Special Overview of Doctor Who New Year – The Daleks’ Revolt


“I would have preferred not to meet her.

Because it’s worse to have met her and then be without her. Let’s get the Judoon out of the road in the space. There was no Sherwood Robot in this show, Jo Patterson wasn’t Harriet Jones, and I’m no Dan Martin.

We were all devastated to lose Dan in 2020 at the Guardian, but we didn’t want Doctor Who’s festive special to leave without offering you a chance to pay homage to him, or address a New Year’s special that… Well……well… At best, it was inconsistent. The episode followed Resolution much more directly than anticipated, but before it got moving it was an incredibly long slow-burn of a setup. As cold and calculating, Harriet Walter played Prime Minister Patterson, but still ended up becoming the second British Prime Minister to be wiped out in recent years by the Daleks.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, like Leo Rugazzi, played the latest in Doctor Who in a long line of misguided scientists and geniuses who end up outwitted and dominated by the alien technology they mess with. I think we all wanted it to be Captain Jack who rescues the Doctor from the prison of space.

“I’m not sure everyone on their bingo card had “and then they zorb their way out” though. As always, John Barrowman was charming and precious, with little clarification of what he was up to in the years since the last time we saw him, but some cool gadgets.

Someone ought to give him a show of his own, right? “If you’re hanging out with Daleks, you’re way out of your depth” While the advance warning may have centered on Barrowman’s return, it was Chris Noth’s business monster, Jack Robertson, who stole the show for me. Criticized as too thin-skinned a Donald Trump cipher in his first appearance, he was given more substance here – even though he is still a cynical manipulator of events, willing to sell the human race to the Daleks. His timely deadpan of “This is why people don’t like experts” made for a real laugh, and the end of the show, in which he defiantly managed to position himself as a savior of the earth going back into politics, felt frustratingly familiar with the inconsequential actions of many real-world politicians. Life aboard the TARDISI worries a little bit about Who’s Chibnall era without Graham.

Not just for his little faces and asides that added some charm, Bradley Walsh was regularly one of the most watchable elements for me, but his character seemed to hold the most emotional weight in the final years. Ryan, one of the suspects, will not make it into the pantheon of the great companions of all time. He had some fun moments – making shadow puppets in the “Arachnids in the UK,” laboratory, tossing basketball bombs at the Cybermen, shooting the robots in “The Ghost Monument” – but the growth of his character was still mild. Clearly the most affected by the absence of the Doctor was Mandip Gill’s Yasmin, sleeping in the abandoned TARDIS and angry when the Time Lord unexpectedly returned with a wide smile on his face, as though nothing had happened. The most heartfelt of the special was her conversation with Jack about how the Doctor’s disappearance was “cruel” and the fear she displayed was reminiscent of the vulnerable and insecure younger version of her we witnessed in flashbacks in Can You Hear Me…. Fear FactorYaz and Jack are threatened in Japan by Dalek squid monsters, which was possibly the only real danger moment for the main characters in an episode that, in terms of direct threats, was very low-key. Yeah, Daleks were slaughtering people on Britain’s streets, but we hadn’t seen any of them yet.

Even if you’ve only met them briefly, Chibnall’s scripts just don’t seem to have Russell T. Davies’ knack for linking the major set pieces with people you care about. The sudden appearance of the bronze Daleks was a highlight in 2020, which also says something about the brilliant job done by the Doctor Who team in redesigning the Daleks in 2005.

Finally, some real Daleks. Mysteries and questions In the compulsory long dialogue scene, Tosin Cole tried to get Jodie Whittaker to answer what happened in the Timeless Girls, in a discussion that seemed as much to frustrated fans as it was between Ryan and the Doctor by the production team.

Whittaker had recovered her sense of self by the end of the episode – “I’m the Doctor.”

I’m the one stopping the Daleks.

All of you, in d


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