Sunday, May 15, 2005

Doctor Who - Dalek Review

Expect a couple of spoilers to follow- if you don't want to know any plot details, here's the capsule review- this episode stinks. Okay, look away now.

The most hyped episode of the new Doctor Who series, as the Doctor faces off against his most famous enemy. Sadly, it's also a crushing disappointment. Here we have the Doctor's archnemesis- the merciless, evil Daleks whose chant of "Exterminate" tells you absolutely everything you need to know about them. The Daleks work because they are unquestionably the badguys- there's no two ways about it- it's the age-old good vs evil tale, it's timeless. Only with Dalek the creators have decided not only to give us the last Dalek- yeah, thanks for killing off one of science fiction's most well-known 'characters'- but they feed us a poor, desolate Dalek, all alone in the universe. Boo f**king hoo. In our wonderful liberal, handwringing times the Doctor doesn't even get to have a straightforward battle. Sure the Dalek is pretty deadly, he can levitate and he gets to kill dozens of people, but in the end all we're left with is seeing the poor disgusting creature as the show tries to get us to feel pity for the wretched mass-murderer. Aw, lonely Dalek, isn't it sad? Odd that all those security guards, scientists, etc are killed by the Dalek but no one tries to evoke pity for them.

Now, after watching this episode I checked out Mindrobber, expecting them to pummel this episode but instead they give it a glowing "this is practically art", "it's so deep", "wow, post-modern Daleks", review. I cannot disagree more. What is telling from their piece however is despite praise from the likes of The Guardian, the public at large found this to be most disappointing. Strange that- these guys come along and give us the exact opposite of what we wanted, why would anyone be disappointed? This episode might have many "subtleties" and work on levels too "multitudinous" to cover, but that's not what people want- perhaps the people surprised by this are the same ones who don't understand why Kingdom of Heaven which essentially paints the West as the bad guys is flopping. Mmm, tricky one. Daleks are supposed to be the scourge of the universe and everyone understands that- evil must be defeated, good must be seen to triumph. We don't want mass murdering aliens to think, "hmm, maybe there's more to life" for for everyone to say- "hey, let's just forget about all those people you just killed, you must be sad." Damn it, this was such a huge let down. What makes it even worse is that limp lettuce Brit actor Bruno Langley is now along for the ride. Argh.

Shame on the BBC for this trash.

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