It is fair to say that no Doctor is truly the Doctor until they have faced the Daleks. Only three episodes into this new series and Matt Smith’s Doctor does just that. Set in Blitz-torn London, the Doctor is called in by none other than Winston Churchill (played to perfection by Ian McNiece) who wants to show the Doctor the newest weapon that will help them win the war. This weapon turns out to be none other than the Daleks, although they seem very un-Dalek like in the fact that they are fighting with humans rather than against them.
This small selection of Daleks have been created by a scientist who claims them to be his creation. Obviously, wherever Dalek’s are involved the Doctor won’t sit back and accept that these Daleks are not about to try and take over the world, and very right he is to think that too. After having a very David Tennant-esque moment and bellowing “I am the Doctor and you are the Daleks” into one of their faces, the Doctor finds himself bringing about the regeneration of the Supreme Daleks.
As always there are moments when the Doctor seems to be about to defeat his oldest foes, before they turn the tables on him and threaten his precious Earth. Caught in the choice of having the Daleks and Earth destroyed or allowing the Daleks to escape and begin rebuilding their empire and saving the Earth it is not hard to guess which option the Doctor goes for.
The Daleks are always welcome to a Doctor Who episode, this one being written by The League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gattis, and as always there are no disappointments.
Smith and Gillan continue to shine together as the Doctor and Amy, while the supporting cast including Bill Paterson as the “creator” of the Daleks is first class as always. It is hard to rate the episodes of the series so far, as they have in many ways surpassed most expectations, so it is fair to say that the quality established in the opening episodes seems to be continuing and becoming the expected norm.
With next week seeing the return of River Song, the character seen to die in a double episode from Series 4 but also hinted that she had met the Doctor a number of times in his future, as well as the Weeping Angels from the excellent episode Blink, the series continues to grow into one of the best in the last five years.