The TARDIS takes The Doctor and Amy to war-torn Britain in the middle of World War Two. Not only do they meet Winston Churchill himself, but the Doctor comes face to face once again with his greatest enemy of all.
This episode is really hard to go back and watch, for multiple reasons: 1) I’m not a huge fan of the Daleks, and 2) the structure feels incredibly off.
The idea of the Doctor being involved in WWII London Blitz is a great idea for a story, but – of course – the Daleks are brought on board.
My main issue with this alien race is that it is too reminiscent of a different era to be compelling nowadays. Based on Nazis, they would have been terrifying back in the ‘60s, when they were originally created. Nowadays, with better special effects and different worldwide problems plaguing the population, they just come off as silly.
Because of this, I’m always pulled out of the show when they show up. The Doctor’s fear of them doesn’t seem believable to me (probably isn’t helped by the fact that I haven’t seen much of Classic Who).
Now, about the pacing – I really don’t understand the writing behind this one. There’s never really a moment where things slow down and the characters are allowed to process anything. It feels like everything is moving forward at a steady pace, but in a bad way.
Unlike the premiere, where the plot continued to pile on the tension, and everything moved forward at a breakneck pace, this episode feels more along the lines of a steady walk on a flat sidewalk.
Nothing incredibly exciting happens (damn Daleks) outside of seeing Winston Churchill alive and well.
Okay, okay, I guess a guy who doesn’t realize he’s a robot almost blowing up the world is kind of exciting. But even as that’s happening, I don’t feel much of anything for his character (and it’s obvious that the world won’t actually blow up).
In the end, you’ve got an episode that doesn’t have much to say (The Doctor does a funny bit with a cookie and Amy tries to reason with a robot emotionally), and a plot that’s so steady and flat that it hurts.
How did this even sidewalk and slow pace give me such terrible shin splints?!?!?! Not funny? I guess my career as a professional funnyman is dead.