Wednesday, April 28, 2010

5x03-Victory of the Daleks

Story: The Doctor and Amy find that Winston Churchill has a new ally in his war against the Germans-the Daleks.

When I saw the trailer for this episode, I couldn't wait to see it.  It had Winston Churchill, Daleks, RAF fighters attacking a Dalek saucer, and new Daleks.  What more do you need?  Evidently, a good consistent story.  The Daleks "robotize" a scientist and give him access to new technology to help with the war effort.  He takes his ideas and a few Daleks with him and Churchill decides to use him.  It turns out that this is all a Dalek trick to bait the Doctor into coming and identifying the Daleks present as Daleks.  This gives the Daleks the ability to activate the Progenitor, a device to create "Pure Daleks."   Of course, once the Pure Daleks arrive, they destroy the impure ones.  The new Daleks decide to leave, but not before they program a device hidden in the scientist to explode, destroying the earth.  The Doctor and Amy convince the scientist that he is human, thus stopping the bomb from exploding.

Things I liked:
  • The aforementioned Winston Churchill, Daleks old and new, and the RAF fighters attacking the saucer, and of course the Doctor and Amy.
Things I didn't like:
  • Winston Churchill-on a scale of 1-10, 1 being total stereotypical two-dimension characterization, and 10-living breathing Churchill, I give this one a 1.5.  Not the actor's fault, I blame the writers, the director and the producers.
  • The Pure Daleks-they look like old-timey toys, smooth with no detailing, like a cheap resin model of a real Dalek.  It looks like Health and Safety got in there and told them the original was too small for an occupant and made them make more room.  And the friend said they looked like skittles.
  • The story really stunk.  It looked as though the old Daleks were on their last etheric beam emitters, and their ship was in really bad shape.  But they had this really powerful "oblivion continuum" energy device they could use as a bomb.  But if they had this in the first place, wouldn't they have just used the device as a bomb and baited the Doctor with it?  Get him there, blackmail him into identifying them, make new Daleks, then destroy the earth anyway (they are Daleks after all).  All this episode intended to do was to let the audience know that the Daleks were back.
  • The first season episode "Dalek" which was brilliant featured the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) meeting his old enemy again.  The range of emotions that Chris went through, and the care of the writers and director to make the audience question the Doctor's goodness was intense.  This time, it looked cartoonish, with no depth at all.  I think this one really needed more work.
  • Not much action from Amy.  She did find the right things to say to the scientist to keep the bomb from exploding, but all in all, she was just kinda there.
  • The almighty crack foreshadow...again.
  • The way to deactivate the bomb was to convince the scientist that although he was a robot with the consciousness of a human, he was more human than robot.  This would deactivate the bomb? Really?
Other thoughts:
  • Again with the crack appearing after Amy shows up.  Captain Obvious is still in the building running the show.
Next Time:  5x04-The Time of Angels.

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