19 August 2015 at 19:29 #41908
The TARDIS is drawn off course by a signal and Rose and the Doctor end up near Salt Lake City, Utah in 2012, in an underground bunker owned by Henry van Statten, a rich collector of alien artefacts. The Doctor encounters his one living exhibit which the Doctor is horrified to discover is a Dalek that survived the Time War, the last survivor of a race of genetically manipulated mutants bound on purging the universe of all non-Dalek life and the Doctor’s greatest enemy.19 August 2015 at 20:19 #41919Cath Annabel @cathannabel
This is fascinating to re-watch, given some of the more recent encounters with the Daleks. Especially Into the Dalek. The line ‘you would make a good Dalek’ is in both, I think, or something very very similar. And the same polarisation between Clara/Rose wanting to heal and mend and believe in potential goodness and the Doc unrelenting because of all the history and all the loss.
For all the goofiness we see CE as the war doctor here and revisit all of the moments when genocide is/seems to be the only way. I don’t know whether this theme emerged explicitly before TB’s doctor but I remember vividly an episode with him with his finger on the button or the equivalent, hesitating and torturing himself with the decision – and I can’t remember how that played out, just that he was agonised by being faced with such a choice.
Rose doesn’t know any of this. She responds to a creature being tortured, and is angered by the Doctor’s seeming callousness towards it. And it’s her naive reaching out to this creature that defeats it in the end. As throughout this series, the audience is an unknown – but here there is of course a nod to the BG Whovians, in the revelation that this Dalek can manage stairs perfectly well after all…
Von Statton is pretty broadly drawn but the arrogance and greed comes across powerfully. I was reminded of the Jurassic Park/World franchise, having seen its most recent outing a few weeks back. Adam, well, meh, didn’t warm to him, though of course I probably remembered that he turned out to be a wrong ‘un – Rose’s judgement perhaps is poor here, though her tendency is to assume the best of everyone (and she may have been temporarily swayed by him being pretty, as the Doc said).
Not the best ep in this series, but important.19 August 2015 at 21:33 #41920The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman
Not much to say, other than I don’t think this episode holds up all that well on repeat viewings. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great episode because it offers us some insight to the Doctor, his relationship with The Daleks and the Time War, and contains perhaps Eccleston’s best performance in the series. But, I feel some of it’s power is lost after the second or third time you watch it, at least that’s what happened to me. I feel the same way about Blink actually.14 January 2016 at 04:00 #50123winston @winston
I am doing a Doctor 9 rewatch and remember this one as my first contact with Daleks and the fear and rage they revealed in the Doctor. Of course I knew the Daleks but had never seen a BG episode with them and only knew they looked like salt shakers with plungers and said “exterminate” a lot.
After seeing the Doctor screaming and yelling at the door to be let out , asking for help until he realized that the Dalek was helpless. Then the rage. Wow. This scene told me all I needed to know about the endless conflict between them.15 January 2016 at 17:13 #50164Arbutus @arbutus
@winston I did a Series One rewatch over the holidays (I plan to continue on throughout the AG run as time allows). It was illuminating in many ways. I was reminded as I watched this how it took the whole experience up a level for me at the time. This episode was the one where I really felt that the show was going to be interesting. Up until now, I had been enjoying the new series for what it was, but my jury was still out on it and on the Ninth Doctor. I still feel that, in some ways, he was never quite “the Doctor” for me, but he was very much so in this. Having had an earlier history with DW, the Daleks were not new to me, but I loved the way they were made to feel like an ancient, terrifying (if long dead) threat.18 January 2016 at 20:50 #50208OB-Wan @ob-wan
I’ve been reviewing the old episodes because I created a “Watch list” for a newbie to give them the DW bug.
I had a couple of disappointments with this episode which probably come from being on the US side of the pond.
First the title is a spoiler. I remember showing this episode to a friend of mine who had a passing familiarity with the Doctor Who series of old. I told him not to look at the title in the beginning. When the Dalek was revealed he actually *gasped*. I never heard anyone in real life gasp before, but he did.
In commenting on this problem a viewer in the UK told me that the news about the return of the Daleks was so prevalent in England that you couldn’t have avoided it. But I still feel that the spoiler in the title continues to do permanent harm to the episode.
The other point (also relatively minor) was that they always mispronounced the name Goddard. In the US (which is where the episode supposedly takes place) that name is pronounced with the emphasis on the FIRST syllable (GOD-dard). It was an annoying reminder that is was British actors imitating Americans without anyone there with enough knowledge of America to tell them that they were pronouncing it wrong.
Of course, I had to include this episode in my list of “must-sees” because it begins to set up the whole Time War storyline.2 March 2016 at 04:17 #51147tardigrade @tardigrade
I’ve got to agree with the comments saying that the episode shouldn’t be entitled “Dalek”, since that completely spoils what appeared to be set up as a big reveal during the episode. I guess the return of the daleks to the series was just too big a drawcard at the time to avoid having them in the title and shown in the promo. In the end, to those who were looking forward to the return of the daleks, having just the one left and finishing that one off wasn’t all that satisfying though.
This episode establishes some lore pretty economically- i.e. that the Time War involved the daleks and that the Doctor somehow ended it. It also establishes that, contrary to possible appearances, particularly for those new to the series, the daleks are formidable enemies, not stoppable by bullets (or stairs 🙂 ). So it was an important one in setting up the daleks for the new series.
The Von Statten character is pretty much a caricature, but the main characters (even the dalek!) get more to work with and we get much more of a look into what the Time War has done to the Doctor, leaving him with a level of hatefulness that even the dalek recognises with the very “un-dalek-like” statement that the Doctor would make a good dalek.30 April 2020 at 18:18 #70563
In a very fun new short prequel to ‘Dalek’, we are introduced to alien researcher Sven, Adam’s predecessor at GeoComTex. Sven will feature in the forthcoming ‘Dalek’ Target novelisation.30 April 2020 at 20:30 #7056430 April 2020 at 21:36 #70565
@blenkinsopthebrave Yeah. I love how creative people are being while in lockdown.1 May 2020 at 02:11 #7056620 May 2020 at 09:10 #70699janetteB @janetteb
@craig Brilliant. One of the best I have seen so far. the last one made me feel teary, this has left me in tears too but for a different reason. Must say however that scarf looks to be in remarkably good condition for something that has been knocking around space for seven years, dragging through the mud of alien planets, being trod on and tripped over, not to mention caught in doors and on random pieces of furniture.
Janette10 June 2020 at 23:07 #70748Ysaig @ysaig
I think this is one of the best of the 10th Doctor episodes.3 December 2020 at 16:32 #71217johnnybear @johnnybear
Dalek novelisation? Really? Where is it? It’s been months since the statement and still nuthin!
JB10 June 2021 at 01:18 #71744AmeliaG @ameliag
Amazing episode. Our first look at the daleks since the 80s. It was very exciting at the time
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