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Victory of the Daleks (Doctor Who)

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Victory of the Daleks (Doctor Who)
Seriously, was it a good idea for BBC to make a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants bent on conquering the universe and exterminating inferior races bad?
Part of Season: 5
Episode Number: 3
Air Date: April 17, 2010
Writer: Mark Gatiss
Director: Andrew Gunn
Previous episode: The Beast Below
Next episode: The Time of Angels

Victory of the Daleks is an episode from the fifth season of the 2005 Doctor Who relaunch. It features Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond.


The Doctor is called to World War II-era London by Prime Minister Winston Churchill in order to get a look at "Ironsides", weapons which will allow the Allies to defeat Nazi Germany. However, the Ironsides turn out to be the Doctor's oldest enemy, the Daleks, who successfully dupe him into activating a device which will rebuild the Dalek race.

Bad Qualities

  1. The new Dalek design, for multiple reasons:
    1. The redesign introduced with the show's 2005 relaunch was agreed by fans and non-fans alike to be the definitive Dalek design, so there was no need to change it. In fact, the episode accidentally shows they could have created differently-colored versions of the 2005 design and it would have worked absolutely fine, as the Ironside Daleks actually look pretty cool with their military green color scheme.
    2. The new design looks incredibly ugly, and cheap and plasticky as well, almost like some knock-off toy Daleks that somehow got blown up to actual size. Worse still, they're in bright and garish colors that caused fans to nickname them the "Power Rangers Daleks", making them even harder to take seriously as villains.
    3. Despite the newer Dalek design being obviously worse than its predecessor, the new Dalek Supreme describes the older Daleks as "inferior" and exterminates them; this is a very insulting and dismissive thing to do to something that played such a huge part in the success of the show's relaunch, especially when you consider it was meant to be the last appearance of the 2005 design.
    4. Even the Dalek operators complained that the newer Daleks were badly designed and much harder to operate.
  2. In his first scene, Winston Churchill tries to take the TARDIS key from the Doctor at gunpoint, and only backs down after admitting that even if he had the key, he wouldn't know how to operate the TARDIS. This is an extremely disrespectful depiction of arguably the greatest Prime Minister in the UK's history.
    • Aside from this, the story doesn't give Churchill much to do, and awkwardly shoe-horns quotes by the real Churchill into his dialogue.
  3. While Matt Smith's performance is generally okay, he was still obviously getting to grips with the role, which is most obvious in the scene where he's beating one of the "Ironsides" with a pipe. Smith's boasts about how the Doctor previously defeated the Daleks sound really half-hearted compared to how David Tennant used to do the same thing.
  4. The interior of the Dalek ship looks incredibly cheap, and is obviously just a warehouse or factory of some kind.
  5. The entire reason why the Daleks need to trick the Doctor into activating the device that'll rebuild their race makes no sense. In their previous appearance it was said the Daleks from that story were "true Daleks" because they were grown directly from the cells of their creator, Davros, which makes since since the Daleks are heavily mutated versions of Davros's species, the Kaleds. But this story does the complete opposite and says that being grown from Davros's cells means they're not true Daleks, hence why the device doesn't recognize them until the Doctor says they're Daleks.
  6. The Daleks' plan to make the Doctor stand down is to threaten to have London destroyed by the Luftwaffe, which they try to do by turning on all the lights in the city. However, London is a big enough city that the Luftwaffe could (and did) cause major damage by dropping bombs blindly. All that turning on the lights would do would be to make it easier for them to attack targets of importance, which would hurt the UK's war effort and probably screw up history, but wouldn't do much in the way of actually destroying the city.
  7. While the Doctor's holding the Daleks hostage with what actually turns out to be a Jammie Dodger is kinda funny, it also implies that the Daleks (or at least the older ones) are too stupid to tell the difference between an explosive device and a biscuit.
  8. Part of the climax involves a bunch of World War II-era fighter planes being outfitted with Dalek technology and sent to battle their spaceship. While this actually is the kind of thing that Doctor Who can get away with, it happens too ludicrously fast to seem feasible.
  9. Underwhelming ending, which just has the Doctor and Amy talking the Daleks' android out of blowing itself (and thereby Earth) up, while the Daleks escape.

Good Qualities

  1. Some of the ideas are pretty interesting, and the episode would probably have worked a lot better if it had been a two-parter, or if they hadn't needed to take up so much of the plot introducing the new Dalek design.
  2. Despite the character being poorly written, Ian McNeice is really well cast as Winston Churchill, and later Eleventh Doctor stories would make much better use of his talents.
  3. Neat subversion of the Tenth Doctor's habit of bragging about all the times he's defeated the Daleks and his various other enemies, with the Eleventh Doctor's doing this being what activates the device that rebuilds the Dalek race.
  4. Avoids the habit that the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's Dalek stories had of having the Daleks seemingly wiped out once and for all, which always forced the next Dalek story to jump through hoops to explain how and why they were back. This time the Daleks escape, and it's made clear that they will rebuild their empire.
  5. The new Dalek design didn't last long. By "Asylum of the Daleks", the Drone and Strategist were reduced to officers while the beloved 2005 design became the standard once again, and by "The Time of the Doctor", the 2010 designs had been completely phased out, and in the ninth series two-part opener, although previous Dalek designs were seen, the 2010 designs were absent. At least the producers realized it wasn't a good idea, and fixed it.
  6. Hearing a Dalek say "Would you care for some tea?" That is all.