Victory of the Daleks? Not really.
Okay so, the Daleks are back. Despite being wiped out entirely under the will of Kaan and somehow avoiding the dalekanium reverse thingy majiggy that the half Doctor put into action (not that it really makes any sense). Oh well, the point is the they’re back, they’re making tea and they’re now all new. To an extent, when looking back over the episode, it made a lot sense to 'evolve’ the look of the Daleks as it were, because a lot of effort has been made to reinvent the new Moffat era of the Who and thus leaving the Tennant/RTD look behind continues this theme – and we can enjoy a whole new exciting look to the galaxy’s biggest villains from now on… the problem is it’s not very exciting at all. Okay, the voices are kinda cool and the idea of colour co-ordinating the daleks into a new functional colour system, but there are a lot of rumours that this is just a marketing ploy just to sell more merchandise.
Unfortunately, the new designs look tacky and they’re way too fat!! What’s with this random fat arse stuck on the back? They look hunch back! Admittedly in the picture above they look far more menacing because of their size over the older versions on the right. Still, not hugely impressed.
Amy Pond, whether this should be the case or not, is far more interesting than the Doctor in this episode, just as she has been throughout the series so far. She’s interesting, silly, ditzy and indirectly more intelligent than the Doctor in achieving desired results. Still, that last point is always the objective of the companions, so there’s an inevitability for you. Without going into too much detail, I’m still not feeling Matt’s version of the Doctor. Every person who has taken on the role of our cunning Time Lord has had his own style, but Smith is yet to stand out. Admittedly, we thought Tennant was a bit like this at first, but he only took an episode or 2 to get into the swing of things – we’re now 3 episodes in and he’s still nothing special.
For the sake of balance here’s some of the best bits of the show; The visuals were fantastic! Churchill may not have looked especially convincing, but he was played well enough and we could believe it was his character if we detached reality from fiction for the sake of enjoying Saturday night telly. The war rooms were very realistic, cinematography, lighting, continuity, makeup and costume were all perfect. The space battle was amazing, some of the best CGI I’ve ever seen in a British TV series. Another great part was the ending of the episode, seeing these cracks in the walls as a recurring theme is something we’re used to, which will obviously lead up to the end of the series and it’ll all make sense then, on top of the fact that Amy doesn’t remember the planets in the sky; what the hell is the deal with that?! Either way, this episode wasn’t enough to stop me watching in the future (I don’t think anything would) - so faith still remains there for me.
The problems with this episode were as follows; the story arc, even if the Daleks return later on, was just too short! When I watched the trailer for this episode, I saw it as a definite 2-parter; I mean it had to be! It was the return of the Doctor’s biggest enemy after what we thought was their end. Because of the fact they were only given the one 45 minute episode for their return, it seemed very rushed and all of the plot developments (which were potentially gripping and enthralling) just seemed rushed and almost too easy. If they’d spaced it out over 2 episodes we could have had the brand new Daleks coming out of their chamber (which also made no sense) at the end of part 1 and then the massive battle part in the second part. Shame. Cant argue that the battle wasn’t good, but again it was rushed and too easy to end.
One last thing, the title of this episode was Victory of the Daleks, okay, but why? In what way was it a victory? They killed about 2 people and then ran away. Admittedly they managed to reinvent themselves and escape, but that’s possibly the smallest form of victory they could have achieved. This = fail. Would have been better to call it “Cowardice of the Daleks”.
So to round up, the visuals were great but the story was just too short. It was rushed and lacked substance. Emotional involvement? Yeah it was there, but not deep enough. Character development? Not really. Endearing end? Yes yes yes!! Oh, and yeah, still dissapointed with Matt’s Doctor – just not filling Tennant’s boots yet.
Reno Rating: 5/10