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'Doctor Who' - 'Victory of the Daleks' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted May 1st 2010 10:03PM
Doctor Who(S05E03) They say a Doctor isn't a Doctor until he's faced down his most famous enemy, the Daleks. Every Doctor has faced them (it's even implied that Paul McGann fought them in the Time War). It's best that newbie Matt Smith got it out of the way early otherwise children would be asking "when will he fight the Daleks?"

This episode could best be called a new beginning for our favorite pepperpots. In typical indirect and obscure fashion, they try to perpetuate their race and destroy the universe, in that order. And for once, they even claim a victory over our favorite Time Lord.

And how about those bright candy colors of the new Daleks? I'd say that Steve Jobs had a hand in their design except the new ones are kind of bulky and by no means sleek. Either they've gained weight or they're intended to be more bad-ass somehow by being larger. Of course, it's tough to be bad-ass when you're bright orange or yellow. In the end, the purpose of the redesign is to sell more action figures and in that they will likely succeed quite admirably.

Obviously, this entire episode was intended to perpetuate the Doctor's greatest enemy. When I said that they claimed a victory, I meant that they perpetuated themselves and escaped, which was their plan. Usually the audience is led to believe at the end of each confrontation that the Daleks are destroyed forever. However, despite the resources it involves like more Dalekanium alloy, Daleks breed like cockroaches and are similarly hard to kill.

While Ian McNeice is an excellent actor, it was difficult to buy him as Churchill. In other media versions of the former Prime Minister, the character is more of a mumbler and slurs his words. This opinion may be in the minority but I stand by it.

The Doctor and Amy were both excellent in this episode. The Jammie Dodger trick was particularly clever, since the Daleks probably have no concept of cookies. It is interesting how Amy had no memory of the Dalek invasion of the previous season. Is it just Amy, or is it the entire planet Earth? Does it have anything to do with the crack in time that seems to be following them around?

Bracewell being revealed as a robot (or whatever he was supposed to be) was another legitimate surprise of the episode. It is consistent with the modus operandi of the Daleks, who have used human-looking duplicates before. One can only conclude from his human behavior (and the presumed background check for Bracewell) that he was copied from an actual person.

The space battles were also rather impressive. It's amazing what Steven Moffat has been able to do with a shrunken budget for the show.

Obviously, the Doctor and Churchill have met before. If you consider such things as canon, then they have met in the spin-off novels. If Big Finish is smart, they'll make that into one of their audio plays, particularly since Ian McNeice has been in them before.

The episode was overall enjoyable. Next week: the return of River Song and the Weeping Angels.

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Matthew Golem

With the exception of "Genesis..." and "Remembrance...", I generally dislike Dalek episodes. Especially the "new" series Dalek episodes.

I enjoyed "Victory..." quite a bit, however. It wasn't particularly deep, but was lots of fun nonetheless.

May 04 2010 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Donald Burdette

I am a new watcher to Dr. Who and know very little about the back story of the Daleks, but I have to tell it was really lame. The whole robots with DNA and airplaces flying in space.. it was all pretty bad. And the voice they give the Daleks is like finger nails on a chalk board - very grating. I liked the first two episodes and will certainly give the show another another chance, but I am not keen on seeing another episode with the Daleks.

May 03 2010 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

HATE the new Daleks...Sorry, they look like what they are...a merchandising gimmick...very disappointing.

May 03 2010 at 11:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

return of River Song and the Weeping Angels.

So return implies a sequel rather than a remake? Teaser sure looked like same as the prior episode. So they're stone things who move bit by by if not watched or something.
Anyway, did like this episode. Gaudy Daleks and surprise of Bracewell was nifty touch. Performers were in sync.
Do miss Billie Piper a lot but new player is growing on me.
Cute skirt & boots were hot in that time period.
Letting the Daleks make a run for it helps to keep suspense
hanging and that they might be more of a threat. Also fun was the amateurish way they looked at start as 'allies' all taped together with some odd plastic like components and that little Brit flag plastered right on the front plate.
Thanks guys who are ahead on series for not spilling the beans about upcoming shows!
Trying to just let it grow on me and not make too many spot judgments. Rem I wasn't that hot on last Who at very beginning. He turned out so excellent.

May 02 2010 at 10:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to beergas's comment


You're spot on. My biggest problem is with the writing so far, hopefully it will improve.

May 03 2010 at 12:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Professor Zed

A terribly rushed episode, which pushed aside information and explanation. The actor portraying Churchill was awful. Never saw him as Churchill even for a moment.

The airplane fighters in space looked cool, sure. But how did they get there? There hadn't been enough time to prepare them. Again, this was simply rushed into and lacked proper explanation, script-wise.

So much end time was spent trying to get the viewer to "feel" for the android. But we were never properly introduced to the android to the point where we could feel for it or would want to feel for it.

I don't understand why the Doctor didn't just grab the Android, yank it into the TARDIS, zip back to the Dalek ship and toss it out, letting it explode there. (There was plenty of time.) Or the Doctor could have tossed it out into space and either tried to defuse it or let it blow out there.

The Daleks were worst of all. I should say, the NEW Daleks were worst. The original's in their army gray were much more impressive. Why were the Daleks reworked? They don't need reworking! Now they're... (gulp) PRETTY! Daleks should not be pretty! Useless other than for marketing purposes.

A surprisingly bad episode.

May 02 2010 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It hasn't been explained yet in the show but apparently each color represents a position in the new Dalek hierarchy: red = drones, blue = strategists, orange = scientists, yellow = eternals, and white = supremes).

Not sure what an 'eternal' is; however, I think once the colors are explained it will lessen the gripes that have been manifesting since the episode played. I will concede more muted colors would have been nice, but I do like the 'caste system' idea.

May 02 2010 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

1. I'm not yet sold on this new Doctor. I know it has a lot to do with my mad crush on David T., but this new guy just bugs me. 2. I am SO sick of the Daleks. 3. Thank you, charleswheeler, for you observations about the female companions. The Doctor is supposed to be the brightest of all, but his companions almost ALWAYS have to save his bacon. 4. There's always a season-arching theme going on (Redwolf, Donna as Doctor, etc.), so the fact that Amy has cracks in time popping up doesn't surprise me. 5. It's about d@mn time that River Song shows up again.

May 02 2010 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to Rose's comment


Do you think they modeled the Dalek's voice after Johnny Rotten, or did Johnny Rotten model his after the Dalek?

May 02 2010 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, let's see ...

Last week we had a bizarro Monstro spacewhale who always barfed up the children, but not into space. And the Doctor got the answer wrong, but all are saved by the more clever Amy.

This week we had a tin man who loved someone named Dorothy ...er... Dorobelle, and who had to prove he had a heart lest he destroy the whole world. And the Doctor got the answer almost right, but all are saved by the more clever Amy.

Gee, it's almost like these stories are being written by a 7 year old girl with access to the Doctor's mind. But that would require some sort of psychic link ... oh dear.

May 02 2010 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, I think we need to spend more time checking out Amy's crack...

May 02 2010 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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