So it begins; and thanks to the trailers and the title it was no surprise to any viewer that the daleks were going to be making an appearance this episode, that sparked hilarity, badassery and massive facepalm, but that was no fault of the daleks. I heard a lot of people comparing the new daleks to power rangers and generally badmouthing the new designs but I felt that it was the right move to make. The deeper voices and taller stature actually rendering them an appearance worthy of hiding behind the sofa from, something that the previous new age daleks had been lacking, to the point where my girlfriend thinks they’re irresistably cute at which point my counter argument of their position as substitutes to describe the evils of Hitler and nazi Germany and the subsequent genocides by their hands fell extremely short.
The Hitler similarities were ever present in this episode; centered in WWII, the dalek’s cry of ‘long live the master race’ or something along those lines; in fact the whole story would have been much better placed in nazi Germany; that way the Winston Churchill and the spitfires in space scenes, which were easily the worst scenes in the episode would have been replaced with some more totalitarian dictatorship, akin to ‘The Beast Below’, heck, they could even have made a theme of it. But this being Doctor Who; Britain once again takes center stage. Although I doubt the ‘would you like some tea’ line would have worked quite so well in the occupied streets of Berlin.
The thing that pushed my buttons about this episode though, besides the major cheese coming off the ‘tally ho’ star wars crossover scene so pungent that you can almost taste the decomposition; was the involvement of Winston Churchill. His placement in the episode was a nice touch to start with but the real problem kicks in when he is given the same treatment every historical figure gets on the show, which is that they are portrayed as practically perfect in every way. The same man who kicked Mahatma Gandhi out of Britain for being ‘evil’ is treated like Stephen Fry in this episode by everyone around him, giving him this kind of eternal loveliness that no politician can possibly retain. The fact that he even spoke to Amy is a historical inaccuracy, never mind his happy go lucky attitude at a time when his country is in the middle of a full scale war the likes of which have never been seen. In fact, I would love to see Hitler actually appear in an episode of Doctor Who so they could tiptoe around the fact that he was an evil genius; I can see it now, ‘Adolf, you’re a genius, but you’re a very naughty boy.’ But those two situations were my only real problem with the episode, overall I actually thought it was amazing, although in discussing the episode I didn’t seem to be in the majority on that opinion; but who can argue that you would either love or hate the scene where the human bomb diffuses himself with love. I would have probably had a less than positive opinion of it if it hadn’t made me try to explain in by brain how that could possibly work for three days, and that’s an impressive feat; because surely television is there to make you think, and this episode really did. Although I would love to see a scene between The Doctor and Hitler similar to the Dogen/Sayid scenes in LOST but a man can only dream.