After thinking I wouldn’t like the 6th Doctor, I’ve come to love him and his relationship with Peri, as well as his stories; especially this one. I expected it to be good, but not this good. Dark, gruesome, scary, tense; it had all the ingredients for a good Doctor Who horror story and they came together perfectly. It was also slightly camp in places which seemed to make the story even more menacing when we discover the truth of Tranquil Repose.
Where to start with this story, I don’t really know, but in the words of Maria “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” (I hope you sung that). The TARDIS landing in the snow with the Doctor and Peri wearing blue is a fairly iconic image, and a beautifully filmed scene it is too. The hand coming out of the water to grab Peri’s sandwich throws us straight into the scary stuff and the thrashing around in the water just afterwards made me jump.
I very much like the cliffhanger for part one, the editing is superb. First, chaotic scenes of the Doctor and Peri rushing around, quickly cutting between the two; then, the end credits abruptly cutting the scene from out of nowhere to snap us back into reality where we realise our eyes, or jaw, are wide open.
For me, my favourite of the guest cast was Jenny Tomasin as Tasambeker. She plays her so hopelessly and confused, disillusioned and unsure as to what she really wants. Her last scene with Jobel before running off is shocking and very emotional and I really felt sorry for the character come the end of the story; nobody was nice to her yet she was nice to everyone else.
Unlike the story from my last review, New Earth, I believe the camper elements of the stories work well with the darker elements of the story to make the hideous truths more menacing. We are deceived into thinking Tranquil Repose is a mad, weird and slightly silly place, so the truth seems even further than the lies laid down for us, making the revelations of Davros and the Daleks even more disturbing than they already are.
The glass Dalek is one of the scariest monsters ever of Doctor Who. The way it switches between human emotion and Dalek emotion is extremely frightening and when Natasha does what she does, you can’t even imagine being in that position. The Daleks are just as menacing as ever but, in my opinion, Davros outshines them in this one.
In conclusion, if you hadn’t worked it out yet, I love this story. It’s without a doubt my favourite of the Dalek ‘R Trilogy’ (Resurrection, Revelation and Remembrance) and definitely one of the best stories of all time. Anyone who underrates this story just because of Colin Baker is arrogant and petty minded and should learn to appreciate how good this story and its guest cast are in a time where guest-casting wasn’t always that brilliant.