TL;DR – This was a perfectly okay episode, but I wish it could have been more than that
Disclosure – Watched on ABC IView
Revolution Of The Daleks Review –
Well, before we start, I need to be honest with something, I had utterly bounced off Doctor Who. I had liked Jodie Whittaker’s performance, and the characters, but something about the stories that just fell flat for me. I didn’t watch the last season and from the sounds of things that was for the best. I was honestly going to give the New Year’s special a pass, but then they had to go announce that a certain Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) is back, and well if I am not a sucker for things like this.
So to set the scene, in the aftermath of a Dalek attack on Earth, the body of said Dalek is taken away to be stored in deep storage. However, on the way to Depository, 23, the transport driver is incapacitated, and the corpse is stolen. Sometime later the Technology Sectary Jo Patterson (Harriet Walter) meets with disgraced businessman from Arachnids In The UK Jack Robertson (Chris Noth) who has a new crowd control invention, which just so happens to be an AI-controlled Dalek. Meanwhile, 79 billion light-years away The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) is stuck in prison and has been there for a while, just waiting for someone to break her out. From this point onwards we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
Well, this episode might as well have been titled ‘how we deal with Brexit’ because at the core of this episode is about grasping at the notion of security. With everyone desperate to find meaning in this world, it does kind of make sense that a Politian would usurp the Daleks for their own personal gain and use them to man the borders so to speak. However, the show wants to reference this but holds back from actually commenting on it.
Overall for me, the story was okay but honestly not anything we have not seen before. The Daleks secretly building up a force to reconquer the Earth has been a plotline used in many different show episodes. From the first moment you see that Leo Rugazzi (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) cloned the Darlek from the DNA he found, well you could almost chart the course of the rest of the episode from that point onwards. This is even before you get to some of the more frustrating moments like people glossing over the murder of the driver at the start of the film or how The Doctor never tells her companions how long she spent in jail.
Unfortunately, a lot of this episode feels forced. For example, Captain Jack Harkness really only exists to break The Doctor out of jail and then he is sort of just there for the rest of the episode. However, it was nice that they gave a shout out to Gwen Cooper. The moment when Grace (Sharon D Clarke) appears feels weird and out of place. The departure of Graham (Bradley Walsh) and Ryan (Tosin Cole), two of The Doctor’s companions, felt underwhelming. Honestly, it all felt like it was just going through the motions. The good thing was that all the character performances were great, so even when the story was dull, you were still being entertained by Jodie Whittaker’s sheer force of will.
In the end, do we recommend Revolution Of The Daleks? Eh well? Look it was a perfectly okay episode. Nothing in it stood out as being awful. But also conversely nothing in the episode grabbed my attention at all. It all felt a bit bland in the end, which was a bit of a disappointment.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Doctor Who
Directed by – Lee Haven Jones
Written by – Chris Chibnall
Production/Distribution Companies – BBC
Starring – Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole & John Barrowman with Nicholas Briggs, Sophie Duval, Chris Noth, Gray O’Brien, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Harriet Walter & Sharon D Clarke