Sunday, April 29, 2007

Recyclingwatch: Evolution of the Daleks

Since this one's a two-parter, I'm just going to focus on elements which are new, or more or less new here; read last week's for the setup.

The Unquiet Dead: The Doctor offers to take the alien refugees to another planet where they can start again. Aliens taking over human bodies, and bursting through shrouds.

Dalek: Dalek acquires human DNA through highly improbable method, promptly goes on rampage, starts discovering his emotional side, then dies before he gets a chance to spread his hybridness through the universe. People trying to kill Daleks with ordinary rifles, and looking up at flying Daleks. Dalek Caan is the purported last of the Daleks at the end of the story (don't you believe it). Following a nose-of-destruction confrontation with the Daleks, Doctor deals with his Time War issues and comes out of it a better person.

The Long Game: Bloke who's been interfered with in some visibly alien/futuristic way (Adam there, Lazlo here) is released back into society by the Doctor.

The Parting of the Ways: Leader rallies troops for doomed anti-Dalek battle; Daleks flying around shooting at people and apparently getting some sort of pleasure out of this; Daleks viewing the Doctor on a monitor screen; Doctor surrendering to the Daleks, asking them to shoot him, and only being saved by a passing deus ex machina; the Controller wired in to the system; Dalekised humans and Daleks with issues about this.

New Earth: Doctor deciding to try and save lives through chucking a bunch of coloured fluids in a container, and then patting himself on the back from the result; aliens experimenting on humans big-time; chases in and around lifts.

Rise of the Cybermen
: Black leader makes speech appealing to the villains and gets killed.

The Age of Steel: The Doctor defeats the villain through appealing to the humanity of his converts; the Doctor and companion split up and join up with local factions, reuniting at the end. Massed ranks of blank-faced converted humans marching around.

The Idiot's Lantern: Mad-dash climb up Ally Pally = Mad-dash climb up the Empire State Building (this was in last week's too, but it's more obvious here)

Love and Monsters: The Doctor saving the life of the alien-affected and dying girl/boyfriend of the guest star; said girl/boyfriend can't live a normal life anymore, but said guest star vows to stick by them anyway.

Doomsday: "Emergency Temporal Shift" is now the Dalek equivalent of the way that defeated villains on the old Hasbro cartoons (Transformers, GI Joe) used to shout "Next time!" as they fled at the end of the story. "Allons-y!". Action stops for two characters to work out their feelings (more subtly here, but still).

Torchwood: Bloke brooding on a building, wearing a big flappy trenchcoat.

Timelash Moment: Hideous human/monster hybrid (see last week) wants to breed more like him and start a new race, but his coracialists have other ideas.

The Fifth Element: More art-deco arty sort of look; climactic shootout in a theatre; Frankensteinesque biology labs used to create a weird thing that looks human but isn't really.

Old Skool Who
: Once again, we have a story mostly ripped off from "The Evil of the Daleks" (human-Dalek hybrids; the Daleks forming a tentative alliance with the Doctor; the Doctor "infecting" the hybridisation process; one of said hybrids asks "Why?" and starts a civil war; hell, the hybrids even walk like Marius Goring in "Evil"; the Daleks on stage look for all the world like an homage to the recent "Evil" stage play, and, well "Evil-ution of the Daleks," groan), but they're also going to town on Cybermen stories: "Earthshock" ("My/our army awakes!" followed by shots of said army marching through corridors; the human-Daleks bursting through their shrouds); "Invasion" (sewers); "Attack" (sewers again, plus hybrid creature working to bring down his masters); "Tomb" (Toberman being converted and then turning on the Cyberman Controller). Otherwise: "Genesis of the Daleks" (one eyed human-Dalek thing in charge of Daleks, who is gunned down by them at the end, and the Doctor refusing to commit genocide despite his stated antipathy to the genocidees; Doctor taking a zap of electricity and surviving), "Remembrance" (Dalek wired in as controller); "Resurrection" (big gun battle out of which only Lazlo/Lytton walks unscathed); "The Daleks" (leader of a community of outsiders makes a speech appealing to the Daleks' finer feelings and is gunned down for it; also sequence in which protagonists escape in a rising lift which is then called down again); "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (chase sequence through sewer, with crocodiles/other monsters); "The Talons of Weng Chiang" (sequence in which a large number of enemy footsoldiers are conveniently killed through a Heath-Robinson rigup the moment they're about to burst through a door and attack); "The Invasion of Time" (enemy paralysed by loud noise"); "The Ark in Space" (sequence of the Doctor desperately trying to undo the locks/remove the Dalekanium plates with his sonic screwdriver, against the clock); "The Visitation" (Doctor offering to take last of alien refugees to another planet if they'll leave Earth alone); any story featuring Daleks doing a countdown ("The Daleks," "The Daleks' Master Plan," fill in your own favourites here).

Everything Else: Sunset Boulevard (the Doctor lying, seemingly dead, on the top of the Empire State Building); Vertigo (vertiginous top-of-building shots at climax); King Kong (blonde, Thirties, Empire State Building, blah blah blah; possibly the gimped-up Dalek Sec); Frankenstein (especially the James Whale version, and The Bride of Frankenstein as well). The persistent rumours that something is living in the sewers of new York. Are You Being Served ("first floor, perfumery!"). Blade Runner (artificial creatures who have an artificially shortened life).