Back when David Tennant was the Doctor, there was a rather superior episode in which human DNA was spliced with Dalek DNA – giving us an awesome hybrid. The episode was full of fresh ideas, intrigue and potential, and entitled ‘Evolution of the Daleks’. Yesterday (New Year’s Day), the BBC gave us an episode called ‘Revolution of the Daleks’, in which the same ideas were retrodden, but without any of the original freshness, intrigue or potential. It was a veeery tired episode, in truth. There was a lack of complexity in the plot: it was simply a journey from A to B, with zero surprises along the way. The sound mixing was utterly awful, as if the sound people involved had fallen asleep on the job, or got bored and drifted away to do something more interesting. It was nearly impossible to catch anything the Daleks were saying – because there was just crashing, dramatic music drowning everything out. No wonder this was the episode in which Bradley Walsh and the character of Ryan decided to bow out – shrugging and explaining to the Doctor that they had better things to do. And the Doctor herself was at a loss throughout, too. She was having an identity crisis along the lines of ‘Hasn’t all this happened before? And wasn’t it better the first time round? Why have I become so much less than I was? I’m lost. Who am I?’
Were there any saving graces at all? Hmm. The narrative about Daleks needing the DNA ‘purity’ of a master-race, even if they’re exterminating some of their own ‘offspring’, and the Trumpian American businessman, not to mention the ‘security’ obsessed British PM, gave us a very hammy flavour of social comment… but nothing too insightful really. And there wasn’t any mention of covid, so it all felt a bit ‘out of date’, ‘past its sell-by date’, ‘lost in time’, etc, when the Doctor is meant to be timeless! At least the Doctor’s assistant Yaz should at last get some decent screen time and character development in future episodes, now she’s not being eclipsed by Bradley. Indeed, the overtones of a possible lesbian relationship between the Doctor and Yaz might at least offer some surprises.