The Doctor and Rose travel to the year 2012 and land in a museum of extra-terrestrial objects accumulated by the very wealthy Henry van Statten. He's an avid collector - the TARDIS lands on the museum's 53rd floor below ground level - but he's also using alien technology to develop new weapons from which he derives his large income. He's particularly proud of one device he's acquired but has not yet been able to make functional and to the Doctor's horror, it turns out to be a very old and very dangerous enemy from the past.Written by
This episode was watched by 8.63 million viewers on its original transmission, winning a 44.89% audience share. See more »
Some of the guards react to the water dripping on their faces from the sprinkler system, after being killed by the dalek. See more »
So, what is it? What's wrong?
Don't know, some kind of signal drawing the TARDIS off course.
Where are we?
Earth, Utah, North America. About half a mile underground.
And... *when* are we?
God, that's so close. So I should be... 26.
[the Doctor flicks a switch and lights flood the area]
Blimey! It's a great big museum!
[...] See more »
The truth lies in the middle, people often say. In this case, the truth is that surrounding the appeal of Doctor Who, and it is revealed almost halfway through the first season of the revived show: no other genre series (currently airing, that is) juggles action, drama, comedy and pure suspense like this.
Thes story takes us to a new, interesting location: a museum in Utah where an eccentric billionaire, Henry Van Statten (Corey Johnson), collects various artifacts proving the existence of extraterrestrials (Fox Mulder would love a tour of the place). This peculiar characteristic draws the Doctor's attention, only for him to be captured by Van Statten, who's thrilled to have a second live specimen to brag about. The other one, we soon learn, is a pretty rusty reminder of the Doctor's troubled past: the last of the Daleks. Before anyone can scream "Run for your lives", the Time Lord's most lethal foe is already repeating a certain dreaded phrase: "Exterminate!".
Moving away from the more apocalyptic story lines conjured by Russell T. Davies, writer Robert Shearman proposes something more contained and claustrophobic, although this doesn't mean he gives up the occasional playfulness these scripts allow. In fact, the teaser contains a very amusing moment, when the Doctor notices a familiar face (actually, it's a head) in the museum - fans will recognize it on the spot - and tells Rose it's "an old friend. Well, enemy.". Taking on the rather challenging task of reintroducing the protagonist's oldest, most enduring and popular adversary, Shearman accomplishes the mission by inserting another reference to the past (the Time War and Davros are mentioned more or less directly) while continuing in the darker direction required by the 21st century update.
The performances are as sharp as expected, with Nicholas Brigg's vocal rendition of the Dalek's dangerous presence standing out. Also worth checking out are the darker undertones on Eccleston's behalf, as his take on the Doctor becomes more serious in this episode than it's ever been, mainly because Shearman makes the bold decision of following Michael Mann's example and establishing a similarity between the hero and his nemesis. "Look at you.", Eccleston tells the decrepit machine, "You're alone." "So are you." the Dalek retorts.
More than any other episode of the new series, Dalek is the definitive proof of the fact that Doctor Who, like the revamped Batman, isn't really "for kids" anymore. Sure, it's harmless compared to more adult productions coming from the States, but it's undeniable - a lot has changed since William Hartnell first entered the TARDIS in 1963.
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