Doctor Who: Season 5, Episode 3: Victory of the Daleks  » TV  »
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  • In an interesting twist, this is what they wanted all along and they managed to play the Doctor for a chump

    • by David Finniss


      This episode picks up where the last left off, with the Doctor and Amy heading back to WW2 after getting a call for help from Winston Churchill. Despite arriving a month late, things aren’t looking too bad. Well, all things considered, of course, there is still a war to fight and Churchill is intent on winning. He’s even found a new weapon, called Ironsides, that could turn the tide in the war.

      As implied by the end of the previous episode, said Ironsides are revealed to be Daleks. Well, they look and talk like Daleks, and they even come with advanced technology, but they seem to be under the impression that they are under Britain’s control and are meant to serve in the war effort. It’s kind of weird seeing the Daleks act polite and actually keep their voice levels low while bringing people tea. While “in servitude” they don’t have their trademark shout which takes some getting used to.

      I rather liked Winston Churchill in this episode. Not only is it fun to learn that he and the Doctor are old friends (they even have a running gag game where Churchill tries to steal the TARDIS key), but you do grow to like him as the episode progresses. Even when it’s revealed that he’s employing Daleks, he’s only doing it to end the war and to save countless lives. He even asks the Doctor for access to the TARDIS so that he can meet those same goals, but alas, it doesn’t work that way.

      Of course, the Doctor is suspicious from the get-go and isn’t buying into any of this.

      Oddly enough, Amy is oddly quiet about the matter, saying she has no idea what Daleks are. Considering they just invaded not too long ago, the Doctor is naturally perplexed by all of this.

      As bizarre as it was to see the Daleks acting benevolent, of course, the cover could only be maintained for so long. Once the Doctor insists that they are Daleks and that he’s their enemy, they quickly drop the act and return to the Daleks that we all love to hate. In an interesting twist, this is what they wanted all along and they managed to play the Doctor for a chump.

      The episode has a lot going on, which makes the pacing feel a bit off. It all works as its happening, but the fact that the big climactic battle ends when there’s still ten minutes left seems a bit odd. It does give more room for character bits though, which actually elevate the quality of this episode much more than the battle in space (though in fairness, that was pretty freaking cool too).

      The real highlight of this episode, for me, was when Amy talks down the android scientist, thus deactivating the WMD that was implanted in his chest. It all makes sense in context, but it effectively tugged on the heart strings and it shows that Amy has the same sense of compassion and empathy that is the mark of all good companions.

      Said scientist also goes through his own character arc as he comes to terms with what he is. It also leads to another heartwarming moment as he is convinced that he needs to ...

      • be deactivated when the Doctor has no such intention. It took him a while to pick up on the hint, but it made it all the better when he finally did put two and two together.

        I do find it odd that the Doctor was so shaken by his “defeat”. I mean, yeah the Daleks are back, but let’s be honest, they always come back and while there’s talk about how these Daleks are more powerful, we never really see that. They’re bigger, sure, and they come in bright, shiny colors, but they act the same and have the same mindset as the “impure” Daleks. Much like with the Cult of Skaro, there are only a handful of them to boot, so all things considered, he shouldn’t be that worried….yet.

        I’m torn on the Doctor’s ability to bluff the Daleks with a cookie. Yeah it was funny, and he sort of covered for it by demanding that they don’t run any scans, but it was still a bit of a stretch. Considering the cookie looks to have jam inside (hence, I assume, the name) I’m not sure how he was able to carry it around in his pocket without making a mess, but maybe that’s more Time Lord technology at work.

        This episode also continues the pattern of wiping the slate clean. Following the new Doctor, Sonic Screwdriver, TARDIS, and new companion, we also have new Dalek props. Apparently, this was in order to make them more intimidating as the old models were shorter than the actors. Seems like a lot of trouble to go through, but it

        worked well enough and the episode is a fun ride.

        The Daleks generally make for strong episodes as not only are they creepy, but they are very good at putting the Doctor into a moral dilemma, often times forcing him to choose between stopping the Daleks or saving the Earth. Unlike “Parting of the Ways”, the Doctor didn’t even have the “colonies” excuse to point out that mankind would survive in some form. If the Daleks succeeded here, that would be it for mankind.

        If I have one complaint, it’s in regards to the lights. At one point, the Daleks turn on all of the lights in London to put them in danger from the German fighter planes. I get that it makes them a beacon, but I don’t get how turning the lights off saves them. Couldn’t the planes still drop bombs on them? Really, what’s stopping them? The buildings are still visible, you’re high above the landscape, it’s not all that difficult. I guess they needed some sense of a win in order to cheer the Doctor up, but the plot point as a whole was bizarre.

        All in all, this was a solid episode. It brought back a major villain, established a new status quo, and even gave us a bit of development regarding the ongoing subplot regarding the cracks in time. While we do see a shot of the crack (heh) as the episode fades to black, there’s some progression as we learn that they somehow effect people’s memory as well. It leaves you wondering what’s really going on and makes you want to tune in to find out more.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in April, 2012. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1023041573451130/k2311a0423/4.23.12
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