Opinion: Victory Of The Daleks

We doff our cap, but not to Who you might think…

d11s01e03_wallpaper_11So there I was, all set to write an opinion piece on the latest episode of Doctor Who when I discovered the below post from one of our most loyal forum members. After reading it, it just seemed stupid to write the same words in a different order…

I thought it was piss-poor, but nowhere near as piss-poor as the majority of RTD’s “effort”.

I don’t think either the Doctor or Amy were as well-characterised as in the previous two episodes, and perhaps that’s a failing of the writing team not sitting down together beforehand and ensuring everyone understood the new personalities. It’s impossible to know.

I think I could’ve bought into the Duplo Daleks if the episode had been great. You could look at it that Daleks believe they’re so fully awesome that going into battle painted bright colours isn’t going to harm them in the slightest, and will intimidate the crap out of their enemies with a show of no fear. Alas in toto with the rest of the episode it just came across as kiddification and a reason to pump out yet more toys becuse there’s only so many times you can repackage and resell “Dalek with a light scratch”, “Dalek with a bit of a burn mark”, and “Dalek with a bit of bodywork missing”.

Sooo… The episode itself… I’ll forgive logic holes so long as the whole is entertaining. This wasn’t. Victory of the Daleks was 40+ minutes of mind-numbing tedium, interspersed with some nonsense “plot” and the occasional piece of the worst portrayal of Winston Churchil ever committed to film.

Ian McNeice. Presumably cast for being famous and fat rather than being able to play the role? I notice he did one fairly reasonable vocal impression near some stairs, but the rest of it was a lot of head-down, over-glasses peering, chin-wobbling. For a man who’s actually played Curchill before, I can only assume his previous portrayal was just as poor.

But my real irritation? My one major bugbear with this epiosde? It took one and a half years for a Post Office engineer to build Colossus. He had to put his own cash into the project because he couldn’t get military funding. WIth the technology available at that time, machining all the parts had to be done by hand.

Bracewell might be a Dalek construct. He might be terribly brilliant. But he does not have the technology to hand to build three devices, get them to the nearest airfield (from the Cabinet War Rooms, don’t forget), and have them fitted to Spitfires in time for those Spitfires to take off, get to 50,000+, engage in two minutes of aerial derring-do, and the Daleks go go “Oh, poop” in the ten minutes between German planes being spotted and the same German planes reaching the brightly-lit London.

And run this one by me again: Why exactly do the Daleks build an exploding android who can be defused by said android having some feelings? “Oh, gosh. I feel a bit human. I think I’ll not explode after all.” This made no sense in any way other than the super-silly world of RTD-a-like “moments”. “Awww. The poor android has implanted memories of a girl the real Bracewell once loved. Isn’t that sweet. Let’s not explode.” Sorry. What? Still not making sense.

The Jammie Dodger standoff was funny. Then it kept going. Then it didn’t end. Then, like Frank Skinner, it didn’t realise it’d stopped being funny after the first time and just kept on going. The gag that wouldn’t die led to a punchline which only gave relief from the tiresome “joke”.

This crack is starting to annoy me as much as the first season’s non-stop Bad Wolf mentions, the second season’s incessant Torchwood namedrops, and every other poorly-conceived season-long story arc. I accept that it’s not easy to do story arcs in a show which travels through time and space – the characters aren’t trapped in one place or with the same people long enough for ost arcs to matter. But the “ram it home until it bleeds” method is getting tired and sore.

The handful of continuity errors stuck out like sore thumbs, which means I wasn’t engaged enough with the episode for them to pass me by. Things like the Doctor being in totally different poses between camera angles, and a massive disappearing and reappearing wrench just added to the episode’s failings.

Blergh. Not one I’ll bother re-watching


High five yourself, Troo: you’ve just saved me half-an-hour’s work and communicated to the world a scientifically correct opinion on the latest episode of the rapidly worsening Doctor Who.