The reconnaissance Dalek may have been the first one that arrived on Earth, 12 centuries ago. He got defeated once, a long time ago, he got back online this last special episode and he got defeated again, by the Doctor and her team. This time it died.
Doctor Who Magazine’s Paul Kirkley delivers his verdict on Resolution, the New Year’s Day Special:
Jodie Whittaker is on winning form throughout her festive debut, and her first encounter with her oldest enemy. When the Doctor realises exactly what it is she’s up against, her reaction is one of real, visceral terror, while the stand-off at the farm (“Me and a Dalek – it’s personal”) feels properly iconic. But she’s also gauche and goofy and charming and, thankfully, gets a day off from the slightly clumsy speechifying.
Director Wayne Yip takes Chris Chibnall’s most blockbuster script and runs with it, delivering a punchy, adrenaline-fuelled actioner worthy of any Hollywood franchise. Or maybe it would be more accurate to talk about Hollywood franchises being worthy of Doctor Who: if only bloated beasts like Justice League and Avengers: Infinity War were as nimble and light on their feet as this, or had the chutzpah to save the world armed with nothing more than a ready wit and a portable combination oven.
You can read the full review in Doctor Who Magazine issue 534, on sale Thursday 10 January.
Some other thing you should know about this issue.
Space: 1979 Dalekmania strikes again
You’ve got a friend: The Time Team meet Ben, Polly, Ace and Martha
Six Pack: the fans rising to cosplay’s greatest challenge
Heartbreak hotel: Inside the God complex
Speak of the Devil: Tom Baker reveals Scratchman and goes out of the TARDIS
The usual Christmas Special Episode was delayed a few days, on New Year’s eve, and the Doctor and her companions started to celebrate the first day of some new years in the row. without waiting the full year to pass in the regular way. That would have been rather difficult: the years were in different centuries.
This episode has a few good things and (at least) one bad. It’s in the same mediocre tone of the series 11. Good things:
- it has a Dalek. A new type of Dalek, to be more precise, a scout sent to gather information about the Earth many centuries ago. One that can use people as vehicles, to move from one place to another, and to rebuild the shell distroyed many centuries ago.
- there is action. The episode is pretty fluent, without many pauses.
- there is humor. An involuntar one, without any quality, but it’s there.
But, and that’s the bad part, some things in this episode are not realistic: the producers tried too much to offer an action-pack episode and they leaft behind some logical and normal parts, spoiling everything. A Dalek, for example, is cyborg, part machine part living organism inside a tank-like armoured shell. It is hard to believe that the organic part is still alive and intact after being cut into pieces several hundred or thousand years ago. It’s even harder to believe that it’s able to rebuild it’s shell in and ordinary workshop and some woman’s hard work. I an not mysogynist, but it didn’t have any tools capable to get the results. It’s hard to believe that Ryan’s dad (yes, he finally appears) was saved so easily from the Dalek.
Directed by Jamie Childs and Wayne Yip, written by Chris Chibnall.
Cast: Daniel Adegboyega (Aaron), Michael Ballard (Sergeant), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek – voice), Graham Burton (Cafe Owner), Connor Calland (Security Guard), Darryl Clark (Police Officer Will), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair), Sophie Duval (Mum), Laura Evelyn (Call Centre Polly), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Hugh Holman (Zak), James Lewis (Farmer Dinkle), Callum McDonald (Teen 1), Nikesh Patel (Mitch), Charlotte Ritchie (Lin), Harry Vallance (Teen 2), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien), Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor).
The next series will be back only in 2020.