand. (TV: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End)
- Upon meeting an older version of Peri in Los Angeles in 2009 who possessed no memory of their travels together beyond their first encounter, (TV: Planet of Fire) the Doctor mentions Davros in an attempt to jog her memory. (AUDIO: Peri and the Piscon Paradox)
- The Doctor explains to Peri that if he took her to Earth (in the TARDIS) after she had died, it would be possible for her to see her own gravestone. Lady Peinforte showed her servant, Richard, his grave. (TV: Silver Nemesis) The Eleventh Doctor would later assert that, if you were a time traveller, your own grave would be the last place in the universe you should go. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)
- The Doctor would witness his future grave in his eighth (PROSE: Alien Bodies) and eleventh incarnations, (TV: The Name of the Doctor) although he would later avert the chain of events that would lead to his deaths under the circumstances witnessed. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell, TV: The Time of the Doctor)
- Davros and a Dalek levitate. (TV: The Chase, Dalek, Journey's End, et al.)
DVD and audio releases Edit
- This story was released as Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks.
It was released:
- PAL - BBC DVD BBCDVD1357
- NTSC- Warner Video E2504
- 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.
- This DVD is also available in Region 2 in a box set collection of Dalek stories. The set is exclusive to Amazon UK. The set was released on 27 January 2007.
- The DVD was re-released with a special "O-ring" slipcover on 2 July 2007.
- It was also released as part of the limited-edition Davros box set with Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks on 26 November 2007.
- One of the tracks played by the DJ, "Fire" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, could not be cleared for commercial release and was replaced by a generic piece of rock music.
- Editing for the DVD release was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.
Differences between original and updated Visual FX Edit
When Revelation of the Daleks was released on DVD, it included various new VFX sequences as optional replacements. Also, the soundtrack was remixed to 5.1 Surround Sound, with new Dalek voices in later scenes.
In part one, one notable change was to the colour and intensity of the beam fired from a laser gun. In the second, there were a number of changes to special effects. In the scene where the men try to kill Davros, for instance, Davros's lightning was replaced with slightly brighter CGI lightning. The explosion that occurs at the fake Davros's 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.
In later scenes, less subtle changes were made. One Dalek in the original was a model from the company Sevans, but it didn't look convincing enough on-screen. It is replaced with another specially constructed model Dalek, with an explosion effect extensively different from the original. When a Necros Dalek visibly hovers, the angle is changed to make its levitation significantly easier for viewers to discern. The explosion of Orcini's bomb at the end of the episode also varied greatly from the original, having been changed from a green "swirling" effect to a red "glowing" effect.
- Like Resurrection of the Daleks, this story was never novelised by Target Books due to unsuccessful negotiations with the story's author Eric Saward.
- The NZDWFC / TSV novelised the story. The unofficial version is available to read/download from their website: Revelation of the Daleks By Jon Preddle.
- An official novelisation was eventually released by BBC Books on 14 November 2019, written by Saward. With its release, every single televised story of the classic series has been novelised.
- Revelation of the Daleks at the BBC's official site
- Revelation of the Daleks at RadioTimes
- Revelation of the Daleks at BroaDWcast
- Revelation of the Daleks at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Revelation of the Daleks at The Locations Guide