This weekend’s episode, reviewed:
I’m going to hold off on reviewing the overall story, since my opinion of it will largely depend upon the resolution in the next episode of this two-parter. That said, the next episode had better be bloody brilliant, because this one was kinda “meh” for me.
1) If you’re going to go to the trouble to fly your filming crew and stars to NYC to do some filming (which they did), I would have expected more use of the actual locations in the story. There was nothing that actually looked like it was filmed there….despite the fact that I know for a fact that the TARDIS landing scene was, in fact, filmed on Liberty Island. They never did a wide shot, though, so it could have easily been a stone wall in Tooting Bec, and a CG Statue of Liberty. They spent most of the episode running around in corridors, for chrissakes — Something from the old WHO that I really didn’t miss.
2) We’ve seen genetically altered pig people before, in the first series of the new show. The Slitheen did it. The pig people in this episode are not only repititious, but entire unnecessary. They’re a slave race. OK, fine. But don’t repeat the same riff you’ve so recently used. Come up with something new…or use the Dalek’s classic slaves, the Ogrons. Plus, they’re not really needed plot-wise. The Daleks could have just as easily had human thugs working for them (since they already did – Mr. Diagoras, for example). The only reason to use creeeeeepy pig people was to do the whole mysterious-monsters-in-the-sewers bit….but if your bloody title has “Daleks” in it, it’s not as if we’re going to not figure out who the real villains are…..
3) This is a big one, and I’d never thought I’d be saying this, but: ENOUGH WITH THE DALEKS ALREADY. Seriously. In the old show, the Daleks were a special-event monster. You were lucky if they showed up once in an entire incarnation of the Doctor. There were years between their appearances, which made them something special. In the new series, we’ve had them appear every year. The situation reminds me of what happened with The Master in the early 80s. The Fifth Doctor couldn’t go five feet without bumping into him, and it really reduced the Master to a moustache-twirling pantomime villain. The specialness was gone. I don’t want to see that happen to the Daleks.
I have more thoughts, but again, they depend mostly on how everything plays out in the next episode. More next week.