Doctor Who – New Year’s Special 2021: “Revolution of the Daleks”

  • I know we’ve had to wait longer than this for more Doctor Who, but it still feels like it’s been forever. Seeing that title again felt good.
  • Just that scene at the tea booth made me feel nostalgic for the days without masks. And no doubt plenty of people understood how the Doctor was feeling being stuck inside a small space with limited movement.
  • Shouldn’t people recognise the Daleks from their invasion in The Stolen Earth?
  • Also, I thought that Ptings couldn’t be kept in captivity because they would eat their way out of anything.
  • The dialogue in those scenes between Jack Robertson and Jo Patterson just made me switch off. We know from the RTD era that scenes involving politicians don’t have to be dull. In fact, comparing those scenes to the ones in this episode, I’m left wondering whether the political environment was actually less grim in 2005, or if I just didn’t pay as much attention to it.
  • Fortunately, the Doctor and Captain Jack’s escape quickly injects some excitement into things, and it’s uphill from here.
  • Really, Leo? You find some alien DNA inside an artefact – might as well not only grow it, but plug the resulting creature into your network where it can access its own tech! What’s the worst that could happen, right? It’s not like aliens are ever hostile in films and TV! I never would have expected Robertson to be the sensible one in any situation.
  • I like the scene between Yaz and Jack. Couldn’t help but wonder from Yaz’s behaviour if she really is meant to be attracted to the Doctor.
  • I like the design of the Robertson Daleks too, even if it’s presumably a one-episode thing.
  • Both of the central concepts in this episode – Daleks using humans to replicate them, and different factions of Daleks fighting each other – have been done before all the way back in the Classic Series.
  • So did the Doctor seriously just drop Robertson back at home without any kind of punishment for his actions?
  • Ryan and Graham’s departure feels more akin to when Classic Series companions left, in that it’s relatively understated and just has them deciding to go rather than being forced to leave. I am glad that they’re left alive and happy, but given that the whole Fam dynamic never really lived up to its potential, I’m hoping that things will be better with just the Doctor and Yaz – except that apparently John Bishop is going to be joining the TARDIS now.

This was a decent story overall, with some good action and John Barrowman making a more fulfilling return as Captain Jack Harkness – it’s left me eager for the next series, whenever that may be. Rating: 3.5/5.

About R.J. Southworth

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5 Responses to Doctor Who – New Year’s Special 2021: “Revolution of the Daleks”

  1. isoltblog says:

    I had to skim spoilers as I have only watched up to episode 3 of the first Jodie Whittaker series. Not that I don’t like her portrayal of the Doctor. I just felt the storylines were trying to be worthy- passing commentary on the fact that we (finally) have a female in the role. Please tell me, does the first season with Jodie improve, so catching up will be worth the effort?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Given how divisive the current era is, it’s hard for me to judge how other people will like it – but honestly, the quality in Jodie’s first series is fairly consistent throughout so the first three episodes should give you an idea of whether you’ll like it or not. (Indeed, Rosa is one of the stronger episodes.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kirksroom says:

    I agree with most of your thoughts are. I have grown sick of the constant negativity regarding this show online, and wonder how much has to do with sexist fans hating Jodie Whittaker.

    It definitely does feel like a lifetime has gone by since the last season ended, and I was definitely well in the mood for this. It had me glued to the screen throughout, even during those “dull” politician scenes you mentioned. Chibnall definitely seemed to be aping the RTD style during this special, and certainly made up for the underwhelming clumsily-thrown-together piece of work that he did with the Daleks before in Resolution.

    I predicted that Jack would break into the prison to rescue the Doctor, but wonder how many fans will be angry over the first female Doctor being saved by a man. Still, fights with the Daleks, Captain Jack back again, Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor being a big hero at the end instead of just bumbling her way into success after nearly ejecting her companions into space like in Resolution. What’s not to like?

    Frankly I was just so relieved they didn’t confirm the Timeless Child backstory as being anything other than the Master’s lies and manipulation that I probably would have forgiven anything else. And thankfully the Doctor seems to have stopped fucking around with Daleks to make sure they cause as much harm and death as possible (see “Victory of the Daleks,” “Into the Dalek”) and left that up to us humans.

    Oddly enough I had a dream a few weeks before about watching an episode of Doctor Who where the Doctor, Graham, Ryan, and Yaz were investigating the aftermath of a spaceship crash, that had a scientist onboard with a broken Dalek, which he had then reconstructed to assist him with his plans for world peace. The Dalek was then having to deal with the confusion and angst associated with being programmed to do things Daleks are not supposed to do. This is obviously not what actually happened in this episode, but still close enough to leave me amazed. I believe Jack saving the Doctor in jail may have also been part of my dream.

    My 77-year-old aunt who has not watched Doctor Who regularly since the 80s did not take long to become completely lost with it, though. She was so confused she thought John Barrowman was going to play the Doctor and found it a lovely surprise when she realized the Doctor was actually a woman. I was impressed at the one thing she managed to get right: “So the Daleks are evil creatures from outer space. And all of the Doctors fight the Daleks throughout space and time.” I added “Since 1963.” She suggested the Doctor should try to bring peace to North Korea.

    Still, I seem to enjoy episodes of the show far more before I cruise the Internet and learn that I am not allowed to. The fact that I did not have access to the Internet for the past two weeks when this episode aired just made it even better. 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not sure I understand the concept behind a female Doctor who, it’s a bit like saying let’s have a black James Bond, It’s missing the point of the original character. In Doctor Who of course the character of the Doctor is ever changing and surprisingly, I actually like Jodie’s portrayal of the Doc even though fundamentally I’m against it. The big problem is the stories are poor, I don’t like the companions and there are too many of them. On the plus side the new Master is brilliant. Now they’ve dropped a few companions, things may improve. Christmas special? Sorry but I fast forwarded most of it . .


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