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Doctor Who: Dalek (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.

Dalek originally aired in 2005.

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry! I swear, I just wanted you to talk!

Then hear me talk now. Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

– Van Statten and the Dalek

Dalek is a pretty effective reintroduction of the show’s most iconic villain. It’s also something of a tour de force for lead actor Christopher Eccleston and Dalek vocal performer Nicholas Briggs. It’s full of interesting ideas, and perhaps the biggest swipe the show would make at “superfans” this side of Love & Monsters. That said, Rob Shearman’s script is occasionally a bit clumsy in its execution, never quite managing to convince the audience that the Doctor might be turning into a Dalek, no matter how firmly it labours to point. Still, minor quibble aside, it’s a wonderful way of welcoming the Daleks back to the fold.

The loneliest Dalek...

The loneliest Dalek…

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Doctor Who: The Time Warrior (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.

The Time Warrior originally aired in 1974.

Look, will you excuse me? I’ve got to go and find a young girl. I’ll see you later, I hope.

Young girl? I should have thought he was a bit old for that sort of thing. Oh well.

– the Doctor and Rubeish discover that Jo’s departure isn’t affecting him too much

The end of an era is fast approaching. Jon Pertwee departed Doctor Who after spending five years in the title role. The end of his fourth year saw the departure of his longest-serving companion, Jo Grant. The start of his final year would see the introduction of Sarah Jane Smith, perhaps the most iconic companion of all time. However, watching the first serial of his last year – The Time Warrior – there is a sense of pending change in the air, a sense that show in the cusp of a very significant shift. The Time Warrior isn’t necessarily explicit about this, but you can almost feel it.

Time is running out...

Time is running out…

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