Saturday, April 30, 2005

"YOU-WOULD-MAKE-A-GOOD-DAL-EK"

There you go, quote of the series so far. Cracking stuff. If the spoilers in the papers implied the latest appearance of DOCTOR WHO's definitive nemesis would bring a softening, a humanizing of the Daleks, we shouldn't have been too worried. They're still mass-murdering little bastards.


This episode was in lots of great ways a sequel to the classic Tom Baker story GENESIS OF THE DALEKS. The difference being, instead of wiping them out before they ever come to be, The Doctor chickens out of wiping out the very last one. I always saw the Daleks as holding a similar place in the British psyche as Godzilla holds for the Japanese. If the big green nuisance is a fictional mutated manifestation of the apocalyptic ending of WWII for that island dwelling race, the Daleks are a metaphor for the UK's wartime experience. They were created at a time when British culture was still very much dealing with the havok reaked upon it by the industrial level mayhem and death-dealing of the nazis. And the Daleks are the space nazis. Created, bred to be intolerant of everything, everybody, except their own race. Little individual Panzer tanks of murderous intent. GENESIS was a WHO story pretty much based on that classic question of the pub philosopher, "if you could go back in time and kill Hitler in the cradle, would you?". This episode, to further mangle the metaphor, would then be, if you found some ancient, decrepid Nazi officer being tortured in a cellar somewhere, would you free him? Put him out of his misery? Is it possible to feel sympathy for him, empathy for him?

Again, more top-notch WHO from the new team, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the ambiguous ending gets to play out later in the series. Oh, and my very favourite bit? The Cyberman. Looking forward to those evil fuckers coming back soon, too.

0 comments: