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In the 2019 ep Resolution, an alien is seen being killed and its body chopped into three pieces. Then the pieces are buried separately, for hundreds of years, before one piece is finally dug up.
And then, after being laid under a UV lamp for a couple of seconds, it comes to life and manages to make a getaway.

How?

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The creature in question is

a Dalek.

These creatures, even while seemingly weak and vulnerable, are extremely hardy in many ways.

As described in the episode "The Witch's Familiar",

MISSY: Daleks don't generate much in the way of waste.
CLARA: So what is it all, then?
MISSY: Decaying Daleks. Daleks can't die. Genetically hard-wired to keep on living, whatever happens. Well. But they still age, poor loves. Over time, the body breaks down, rots, liquefies. Interestingly, the Dalek word for sewer is the same as their word for graveyard.

A later plot point in the episode depends on that material still being alive. So if

The sewers of Dalek city are filled with decayed, but still alive old Daleks that are virtually nothing but slime by now, and yet alive.

A single specimen, relatively healthy (and acknowledged in-episode as being an advance scout with special abilities) could easily be presumed to be able to survive dismemberment and go into a 'hibernation mode' of some sorts, still alive and able to reincorporate given the right conditions.

(Now, why, centuries ago, if they knew it was dangerous enough to chop into three and separate like that, they didn't decide to finely dice it and feed each piece to a bird or something, that's just bad writing).

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  • Ah, totally forgot about that. Thanks!
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 5, 2019 at 13:19
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    Would a self-respecting bird actually eat Dalek? I'll bet they taste disgusting. Plus, it's entirely possible that a piece of Dalek would digest the animal which ate it, due to the wonders of genetic engineering. And because quantum. Jan 6, 2019 at 0:32
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    They probably thought chopping it into three pieces and guarding each piece was already overkill, but weren't taking any chances. Besides, somehow it managed to initiate a temporal shift and and reform. That suggests perhaps some kind of nano-technology. Who is to say chopping it up into many pieces and effectively randomly scattering them by feeding to birds (so you lose track of the pieces in the process) would have been more successful than chopping it into three pieces and guarding the pieces? Perhaps any one of those many pieces could have caused the Dalek to reform when pooped out.
    – delinear
    Jan 7, 2019 at 16:28

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