TV in Review: Doctor Who, “Evolution of the Daleks”
April 8, 2012 1 Comment
I’ve been promised that season three of the new Doctor Who really starts to heat up in the middle, probably around episode 8, which is titled “Human Nature.” In the meantime, I feel compelled to watch these things in order and the next step of the trek required me to view “Evolution of the Daleks,” the second half of a two-parter. I had found the first half (“Daleks in Manhattan”) to be passable but clunky and that’s an accurate description of this episode as well, although there is some inevitable satisfaction in seeing an ending come together.
Plus, they leap straight into the action. Fear the plunger!
The Doctor is quite clear about what to do when faced with the above situation.
THE DOCTOR: Run. Run, run, run, run, run.
I do like how the new series explores Daleks’ emotions, or lack thereof, and delves into the sadness that lurks behind their genocidal impulses.
THE DOCTOR: Time was, four daleks could have conquered the world.
Some of the clumsy costumes and effects remind me of the Doctor Who of my youth, although the explosions are much snazzier.
(But why did nobody outside of Hooverville notice the aerial bombardments?)
These are also new daleks, and while they initially seem to be troubled by the impenetrable roadblock known as “stairs,” we — and they — don’t take long to get past that.
I also enjoy the smidgeons of dalek individualism, as they confer in dalek whispers, which basically means shouting at a lower volume.
And speaking of speaking, there’s a lot of speechifying.
That can be a good thing, as daleks have always had this odd tendency to stop and listen whenever they’re spoken to. I mean, really, how many times has the Doctor delayed death-by-dalek by filibustering them? At least when the Doctor talks, it’s pretty. Now, when the new dalek thingie talks, it’s with an awkward New York accent layered over with an apparent asthma problem.
The Doctor offers himself up in a few too many noble gestures this time around. I realize that it’s a fine line to walk, as we also want Doctor Who to be about big ideas, and the good Doctor is an idealist.
THE DOCTOR: I know that one man can change the course of history. Right idea in the right place at the right time is all it takes. I’ve got to believe it’s possible.
But yeah, I found the episode a bit histrionic without the finesse to pull it off this time around, although I do like the grandiose music they used to accompany the daleks. They should go full Coppola and use Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” for the flying daleks! Just a thought.
Two more episodes to watch before I arrive at “Human Nature”…
Season 3, Episode 5 of Doctor Who first aired by the BBC on April 28, 2007.
Doctor Who, Daleks in Manhattan (Season 3, Episode 4)
ohmywordness: Slitheen in London and Daleks in Manhattan
The Lazy Geeks: Daleks Returning To Doctor Who This Season
borg.com: Rumor or real–The next Doctor Who and her (?) companion