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Doctor Who: Evolution of the Daleks (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

Evolution of the Daleks originally aired in 2007.

Caan, let me help you. What do you say?

Emergency temporal shift!

– sadly the Doctor doesn’t follow this with a dramatic “CAAAAAAAN!!!”

Well, that went off the rails rather quickly. Okay, to be fair, the problems here were all hinted at in the first part, with those potential obstacles only turning into gaping flaws as this two-part adventure galloped toward the finish line. And, again, Evolution of the Daleks fails because it has too much ambition, rather than a complete lack of it. Still, the episode is a mess, full of mismatched ideas and crazy concepts that really don’t work especially well within the context of a Dalek episode. It’s not too hard to imagine a lot of these elements being recycled into a working story for the show, but the main problem seems to be that none of those elements work especially well with the Daleks.

I can see it in its eye-stalk...

I can see it in its eye-stalk…

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Banksy’s Simpsons Couch Gag…

I know the conventional wisdom is that The Simpsons aren’t as funny as they once were, but this opening couch gag is pretty… out there. I know the show has gotten progressively darker over the last decade or so (and competing with Family Guy hasn’t helped), but this intro really manages to cross the line twice. It’s fairly dark (particularly since the show does outsource its animation), but it becomes gradually darkly humourous towards the end of it. It’s the “biting the hand that feeds” aspect which appeals to me – I can’t believe Fox let them do this. Maybe the old dog has some life in it yet.

TV Movies…

It surfaces every now again. Talk of a Sopranos movie. It’s the same deal-io with the oft-requested Veronica Mars movie or a sequel to Serenity. It seems that the big screen has become the desired home for any number of TV shows – whether they ended before their time (as Firefly did) or as planned (per the Sopranos). I’m a little surprised, though, that everyone seems to think this is a good idea.

Seeing red...

Seeing red...

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