Doctor Who: Victory of the Daleks
The Doctor arrives in World War II Britain to assist Winston Churchill only to find his secret weapon is the Daleks.
The Daleks are back this week (are they ever really gone?) now with deeper more menacing voices and available in a wide variety of colours. They’re even up to their usual old tricks; trying to restore their race and destroy the Earth.
Things have not been going well for Winston Churchill and the Allies in World War II Britain when the Doctor and Amy arrive to help out. They find that he has come across a secret weapon though, supposedly invented by a scientist named Dr. Bracewell, the Ironsides. The Doctor recognizes them as the Daleks of course but with Amy unable to remember their attacks on Earth, everyone is hesitant to believe his claims that they are evil. After his statement that he is the Doctor and they are the Daleks they are finally willing to reveal their true identities and return to their ship in orbit after admitting that they invented Dr. Bracewell and he is a machine. The Doctor follows finding out that the Progenitor would not recognize the remaining Daleks as being of the species without the Doctor’s testimony. The Daleks activate all the lights in London in an effort to have it destroyed by the approaching German planes. It is not long before the Progenitor completes its work in creating a new and improved breed of Dalek. Amy and Churchill, with Bracewell’s help, devise a way to get airplanes up high enough to attack the spaceship, destroying the beam keeping the lights active. The Daleks tell the Doctor that Bracewell is a bomb and he has a choice, he can destroy the Daleks or save the Earth. Forced to return to Earth and stop the bomb, the new Daleks escape into space.
On “Doctor Who” the Daleks almost always make for an action packed story and “Victory of the Daleks” is no exception. The episode’s got a Star Wars-esque space battle with World War II airplanes, a man who’s actually a robot who’s actually a bomb and some of the usual Dalek extermination. All this without the overload that last week’s episode suffered from.
“Victory of the Daleks” is a bit of a set up for future episodes with the return of the original Daleks and their destruction of the ones we’ve been used to since the new series began. What exactly this “pure blood” will change about them isn’t fully clear yet besides making them colourful and able to distinguish a cookie from a TARDIS self destruct mechanism (It’s amazing how successful these old Daleks have been considering they can’t even recognize a cookie). I’m not always a fan of set up episodes but in this case it makes a change from the typical Dalek story line “Doctor Who” likes to use. Daleks show up, try to destroy Earth, the Doctor stops them has been done a few times before and this may only be a slight variation but it’s enough to freshen it up somewhat.
Each Doctor reacts differently on their first encounter with the Daleks and it’s always interesting to see the changes. Eccleston reacted with terror, Tennant was calmer and Matt Smith comes off as more frustrated. The similarities between Smith’s Doctor and Tennant’s were clear at the beginning but the 11th Doctor is slowly coming into his own and you can see it clearly in this episode.
For Amy, this episode follows roughly the same plot as last week’s. She’s confused at first then the Doctor leaves to go off and do his own thing for a while and in the end she manages to save the day for him. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but some variation would be nice just to get a better idea of her character.
The most important question this episode leaves us with is why doesn’t Amy remember the Daleks and their earlier attack on the Earth? From the final scenes of the episode it seems that the crack in her wall may have had some effect and the resolution of this should be an intriguing one.
Three episodes in, I’m rather impressed with the new series of “Doctor Who” and I’m hoping that can continue onto next week. After all it will be the return of the weeping angels. Don’t blink.