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Resurrection of the Daleks
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 21
Story Number: 134
Doctor: Fifth Doctor
Companions: Tegan (Departs)
Writer: Eric Saward
Director: Matthew Robinson
Broadcast: 8th February - 15th February 1984
Format: 2 45-minute episodes
Previous Story: Frontios
Following Story: Planet of Fire
"Release Davros!"
―Commander Lytton



to be added


Part One

A group of futuristic humanoids are running down a London alley in 1984. As they attempt to escape, they are gunned down by two policemen led by Commander Lytton. Two of the humanoids, Galloway and Stien, escape to a warehouse where a time corridor is situated. Galloway is killed, leaving Stien alone. Lytton transports back to his battle cruiser and prepares to attack a prison space station whose only prisoner is Davros, the creator of the Daleks.

Meanwhile, the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are being dragged down a time corridor in the TARDIS Where they find themselves in the London docklands.

In the meantime, the Daleks try a direct frontal assault on the prison station which yields poor results, as the station crew, led by Dr. Styles and Lt. Mercer, fight back with considerable force. Lytton then persuades the Dalek Supreme to use poisonous gas to get the crew out of the way. The plan proves to be a success and the Daleks have little trouble taking over the ship. Following orders, Watch Officer Osborn attempts to destroy Davros, first using a non-functional automated system, then in person. However, Lytton and an engineer break into the cell and kill Osborn before she can complete her mission, then release Davros from his cryogenic imprisonment.

The Doctor and his friends have by now met a traumatised Stien, who joins them in returning to the warehouse to hunt for the end of the time corridor. There they meet a military bomb disposal squad, called in after builders uncovered what they thought to be unexploded bombs. While the others are distracted, Turlough stumbles into the time corridor, ending up on the Dalek ship.

Having learned that the Doctor is in the warehouse, the Supreme Dalek orders a Dalek to be dispatched to detain him. The Dalek travels through the time corridor and appears as if from nowhere. The Doctor yells at everyone to take cover as it prepares to exterminate them...

Part Two

The Dalek kills several of the squad's men before the Doctor advises them to focus their fire on its eyestalk, blinding it. In the resulting struggle, the humans push the Dalek out of the warehouse window, and it explodes on hitting the ground. Tegan suffers a head injury, and blacks out. Meanwhile, on the prison station, only Styles, Mercer, and two guards are left alive of the original crew. Disguised in uniforms taken from Lytton's guards, they plan to blow up the station via its self-destruct system.

Speaking to Lytton, Davros explains that his cryogenic sentence lasted for "90 years of mind-numbing boredom." He then vows to take his revenge upon "that meddling Time Lord," the Doctor. Lytton insists he is in their grasp. While Davros's travel chair is undergoing maintenance by the engineer Kiston, Lytton explains that the Daleks lost their war against the Movellans due to the development of a virus that specifically attacks Dalek tissue, and have awakened Davros to find a cure. Despite Lytton's reservations, Davros demands that he remain on the prison ship while working on the virus, as it may be necessary for him to be refrozen. When Lytton leaves to discuss this with the Supreme Dalek, Davros uses a hypodermic-like mind control device to take control of Kiston.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and the members of the bomb disposal squad, having brought the remnants of the destroyed Dalek machine back inside, are searching for the Kaled mutant that was housed inside it. They eventually find and kill it, but only after it wounds one of the squad's men. While the medical officer of the squad looks after the victim and a recovering Tegan, the Doctor and Stien head into the TARDIS to find out what is happening at the other end of the time corridor.

The TARDIS materialises inside the Dalek ship and, narrowly avoiding being captured by a guard, the Doctor tells Stien that they should find Turlough and make a swift exit. But Stien points his own weapon at the Doctor, revealing that he himself is an agent of the Daleks...

Part Three

A squadron of Daleks close in to exterminate the Doctor, but Lytton enters and informs them that the Supreme Dalek has ordered that the Doctor must not be killed - yet. The Daleks confirm this as the truth and lead the Doctor away. On the prison ship, Turlough joins forces with the remnants of the crew, informing them of the existence of the time corridor, as a possible way of escaping the effects of the ship's self-destruct. On Earth, the man attacked by the Dalek creature is behaving very strangely and wanders away, mumbling nonsense. The group commander, Colonel Archer, decides to radio for help, although his own radio is dead. He heads outside, finds two policemen (Lytton's associates), and asks them for assistance. As he tries the radio, a policeman holds a gun to his head. The Daleks reveal their plan of cloning the Doctor and his companions, and to use the clones to assassinate the High Council of Time Lords on Gallifrey. Stien begins the mind-copying sequence while the Doctor tries to talk him into resisting his Dalek mind conditioning. While this is going on, Styles and the two station guards are killed when trying to activate the station's self-destruct system.

Back on Earth, Colonel Archer returns to the warehouse, obviously under Dalek control. Tegan makes an escape attempt, but is soon recaptured by the policemen and taken through the time corridor to the Dalek ship. The squad's scientific advisor, Professor Laird, is shot while trying to flee the soldiers. Meanwhile, in the duplication chamber, Stien is overcome with confusion: the Doctor has realized that Stien's conditioning is unstable and begins challenging his ability to think for himself. Just as the mind-copying sequence nears completion, Stien breaks his conditioning and stops the process, freeing the Doctor.

The Doctor finds Turlough and Tegan, and they return to the TARDIS along with Stien and the last surviving station crew member. Rather than depart, the Doctor decides he must destroy Davros once and for all. With Stien and Lt. Mercer he heads to the station lab, leaving Tegan and Turlough in the TARDIS, which he has surreptitiously programmed on time delay to return them to the warehouse. Davros then announces that once the Doctor has been exterminated, he will build a new race of Daleks which shall be even more deadly, and they shall once more become the supreme beings.

Part Four

The Doctor confronts Davros in the lab, but his chance to kill him is lost when Stien's conditioning re-asserts itself long enough to let Lytton's troops kill Lt. Mercer. Horrified by his actions, Stien refuses to accompany the Doctor back to the time corridor, and runs off into the station.

Davros' army (consisting of a biochemist, Kiston, a soldier, and two Daleks) is growing and he dispatches his Daleks to Earth. Anticipating resistance from the Daleks not loyal to him, Davros breaks opens a capsule of the Movellan virus. Two Daleks then enter with the intention of exterminating him, but are themselves killed instead by the virus.

Back at the warehouse, a huge battle is taking place between Davros' Daleks and those loyal to the Supreme Dalek. The TARDIS has arrived and the Doctor returns through the time corridor. He now knows that the "unexploded bombs" discovered earlier on were in fact canisters containing the Movellan virus. He opens a canister that Tegan and Turlough have brought into the TARDIS, and places it behind the Daleks who soon all start to die.

Lytton has escaped, and gleefully watches the Daleks' demise. He swaps his Dalek uniform for that of a policeman, and joins his two fellow "bobbies" on their next vigil. Back on the space station, Davros prepares to use an escape pod to flee from the station, but the Movellan virus attacks and seemingly kills him.

The Daleks are dead, and Tegan is appalled at the deaths that have taken place. The Dalek Supreme appears on the TARDIS scanner and threatens the Doctor, claiming that the Daleks have duplicates of prominent humans all over Earth, and it is just a matter of time before Earth falls.

Meanwhile, a wounded Stien is trying to activate the self-destruct sequence. Just as he is about to finish, the Daleks enter and exterminate him. With his last ounce of life, he completes the sequence and destroys both the station and the Dalek ship.

The Doctor calls for them all to leave, but Tegan refuses; this has been one massacre too far. She no longer enjoys her adventures and wants to give it up, so she runs off. The Doctor is saddened by this, and he and Turlough leave. As the TARDIS vanishes, Tegan runs back, remembering the Doctor's old admonishment: "Brave heart, Tegan." She calls out to the empty air that she will miss him.




Story Notes

  • This story had the working titles of: Warhead, The Return, The Resurrection
  • Although recorded as four separate episodes it was broadcast as two 45 minute episodes in order to free up transmission slots for the broadcast of the Winter Olympics.
  • An article by Russell T Davies in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 suggested that the Dalek Supreme's attempt to assassinate the High Council was one of the initial clashes in the Last Great Time War mentioned in the 2005 series.
  • Eric Saward was unsatisfied with the story, saying in a DVD commentary that it was too frantic, with too many ideas. The main plot was the Daleks releasing Davros in order that he might find a cure for the Movellan virus. There were several other sub-plots: the creation of duplicates to invade the Earth; the capture of the Doctor in order to create a clone that would assassinate the Time Lords' High Council; Davros's scheme to create a new race of Daleks. None of these are dealt with at any length, and they distract from the central plot.
  • John Nathan-Turner hated the Dalek-like helmets of Lytton's troops, but did not have the time to change them.
  • Michael Wisher (who had played the original Davros in DW: Genesis of the Daleks) was unavailable to reprise his role as Davros due to theatrical work so he was replaced by actor Terry Molloy.
  • A clip of the battling Daleks was used in the first episode of the TV series "James May's 20th Century". This clip was used to illustrate an item about lasers.
  • This story is noted for its unusually high body count, even for Doctor Who. Besides the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough, only Lytton and the Dalek Supreme survive. Much of the violence appears gratuitous, such as the murder of Laird, the killing of a crew member infected by a disease, and the shooting of a man with a metal detector.


  • Part 1 - 7.3 million viewers
  • Part 2 - 8.0 million viewers


  • It was due to the success of the double-length episode format of this story that the BBC decided to adopt the same format for the whole of the following season. (It had already been decided before this that season twenty-two would consist of thirteen episodes of approximately forty-five minutes each).

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • The gun-carrying at one point near-murderous Doctor of this episode seems wildly out of character. Davros is responsible for death and destruction of billions of people and worlds due to the creation of the Daleks the Doctor wanted to destroy the daleks and stop any more destruction
  • Why do the Daleks allow Turlough to wander freely? This is not necessary in order to use him as bait.
  • Near the end of episode 2, three Daleks go into the time corridor and four come out.
  • Many of the airings of the third and fourth episodes seen on PBS stations in the US lacked sound effects; actors pointed lasers at each other noiselessly, and the final explosion was silent. Ironically, this could be seen as more realistic These are called non-diogetic sounds, if the characters heard the sound of the lasers or the explosions then it would be an error.
  • Davros, although aware of the Movellan War, is surprised and fascinated by the problem of the impasse. Yet in DW: Destiny of the Daleks he was aware of the problem and even actively worked on solving it. He still finds the situation fascinating.
  • Despite having spent his time in suspended animation he has been able to make his mind control device and has learnt enough about Time Lords to deduce that they're 'all soft'. Davros' primary contact with Time Lords has been the Doctor. To the creator of the Daleks, anyone who shows compassion or mercy is soft. Taking the Doctor to represent Time Lords, he would undoubtedly consider them soft. The Daleks, based on their knowledge of and interaction with Time Lords, would undoubtedly agree.
  • Davros appears to distrust the Daleks, and declares that they will not abuse him again. Yet in Destiny they were slave-like in their obedience.
  • Who are the prisoners who escape at the start? Duplicates? The originals of duplicates?
  • Why use duplicates as soldiers, rather than to infiltrate? They proberly use them for both, IE a lot of spies have been soilders.
  • Why are the cylinders of Movellan virus left on 1984 Earth, a planet that the Daleks want to invade? It's a bit like the Allies hiding an atom bomb in Berlin. The Daleks probably think the Humans are too primitve to do anything
  • When Tegan handles a cylinder she remarks on how light is. But later it takes two Dalek agents to lift one. It's not a matter of weight, it's a need to be very careful as the contents of the cylinder will kill their employers.
  • How do the Daleks have duplicates of Tegan and Turlough? The 1984 Earth soldiers appear to be duplicated in an extraordinarily short time. And why do the Daleks make such a fuss to keep the Doctor alive to clone him, when they can clone dead people as well? Davros needed him alive to copy his memories, which he explicitly mentions wanting to do.
  • How are the Daleks able to view what's going on inside the station from their own ship? Being a Prison ship, they would have to have video cameras.
  • Why does Davros immediately assume correctly that Lytton and his troopers are working for the Daleks after they unfreeze him? The Daleks are likely the only creatures in the universe that would want Davros free. The obviously Dalek-inspired design of Lytton's headgear probably also helped convince Davros that his creations were behind the attack. (The Movellans were trying to capture Davros in order to wake him in Destiny of the Daleks...)
  • Why do the duplicated Earth soldiers attack Davros's Daleks with weapons they know will not harm them? Their weapons actually do work against the Daleks, as we saw when they managed to disable a Dalek earlier in the story by shooting out its eye stalk. Presumably they were trying to do the same thing here.
  • When the Doctor is captured by the Daleks he asks where Davros is. But he does not know that the Dalek ship is docked onto the prison ship where Davros was held, let alone that he has been released. He says that he assumes that Davros is about somewhere, he doesn't actually know that the Dalek ship is docked onto the prison ship.
  • The Dalek plan to infiltrate Earth with their duplicates is one of the weak points of the multi-layered and confusing plot. The Dalek plan is never really explained. At the end of the story the Dalek Supreme tells the Doctor that the duplicates have infiltrated Earth. The Doctor explains to Tegan and Turlough that these duplicates will become unstable like Stien. Does this mean they will die, or that they will lose their Dalek conditioning? In the meantime, could they not they create chaos on Earth? At the end, Turlough suggests they inform Earth's authorities, and the Doctor agrees, so that is what they most likely done after leaving Tegan.
  • The Dalek that is pushed out the window at the beginning of episode 2 bears little resemblance to the Dalek in the combat scene just before. It's a different colour, and its eye stalk is ridiculously short, to name just the most obvious discrepancies.
  • When the Daleks discover the Doctor they mean to exterminate him. Lytton appears and tells them that the Supreme Dalek wants him alive. One of the Daleks electronically confers with the Dalek Supreme and confirms this. Why would the Dalek Supreme give this command to Lytton, who is not entirely trustworthy, but not to the party of Daleks sent to the Doctor? The Daleks could be arguing among themselves over just such an order when they first appear; as possible evidence for this, they have plenty of time to shoot the Doctor, but don't. Their first instinct would certainly be to exterminate him.
  • Later, when the survivors of the ship's crew are killed in the self-destruct chamber, a Daleks tells Lytton it must inform the Dalek Supreme. But it physically leaves. Actually, the camera just switches to focus on Lytton. You can actually hear the Dalek electronically communicating with the Supreme Dalek in the background. It just doesn't appear in the shot itself.
  • Why does Davros look so different to when we last saw him in DW: Destiny of the Daleks? The new mask was created with a 'sagging' effect to simulate the years spent in cryo-stasis
  • How does does the Dalek Supreme survive the contagion or the destruction of the prison ship? The Supreme Dalek was on the Dalek ship; the Movellan virus probably never got a chance to spread there before Stien set off the self-destruct. Odds are the Supreme didn't survive the events of the story, as it is never seen again after the prison and the Dalek ship are destroyed.
  • Leela doesn't appear on the scanner.
  • No explanation is ever given for the strange infection that infected one of the crew members trying to destroy Davros in his chamber and the same infection for the dead bodies Turlough found in a room in the Dalek Ship. the infection is the gas that the Dalek troppers use to kill the crew thats why Turlough covered his nose
  • Why wasn't Stein killed when he was shot with the Dalek death ray?His survival for several seconds may be due to a quality given by the duplication process or the Dalek conditioning.As agents of the Daleks the duplicates might be expected to be stronger than the originals.



For the Doctor:

For Davros:

DVD, Video, and Other Releases

DVD Releases

Released as Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks, the UK DVD release came with an additional rubber case that went over the top of the standard packaging.


NTSC - Warner Video E1759


Rear Credits:


Video Releases

Released as Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks.


  • First Release:
PAL - BBC Video BBCV5143
NTSC - Warner Video E1261

Notes: Presented in the non-broadcast (original edit) four part format.

  • Second Release:
PAL - BBC Video BBCV7253

Notes: W.H. Smith exclusive as part of the The Davros Collection box set.


  • This story was never official novelised due to unsuccessful negotiations with Eric Saward, however the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club had novelised it Resurrection of the Daleks By Paul Scoones.

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: Resurrection of the Daleks
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Resurrection of the Daleks
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): Resurrection of the Daleks
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - Resurrection of the Daleks
Season 21
Warriors of the Deep  • The Awakening  • Frontios  • Resurrection of the Daleks  • Planet of Fire  • The Caves of Androzani  • The Twin Dilemma
Dalek television stories
Major appearances: The Daleks  • The Dalek Invasion of Earth  • The Chase  • Mission to the Unknown  • The Daleks' Master Plan  • The Power of the Daleks  • The Evil of the Daleks  • Day of the Daleks  • Planet of the Daleks  • Death to the Daleks  • Genesis of the Daleks  • Destiny of the Daleks  • Resurrection of the Daleks  • Revelation of the Daleks  • Remembrance of the Daleks  • Dalek • Bad Wolf/ The Parting of the Ways  • Army of Ghosts/Doomsday  • Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks  • The Stolen Earth / Journey's End
Minor appearances: The Space Museum  • The Wheel in Space  • The War Games  • The Mind of Evil  • Frontier in Space  • Logopolis  • The Five Doctors  • The TV Movie  • Human Nature  • The Waters of Mars
Non-canonical: The Curse of Fatal Death
 • Complete List of Appearances •
Davros television stories
Genesis of the Daleks  • Destiny of the Daleks  • Resurrection of the Daleks  • Revelation of the Daleks  • Remembrance of the Daleks  • The Stolen Earth/Journey's End
 • Complete list of appearances  •

This article uses material from the "Resurrection of the Daleks" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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