Sunday 1 May 2005

The Space Museum

The return of the iconic diabolical dustbins to Doctor Who is welcome. However, my impressions of Dalek are problematic!

The gallery of alien exhibits was a fun poke at The X-Files and post WWII American neurosis. The inclusion of a Mark 5 Cyberman helmet was chilling - especially as the framing centred the Doctor's face within the reflected mask. In another saga that would be considered foreshadowing! I digress.

The revelation that the Doctor destroyed the Daleks and Time Lords, to end the Time War, delivered an emotional punch and dramatic gravitas (as did his duality). The torture scenes were unexpected and darkly unsettling.

The chase format and incidental scoring are becoming tiresome and the mutant reveal was awkward and unsatisfactory - why show it at all? Are the producers concerned that a Saturday evening audience lacks the requisite imagination/creative mind? If the producers desire clever homages they could have emulated the nightmarish voice treatments used in The Brain of Morbius or The Horror of Fang Rock. Am I being too fussy here?

Artistic choices aside. Dalek is a terrific yarn and all the better for the absence of Davros (increasingly unhinged during the '80s). The two-part season finale could be a corker if the writers avoid heavy continuity with the show's past. Don't bring back the Movellans (who defeated the Daleks) or Davros. Leave the Daleks to their independence under the auspices of the Dalek Supreme. Now wouldn't it be a cool twist if the Master returns or that Rose's compassion was pivotal to the Daleks victory in an altered timeline?

A word to Character Options. If you need anyone to review your 12" radio-controlled Dalek, please drop me a line!

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