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Victory Of The Daleks - Slight Spoilers


Comedy Whirlwind - Posted on 17 April 2010

Great story from Mark Gatiss...Matt Smith brilliant with righteous anger and redesigned D...I'll stop now fellow Gallifreyans, but you are in for a treat!

And the crack was back!

Paul S. Mabley B.Sc.(Hons), MA

South Shields, England and Kitchener, Ontario

Idiom's picture

“OK it’s a jammy dodger. But I was promised tea!”

Well that was much better than last week for me. Not perfect, but good fun and an episode that will grow on me I’m sure. It was a fabulously paced story and at one point I looked at the clock and couldn’t believe that only 15 minutes had gone by considering how much had happened. However, like a lot of new who, I feel that it could have benefitted from that extra 15 minutes. Make each episode an hour and they’ll all be great.

Positives:

·         A great supporting cast. I love Ian McNeice and he does a sterling job as Churchill. I like the idea that the Doctor and Churchill have a past. That makes sense to me. And now we know how the Brigadier always managed to call the Third Doctor back to earth when he needed him.

·         New Daleks – fab. Where was Peter Cushin? I like cunning Daleks, and Gatiss himself says that this story is drawn from Power of the Daleks. Anyway, they’re back for good it seems. And I’m glad they weren’t finally destroyed again again. Again. At the end. The Final end as the Doctor says.

·         Matt Smith – better and better and better. The jammy dodger line is the funniest of the series so far.

·         Spitfires in space – for those who have complained about the CGI recently – this was great. This is Danny Boy calling the Doctor – the hairs on my arms stood up at this point.

·         At least Amy’s ignorance of the Daleks was addressed.

Negatives:

·         As I mentioned, I’d love the BBC just to add 10 or 15 minutes to each episode. It would give us time just to smooth over those edges and round off the character development of the supporting characters.

·         Bracewell – the Doctor has a habit of leaving people (androids?) out of time and place. It jarred a little for me while watching but actually thinking about it now, it does fit in with what the Doctor has been doing since his first incarnation.

·         The crack – yeah we get it. Now let’s leave it alone for a while.

8 out of 10 but next week’s the one I’m really looking forward to.

tarashnat's picture

It almost seems as if this episode's main goal was just to introduce the new Daleks, but having said that, Gatiss does a fine treatment of them and of Churchill and WWII. The story was Gatiss' best script for new Who.

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Have we done the crash of the Byzantium yet?

DWNY a New York City based Doctor Who meet up group.

I didn't hate it.  There were a lot of funny lines: I expected tea!  Daleks BOOM! etc.  But it was sort of a let down as it seemed to be in only to introduce us to the new Rainbow Daleks. 

Still, it was better than much that came before it - and I do NOT mean the first two episodes of the seaon which I thought were brilliant, I mean the RTD era.  And I'm loving Matt Smith more and more each week.  Amy Pond's character keeps impressing me as well:  she brings something to the table that the Doctor does not or cannot each week.  And that is "human."  It's interesting that the last two weeks, Amy is really the one who saved the day.  She freed the Star Whale, she got Bracewell to not self-destruct. Not the Doctor, it was the human. Love that, but I hope that isn't going to be a theme each week.

Also of note was the third Scottish dig or shout out (depending on who you are talking to) in as many episodes.  Not a bad thing per se.  Just very interesting.  But then again, we sort of had "up the Welsh" during RTD's reign, so why not "up the Scots" during Moffats reign?  Can't wait to see what Scottish reference there is next week.

supremacy is relative

tarashnat's picture

The Moff is Scottish.

 

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Have we done the crash of the Byzantium yet?

DWNY a New York City based Doctor Who meet up group.

kylemj6977's picture

I am liking Matt Smith more and more as the Doctor.  I am not quite sure if I like the multi-color Daleks, however.  Just not sure since I associate them with the Peter Cushing movies and I am not a fan of them.  Series 31 (as I choose to call it) definately has a different feel to it.  (Yes, I know we've seen as much as we want to see of Rose/Donna/Martha/etc. for now and there should be new characters BUT I just feel like something is missing.

 

I know I am rambling a bit.  Just random thoughts.  (Maybe, as many said in a recent podshock, it would have been nice to have a companion witness the change - at least for the purpose of connecting the two eras.Cool

 

 

Kyle Jones

I am a longtime fan of Doctor Who and blog about anything from Human Resou

odessasteps's picture

I am not looking forward to the complaints on the podcast from certain quarters about the "silly things" in the plot (spitfires in space, I" looking at you).

I thought it was a fine episode, albeit the least of the three so far.

The multi-coloured Daleks left me with one word: Toyetic.

Also thought it was odd he would want to get rid of all the alien technology left in London but leave the Dalek-built android (if he was now a good guy) running around.

Edit: Also, not a big fan of all the Star Wars references.

Doctor Whoovie's picture

Everyone here seems to have not too much comment on the new Daleks, just go take a look on the Dalek building boards (e.g. Project Dalek). There is near universal condemnation of the new design.

I had managed to stay blissful unaware that a redesign was coming. As a Dalek builder I have to say that the proportions of these daleks are just wrong. Although the Beeb has re-designed the daleks several times (Rememberance of the daleks actually changed the dimesional proportions more than any other until today). The relative dimensions just seem wrong ruining the "dalekiness" of the creature. I have no problem with the change in height and overall bulkiness, its just that the relative dimensions are all wrong. The shoulders and skirt sections are just wrong, it seems like the Daleks are wearing bustle's. Hence my use of Arabella Weir's catch phrase in the title above. (Does My Bum Look Big in This) we seem to have Daleks with Bootie.

Overall, I quite liked the story. Mark Gattis' "The unquiet dead" was probably one of my favorite 9th Doctor stories, beating the Empty Child/Doctor Dances and only coming behind Dalek.

Let's hope another Dalek redesign happens sooner rather than later. It is very clear that very few Dalek builders are planning to make any of these new AWD (Arabella Weir Daleks).

Well I took the advice from someone above or on the BEAST BELOW debate and although I had a notebook this time (I didn't the last two times), I watched with a different mind set and without taking many notes. It was hard to hate this story and while fandom seems to or most of it anyway think that this story was worse than the first two, I feel the other way around. There really is no WOW! factor that almost all of the RTD era stories had (even the 16 or so poor ones) in this or any of Moffat's first three productions but...

Matt Smith continues to impress by being totally different from Tennant. He does not possess one ounce of conceitedness and it shows through; thus his Doctor does not have the "I LOVE ME" and the "Why should I want to regenerate, look at me"  smug conceitedness that Tennant's Doctor had. I love Matt for that. His Doctor was just perfect in this story. Amy was a bit of a half and half this week. She's a bit too generic companion for me and her acting...still leaves a lot to be desired but she does seem to be trying to elicit a warm feel toward others and jump right in thre but again, she's a bit too Donna/Rose-ish for me. I think the show needed someone or some thing diffrent for a companion. TARDIS still continues to look totally awful.

The "I am your soldier" bit was a nice nod to POWER OF THE DALEKS but why would a Dalek say that to a stranger or to the Doctor that it wanted to be a stranger. Worse still, why tell this story? Isn't WW2 a dangerous enough  place to have some drama enact around? In any case, it was nice to have the Doctor the agressor for a change and Matt rises to the challenge...and the Doc can make a mistake but not the fatalistic one he made last week. AND AGAIN we have the Daleks able to shoot the Doc but they don't and when they try, they miss. ANd the plot: wouldn't the Germans have been bombing at night? I mean I don't know what the schedule was like but...but what's worse with the plot is that the Daleks don't think the New Daleks will recognize them so they set a trap for the Doctor to get him to "testify" so they won't do that...destroy them. Then...the New Daleks (power ranger Daleks from the Cushing Movie, what is it with those two awful films that Moffat and Gatiss like?)) destroy the old ones anyway. I don't mind the old Daleks look retro, they are supposed to be fooling the others...and come to think of it, Churchill was a bit too keen to use the Daleks, even after the Doc tells him the truth. And why did they need ...what was the Progenitor thing anyway? How'd they make new Daleks? How'd they introduce the android to the others? WHere WERE THEY FROM? the ship? How'd they crash and start their own remake of POWER OF THE DALEKS? Like last week, but not as bad, the background is shakey. '

Having the Doc startle them into activation was a bit...scary and he seemed to be the one to blame when they started killing people (TWO! Only two but at least this week someone died).  

And uh...if Churchill had spaceship planes why not use THOSE to stop the Germans? I didn't find this as bad as say END OF TIME part one and most of two but...there are those nagging questions and the supreme lack of urgency. Yet there is something likable about this story so I gave it a 2/5 or a 6/10. The crack thing just does not work and as for someone saying and showing photos of Amy's boyfriend's ass with his ID saying it was the 1990s...I guess the Doc doesn't know that or that was a time mess up or a production mess up or something to do with the so called arc plot. Truth is: an arc should hold some mystery and urgency. This does not and I don't really care about this crack. Or any of the cracks thus far.

Uhm, why did they have a Dalek propaganda poster?

Bill Patterson was GREAT in SEA OF SOULS and a good actor and he is not wasted here. He does a good job as does the rest of the cast. I just don't see a need for this story to be honest, brutally. It's not even really a run around.

I guess it would make a good computer game. Dough! There are other flaws but others have already pointed them out elsewhere. Thing is: I sort of liked this one but again, when put next to almost any story from 2005, most of 2006 and 2007, and almost all of 2009, this just doesn't have the IT that would make it BETTER. 

     

    

    

Dalzo's picture

...for the first time in a long time I didn't read your review, Chase, and want to beat you round the head with a new, redesigned sink plunger whose dimensions seem wrong! Much more balanced... Thankyou!!! Oh, and the reason Churchill couldn't use the "space planes" is because he didn't have them until Bracewell fitted them with Dalek technology which allowed them to travel in space within the gravity bubble from the Dalek ship  (presumably he upgraded the weapons as well as, even in a bad shape, I am sure it would take more then your average Earth gun to take down a Dalek saucer!). Afterwards The Doctor took all the technology out although let Bracewell run away!

Overall, I enjoyed the episode. Better than last weeks, not as strong as The Eleventh Hour. I thought it was well paced and it all sort of made sense. Okay, the projenitor (how DO you spell that???) device was a trifle convenient but, once again, it really doesn't bother me. I suppose it is the old Terry Nation idiom "if, on my planet a rock talks... nobody can deny it because it is my planet". Moffat had to bring back the Daleks properly (unlike RTD who would wipe them out and then have to try and find a way to bring them back) and this was as good a way as any. That said, at the moment, I really do not like the new Dalek design. I am not against the colours, not because I am a huge fan of the movies which I tend to ignore and don't even own, but because it does make a change. That said, the dimensions are all wrong. I do think they are too big and the huge bulge in their back makes them look bulky and... well... too unwieldy! I will get used to them and it doesn't make my blood boil but when they glided out I was a little disappointed! What I am a little more concerned with is the possibility of the Daleks coming back in the finale. If the story is good it won't bother me too much but it would be nice to have another end of season without them. I have heard two different spoilers for the end of season. One involves Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans (no thanks... would rather something else) and another involves something more powerful and different (I am hoping for this) but the confidential hints that the Daleks will be back and soon... I hope not!

Matt Smith, again, was great in this. I loved the Jammy Dodger Gambit he used, it was VERY Doctorish and was reminiscent (spelling is not my thing today) of the fourth Doctor with his Jelly Baby! I have to disagree with Chase about Amy. I think there is something very different about her. This is a companion whose whole life has been shaped by the Doctor. Those couple of hours with The Doctor when she was a child were her defining moment and at times she almost acts like The Doctor! Karen Gillan's acting is fine (far, far better than Freema Agyeman's) and I find her very watchable!!!

A quick word about Bracewell... He should have been deactivated... That is all!

As for the crack. I could do without it but I don't find it too intrusive. It seems to come at the end of each episode and is probably a very useful tool. As Amy had forgotten about the Daleks, we must assume that the crack is related to this. I am guessing that whatever this crack is it will help Moffat hit the reset button from the RTD era so that humans will no longer remember all the Aliens that kept invading from 2006 onwards. Personally, I believe that the intention of the Production team was to have Amy leave with The Doctor in 2010 making her a contemporary character for the audience. I don't believe he met her as a child in 2005... makes things too complex!

All in all a fine episode and the first half of the Season is shaping up to be far stronger than any of the first halves of the RTD era which never seemed to really get going till the second half. If this continues to be the case then this is going to be one hell of a season!!!

 

Tardis-Knight's picture

I enjoyed this - and I liked the WW2 setting a lot, and I liked the plain old combat green Ironsides. I liked the idea of cunning Daleks a lot, and has already been mentioned, Gatiss himself said Power of the Daleks was a big influence on this episode

Re the new look Daleks;  I seem to be in the minority in that I think a change of colour and a return to classic era paint jobs is overdue. If you imagine the difference  between the classic and the new era Minis, well that's the best way I can describe the new shape to the Doctor's oldest enemy. Although I was completely in favour of the colours, the cut didn't grab me immediately. 

I don't think this will go down as an absolute classic episode of Who, but it was very enjoyable nonetheless

4 out of 5. 

Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!
Simon's picture

This was an improvement on last week and Matt Smith is a very likeable and engaging Doctor. I was disappointed with the rushed opening. We had lots and lots of these in the RTD era: Leap out of the TARDIS, Doctor introduces historical figure/main character and off we go. I'd really like episodes to build a little more. Perhaps we could open in the TARDIS once in a while and actually have the Doctor introduce Amy to his world. She has waited 14 years to actually spend time with this person, I'm just surprised that she isn't more curious about his world inside the TARDIS and the possibilities of going anywhere in time and space. Some of these recent companions seem to only want to spend time with the Doctor to get a free sightseeing trip around the universe and I'd like to see some down time and quieter moments that draw the viewer into the more mundane and private moments of being a Time Lord. I always think of the time in the TV Movie when the 7th Doctor is relaxing with a cup of tea and listening to jazz ... just makes the characters more believable and the subsequent drama more emotionally engaging and important.

Anyway, I like sneaky Daleks too and I did enjoy them moving around the War Rooms doing admin! The twist of Bracewell being an android was a great idea, but I agree that leaving Dalek technology (with who-knows-what capabilities and agendas) is just crazy. I was really looking forward to the spitfires in space scenes, but the rushed pacing of the episode just didn't allow me to invest in the possibility that Bracewell's knowledge could create space faring ships in the blink of an eye. It’s like the problem of the Klingons in Star Trek as a warrior race ... where are the techies? Where is the research and development, the building of complex new technologies and fitting of them to old propeller aircraft? I’m still not sure how an air shell could overcome all of the other problems of space travel and using lasers etc. and I’m convinced that all these cracks are appearing because of the strain on plot believability ... Laughing rather than a space/time anomaly!

I know, I know ... I'm suppose to suspend disbelief, but this is not a faith, it’s a TV show and part of the enjoyment is having good reasons to believe in the possibility of the world you are creating, and the rules you have set down in that world, if you change the rules as you go then how can the viewer invest in them and enjoy the story?

3/5 TARDIS groans for me. Like a lot of new Who, this needed more space to breath and more than one episode for me to really enjoy and follow the story. This 50 minute 'story of the week' structure puts too much pressure on wrapping everything up for my liking.

New Daleks look fine to me (anything is better than that MANLek thing!), but I think the bigger problem beyond the design is that they have once again lost that menace that was established in the 2005 'Dalek'. They can now be kicked around, they shoot with the accuracy of drunken stormtroopers and they talk and talk (bit like me). I think it is perhaps this lack of menace that makes any new design appear less threatening and cumbersome. You can make anything dangerous and scary with a good story ... as Steven Moffat has shown in previous series, but you can also make something designed to be scary look rubbish ... attack of the killer scribbles anyone?

In summary, forget stairs, it seems that the best way to defeat a Dalek nowadays is to encourage it to monologue!

 

What was the Eagles Dare reference? And as for Amy: we've seen LOVE AND MONSTERS so someone having their life affected by the Doctor? It almost worked there but it doesn't really ring true here from the way it is written and acted. I'm not sure but there's not a bit of realistic truth IMO to the way it is done here. And it's nt a new thing either. I"m not saying I Hate it but here in this story it doesn't feel right, like most of Amy (Did that come out right? Did that?  

Tardis-Knight's picture

Broadsword calling Danny Boy...................

Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!

The daleks bums looked big in that...

Linquel's picture

I really look forward to hearing the podcast and to going back and reading the previous posts from people. Maybe reading what other people have to say will make me like this episode more. I really didn't buy into the story. I didn't buy the Dalek's plan. I really don't like the redesigned Daleks. The colored Daleks and the new TARDIS console room both make the show feel more like a children's show to me (and I do understand that it is, in fact, a children's show). I didn't like Churchill being able to contact the Doctor so easily. Even the Doctor and Amy's relationship is starting to feel a little forced to me. I've liked each story a little less than the previous one. I think I score them Eleventh Hour: 4 to 4.5, Beast Below: 3 to 3.5, Victory of the Daleks: 2.5 to 3.

Having said all that, I'm still mostly excited about the new season. I do like Matt Smith's portrayal of the Doctor most of the time (I thought the self-destruct button cookie was very funny), and Amy Pond is definitely easy on the eyes. Now to go back and read what other people have written.

Tardis-Knight's picture

Re the childrens show, I was actually going to post more or less the same thing (but I must have forgotten, because  I've just checked and I haven't!); I know exactly what you mean! I noticed it a little on last weeks episode, and I felt it quite strongly this time around, it looks & feels very much like something that could just about be on CBBC (albeit with a REALLY BIG budget).

Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!
Simon's picture

I think you've all put your finger on it. This might have to do with the hi def trend for striking colours and overly intrusive orchestral music. I think when set design and incidental music start becoming competing characters in a show then it does start to look a little like the kind of contemporary children's tv made for people with short attention spans. In this episode I think it was also that Amy had so little to do for much of the first half that she reverted to the kind of Rose/Donna school of acting which consists of mugging, grinning and being overly enthusiastic about everything happening around her. Certainly not the actors fault (both are excellent), but definitely not the edgy and three dimensional Amy that we were introduced to in the 11th Hour (i.e. 'the girl who waited'). As I have said above, I think these stories need more than one episode to breath and allow younger and older viewers to invest in and learn about the new worlds that the Doctor and co. become involved in. I'm not sure if it is BBC pressure/policy that limits stories to 50 mins, but I would like to see a little more risk taking and innovation with the story telling format ... I think children would love it too.

Aurelius's picture

This is a story of ideas. We have new Daleks, a dogfight in space, and questions that intrigue us, more than simple cracks in the wall. But, it is what we don’t see that makes this story more than what it is.

 

This episode definitely has a “feel” to it—it is a sense that has been building now for two episodes and strikes home in this episode. This new series feels like the classic series. Rushed and jammed tight with as much as it can fit in 42 minutes, the tone, presentation and storytelling harkens back to the classic age.

 

In the RTD era, many of the episodes (if not all) had emotional stories: confronting baddies while Rose looked longingly (lovingly) at the Doctor and the Doctor staring woefully off into the distance pondering what it meant to be alone. Each moment, each action reverberated with emotion—laughter, joy and lots of sadness. I’m not complaining—it worked and added another dimension to the show that was never quite there before. Here, in series 5/31, the opening stanzas of the Moff era, a new tone has been established: not emotional stories but stories with emotion—the adventure is the key, with bits of emotion sprinkled here (hugs, not almost kisses, which is a nice change). So far, it’s worked 50/50, despite the woeful “The Beast Below.” In fact, there’s so much story in “Victory of the Daleks,” it feels rushed and sped through with some things not making sense (the gravity wells or whatever that were placed on the planes, happened too quickly), and other things feeling neglected (the nice sense of pacing in the first half of the story, that is lost in the second half). Echoing others, this episode, and the one previous, like the classic series, would benefit from either the 4-part (nowadays 2-part) story structure; it worked well with “The Eleventh Hour,” the only story that has yet felt fully complete. But, there may be another reason for that.

 

Perhaps we aren’t seeing the bigger picture. There is a sneaking suspicion that this season isn’t so much 13 episodes, but a giant work, a novel, a continuum of 13 parts, with each episode functioning like a chapter, adding a piece here, a piece there and taken as separate parts, they feel incomplete, but at the end, they will all seem to fit in their respective pieces. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but there is a glimmer to this theory: each episode, we have seen that haunting crack at the end, literally chasing after the Doctor and Amy, but here we have Amy’s statement that she doesn’t remember the events of “Journey’s End.” Another piece to the puzzle.

 

This story’s greatest strength is its ideas, which some are more executed than others:

-         Daleks: once more a harkening back to the old; not sold on the colors, seems like a marketing ploy; liked their cunning nature rather than just yelling and blasting things; thumbs way down for the inside of the mothership—looked like an empty warehouse with a few props thrown in; liked that they ran away instead of being destroyed

-         The dogfight: it looked good in the previews and on screen but—it seemed (once again) more fantasy over science; I didn’t buy the gravity wells working and it struck me as odd not one of the pilots was excited or scared that they were in space

-         Bracewell: neat idea, him being an android/bomb and was well-acted and an interesting character; did not like how he was “disarmed”—not very plausible to me

-         Acting: all good; had a fear Churchill would be comical, but it worked very well; Matt shines quite bright in this episode.

-         Classic Tone: the feel of the sets and the mood of the story made me feel like it was the 70s or 80s again with a better, more deserving budget

 

Overall, a solid, not good, episode but an improvement over last week. I like that it offers yet more questions (are they in the same world—or a different timeline), a strong pacing and a return to a Dr. Who adventure.

 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

"Gosh, that takes me back. Or forward. That's the trouble with time travel; you can never remember." (The Doctor, The Androids of Tara)

I just watched the episode finally earlier tonight, and have yet to listen to the live Podshock commentary.

To sum it up: I dunno what went wrong with this episode. I liked the setup from the end of "The Beast Below", but after a couple of minutes, it really just left me thinking that this was nothing new or special in the least. It was a complete "oh, joy, the Daleks (with eye roll)" in short order.

So now the Daleks can create their own Data (see: Star Trek: TNG, positronic brain and all) en route to a weird superior Dalek... something or other. Apparently the Daleks just weren't dangerous enough, so we had to create some Super-Sized Daleks?

I'm enjoying Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, although Matt imo has yet to find his rhythm as the Doctor. But overall this episode just falls completely flat for me, and it reeks of the RTD-esque plot holes that plagued the 10th Doctor's run.

Blah. :(

Some good things and bad things.

Some parts, like the Daleks teasing a testonomy from the Doctor are better in memory than they are when first seen. It seemed really ham-fisted when I watched it last night, but thinking over it, it was a pretty good idea. It's hard to think if it was the writing or the directing which was most at fault. I think the answer is that there were times when they were both on and off the money. Things were definetely too rushed at times.

I like the new Pantone Daleks very much, though their WW2 design was cool too. Was very sad when they were exterminated. I think it weas a good example to the kiddies, though, of classic Dalek-esque evil.

I hated Chuchill being in it (hated him being friends with the Doctor too), with all his ducky-lisping and eye-rolling and I hated all the Royal-Britania 40s-50s rollicking highjinks generally. Hopefully it'll be like crack to the Americans, buit it's the kind of thing that really does not sit well with me. Patriotism, no matter for what country, is always crappy.

I agree that Matt Smith still hasn't found his rhythm, but Tennat hadn't either at this stage. He definitely has moments of charm, so I think we can live in hope.

Amy's spunky, but she's yet to show characteristics that are distinctly her's the way Rose and Donna did. The Scottish stuff has been a bit heavy handed so far. Great part when she diffused the 'bomb' by reminding him of his sweetheart though. The best moment of the episode for me (besides the Daleks serving tea!)

Not as bad as I feared.

- I think the fact that we had a story with a major villain and it was only a single episode and not a 2-parter made it good.  With a few exceptions, I haven't been a fan of the 2 part stories of the new series.  They tend to drag things out too long.  Yet at the same time I don't feel like too much was packed into this episode.  Very good pace to the story.

- So another Dalek ship escaped from their last encounter.  Shocker.  Didn't see that coming.

- I didn't have much of a problem with the Spitfires flying in space so much as why weren't they being used against the Germans with those lasers equipped???

- Didn't care for the new Daleks.  Multi-colored.  Too bulky.  They look kinda tacky.  I'll give them credit for trying to change things up, but it's almost as though they made the changes just so they could market a new line of Dalek toys that all the kids must have.  There's no need for the extra size unless it also brings some new ability/power to the table, which apparently it didn't.

- Just a historical question: was Churchill really that hands-on during the war?  I have a hard time believing somebody that high-up would be like that.  Seems to me that sort of thing is best left to the generals and military commanders.

- Loved it when The Doctor shooshed Amy.  Great stuff.

Probaly a 3/3.5 out of 5.  Despite the shortcomings, the story was short and to the point.  Great pacing and overall enjoyable.

Troy Baker's picture

With each episode we see the "crack" somewhere in the episode at least once, but there are other mysteries piling up:

1. Why didn't Amy remember the Daleks?

2. What is the Pandoric (from "The Eleveth Hour")

3. What is the silence that is coming?

etc..., etc...

 

Each episode does add more mystery, but with all these questions how will it be resolved at the end of the season... and what does the "crack" have to do with it?

 

Anybody remember a "Bad Wolf"? We seem to be following the same pattern that R. T. Davies used in his 1st season. I don't mind him doing it but don't "beat us senseless" with it all season.

 

It is reported that Steven Moffat has written the next two eopisodes (the first two-parter of the season) with the "weeping angels" and River Song so I'll be looking forward for that, but will this be River's first meeting with the Doctor or will this be another appearance where she still knows more than the Doctor?

The reported titles (according to wikipedia) are:

The Time of Angels

&

Flesh and Stone

 

PS: About this story I loved the portrayal of Winston Churchhill, it wasn't OTT (over the top). We knew the Daleks were returning from the trailer and now we know why - to re-create the new Dalek race.

I really think this series is set in an alternate universe,or maybe E-Space. The Crack will turn out to be the doorway back to 'our' place.

This could also why we have Amelia / Amy. A bit like the Ricky / Micky?

Would be interested in hearing your thoughts, all!

 

Paul S. Mabley B.Sc.(Hons), MA

South Shields, UK / Kitchener, Canada

Simon's picture

Interesting theory, but suspect that this is Moffat's way of rebooting the Who universe (as we saw with the Daleks last week) and clearing out many of the troublesome inconsistencies thrown up by the RTD era. Really there have been sooo many Earth-wide alien menaces that the new team would spend nearly every Earth related episode trying to tie everything together just to be able to tell their own stories. Also Moffat tends to enjoy telling stories that challenge the very idea of a linear and universal time and space that the Doctor inhabits (the whole 'timey whimy' thing ... a phrase I wouldn't miss if I never heard it again!). But the use of the phrase does suggest that being a Time Lord means not growing too attached to any specific time/space order and moving between lots and lots of revisions of time/space. This is perhaps why the Doctor doesn't continually fret about changing events around him for fear of killing himself in the future (Marty McFly style) or of undoing all of his previous incarnations good work .. just a thought.

For me these cracks will probably have an excellent narrative reason for the being there ... but they are perhaps more importantly a structuring device to allow the Moffat era to move beyond what has gone before without just pressing a reset button. Like others have said, however, I would like a break from these cracks for a few episodes, after all, the Classic Series moved along a great old pace without being weighed down by elaborate plot arcs.

 

Part of the problem with this story is that as a Dalek story...it's slow and unmoving. Dalek stories need action, especially nowadays. Terry Nation knew this back when and Power of the Daleks may have worked in the 1960s but...now not so much.

A Dalek story should...well, picture this: a group of humans are cut off from their lives: soap opera types maybe: a boss who owns a store or a whole factory, a mother out to protect her children, the children themselves and before anyone groans, children in jeopardy make things difficult and moving and emotional for the adults trying to protect them (look at classic modern movies like JURASSIC PARK1 and 3, POLTERGEIST, and even ET, they work and the kids in them work because they are in danger or part of the plot and solutions), old people, young people, even a baby maybe...they are maybe time scooped to a planet along with parts of a city or a street or even a suburban town (imagine a Dalek lost and confused, trapped in a closet!) to another planet,maybe even ancient Gallifrey, surrounded by a desert or a vast fog outside of the city...

Enter into this the Doc and comp (but she's completey useless in a scenario like this but maybe not?). Now that they've cast a young DOctor, he should be jumping, running, fighting, landing on the backs of Daleks, trying to open them or even damage them from behind. Instead Tennant's Doctor was like Road Runner to Smth's WIL E Coyote, SMith trying to stop the Daleks with plan after plan that really...doesn't work. Parts of this make him seem...well, unheroic.

Perhaps the Doc goes a high tower or a bridge that is partly there and spots time scoooped Daleks on their way toward the town. Mounting TENSION. He has to convince the small group (and maybe there's even a godfather type character who wants control). THey try to hide and  or set traps. A local swimming pool becomes a huge death trap for Daleks who are lured there. Maybe the DOc can use some device or the sonic scewdriver to deactiviate the Daleks' forcefields---IF Daleks are TOO strong and can't be fought hand to hand, they become too fierce for every story.

THere has to be some hand to plunger fighting going on. Picture a huge series of fights; the Doc having to get closer to the Daleks to stop their forcefields; people luring Daleks toward traps; some humans dying, some Daleks disabled by gun and forcefields and some having their plunger disabled. Piccture chases down streets, in factories or banks; some people hide in a bank safe but find the Daleks are heating it up; picture a fight underwater with Daleks in a swiming pool and some people HAVE TO DIE, people we know and care about and like even.

The Doc can jump on the back of a DaLek that's about to blast a teenager or a child, open it up, they fall, it opens up and the monster inside comes out and tangles with him in a roll down a  hill in a fight!

Picture Amy in a van, aiming for a small group of Daleks tangling with the DOctor and others, Amy aiming the van right at them all to help. Pciture the rays not very powerful but lethal. Daleks destrying a CHristmas Tree or a store with TVs in them, or even a fight in a pool hall (but for that the DOc vs about five SOntarans would work better). Hand to hand combat...

THAT takes good writers, not lazy ones, that takes chrerography, and setting up, that takes some guts...THAT is a Dalek story NO ONE could find disapointing. Instead we've got three or four old men, some soldiers we don't really know, Amy in a room all the time, the Doc on a spaceship filled with Daleks, talking to them and running easily away, bluffing, space planes from boring old STAR WARS and almost NO action at all.

THere's at least one fan fic that does a lot of what I detailed above and it's very very good and has a lot of action. I't is so much better.  

   

  

        

 

 

Dalzo's picture

Gordon Bennet... That sounds ghastly! Doctor Who is not about intense action. The scenarios you described there sounds like Doctor Who the movie directed by Michael Bay and starring Bruce Willis as The Doctor. It would probably look good but have no substance at all!

The appeal of the character of The Doctor is that he uses his brain instead of his muscles. You cannot have the Doctor leaping onto a moving Dalek trying to get the casing open. He is a man with an amazing brain, a quick wit and a sharp tongue. That is his best weapon and makes him different from any other kind of hero. Okay, there are examples where the Doctor has had to fight hand to hand but if he stood any chance of defeating the Daleks this way it would destroy any menace the Daleks have. The Daleks at their best a schemers, if you turn them into Tanks that just fire and kill you lose all of what makes them such a great villain!

Victory of the Daleks only took a small aspect of "Power of the Daleks" (a story which, if given a two part slot) would definately still work today. In fact, one of the disappointing aspect of this story is the fact that they did not play up the creepy nature of a Dalek pretending to be a servant (soldier).

Your post though has given me the opportunity to ask a question which has been rumbling around my little brain and one that I would be really like to hear what people think. What is it about Doctor Who that people like and make tune in time after time? For me, it is almost entirely about the character of the Doctor. A Gallifreyan who opposes violence and yet has caused planets to be destroyed, has commited genocide a few times. A man who will not pick up a gun and yet almost encourages others to fight for him and yet is a man of peace. A man who, as stated above, uses his brain to outwit his foes. He is a man of intense contradiction and yet is a fantastic role model. I look up to him! This is what makes me love Doctor Who and is what allows me not to worry too much about plotholes. For me, if the character of the Doctor is true than I will like the story (if not love it). I also love the TARDIS. I want one and a small part of me still dreams of getting one one day (I REFUSE to grow up on this issue... the child in me will never die thanks to the very concept of the TARDIS).

Don't get me wrong, story is obviously very important too but I am happy with a story which consists of thick brushstrokes instead of intricate details. If the essence of the story is good... it intentions are imaginative then I don't worry if small details don't work a hundred percent. I think this is because whan I watch Doctor Who it really does make me feel like a child again and when I was a child I just went along for the ride and didn't worry about plotholes (I became a hardcore fan in 1988, that might explain it). Nowadays and in other shows it is much more important to me. I love "Carnivale". This is an amzing programme where the plot is extremely intricate. Whare a single line in the first episode will have an important meaning by the end. I love "The Sopranos" which is a series where the characters are what drives the show. By the end of that series the viewer who followed it from the beginning knew all the characters intimately, so much so that even when they are saying one thing you know what they are really thinking. On the other hand, I gave up on "Lost" because the story was non exisant and was just a mess. I was disappointed by the ending of "Battlestar Galactica" as by the end, the goalposts had changed and the characters had either become totally unlikeable or acted completely out of character. My point is, different shows make me put on a different hat and when I watch Doctor Who, I am that 9 year old boy whose hero was an alien with a conscience and an amazing form of travel where the entire universe was his playground!

Chase (and everybody else, of course), I really would be interested in what it is about Doctor Who that you love that makes you so passionate in your reviews? I think it would explain why there is such varied opinions on different episodes!

I think it is time for people and the Doc himself to see him for what he really is: someone who loves humans above  all else, including his morals: the Doc is NOT a peaceful man. He likes to think he is and he shrouds himself in all manner of morality...but it's just a cover. I used to like the DOctor back before I realized he HAS carried a gun and used it (Third Doctor) and that he uses others to do his dirty work for him. Where would he be if UNIT didn't blast away at monsters and aliens, if Ace didn't carry explosives that blow things and Cybermen up? Where would he be if the Cybermen didn't stop some of the Daleks or at least delay them in DOOMSDAY? And he destroys entire races. He's NOT The Tomorrow People who CAN'T kill. THe DOc can and does. I"m not making a judgement just an observation. ANd to be honest, he has to. If Daleks really were in the same situation as the people I described...and if it were written well, I do not believe it would be ghastly but a fight for survival and THAT is what this season and this show needs, urgency, a sense of absolute danger and pace and fighting. For all of his brave talking, the Doctor hasn't really thrown himself into the fray --he lets others make the sacrifices while he stands around tring to swwet talk Daleks or talk Cybermen into taking a ride with him. WTF is that? So while I really think more action...and stripping the Doctor of his sonic screwdriver and all his other stuff...well, I"m thinking of a fan fic I read where that very sceanario I described happened. It made the Daleks utterlyl terrfiying, ruthless, murdering monsters and the people at their mercy were glad the Doc fought them hand to hand, jumpingon them, using whatever he could to stop them. It was amazing. THAT Doc, I could respect because at least he put his money where his mouth is or vice versa. ANd yeah, I'm a pacifist but having lost TWO people to 9/11 maybe I'm not so much any more. THe Doc being happy when he sees the UNJIT ship in THE SONTARAN STRATEGeM says a lot: he's got a taste for war but never really seems to get that into it...and tha'ts not a bad thing, he does have some morality but if push came to shove, and an alien race needed to feed on humans to live, he'd choose humans over that alien race. And he's show deadly accuracy in desroying them. How is that different from stopping Dalek machines monsters from killing off a small group of people?      

Dalzo's picture

Oh, I totally agree that the Doctor is not a man of peace (look how he ended the Time War) but "peace" is his ideal... his goal. All his "fighting" or his enlistment of people around him to fight for him is with the ultimate goal to save "the goodies" (normally humans, especially these days) and to bring peace to the situation. As I stated above, it is this contradiction that intrigues me about this character. He fights for peace.

 Having rewatched a few of the Hartnell era recently, a thought struck me about those first three stories. The Doctor, when we first meet him is far from the heroic character we have come to love. He kidnaps Ian and Barbera when threatened by Susan that she would leave him. He is more than happy to abandon Ian and Barbera when his own life is threatened, almost kills Za with a flint, tricks his companions into visiting the "abandoned"city on Skaro. It isn't until Barbera helps sort out the TARDIS in "The Brink of Disaster" that he starts to become more like the Doctor we know. Is it Barbera who makes him see human beings as wonderful creatures and starts his whole love affair with the race? I listened to a Companions Chronicle called "Here there Be Monsters" (read by Carole Ann Ford as Susan). In it she describes the first Doctor of being very young despite looking old (which makes sense, when you think about it). Is it possible that, relative to the great age of a Time Lord that he is little more than an adolescent, sulking when not getting his way, throwing temper tantrums! Is "Inside the Spaceship" his coming of age story? Never thought of that before!!!

The Doctor isn't perfect, he can't pick up a gun and shoot somebody but accepts that others must do it for him! He loves the beauty of the universe but accepts that he must sometimes destroy whole planets! He loves travelling around Time and Space but part of him still longs for to live a "normal" life, eating Chinese takeaways and watching television. This is what makes the character have depth. If he could just pick up a gun and shoot a villain, "look into his eyes, and end his life" he would be no different from any other hero. Ultimately, it is not killing that the Doctor fears, it is the guilt that would follow from looking into his enemies eyes and watching the life fade out... The Doctor is frightened of guilt... that is his real enemy and it is one that I wish more humans feared... especially in this day and age!!!

Oh, and I was really pleased for you that finally a Doctor Who came on that you loved... You must have been twice as excited as I was after watching "the Time of Angels"... Great stuff!!!

Yeah well you are silly. I have loved many DWs over the last five years, only when something is as garabage as 11TH HOUR and BEAST BELOW, I have to sa y it. I don't know what's happened to the site here but I can't seem to edit my own posts, copoy stuff, delete misseppllings as you can see and it's highly annoying.

 

Anyway, the Doc is a big fat hypocrite if what you wrote is true about him. He gets others to shoot fo r  him? That's a coward's way. He destroys whole planets butr doesn't have to look someone in the face when he does it? He carries a gun when ther'es no other way and then says, "Thre should have been another way." I don't buy that the Hartnell Doctor is a Time Lord adolescent and in the pre UNEARTHLY CHLD Telos novel, the Doc was willing to collaborate with the aliens destroying humanity to get off the Earth himself! OVerllooking spoinoffs, we have the Doc carrying a gun and using it in DAY OF THE DALEKS, a gun to kill a giant rat in TALONS OF WENG CHIANG, "having marched with the armies" as he tells in that story in the future, and on the front lines of the Time War. I used to be seeing the Doc with blinders on because he didn't carry a gun but he's killed more people than Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke in 20 years or even Chuck Connoers in RIFLEMAN. Yet they never say the are peaceful while killing. HE DOES. That's just being stupid blnd or naive. I'm not sure but I would love my child's vision of trhe Doctor being this nice peacefgul man who never carries a gun and gets out of things by his intelligence and his skill at communicating but that is not proven in almost every story including the current one: the Doc is angry so everyone bvetter watch out, fear him, never put him in a trap...etc. This "beware of the Doc" feeling makes good drama but doesn't add to the "he's a peaceloving alien" theory. Now if he were one of the Tomorow People, who by their very nature, cannot kill...he's probably be killed by his enemies, the Earth would be destroyed etc and the drama of the show would be lost.

How would it be if James Bond ssuddenly decided he's not only not going to kill anyone but he's not even going to fight them? If Conan put down his sword and decided on principles he's not going to save any cities bcause it involves stabbing large armies of men? DW fans like to think the Doctor is different from those hearoes and others, but truth is...he's not. Certainly not in in the new show and perhaps moreso in the old show...as in Tom Baker's time for most of it...he DID get out of things by talking, making jokes, and turning the tide by getting others to see peace...but he, even he, caused an awful lot of revlts (men being thrown off roofs, attacking citadels and stabbing others, sword fighting, etc).

I'ts a debate I don't really know how to win or lose or know if I even want to. I want the Doc to be a man of peace, to be an alien of conscious, to be nice, to be the peacelover, but he's ....not.     

Dalzo's picture

Like I said in the first line of my last post. I agree with you that he is not a man of peace. He is an extremely powerful Lord of Time! As we saw at the end of Waters of Mars... If he wanted to he could take over time himself... Enforce his law throughout all of time and space. He could, if he wants to, become a God!!! What we have seen throughout his travels is him RESTRAINING himself. He is the Doctor... He fixes things, or rather, he encourages people to help him fix their own problems (and they are not forced to fight, they are either fighting for themselves or for the Doctors cause because they believe he is right). That does not alter the fact that his GOAL is peace. That is WHY part of him longs to lead a "normal" life. Part of the reason he can't is because of the blood on his hands. He has been fighting for so long that I think if he settled down he would be forced to look at all that he has done, has made other people do. So yes, he is a coward in some respects and yet a true hero in others. It is not hypocrisy, it is that fascinating contradiction I keep talking about. It is THIS that sets him apart from other heroic characters!

You gave the example of James Bond. This character is as dull as they get BECAUSE he feels no remorse, he does his job, but I can't see him laying awake at night worrying about who he kills. Bond gives no impression that he wants to make things better, he just wants to do what has to be done to save Queen and country, have a stiff drink afterwards and a stiff something else after that! In fact, he seems to enjoy killing people (as shown by his witty one liners and sense of humour after ending a life). The few times the Doctor has done this (I am thinking specifically about the acid bath scene in "Vengeance on Varos") it hasn't sat at all well. The Doctor always wants another way... he doesn't want to kill but he has to, to make things better!

What I am saying is that the Doctor will never "put down his sword" or decide not to kill but it doesn't mean he enjoys it. In fact, it is the cause of great pain to him. But the only alternative is to give up travelling (and live a lonely life... which is what he fears the most... facing up to all the deaths he has caused) or for him to set himself up as a God and use an iron fist to set order upon the universe and become the very thing he fights against! His only option is to fight on and to liberate the people he meets (physically and mentally), make them stronger, make them realise their own significance and worth, to make them realise how amazing the universe is... and sometimes they will have to fight, and some will have to die, but what other option does he have???

You make some valid points. I just thought of some other times that most people miss: the 5th Doctor carries a gun and shoots a Dalek mutant AND pushes a Dalek out of a window to its death in RESS of THE DALEKS. The 4th Doctor: everyone talks about how he doesn't connect the two wires in GENESIS but he does go back tro destroy the Dalek embryos/babies in the last ep and his actions cause them to all die! The 2nd Doctor kills the Macra, which might be the indigenous life form on the planet whereas the humans are the invaders! And...when the Doc should kill and doesn't...thinking of  Davros and the Master here, not to mention the Rani...and those three (gosh what if they ever combined their forces?), live on to kill more, he's responsible for the deaths of those, too thanks to his inability to kill. Bond may not lay awake at night worrying about those he's killed...but he can sleep well knowing that there are many alive today or that night rather thanks to the fact that he did kill those that he did kill. I guess what I'm saying is if I had to have someone protect me or my world, I'd rather have someone who finished the job rather than let the killers go and live so that those killers can come back and do me and my loved ones in.     

For once I agree with you, Chase!

 

I think the moment the Doctor went a little bonkers (to coin a phrase) was when Davros screamed at him 'You did this!' and refused to be saved...so he went on his little bender and deflowered the Virgin Queen before getting his act back together and going to see Ood Sigma.

It also reminds me a lot of John Lennon's so called 'Lost Weekend' in the early 70s.

The 'new' Doctor has so much anger in him it's untrue...the Tennant characterisation was a self-centred wimp...11 reminds me at times of a hellfire and brimstone preacherman!

 

Yours

Paul S. Mabley B.Sc.(Hons), MA

South Shields, UK / Kitchener, Ontario 

I think, to me, 11 is trying hard to...or maybe it's Matthew Smith, keep his conceited, angry 10th self in check almost all the time. In many ways,he's tempered himself to be more even, more like Troughton and a small pinch of Pertwee and a large dose of Tom Baker. I also see a breathless bit of Davison in him but almost no McGann or McCoy.

Yeah I don't mean and didn't place the blame on the 10th Doctor, once I really got into it and saw what was up ther eon the tv screen, and got away from what people were writing (erroneously that the Doc was a pacfiist and hated violence) I NEVER thought the Doctor was THAT peaceful or nice. And the new Doctors in the new revival seem to thrive on conflict and drama and death. Chris E's Doc is joyful as someone screams from the ghosts in UNQUIET DEAD...and as for Tennant, well, he seems to love the danger and death. I did't get that frm Hartnell or Troughton or Pertwee...the three of them just seeme dto want a peaceful time exploring, even Tom was looking for a vacation. Almost none of the ORIGINAL SERIES Docs wanted to find danger and death...liking instead a nice quiet time for themselves and their friends...and almost never gfetting it

 

Yeah Chase...11 is bubbling with 10 underscored. 10 really did become unhinged as I mentioned earlier.

 

Great talking to you, mate!

 

Paul M

The story itself was nothing extraordinary.  It was a lame Daleks story and as others have said and seemed to exist only to show us what the new technicolor Daleks look like and to drop a hint or two of a potential return later this season.

But I think Amy's character is really turning into someone special.  She seems very actively involved in resolving the crisis at hand.  She hit the ABDICATE button on Beast and relaxed the half human half cyborg-scientist when she asked him about his little tryst. In both stories, this Doctor seems a bit more perplexed when dealing with humans than his previous selves. 

Lots of teasers like Amy's lack of knowledge about the S4 Daleks attack and the weekly crack.  By the way, the crack was not only in the final scene.  It appeared for about a half second when the Doctor checked the scanner screen as he was moving the TARDIS onto the Dalek ship. But that's the new game....spot the crack.

Dr. Solar's picture

didn't the color of the daleks represent they're rank?

 

also, i dig the new look. they look more alien.

Man Of The Atom

Troy Baker's picture

I don't know if you know this or not but you can download a copy of the poster "To Victioy..." with the dalek on it on the BBC's "Doctor Who" website. It is a PDF format and can be downloaded here:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/d11s01/d11s01e01_to_victory.pdf

If you want you can print it out and put it on your wall.

Enjoy.

 

PS there are other downloads you can get for each episode of the series. Just click on the episode tab and then click on the episode. Once there you'll find the download on the right hand side of the page.

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