Review: Doctor Who – 3×5 – Evolution of the Daleks

Evolution of The Daleks

Ha ha! That was a load of old bollocks, wasn’t it? Admit it, all of you who sat around saying “I’ll reserve judgement until part two”: you now wish you’d got in last week and said it was bollocks then, just so you don’t look like a bunch of “Me, too!”-ers, don’t you?

I remember being “quite bored” last week. This week, I was equally bored. For one thing, I couldn’t help but notice that the plot had rather a few similarities to old school Who‘s similarly-initialled Troughton story, Evil of the Daleks, in which the Daleks decided to try adding the “Human Factor” to themselves with the Doctor’s help, only for it all to end badly with new Daleks fighting old Daleks and killing off the entire Dalek species (supposedly). Ooh, look, it’s happened again. Were the Cult of Skaro off down their think tank offices when that happened, daring to think the unthinkable like a new class of pink Dalek? Did they not even get the “what a disaster” memo afterwards?

But minor Whovian unoriginality aside, it was still relentlessly dull. Okay, with my patented ‘Helm of an ADHD Eight Year Old’ on, I could have enjoyed the Dalek fights, the running up and down corridors, the shouting Doctor, the Dalek-head man and the piggy-wiggy men. But as an adult with a memory span longer than a couple of weeks, I’ve seen all that before and it’s boring seeing it again. Plus even those ‘exciting’ moments were few and far between, interspersed with wide, yawning spaces of tedium.

It was nice to see the Doctor come up with a cunning plan, I confess. But although any sufficiently complicated science will appear like magic to primitive people, I can’t help but feel that advanced genetic manipulation for merging and unmerging species will need something more than bubbly flasks of liquid from an old Universal Pictures set.

Less cunning was his “let’s all run out in the open spaces of Central Park where the Daleks can take potshots at us” plan. And letting Solomon give a stupid speech designed to appeal to the humanity of a Dalek, while you stood around doing nothing when you knew it was all going to end badly, was just plain cruel, my friend – the least you could have done was sonic the flying Dalek’s undercarriage or something.

Martha got even less to do this week, I’m less than gratified to say, and big clue, Marf, he’s even not going to be interested in you, ever, if you’re pining after him like some teenager with a poster shrine from Non-threatening Boys magazines after just a few days of knowing him. Ease off, girl.

All in all, not a fantabulous two-parter. Maybe the kids lapped it up, but you can feed them Turkey Twizzlers and they’ll love ’em, so what do they know?

Incidentally, do you think Cardiff is rapidly turning into the 21st century equivalent of a 1970s gravel pit. I appreciate they have a limited budget, but can Cardiff really double for every possible location, even Manhattan? I think not.

  • espedair

    Rob, I think your wrong. I just watched the classic The Five Doctors episode. That is lauded by Whovians as one of the best. However it was more creaky, less convincing and the acting which MUCH more average (Jon Pertwee!)
    Ok I agree the speech was NEVER going to work. However the Doctor beliving that the human dalek might be genuine was excellent. I think the series is still suffering from post ROSE syndrome, which is a shame as Martha is pretty good.
    Overall I enjoyed it even with New Yoik accents. It will be nice to see a few new villians over the rest of the series.. like maybe The Master… as in The Five Doctors… how neat.

  • It was a bit toshy – very predictable but still a good romp. That ending could be seen a mile off though, several miles off in fact. Still I’m loving the new series but can’t wait to get to the later episodes and find out who Mr Saxon is (although I have my suspicions!)

  • “That is lauded by Whovians as one of the best.”
    Oh no it isn’t. It’s lauded as probably the best thing Terrance Dicks could throw together at the last moment after Robert Holmes gave in and confessed he couldn’t write a script with so many characters to juggle. It’s okay, and has nice some nice things for old school fans (I love the last couple of lines and the use of old theme tune at the end), but it’s average really.
    Did like the Dalek-human and the Doctor teaming up, I must confess, but again, how did he not see the other Daleks (when did they start to look over their shoulders to see if anyone was listening, incidentally?) deciding that was a bad idea? Dalek-human might be on the up-and-up, but Daleks are Daleks and they can change sides any time they like. Particularly KHAN!!!!!

  • Me, too! Although I’m hearing some other interesting suggestions.
    But no spoilers! We’re already perilously close to letting the cat out of the bag for people who don’t read The Sun!

  • Nice performance from Tennant (and I don’t agree that Martha got even less to do), and good to see the Daleks revert to vicious bastard mode, but yeah, a bit tosh. Still better than the Slitheen two-parter, though.
    If CAAAAAAAAAAN!! turns up in the finale I will be very pissed off.

  • I guess she got to built a rudimentary lightning conductor. Yey Martha?

  • I thought it was better than last week’s but then again, possibly only in the way that a nappy full of wee is better than a nappy full of poo.

  • Marie, you have it one.
    And wasn’t the Doctor THICK in this episode?!
    But I’d decided this was going to be a freebie, because it was the same writer and same story so we could hardly expect miracles. But if there’s any more as rubbish as these two I ain’t gonna be happy…

  • Marie, you have it one.
    And wasn’t the Doctor THICK in this episode?!
    But I’d decided this was going to be a freebie, because it was the same writer and same story so we could hardly expect miracles. But if there’s any more as rubbish as these two I ain’t gonna be happy…

  • “because it was the same writer…”
    I notice that few people, other than the tiresomely obsessive and hardcore, have spotted that Helen Raynor has been the script editor of Doctor Who for the last three seasons. She’s being replaced by Gary Russell soon, I think.
    Makes you think, though, doesn’t it?

  • Mark H Wilkinson

    You know, I actually really liked the whole of this two-parter, unashamedly so. So there.

  • Wake yourself from your slumber: go read Marie’s “reasons for hating Daleks in Manhattan“! Even if you were feeling tolerant towards it before, you won’t be afterwards.

  • Mark H Wilkinson

    And she’s had a proof of her book sent to RTD? Hee.

  • Don’t remind me. I was just about starting to be able to sleep again.

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