Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S05E03 – Victory of the Daleks

In the third episode of the fifth series of Doctor Who , the Doctor heads to London to help Winston Churchill during The Blitz, but discovers a very familiar enemy…sort of? I mean…wait, what? If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

Daleks? So soon? They had to come back with a new Doctor, but I actually had to think for a moment to remember exactly how it was possible that there could be any Daleks left. As I’ve said before, I like the Daleks, but I think that this might be the weakest of the stories of the new series. It’s not that there aren’t things to like here (there are quite a few), but I feel like the story is never really sure where to stick its focus.

I have a slight obsession with World War II and the chance to get this view (albeit a VERY fictionalized one) of the Cabinet War Rooms was promising to me. Add to that the fact that Ian McNeice played a pretty fantastic Winston Churchill and that Churchill was seemingly unthreatened by the Daleks and…I don’t know. I had high hopes for what story Mark Gatiss would tell us, but…ok, LET ME GET THERE.

It’s fun to watch the images of joy and excitement that cross onto the faces of Amy and the Doctor as they familiarize themselves with their surroundings. Unfortunately, they’ve arrived late. (This makes the third time this series that the Doctor has severely missed a date. I still don’t understand the logistics of how that works. Does the Doctor set a specific time or just hope that the TARDIS ends up there? Don’t answer that if it’s spoilery.) In the time since Churchill’s first call, when we saw the shadow of a Dalek, things haven’t quite turned out like I expected. Churchill is certain that the war is going to go his way, and he takes the Doctor out onto the roof to demonstrate new technology developed by Professor Edwin Bracewell.

Um. Those are Daleks. Bracewell. THOSE ARE DALEKS. This is what this episode particularly succeeds at. It’s absurdist humor and drama and Doctor Who does it well. We know those are Daleks. The Doctor knows they are Daleks. But no matter how much he shouts at the world and demonstrates his knowledge of the creatures, it doesn’t matter. He’s not going to be believed.

The scene of the Doctor angrily shouting in frustration at Churchill, Bracewell, and anyone else who will listen is Matt Smith’s first chance to show us the Doctor at the most furious he’s been. Gatiss writes the scene well because the Doctor and us, the audience, are the only people who are in on the reality of this. Plus, it’s a fascinating idea: Is it possible for the Daleks to be adapted? To live in peace? To be replicated? And if so, how is that even a possibility?

Unfortunately, we don’t get to spend much time with this concept at all, as it’s revealed that the Daleks were merely pretending to be Bracewell’s creations all along. Using the Doctor’s “testimony,” his statements about him being the Doctor, the greatest enemy of the Daleks, the Progenator Device is activated. TRICKED YOU, THERE’S A DALEK SHIP ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON.

Ok, so here’s the thing. Like I said, there is some neat stuff here. Bracewell is a fascinating character. The space battle feels like a giant Star Wars reference. And despite that the Doctor leaves Amy behind in a way, she proves, once again, to be super useful.

But, oh boy, some of this just doesn’t make sense. How were the Daleks able to build Bracewell? They don’t have arms. I know that I’m overthinking this, considering that THERE IS A GIANT DALEK SPACESHIP FLOATING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON. Yes, all of this is ridiculous. But…yeah, how do the Daleks build things? How do they build each other? And…why exactly did they need the Doctor to activate the Progenator? Seriously, you can answer that, because I’m not quite sure I understand it at all.

I have a lot of questions, you all. How did Bracewell modify the Spitfires in like an hour? I mean, ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because SPITFIRE SPACE BATTLE, which is pretty darn cool. Right? We don’t have enough space battles on Doctor Who.

But I imagine I am about to be a broken record for the whole fandom. And I’m actually pretty sure, having done no research on the subject, that there were a lot of people who felt the same way. So perhaps I am re-igniting this particular bastion of fandom anger, but I really have to say:


I’m sorry, but what the fuck. I actually started laughing so hard that tears came to my eyes. Which is actually a beautiful moment, so part of me is really happy that this scene existed. But seriously. Ok, so the Daleks see everything through those blue filter eye things, so why even make colored Daleks? Is it an artistic statement? Are they secret weapons because they’re brightly colored? LOOK, I REALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY HAVE TO BE COLORED. AT ALL.

Furthermore, though I like the end result (partially), the whole “Oblivion Continuum twist is a little too ridiculous for my tastes. How exactly does that thing work? And how can you convince a robot they are human when they know they are not? I mean, the Doctor even acknowledges that later, when he doesn’t deactivate Bracewell, telling him to go after the girl he spoke of to Amy. Well…how does that work? SURELY SHE WILL TAKE OFF HIS SHIRT AND SEE A GIANT METAL CHEST, right???

I ask too many questions today. I do like that there are two huge hints to the future in “Victory of the Daleks.” Why can’t Amy remember the Daleks when the earth was stolen? Or, if she can’t remember them, did she not even see them at all? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING? And despite that the clue is pervasive, seemingly in every episode, I love that the crack keeps appearing. What happened in Amy’s room all those years ago? How is it going to change all of this? I AM INTRIGUED.

All in all, this episode is just ok. I don’t hate it, but it’s not one I’ll probably watch again.


  • “Would you like some tea?” Ok, I would take tea from a Dalek. Seriously. They probably heat the water perfectly and steep the tea just right.
  • “You do not require tea?” HE SOUNDED SO UPSET!
  • “Scan negative! TARDIS Self Destruct does not exist!” “All right, it’s a Jammy Dodger! But I was promised a cup of tea!” Seriously, all of the tea lines in this episode were amazing.
  • I didn’t say much about Amy because I feel she doesn’t play a huge role in this episode, at least not as much as I’d like her to. Still, she’s such a different companion for the Doctor, completely without fear and game for virtually anything. She never seems to question the absurdities of the situation, and I really like that about her.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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585 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S05E03 – Victory of the Daleks

  1. Stephen_M says:

    I know I’m going to be in the minority here but recently rewatched this a couple of times and…. I actually like it. No, it’s not a classic, middle of the road episode at best but it’s good fun and rattles along nice and quickly. So let’s go with… the negatives first.

    First up this is one packed story. Too packed really, there’s enough material here to easily support a two parter and as a result it feels rushed as hell in the 42 minutes it got and some much needed exposition falls by the wayside yet, somehow, it STILL feels like it’s handling too much. The actor playing Bracewell is pretty good most of the time but does a wee bit too much hand acting in the more excited parts and, sadly, comes off as pretty poor compared to the rest of the cast. The direction is pretty poor at times with some glaring issues, most obvious is probably the war room viewing the Doctor confronting the Supreme Dalek on a monitor, they’re practically hugging (and the slash writers go crazy…). You get the feeling that this episode was really stretching its budget in places, there doesn’t seem to be a shot without effects or period costumes, and that may account for some of the odd location choices rather than building up a whole set for the Dalek saucer. There’s also the slight problem that series Fnarg is clearly still in repair mode at this point having to correct the worst excesses of the RTD era (in this case make the Daleks a threat again after Journey’s End and get the hell away from the ‘I’ve killed the lot of them… except this convenient ship of survivors falling through time’ plot) which overburdens an already packed plot.

    And then we get to the big ‘un don’t we…. the new Daleks. And you know what, I don’t care what anyone says, I like ‘em a lot! Love that they’re way bigger than the old ones, I’ve seen both up close and moving and, frankly, the new ones are bloody terrifying. Genuinely massive and with a real sense of menace that the little ‘uns lack. I like the bright, primary colours and that they have actual roles (well, sorta), they certainly look better than the red Dalek in Stolen Earth with his magical moving lights (watch his entrance on to the bridge… they made the door high enough for the Dalek but not the lights so when he comes through the doorway the lights are far lower down the dome than normal). And Nick Briggs does a great job with the Supreme’s voice as well. But I can understand why people don’t like them and the location they used for the ship doesn’t help either, makes the more plastic look stand out FAR more than it would against a ‘traditional’ Dalek saucer design. Frankly though these Daleks seem, for now at least, to have shaken loose the dreaded Idiot Ball from their plungers and actually managed to out-gambit the Doctor not once but twice. If only for that reason thank Moff they made this episode and long may it continue.

    Anyway moving on to the good stuff and first up our main cast. Matt Smith is great as always here (EVERYTHING with the Jammie Dodger is an instant classic) but there’ll be enough outright raving over him in later episodes so I really want to give props to Karen Gillan this time round and just speak to those silly few who claim ‘she can’t act’ for a moment. Put this episode on, skip to the TARDIS arriving in the war rooms, mute the sound and just watch Amy. From the slight disbelief at meeting Churchill to the excitement of being back in probably the biggest historical event of the 20th century all the way through to the crushing reality of seeing London during the Blitz it’s just wonderful and largely done in background. The reaction (and script) is perfect and really would be the reaction of someone, especially a Brit, from now being taken back to that period in history and being shown those sights.

    When you get right down to it though this is just such fun to watch. The Daleks serving the British has a couple of classic moments (the tea lines are great but for some reason the Box File always cracks me up), spitfires in space may have been whipped up at the speed of script but I just can’t bring myself to care. It’s cool and that’s an end of it. The Bracewell stuff at the end is… odd and makes as much sense as a spoiler on a snail but at the same time I love that it highlights so well WHY the Doctor needs Amy along. He goes for pain and anger and loss as ways to keep grounded in humanity because… well, seae Series 1 – 4. She goes for love and kindness and warmth. Best of all, the instant the Doctor works out what she’s doing he joins in and gets it… THIS is the way you do character development folks, nice little subtle moments that move these characters along in subtle small ways. The hook of Amy not remembering the Daleks is well done too, especially as it’s dropped in early on then left hanging until the very end of the episode and not resolved. Again, nice to see plot threads being carried over to other episodes.

    So yeah, longer than I intended, sorry, but overall it’s a 6/10 sorta episode. Some good, some bad, watchable and with a couple of great moments but ultimately struggling under the weight of the script and the sheer amount of exposition required.

    • Too packed really, there’s enough material here to easily support a two parter and as a result it feels rushed as hell in the 42 minutes it got and some much needed exposition falls by the wayside yet, somehow, it STILL feels like it’s handling too much.

      I think you could say that about every episode of S5 so far. Keeping episodes conceptually and plotwise within the scope of the allotted time is so far NOT a strength of New New Who.

      • Stephen_M says:

        Oh I dunno, never felt that about Eleventh Hour at all and while Beast Below could have maybe done with ten more minutes I'm not entirely sure there was enough story there to support it. Honestly though (and I'm saving the bulk of this point for… uh… a later episode) I really get the feeling that, after RTD dug such a deep hole with the Series 4 and the Specials, Season Fnarg had to spend the first few episodes not only establishing a whole new cast AND welcoming a new generation of fans on-board but also rebuilding the universe around them. On the whole I'll forgive 'em a couple of rushed episodes if they achieve that goal.

        • OK, maybe I'm still just cranky about the Beast Below 😉 That episode had a lot of concepts that were insufficiently explained, to my mind; had the world-building been done well, the necessity for the Starwhale properly explained, the police state fleshed out, it could've been a two-parter that didn't leave me groaning due to plot holes big enough to drive a Starwhale through, and sappy analogies. Aaaaaanyway it's true establishing a new cast and re-establishing the show's mythology is a heavy task.

    • monkeybutter says:

      You know, it was kind of a relief that the Daleks aren't complete bumbling idiots. When Amy told Bracewell that he was "as clever as the Daleks," I thought, gee, that's not much of a compliment. But they actually outsmarted the Doctor this time, so it works!

      • Stephen_M says:

        See this was what ALWAYS annoyed me about RTD's Daleks. With the exception of, uh, Dalek (the episode, Series 1 episode 6, man this is confusing) they'd have a plan that was usually at least halfway decent, do everything right then, right at the crucial moment, whoever was in charge would clearly bunk off for a ciggie round the back of the Dalek bike shed and leave everything up to Dalek Cletus. Go back to the old Dalek sequels before Genesis (or, indeed, the audio plays from Big Finish) and they're meant to be genuinely clever tarnsanit! This new lot seem, thus far anyway, to have returned to that way of thinking and that largely includes the (surprisingly good) computer game City of the Daleks.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      I agree with you on this, for the most part. And I'm adding my vote for the new Daleks. I really like the new Daleks, apart from the hump, which gives me the – er – hump. Size, bulk, colours and everything else is all good as far as I'm concerned. Bring on the changes, I say!

      It's about time we had different coloured casings for different ranks. It's a Dalek caste system and I hope we see much more of these in greater numbers, so we can really see a Dalek society in operation. So they don't look metallic anymore – so what? That just means they've kicked out metal in favour some kind of super-strong synthetic polymer.

      The new tall design to match the height of Karen/Amy really works. Seeing Amy tower over the Ironside Daleks looked a bit daft. The bulkiness is also a good thing – whoever heard of a streamlined tank?

      They do need to be shot in a better set/location. That ship was so bright, it made early 80's Doctor Who look dark and brooding!

      As I say, the humpback is a bit odd, but show me a reason for it in a future episode, and I'll learn to like it.

      In terms of the episode itself, it takes the Daleks out of the shadow of the Time War. They are once again a presence in the Universe and can show up at any time in the future. Let's face it- the `they were all destroyed…but one survived` idea was getting silly. Now they can turn up – just a few or en masse – and no matter how many the Doctor destroys, there will always be more elsewhere.

      To answer Mark's question about why the Doctor's testimony was required, these Daleks were created from mutated Davros cells. With a second (third? fourth?) chance to create the Daleks, who knows what changes he made to the Dalek creatures? This makes them `not pure in their blobbiness` to coin a phrase. Therefore the Dalek Progenitor doesn't recognise them as Daleks until they are identified as such by their no.1 enemy.

      The `tea` lines were all brilliant, but to be pedantic, that's not a Jammie Dodger. It's a Fox's Jam Ring. (I presume that was a deliberate mistake to avoid accusations of product placement.)

      • virtual_monster says:

        `not pure in their blobbiness`

        Oh, that made me so happy 🙂 I might have to go and watch that right now.

    • radiantbaby1 says:

      I love the new Daleks, too. They remind me of the big technicolor Daleks from the old Dr. Who Cushing movies. 🙂

  2. arctic_hare says:

    Okay, so obviously this isn't OMG THE BESTEST EPISODE EVER and not the best Dalek one either. But you know what? I like it anyway, despite the flaws. I mean, really now –

    <img src=""/&gt;

    How am I supposed to get my hate on when I am faced with that? How, I ask you? Answer: NOT POSSIBLE. Daleks serving tea is just too much awesome for me to process rationally, and so it casts a rather rosy tint over what is otherwise a somewhat mediocre episode (though I like it a lot more than the weaker episodes of previous seasons and especially the Dalek two-parter of series three, at least).

    It also helps my perception of the episode that the Doctor and Amy are awesome too, as ever. First up, the Doctor. His rage at the Ironside Daleks is a bit unnerving at first, when they haven't done anything to provoke it (yet), but completely understandable. The Daleks really are his worst and oldest enemy, everything he despises, and he has good reason to. One moment I like from early in the episode is when he asks Amy what hate looks like, and answers the question for her that it looks like a Dalek. Because it's true. He's defeated them so many times, but like cockroaches, they keep coming back (yes, cause the writers keep doing bringing them back, perhaps you ought to vent this with them, Doctor). So of course he's pissed off about it.

    But more importantly, his real shining moment here is bluffing the Daleks on their ship with a Jammy Dodger. 😀 Like Daleks serving tea, this is something I can't possibly hate on. Just not possible.

    Amy of course saves the day again, but I also really like how she's unafraid of the Ironside Daleks and her take-charge attitude even when things are looking really bad for them. I thought she had the perfect reaction to Churchill, too: respectful and honored to meet him, but now cowed either.

    The episode itself also serves, to me, as an interesting counterpoint to The Beast Below. There, a thing which seemed monstrous was revealed to be kind; here, a thing that plays at kindness and helpfulness is revealed to be a monster. Identity is once again revealed through the link to another identity: that of the Doctor. What Amy had observed about his nature enabled her to make the connections between the seemingly strange behavior of the star whale and see the beauty lurking in the beast, while here the Doctor's rage caused him to confirm the beastliness hiding within the seemingly innocuous shells of Bracewell's Ironsides. Bracewell himself is a kind man hiding something terrible within: the bomb. And it is once again Amy's insight that allows her to draw out his humanity, to conquer the "beast" with compassion and warmth. Thinking of these episodes as dark fairy tales, as mirrors to each other, helps me to look past their weaknesses and enjoy them so much more. She and the Doctor both see beneath the surfaces of things that appear to be one thing but hide something else inside, the dualities mirroring each other.

    As for why Amy doesn't remember the Daleks? Hmmm, good question. Very good question indeed.

    • echinodermata says:

      I love your last paragraph. I never made a link to the parallels in this and the last ep, but I quite like it now that you've pointed it out.

      • ldwy says:

        Yes, I hadn't thought about them this way either, but arctic_hare, you make a very interesting analysis.

    • How am I supposed to get my hate on when I am faced with that? How, I ask you? Answer: NOT POSSIBLE.

      Ever so agreed. Tea-serving scheming Daleks charm (and scare) the hell out of me so hard I just can't find it in me to pick this one apart, even though I know objectively it's not a great script.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        Same. My friends and I all know this isn't a great episode, but all we've got to say is "YOU DO NOT REQUIRE TEEEAAAA?" to make ourselves smile.

      • ThreeBooks says:

        Doctor Who at the Proms. The part with the Daleks is by turns hilarious and horrifying, go watch it xD

    • __Jen__ says:

      Great comment. The last paragraph is especially insightful! I like this episode as well. It's not great, but it has a lot of fun moments, ideas and continues really interesting themes.

    • Daleks serving tea is just too much awesome for me to process rationally, and so it casts a rather rosy tint over what is otherwise a somewhat mediocre episode (though I like it a lot more than the weaker episodes of previous seasons and especially the Dalek two-parter of series three, at least)

      I agree with this SO MUCH. To me, the first half of this episode is so fun and the Dalek being so hurt that the Doctor didn't want tea and the Jammy Dodger make this episode at least enjoyable, even though it has a lot of shortcomings. And I think it's a lot better than the bad episodes of other seasons.

      Your last paragraph is so interesting. I love it.

    • bookling says:

      VERY nice comparison in the last paragraph. I never thought about the two episodes as mirrors of each other.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      Excellent review, arctic_hare. 🙂

    • He's defeated them so many times, but like cockroaches, they keep coming back (yes, cause the writers keep doing bringing them back, perhaps you ought to vent this with them, Doctor). So of course he's pissed off about it.

      I just realized that we both compared them to cockroaches. We must both REALLY HATE roaches.

    • mag11 says:

      I love the fairy tale-esque theme/feel of this season. It's lovely–and the darker, Grimm-ier sides of it are just fun. 😛

  3. Stephen_M says:

    "why exactly did they need the Doctor to activate the Progenator? Seriously, you can answer that, because I’m not quite sure I understand it at all."

    Explained in-episode but just to recap: these are Daleks grown from Davros, not the 'pure' genetic strain that was used to create the Daleks in the first place. The Progenator was designed to ONLY recognise pure Daleks and the Journey's End Daleks ain't. The Doctor, however, is pretty much the Devil in Dalek mythology and a testimony from him saying, yep, these really are the Daleks was enough to convince the Progenator to open up. Granted this falls down a tad when you think about it too hard (how does the Progenator know it's the Doctor? Let's just assume they sent a scan of him along with the audio) but good enough for a plot point in a 40 minute episode

    On Dalek colours: you've seen this before Mark. Not in those colours, granted, but we've had Bronze, Black and Red daleks in the new series and grey and… others in the classic. This particular design is a nod to the Doctor Who movie Daleks (long, complicated story) which were bright, primary colours. On a practical level, having different colours helps the audience out in stories where it's important to know which one is in charge.

    "SURELY SHE WILL TAKE OFF HIS SHIRT AND SEE A GIANT METAL CHEST, right?" Let's assume that the Doctor sonic'd his chest shut again.

    "How did Bracewell modify the Spitfires in like an hour?" – Actually I think it's even less than that in-story but he already had the designs and let's assume a couple of prototypes hanging around for both the gravity bubble and the pew-pew guns (supported by the spare Dalek gun in the foreground when the Doctor comes to deactivate him at the end). It'd just be a case of bolting them on and up they go, operating in space much as they would do in the atmosphere.

    "And how can you convince a robot they are human when they know they are not?" It's that fine dividing line between what are our memories and what is our soul. To borrow a line from the 9th Doctor life is just nature's way of keeping meat fresh so it's the parts beyond that – memories, intentions and decisions – that define us as individuals. The question then becomes if you make an artifcial mind so perfect it believes itself to be alive… well who's to say it's not and I can't believe I've headed into philosphical debate territory on Victory of the Daleks! Of all episodes! Right, stopping the explanation express right here! 😉

    • nanceoir says:

      I've never seen the Dr. Who movies, but I do love that Moffat and Gatiss love the show so much that they love the non-canon films and decide to bring aspects of it into the show proper.

      And all around great explanations. 🙂

    • The fact that you said "pew-pew guns" validates all the sound effects I make instead of using real words. Thank you.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      To add to your exaplanation of the Daleks, they're apparently colour co-ordinated by rank; so red is the leader, orange is the scientist, etc….I know, they sound like power-rangers, but this means we can have stories with specific daleks.

    • Kraznit says:

      I thought these Daleks were'nt the ones grown from Davros, but grown from human DNA in 'Bad Wolf'. Didn't they mention having fallen back 200000 years at some point, or did I imagine that?

  4. Bilbo-sama says:

    All I can say is this: GO GO DALEK RANGERS

  5. kaybee42 says:

    I liked this episode.
    You know what I didn't like? The completely pointless 5 second shot of the union flag. Whut?! I know this is set in WWII but it was made now and we don't feel proud or patriotic when we see a bloody flag waving!
    Apart from that it was good 😀

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Also, why were they basically reenacting the American flag-raising at Iwo Jima (which was itself staged, BTW)? That was just strange. I can totally see an American show doing that, because we tend to be all ultra-patriotic about our flag (don't look at me for an explanation, I became an expat the first chance I got), but in a British show? I don't get it.

    • ffyona says:

      Um… huh? WWII was a time of intense patriotism, surely it makes sense for them to show the flag?

      And some people do still feel proud or patriotic when they see their flag. Especially in the context of looking back on WWII from the present day. I don't know, I guess I don't see the problem here.

      • kaybee42 says:

        It wasn't a problem, per se. It just felt stupid to me and overly long, I don't care about a flag (not even 'my' flag or 'the' flag… it's just a flag to me).
        And yeah I understand it was in WWII and people felt more patriotic then, but like I said it's made now and shown now, when, I'll be honest, no one I know feels proud of the UK. It just happens to be where I was born. I mean, it's a nice enough place to be born and all, in fact I'm ridiculously lucky to be born here, but no more lucky than I would be if I was born in any western country.

  6. anninyn says:

    Ah, yes. The coloured Daleks. So controversial that Dr Who magazine did an article debating both sides of the argument.

    I don't like them. Not for any silly fannish reason, I just don;t like how they look- but that's not going to bother me overly, I'm sure.

    As for the rest of this episode- eeeeeh. First truly weak one of 11's run in my opinion. Not that it's not enjoyable- cause it really is- but it's not very strong.

  7. echinodermata says:

    Churchill as a companion would be amazing. And I love this bit right here – it just looks really gorgeous to me.
    <img src=""&gt;

    AMY DOESN'T REMEMBER THE DALEKS!!!! Utterly creepy and mysterious ilu Moffat. Also, that crack at the end! And I love the concept of Dalek Ironsides serving tea! And then the Doctor goes off the rails:
    <img src=""&gt;

    I know a lot of people don't like how often the Daleks come up, and I know more people don't like these new colored Daleks. I don't mind either of those points, although I do prefer the older look (and I love the little Dalek war toy things pushed around on tables), and I don't think this is a strong episode so it's not even a particularly good Dalek ep. Either way, here's an awesome gif since I don't have too much to say about this ep:
    <img src=""&gt;
    (Source, and btw this tumblr is awesome)

    Most of this ep is just kind of meh to me with some enjoyable moments, but one trope I irrationally hate is a female character saving the day via her mystical female compassion. I loved Amy saving the day in the last ep because she was clever, whereas this ep is frankly a let-down for me. Also, major wtf at the flag raising thing near the end since it invokes American imagery and just, what? Did they forget this is Doctor Who? Do. Not. Get. It.

    Whatever, someone somewhere (unfortunately I don't know who) made a Mean Girls image for this episode, and that redeems everything, right?
    <img src=""&gt;

    • JessicaVavrinec says:

      I don't think of it as Amy saving the day with "mystical female compassion." I think it's a moment that highlights what has defined the lives of both Amy and, by contrast, the Doctor. The Doctor uses memories of heartache and loss and pain to stop Bracewell from detonating because he believes that heartache, pain, and loss are what defines him (the Doctor) as a person.

      Amy, on the other hand, values love above all other human experiences, and she reminds Bracewell of the dynamic interplay between positive and negative aspects of life. This moment doesn't matter because it's the perspective that calms Bracewell–it matters because the viewer gains insight into Amy and why the Doctor needs her: she reminds him that some pain is beautiful and worthwhile.

      • echinodermata says:

        Like I said, irrational. It just felt really gendered to me the first time I watched it. I don't deny that it's an important moment of characterization for both Amy and the Doctor, I just never particularly appreciated this aspect of the construction of the Doctor/companion relationship (where the companion brings humanity and emotion in contrast to the Doctor bringing intellect) when the Doctor is always male and the companion is normally female.

        There's more I'd like to say, but I can't do it without being spoilery.

    • Jenny_M says:

      That last image made me laugh really, really loudly. Mean Girls references FTW!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


    • arctic_hare says:

      Mean Girls gifs are always welcome! 😀

    • one trope I irrationally hate is a female character saving the day via her mystical female compassion. I loved Amy saving the day in the last ep because she was clever, whereas this ep is frankly a let-down for me.

      Yeah, Amy doesn't do much in this episode except react well, be super duper impressed with Churchill, and save the day with her mystical female compassion. It felt really gendered to me too.

      • echinodermata says:

        Yay I'm not alone! Perhaps if she had more to do in this ep I would have felt better about it.

        At least in Dalek it was more Rose's humanity itself, not that she somehow was some amazing specimen of compassion to the Dalek.

        • Yes. Also that Rose didn't know what a Dalek was. Her later (justified) lack of compassion for the Daleks is shown pretty dramatically.

          Also Amy's compassion for the Starwhale was sort of like displaced/allegorical compassion for the Doctor whom she already has a meaningful relationship with. And was combined with analysis and reasoning. Which makes the way she saved the day through compassion a lot more meaningful and impressive, in The Beast Below.

          • echinodermata says:

            YES YES YES it's like you're in my brain. And certainly Donna was marked by compassion, but it's not like she knew exactly the right thing to say. (And with Martha, I'd call it more understanding than compassion, say with the fish things from The Doctor's Daughter.)

            • Welcome to the hive mind?

              (You're right on about Martha, I think, and it's a reason to like her that I hadn't thought of before.)

              Now I will be watching out for this trope as I revisit the rest of S5…

  8. shyfully says:

    Yet another story that I believe gets an unfairly bad rap and that I therefore feel the need to tl;dr about it’s good points (aren’t you guys glad I wasn’t around for Love & Monsters and Fear Her? Seriously, there is not a single Who episode that I don’t enjoy rewatching.)

    First of all, some of the shots in this episode of just lovely. That one of Amy and Eleven standing outside, looking at the sky filled with zeppelins? Badass. It would only be better if Amy looked out later and saw a wee Rose dangling off one of them in the distance. Speaking of Series 1 episodes, I’m going to do another comparison between this episode and an early episode. In some ways, this was Amy’s “Dalek”. Now, Dalek is a very different episode in many ways because it was accomplishing different things. For one, Dalek was about introducing the daleks to the audience, give an insight into Nine’s Time War issues and so on. But, in the sense that it’s an episode where a companion meets the daleks, the daleks manipulate people for their ends, and the Doctor tries to convince people that the daleks are evil, there are similarities!

    It’s interesting to see the different between Rose and Amy’s reactions to the daleks. Rose reaches out with compassion. Her and the Doctor’s journeys together were about helping people, often aliens. They were about, often, reaching out with compassion, Rose in particular. Amy, on the other hand, treats the daleks in a very joking way. Although there have been moments of real danger and concern in her adventures, the Doctor still has explained them as just that, adventures. Rose and Amy both have led lives that, in a lot of ways, were very hard for them. Rose wasn’t taken seriously, was demeaned by people. She felt ordinary and below average. When the Doctor showed her that “better way of living”, she still connected to that part of her past. It was all very real to her, even if it was also often fun. Martha also always treated it as real. Donna, well, it was maybe the realest thing she’d had up to that point. But Amy lived in a different way, in a large part, I think, because of the Doctor’s interference so early. She was never treated as being below average but as being seen as delusional, being abandoned. She still, I believe, sees traveling with the Doctor as an escape. It’s a lark, a way of running away from her real problems. But that also means she’s not willing to treat it all as real, at least not right off. It’s fantasy, to her, in many ways. And of course, the Doctor doesn’t trust her yet, either. He wouldn’t let her keep the TARDIS key.

    Amy also doesn’t seem to trust the Doctor a lot. Even though the Doctor clearly freaked out when he saw the daleks, told her they were dangerous, the embodiment of hate, she didn’t really believe him. And, you know? She has reason not to. In the Beast Below, he was wrong. When she was little, he was wrong about when he’d get back. He has not proved himself as someone she can rely on. But, she’s not infallible either. She doesn’t know everything and she especially isn’t an expert on alien life forms and whether they are threatening or not.

    I also want to take a moment and talk about Bracewell’s bomb. A lot of people I know had an issue with how the Doctor tried to defuse it and how Amy succeeded. But I actually really liked that moment. You know why? Because I love it when character’s accidentally show us their secret angst. Think about it- when Eleven thinks about humanity, he goes right to pain. Sorrow. Loss. Oh, Eleven 🙁 When you think about Ten, who I believe often was trying to act more human, and all the pain that got him, it really makes me sad. And Amy, of course, goes straight for fun, for a bit of naughtiness. I know a lot of people took the “fancy someone you shouldn’t” thing as meaning that Amy was in love with the Doctor, but I didn’t. I can believe she fancies him, sure. His whole lifestyle, running away, escaping, madcap adventures. But love? Nah, I just don’t see it.


    • shyfully says:

      Now I’m going to talk about Amy’s clothes. I love analyzing wardrobe choices in TV shows so, you know, fun! And this is the first “every day” Amy outfit, as opposed to a costume or a nighty. Generally they show us when a companion returns home for the first time and she didn’t seem to bring anything with her, so I feel good about assuming that these are from the TARDIS wardrobe, except for her ‘A’ necklace and gold watch, which she was wearing in her other appearances. I really like her outfit here. It’s actually very close to clothing I’d wear, actually. I like the bold red of the top. And her hair is nice, too, very simple. Overall, it’s nicely understated with the red providing and interest point. The jacket is totally cute and I love how it fits on her. Also, this is a pretty good time to say that my fashion taste is very close to Amy’s, though the skirts I choose tend to be a bit frillier. They are just as short, though, which brings me to my main point: people seem to think it’s okay to say that because she wears short skirts, Amy is meant to be portrayed as a slut. So, if you are one of the people who thinks that, feel free to label me a slut, too. Because that is clearly the only conclusion that can be drawn from a woman wearing a skirt that doesn’t brush her knees.

      Also, the Doctor was wearing a blue bow tie in this episode. It matches the TARDIS pretty well 🙂

      Let’s talk Daleks. I am actually really happy with what this episode did for them. Doctor Who had sort of gotten into this issue with the daleks in the new series where every time they appeared, the Doctor would defeat all of them. They would all die, or there would only be one lone survivor, who, in a later story, would also die. But the daleks are huge. They are a massive part of the show’s mythology, it’s merchandise and legacy. They is no way, simply no way, that the daleks are going to go away for good. It’s no longer believable. So, when this episode ended with the daleks scurrying off, fine and dandy, I was so happy! They live to fight another day and the show is stronger for it.

      I’m also going to take a moment to talk about their plan(s). First of all, outwitting the Doctor? Lovely. One of the issues Doctor Who can run into is not making the villains brainy enough. The Doctor is a brainy hero. He isn’t a violent one. Naturally, the villains are violent, of course, but brains against brawn, over and over, gets boring. And, the Daleks are supposed to be smart. So, I liked them tricking the Doctor. Again, I think of “Dalek” the episode. I wonder if any of the info that dalek gathered got out to the rest? Because Nine’s reaction when he first met that dalek would have given them a pretty good indicator that the Doctor cannot contain himself and has to get all shouty about good and evil when around daleks. And the plan to turn all the lights on in London during the raid… so creepy and it gets more awful the more I think about it.

      Random thought- do they daleks know what happened to Handy? I’m just amused at the idea of them all shitting their, uh, pepper pots about a Doctor clone that isn’t even in the dimension anymore. But they did take Eleven’s jammy dodger threat very seriously! (BTW, that is possibly one of my favorite lines in the episode- “But I was promised tea!” And then he eats it as he runs. Oh, Doctor.)

      The Might Morphin’ Color Daleks I could take or leave, though I can tell you as a kid I would have totally wanted to get every color toy. I think they could be cool, with the different titles they said and all, but I reserve judgement for now. Also, I think it’s funny that they change the height of the daleks based on the height of the companions. So the earlier daleks are Rose’s height and these new ones are Amy height. Heehee.

      Also, I had a whole paragraph planned out about how Amy can’t remember things but then when I sat down to write it, I couldn’t remember what I was going to say.

      In conclusion, there were definitely a lot of points in this episode that worked less for me (like the whole Churchill thing and really all of the war room stuff other than Bracewell) and things that made me feel a little silly (like the colorful daleks, although I am reserving judgement as hard as I can) but ultimately I think this was an interesting episode and I’m happy with what it did re: the daleks in the new series.

      PS: Dalek’s do have arms, Mark. Or at least those…tentacle thingers. But only when they open up their armor.

      • anninyn says:

        Ah yes. The 'AMy is a slut'. Because an attractive woman who happens to be sexually aware and flirtatious and dresses in a fashinable and attractive way is automatically a bad thing /sarcasm.

        This is why I am trying to reclaim the word slut. I am also an attractive (though not as smokin' as Karen) woman who dresses 'provocatively', is sexually aware and flirts a lot. And I have also had sex with… a few people. I don;t see this as bad, and it boggles the mind that others would.

        So, reclaiming 'slut'. Who's with me?

        • Stuart says:

          I'm reading a book right now called "The Ethical Slut". So I'm all in favor… but someone beat you to it.

          (Also, I'm male, but part of reclaiming "slut" can be to make it gender-neutral, right?)

          • anninyn says:

            Does it count if I've been reclaiming it since 2002?

            Absolutely! Gender-neutral sluttery ahoy!

          • radiantbaby1 says:

            "Ethical Slut' in am excellent read, Stuart (it's sort of a bible for some in the poly community). I read it many years ago and definitely consider myself a slut.

            Sex-positivity FTW!

      • __Jen__ says:

        I love your comments! <3 Great analysis.

        Taste the Rainbow Daleks are something I can sort of get behind, as they appeal to kids and apparently signify rank/ability within the Dalek High Command. They do look goofy though. I LOVE that they outwitted the Doctor. I really haven't liked any of the Dalek episodes from the new series because I've found them dull and lacking menace (except for Dalek, of course), but this episode is sending them in a more interesting direction.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Ugh, I'm kind of glad that I have no real knowledge of the fandom if there's seriously slut-shaming over a fucking skirt. Not that it's surprising, pervasive, or unique to Doctor Who fans, I'd just rather not read that kind of bullshit. Her outfit is cute and she looks great! Women should be able to wear whatever they're comfortable in without having to face absurd scrutiny.

        Oh, and I liked the blue bowtie, too! I thought it was kinda neat that his burgundy-ish bowtie went with Amy's nails, but I like that he's changing it up. I'm excited to see if Eleven delves into the heady world of patterned bowties!

      • nyssaoftraken74 says:

        > Seriously, there is not a single Who episode that I don’t enjoy rewatching.

        Couldn't agree more. My tagline over on The Forum That Must Not Be Named says, `All Doctor Who is brilliant. It's just that some parts are more brilliant than others.`

      • ShayzGirl says:

        I got in a fight with a girl at school back in Jr. High. She was flirting with the guy I was sort of seeing (we were gonna go to the dance Friday and then maybe see a movie Saturday. It was weird) and she'd done the same type of thing before to many of my friends. On this particular day I was wearing a skirt. Not as short as Amy's, but it didn't reach my knees (it was within the school's "must be the same length as your finger tips" rule) and when I called her a slut, she said "Look who's talking" meaning my outfit. I argued back that wearing a skirt didn't make me a slut. Stealing other people's guys made her one. We both ended up in trouble for fighting, but at least the principal was smart enough to schedule our detention times on different days, otherwise there probably would have been another fight. So, yeah, when people go "OMG! Look at that girl in that skirt, what a slut" I fight back.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        Upvoting this. I, too, hate the implication "Amy wears short skirts => Amy is a slut". Good grief, if I had such lovely legs, I'd want to show them, too, and I'm not flirtatious at all!

    • nanceoir says:

      Seriously, there is not a single Who episode that I don’t enjoy rewatching.

      Quoted for the miles of truth that it is.

      Sure, there are some episodes I don't mind being distracted while rewatching, but on the whole, I'll rewatch any of them.

    • mkjcaylor says:

      Have to say I wrote a very long and drawn out love gush about Love and Monsters when Mark watched it, so there was some love. I don't agree with the "love life" bit of that episode (which is when most people seem to judge it) but overall I think the episode is brilliant.

      So there's still some lovers of Love and Monsters out there. It's probably only me, but I think that's one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who.

    • Insightful comment is insightful! I like what you have to say about the Doctor and Amy's relationship; it's right on the nose.

  9. leighzzz31 says:

    I’ll admit it upfront I skipped this one on my first watch of the series – I saw the preview, I felt excited at Churchill appearing and I groaned at the Daleks. I am really prejudiced against them; I thought they were pure evil in Series 1, I was terrified of them in Series 2, I was sick of them by Series 3 and Series 4 was the last nail on the coffin of my Dalek experience. (As for Classic Who, I’ve only seen them in a few episodes but they are admittedly more frightening.)

    Anyway, aside from my Dalek hatred and the somewhat incomprehensible plot, World War II is always fascinating, especially in Doctor Who. I really like this scene (Amy!Hair!London!):
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    I was pretty curious to see the Doctor and Winston hang out. And Winston is apparently a pickpocket now? Cool.
    The shout-out to the Iwo Jima flag-raising was REALLY random.

    Honestly, I can’t remember much more of this story – I’ve only watched it once – but I know I died laughing at the new technicolour Daleks. The army green ones in the beginning seemed a lot more threatening. These just reminded me of gumball machines XD

    In conclusion of my less than insightful comment:
    P.S. Most interesting part of the episode. Why does Amy not remember the Daleks? Hmm, the plot thickens…*twists non-existent mustache*

    • bookling says:

      I don't think that was a shout-out to the Iwo Jima flag-raising at all. It was just a regular flag-raising. I think as Americans (assuming you're also American here) we see that imagery so often that we're programmed to think of it any time we see four dudes raising a flagpole. I don't think that's a particularly important image in British culture like it is in America, and I can't see why a British TV show would want to pay homage to an American WWII symbol.

    • t09yavorski says:

      I now have an image in my head of Daleks giving out gumballs. Adorable and frightening at the same time (cause they are probably gumballs of Death!)

      • leighzzz31 says:

        Just say NO to any tea or gumballs you may be given by a Dalek! Better safe than sorry, even if the gumballs are colourfully delicious!

  10. Ronni says:

    This episode inspired me to get a package of Jammie Dodgers. And darned if those things aren't tasty.

  11. Mary Sue says:

    I’m sorry, but what the fuck. I actually started laughing so hard that tears came to my eyes.

    I'm TERRIFIED of Daleks (childhood trauma), and even then, the Taste The Rainbow Daleks made me go, "Fun fruit flavors yay!"

  12. Now I finally want to talk about Eleven! This episode has a lot of problems (why are we back in WWII? why is this version of Churchill so uninteresting? Why is Amy so comparatively boring here, when she was so perceptive and helpful on the Starship UK? Why is this eerily like an episode of Star Trek:TNG about whether Data is a person?) However, character-wise, especially in terms of Eleven, it is SIGNIFICANTLY MORE AWESOME than The Beast Below. Also, it has Daleks. Multicoloured rainbow Daleks! Sneaky undercover Daleks.


    And I can forgive a lot in the face of Daleks armed with tea, insofar as it makes me giggle both at the preposterousness of the situation, and with the nervousness of knowing the "Ironsides" can't actually be benign tea-serfs.

    So, um, it turns out that Daleks will ALWAYS make the Doctor lose his shit. Because, well, they're like little Nazi roaches, always surviving EVERYTHING. What has the Doctor lost, fighting the Daleks? The toll is now up to:
    – His home planet
    – (nearly) his entire species
    – Rose
    – Donna
    – 10.5


    And perhaps worst of all, being around the Daleks makes the Doctor into the sort of person who probably can't quite stand to be around himself. I have days like that, topics that will turn me into a person who wonders how anyone could stand to be around her, since after all I can't stand the things inside my own head. Thus, I really, REALLY feel for the Doctor on the subject of the Daleks. They deliver the psychological one-two punch of both filling the Doctor with rage (for everything he's lost, all the times he's been made to fight) AND self-loathing (because of his inability to stop them, and the total rage-monster they make him into). To quote the Dalek Emperor all the way back from the Parting of the Ways, "Hail the Doctor, the Great Exterminator." The Daleks threaten to make the Doctor into a person he can't live with. Hell, they already did. On multiple occasions.

    And the worst thing is, that rage and self-loathing? That DEFINES the Doctor. The Daleks, and his reaction to them (and vice versa), they create each other. ("I am the Bad Wolf. I create myself"?) It's used literally here, but the psychological level is where the Taoist turn on having an Archnemesis is more interesting, to me.

    So Eleven is faced with a choice: stop the Daleks, or save London from the German army. I think that he makes the choice that any Doctor would have made: save London, save the timeline: so good job Doctor. But we don't get to celebrate, the Doctor doesn't get to dance like the last time he visited the Blitz, because the Daleks have done something much more frightening than building a multiverse-destroying engine out of 27 stolen planets, merging with humanity to "evolve", or rebuilding themselves into an insane army out of harvested human cells.

    THEY HAVE SIMPLY BUGGERED OFF. Exactly like the Nazi space cockroaches that they are, scuttling under the intergalactic sink, and we have no fucking clue when or if they might show up again.

    And now I am very very nervous.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Great post, but this line
      Exactly like the Nazi space cockroaches that they are, scuttling under the intergalactic sink, and we have no fucking clue when or if they might show up again.
      is simply the best thing ever written about Daleks.

  13. CJBadwolf says:

    Whenever I'm busy hating on this episode and the iDaleks, I take a moment to remember that even in hate, I still like it better than 90% of other shows I enjoy. Hate is just so. . .relative, and looks like an iDalek.

  14. who_cares86 says:

    Go Go Power Daleks. Yeah. OK personally the colours don't bother me that much it's just the fact that they look like fucking PLASTIC. Yeah the single most evil thing in creation is made of plastic. They were hard to take serious to begin with but that's just the worst joke ever.

    <img src=""&gt;

  15. P.S. I typically haven't been very enthusiastic about the stories Mark Gatiss has written for DW (The Unquiet Dead and The Idiot's Lantern), but when I put aside the unsatisfying meditations on humanity (teenage crushes make you a real boy?) and space sequences that seem simultaneously stolen from Star Wars and The End of Time pt. 2, I am left with a totally awesome story about the Doctor and his identity, and how part of what makes him the same man is who he hates and fears as much as who he loves and what he does. And that is some seriously disturbing stuff to ponder. Perhaps Dorothy Parker—queen of making the seriously disturbing seem almost cute—said it best:

    Love has gone a-rocketing.
    That is not the worst;
    I could do without the thing,
    And not be the first.

    Joy has gone the way it came.
    That is nothing new;
    I could get along the same, —
    Many people do.

    Dig for me the narrow bed,
    Now I am bereft.
    All my pretty hates are dead,
    And what have I left?

    ——Dorothy Parker

    • doesntsparkle says:

      Love Dorothy Parker. The Doctor should totally go hang out with her. She would be so snarky to him.

    • nanceoir says:

      unsatisfying meditations on humanity (teenage crushes make you a real boy?)

      I think in this context, it's supposed to be more along the lines of "pain is universal, but love is human"? I agree, it's handled with clumsy fingers, but I think it works. Also, I think teenage crushes are a good, quick way to get most people to that particular emotional place, because it's going to be their first, if fleeting, taste of how love feels, and they flash back to being that awkward teen and all sorts of other memories come flooding in, too.

      At least, that's how I like to look at it, so I can better enjoy the show. 🙂

  16. SusanBones says:

    It wasn't one of my favorite episodes either. There were too many things that either weren't well explained, like the Oblivion Continuum, or weren't very logical, like Spitfires in space. The testimony was needed because those four Daleks weren't pure enough to be recognized as Daleks by the progenitor. Their DNA wasn't pure enough. I can't remember why.

    The cookie part was cute, though.

  17. kohlrabi says:

    Oh how I hated this episode. I was still not used to all the changes that came with series 5 and then on top of that this episode just made no sense. Though I LOVED the "You do not require tea". I never even thought about the Daleks not even seeing in other colors, which makes their skittle-ness all the stupider. Essentially the most interesting thing about this episode was that Amy didn't remember, you know, PLANETS IN THE SKY. What? It was all down hill from there. I didn't even enjoy watching Matt Smith act angry because what he was angry about was either stupid or didn't make any sense. Sorry Eleven, I hope to see you angry at something that makes sense to me later.

    I think I might like "Fear Her" better than this episode. *dodges tomatoes*

  18. P.P.S. The Skittles Daleks are so absurd that I love them even though I easily could have added them to the (not insignificant) tally of things I'm not so keen on when it comes to this episode.

  19. feminerdist says:


    Word, Mark. Word.

    I really hate the new paint jobs. The Daleks do not need to worry about color schemes!!! There are just too many "WTF?! WAIT I DON'T GET IT!" moments for me in this episode. Alas, every season has a dud.

  20. valely199 says:

    The coloured Daleks is one of the most hilarious things ever. I can't take them siriusly like that. However…

    I ~may~ have gone to that site and now have the Victory of the Daleks poster as my background…

  21. Kaci says:

    Oh, Mark. You are seriously not alone. I just…skittles. They look like freaking skittles.

    I'm fairly sure this episode exists entirely because Moffat (who as you know, I love, but come on) was going, "THIS IS MY SHOW NOW. NEW TARDIS INTERIOR, NEW SCREWDRIVER, NEW DOCTOR, NEW COMPANION, AND I'MA MAKE NEW DALEKS WHILE I'M AT IT. MWAH HA HA."

    No, really. That's pretty much the only reason. That and Ian McNiece doing a killer Winston Churchill.

    But yeah. Not a favorite and I pretty much forgot about it immediately except SKITTLE DALEKS WTF.

  22. Albion19 says:

    Yeah I'm with you on this one Mark, don't hate it but it's just OK.

    Daleks serving tea is fab though. KBO guys, KBO…

  23. psycicflower says:

    'Would you like some tea?'
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"> All the tea lines are amazing and I'm now craving Jamie Dodgers.

    I'm fairly indifferent to this episode. I don't hate it but I don't love it. I think that largely stems from it being yet another Dalek story. I'd love them to just have one series off. I can understand though that the Daleks are a big part of the Whoniverse so it's important that Moffat set them up for whenever he wants to use them again after the events of Stolen Earth/Journey's End. Although it is very strange that Amy doesn't remember the Daleks.
    I did like seeing the Daleks as Ironsides though. It was interesting to wonder whether they were good or bad. I did enjoy the Doctor beating one up with a giant wrench as well.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • All this talk of the wonder of Jammie Dodgers is making me think I need to go to Meidiya today and see if amongst all their fantastic imports, they've got Jammie Dodgers and I haven't noticed before because I was too distracted by the Tim Tams.

      • psycicflower says:

        They are so good. I'm sad there's none in the house right now. I'm also starting to crave skittles as well because of everyone's comments.

    • hassibah says:

      Brits have the cutest names for everything and cookies are no exception. I just call it the one with the red stuff but this is going to change.

  24. The first time I saw this all I could think of was the Daleks made me think of a clorox color bleach cermercial. "EXTERMINATE…now with 2x the color!" *head desk* I don't think it's the worst thing to happen in Doctor Who but this isn't one of season 5 bright moments.

    However, I'd rather have Skittle colored Daleks than farting aliens (I still haven't forgiving RTD for that bit.).

    Hopefully you'll think the next episode makes up for this one.

  25. Hypatia_ says:

    Okay, I like this episode entirely because of the Daleks being all unDaleky there for awhile. They've got little British flags on them! They want to win the war for Churchill! They bring people tea. This will never, ever stop being funny. The bit with the Doctor whaling on the Dalek with a giant wrench while the Dalek screeches "YOU DO NOT RE-QUIRE TEA?" makes me laugh until I cry. I'm not sure if it was meant to be that funny, but there you are. Likewise, the Doctor scarfing down the "TARDIS self-destruct" while he runs away. However, that was clearly meant to be funny.

    I don't get Bracewell at all. I'm not really bothered by how the Daleks built him (whatever, they come close to taking over the universe several times a year, clearly they have learned to manage without arms) but why did him talking about the girl he used to like make the bomb in him not go off? I think they were trying to do something with the "triumph of the human spirit" or something, but he's not human. He's an android who's been made to think he's human. I have no idea how or why that worked.

    Hehe, "Skittles". My preferred term for them is iDaleks. They look like highly aggressive iPod nanos. Seriously, my iPod is exactly the same color as the blue one. Daleks are funny looking enough already, no need to make them bright and cheery colors. Daleks should not be cheery, dammit.

    Overall, it's got plot holes you could fly a Dalek ship through, but it's pretty fun anyway. I love Winston Churchill (he's my dad's hero, and I grew up hearing aaalll about him). I love him trying to nick the TARDIS key every chance he gets. And the Cabinet War rooms were cool, I've been to the museum they've got down there now. It's great for getting a sense of the history.

    • I laughed so hard it turned into a coughing fit, reading your comment.

      I also now feel that I need a sound clip of "YOU DO NOT REQUIIIIIIIIRE TEA?!" I don't know what for. I just know that I need it in my life.

    • Will says:

      I really dislike the "iDaleks" comparison. If Apple were ever to design a Dalek they would remove all the Dalek bumps so it would be completely smooth.

  26. sukiyakiya says:

    Ipod Dalek.
    Oh~ I can't wait to see Davros in pink or purple or even glitter to made him look badass later <3 (Davros goes gaga).

    • nanceoir says:

      According to Mark Gatiss, they tried purple Daleks, and they just didn't work. Like, they looked wrong. Same goes for green, actually. (And there goes my Hogwarts Dalek collection down the drain!)

      So, I guess Davros gets pink, then? Actually, with pink and glitter, he's totally in Sparkleypoo.

  27. NB2000 says:

    Okay fairly short comment from me today (not feeling too good). This isn't the greatest episode ever and I know it gets a lot of heat from some viewers but I really don't mind it. It's not the greatest episode ever but it's not the worst IMHO. A lot of it doesn't really make sense (like you pointed out Mark they got the Spitfires into space awfully fast) but it makes up for it with really amusing bits like EVERY SINGLE LINE said by one of the Ironside Daleks (selfish sidenote; the Ironside Daleks were one of the first DW action figures I bought because it looks so amusing with the flag in place of it's ID badge and the little pouches).

    I actually don't mind the new Daleks, even with the bright colours. I'll be honest, the shortness of the RTDaleks always made them look less intimidating when next to some of the actors. Matt and Karen practically tower over the Ironsides during the War Room scenes (which actually kind of works here when the Ironsides aren't meant to be a threat) so the increased height is a major plus to me. The only part I don't like is the hump on the back but from most angles it's not even visible. Was the scene of the new style Daleks destroying the old ones a bit heavily meta? Yeah it kind of was.

    "I mean, the Doctor even acknowledges that later, when he doesn’t deactivate Bracewell, telling him to go after the girl he spoke of to Amy. Well…how does that work? SURELY SHE WILL TAKE OFF HIS SHIRT AND SEE A GIANT METAL CHEST, right???"

    See my problem with that was, the Doctor says "Someone else's memories implanted into a positronic brain" (or something similar) which suggests that it's another man's memories of Dorabella that Bracewell is talking about. If he does go find her then she's probably not going to know who he is and be very confused.

  28. Goldensage says:

    Agreeing with Mark, here. This episode is just okay. Got slightly better upon rewatch, but not really. This is toward the bottom of my series 5 episode ranking. ( As in second-to-last.).

    This episode was actually the first time I ever saw Daleks, so my reaction was pretty much "Their voices are weird and they're pretty unthreatening". Then I watched some Series 1-4, understood a bit more, but eh….Cybermen are scarier.

    The rest is better.

    And Gatiss redeemed himself with Sherlock, imo.

  29. First off, I don’t care about Daleks. They aren’t scary no matter what color they are. Then again, you need to be a Who fan since childhood to actually fear them.

    Oh, ever so not true. At least for me. None of Moffat's creations make much of a dent for me, but DALEKS ARE TERRIFYING OMG. And I started with New Who in my mid-20s. One data point, anyway…

  30. mkjcaylor says: agrees with Mark.

    Relevant paragraph of product description for Levitating TARDIS:

    "The Levitating TARDIS uses the magic of magnets (how do they work?) to make the blue police box hover inside the black base unit. With a little practice, you can gently flick the TARDIS and set it spinning. The best part? We were so excited about this… go to the nearest vending machine and purchase a bag of Skittles. Use the Skittles to create an epic battle between the Doctor and the new Daleks! As each Dalek dies, toss it in your mouth and taste the rainbow. Delicious."

  31. psycicflower says:

    Haha, yes. I love that punch.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  32. Hotaru-hime says:

    Something I DO like is that it's basically a reset button for the Daleks. RTD, bless him, brought back Doctor Who, but made the Daleks the series big bad in every one but Series Three and had the Daleks "destroyed for good!" every damn time. Not having Daleks in Doctor Who is like not having the Joker go up against Batman. It's ridiculous. So while the episode itself was weak it's intention is good- to provide a classic enemy that hopefully will be smarter than it's predecessors.

  33. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    I like this more and more on rewatch. Yes it's more of series of set-pieces than a story and yes you have to handwave past some of the plotting and yes the new Dalek confrontation scene isn't very well directed (and it looks like they ran out of budget for the setting) but I really enjoy all the parts – even the defusing a bomb by being human bit.

    Multi-colour Daleks are sort of a call back to 1960s movies*, which made the most of the idea of Daleks in colour (there was no colour TV at the time). I like the bold brashness of them and although I agree that the hump back look isn't as good as the original design, it doesn't generate any fan rage in me (and believe me, there's a lot out there).

    Most of all,. I like that they've established the Daleks as a smallish but constant presence in the universe (sort of how they did with Daleks in Manhatten). I don't have a problem with the previous epic outings, but you can't keep wiping them out and bringing them back.

    What I want now is a Dalek story with a quarry and a daft plan and human slaves digging in mines with multi-coloured Dalek guards.

    *60s Daleks:

    I posted this link to the second film before, because Bernard Cribbins is the co-star:

    Here's the first one:

    There were plans to make a third film (based on the third Dalek serial, The Chase) but the second one didn't do well enough at the box office. However, that doesn't stop someone imagining:

    And while we're in the sixties, here's a spoof Radio Times cover that was so good that it got included in a Guardian newspaper gallery of covers:

    <img src=""&gt;


    I meant to post it when you did Planet of the Dead but I forgot.

  34. Anon says:

    There is only one reason for the idaleks and that is merchandising. The BBC has had its funding frozen, which means they are trying to raise as much money as possible from other sources, it also means there will inevitably be budget cuts for a lot of shows. Also, i really hate this episode and i don't want to because i like Mark Gatiss but this is just shit. I think this was actually supposed to be in season 4 but they canned it, i wish it had stayed that way.

  35. arctic_hare says:

    It's spoilery enough for me to delete.

  36. hilarius11 says:

    I don't think any one has talked about this yet, (which honestly surprises me, apparently I'm too entrenched in the fandom) but the colors have specific meanings. Each color indicates that Dalek's "rank" or "position". Red=drone; blue=strategist; orange=scientist; yellow=Eternal and white=Supreme. Stephen Moffat actually said in an interview that what the Eternal Dalek does isn't decided yet, but that it "sounded cool."
    But, worry not, for fandom put up such a stink that the Daleks are going back to the way they were.

    • arctic_hare says:

      I love that the drones are red. Red shirt Daleks!

      • Hypatia_ says:

        That's pretty much the only reason I'm willing to accept the iDaleks. They have official Red Shirts (Red Carapaces? Red Armors? Look, I don't know).

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      They're not going back, but apparently the old design won't be phased out either. So we'll have officer Daleks and soldier Daleks or something. That's if Moffat was being serious and it's still a plan.

      We'll have to wait and see what happens.

  37. psycicflower says:

    Speaking of multi-coloured Daleks, Mark you need to see this non spoilery toy.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • ldwy says:

      Oh my gosh, if I was a child I would want one so much. I sort of do want one so much (I think I would paint it metallic, though). Aw, heck, I just wish I knew a kid to get one for. I kind of don't. My cousins are all just a bit too old, and I haven't got friends with kids or kids of my own yet.

    • qwopisinthemailbox says:


  38. Minish says:

    I… I can re-watch it. That's about the highest compliment I can give this episode.

    It doesn't help that the monster of the week is apparently some big bad enemy person only he's ever seen, so the Doctor getting absurdly upset about the existence of the Dalegs doesn't really feel true. I don't get to feel the terror these robots are meant to instill just by proxy of the Doctor.

    Their whole master plan seemed absurdly over-the-top. "We came to World War III so the Doctor can ID us which we need to breed into Might Morphin Power Robots for some reason." And then they just fly away at the end when they fail to blow up their cyborg, so they'll more than likely return. So, really, the whole episode served the purpose of introducing a big enemy and giving them a paint job.

    And I really hate that the Doctor manages to bluff them into not shooting him and giving him their whole "evil villain monologue" with a cookie. Are they suppose to be this stupid?

    Overall, not a good introduction to the Dalegs.

  39. lunylucy says:

    Yeah this is definitely one of my least favorite episodes in Series 5 (probably in top 3 least fav, actually) but it's not really horrible, just kind of there. I just really wish the Dalek storyline would get dropped because I don't think I've enjoyed a Dalek episode since the finale of Series 1 but I get that they're such an iconic villain they have to stick around. Meh meh.

  40. Albion19 says:

    And on a really serious and sad note about Amy: I'd like to think I'm not the only out there who picked up on when Amy was taking the gun away from Bracewell, and told him that she understood him after hearing him talk about how he remembers things and if his entire life is a lie.

    I didn't pick up on that when I first watched it but I did last night. Holy shit, poor Amy 🙁

    • masakochan says:

      Seriously, Amy deserves all the hugs.

      On that note, I said 'almost everyone' because thinking back to The Eleventh Hour- even if he didn't have as many lines as Amy or Eleven- one could possibly (I don't know how easily) guess/see that Rory stuck by Amy for a long time (like, with "it was just a game you and me used to play"). And considering what I mentioned about Amy in my comment above- that scene actually makes me appreciate his character more (just from the TEH episode) because I can imagine that he's given a good amount of stability and support to Amy over the years when she probably couldn't find that much from anywhere else. /ramble

  41. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    God, I love reading these comments.


    • arctic_hare says:


    • anninyn says:

      So, we've inducted you into Harry Potter fandom, Firefly Fandom and now Dr Who.

      You are aware you are irredeemably nerdy now, right?

      • Hypatia_ says:

        This is a bad thing?

        ONE OF US!

      • echinodermata says:

        After Buffy, he will indeed be wise to the ways of the geek.

      • ldwy says:

        The only thing Mark's reviewed so far that I was already a fan of was Harry Potter. I hadn't read the Hunger Games, hadn't seen Firefly or Doctor Who (good god, how could I have been missing these things!), hadn't read The Book Thief.
        So through his reviews and following along with him and also reading all the comments (when I have time, I LOVE to read them all), I too have been inducted. I was pretty much a supernerd already, but now there's whole new facets of nerddome to my being.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        Well, there's still a chance to recover, if they get to him. But if we make him watch A;TLA he should finally be ours. MUAHAHAHA!

        I mean…er, daleks! Yay. Pay no attention to the person with the geek gas behind the curtain.

    • NB2000 says:

      YOU ARE THE BEST FOR GIVING US A PLACE TO COMMENT and do crazy fun things with the comments.

  42. NB2000 says:

    "I sure hope she’s thinking of Jeff."

    ROFL I don't think anyone could blame her if she was. Jeff is amazing.

  43. nextboy1 says:

    hmm, somehow I was logged in as my original login which I thought had stopped working…now I have 2 profiles AGH. But I think I'll stick to this one

  44. gsj says:

    i am not gonna lie: love this season like burning, cannot for the life of me rewatch this episode.

    but someone has to dig up that fanart of the new daleks done up like sailor moon characters.

  45. nanceoir says:

    Oh! One thing that I love about the new look of the Daleks is the eyepiece. Instead of just being a blue light thingy, it's… kind of an eyeball. Which is super gross, when you think about it, but it's so Daleky. And in the Confidential episode, Steven Moffat is talking about it (it was apparently his idea to go more eyeball than sensor), and he talked about going back and looking at Terry Nation's original scripts, saying that the eyestalks were talked about more as eyes. So, really, at least in that particular detail, it's a return to the original idea. Which I think is kind of brilliant.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      Also, the back panel was a feature of one of the early concept drawings even though it never made it to the actual builds.

  46. goddamgaloshes says:

    Skittles! I tend to call them iDaleks, but the colors are SO Skittles-y. Or Power Rangers. Anything, really, would describe them better than plain old Dalek. They are not supposed to be individuals! Why change everything, Moffatt? Like the old woman in Princess Bride, I say "BOO!"

  47. Mr.Fahrenheit says:

    I think that the Doctor actually does set the date for when the TARDIS is supposed to land. But I can think of two reasons it tends to go off course so much. First, the TARDIS is supposed to have six pilots, so the Doctor just doesn't have enough hands to work everything at once. Secondly; the TARDIS is old. That class of TARDIS (the Type 40) was being decommissioned when the First Doctor started using it. Basically what to us is a piece of time traveling uber-tech is to the Doctor his old space jalopy.

  48. lilah80 says:

    The Progenitor is secretly the back room of Crate & Barrel. That's why they come in those colors. It is my headcanon, and I'm sticking with it.

  49. Zac says:

    I actually loved this episode, but i can see your argument
    In the original series Daleks were generally either white or black, sometimes with some greys and blues. In the sixties there were two Doctor Who cinematic features (they're actually unrelated to Doctor Who canon entirely, and are based off early first doctor episodes) In the second one (which was an early Doctor Who story to be in color) the Daleks were all bright colors. Probably to show off the power of Technicolor. The Daleks are now colored like that in tribute to those old movies. (I don't think this counts as spoilers, it doesn't actually reveal anything about the series)

  50. lezah says:

    I agree that this is one of the weaker episodes, but really I love it mainly for the jammie dodger and tea.

    No idea why the Daleks have to be colourful, but my reasoning is that they want to be glamorous, and I suppose the creators decided against that but faced the threat of being exterminated unless they complied.

  51. nanceoir says:

    it is far too soon for the Daleks to be returning

    Well, unless you count the brief appearance in Adelaide Brooke's flashback, the Daleks have had some time off, in terms of airdates. Not in stories, obviously, but when this aired, it had been nearly two years since the Daleks were raining terror down onto the inhabitants of Earth. It doesn't feel like that rewatching the episodes, sure, but in real time, I don't think it was jumping the gun.

    • who_cares86 says:

      Daleks in Manhatten was too soon this wasn't. You gotta remember just how long 2 years is for a child. Random note: Kids loved the new rainbow daleks.

      • nextboy1 says:

        good point, guess I lose a bit of perspective when it's only a few episodes for me when I watched them all in a row, but a couple of years in reality

  52. arctic_hare says:

    Expectation spoilers = BAD, so I am EXTERMINATING this comment.

  53. arctic_hare says:

    I otherwise really like your comment, but it was reported for expectation spoilers for tomorrow, so I have to err on the side of caution and delete it. Please feel free to repost it without that bit, though!

  54. bookling says:

    I know a lot of people really don't like The Beast Below, but Victory of the Daleks is maybe my least favorite episode of the season. The plot holes don't make sense to me (if Bracewell only had theories about the gravity bubbles or whatever, how did they make it work so quickly?) and I'm never really a fan of Dalek episodes. I know, I know, throw your tomatoes. I just was never able to find them very menacing. I do, however, love the Doctor getting SO ANGRY at them in this episode:

    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

    (I want to put "Come at me bro" on that second gif, but I haven't figured out how to add text to gifs yet.)

    I also love his, "Alright, it's a jammy dodger" bit with the cookie. And that the Daleks would fall for that bluff until they did a scan. They don't understand cookies.

    <img src=""&gt;

    And though Amy wasn't around so much in this episode (I still feel like the Doctor keeps leaving her behind out of a misguided attempt to protect her, so he doesn't end up with another Donna), she did have a fantastic moment at the end, when she was able to talk to Bracewell about Dorabella. The Doctor's first thought was to remind Bracewell of familial love, but Amy knew to remind him of romantic love. She keeps seeing things that the Doctor doesn't, and that's part of why I love Amy so much.

    <img src=""&gt;

    The other part of why I love Amy so much is her beautiful face and her wonderful expressions.

    Also, I hadn't even seen one episode of DW when this aired, but I remember being on Tumblr and everyone freaking out about the Daleks. Everyone called them Skittles Daleks or sometimes iDaleks, and almost everyone hated them. I don't have much attachment to the old models, so I don't really care either way.

  55. James says:

    The Tardis operates on an interest seeking engine, it will always turn up at the most inconvenient or convenient times for the Doctor. It also travels at the speed of plot.

    The reason the Daleks needed the testimony was because they were very slightly mutated which meant the device for making new Daleks wouldn't work for them. Daleks have always had different colours to represent rank or designation, really it's for our benefit I think. Same reason why they wiggle and light up when they talk. Really they shouldn't even talk since they could probably have radios in those tank shells.

    The thing that bothers me? JUST SHOOT THE DOCTOR SERIOUSLY GUYS, don't let him talk or do anything and you win.

    • FlameRaven says:

      I dunno, they shot the Doctor in Season 4 and he still managed to come back and beat them.

      • virtual_monster says:

        They shot him in season four and it doubled him. I'd think twice about shooting him again if I was a Dalek.

        Why am I not a Dalek? So unfair.

      • nyssaoftraken74 says:

        And then his companion rigged their computer so that their guns would backfire. The Ironside Daleks didn't dare take the risk – and note they didn't try to exterminate Churchill, either – fixed point in time, and all that. The new Daleks just kind of got distracted with `spitfires in space, wtf?` as you would.

  56. Dani says:

    And the Daleks are coloured so they can sell more toys. YOU MUST BUY SIX BRONZE DALEKS isn't as appealing as COLLECT ALL OF THE COLOURS.

  57. Openattheclose says:

    The iDaleks stole Time Lord technology!
    I don't really have much to say about this episode, except I like this shot a lot
    <img src=>
    It reminds me of this, much like the shot at the end of Beast Below reminded me of the Doctor and Rose looking at earth in The End of the World
    <img src=>
    Also, when the Daleks say "It is our past and our future," does anyone else have Tom Riddle flashbacks? "Lord Voldemort is my past, present, and future."

    • gembird says:

      'Also, when the Daleks say "It is our past and our future," does anyone else have Tom Riddle flashbacks? "Lord Voldemort is my past, present, and future."'

      I guess it's a thing you have to say when you're a squicky-looking murderous extremist with no empathy. Although, when Tom Riddle said that her was actually looking pretty hot,. But you know what I mean. He's still evil and a big fat racist, just like the Daleks.

      • gembird says:

        Ack, okay, I'm not saying 'big fat ANYTHING' ever again. Before anybody says anything, I apologise for that one. Ugh, embarrassing, I am not smart.

    • Tauriel_ says:

      Nice comparison there – and is it just me, or the VOTD shot looks much better blended than the DIM one? Looks like the CGI on Who has improved quite a bit…

      • swimmingtrunks says:

        It is NOT just you. That was pretty godawful green (or rather, quite obviously blue) screen there in Daleks in Manhattan. Yay for better special effects!

    • darth_eowyn says:

      Isn't that Martha, not Rose?

      • Tauriel_ says:

        (S)He's talking about the similarity of the shots in The Beast Below and The End of the World.

        • Openattheclose says:

          Yes! Exactly this (it's she BTW). I was talking about the similarity of the shot of Amy and the Doctor in The Beast Below to the shot of Rose and the Doctor in The End of the World. I was saying that the two pics I posted ALSO seem similar to me, not that those two pics are from EotW or BB. Sorry I wasn't clear!

          Thank you, Tauriel_!

  58. thiamalonee says:

    Guys, Guys!! I just got back from Spring Break in London, and I totally went to the Cabinet War Rooms/Churchill Museum!!! When we got to the room with the bank of colorful telephones that corresponded to different groups (Navy, Allies, etc) that Churchill would need to call, I couldn't help myself from asking the other people on the tour which one he used to phone the Doctor. 🙂 I think I talked about DW and HP a little bit too much on my trip…

    PS- In line for the Natural History Museum, I totally saw a little boy with a Sonic Screwdriver!!

    • Openattheclose says:

      I think I talked about DW and HP a little bit too much on my trip…
      Not possible! And your trip sounds really awesome.

  59. nanceoir says:

    *starts to pencil in something about one of Hermione's hats and mitten set* Oops. *erases*

  60. arctic_hare says:

    The world may never know…

  61. Inseriousity. says:

    Anyone watch The King's Speech and thought 'sorry Churchill but you were better in Doctor Who' 😛

  62. Tauriel_ says:

    This is one of the weaker episodes in Series 5, but I still like it, because (as implausible as they are within the context of the episode) the spitfires in space are simply COOL AS HELL. Ian McNeice makes a very good Churchill and Dr. Bracewell is a very likeable character. And of course the Daleks pretending to be British soldiers and go around serving tea is just hilarious. "WOULD. YOU. CARE. FOR. SOME. TEEEEEAAA?" had me in stitches. Not too fond of the new colourful iDaleks, though – it's not the bright colours that bother me, but they seem so… fat. The old NuWho ones have a much better, sleeker design, IMHO.

    As for the TARDIS being late again – well, it's often been very erratic (in Series 1 it got it wrong in "The Unquiet Dead" and then missed Rose's return by a year; in Series 2 it landed a century too early in "Tooth and Claw"; in Series 4 it landed in Pompeii instead of Rome; and I'm sure there were many such occasions in Classic Who as well). Some argue that the Doctor, even after all those centuries, STILL can't fly the TARDIS properly. Then again, it could've been said that it's just been recently re-built (remember, "The Eleventh Hour", "The Beast Below" and "Victory of the Daleks" take place immediately one after another, with no breaks in between; save for Amy to get dressed between TBB and VOTD… 😀 ).

    Oh, and I absolutely LOVE this poster:

    <img src=""&gt;

  63. Jaxx_zombie says:

    Amy what rock have you been living under? I know that you live in a small village, but that is just ridiculous!!

    Also… Can I collect all the Daleks? They make me think of toys that you have to collect. Will they sooner or later be every color in the crayola box of crayons?

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  64. Thennary Nak says:


    My cynical mind tells me it's so they can sell more toys.

    Though this isn't the first time the Daleks have been done up in different colors. In the mid-60s there were a couple of Doctor Who based movies and the Daleks in those came in blue, red and I think black.

  65. who_cares86 says:

    Someone mentioned the Doctor's TARDIS being a Type 40 earlier. This episode is the first episode of the revived series to mention the fact that it's a Type 40.

  66. FlameRaven says:

    You probably have an answer to this already, but I haven't seen it yet, so…

    The TARDIS is notoriously unreliable about the time setting. I don't know if they've explained this in what you've watched of Old Who or not, but I was told that the TARDIS was pretty much derelict and decommissioned when the Doctor ran off with it. That's why it's a police box- the chameleon circuit is broken- and lots of other things don't work quite as they should on it. It's also sort-of-sentient, so my impression is that the Doctor puts in a time, and the TARDIS goes there… if it feels like it. It seems sometimes the TARDIS goes to the wrong date by mistake, and sometimes by design– they talked about this at the beginning of "The Doctor's Daughter" last season.

  67. widerspruch says:


  68. buyn says:

    Jammy dodgers, why you so delicious?

  69. rewritten says:

    Just rewatched, and it wasn't actually as bad as I remember. Don't get me wrong, if there was an option to delete an episode from the series this would no doubt be the one, but there are a few things I enjoyed.

    Churchill and Bracewell were brilliant.
    The Dora Bella story, naaaaaw.

    and now for something a little controversial…

    I DON'T MIND THE DALEK REDESIGN. There, I said it. Now when I say redesign, I mean just that, the design. The colours are awful, but I find the Daleks considerably more threatening now that they've been bulked up a bit.

    Finally, TUESDAY IS THE NEW FRIDAY. Cannot wait! For me, the next episode reeeeeally makes up for this one.

    P.s. I just realised that tomorrow's episode is the first one of this series I was actually able to watch when it first aired, due to being trapped in Morocco, THANKS A BUNCH ICELAND/ASH CLOUD.

    • echinodermata says:

      There's something people call "expectation spoilers" on this blog, which is basically remarking on say how good/exciting something upcoming is supposed to be. It's considered a spoiler because it sets up an opinion and expectation of an episode before Mark watches it.

      Normally, this sort of thing should be reported and deleted, but you got lucky because Mark already said he's watched the next ep in a comment somewhere.

      So basically, please try to avoid that sort of comment in the future.

      • rewritten says:

        Yeah, I've been picked up on it before but thought this would be alright as I made it quite personal, hence the 'for me'. I could've refrained from the caps though, haha.

        Just a thought here, wouldn't it be awesome if when someones comment is deleted they got an email saying "your comment 'blah blah mark look whats happening tomorrow' was removed because *reason* Please avoid making similar mistakes in future". I say this because it's incredibly annoying when a comment is deleted and you have to remember all that you typed out. I suppose it's like a punishment of sorts, but it'd just be nice to have a way they could get the content of the comment back and repost it minus the areas that got it removed in the first place. I understand this would be incredibly frustrating for mods to have to do for everyone so I was thinking of it as a sort of automatic intensedebate feature.

        Thanks for allowing my comment this time. I'll reserve my public displays of next-ep enthusiasm strictly for markspoils.

  70. t09yavorski says:

    I'm not. The White Ranger was always meant to be in charge. (does that tell you who was my favorite :P)

  71. Tauriel_ says:

    Oh, and one more thing I really liked about this episode. It actually didn't try to destroy the Daleks FOREVER AND EVER like the previous NuWho episodes. Because the Daleks ALWAYS come back, sooner or later, and if you claim to have destroyed them all forever, you have to make up some (usually ridiculous and convoluted) explanation why they actually survived. Not here, this episode doesn't hide that the Daleks will be back (because we KNOW they will, one day), it's just that we don't know when or where.

  72. Karen says:

    This is going to be a shorter comment than usual because I just don’t have much to say about it. Ok, I was a bit rough on the last episode, but THIS is the one episode of series 5 that I truly hate. It just feels like there is no point except to bring the Daleks back… THIS TIME IN BRIGHT COLORS! Ugh. Idk. This episode just never finds a solid plot or rhythm or something. I just have a lot of trouble making myself rewatch it and pay attention to it.

    I do like that we see a difference between Ten and Eleven here. Ten was always trying to make friendship bracelets with the Daleks, trying to believe that he could save them. But Eleven is like “GIMME THAT WRENCH” and beats up the Dalek.

    The whole scene with the spitfires fighting the Dalek space ship is a bit much, even for me. My second hand embarrassment meter just could not handle it. Idek. It just seems so corny, even by Doctor Who standards that I can’t help but cringe.

    And the power of love thing with Bracewell just makes absolutely no sense. The fact that he was an android was neat, as was the fact that he was actually a bomb. But then the bomb is diffused by… pretending to be human? WHAT? That makes absolutely no sense. The memories weren’t even real. So his fake memories allowed him to pretend to be human and thus stop the bomb from going off? Ooookay…

    ALTHOUGH I do love that when the Doctor is trying to make Bracewell think like a human he’s all like “THINK OF PAIN” because LOL DOCTOR, YOU WOULD. But Amy is like “Think of someone you loved!”.

    The one thing I do like is the Dalek serving tea because LOL Dalek serving tea! But uh.. other than that. I really had to force myself to rewatch this episode.

    • turtle_turtle says:

      There was nothing really redeeming about this episode. It was so bad I can't even.

    • Amanda_duh says:

      I know this was a million years ago, but I'm just now watching this episode. And I have to say, I come and read Mark's reviews as I catch up, and then I scroll through for your comments. I hope they never stop as I keep catching up. <3

  73. masakochan says:

    Reposting this without any accidental spoilery comments this time:

    SPITFIRES IN SPAAACE~! I don't care that I'm 24 years old- I flailed like a little kid when I first saw the airplanes flying up into space.

    Spitfires in space =
    <img src=""&gt;

    I'm probably not remembering this correctly, but I think I remember hearing about the different colors symbolizing different designated positions (like one would be a scientist, and so on and so forth). But yeah, there's a bit of a plot-hole if the Daleks are supposed to be equally smart in everything, right? IDEK.

    And on a really serious and sad note about Amy: I'd like to think I'm not the only out there who picked up on when Amy was taking the gun away from Bracewell, and told him that she understood him after hearing him talk about how he remembers things and if his entire life is a lie. It makes me wonder if Amy at some time thought about, or contemplated, suicide due to the high chance that almost everyone probably labeled her as the 'village crazy' when she was younger, along with the psychiatrists telling her that the Doctor was just imaginary and not real. Oh, Amy. 🙁

  74. nanceoir says:

    Yeah, I don't know that I'd seek out either of the two '60s movies, even for Cribbins and a… scuba-diving Dalek? What? Sorry, but what? *shakes head* I do have a couple episodes of Cribbins to watch still, so maybe that's how I can get a dose of a younger Bernard Cribbins.

    (Also, yay, Babylon 5! Because it doesn't get enough love.)

  75. ShayzGirl says:

    My mother watched this one without me so I didn't get to rewatch it, but I will say that I really like the coloured Daleks even if they do look like skittles.

    That and I loved the bit at the end where Amy gets the Tardis key back from Churchhill. Smart girl. ha ha.

  76. echinodermata says:

    Star Trek is always welcome in my mind.

  77. TropeGirl says:

    If it makes you feel better, this was one of the three episodes I was least impressed with this season. The other 10 or so were better.

    And yeah, the Mighty Morphin' Power Daleks were a bit much. I normally DO NOT gripe about design changes as a policy, but this one just grated at me.

    [insert segue here] My theory about why the TARDIS overshoots and undershoots and typically just all around misses target dates of arrival is that the sentient bit of the TARDIS is hooked into the time vortex-thingy at the heart of the TARDIS and therefore knows when important events are going to be and when the Doctor needs to get there to make things happen the way the time vortex knows they will because the time vortex, well, it's time. So the TARDIS takes the Doctor where time/plot demands. Does that make any sense? Probably not. 🙁

    P.S. I'm studying abroad in the UK right now and I found jammy dodgers. I might have filmed myself saying the famous line about them for one of my YouTube videos. Yes, yes I am a geek with no social life. Why do you ask?

    • Shiyiya says:

      I was in the UK last June, and I totally went OMG JAMMY DODGERS in the biscuit aisle in Sainsburys. <_<

  78. Heather says:

    Basically everything you said, man. I was super excited when I watched the preview, but felt the episode itself was a letdown.

  79. Scott says:

    This episode stands out to me as a great example of how the writers were almost thinking a little too old school Who for series 5. If you watch The Beast Below, Victory, and a later episode you can almost see where a scene should act as the end of Part 1 or 2 of a serial.

  80. MowerOfLorn says:

    I really do enjoy this episode, I swear. I've been to the cabinet rooms at the Winston Churchill Museum in London (its awesome, you should check it out if you can) and I thought they really captured the feeling well, even though we all know that Churchill didn't actually hang out with daleks. (Or did he?)

    Actually, that's something I'm interested in. Churchill and the Doctor obviously recognized one another, and had running jokes- they were good enough friends that Winston even seems to know regeneration and not to be phased by it. Is this referencing any particular old school episode or something from the expanded universe? Because it seems like they have a pretty cool friendship going on.

    Anyway, not the best of episodes, but its got some fun things. The ironside disguise, Daleks serving tea, Eleven seriously getting angry, bluffing Daleks with a cookie….good fun!

  81. kilodalton says:

    There are 2 things I dislike about this episode. VERY MINOR THINGS, but they bug me:

    1) He tells the Daleks something like "I defeated you on the Crucible." Um, no, you didn't. Donna and TenToo did. And you didn't waste an opportunity to condemn TenToo for this (although … maybe that "anger" was projected because he really angsting about leaving him with Rose?)

    2) Best. Missed. Opportunity. Ever. When Amy asks Eleven what should she do while he's away, he ho-hums something and leaves. He SHOULD have said something like "Just stay away from barrage balloons." That would have been really funny, and a reference to a Moffat episode!!

    Anyway … grrr @ those lol. Otherwise I didn't mind the ep so much though.

  82. potlid007 says:

    I think they looked pretty. I like when things look pretty….

    and also, the whole TARDIS not operating to the Doctor's will (some one probably said this already): isn't it because the TARDIS is a living thing, and it can navigate the Doctor to points in time and space where he is needed?

  83. Hotaru-hime says:


  84. Fuchsia says:


    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    As far as episodes go, this one's kind of just "meh" to me. It has some good quotes (the fifth series is extremely quotable) but the plot isn't exceptional. On the other hand, it's not really bad. Just kind of… there. I rarely watch it on rewatches but it's not torture to do so.

    But, oh boy, some of this just doesn’t make sense. How were the Daleks able to build Bracewell? They don’t have arms. I know that I’m overthinking this, considering that THERE IS A GIANT DALEK SPACESHIP FLOATING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON. Yes, all of this is ridiculous. But…yeah, how do the Daleks build things? How do they build each other?

    Honestly, this is what I was thinking from the first moment they served tea. How do they pour tea?

    I saw a graphic once of the new skittle!Daleks with the text "Taste the Rainbow" underneath. I just searched my entire tumblr trying to find it but I guess I didn't reblog it. Boooo.

    And they're really being subtle with that crack following Amy around, aren't they? 😉 WHAT COULD IT MEAN?!

  85. kerrimaryberry says:

    I forgot to include this in my comment earlier but have you seen Dalek Masterpiece Theatre? There aren't any spoilers for future episodes. It's hilarious!!

  86. hassibah says:

    I really enjoy the little cargo belts with pcokets the Daleks had. How do they get stuff out of them?

    I like this episode ok, but I like it more towards the end. Yeah it's definitely not awesome but I think it's totally fine as far as a filler early-in-the-season episode goes and it definitely got on my nerves a LOT less than the last two times the Daleks were on the show which were way more ridiculous. I don't think this bit is supposed to be an epic plot in and of itself but just to remind us they're still here, bitches, and that is totally fine with me. I know most of you guys use "monster of the week" to describe something you think is shallow and crap but I like the simplicity of the plot here.

  87. ravendaine says:

    This plot makes little sense.
    Crayola Daleks = not scary.
    Ian McNeice saves this episode from being a complete tragedy.

    And just a thought: Everyone makes this big deal out of Eleven being a quirky, light-hearted Doctor that's a breath of fresh air after Ten. BUT, no one seems to remember that Ten had many a moment of slapstick and pure silliness, and there was such a whimsy to his 3-D glasses, his 50s bouffant, and his complete delight in everything new he encountered. Sure, Ten got a bit dark near the end (after a full three years of development, mind you), but it's not like Eleven is carefree. Eleven has these moments of horrible rage, too, and I think the Doctor isn't the Doctor without his terrible…ness.

    Anyway, I just think there isn't the dichotomy that many people try to suggest.

    • nanceoir says:

      Everyone makes this big deal out of Eleven being a quirky, light-hearted Doctor that's a breath of fresh air after Ten. BUT, no one seems to remember that Ten had many a moment of slapstick and pure silliness

      I think what people may be reacting to is the sense that a lot of Ten's silliness seemed to be something of a veneer, sometimes even an act (a conscious decision to play the fool), with all that darkness just under the surface and ready to boil over at any moment, whereas Eleven's quirks seem to be a bit more… pre-installed, as it were, and, at least thus far, he doesn't seem as prone to explosions of rage. Not that he's been immune, as you point out, but maybe the Doctor's mellowing a bit in his old age.

      • Hypatia_ says:

        There's a theory that the Doctor's next regeneration is formed partly by what his previous persona needed. That theory works well with the Ten to Eleven switch. Even at his best, Ten was prone to angst and explosive anger, and near the end he was so traumatized that he needed to be someone more lighthearted. Eleven's got the same terrible memories and experiences that Ten had, it's just his personality means that he deals with them differently.

  88. Stephanie says:

    I tend to automatically love anything concerning Winston Churchill, because I am a little bit obsessed with him. I mean, I named my horse Winston. But this episode does have its flaws. Matt Smith was really great, and Bracewell was adorable, and there were a lot of funny lines, but none of those things seemed to really save this episode from its plot problems. For some reason, though, I always seem to misremember this episode as a two-parter. I don't know if that says anything about this episode or myself.
    This episode did spawn one of my favorite Trock songs. Beware, it's ridiculously happy.

  89. @rj_anderson says:

    My kids were bored and restless by the end of this episode and so was I.

    So yeah, I agree with you about pretty much everything you said. But I still love this season THE MOSTEST.

  90. firelizardkimi says:

    I like to think of them as iDaleks.

    • ThreeBooks says:

      YES, the internet is indeed wonderful. -resists urge to download and set an alarm to go off in the middle of Bio-

  91. I had read that Daleks in the 60s were originally coloured to denote rank, and originally they were large enough to fit someone in. I didn't like this Gumbo-Size, but I thought they were adorable. I like my evil cute.

  92. klmnumbers says:


    Omg, that's racist!

    Lol jk. Yeah, this was the worst episode of series 5 imo. The Daleks do look like delightful candy.

  93. @nessalh says:

    They've been called iDaleks by the fandom. And I heard many a "GO GO DALEK RANGERS" when the new Daleks were introduced. I dislike them a lot, though. Give me the old Daleks please.

  94. Daleks made me laugh in the beginning, but now they just bore me to tears. I have no shame, I know, but it's the truth. I was completely terried of the Weeping Angels, was creeped out by the Vashta Nerada, scared spitless by the alien in Midnight, and the "werewolf" in Tooth and Claw seriously gave me the willies. Oh, and "Are you my mummy?" will always make me dive behind the sofa in terror. Other than that, I've been pretty good in Doctor Who.

  95. I really want a Dalek Butler… is that so wrong?

  96. dcjensen says:

    I think Skittles" missed a golden opportunity by not issuing a special edition of small Skittle"-filled Daleks.

  97. Gail says:

    This is a prime example of why Doctor Who has stayed around so long. No matter how naff it gets, there's always so much fun in it you can't resist.

    I loved the 11th Doctor in this. I especially loved when he started whaling into that Dalek with a giant wrench. You know he's had to have wanted to do that for ages, but never been able to justify it to himself. But he knows they're up to something, so he's being clever and trying to startle them into giving away some clues. But it also finally gives him the chance to take out his frustrations. He knows he can't really hurt that armored Dalek, but, boy, does it feel good to whack the hell out of it! Loved it!

    It works, he gets the information he was after, unfortunately what they were doing was tricking him. And he fell for it. That had to sting.

    But, yeah, one of my favorite scenes in the whole series was when the Doctor suddenly snarls and slams that tray out of the Dalek's hand. I was with Amy, my eyes got big. It was completely unnerving to see the Doctor, especially this nice, cheerful incarnation of the Doctor, get that mad. I was kind of scared, and I'm in my forties!

    • Gail says:

      Other stuff:

      I also really enjoyed the Bracewell character, the eccentric, kindhearted scientist just "doing his bit." Lovely character, and he felt like a real person. Unlike Churchill.

      Now for the nitpicks. I'm a picker, I will nit. Churchill was just too "War Poster Churchill" – every pose he struck, every image, everything that came out of his mouth was a poster pose or a line from a speech or interview. There wasn't enough of a PERSON in him, as portrayed, for me to really enjoy him. One thing I liked about when famous people turned up in Classic Who is that they often added some sort of unexpected quality to them, something that said, this is what the REAL person was like, before his legend got filtered by fame and time. Not necessarily bad things, but just something that might not have made it into the "legend." That always made them seem more real for me, more like they were visiting actual history rather than just an amusement park version of history. Heck, if Churchill had been on a diet, or had hayfever, or merely a tendency to brood rather than spout quotations I would have believed in him more. Even if they had just not had him doing "Churchill Poses" it would have helped. But then, I'm not English, so, while I admire Churchill, I don't have the same cultural inculcation.

      Skittles Daleks. Can't agree more. Or, as another poster said – "Daleks should not be cheery, dammit. " Rarely do you see a tank or a machine gun enameled cherry red. And they just look so light, like you could tip one over with one hand. Basically, even though they are bigger, they seem less solid. And what's the idea with giving them a squishy organic eye? They'd finally got the eyestalk fixed so that "My vision is not impaired." And now they redesign them so all you have to do is poke them in the eye to blind them? Mo, Larry, and Curly have just become defenders of the universe. UGH. Basically, it just seemed like a bad design choice overall. But, I suppose once they were built it cost too much not to use them.

      Certain other plotholes could have easily been filled in with a slight rewording in the script. I just decide to insert those in my head as I rewatch. Such as, instead of saying it's "theoretically possible to send something into space." just saying, "With my prototypes it's possible to send something into space." etc.

      I loved the jammy dodger scene. But I thought the way he held it was less than convincing. I wish he's held it horizontally, with his thumb over the "button" like he would press it if they pushed him. Then I would have thought it hysterical if, at some point, he actually pressed the button accidentally, and had to lick the jam off his thumb. 😀

      Defusing Bracewell with the power of infatuation wasn't one of my favorite bits. They could easily have infused the scene with plenty of pathos and emotion without resorting to that. Just having a kind man knowing he's about to explode and destroy all his friends is an emotional enough issue, especially if he would be willing to "sacrifice" himself to save "all he loves." So, a more technological, yet believable, solution would have been more to my likeing. Or even just some hint that all the "emotional" stuff the Doctor was doing was actually a clever way of overloading his circuits or even just distracting him while the Doctor defused him. The whole syrupy "love conquerers all" mythos just didn't work for me there. I kept thinking that if sentimental emotions had that much affect on a body, it would be a great cure for heart attacks. <rolls eyes>

      But, sptfires in space was cool. (By the way, if the bubbles controlled gravity, then they would have been able to maneuver in space using different angles and pushes against gravity instead of the plane's wings – just saying.) And a machine gun will give off a flare when it is fired, especially if seen somewhere dark, like in space. So they weren't necessarily ray guns.

      But, the best acted scene in the whole thing, for me, was when the Doctor realizes the Daleks have got away from him again. Matt pulled off that scene beautifully. I felt so sorry for the Doctor I wanted to cry.

      So, yeah, some naff stuff, and some stuff that takes a bit of rationalizing, and some truly brilliant stuff, all wrapped up in colorful <snicker> fun.

      (By the way, Mark, I've been loving all your reviews, it's really a treat to hear a new fan's impressions of the show. And you have a wonderfully entertaining way of writing them. Cheers!)

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