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Victory of the Daleks

Given my travels it took me a couple of days to catch up with this one. Also since my net access has been weak since Saturday evening, I've managed to remain largely unspoiled.

I see fan opinion has been a bit mixed on this. I rather liked it. I have no objections to remodelling the Daleks. I am the sort of person who has difficulty in telling the difference between different types of car, and do not credit myself with any fashion sense whatever, but the new version looks to me more substantial and perhaps evil. In my rewatch of Old Who I'm about to hit the most fundamental redesign before this, that of the Cybermen in The Invasion, and I feel this one may have a similar impact.

Still less do I mind the Moffatt/Gatiss idea of actually giving the Daleks a narrative and some sense of continuity. Under RTD the Daleks always seemed to be utterly destryoed and then coming back again for more, rather like the Master in almost every story after Delgado. I think it is rather good that the Doctor explicitly realises that the story is not yet over for them.

I liked the explicit reference to Power of the Daleks and to Philip K. Dick's classic short story "Imposter" (that last giving Amy her moment of awesome humanity over the Doctor). And a small note, but one where this episode scored over last week's: Gatiss, unlike Moffatt, seems to be able to dial down the British patriotism even in episodes about the Coronation or Winston Churchill.

But I was not completely satisfied. An RTD who story like this would have been crammed with incident and Significance. This season's shows seem less heavily laden, less emotionally charged, which overall is a relief but sometimes leaves me feeling that the result could have been mroe substantial.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
redfiona99
Apr. 19th, 2010 09:56 am (UTC)
>>This season's shows seem less heavily laden, less emotionally charged, which overall is a relief but sometimes leaves me feeling that the result could have been mroe substantial.<<

This is exactly it. I've been trying to figure out why I'm enjoying this lot of stories but enjoying it differently, and couldn't quite place it. Thanks.
raycun
Apr. 19th, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)
It's interesting that the things you think are most worthy of comment are the things I paid least attention to.
"Daleks are back, there's lots of them, and they come in pretty colours" - shrug shoulders
"Daleks can't blow up London, or program their robot to go on a killing spree, but they can turn on every light in the city" (and similar plotting nonsense) - whuh?
"Winston Churchill is a jolly fat man that everyone loves" (and related character nonsense) - du-wha?
raycun
Apr. 19th, 2010 10:03 am (UTC)
Flight speed of a spitfire - 400 mph
Distance to moon - 240,000 miles
redfiona99
Apr. 19th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
But spitfires v Daleks.

I fear Gatiss is very good at playing to my inner eight year old.
raycun
Apr. 19th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
Possibly, but he really gets on my inner 12 year old's wick.
bellinghman
Apr. 19th, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)
So, are you saying that it'd take them more than 10 minutes to get there?

(Actually, that was one particular stupidity that had passed me by. I think I was weeping by that point.)
irishkate
Apr. 19th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
That there was a solution to the dilemma created by the daleks for the doctor which occurred to me annoyed me since it meant the doctor should have seen it too...

Amy is great but it IS getting irritating that she is the one coming up with the solutions rather than the doctor - ignoring all the stuff that is just WRONG.

I started out not impressed (but prepared to be) and rapidly getting to irritated by the series.
andrewducker
Apr. 19th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
Flight speed of a spitfire using Dalek Tech=1.2million mph.

Obviously :->
redfiona99
Apr. 19th, 2010 11:39 am (UTC)
This kind of thing makes me want a like button for LJ. I like this solution to the problem.
nickbarnes
Apr. 19th, 2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Plainly the Dalek ship has moved much closer to the earth by the time it is zapping London with its electricity-doesn't-obey-physics ray, otherwise we wouldn't even be able to see the UK.

Too much NuWho does the same irritating time compression thing. Dalek-created supergenius invents antigravity spitfires? Yes! Awesome! Count me in! 8-year-old inner jingoist and Who fan sings Land of Hope and Glory, cheers on Wedge, sheds a tear for Red Leader.

UK builds three antigravity spitfires, trains crew, launches them, and they find and attack the Dalek space-ship, in ten minutes? No. Laugh-out-loud no.
raycun
Apr. 20th, 2010 08:01 am (UTC)
The electricity thing annoyed me more though. What did the ray actually _do_?
redfiona99
Apr. 20th, 2010 09:58 am (UTC)
It caused all the lights to stay on even when the generators were turned off. I have no idea how, but I know what's macguffin purpose was.
raycun
Apr. 20th, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
I don't mean the handwavy science behind it, I mean, at what point in the generator to lightbulb cycle is it supposed to be working?
If the generators (all of them, all around London) can't be switched off, there are still wires bringing electricity from the generators that could be cut, and turning off a light switch interrupts a circuit mechanically, and if all else fails you can just unscrew the lightbulb.
So the Daleks had a ray gun that fired little electricity imps at London, and these imps ran around switching on lights and locking lightbulbs into place, and this is standard equipment on Dalek ships and somehow easier to do than just melting London to radioactive slag?
redfiona99
Apr. 20th, 2010 11:01 am (UTC)
They could be sending "magic" electricity straight to the bulbs so that even unscrewing them wouldn't work.

(And no, it wouldn't be easier, but I think if the Daleks were capable of well thought out plans, they might actually be dangerous ;) )
nwhyte
Apr. 21st, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
As Bernice Summerfield so memorably put it, "the bloody Daleks, who couldn't exterminate their way out of a tomato!"
tanngrisnir
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, but how did it disable all the curtains in London?
mizkit
Apr. 19th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC)
So far my feeling has been that Amy makes the Doctor look like the dumb one. Which, although as you point out, has largely been in Awesome Moments of Humanity, I'm finding throws the dynamic off.

I think Ted's also glad there's clearly a Dalek storyline being established, as he's been muttering for a while about how in fact the Doctor is apparently entirely incompetent: Hah hah! I have destroyed the Daleks for all time! There are no more! The Time War is ove--uh, oh, hello Daleks, where did you come from? *wash, rinse, repeat*
londonkds
Apr. 19th, 2010 11:36 am (UTC)
It might be due to the conspiracy theories, but I think the new Daleks look like action-figure versions blown up to life-size.
tanngrisnir
Apr. 21st, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
I think I like the lack of Significance. One thing I disliked about the RTD series which seems to be persisting is the companion's tendency to be the one saving the day most of the time.

About this episode: I liked the echoes of Power of the Daleks, and the brief nod to Evil of the Daleks, even the Where Eagles Dare reference; also, Winston Churchill here had some resemblance to the historical figure I have read about (superficial, yes, but better than I was expecting). I really like the new Daleks: brightly coloured, with separate functions — just like the Daleks were thought of in the 60s in comic strips, films and to some extent the series. They also looked more dangerous. I particularly liked that the Dalek plot wasn't stupidly big: no threat to the whole universe, just a plot to resurrect the Dalek race, incidentally threatening the Earth in the course of it.

I do wish that the Doctor would arrive somewhere where people have never heard of him occasionally...
(Anonymous)
May. 2nd, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Weak Episode
This has to be the weakest story I've seen in a long time of any sci-fi show. Spitfires in space? Designer color Darleks? And lets not go into the Iwo Jima flag raising bit. Cmon, first we had the eyball aliens, and now this? Acting for this one was also weak.

If they were to re-introduce the Darleks they should have saved it for later in the season.

The only interesting thing about this was that Amelia has forgotten about the Darlek invasion in her time. Hopefully this will develop into a good story arc.

Seems that the new producers are trying to recreate the show as it was back in the 70s. The 70s are long gone. Try something fresh. Otherwise the reboot is gonna die, instead of carrying on. Russel, go kick em in the rear and give them a nudge in the right direction.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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