Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Evolution of the Daleks"

Yeah, I guess this one is pretty bad. I mean it's kind of refreshing to see Octopus Head Sec having a conversation with the Doctor even though it's obvious that the lack of a nose was making it very difficult for Eric Loren to breathe properly but the plot is hokey nonsense and as usual it has nothing to say. The idea that gamma radiation from a solar flare would splice DNA is absurd - it might give you terrible radiation burns or cancer but it's not going to make a hybrid creature; besides, even if lightning can be conducted down a lightning rod, gamma radiation doesn't flow like electricity. That's pretty basic physics but neither basic physics nor basic biology seem to have been on the menu here. How does the Doctor clinging onto the lightning rod put Time Lord DNA into the Hybrids? There's some utter brainlessness, like the fact that when they're comparing human and Dalek DNA on the computer screen the human DNA is a pretty conventional balls-on-sticks-in-a-double-helix but the Dalek DNA is all evil and spiky-looking even though DNA by its nature is composed of the same four chemicals in different arrangements regardless of the life form in question,  presumably because they felt the dribbling morons in the audience needed a strong visual reminder that the Daleks are the bad guys. Then there's the fact that these weird Human/Dalek/Time Lord abominations obey the Daleks for a while but when they're ordered to kill the Doctor is the moment they change their minds. I think it's all summed up by the bit where the Doctor agrees to help Dalek Sec and the two of them run around shouting meaningless technobabble at each other and pouring different flavours of cordial into different flasks.
There's a lot more running around in tunnels too, like when the Doctor uses the same old 'sonic screwdriver plus sound emitting device causes high pitched noise which completely incapacitates advanced aliens but leaves humans more or less unaffected' and they escape, and then there are some 'wobbly camera' moments when we're looking up at the Daleks as they chase the Doctor and friends through the sewers that are so dodgy I'm surprised the Daleks weren't humming "Devil's Gallop" as accompaniment like in a Sir Digby Chicken-Caesar sketch. There is also the bit where the Hybrids march around like twats with Tommy gun Dalek laser thingies which just looks absurd.
And how come the Doctor can keep Laszlo alive but not turn him back from being a pig? I don't know, this just felt like a bit of a weird ending to me. I mean yes, all the dispossessed were meant to be able to find a home in New York or whatever but the total destruction of the hybrids, the murder of Solomon and the death of Dalek Sec kind of contradicted that message a bit. I mean, if they'd wanted to do the whole 'poverty as the great equalizer' thing they probably shouldn't have included the Daleks. It's good that the other Daleks end up contravening Dalek Sec's orders due to his changing personality but the fact that in the end the only result is that Caan is the only surviving member of the Cult of Skaro kind of makes me wonder what the point of the story was.
Martha doesn't get to do very much and the Doctor spends most of his time standing around gasbagging with Dalek Sec, running around shouting or standing with his arms outstretched taunting the Daleks to kill him like he's some kind of Eager Jesus and all in all it's just a bit of a waste. The whole 'Martha likes the Doctor but the Doctor's hung up on Rose' thing already grates and you wish that the show could just move on, and that Martha could be given a more original character trait, but as I've already stated we're going to have to wait a while longer before we reach that glorious stage. What has happened to this show's main character, and his main enemies? The one improvement of this series over the last is the loss of the Rose smuggery but there are still a lot of problems. Overall this two-parter simply isn't very interesting and it goes further in crippling the image of the Daleks. The Tenth Doctor has already encountered them as many times as the Fourth Doctor did in a seven-year tenure and they feel tired. But will we get a rest from them? Don't count on it.

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