in case you haven’t heard, the Daleks are back! Again.
Moffat’s decision to bring back the show’s most
iconic (or most overused) villain may have been a bit premature—it’s
only the third episode for Matt Smith’s Doctor, after
all—but mix these pepper pots with Winston Churchill,
World War II, and Nazis, and you’ve got a story that
will make fans forget about the Dalek overkill. At least
that’s what we hoped would happen.
a distress call at the end of last week’s episode,
the Doctor and Amy Pond arrive in the middle of the London
Blitz and find themselves walking around the Cabinet War
rooms with Churchill himself. But it’s been a month
since Churchill had called the Doctor, and it turns out
the prime minister no longer needs the Doctor’s help,
thanks to a new secret weapon that will help Britain win
the war, Bracewell’s Ironsides—or, as the the
Doctor knows them, the Daleks.
invented by the genius scientist Professor Bracewell, these
Ironsides behave like the perfect warrior and servant, effectively
shooting down Nazi Heinkel bombers in one scene and offering
the Doctor a cup of tea in the next. Unfortunately, only
the Doctor sees through the Dalek’s military green
façade, and this puts him in conflict with Churchill
who would desperately do anything to win the war—even
if that means stealing the key to the TARDIS. Ian McNeice
gives us an amusing portrayal of Winston Churchill, though
McNeice plays him more like a cartoon of the great wartime
prime minister with all his zealous speechifying. However,
Churchill and the World War II backdrop quickly end up taking
a back seat in a story that is ultimately about the return
of the Daleks.
spoiling too much, the Daleks’ guise of helping the
British battle Nazis eventually falls apart, and the Doctor
learns that he has been lured to WWII for one purpose—to
witness the resurrection of the Supreme Dalek race. “Observe
Doctor, a new Dalek paradigm!” screeches one as the
Doctor looks on in disbelief.
along with a new TARDIS, new theme music, and a new Doctor,
Steven Moffat also wants to give Doctor Who fans a new reason
to fear the Daleks—something unrelated to the fear
of excessive Dalek exposure. And he’s giving us not
just one new Dalek—but five!
sleek gold casing of the Russell T. Davies era has been
replaced by Moffat’s own set of Mighty Morphin’
Daleks. Each color represents a different role
Emotional Spectrum: the Drone, the Scientist, the Strategist,
the Eternal, and the Supreme.
a newly designed eyestalk and bulky metal hump, they are
literally bigger, but are these Technicolor Daleks actually
better? I really miss the simpler, classier design and their
new colors fall a bit flat. Hopefully Moffat will deliver
on this promise of a more brutal and menacing Supreme Dalek
race, as there is no doubt that they will return sometime
in Moffat’s run. Just preferably not anytime soon.
we were never treated to any out-and-out Dalek vs. Nazi
warfare (too bad because that would have made one awesome
episode), Mark Gatiss’s "Victory of the Daleks"
still succeeds as a good episode of Doctor Who.
get another look at the Doctor’s chilling rage, something
Matt Smith is proving to be very good at, as he faces a
group of humans who refuse to listen to his warnings. “What
does hate look like, Amy? It looks like a Dalek.”
Hate is especially disturbing when mixed with the Doctor’s
greatest fear, as it causes him to attack a Dalek in a frustrated
attempt to get it to reveal its true intentions.
Doctor and Amy’s relationship also takes another intriguing
turn. In addition to once again playing a very essential
part in saving the day, Amy also realizes just how unsafe
life with the Doctor can be: “And here’s me
thinking we’d just be running through time, being
daft and fixing stuff. But no… it’s dangerous.”
Even so, it still seems like Amy is treating her adventures
with the Doctor like a child’s game, rushing into
situations with a worrying lack of fear.
The most striking thing about this episode is the new mystery
surrounding Amy Pond (who in this episode finally gets to
wear some real clothes instead of her pajamas or that kiss-o-gram
police uniform). When Churchill refuses to believe that
Bracewell’s Ironsides are really an evil alien species,
the Doctor asks Amy to tell Churchill about the Daleks,
alluding to the events of "The Stolen Earth" and
"Journey’s End." “What would I know
about the Daleks?” she says. “Everything. They
invaded your world, remember?” replies the Doctor,
but Amy is still at a loss.
what? The fact that Amy remembers nothing of the Daleks
both worries the Doctor and leaves us viewers wanting for
answers. “You didn’t know them, Amy. You’ve
never seen them before and you should’ve done. You
should.” Does this have something to do with all those
mysterious cracks? Most likely, but just like the previous
seasons’ story arcs, we probably won’t find
out until much, much later.
next week’s episode we do get to see at least one
mystery resolved. Moffat brings back an old friend from
series four (Hint: “Spoilers!”), as well as
his most popular and frightening creation, the Weeping Angels.
Better start practicing for those staring contests now.