All the Daleks Here Now

The New Paradigm Dalek

The New Dalek Paradigm

I did sort of hope that all the Daleks would have made more of an appearance in the ‘Asylum’, after all the hoo-haa about getting hold of older models. Indeed, I didn’t feel we saw enough older Daleks – of which plenty must exist amongst promotional groups. How many conventions have you visited on the geek circuit to find a Doctor Who look-a-like, TARDIS and one Dalek or another, generally of the old grey or black variety? Why couldn’t they use some of those, especially when the Doctor ventured into Intensive Care. Surely, all those Daleks should have conformed to the pre-golden format.

Personally, I got excited about the presence of the Special Weapons Dalek in the trailer. Admittedly, when it appeared originally – in “Remembrance of the Daleks” – it had very little screen time in action; the ‘Asylum’ seemed to effectively relegate to the status of scenery. I guess that they didn’t have the inclination to sort the innards out or something – refurbishing the tricycle or whatever. Maybe the Health & Safety standards associated with people working inside Daleks have become tougher – and the BBC didn’t want to dish out for the upgrade. In the old days, you could stick a couple of trolley wheels on the edges and tell the guy to get on with it. Now, they probably want remote controls, mini-bar facilities, breaks… the whole Savoy treatment.

I’m shocked that so little investment seems to have been even made in the use of theĀ iDaleks from ‘Victory of the Daleks‘. Didn’t Moffat intend for the new purebreed Daleks to become the standard for his tenure? Using the RTD golden Dalek model just seems a little bit lazy.

“We spent all this money making the golden Dalek model for Season 1 of New Who – and I don’t think we’ve quite got our monies worth yet. Hey, let’s wheel out the gold ones and have a few of the iDaleks in the backdrop. Maybe let the white iDalek speak a bit, for diversity reasons.”

I felt that the CGI wide shots could have done more to include older models – would it have harmed anyone in the least to have added a few classic Daleks in the ‘big picture’ view?

I’m sure they do have a genuine excuse – maybe the Terry Nation Estate agreement doesn’t extend to the older models? Maybe I should have watched whatever Confidential episode might have followed the episode (did they do one? I didn’t check… Have they dropped those, too?).

I do some research and get back to this subject…

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Let’s Kill Hitler

Personally, I loved it. I loved the setting. I loved the sets. I loved the characters, including Mel. I loved the man-ship full of little people. I especially loved the people on Twitter who seemed upset about the throwaway use of Hitler and the retconned appearance of Mel.

I mean, what?

All of River Song’s history has had to be retconned into the series – she’s a character who knows the less about the Doctor the more he gets to know her. How was she ever going to be anything other than a bit on the retconned side of things? You couldn’t expect someone to have thought about the possibilities and mapped out the character in advance. Get too carried away with that and you would have tainted the series that came before, because they’d be full of inexplicable red herrings that you couldn’t quite account for and wouldn’t appreciate until later on.

Isn’t it enough to feature the first appearance of River’s Diary. And the throwaway comment about Temporal Grace for the fan-boys out there who always need a little bit more attention.

And Hitler? Honestly… in the series that last year included Churchill and the Daleks, do you seriously imagine that Hitler in a cupboard will be an end to this? Hitler did have an angle on mysticism and ancient relics of unimaginable power – and Churchill had a hankering to acquire the Doctor’s TARDIS for the good of Great Britain (and, no doubt, mankind).

So, stop whining and luxuriate in the moment. Mel regenerating into River Song. River coming to terms with her curves. A little nod to David T. in the clattering and muttering about the change in teeth. Crop circles in Leadworth. Classic German motorbikes. The return of that Big Hall in Cardiff that they seem to do everything in from Pompeii to Void Ships to meetings with Silurian elders and more besides. Could you really rattle on and bemoan the fact that you can’t quite account for something or it didn’t seem right when you have no clue quite where Moffat’s current intentions with the story arc lay?

Dear, dear me…

The TARDIS Revisited

When you see the reconstructed TARDIS for the first time in ‘The Eleventh Hour’, you hope for more. In the old days, we saw corridors, bedrooms, a reception, laboratory, garden… and the Cloister Room, of course. Now, the brevity of the episodes perhaps precludes the need to visit the rest of the TARDIS. I hoped that mention of the swimming pool and the library might lead us further into the TARDIS, especially with Moffat seeking to establish a new feel; but, alas, we saw nothing more than the top of the stairs.

I’d love to understand why we can’t see more. The rest of the TARDIS appears in written material, but that’s all we’ve seen. The Visual Dictionary pictures the Time Sceptre, a monumental construct of which the Control Room forms but a small part – and includes the miniature Eye of Harmony in the cloister room, Artron energy receptor, navigational databases, Core Service Modules and more. I love the fact that the Secondary Control Room in the current TARDIS occupies the same location as the Primary, but existing slightly out of phase. What a brilliant idea I’m almost certain we’ll never see explored!

I realise time we spend inside the TARDIS is time not spent outside, but the encounter with the Dream Lord showed you could have a story focussed inside the TARDIS. I also realise that more TARDIS means more money spent, but surely you can create something flexible and modular that might be used as more than one room throughout the course of a series (or two).

I think that a TARDIS might hold a great deal more potential in non-TV storytelling, though I haven’t come across any evidence of this myself. The comic strips and books could both have scenes within the TARDIS – and I would definitely look to use other areas in the course of a DWAITAS scenario. When budget isn’t a constraint it makes sense to do things that you could never justify on TV.

Christmas Special: Update

Excellent news that the Christmas Special will run long, to make the wait all the more worthwhile. Mind, I’m astonished how quickly Christmas seems to be heading in this direction – likely to collide with my narrowing chances of going shopping like a passenger liner hitting a transdimenional spacio-temporal transportation device.

Kylie continues to look striking and rather fetching in her costume -so, I certainly intend to be there at 6.50pm on the 25th with recorder remote in hand. Unlike the Children in Need special, I will take precautions to remind myself to turn the TV on at the right time – even if it means posting notes all around the house.

Currently, the weird gold angel figures in some of the promotional materials look rather like Axons (who many fans thought might make a return with The Master in the last season, given their name is an anagram of Saxon!).

I’m rubbing my hands in a state of anticipational glee.