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Five years of Doctor Who...

Victory of the Daleks

Last week, we asked you to think of what the words ‘Doctor Who’ brought to mind. Then, we played on the ‘scary’ aspect. However, this week, we’ve been thrown a new story from the crew at Upper Boat studios in Cardiff that’s all about another two conventions of the series, and chances are these two would come to mind even before hiding behind the sofa. Yes, as you’ve no doubt guessed by the title, this is a Dalek episode! And, in a twist only once seen since the series returned in 2005, they plan to take over a version of the Earth previous to our current globe...

 

Picture the scene: England, 1916. The whole nation is war-torn and seemingly locked forever in battle with the Nazis. Running out of ideas, Prime Minister Winston Churchill will do absolutely anything to rid the world of Germany’s equivalent, Adolf Hitler- so it’s almost too perfect when a small-scale scientist from the countryside develops a sort of miniature bronze tank that obey your every command named ‘Ironsides’, surely a key weapon in World War Two...

 

However, it isn’t long before the Doctor turns up, giving Amy her first look at the past, (Well, that and answering the phone call from Churchill at the end of The Beast Below) he inevitably discovers a dark secret: These ‘Ironsides’ aren’t a glorious weapon to be used to win the war, but Daleks: And they have their own agenda...

 

As mentioned, this is the first historic episode in the Steven Moffat era, and harks back to his very first Doctor Who story, The Empty Child, which was also set in World War Two.  However, as a single story it’s more reminiscent of fellow 2005 story, Dalek, as the only other 45-minute adventure starring the most famous sons of Skaro. However, as we know with the Daleks, they never simply come back for more of the same. Every Dalek story gave us a new twist or a physical change to the Doctor’s most deadly foes, and so it comes as no surprise that that’s exactly what’s been done by Ed Thomas and his team at Millennium Effects, the people behind the Dalek props/costume hybrids that appear on set. This time, it’s slightly more subtle than Evolution of the Daleks’ total redesign. These Daleks have (As you may have spotted in the trailers) a Union Jack under their eyestalk! They have pouches full of supplies! They’re even painted the same shades of brown the British army wore!

 

Although, excitingly, a white Dalek can be spied on the trailer, and the Doctor witnesses the revelation of a brand new sort of Dalek. Could we be in for even more sink plunger-based treats? Variety is the spice of life, after all.

 

Mark Gatiss has been the architect of some of the most enjoyable episodes of modern Who, such as The Idiot’s Lantern, the fun romp through ‘50s Britain, on the day of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 2nd and The Unquiet Dead, which was itself Rose’s first voyage into past times, all this on top of being the only person to ever write and star in Doctor Who, popping up as Professor Lazarus in the third series. What does all this mean? We should be in for a fast-paced, witty but surprisingly spooky script on Saturday night, directed in the same manor by Andrew Gunn, the Beast Below’s man with the megaphone. How much more Doctor Who can you get?

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Episode Three

3 Victory of the Daleks