As promised at the end of last week’s episode, this week on Doctor Who we’re in the middle of London during the Blitz, sitting in cabinet war meetings with massive lion that is Winston Churchill and meeting with England’s new weapon against the Nazi Menace…
The humans call them “Ironsides,” thinking they’re a brand new creation, but they don’t realize just how old and deceptive and evil these metal incased creatures are, nor that they’re the Doctor’s oldest and most nefarious enemies, the Daleks.
And quite a victory it is. Not to get too spoilery here for you, but the Daleks don’t have some massive plan for conquest there in the past. They can’t. After their last encounter with the Doctor (in series four’s “The Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End”), they’re broken, weak, unworthy of their own Nazi-ish ideals of what their master race should be. Of course they survived that encounter though. Much like the Doctor, they always survive.
I remember having a good laugh with the denouement in that two parter in the last proper series of what the Daleks and Davros’ big plan was – the utter destruction of all reality, literally the end of all creation except for themselves – because we knew that Steven Moffat was taking over and I saw it as Russell T. Davies saying to his creator, “Ha! Take that. There’s no greater evil master plan than the attempt to destroy all reality, is there?” I’m sure Moffat isn’t afraid to take the challenge, but this episode wasn’t about that. This was about rebuilding his inherited Doctor Who mythos, bringing the Daleks back in a one off episode, showing that the Doctor does have enemies, does have desires for revenge and feels fear, and then moving this particular menace to the background, only to return at some point in the future.
Not a bad episode though, just filler, it felt like, no matter how fun it was. Mark Gattis delivers strong writing and Ian McNeice is lively as a caricature of Churchill. And Amy Pond gets another opportunity to show that she’s lively and amazing. Also, we get nutty android professors and a silly but amazing looking dogfight between British spitfires and the Dalek mothership in orbit above the Earth.
More importantly we get the return of the mysterious crack in time and space and a nod towards the bigger mystery than we’ve started to suspect was dangling before us: What year exactly is Amy Pond from?