“Have you done work?”
“You are one who speaks.”
To like resolution before, Revolution of the Daleks is a special that works largely through momentum and spectacle, while not sticking together in something greater than the sum of its individual parts.
The cobbled-together Dalek case resolution is an important point of action in Revolution of the Daleksbut it also plays as a metaphor for the episode itself. So early on The woman who fell to earthIt was clear that the Chibnall era did not have the same strengths as the Davies and Moffat eras before. It’s inconceivable that Chibnall would construct a vacation special with characters taking care of a few generic sets. If he did that, it would probably resemble The timeless children more than Twice, with characters just exposing each other.
Instead, Chibnall tends to construct his more successful episodes around drive and dynamism. He likes multiple characters doing things at the same time while constantly adding new elements to the mix to maintain a sense of moving forward. Revolution of the Daleks is less of an episode than a collection of confidants Doctor Who Items thrown into a blender with more familiar items thrown on top. There is a hectic feeling of “… and then…” Plot the episode as Chibnall rhymes every story that comes to mind.
The result is an episode that is more chaotic and crowded than resolution. Indeed, resolution Perhaps the reconciliation of the same name between Ryan and his father botched a bit, but at least it became clear that this relationship was supposed to be both the centerpiece of the episode and the payoff of a thread that runs through the season. In contrast, revolution It seems like a lot of things happen incredibly quickly as the stakes escalate rapidly and history changes before the audience gets bored.
Revolution of the Daleks doesn’t really work After all, despite all the things that happen in the episode, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it’s supposed to be “Over.” There are certainly scenes and developments that feel important, but they never really feel like an organic development from one scene to the next. That said Revolution of the Dalek manages to avoid falling completely flat. The feeling of constant escalation prevents something from collapsing. Revolution of the Daleks is certainly more Spyfall, part I. when Spyfall, Part II.
At the same time, it’s hardly revolutionary.
There is legitimate criticism to be made Revolution of the Daleks that the episode was just cobbled together from a variety of other sources. This is not necessarily a problem Doctor Who has a long history of drawing on influences from across pop culture. The biggest problem with Revolution of the Daleks is that its primary sources appear to be other episodes of Doctor Who. On the other hand, considering how radical it is The timeless children seemed upset Status quoPerhaps this familiarity is a conscious choice and an attempt to reassure the audience.
The episode’s starting premise owes a lot Victory of the Dalekswhat was itself something of a loose remake of Power of the Daleks. This is not a bad choice Victory of the Daleks remains one of the weakest Dalek-centric episodes of the revival era, and wastes a compelling premise: Winston Churchill and Daleks in World War II. If the show has plagiarized itself, perhaps the best energy is expended on reworking ideas that have been undermined by clumsy execution.
To like Victory of the Daleks before, Revolution of the Daleks finds a UK Prime Minister throwing his lot in the omnicidal pepper pots. Indeed, the decision to postpone the action with a fictionalized prime minister to this day is pressing Revolution of the Daleks closer to something like that The sound of the drums. Given that The sound of the drums When a corrupt prime minister collaborated with the Toclafane, a threat originally intended as a potential replacement for the Daleks, there is even a clever bit of meta-textuality in all of it.
That premise that the UK government is using Daleks would be enough to keep an episode going of itself, especially to build the cliffhanger out of The timeless childrenwith the doctor locked up by judoon. After all, there are many wise and targeted comments that could emerge from the UK government’s idea of using the Daleks. The Daleks have long been synonymous with fascism and xenophobia, and given the direction in which British politics has gone in recent years, there is much to be said.
Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat were aggressively political. Davies killed Tony Blair and stuffed him in a closet Aliens from London and Third world war. He later rebuilt the Falkland Islands with aliens The Christmas Invasion. Then he let the Master reinvent himself as a not-too-subtle parody of Tony Blair The sound of the drums. The show has a long history of impaling contemporary politics. Given the chaos in the modern world, there is a lot of material that the show could work with.
Unfortunately, the Chibnall era was never particularly keen on biting political and social commentaries. Revolution of the Daleks repeatedly indicates something resembling a political commentary, but never focuses his attention or articulates a statement. The footage of Daleks working on “Border control” is a striking picture less than a day after Brexit, however Revolution of the Daleks refuses to associate Prime Minister Jo Patterson’s use of the Daleks with latent racism or xenophobia.
To be fair Revolution of the DaleksThe episode was written and filmed at the end of 2019. This is also evident in the cast of Harriet Walter as Jo Patterson. Patterson is clearly intended as an analog for Theresa May, given her relative no-nonsense style and stoicism as opposed to Jack Robertson’s extravagance. However, Theresa May was replaced as Prime Minister by Boris Johnson in July 2019, making the implied reference almost a year and a half out of date.
A lot has happened in the last year. An early scene with Robertson and Patterson shows a “Role playing game” a public protest that is broken up by a Dalek. Like the Dalek at border control, this is an impressive picture. However, the episode never develops it. There were mass protests against systemic racism in the United Kingdom and the United States last year, however Revolution of the Daleks is never interested in developing this idea beyond a single eye-catching image.
Part of what is frustrating, in fact Revolution of the Daleks is how close the episode is to hitting a barbed point only to pull back at the last minute. Patterson’s grand speech could easily have served as a parody of the kind of rhetoric that has permeated so much of modern politics. Patterson never did quite lands on the verbal tics of British or American politics. She never talks about the importance of using the Daleks “Take back control.” The Daleks won’t do Britain “Great again”, but “Ready … to make Britain a safer place.”
The result of all of this is an episode that feels incredibly empty and flat. At the beginning of the season Refugee of Judun Landed on impressive images almost by accident: the idea of an aggressive black woman being persecuted by a group of violent police officers without accountability met with great approval. In contrast, Revolution of the Daleks withdraws from his more powerful or troubling ideas. Never it quite stumbles into the backward policy of Jerk!but seems to intend not to say anything at all.
Instead, Revolution of the Daleks only stacks property developments on property developments. The episode begins with the restoration of the Dalek case revolutionstolen from Jack Robertson and given to Leo Rugazzi. Leo then finds a way to mass-produce Daleks as drones that will become a cornerstone of the UK’s defense industry. On his own initiative, Leo also finds organic material in the Dalek and thus clones a copy of the Dalek that was thrown into the supernova revolution.
Leo is unable to communicate with the Dalek, who mostly plays possum and hacking into various networks at the same time in order to create a Dalek kindergarten. The Dalek won’t attack Leo until Leo tries to throw him into an oven. Then he kidnaps his body in a similar way to resolution. When the Dalek hulls are activated, the Dalek clones are activated too and all hell breaks loose. This is a pretty tangled and insane conspiracy, even by the standards of Doctor Who, but it exists largely to allow Chibnall to switch genres at different points in the episode.
The idea of people trying to exploit Daleks as servants before something goes terribly wrong is lifted Power of the Daleks and Victory of the Daleks. The idea of building an army of Daleks “Liquidated People” is indirectly lifted from both Revelation of the Daleks and Bad Wolf. The idea of a Dalek civil war between “purely” Daleks and “Bastardized” Daleks is a familiar element from stories like Resurrection of the Daleks and Remembering the Daleks. There is also an extensive Dalek invasion of Earth, as from The Dalek Invasion of Earth or The stolen earth.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with one “Play the hits” Approach to depicting a Dalek story. After all, the Daleks are such an institution Doctor Who that it is very difficult to think of anything new that has to do with them. Even resolution was effectively an update from Dalekand a plot thread inside Revolution of the Daleks is itself effectively a retread of resolution, with the Dalek serving Leo like a meat doll. It makes sense. This is supposed to be a great, people-friendly vacation story aimed at the general audience. So why not do as many Dalek stories as possible?
Give Revolution of the Daleks In a way, the episode seems to conceptually understand the role the Daleks play in the cosmology of Doctor Who. In fact, the episode works best when reduced to the idea of the Doctor and the Daleks. With anything else, there isn’t much time to unpack the consequences of The timeless children, but it is clear that the continuity developments created an identity cycle for the doctor. “I’m not who I thought I was” the doctor confesses to Ryan. “If I am not who I thought I was, who am I?”
The answer is obvious. “You are the doctor like you always were.” Ryan says. This is where the Daleks come in. The Daleks have always been important in defining the doctor through opposition. The Doctor first became a hero when he met the aliens The Daleks. After the doctor has regenerated The power of the DaleksThe Daleks became the crucible through which he was vindicated. The smartest element of Victory of the Daleks is to have the newly regenerated Doctor validate the Daleks as the Twelfth Doctor’s identity crisis unfolds In the Dalek.
As such, the Daleks have always been the force against which the Doctor defines himself. They fulfill this function very well in Revolution of the Dalekshow they help get the doctor out of her depression and confirm who she is beneath it all. “I am the doctor” She testifies. “I’m the one stopping the Daleks.” Of course, this is perhaps the most basic function of the Daleks, and it was thoroughly undermined and deconstructed in the Moffat-era Dalek stories, but at least it was Revolution of the Daleks understand it.
Of course, it’s a bit awkward that the doctor decides to arm the Daleks’ racism. It is a fascinating mirror for using the Nazis’ racism against the masters in Spyfall, Part IIThis still seems like a very uncomfortable choice for a family adventure show as the episode never pauses to unpack the effects of what the Doctor is doing.
Certainly the use of the Daleks by the Doctor as a weapon in Revolution of the Daleks undermines many potential political comments. After all, the doctor really has no reason to criticize Patterson’s decision to use the Daleks as a weapon if she did exactly the same thing. The Doctor’s decision to bring the even more deadly Daleks to Earth was ruthless and potentially catastrophic if the spare TARDIS lying around and the Daleks hadn’t blown up their own ship.
The bigger problem is that these elements get thrown into the mix via a myriad of other threads of plot and have no time to breathe. Jo Patterson is a major driver of the storyline for the first half of the episode and is then brutally murdered before the plot blends sharply into another type of story. Jack Robertson is introduced as an industrialist hoping to profit from the Daleks, but wanders into the TARDIS, finds himself in the middle of an invasion, briefly allies with the Daleks, and then somehow gets lost in history.
Furthermore, Revolution of the Daleks It must also be a story about the Doctor escaping prison, reuniting with Captain Jack Harkness for some reason, reuniting with her companions after a long absence, and then declaring Ryan and Graham’s departure while keeping Yaz at the same time. All of these elements press against each other for the space and none of them really feel like they belong together.
Specifically, Revolution of the Daleks tries to ease the tension between the doctor and her companions by escaping prison and leaving their companions on Earth for ten months. Given all the other events in the episode, this melodrama feels undeserved. It makes sense that the characters should have some resentment towards the Doctor, but it’s a bit unreasonable that it should become such a big deal within the narrative.
After all, the Companions returned to their normal life. The tenth doctor treated Martha much worse Human nature and Family of blood, not to mention The last masters of time. The eleventh doctor skipped twelve years in Amy’s life The eleventh hourand spent the remainder of his tenure repenting. Given the Companions weren’t stranded in a hostile environment and the Doctor was in jail, not to mention the impending Dalek threat, it seems fair to put this issue on the back burner. It doesn’t feel organic that it dominates the dynamic.
Indeed, it is tempting to look at Revolution of the Daleks as an example of Chibnall as a producer effectively dictating Chibnall as a writer. The main advantages of the episode structure are logistic rather than narrative. Revolution of the Daleks has a large cast, and they spend significant portions of the episode’s seventy-minute runtime in isolation from one another. Revolution of the Daleks is a third of the way over before the Doctor reunites with her “Fam.” As with episodes like PraxeusThis makes it easier to organize shooting schedules for the cast.
While this approach to scripting makes sense to ease the workload for actors like Jodie Whittaker or Bradley Walsh, Chibnall tries hard to get it going in terms of character or pace. Revolution of the Daleks supposed to be Ryan’s departure. The episode is supposed to lead to his decision to leave the TARDIS. The episode should go so far that Ryan’s exit feels like an organic character beat.
With that in mind, it’s strange that Jack should be giving his big talk about being left by Doctor Yaz and not Ryan. After all, such a speech would anticipate Ryan’s decision to leave in the same way as Sarah Jane’s story Class reunion Set up Mickey and Rose’s departures later this season. It’s also strange that the Doctor should talk to Ryan about the events of The timeless children. After all, it is Yaz who will be the companion who will have to deal with the consequences of this plot development.
Revolution of the Daleks is a story without a really clear arc or flow. The story moves in fits and starts and changes direction in the blink of an eye. In a way, the episode actually feels like a loose collection of familiar elements thrown together into a shape that is recognizable to casual observers Doctor Who. It often feels that way “Content.” It works significantly better than Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, but it’s pretty similar in structure too.
To shape this desire Revolution of the Daleks in something recognizable as Doctor Who is most obvious when it comes to capturing Captain Jack Harkness. As in Refugee of JudunThere’s no reason Captain Jack Harkness needs to be involved Revolution of the Daleks. Of course, it is also questionable to what extent Jack had to be involved Utopia, The sound of the drums and The last masters of time, but at least those episodes arrived relatively soon after his first departure from the show.
After all, Jack was introduced to The empty child and The doctor is dancingmore than fifteen years ago. This is roughly the same as the distance between to survive and rose. There should be a whole generation of Doctor Who Watch fans who have no idea who Captain Jack Harkness is and why he matters. Such as, Revolution of the Daleks should probably have a compelling reason to revive the character beyond simple nostalgia and fan service. However, there is no such reason outside of Chibnall’s historiography for the character am Torchwood.
Of course, Jack goes with it Revolution of the Daleks as part of the broader nostalgia for the Davies era that pervades so much of the larger Chibnall era. To be fair Revolution of the Daleks features cameo appearances from Moffat-era monsters like the Silence and the Weeping Angels, with the Weeping Angels reportedly returning in the coming season. However, the Chibnall era has drawn back to the early years of the revival over and over again.
Arachnids in the UK was clearly a structural nod to stories like Aliens from London and Third world war, Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel or The Sontaran strategy and The poison sky. The characterization of the master in Spyfall, part I. and Spyfall, Part II reminded of John Simm’s appearance in stories like The sound of the drums and The last masters of time or The End of Time, Part I. and The End of Time, Part II. Even the destruction of Gallifrey set them back Status quo to what it was rose.
This influence can also be seen in Revolution of the Daleks. Chibnall even recycles jokes. At one point during his jail break, Jack produces a vortex manipulator. “How did you get this in here?” asks the doctor. Jack answers, “Should I really answer that?” It’s a joke the show made previously on Jack, specifically the gun he uses to threaten the droids Bad Wolf, an episode that Jack refers to repeatedly throughout the year Revolution of the Daleks.
After all, there is a considerable difference between Revolution of the Daleks and Victory of the Daleks. Both Revolution of the Daleks and Victory of the Daleks The climax is a confrontation between two different types of Daleks: the “older” Gold designs by Dalek and a “Newer” Variant. Essentially, the past and the future and conflicts collide. in the Victory of the Daleksthe older gold models are destroyed by the “New Paradigm” Daleks. However, nostalgia triumphs Revolution of the Daleks. The older models show up and tear through the newer designs.
Part of that nostalgia is more subtle. At one point during her captivity the doctor quotes Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘S stone for himself what changes in the face of J.K. Rowling’s outright opposition to trans rights, while the Doctor’s recent renewals have been read by many as trans-narrative. To be clear, it is very obvious that Chibnall did not intend to offend or offend. The episode was written and filmed Long before Rowling positioned herself as a critic of transgender rights.
Instead, it seems like Chibnall was just trying to tap into nostalgia. After all, it is Harry Potter Franchise arguably belongs to the generation of children who came of age with the early seasons of the revival. Davies often cited Harry Potter, with the books as the touchstone in The Shakespeare Code and Davies is even considering casting Rowling in the one of his vacation specials. However, it is likely that the reference is out of date for any children they have watched with The woman who fell to earthbut maybe they’re not the audience.
This nostalgia invites a number of unflattering comparisons. Especially, Revolution of the Daleks offers a showdown between the new Daleks and the older design. This is reminiscent of the confrontation between the Daleks and the Cybermen in Army of spirits and Judgment day, which is still one of the most adorable scenes in which the legendary aliens can be seen. Daleks yelling at each other should make for a convincing television – funny and terrifying at the same time. Unfortunately, Chibnall lacks that thriving, and so everything is pretty flat and generic.
Indeed, it is tempting to look at Revolution of the Daleks as something of a companion too Ascension of the Cybermen. The Dalek element of the story doesn’t look quite like the old one “Dalek Civil War” 80s stories like Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks and Remembering the Daleks. As Graham points out, the Doctor’s ingenious scheme to solve this Dalek invasion is as follows “This group of Daleks kill so much”, with little nuance or creativity. The episode is merciless (with one notable exception) at having the Daleks butcher the guest cast.
As such, if Ascension of the Cybermen felt like trying to make new Earth shock The same is true of a modern prestige television budget Revolution of the Dalekswho seeks to recreate the least interesting aspects of the other [R-word] the Daleks Episodes as a blockbuster spectacle. There is nothing wrong with recycling elements. After all Bad Wolf is probably fair Vengeance on Varos and Revelation of the Daleks combined in a single script. However, Bad Wolf aims at more than just “Reproduction with a bigger budget.”
That lack of ambition is perhaps most evident at the end of the episode. Jack Robertson somehow manages to survive his encounter with the Daleks. In a stronger episode, this would be a thematic point similar to Slade’s survival in Journey of the Damned. In Revolution of the DaleksIt just seems to happen because Chris Noth is enjoying the role and it’s possible the show will want to bring him back again.
To be fair, Robertson is great fun Revolution of the Daleks. Chris Noth clearly enjoys it, and the character’s quirky caricature arguably allows him to distort himself in a way that allows him to navigate the episode’s changing narrative. It helps Robertson get some of the funniest lines in the episode. In an open political call he rebukes Leo, “You know your problem, Leo? You are too smart. That’s why people don’t like experts. ” At another point he ponders the bureaucratic mechanics of the Daleks’ evil plan. He may also say: “Take me to your leader.”
Interesting, Revolution of the Daleks makes a point to demonstrate that Robertson did not survive the events of Arachnids in the UK intact. Patterson notes that his presidential campaign was derailed by a “Toxic waste scandal”This suggests that his actions had some consequences. There was little in it Arachnids in the UK to point out that if Robertson just ended up walking away like Ilin, this would happen The ghost monument, King James in The witch finders or Daniel Barton in Spyfall, Part II.
The implication of all of this seems to be that could be The doctor is not as ineffective as it seems. Maybe all of these characters were overthrown after she left them, and it was all part of some smart planning. This would go a long way in undoing one of the core criticisms of this iteration of the character, arguing that the failure to show the doctor that horrible people actually continue to do horrific things was not a character flaw, it was simply a void in the Scriptures.
However, Revolution of the Daleks then returns to the standard. The last few minutes of the episode show that Robertson emerged politically safe from the events of the episode and may even be preparing another presidential election. “Can you belive that?” Graham asks. Ryan replies, “I can.” It’s a somber and fatalistic ending that doubles on the cynicism that permeates the Chibnall era. Bad people do bad things, and there is nothing either of the characters can do to stop them.
Then, within a few minutes, the episode zigzagged again. As the doctor prepares to leave, Ryan decides to stay. “I mates need me” he tells the doctor. Then he makes it clear that he believes the world needs him. “You have to fight for it, right?” The descent wasn’t actually set up or predicted, but at least that’s an interesting angle. Ryan hopes to apply what he has learned from the doctor to the real world. The doctor even gives Ryan and Graham a psychological paper.
There’s an interesting idea here. So much of the Chibnall era is based on the idea of testimony and observation, especially in episodes like pink and Demons of the Punjab. An extremely nonprofit reading on this topic is that the show understands that this is a television show and that it cannot literally change the world. Of course, this is a depressingly literal approach to the problem in itself, and one that is more interestingly explored Extremis.
However, there is something interesting about the idea that Ryan is taking what he has learned through witnessing and observation – what he has learned Doctor Who – and apply it to the real world. Indeed, the fact that Ryan’s departure came right after Ryan, after Robertson watched Robertson turn his betrayal of humanity into political success, suggests that Ryan may be willing to step beyond the confines of Doctor Whofor him to stay behind to clean up the mess the Doctor is making. With his psychological work, Ryan could easily take on Robertson. That would be growth.
Unfortunately, Revolution of Daleks has no interest in it. Instead, the episode resets Ryan and Graham to the default setting of The woman who fell to earthRyan is learning to ride a bike again. (The pair are even visited by the Spirit of Grace, which feels like an odd nod to Jenna Louise Coleman’s cameo TwiceIt turns out that Ryan and Graham will only have generics Doctor Who-like adventures with rock monsters instead of bringing anything from the TARDIS to a grounded or more real world.
These closing moments are typical for Revolution of the Daleks. They are clumsy and clumsy, gesticulating in interesting directions, but almost reflexively withdrawing from these ideas. Revolution of the Daleks is a mess, but at least a driving mess.