Doctor Who

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C | 6 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
K.B.O.

He's worried by that, but not as much as by the central plot, such as it is. Amy heads over to knock one of them on the dome, and one of my favorite little things of this season happens: He calls her first Amy, and then Amelia. He only calls her Amelia when he's scared; I like it. "Can I be of assistance?" She ignores him, chuckling in her short little skirt, and asks the Ironside if it's a dangerous alien. "I am your soldier!" it says, in that beautiful voice. She pushes further, but it runs away to perform its duties.

The Doctor takes away Harkonnen's cigar, and their little matching bowties wobble around, and Churchill gives a speech while the Doctor climbs winsomely all over his body: "We are waging total war, Doctor! Day after day, the Luftwaffe pound this great city like an iron fist. Men, women and children slaughtered, families torn apart." Sir Christopher Wren's churches, all in flame. "I weep for my country! I weep for my empire! It is breaking my heart." And maybe there's a bit of gravitas, a bit of something in there that we can recognize. The Doctor tries to give him a pep talk about how the whole world knows Churchill is resisting, how he's a beacon of hope in the darkness of the Blitz, but he's faltering. "But for how long? Millions of innocent lives will be saved if I use these Ironsides now!"

Which I would say is a callback, to the Time War and to the questions asked him by both the Master, in Donna's Lost Year, and by Davros the next time, and even answered by the Master last New Year's, but this is a different show now. I think he just means what he says on the tin, and it has nothing to do with the Doctor at all: He wants Daleks, and TARDISes, and anything else, because he's afraid. They are Weapons of Mass Destruction, maybe; or maybe Mutually Assured Destruction. Lord knows what the point is, this time. There are thematic callbacks here to the Sontaran/Genny three-part story, even -- whether the Children of Time or the Doctor's Daughters ever have an endpoint higher than weaponization -- but even that just seems emblematic of the fact that every episode this season seems to put a premium on episodes Moffat previously wrote, as far as what goes in the Almighty Conceptual Smoothie Blender along with every movie ever made. But like I said: Early days. Can't tell what's on purpose and what's just a tic. Hopes are not, as yet, particularly high.

"Just listen! The Daleks have no conscience. No mercy. No pity. They are my oldest and deadliest enemy. You cannot trust them!" That's why they rule, not that they've been particularly awesome in a long time, but thanks for reminding us just how, once again, the stakes truly are. "If Hitler invaded hell," Winston states for about the fifth time, "I would give a favorable reference to the Devil! These machines will be our salvation!" The all-clear is sounded, and the Doctor broods while everybody rushes around.

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Doctor Who

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