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.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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