Doctor Who

Episode Report Card
admin: B | 2 USERS: A
Explicate! Elucidate! Exposit...ate!

Up in van Statten's office, everybody's like, "Whoa." Van Statten finally -- to his credit, he's not cringing, just speaking kind of robotically -- admits that it might be "time for a new strategy," possibly including getting the fuck out of there. Goddard, who has lost hella respect for van Statten in the last few minutes, is like, "Except for the no electricity, idiot?" The Doctor asks about sealing the Vault, and van Statten goes to the computer: "It was designed to be a bunker in the event of a nuclear war -- steel bulkheads --" It's not exactly a triumph of 2012 feminism that Goddard immediately flips over to being the Doctor's assistant instead of van Statten's: "There's not enough power; those bulkheads are massive." The Doctor tells her to reroute the emergency power, and she's like, "But the security codes! It will take a computer genius!" (They call up the Dalek and it's like, "Sounds! Good!") Van Statten's like, "Thank God that I am a computer genius," and he's such a mixed-up mishmash of weird American stereotypes (at one point the writer wanted him in a ten-gallon hat, okay) that we can be forgiven for forgetting that he's also Bill Gates. The Doctor can't believe that he wants to help! Like there's nothing in it for him! But van Statten sets him straight: "I don't want to die, Doctor, simple as that. [And] nobody knows this software better than me." How weird, if you took the cowboy thing, and the Silicon Valley thing, and the corporate monster thing, and the Republican arrogance, and the moustache, and put them all together like this. All you're missing is the delightful world-conquering paternalistic cryptofascist imperialism! No wonder everyone's scared of America. And actually, van Statten's got military or quasi-military on his side too, for some reason, so...

The Dalek turns on the basement screen again -- Goddard notices first, of course -- and prefaces that it's speaking only to the Doctor. "You're gonna get rusty," says the Doctor. "I fed off the DNA of Rose Tyler. Extrapolating the biomass of a time-traveler regenerated me." Dumb. I get that this show is about silly phlebotinum stuff like that, and I'm clearly willing to overlook it, but sometimes it seems like its own worst enemy. It almost makes a point -- Rose humanizes everyone around her, because she's that awesome -- but either explain the thing or don't. This explanation that doesn't even kind of make sense just confuses this issue. Plus, I don't even wanna think about what else traveling in the TARDIS has done to Rose. So the Doctor and the Dalek chat about how it's been looking all over for other Daleks, which it knows are gone, and the new problem there is that it's just, as the Doctor says, "a soldier without commands." The Dalek goes kind of nuts about how, in the absence of any real meaning, it'll go back to Directive One: "The Dalek instinct to destroy! To conquer!" Daleks are, like, 90% the voice. It's so creepy and angry and robotic and nutty at the same time. And the Doctor finds that boring and stupid, and tries to explain that there's no Dalek empire to destroy for, but instead of replying that "Exterminate" is fun all by itself, the Dalek just asks him what it should do. The Doctor: "If you want orders, follow this one: kill yourself." But that's no good, because that's acting against the survival of the Daleks. So finally the Doctor just gets pissed: "The Daleks have failed. Why don't you finish the job and make the Daleks extinct?" There is Method spittle. "Rid the universe of your filth! Why don't you just die?" Which is very...oh, I see the Dalek agrees: "You would make a good Dalek." Again, thanks for cutting my entire steak for me. It makes me feel very grown up. The screen goes blank, and the Doctor okays them to seal the Vault. Van Statten happily does all the rerouting stuff, and the Doctor's irritated by this happiness, and Goddard points out that Rose is still behind the bulkheads.

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Doctor Who




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