Doctor Who – Victory Of The Daleks (S05E03) – Episode review

Yet another piece of Doctor Who gets regenerated in Victory Of The Daleks, and this time it’s The Doctor’s oldest enemies. Will Steven Moffat rest until he’s eradicated every trace of Russell T Davies from [[Doctor Who (TV Series)|Doctor Who]]?

The Doctor is called by Winston Churchill himself to the Cabinet War Rooms to see the British government’s new secret weapon: The Ironsides. Except the Ironsides are better known to the Time Lord as the Daleks. Initially, they play the role of robotic soldiers created by a Professor Bracewell, but The Doctor pushes them until they reveal their true identity.

What does hate look like, Amy? It looks like a Dalek.

But here’s the big spoiler – he follows them on board their ship (hiding behind the moon) and discovers that they needed his ‘testimony’ to open a DNA vault. And they use it to create ‘pure’ [[Daleks]]. Yes, these post-2005 Daleks are an anomaly, a mutation from the pure species. And from a chamber loaded with dry ice, five classic pepperpot Daleks, all of various bright colours, emerge. They waste no time exterminating the mutations before turning their attention to The Doctor.

Did anyone else think both sets of Daleks were overly chatty for emotionless alien invaders?

Perhaps for the first time, I felt that the episode didn’t quite work for me. [[Matt Smith]]’s Doctor continues to have these massive, volatile reactions. He confides in Amy that he’ll show her that the Daleks are the parsonification of hatred. Then proceeds to pound upon one of the Daleks with a comedy-sized spanner like some kind of intergalictic football hooligan. Sorry, who’s the one with the chip on their shoulder?

Retro Daleks?

Let’s talk about those new, old Daleks. Why? What? This is why they appeared in the Second World War – to reestablish a pure strain of Daleks? Bit of a gamble, expecting Winston Churchill to phone [[The Doctor (Doctor Who)|The Doctor]] for a second opinion, but I suppose they had their reasons.

But really, was it the Daleks’ desire to bring their race back to basics, or was it Steven Moffat’s obsession? Sure, it’s nice to see the old-skool pepperpot design again, but there was nothing wrong with the post-2005 incarnations of the Daleks. I liked them. They could el-e-vate. Can these ones fly?

I can only imagine that Moffat’s working his arse off to reverse the parts of RTD-era Who that he disagreed with. Isn’t there a cyberman episode pencilled in for this series? Lord help us. They’ll be regenerated into tinfoil suits. Save us from this madman!

Amateur planetary destroyers

It was a good ploy by the Daleks to load Professor Bracewell up with an oblivion contimuum capable of destroying the Earth. But it doesn’t make sense that the Daleks initially switched on the lights of London in order to attract the Nazis. Why not just activate Bracewell?

More importantly, how naive of The Doctor to leave Bracewell knocking about the planet. He just left a walking, talking bomb wandering about London. In a moment of unparalelled schmaltz, the two time travellers effectively tell Bracewell to disappear – despite being Dalek technology, and deadly. Come on Doctor, what if the Daleks had a secondary plan – OK, tertiary – for Bracewell? Don’t be such a muppet, Doctor.

Why can’t Amy remember The Stolen Earth?

Did we seriously watch a whole episode dedicated to rebooting the Daleks? Yes. But one intriguing thing came out of [[Victory Of The Daleks (Doctor Who episode)|Victory Of The Daleks]] – it was the discovery that [[Amy Pond|Amy]] doesn’t remember the Earth being moved across the universe by Davros and the Daleks.

What does this mean? As The Doctor says, you don’t forget something like that. So you must not have been present or conscious whenever the planet was moved. Or, the cracks in the universe mean that either The Doctor or Amy is not in the right reality. Thoughts?

Soundtrack woes…

For the third episode, I’m annoyed about the background music. It’s louder than ever before, to the point of drowning out the dialogue. Can we get the mix sorted out? It’s impossible in places to hear what’s being said.

Quotes from this episode:

  • The Doctor to Amy: “Daleks. Aliens in the sky. You don’t forget that.”
  • Dalek: “I am your soldier.” Amy: “Yeah, got that bit. I love a squaddie. What else though?”
  • The Doctor: “I wanted to know what they wanted. What their plan was. I was their plan.”
  • Churchill: “I don’t give a damn if you’re a machine, Bracewell. Are you a man?”
  • Dalek: “You are The Doctor, you must be exterminated.” Doctor (brandishing a Jammie Dodger): “Don’t mess with me, sweetheart.”
  • Churchill: “Think of what I could achieve with your remarkable machine, Doctor. The lives that could be saved.” Doctor: “Ah, it doesn’t work like that!” Chuchill: “Must I take it by force?” Doctor: “I’d like to see you try.”
  • Doctor to the Daleks: “You’re bluffing. Deception’s second nature to you. There’s not a sincere bone in your body. There’s not a…bone…in your body.”

The bottom line: a worryingly forgettable episode, despite the spitfire dogfight in space. We’re still looking for more depth in The Doctor’s relaionship with Amy.

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5 Comments

  1. do me a melon

    I’m disappointed.  There it is.  3 episodes in, and the quality drops. 

    Don’t get me wrong, there were bits of this episode that I liked – the jammie dodger, Amy again, the Doctor’s unpredictablility… but there were too many ‘hmmms’ for my liking.

    Loved the idea of spitfires in space, but didn’t the technology go from theoretical to reality a little quickly, with WW2 equipment?  Was it just me, or disarming the bomb by appealing to ‘his’ emotional side a bit convenient – would Dalek tech really allow for this?  And, bottom line, the Daleks – AGAIN?  Every time we see them, doesn’t it diminish the last ‘final battle’?

    Come on Mr Moffat.  Didn’t expect this from you.  Roll on the Weeping Angels and River Song!

    Oh, regarding Amy and her not knowing the Daleks… really starting to think she might be behind the cracks…

  2. Jeffrey Scott

    Though I do agree with the ‘Dalek again?’ comment, I’m not so sure I’m onboard with the dislike of the new/old Daleks. Several reasons. It was nice to see the classic Dalaks, in all their color. Which, let’s be honest, were lost on the black and white TV’s when they first arrived. Even Magpies TV’s wouldn’t do them justice.

    Cracks in the universe? Well, seems like we’ll have an umbrella series again. It was nice to hear Amy not knowing about the Daleks though. Sustaining a them by mearly showing a crack over and over doesn’t do well to progress the theme.

    The old Daleks are fun to see again, though I’m certain only long time fans of the show will truly appreciate them. Keep in mind, these new Dalaks ARE impure. They are part human, or part human DNA remember. The hatred they must feel for other races is shown by how they allow themselves to be exterminated in favour of the ‘pure’ Daleks.

    As for not messing with a good thing, that’s not always a good thing. Had we never improved upon the Cyberman they would not have lasted. The old style with it’s hidious voice were irritating to watch when they first showed up on the set.

    So should Moffett mess with the Cyberman? I’d give it my seal of approval. To be honest I miss the original Cybermen from Mondas. To see them once more would be a dream come true for me. Yet again, I think only old school fans of the show would appreciate this.

    As for the flaw of the Doctor’s thinking in allowing Bracewell to continue. I’m not so worried about that. What I’m more disturbed with is if the Daleks have the technology to create a human-like android to be a doomsday weapon. Why don’t they just build a race of them and send them to all inhabited planets in the universe? Would make so much more sense than setting up a trap for the Doctor once more. Reminds me of those odd 16-20 step contraptions built to perform a small and simple task like turning on a light switch. Perhaps the Dalaks have a senseo f humour? Or prefer the chase?

  3. Gerard McGarry

    I have to clear that up – I’m not against the re-re-genesis of the Daleks as such. In fact, I ‘got’ the very retro references in their colouring. I just felt that the whole episode seemed to exist to re-establish the Daleks (again) and not much else.

    Even worse that Moffat did a fantastically believable wartime piece in The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances and then allows this. I agree with a lot of the other review I’ve read: the whole episode was rushed and ill-planned and didn’t give a proper feel of the era. It all seemed thoroughly rushed and disappointingly didn’t really go anywhere.

    And Amy was shamefully underused in the whole episode. At a time when she’s new to us, I really need an episode that tells me more about her.

  4. Jeffrey Scott

    You’ve got a point about Amy being underused. I wonder what’ll happen next episode when the Doctor runs into River Song? I’ll tell you what, she’s going to be the main focus of this coming episode. Mark my words.

  5. linxdev

    My problem with this episode is with the technology used in the context of the time period.  I like Sci-Fi but maybe this is not really Sci-Fi?  Spitfires in space?  First, it would be hard to believe any Dr. Who episode is believable but this one is bad in that regards.  It would have been better if the writer could have left it up to to doctor to disable the beam keeping the lights in London on.

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