Resurrection of the Daleks is one of the darker episodes from the era of the Fifth Doctor. Once again given the opportunity to prevent the Daleks from getting a fresh start, the Doctor is determined not to miss the chance again. But the Doctor finds killing even the creator of the Daleks, Davros, something that does not come naturally to him. It is the Doctor’s inability to bring himself to carry weapons or to use them without hesitation or regret that is on of the Doctor’s consistently endearing features.
The episode thus explores an intergalactic equivalent to the conundrum of what one should do if it turned out that Hitler was still alive and, now released and freed from suspended animation, would be seeking to return to power.
Since Davros expresses the desire to rethink the nature of the Daleks, and endow them with some emotion, the Doctor finds himself hesitating. In the process, major moral questions are raised and explored, such as whether compassion is a weakness, and whether the quest for empire is universal.
The episode ends with the departure of Tegan, who, having witnessed so much death and destruction, decides that being with the Doctor simply isn’t fun any longer. The Doctor muses that he supposes he shall have to mend his ways.