After the triumph of Revisitations Set 1 comes the eagerly anticipated second volume, this time around containing the Patrick Troughton escapade The Seeds Of Death, the Jon Pertwee romp Carnival Of Monsters and Peter Davison’s dark adventure Resurrection Of The Daleks.
To give the set the coverage it deserves this review has been split into three parts. As I’ve said, the final adventure in this set is Resurrection Of The Daleks, one of Peter Davison’s darkest stories but has time retained its impact?
The Doctor and his companions are captured in a Time Corridor and are forced to land on 20th Century Earth, diverted by the Doctor’s oldest enemy – the Daleks. It is here the true purpose of the Time Corridor becomes apparent: after 90 years of imprisonment, Davros, the ruthless creator of the Daleks, is to be liberated to assist in the resurrection of his army. But not even the Daleks forsee the poisonous threat presented by their creator. Indeed, who would suspect Davros of wanting to destroy his own Daleks – and why?
Dark, sinister and a tad creepy, this was one of Davison’s most memorable adventures, not because of the Daleks, but because the story is genuinely disturbing. It also marks the end of Tegan’s tenure in the TARDIS. No long farewells here, she leaves not as you’d expect all shouty but with an emotional turn that Janet Fielding was so rarely given. Terry Molloy does the impossible and almost out does Michael Wisher with his take on Davros. Davros was a great baddie but like most became overused so enjoy him at his most evil. But the show belongs to Maurice Colbourne as Lytton the blood thirsty mercenary. He gives this two dimensional baddie an unflinching, dark soul and is as enigmatic as you’d want a bad guy to be. The casting of Rodney Bewes as Stein raised a few eyebrows when first announced and you can see why here. Bewes is a great comedy performer but lacks the menace the part deserves and sometimes the more dramatic scenes lack power because of this. It also has some laughable costume designs, the Dalek helmets are just awful.
Eric Saward’s script is energetic with some nice action sequences to keep the story moving along nicely. It’s helped along with some strong direction from Matthew Robinson and it made sense to learn that he also directed the Colin Baker story Attack Of The Cybermen.
Extras Disc 5
Transmission Episodes – Presented for the first time with its original mono soundtrack, this is the two-part edition of the story. It really does work in this format, probably more now than before because we’re used to the 45 minute format. The addition of an optional Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix is a nice touch but it’s a bit on the weak side and could have done with a tad more bass.
Commentary – Terry Molloy, Eric Saward and Peter Wragg all join in for a gag track that’s moderated by Nick Pegg.
Casting Far And Wide – Toby Hadoke interviews Roger Davenport, Del Henney, Leslie Grantham, Jim Findlay and William Sleigh about their acting experiences on the story. A nice piece that allows these fellows to quickly reminisce about this adventure but it a shame that it suffers from lack of time as each piece is a bit rushed.
On Location – Good old JN-T is here alongside Matthew Robinson and Eric Saward reminiscing in London’s Shad Thames where some of the story was shot. It’s nice to see JN-T again, shame he never got the chance to really make his mark with the BBC DVD releases.
Extended And Deleted Scenes – Here be extra material culled from early edits of the episodes. Some are time coded and a tad rough but it’s good to see what was chopped and cropped.
Breakfast Time – Ahh, BBC Breakfast Time, a cosy and warm magazine show that had uncle Frank Bough and big sister Selina Scott at the helm. Anyway, Janet Fielding and JN-T are on hand to be interviewed by Guy Michelmore and Sally Magnusson about JN-T’s Companions book. Also Malcolm Clarke and Brian Hodgson chat about the music and sound effects.
Trailer – Taken from the original transmission this is a very posh promo for the serial.
The Last Dalek – This is a behind the scenes look at the Ealing studios filming for 1967’s epic Dalek story, The Evil Of The Daleks. Made possible by the 8mm film shot by BBC designer Tony Cornell its an engrossing piece of black and white footage. Visual effects designers Michaeljohn Harris and Peter Day provide an enlightening commentary.
TARDIS Cam No 4 – Another vignette from the old BBCi website which will be viewed once and once only.
Isolated Music – The option to view whilst listening to the score only.
PDF Material – Pop the disc into the CD-ROM of your PC or MAC and read the original Radio Times listings.
Extras Disc 6
Commentary – Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and director Matthew Robinson chat merrily about the making of this story even if they do suffer a slight technical malfunction!
Come In Number Five – David Tennant presents this affectionate look at Peter Davison’s tenure as the Doctor. This is the extra most will turn to first and they won’t be disappointed. Jam-packed with anecdotes and comment I’d like to see a documentary in this style for each Doctor.
Tomorrow’s Times – The “What The Papers Say” sort of feature which looks at the newspaper stories that crept up during the Fifth Doctor’s era. Fan favourite Frazer Hines presents and proves himself to be a natural presenter.
Walrus – A Welsh woman comes face to face with a Dalek who is determined to make her speak monotone! Yep, you read that correctly, this bizarre extra (and a round of applause for the researchers here) is one of those gems that this range always lavishes the purchaser with.
Photo Gallery – A collection of production snaps culled from the archives.
Subtitled Production Notes – Wohoo, love these pieces of textual information, well worth viewing.
Coming Soon – That Planet Of The Spiders trailer which is a beauty.
Dark and sinister this is a cracking adventure with the cast and crew firing on all cylinders. Revisitations 2 is another solid set from the BBC and puts many movie releases to shame with its quantity and quality of extras.
The Revisitations 2 boxset has an RRP of £39.99, but you can still order now from Amazon for just £29.93!