Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day Nineteen - Dr.Who: Series 1, Episode 6, or "Can you teach a Dalek to feel?"

Of course, that answer to that is a convenient "yes," but we'll get to that later.

Still soldiering on, I am now halfway done with Chris Eccleston's run as The Doctor. It feels like an accomplishment, albeit a very minor one. For one thing, there are just as many episodes ahead of me as there are behind... so just as much pain awaits for the remainder of the season. For another, the episode count will diminish quicker if I keep in mind that the number I've conquered is growing larger.

See? Glass half-full!

Anyways, this episode centers on a huge bunker in the middle of the Utah desert.

Well, it's actually just a closed set somewhere in London, I imagine. The closest we get to seeing Utah is on a CGI map towards the end of the episode. Just because a reconstituted Dalek shoots a hole in the ceiling doesn't mean that's actual Four Corners sunlight.

Still. Bunker. Dalek. Doctor.

Oh, and a Howard Hughes wannabe (no, seriously... they went with a mustache, overactive ego, and everything) who is master and commander of said bunker where tons of alien artifacts are being stored. Including an almost powerless Dalek that is being tortured by the wannabe. His name is Henry van Statten by the way... the wannabe, not the Dalek.

Via a deus ex plot hammer, The Doctor and Rose are pulled through time and space by a signal that we learn to be the Dalek's distress call. It wants help and the Doctor is on the job. That is until he realizes it's a freaking Dalek that needs help. I mean, apart from The Master and the Cybermen, if you've absorbed anything from the scifi collective unconsciousness in the last fifty or so years, you're bound to have heard or seen a Dalek and know they're bad news. Hell, even more so than The Master or Cybermen. Daleks are the enemy.

So, cue Doctor freakout and ignored pleas to destroy this supposed last Dalek (because, like the Borg, there's just no getting rid of a fan-favorite, recognizable series villain)... then cue Rose miraculously healing said last Dalek via another deus ex device... and we have a good twenty minute chase thorough empty warehouse corridors as the revived Dalek does what Daleks do best.


Many dead SWAT guys later, and Rose has somehow managed to convince the last Dalek to stop killing. At least her and the man who has ordered it tortured for years! It appears that, in being revived by Rose's healing touch of nubileness (seeing as how the last person to touch it burst into flames), the Dalek has developed human empathy and conscience. Does it pull a Leviathan (ME3 reference, sorry) and begin helping out?

Nope. It's a Dalek. If it loses its Dalek perfection (I.E. - lust to kill) it is no longer perfect and must self-EXTERMINATE. Of course.

The Daleks have always been stupid villains to me. Well, that's not saying much. Pretty much EVERY Dr.Who villain has been stupid in my opinion.

It will be a while, if I recall, until we get to one I actually enjoy... The Weeping Angels... but that's just me. Plenty of folks love the Daleks and squee whenever they get an episode. I wonder if the Cybermen get as much favoritism?

Anyways, plenty of cheese to be had. Especially when it comes to van Statten and his silly egoism and "preserve it alive at any cost" mentality.

I think the worst offenders in this episode, though, are the writers who are forcing the hints of The Doctor and Rose's eventual romantic entanglements. I mean, really, they've only just met. Sure they're gallivanting across the various epochs of the cosmos and saving the day left and right, but there's just no chemistry. From anyone.

It's a big problem that will only get bigger so long as Rose is in the series.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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