While not as annoyingly aimless as last week's entry, we're still getting an absurd lack of bang for our buck. This week, the Doctor is summoned to the Blitz by Winston Churchill himself, for no spectacular reason, only to find that a scientist in his cabinet has "created" a new breed of robotic soldiers -- Ironsides -- that look suspiciously like drab & khaki Daleks. Fascinating premise that immediately goes by the wayside when the Doctor acts totally insane and throws a huge tantrum which results in him explaining that he is the Doctor, and they are the Dalek.
Which is apparently all the proof they needed to prove that no amount of screwing around by RTD et al could make them "tainted" enough to be denied the option of making more Daleks. Their "Progenitor," a flashing pyramidal object about the size of a baseball, believes the Doctor and starts cranking out new candy-colored Power Ranger Daleks whose voices are not as cool and who immediately take out the previous generation for being inferior. Just like kids these days, but with lasers.
Speaking of kids: "Hey, kids! The old Daleks are stupid! Throw away all your old Dalek crap and buy some of this new Dalek crap! Doctor Who is a vibrant and necessary participator in the European economy!"
The mysterious scientist buddy of Churchill is actually a robot produced by the Dalek to precipitate this ridiculous mockery of a story. So after Amy spends the entire episode pretending this version of Winston Churchill isn't a cartoon, by turns boring and offensive, and impressing him with her cardboard spunk, she realizes that robot science guy is the key to stopping them. She's not exactly right, because even though he can turn WWII bombers into Vipers right off the Galactica -- spawning an annoying Star Wars ripoff even less soulless than the Flight of the Cribbens -- he's more importantly some kind of bomb that can destroy the entire world.
The Daleks maneuver the Doctor into letting them go, rather than detonating their scientist/bomb, but then of course detonate the bomb anyway, but it's not actually a problem, because this show is dumb and obviously the scientist is not going to blow up. But first we have to sit through some egregious bullshit about how the scientist isn't a bomb but a man, because once he loved a lassie back on the cliffs of Dover, so memories of her sunflower hair and the scent of her armpits makes him not be a bomb anymore.
The Doctor takes their escape as a huge failure -- just like every single fucking time they show up -- which not only gives this episode its title, but also leads into the next thing, which is: Why doesn't Amy remember the fifty billion times the Daleks invaded Earth over the last four (much less the last ninety) seasons? And what's with the crack appearing every single time?
I must admit, these questions hold some amount of interest for me, because they're obviously important, but mainly are interesting because: What if this show doesn't suck? What if Masturbating Jeff is essential to global security, and the duck pond is important, and Liz 10's mask is a parallel of something to come, and all the rest? Because you know, four years ago we were just hitting the farting Slitheen, Suntanning Daleks and Dickens Ghosts, and I still thought this show was beyond retarded. We hadn't hit "The Long Game" yet, and there was no point at all. You know what I mean?
Air raid sirens are going off and dust is shaking from the ceiling, and everybody in Churchill's bunker is running around. They're beautifully dressed and they all have those cute British accents, but my question is this: If you look up in the sky are you going to see Rose hanging from a dirigible? That story was written by Steven Moffat, and this one by Mark Gatiss (whom I'll always love for Nighty Night), but I mean, given that the Blitz is like the most interesting thing that ever happened in London -- my favorite writer has focused not one but two novels (three if you're counting the halves) plus an amazing short story on it, and seems at times to view all time travel as an oblique way to talk about it no matter how much I loved Kivrin -- you could conceivably place every episode of this show somewhere in it. But... Do you really need to?
Especially for such an ill-conceived and bizarrely paced exercise in merchandising as this? Because add the dodgy denouement -- every bit as obnoxious as the heartfelt sighs and rising violins that attended STARWHALE!'s discovery and eventual hilarious succor -- and you've got basically three or four pretty crappy stories, lashed end-to-end by bits of string and chewing gum.
Story A: The Daleks are not Daleks. So the Doctor acts the fool in a really unconvincing, frankly obnoxious way, and then they're Daleks again. Story B: In the middle of World War II is exactly the time to make a joke about racial purity, using the Dalek's least interesting qualities, to no real end. Story C: Buy these shitty new color-coded Daleks and don't give your parents a moment of peace until they do. And Story D: A bomb that is a person, who simply stops being a robot due entirely to the power of luuuuuv. Which: Why not just have somebody run through London with the Olympic torch? From what I hear, it's much more than a torch now, it's a beacon! It's a beacon of hope! And fortitude! And courage! And it's a beacon... Of love!
Anyway, this piece of shit. It's not as bad as last week's, and next week finally gets us on track to a certain extent, but I can't believe we're going to sit here discussing it when we could be, I don't know, hanging from a dirigible. They all run around listening to the radio and complaining about this and that and being super British ("If wishes were kisses, luv!") and not really showing the Spirit of the Blitz and whatever, and some guy who's barely even the ghost of a strange bulldog-human hybrid that once met Churchill and pissed on his shoes blammers out, through his wobbling fat face, "Roll out the secret weapon!" And they push a tiny model Dalek across the war table, and deal with that why don't you.