Utah, 2012. A pompous millionaire (who apparently owns the internet and can get the President replaced at the snap of his fingers) runs a museum filled with pieces of alien history (a stuffed Slitheen’s arm, parts from Roswell spacecraft AND a classic Cyberman head from 1983). He also has a new ‘pet’, the last of its kind. The Doctor and Rose are drawn there by a mysterious distress call. When the truth is found out and the pet gets loose, its all out war with Rose caught in the middle.
This episode is the darkest so far for the “New Who” reboot and brings to the fore the 9th Doctor’s deep seeded anger, rage and pain – all his heartache at the choices he has had to make and really pushes him to the edge. It even causes the Dalek is tell him “You would make a good Dalek”.
Christopher Eccelston brings out so much emotion in his performance, it makes you question if you should be on his or the Dalek’s side. It was Chris’ idea to be so emotional in this episode. It was originally written to be quite mocking and flippant…so glad they went with this version!!
I was intrigued by Rose’s view of the whole thing too. It’s like she is looking in from the outside, seeing the Doctor/Dalek relationship from a strangers perspective. She is totally unaware of what this ‘thing’ is capable of, yet still treats it so humanly with so much compassion and respect.
The notion of who is good and evil is so well-played out that it feels like the Doctor is more of the dangerous enemy – as he is the one pointing the gun in the end (The Doctor even uses the Dalek’s ‘catchphrase’ against it when trying to kill it).
“And what about you Doctor…what are you turning into”
The similarity between the hero and his nemesis is unmistakable… both are the only survivors of their races, wiped out by the Time War, both are alone in the Universe.
“We are the same”
The extrapolation of DNA from the Time Traveller (Rose) when she touched it, contaminates (and regenerates) the Dalek making it feel the human emotions and also creates a ‘bond between the two (which is kinda sweet). Emotions are like a disease to them. As the Doctor explains to Van Statten what they truly are –
“a nightmare. it’s a mutation. The Dalek race was genetically engineered. Every single emotion was removed except hate”
This ultimately is too much for the Dalek to handle and destroys itself.
In the space of one episode, we are taken on a fast paced track from fear to pity (of both the Doctor and the Dalek), as this Dalek deals with emotions, and the Doctor is brought back from the brink of becoming a monster himself.
BAD WOLF REFERENCE (Van Statten’s helicopter is arriving ) “Bad Wolf One descending. Bad Wolf One descending“
The ‘extra characters were great in the episode, although I didn’t much care for Van Statten. He talked down to and over people (especially Rose), had a testosterone battle with the Doctor and valued his toys over his employees (especially when the army was shooting at the Dalek – “They are dispensable, that Dalek is unique.”
Goddard as the PA (I think that was her role, it wasn’t too clear). It was good to see her take over at the end (I had last seen Anna-Louise Ploughman playing a System Lord in Stargate SG-1),
Meanwhile, Adam as the “English Boy” was an okish character. I found the scene with him and Rose alittle too much though. Especially with the soft music in the background, hadn’t she only just left her boyfriend? Luckily the Doctor wasnt around to see this. Now he is the ‘hanger on’ companion I guess. Anyone remember him from Coronation Street?? ( lol that makes me feed and sound really old).
One little gripe I had, was the american accents. They use what is called “stage american” which isn’t how Americans actually sound, but it what the British think they do – way overdone!!
**trivia from imbd.com
All in all a good, strong episode though