Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks Review


Running out of minutes, the Doctor realizes that the weakness of the Daleks is that they anticipate human actions based on what they did in the previous loop. She suggests using one of the loops to implement a decoy scheme – providing false information to the Daleks to ingest, which will keep them away long enough to escape. As part of this, Nick runs to his storage unit and builds a fort with all of his ex-partners’ possessions, leading the Daleks to believe that building bunkers is the Doctor’s new strategy. When the final loop arrives, they converge on what they believe to be another barricade full of curled up humans, only to ignite Jeff’s illegal fireworks and detonate themselves under the gaze of the TARDIS team from a distance. security. 2022 arrives, the TARDIS is fixed and Sarah leaves with Nick to go see the world. Phew.

If that was all there was in this episode it would still be a bit more difficult, but he also finds time to work in some gentle character building. The biggest part of this is the ‘cute encounter’ between Sarah and Nick, of course, but we also get an important scene where Yaz finally confesses his feelings for the Doctor and Dan, brilliantly, calls on the Doctor to be much more conscientious. emotional that she is pretending. This may be a charitable assessment of the brutal and emotionally distant incarnation of Whittaker, but it’s a well-made point about the character as a whole – somewhere in the Thirteenth Doctor’s head, memories of Rose persist.

There’s also room for a few laughs, “they’re still alive, aren’t they?” Horrified Yaz? when Nick reveals his Vault O ‘girlfriends, and Dalek’s blunt claim that Dan was referred to as the inferior human. It’s definitely not a comedic episode, but it does have its fair share of funny lines. Acting is also on the cards, too, with Whittaker fully relying on Thirteen’s arrogant streak as she fatally fixes eye after eye, but it’s Aisling Bea and Adjani Salmon who steal the show this week with two very imperfect performances, vulnerable and human.

That may be all the real estate offered by the ELF storage facility, but the constraints of filming a pandemic seem much more evident here than they were during Flux. There is a lot of empty space that is unfolded, whether it’s framing characters in long, thin rooms so that they can hold each other well, or in carefully distant chase scenes. Rather than hamper production, however, the limited sets and other considerations lead to some interesting choices and angles. The episode feels a lot less cinematic and “big budget” than Flux, but it’s not worse for that.

What’s also interesting is how much it might have served as a regeneration story if the last few minutes had turned out differently. There’s the promise of a full TARDIS reset, on the one hand (I was personally hoping to see the original console room when the doors opened), but there’s also a surprising appearance from Karl – the even Karl who was being chased by Tim Shaw in The woman who fell to Earth ‘and apparently lives in Manchester now. Having him there for the Thirteenth Doctor’s last adventure would have been a real narrative bookend …

This is the realm of what could have been, however. We have two more specials to look forward to, and if they can match the quality and creativity of “Eve of the Daleks,” I suspect people will really be waiting for them to arrive. Once again, we see that Doctor Who doesn’t need a huge budget, overloaded scripts, or universe-ending waves of antimatter to be successful. Sometimes the best things in life are the simple pleasures.

About Keith Johnson

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