Friday, 7 May 2010

Victory of the Daleks

Here comes my review, slightly late ...

Summoned by none other than Sir Winston Churchill, the Dr and Amy arrive in London during the height of World War 2 and find that Professor Bracewell has come up with a "new invention" to help the Brits win the war - fighting machines called "ironsides". Except they're not ironsides atall ... they're the dastardly Daleks!! With the pepperpots trundling around the war HQ continutally declaring "I am your servant" and "Fancy a cuppa?" (actually that last line is a slight lie, but it's a close enough approximation) the Dr's suspicions are naturally aroused... since when were the Daleks patriotic? And more to the point, on the human's side?

The twist of having the Daleks as "the goodies" made for an interesting start to the episode, but you just knew that their cover was going to be blown eventually - and sure enough some 20 mins or so into the story their evil intentions were revealed. A shame as this could have been sustained for longer - for instance if the story had been a two-parter, the Daleks' "exposure" could have been left til the end - but once again the (sometimes constricting) one episode format precluded this ... once aboard the Dalek spaceship it was business as usual ... and, what a surprise, some of the Daleks had escaped their "total destruction" (a phrase we'll now learn to take with a pinch of salt) at the end of "Journey's End". It's never bloody ending, eh? As iconic as they are, I do wish they'd let the metal monsters lie dormant for longer...

We also got brand new day glo Daleks into the bargain and I'm not sure whether I like them or not. Kind of reminded me of duplo and they're rather ... clunky. A merchandiser's dream though and one that will get all the geeky fans parting with shed loads of cash for the latest "model" (and that does not include me I hasten to add... surprise, surprise! Okay, I do have just about every DVD of the Pertwee, Baker and Davison DW years... )

And everything else? Though undeniably entertaining, the story wasn't Mark Gatiss' best and pretty formulaic and pedestrian overall. Sir Winston was midly endearing but a bit of a cigar-chomping stereotype; Bill Paterson put in an okayish performance as the mandroid Bracewell who turned out to be more human than machine. The Dr-Amy dynamic continued to work well but for the first time Matt Smith jarred a bit - especially his delivery of the lines "I am the Doctor! And you are the Daaaaleks!" The spitfires in space, though giving the opportunity for some great special effects (some of the best yet this season) were kind of far-fetched (yes I know lot's of things in DW are far-fetched, but...) and seemed to have been modified in a remarkably quick amount of time. I did like the revelation that Amy had never seen the Daleks before in spite of their previous Earth invasions - leading to some possible theories e.g. does Amy come from an alternative universe? Is it all tied up with the cracks that keep appearing ...

Probably my least favourite story of the season so far and I'd give it 3 out of 5. However in comparison with some RTD stories it was an improvement, so that ain't no bad thing ...

Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone review coming very soon!


  1. oH MY DARLING BOYT, I shan't be able to read your bloog! I shall visit but I cannot read!!!
    We're about to have the second episode./.. and I ike what has been thusfar. Please don't think I'm not visiting, I am. I just can't afford to read! Love ya!!

  2. I wasn't at all sure about the new Darleks even though I know they were tipping a wink to the Doctor Who film from yesteryear. They looked like they had dowager's humps. Not sexy and not frightening!

  3. Amanda, oh dear! I totally understand your reasons for not reading my blog (bloog sounds like a DW alien actually) a) having not seen the DW episodes I have yet and thus not wanting to spoil it b)owing to the fact that all I have written recently ARE DW posts! Time to write something else methinks...! No offence taken and love u too..

    Steve, yes they were similar to the 1960s movie Daleks, but chunkier...Dowager's humps is a hilarious comparison!!

  4. What I will say, is that my darling homegrown Whovian reckons that the New Doctor is like someone put DT into a bag and beat the shite out of it!!!

  5. What a travesty! Why did they mess with the daleks. They are not meant to be glossy and vibrantly coloured. It was my least favourite episode too and I usually LOVE the daleks. I suppose the Amy thing will run and run now - you know why she didn't know about the daleks etc. We'll have more hints dropped each week. But it could explain one of the things I find so irritating about her - namely that she doesn't have the wonder that an assistant should have. She's too all-knowing but it comes across as arrogant and I don't like it !
    Love, love, LOVE your reviews!!

  6. Amanda - OMG!! That is one HARSH criticism. Erm, isn't she being just slightly unfair??!

    Selina - Hi there and thanks so much for the postive feedback, you're a sweetie - quite honestly my reviews really aren't the best - these days I don't have time to write the kind of in depth posts I used to, but I try! Know what you mean about the Daleks and yep, the Amy thing is a recurring motif this series by the looks of things. I understand your reservations about the character. On balance, I think there is more to like than not to like about Amy, though it's true that she can be a bit of a madam and a cold fish to boot - and I certainly wouldn't want to be the one in a relationship with her. I suspect Rory is the hen-pecked and downtrodden one!

  7. Didn't like the new Dalek's what so ever !!!!

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