Doctor Who – Victory of the Daleks

WARNING: Contains spoilers. Possibly nuts, too, but definitely spoilers…

I’ve never really liked Mark Gatiss’ episodes. I found his previous scripts a little bit dull and the ideas behind them uninspiring, so I wasn’t expecting great things of “Victory of the Daleks”.

To that extent, I was pleasantly surprised. The plot was actually clever, showing the Daleks at their devious best and reasserting what they’re all about to the series’ new audience. The Doctor and Amy convincing Bracewell that he’s human to reassert his own control over the bomb in his chest was also quite a nice moment. And as for the space battle with the spitfires, I thought that was pulled off quite well. It was also good to see the Doctor lose – it’s something that happens rarely enough to put the show back into the shades of grey that made Doctor Who the series it was from day one.

On the other hand, I still felt this episode fell flat in a couple of places. The pacing was wrong. It could have done with being a two-parter with a bit more intrigue surrounding the Daleks, culminating in the Doctor’s “testimony” as a cliffhanger. Instead, the Doctor seemed uncharacteristically aggressive and the story ended up feeling like a blunt combination of foreshadowing and introduction to the new Dalek design. I was also unimpressed with Gatiss’ scripting of Churchill, which was a shame given how good Ian McNeice’s delivery was.

Despite all that, I did enjoy “Victory of the Daleks”. Every series has good and bad episodes, but I’d say this one was middling. It had some fun moments and the lead cast seem to be settling into their roles likably. Smith’s Doctor seems to have a real old-fashioned feel, different enough from Tennant but with the right sense of energy to carry a fast-paced show.

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~ by Scary Rob on 19 April, 2010.

5 Responses to “Doctor Who – Victory of the Daleks”

  1. DOn’t you think the ‘new’ Daleks were a bit too “United Colors of Skaro” though… or is that just me?

  2. Very upset with the new Daleks. Bit too much like Dalek Power rangers for me.

  3. It was more their new physical desing I didn’t like, with the extra bulge at the back and the removal of the freely rotating midsection as far as I could see. They kind of remind me of the trend in cutesy retro cars like the current Fiat 500 or new Beetle.

  4. Pacing was probably the main problem. There were good ideas but they didn’t feel very impressive because everything took 5 minutes,regardless of what it was.

  5. I’ve got nothing against the new Daleks, actually. The colour coding thing is something that used to be a feature in the sixties and seventies and the shape is a bit more “classic”, if a little bigger. They certainly look better in the context of the new, cleaner-cut sets.

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