Stories:
2827
Members:
711
Submitted Reviews:
7672
Reviewers:
327
< Dragonfire
The Happiness Patrol >

Remembrance of the Daleks

Rating Votes
10
47%
57
9
27%
33
8
16%
19
7
7%
9
6
2%
2
5
0%
0
4
2%
2
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
9.0
Votes
122
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 9/5/17 1:21 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Simply one of the most entertaining dalek stories there is!
Action packed. Loveable characters which could have almost been our new unit of the 80-90s who if it proceeded! (Look out for them in big finishes countermeasures series)
Lots of nods to the point that we feel like we are almost being treated with a special.

Need I mention the special weapons dalek!

10/10
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 4/9/17 5:43 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Doctor Who's 25th anniversary season did something different to what was usually expected during a Doctor Who anniversary. Rather than bringing back past Doctors to interact with the current one, producer John Nathan Turner decided to go in another direction: celebrating the Doctor's most famous enemies in the Daleks and the Cybermen. The Cybermen's story Silver Nemesis was the show's twenty-fifth anniversary episode but before that there was Remembrance of the Daleks: the story many Whovians consider to be the real twenty fifth anniversary special.

In Remembrance of the Daleks, the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) returns to 1960s London with Ace (Sophie Aldred), where two opposing Dalek factions are at war with one another and searching for the Hand of Omega: a device created by Stellar Engineer Omega to turn stars into supernovas as fuel for Gallifreyan time travel. Davros (Terry Molloy) and the Daleks want it to improve their ability to time travel. The Doctor plans on giving it to them...but why?

The way Remembrance of the Daleks celebrates Doctor Who's longevity is remarkable. It does something that the recent film Jurassic World did very well: slots in nostalgic nods and references into the story without it distracting the main story. The majority of the narrative takes place at Coal Hill School (the same school that the Doctor's granddaughter Susan Foreman was at). You get to see IM Foreman's scrapyard and the book about the French Revolution Susan borrowed from Barbara in An Unearthly Child. There is even a scene where Ace walks out of a room just as the BBC continuity announcer on the television announces the start of a brand new sci-fi television series 'Doc-'. This is the reason why many consider Remembrance of the Daleks to be the show's 25th anniversary special: it feels so much like one that it's hard to believe Silver Nemesis was the special and not this.

And the nods to the very first serial An Unearthly Child don't stop there. The story even features a mysterious child of its own. A character so mysterious she doesn't even have a name: she's simply called 'The Girl' in the end credits. The Girl is a deliberate echo of Susan Foreman: only this time, instead of being the Doctor's granddaughter she is the Dalek's 'battle computer'. Young actor Jasmine Breaks plays her brilliantly; she gives a certain menace to her performance that is surprisingly creepy for a young girl. It's also a nice idea for a story twenty five years later to take inspiration from the serial that started it all; the Girl never feels like a copy of Susan but a different mysterious child, even as a deliberate call-back to the character of Susan.

There's something I mentioned in my Agent Carter review that really applies here and that's the use of music to create the era. The music in this serial featured in the cafe scenes is nicely authentic towards the sixties' era and it feels like the seventh Doctor and Ace are actually in the 60s rather than the reality of the time it was filmed. There's never any doubt that this story takes place shortly after the first Doctor and Susan leave IM Foreman's junkyard and you can tell real research has been put into the era by sound man Scott Talbott. It's a terrific sound mix and works well for a story with call-backs to the 60s era of the show.

But this isn't just a serial that looks backwards. Like the best Doctor Who celebrations, it looks forwards. The special effects by Stuart Brisdon are ahead of their time; these are effects that are so impressive that the new series of Doctor Who borrows from them a lot. The skeleton effect that surrounds a character fired at by a Dalek looks a lot like the skeleton effect of the 2005 revival and the beam of light that emits from the Daleks' egg whisks here bears a strong resemblance to the effects used for the RTD era Daleks.

It's not only the special effects that look to the show's future either. The narrative also looks forward when it needs to. Writer Ben Aaronovitch is a genius at juggling the forwards and backwards look of the serial and crafts one of the show's all-time best cliffhangers: the moment when a Dalek levitates up the stairs. This is a moment so iconic that it is replicated in the 2005 episode Dalek, when the Dalek follows Rose and Adam up some stairs at billionaire collector Henry van Statten's museum. Yet rather unfairly, it is forgotten. People tend to think of Robert Shearman as the first person to do it, when actually it came from the mind of Ben Aaronovitch. I imagine it must have been a surprise for the audience of 1988, without the knowledge that Daleks could climb stairs: it is a chilling moment and one of the highlights of this serial.

Remembrance of the Daleks is notable to the Whovian fanbase for introducing the Counter Measures team, consisting of Captain Gilmore (Simon Williams), Rachel Jensen (Pamela Salem) and Allison Williams (Karen Gledhill). It is not surprising that these characters got their own Big Finish spinoff as they feel like the sixties' equivalent of UNIT. Captain Gilmore in particular feels like a nice alternative to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, played with the same level of charm and authority by Simon Williams. You could believe had the classic series run of Doctor Who had continued that the seventh Doctor and Captain Gilmore would have developed a similar friendship to the Brigadier. Karen Gledhill and Pamela Salem are good in their roles too but don't quite shine as much as Simon Williams does as Gilmore. What's great about Pamela Salem's character Rachel Jensen is she is a fun callback to the third Doctor's time with UNIT. Just like the Doctor, she is a scientific advisor to a military organisation and it is always great to see how a different character deals with the job when the Doctor's around with considerably more knowledge. Allison Williams doesn't really do a great deal although I imagine her character is expanded upon in the Big Finish releases.

Overall, Remembrance of the Daleks is an amazing celebration of twenty five years of Doctor Who. It didn't need more than one Doctor to celebrate the longevity of the show; instead it does something that the more recent Jurassic World did with nostalgic nods and references to the history of the franchise. Yet despite the references, it still manages to look forward through the outstanding special effects and chilling cliffhanger where the Dalek glides up the stairs. The 60s sound mix convincingly recreates the sixties era and the Counter Measures team are a fun sixties version of UNIT. This serial has made me tempted to try out Big Finish's Counter Measures audios at some point and I am sure it will do the same to anybody who decides to give this Doctor Who serial a go. And you should give it a go: you don't need prior knowledge of Doctor Who to enjoy it. It's an excellent story in its own right and I would recommend it to anyone who likes recent movies such as Jurassic World.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AlfredReview Date: 10/6/15 7:55 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This show is a stunning return to form following the mostly awful first season of Sylvester McCoy's tenure.

I can remember watching it on release, more in hope than anything else, and being blown away by the pacy, clever plot.

The story is a true Dalek extravaganza, they are everywhere, getting blown up, blowing things up, blowing each other up.

The Doctor's new companion Ace is an instant winner.

This story would be one of the best starting places for fans of Nu-Who who would like to get into Classic Who. The production standards and the look are very close to what they are used to.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
9
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 5/8/15 10:41 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

After a very weak Season 24, Remembrance of the Daleks is a shot in the arm to the Seventh Doctor and the series as a whole. The story is easily the best Dalek story since "Genesis of the Daleks," and one of the best directed stories of the 1980s.

Remembrance of the Daleks features a superb guest cast of characters including the group who would eventually become Counter Measures. We also have a Dalek Civil War and some fantastic concepts including the Special weapons dalek.

The action scenes are terrific, and Ace establishes herself as the most physically capable companions since Leela. We always see a transformation of the Doctor from to a darker more manipulative character. McCoy is great in playing this version of the Doctor. Some fans love it, some hate it. I have mixed feelings, but as his predecessor would have said, "He's the Doctor whether you like it or not." And this version of the Doctor would be the one developed over the next decade, not just on television but in the Virgin New Adventures series that would define many people's idea of who the Doctor is.

The biggest drawback to the story is music which continued to be distractingly bad. Still, this is one of the best stories of the 1980s, and a must-watch story.