Synopsis: As the new year begins, a terrifying evil from across the centuries is stirring. Will the Doctor and her friends be able to overcome the threat to planet earth.
Review: When it was confirmed that this episode would feature Daleks or a Dalek. I was deeply concerned. Not due to the general fact that Chris Chibnall has failed to write as of yet a memorable episode of Doctor Who. Nor because of any lack of nuance in the storytelling or reliance on one note villains.
My main feeling was, “God no. Not another Dalek episode.” As a longstanding fan, I hate the fact that we have had Dalek episodes year in and year out since the show returned in 2005. I get Dalek Fatigue, which is something that the writers get as well.
Thankfully. Chris Chibnall hasn’t gotten Dalek fatigue and has managed to write a pretty damn good Dalek episode that rightly or wrongly. People will be talking about for some time. He’s actually written an episode here that I will remember as well. Which is a huge relief.
An enemy from the earth’s past has returned. It is an enemy so terrible and difficult to kill that its remains were buried in the three corners of the earth and watched over through the centuries by custodians.
When an archeological dig uncovers the one fragment that is unguarded and exposes it to UV light the fragments reform into the squid-like creature that is usually encased within the Dalek shell.
Former ‘Call The Midwife’ star Charlotte Ritchie gets a nice role in this special and does some really solid physical acting as she is taken over and used as a puppet by the Dalek.
We also get a great performance from Daniel Adegboyega who plays the role of Ryans father Aaron who has come back to try and rebuild some family bridges and try and re-ignite some sort of relationship with his son.
Although the premise of a lone Dalek has already been explored in the first season episode or season 27 episode ‘Dalek’. Chibnall does something really different and exciting here by giving us a view of the first ever recon Dalek, which proves to be just as dangerous and hard to kill in its natural squid-like form than it is when it is in its protective shell.
I also loved the fact that when the Dalek did build a protective shell for itself that it looked very primitive and steampunk like.
Having Ryan and his father get to share in the adventure was a great move in that it allowed some more development for the bond between Graham and Ryan by bringing in their complex relationship with Aaron. I also loved that Aaron’s engineering background was used to help them fight the Dalek.
Overall. This is the strongest Dalek episode we have seen since ‘Victory Of The Daleks’.
- Incidental Music9.4