S5(31)E03 – Victory of the Daleks – Broadcast Discussion

18th April 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

You know the drill – I’ll be along with the URP! Official Review later in the week, but for now, if you’ve got something to say about multicoloured Daleks, Spitfires in space, Fat Winston Churchill, Iron Man 1945, that cute radio operator girl or anything else, do so here. GO.

And yes, this should have been here yesterday. I FORGOT OKAY?

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.

|

20 Responses

  1. Kris Carter

    This episode seems to have taken quite a bit of flak online, but I really enjoyed. It felt a little I dunno…. light for a Dalek episode, but it was good fun. I find the Dalek redesigns quite nice and bulky, although the Lego brick colours are a bit pap. It was good. Not great, not shit… just good.

    And “WOULD YOU LIKE SOME TEA?” is the greatest Dalek quote ever.

  2. si

    My mum did nothing but complain about this episode – “Right load of fucking cobblers, this” and “written for fucking five year olds”. And today, she added that it was ” an insult to those who fought in the Battle of Britain”.

    She gets me so annoyed, that woman. “It was rubbish when I was little, but I thought it was great with Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper and David Tennant – but Catherine Tate ruined it for me…fucking stupid…” (Despite the fact that, in my opinion, Series 4 was the best yet)

    Why am I telling you this? Beats me.

    I’m not *completely* sold on the new Daleks, my opinion on them keeps varying, but I definitely don’t think they’re awful, though I think the bit up the back of the skirt looks daft.
    Elsewhere, I thought the robot armour and subsequent ‘humanisation’ of Bracewell was stupid – I’d’ve just him up in a plane to blow up the Dalek ship. Oh well.

    And that’s me done.

  3. The Flatmate of the Site

    It was a bit of a weird one. I think that they were trying to remedy the flaws of Daleks In Manhattan by keeping the period elements to a minimum and moving the plot along quickly, but with such a potentially interesting setting, that approach backfired slightly. It was obviously being made to a tight budget, with quite a clever structure to keep the number of sets needed low. The true nature of Bracewell was a nice twist in a story where so much of the plot had been released in advance. Love the new Dalek design, which makes more sense for a fascist, self-regarding species.

  4. I love the new Daleks. This story was a little weak but it served its purpose – bringing the Daleks back to full-steam.

  5. si

    >And “WOULD YOU LIKE SOME TEA?” is the greatest Dalek quote ever.

    Agreed. Or, as Kasterborous.com (brilliantly) quote it: “WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEEEA?”

  6. Hendiadys

    Overall response from me: very disappointed. Wonderful set-up, but once the Daleks went back to their ship the wheels of the story just fell off. I understood what was going on, but it all happened too quickly, so the second half of the episode didn’t fit its set-up, when a longer episode, or a little script tweaking would have made all the difference.

    I didn’t appreciate why the Daleks needed to feel backed into a corner. All this did was weaken them straight away! Instead, they should have been uninterested in fighting. With only the five of them, and their priority being to leave the area and reform themselves into a massive army, they would have come across as far more focused and terrifying if they’d just expressed disinterest in fighting and disappeared into deep space. The whole thing with the spitfires came out of nowhere and happened far too quickly. I couldn’t accept that those planes and the pilots in such an unfamiliar situation would be any kind of credible threat for that Dalek ship. So, so stupid, and it felt like what it was – an attempt to get a big action scene into the episode, on a small budget and without enough time for it to build and climax properly. Mustn’t alienate the fans of RTD’s version of the show, who would rally against Doctor Who becoming a mysterious detective thriller!

    Another thing: Don’t put the Doctor in the same room as the Daleks for any considerable length of time. My understanding is that he is their biggest enemy and they want to exterminate him; it makes no sense to me that they feed him with exposition instead. If I understood that they to wanted him to be alive because they found him some kind of benefit (eg they were able to steal from his experience of them, or use his general knowledge and experience of time and the universe) then I wouldn’t mind, but this seems completely against their nature. So it all takes away from any sense of threat when they talk and talk to him (“tell me your whole plan – one day that’ll work” – the writers of this series aren’t necessarily able to see each other’s scripts, but I expect Moffat to keep these kinds of inconsistencies between episodes to a minimum), then when he legs it they try to shoot but miss.

    The android with memories that aren’t his: this is what I would have cut out, along with the spitfires in space that he managed to create within ten minutes. Clearly Gatiss thought that he was a plot point that needed resolving, so we got that stupid “10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes scene” where he was encouraged to go off and live his life. Have a more interesting reason for this guy strangely coming up with Dalek technology, and have a different diversion to get the Doctor off the Dalek’s ship so they can scarper. Like a normal bomb that doesn’t need to get in touch with its memories of Dorothy Hepburn or whatever she was called in order to be disarmed.

    I think this would have worked better if Gatiss had accepted this more as a set-up episode. Not necessarily for a story to follow soon, but just in general, for the “new Dalek paradigm” which is now definitely “out there”. (I would be hacked off if this did end up being the set up for a series finale in which they were defeated, though.) For me this felt like a set-up episode for the Dalek’s future (whatever that might be), with “dogfight in space” and “memory-filled android” elements shoehorned in to make it feel more like a full episode. Strip out those bits, be honest that you’re serving me a set-up episode, and I would have been more happy, because there would have been more time for everything else to breathe in 45 minutes.

  7. Hendiadys

    Also: jump cuts, lots of them. I guess it’s a directorial “style” now, but to me it still feels like different takes stitched together.

    Plus: why was Winston Churchill wearing some kind of flesh-coloured beard all the time? That kind of confused me.

  8. It was a fun episode, but Doctor Who is usually fun. It needs to be more than that.

    This had all the hallmarks of a good two-parter shrunk into 42 minutes and ruined by it. The “daleks are helping Churchill” stuff should have been the basis for episode one, instead it was dealt with in about fifteen minutes. Similarly, the twist with Patterson’s character lacked the impact it should have had because we’d only been introduced to him about five minutes previously.

    Still don’t like the new daleks, although I have a theory that Moff’s decision to kill-off the Time War daleks and replace them with new models with mutants taken from the original dalek DNA and essentially re-boot them as bad guys (or decide to go with Gatiss’ idea to do the same) is a bit of a “fuck you” to RTD for having the audacity to re-boot the Cybermen. Although it’s a slightly bonkers theory, I admit.

    Didn’t like the “you can stop the bomb by having human feelings stuff” either. Would have worked better if the daleks really had just bluffed the Doctor.

  9. Hendiadys

    Somebody on another forum pointed out that RTD would have definitely had Amy saying “Oh, YUS” to Churchill.

    Yeah, it could have been worse than it was.

  10. Hendiadys

    Didn’t like the “you can stop the bomb by having human feelings stuff” either. Would have worked better if the daleks really had just bluffed the Doctor.

    Absolutely. All it needed was a straightforward distraction – they wanted him to get off their backs so they could disappear into deep space. “Doctor, there is a bomb for you to deal with in Roy Batty’s chest – kthnxbye.” How about if the Doctor had opened up his chest up and revealed NO BOMB AT ALL? By which time, the Daleks had already disappeared! Straight away, it would have been much better – it would have saved us all that nonsense about emotion saving the day (out of the blue – much as RTD did it) and that stupid scene at the end with him being given permission to stay in the past in exactly the same way that a 1980s walkman shouldn’t. Also it would have saved Amy from being the main problem solver for two episodes in a row.

    In addition, can I just say: since when were blackouts just people keeping their lights turned off in their houses? Anybody else know? I thought that blackouts involved black curtains or other pieces of dark material being sealed over the windows so that lights from inside wouldn’t be seen from the outside. What was all that stuff with the lights coming on about?

    Another little annoyance: I really liked that Matt Smith’s Doctor seemed to be a bit untimely. He didn’t seem quite able to control his TARDIS properly, and I thought they were setting up something a bit more interesting about the wedding being an impossible event to reach or something. You know – like the old days when a bit of tension came from the Doctor being not able to control his TARDIS. So why was he able to control it perfectly all of a sudden in this episode? Fine – so I misinterpreted something that seemed tantalising earlier in the series. Well I’m still annoyed, so I win that argument.

  11. Andy M

    why was he able to control it perfectly all of a sudden in this episode?

    “We’re getting better at these short trips”

  12. Hendiadys

    “Hey, Doc Brown – don’t worry about the lightning rod thing after all – I’ve found a spare thing of plutonium under the driver’s seat. See ya!”

  13. The Face of Po

    How about if the Doctor had opened up his chest up and revealed NO BOMB
    AT ALL? […] Also it would have saved Amy from being the main problem
    solver for two episodes in a row.

    True, but did she have anything else to do this episode?

  14. Hendiadys

    True, but did she have anything else to do this episode?

    I really hope that story elements are not written purely to give characters something to do, but as for what she actually contributed to this story in terms of narrative development:

    1) She was the one to realise that the Replicant bloke could save the day with one of the inventions he had (but the reason she was still down in the bunker was too obviously contrived to facilitate this);
    2) She did the “oh there’s a she?” bomb stuff that didn’t make any sense whatsoever;
    3) She’d never heard of the Daleks and we had to be reminded of this at the end of the episode because it is teh importants.

    I think that’s it.

  15. I thought it was great with Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper and David Tennant – but Catherine Tate ruined it for me…fucking stupid

    She’s got a point there.

  16. Hendiadys

    The cracks revealed at the end of The Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks have both reminded me visually of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuH3ql_oDRo&feature=related (see at 0:51) Just something I can’t shake from my head when they’ve appeared.

    I hope there’s an actual reason for every crack looking exactly the same (other than just helping us know it’s the same phenomenon happening everywhere). I’ve just thought now of something that would make sense, given the shape of them and what was revealed in the first episode when the crack was opened – they’re closed eyes.

    Am I the first person to suggest this? Hooray, this makes me the winner if I am right!

  17. Hendiadys

    Or maybe this one, actually, which is the misleading teaser trailer for Alien 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYS_XmPOYuc

  18. Andy M

    I hope there’s an actual reason for every crack looking exactly the same

    Well it’s supposed to be the same crack isn’t it, connecting many previously unconnected points in spacetime? Looks like it isn’t getting any bigger though. Phew.

  19. Hendiadys

    Well it’s supposed to be the same crack isn’t it, connecting many previously unconnected points in spacetime?

    Ah – gotcha. Thanks.

  20. Hendiadys

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzxnHANU6oU

    Notice that this joke has no worth because there are five daleks presenting themselves, not four.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *