Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Impossible Countdown - Victory of the Daleks

Apparently, in his DWM interview, the writer seems convinced that the only reason people don't like this episode is the new look daleks.  Personally I don't like it because the plot's a steaming pile of badly thought out crud which has clearly started with the words "spitfires in space" and not really gone much past the thinking about things in any detail stage.

Starts well, the very short cold opener is a corker with the daleks established straight away (thankfully no surprise reveals here as in Destiny, Planet, Genesis etc).  The Doctor's late for an appointment once more (more of which next episode) and Amy did at least take the time to get dressed (as did Churchill).  When the "ironsides" show up they're superb.  And then the plot kicks in and things start to fall apart.  Apparently it was only "a few months ago" that Bracewell came up with the idea of the daleks.  Presumably he worked on them 100% on his own otherwise why would no one else start to question the speed at which completely perfect, working devices were created with technology way beyond anything we ever had.  And presumably no one else had access to the plans or to any of the "technology" used to create them otherwise someone else might have conceivably tried to make them.  The fact there's a dalek gun laying around in Bracewell's lab and no one's even suggested giving the foot soldiers these to assist in the war?  Also, wouldn't Torchwood be just a little interested?

Winston Churchill, the "brilliant" Winnie, continues the long running UNIT style tradition of not paying a blind bit of notice to the Doctor who has, presumably, had a great track record with them in the past but presumably he's too hot on Bracewell (who the daleks have presumably somehow created an absolutely perfect cover/background story for in order for the government to take him on?) to care.  After all, Bracewell has "musings" on anti gravity devices and hyper sonic thingies.

So the daleks then reveal themselves as being bad (I'm guessing the Doctor's bored of saying "I told you so" by now?) and shoot Bracewell's hand off to show how evil they are.  And somehow, once the hand's been blow away, Bracewell's arm gets suspiciously longer. I'm guessing that no-one notices as they're all wondering just why a loon in a bow tie going "you're the daleks" suddenly made them go bad.  Apparently it's because the daleks' progenitor won't recognise the daleks as daleks but will recognise someone saying "you're the daleks". Which does raise the question of where are these daleks from?  Are they the ones that were grown from Davros' cells (which would make them pretty pure)?  Presumably they've got to be from the pre-Davros time in which case where did they come from as they were all sucked back into the void? But whatever, apparently the progenitor is going to make new "pure" daleks, though I'm guessing they're not too worried about being pure in the casing front as the new daleks are unlike any we've seen before.  I just want to go up to them and see if they make a buzzer sound when you press their head down.  Nothing I can really say about the new daleks that hasn't been said a thousand times before on other websites.  Then the new daleks decide to turn Bracewell into a giant bomb, just before they do a runner.  Thankfully though there's a very convenient "emotion over-ride" cut off that I'm sure the daleks put in just in case they somehow needed to deactivate the bomb that they wanted to be de-activate-able? A bomb, by the way, that must be of Slitheen design as once it's revealed suddenly makes his body look twice as big.

I've saved the "spitfires in space" bit till last.  Earlier in the episode Bracewell suggests that he has "musings" about anti gravity devices.  When the daleks somehow light up the whole of London, we're told that the Nazis are ten minutes away.  So somehow the brits take musings, get them fitted to spitfires, launched and up to the dalek ship in well under ten minutes.  The pilots are familiar enough with the devices to be able to fly the planes perfectly and do fancy manoeuvres. Right. Okay. And none of the other scientists question this, remember how to make things?  The Doctor manages to completely clear everything away that's dalek tech (other than the gun still clearly visible in the lab along with other things) and presumably wipes everyones' memory as well? 

I don't hate Victory of the Daleks because of the new look daleks.  Completely implausible, impractical and over the top daleks fit in with the massively unrealistic plot and the grossly overblown nature of the story (how long does the ending drag on for???).  Even the small things bug the hell out of me, when the TARDIS dematerialises infront of Amy and Winston, Amy's hair is blown around artistically but Winston's cigar smoke floats on unhindered.

Oh, the crack appears about three quarters of the way through as it's not there when the TARDIS takes off for the first time but it's there when it goes for the second.  And we find out that Amy doesn't remember the daleks at all.  Sadly, the rest of us will suffer the memories of "Victory of the Daleks" for a long time to come...

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