Friday, 23 April 2010

Doctor Who: Victory of the Daleks

[Includes spoilers]

The third episode of the 2010 series of Doctor Who aired on Saturday, "Victory of the Daleks" and it was . . . . quite good.  That's "quite good" in the British sense of  "a bit good".  It was written by the League of Gentleman's Mark Gatiss, who has written for the Doctor Who twice before, and guest starred in an episode.  There were lots of things to like about it, of course.  Let's list them:
  • The mystery over why Amy does not remember the daleks.  Fascinating. Please it was revisited again at the end of the episode.
  • The doctor defeats the daleks with a jammie dodger.  I love the way that you don't notice it's a jammie dodger until he tells you it is and eats it.  "I was promised tea".
  • The green war-time daleks were just great. They looked great, they were menacing and I love the dramatic irony of only the viewer sharing the doctor's knowledge of the daleks, while everyone else -- Amy, Churchill -- were ignorant.
  • The dalek asking "Would you care for a cup of tea?" was great.
There were several things that were less thrilling:
  • Ian McNiece as a big fat Churchill was avuncular and all wrong.
  • The new colourful iDaleks are going to take a lot to get used to.  If you didn't like them, I strongly recommend the latest Tin Dog Podcast for an hilarious rant on the topic (e.g. he tells us the daleks' names, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La la . . .).
  • Again, the episode felt a bit rushed.  Even another three or four minutes might have improved the pace.
A good, solid 3.5 out of 5 from me for this episode.  Not the best; not the worst.  On the same day that this one was broadcast in the UK, BBC America began showing the series here, and it was fantastic to see the superb "Eleventh Hour" in glorious HD.  That is everything that an episode of Doctor Who should be and more, and the slightly anti-climactic feeling after episodes 2 and 3 may come in part from the success of that series opener.  Next time's "Time of Angels" looks like it could be a cracker, though.


    Loren Rosson III said...

    Agree about Churchill; he was too much a caricature. But the rainbow Daleks don't bother me, oddly enough. They seem fitting for the Moffat fairy-tale era. I reviewed the episode at length here.

    Mark Goodacre said...

    Thanks, Loren. Should have referenced your review. Will do so.

    Mike Duncan said...

    I'm liking this new Doctor. Tennant is a hard show to follow, but he seems sufficiently different and interesting. He reminds me most of Davidson.