Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who--"Victory of the Daleks"

I understand hooligans are sick of hearing about Russell T. Davies now that Steven Moffat has taken over, but the reign of Moffat is paralleling the first season RTD headed. There was an introductory episode, one set in the far future, and then a historical episode in which the doctor teams up with a British icon. Back then, it was Charles Dickens. Here, it was a reasonable facsimile of Winston Churchill.

World War II history is a pet interest of mine, so I generally enjoy any chance to visit that setting. “Victory of the Daleks” did not do much to satisfy either my penchant for the Second World War or my fondness for the Daleks. I cannot say there was much fundamentally wrong with the episode. It just lacked the scope one would hope for in reestablishing the Daleks as a major villain. It seemed like the only purpose of the episode was to explain how they could still exist and offer them a chance to escape to fight another day.

A scientist named Edwin Bracewell has allegedly built a new type of weapon that can accurately shoot down the .Luftwaffe planes currently blitzing London. These Ironsides, as he calls them, are actually Daleks, but only the Doctor seems to realize that. They are otherwise obedient servants wanting nothing more than to win the war for the good guys. That is until the Doctor acknowledges them as Daleks after a rather crazed episode of violence. His recognition is all it takes to put their plan to revive their race into motion. Bracewell is an android plant, as well asa doomsday bomb, they utilized.

This is where most of the episode loses me. The Daleks ad the Doctor have a Mexican stand off for the bulk of it. Despite this, they manage to recreate their race with a new, multicolored design. Seriously, these new Daleks look like pastel Christmas lights. I prefer the brown and black models or even the solid grey of old to the new ones. I do not want Teletubby Daleks, but that is what we now have.

Bracewell, in an effort to find purpose, modifies some Spitfires for use in outer space and attacks the flying saucer in a goofy scene reminiscent of Independence Day. I will give some props for the CGI, though. It was better than I expected. The Doctor has to call off the attack and spare the Daleksi order to save London. Before departing, the Daleks activate the bomb inside Bracewell. It is tuned to his emotions, so Amy deactivates it by getting him to talk about an old flame. So this is yet another time the companion saves the day.

“Victory of the Daleks” was decent, but I expected more. A key point to the seasno story arc is that Amy does not recognize Daleks even though she should. While it is still not clear exactly what year Amy if from, it has to be after a major Dalek incursion on Earth. Something else must have escaped through thecrack like Prisoner X which is altering the timeline.

I am going to give “Victory of the Daleks” three stars anyway, mostly because I really like Matt Smith’s version of the Doctor. He adds fun to the character that has been missing I the revived series. He can still be intense--sometimes frighteningly so--but without the whole emo rot David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston thrived on.

Rating; *** (out of 5)

Since there is a lot of excitement about Karen Gillan as of late, here is a revealing photo of her drunk. Hopefully, it satisfies all your fantasies.

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