Doctor Who, series 5.3: “Victory of the Daleks” by Mark Gatiss

**Warning! Here there be spoilers! DO NOT read ahead if you have not watched through Series 5, episode 3 of Doctor Who. If you have, or don’t care, read on, but don’t get mad…**

“Victory of the Daleks” starts out with a bang! There’s an intense bombing raid on London, and Winston Churchill has ordered the secret weapon to help them with a sticky situation (there is a war on, after all…). Guess what it is? The Daleks!

I was apprehensive from the get go, because I felt like there needed to be some separation from the previous series (the finales of series 1, 2, and 4 all involved the Daleks—not to mention the countless episodes pre-9th Doctor…). However, we immediately have a refreshingly unexpected twist: The Daleks are on the side of the British during WWII!

“I will grasp with both hands anything that will give us an advantage.”

Churchill knows that The Doctor will disapprove of this association with his old nemeses, but he is in a desperate situation. However, the Daleks are here known as Doctor Bracewell’s Ironsides. They are supposedly invented on Earth, not alien. Or at least that’s what it seems…

We have a bit of a time-mystery here, as Amy doesn’t remember the Daleks’ invasion of Earth. She’s not like Donna, who is rather oblivious to what’s around her. She would have noticed that. It actually seems as though it didn’t happen at all. Did some other event occur which wiped it from her memory, or from time itself?

One of the funnier moments in the show came when the Daleks, the Doctor’s most loathed nemesis, the enemy of all humanity and non-Dalek–serves tea.

The Doctor seems rather unhinged with hatred. The Daleks have always been his weak spot. He cannot accept their goodness. It seems as though he’s mad, but really, he just knows for sure that they cannot be good. It would be fully contrary to their nature.

He was right.

He reveals himself to the Daleks in a fit of temper, which sets their plan into motion. We don’t know what it is, but they were counting on him. They have a progenitor device, which contains pure Dalek DNA. However, because we learned before that all Daleks are basically a hodgepodge of other DNA which they’ve scavenged in order to survive throughout the many thousands of years and many encounters with the Doctor, the new Dalek—a pure Dalek—would be forced to EXTERMINATE the inferior Daleks. Therefore, when he revealed himself to the Daleks as the Doctor and identified himself as their arch-nemesis, they used his testimony to prove to the new Daleks that they are true Daleks.

And just to separate from the previous Daleks, there’s no more drab, plain colors for the Daleks. We have a new bunch of colors! They’ve got the whole package now!

The Doctor is threatening a doomsday situation—he holds a self destruct button for the TARDIS, which would take the new Daleks with him. However, it’s just a jammy tart, but he had us all fooled! Great moment.

Doctor Bracewell, the “creator” of the Ironsides (Daleks), turns out to be a creation of the Daleks. He’s a robot who is also a bomb. So, it’s OK that the Doctor hits him, because he’s stopping him from blowing up!

Again, we have a great moment from Amy. She’s been largely on the sidelines in this episode, except for when she smacked a Dalek upside the dome at the beginning. She keeps Bracewell anchored to humanity so that he won’t blow up, astounding the Doctor. She calms the situation again, as she should.

Furthermore, the Doctor gets very depressed when the Daleks get away. Amy puts it back into perspective—Yes, they got away (but he should expect this by now…they’re basically cockroaches. One will always get away!), but he saved the Earth! “Not too shabby!”

Earlier there was a great space battle, with Space-fitted Spitfires against the Daleks, firing lasers and everything! I’d been wondering if they would deal with this new technology, which would vastly change the scope of history. However, I should have known. The Doctor wouldn’t forget a thing like that.

The Doctor addressed the issue of Amy’s lack of memory regarding the Dalek invasion of the Earth right before they leave in the TARDIS. She should have remembered it. There’s definitely something amiss.

Just as the TARDIS disappears, another crack in the fabric of the universe appears behind it. I’ll bet it has something to do with Amy’s distinct lack of Dalek remembrance…

Addition: here is a link to the Dalek Victory Poster that BD referred to in his post, thanks!


4 thoughts on “Doctor Who, series 5.3: “Victory of the Daleks” by Mark Gatiss

  1. I didn’t realize you were writing a new series of blog entries.

    I’m really enjoying all the recent, “Things That Justyn Hasn’t Seen Yet And Can’t Read About Because He Will Get Spoiled On Major Plot Points” posts.



    P.S. Somewhere Angela Lansbury is crying.

  2. I adored this episode!


    A surprising reaction to be sure as I detest the Daleks but Mark Gatiss really handled them well. Hearing the Daleks say “Would you like some tea” was HYSTERICAL!!! Mark Gatiss also really handled going back in time well! Interestingly enough, he also wrote the Charles Dickens episode which I feel up to this point is the best “go back in time with the Doctor” episode.

    I thought that the new pure Dalek race appearing in various colors like they were iPods was a bit ridiculous until I discovered that in the Dalek mythology there is examples of Daleks appearing in different colors and having some meaning as to their purpose/identity depending on the color.

    I don’t know if I am getting a bit more familiar with The Doctor and Amy but I didn’t mind them as much. Also, I am kind of starting to like Matt Smith’s single laugh and hug bit. It is establishing some character for me.

    I’m not sold on Amy yet but again, there was some character development with the scene with the Dr. Android! “Have you ever fancied anybody you know you shouldn’t…and it hurts, but the good kind of hurt”. Very effective scene and very well done!

    The Doctor’s Jammy Dodger bit was hilarious and also falls in line with character development if they want to establish a strong relationship between food and Matt Smith’s Doctor.

    Professor Bracewell was a FANTASTIC character and I truly hope he returns at some point! Well done Mark Gatkiss!

    The mystery as to why Amy Pond doesn’t recognize the Daleks from their two invasions of Earth is definitely intriguing. At first I thought the Doctor was confusing his companions, but no…she should remember them and why doesn’t she???

    Also, the crack in time continues to show which is lovely as ever:-)

    And the Dalek Victory poster is maybe the best poster I have ever seen in a television show.



  3. I’m happy you liked this episode! I did too! I agree that I’m not a fan of the Daleks, so I was a little worried as well, but it was done with style.
    I like that this episode extended the arc of the year with revealing Amy’s lack of Dalek knowledge, and it’s not a Danna-esque ignorance, but a “seriously, what the heck is going on here? How could you NOT have noticed the Daleks?”
    Also, I’ve posted a link to the Poster that you mentioned at the bottom of this post!
    Gracias, and good detective work!

  4. Pingback: Doctor Who, series 6.9: “Night Terrors” by Mark Gatiss « Elementary, My Dear Reader

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