doctor who 3.5: evolution of the daleks

1 05 2007

Booorrrrringgg. Have to admit I only saw half of this episode (ATP!) so my biggest complaint is aimed at whichever time meddler at the BBC keeps shunting the show around. I run home from work and I’m forced to sit through forty minutes of Man Utd poncing about, and this week I break off my weekend of fine live music early and I’ve missed half of it!

Anyway. Wasn’t really moved by Evolution of The Daleks. More repetition (the Doctor climbing the antenna, just like in The Idiot’s Lantern). Tallulah was annoying. It all seemed a bit static: characters lining up to blather at each other, then going somewhere else and lining up again. Like the shootout at the end: a line of Daleks and a line of people just standing there shooting at each other. Not very dynamic.

Plus Martha isn’t showing half the feistiness of Rose, and is in fact turning out to be, well, just dull. And hey, this week her family’s in it! Jeeeeeesssuuus.

I did like the Dalek Tommy guns: touch of class. And I really like Dalek Sec now, but he was wasted here just standing around for a while and then crawling around for a while and then dead. If he and the Doctor had gone on the run together that would have been more interesting, maybe encountering some actual humans. He should have found himself in Hooverville, getting a taste of what it was like to be different, marginalised. If he’d had a greater awakening of that sort, fed by the strength and dignity of Solomon as a resident of Hooverville and as an African-American, then his extermination would have had much greater pathos and poignancy.

Still, at least this episode wasn’t afraid to develop the mythos of the Daleks. Straight invasion stories are old hat these days, so it’s nice to see continuation of the internecine conflict along genetic/purity lines first suggested in Remembrance of the Daleks. Remembrance frankly blew my mind sideways as a kid, and still holds as one of the pieces of fiction that inspires me in the way it twists and reinvigorates an established genre or narrative (alongside The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen and Grant Morrison ’s Dare, all of which freaked me the hell out then and stagger me to this day).

Hey, maybe the theatre was an underlying metaphor for the performance of social roles: in the climax, the Daleks, on stage, perform their purity routine but are overwhelmed by those who revel in difference and diversity. How’s that for Sec’s in the City?

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