A Column of Hope

Welcome to a Column of Hope, a column on anything remotely Doctor Who by Hope Mullinax. You can read my latest article below, or go here to see my latest articles or here to view my article archive.

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Victory of the Daleks
I was originally planning on writing columns episode by episode and giving what I thought about them, but as much as I loved The Beast Below (more like absolutely adore it!), I really wanted to talk about Victory of the Daleks. After listening to the podcast Radio Free Skaro, which is quite good, I was inspired even more to talk about this episode.
Let’s look at the title, because it can tell you a lot. Even if I hadn’t seen the preview trailer, a title like “Victory of the Daleks” tells me that (a) the Daleks are back and (b) they win something.
I know that the Daleks are the big bad guys of Doctor Who, but they are getting so over done. I’m not excited to see them anymore. Watching this episode was as if the writers had outlined the entire season and was approving it when someone raised their hand and shouted, “Um guys, we forgot the required Dalek episode for the season.”
“Crap! We did! What are we going to do?”
“Let’s set it in World War II. Everyone likes that!”
“And put in Winston Churchill.”
“And a ridiculous dogfight in space that defies logic!”
Really? Really?
Anyway, I am quite tired of seeing Daleks. It’s not exciting anymore. It was magical season two when I was so focused on the Cybermen that I never saw the Daleks coming. And season one was just amazing with Eccleston’s trepidation when he finds the single surviving Dalek. But with season three, the only thing more painful to watch than a Welshmen trying to do a Southern American accent was the plot with the new breed of half human half Dalek. Finally with season four, I loved the bazillion of companions, but once again I rolled my eyes when I saw the big badies of the universe. I’m not up to date on Old Who so Davros was not a huge thing for me. In fact, I had to go back and look to see who he even was.
Now if the Daleks didn’t come back for a season or two or even three, I would love the surprise in seeing them again. The speculation of whether or not they were truly gone would be intriguing. Either that or I would know that they had to be coming soon. I just wouldn’t know when. To me, that would be so much better.
Anyway, back to the episode.
Coming into the episode I figured that the Daleks would be trying to invade WWII London, so I was pleasantly surprised to see them shooting Nazis out of the sky. The design of the Ironside Daleks was nice. The ruggedness of them had that wartime feeling that helped defined the era. Also, the fact that they were servants helping the Brits and acted as if they had no evil agenda was intriguing. I know that this episode was a bit short so I would have loved to have seen an extra moment where the Doctor pondered whether or not they had changed for good. Even if it was just one line. It’s rare to see the Doctor doubting himself, and this would have been a beautiful opportunity. When the Doctor gave his whole, “I’m the Doctor” testimony, that was the moment this episode stopped being decent at best in my eyes.
Since I have been talking about the Daleks, I’m going to touch on Voltron—I mean the pure Daleks. The Radio Free Skaro guys mentioned that these new Daleks reminded them of Apple computers. For me, all I could think of was some cheesy infomercial. The corny music would come on and some announcer man would come out with too much gel in his hair ranting about how you could buy a new Dalek for $19.99, and they come in five fun colors!
The entire episode just became ridiculous and illogical for me to a point where I couldn’t quite enjoy it anymore. I’m not a science person in anyway, but even I could tell when things just wouldn’t make since. Take the space dogfight for example. Don’t astronauts have to go through rigorous amounts of training to go into space? You have dogfighters who haven’t had that training. How the heck are they able to maneuver around like that and know how to fly in space? Sorry. I’m not buying it.
I sort of enjoyed the part where the Doctor is talking to the human bomb and telling him all the reasons why he was human. It was really touching… for about the first half of it. It just drew on way too long.
Overall, this episode had some really strong points for me, but they were few and far in between. At the point of me writing this column, I have finished the season. I believe that this is the worse episode of the season. It can only go up from here.
Posted on 28 Jul 2010

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