Victory of the Daleks
Victory of the Daleks was the third episode of the fifth series of BBC Wales Doctor Who. In it, the Eleventh Doctor met for the first time both the Daleks and Winston Churchill, having met each before in past incarnations. Like Daleks in Manhattan before it, it involved the last Daleks in the universe desperately trying to rebuild the Dalek race in a famous period of Earth’s recent past. It also retconned several past battles the Doctor had waged on Earth after being scrubbed out of existence by the cracks in time.
The episode was notable for its redesign of the Daleks into multi-colored units, each with its own specific function. Writer Mark Gatiss acknowledged the controversial nature of this redesign in his in-vision commentary on the DVD box set. In conversation with principal Dalek voice artist Nicholas Briggs, and Dalek operator Barnaby Edwards, he said that the new shape of the Daleks, especially in the dorsal region, was not particularly to his liking. Briggs agreed but, with Edwards, swiftly noted that in their experience of taking the new Daleks on live exhibition to the public, British kids invariably loved the new design. The decision was revisited in DWM 431 with critics voicing their opinions on the design. A comparison was made with the RTD-era Daleks but no conclusion as to which was the better-made.
Winston Churchill enters the Cabinet War Rooms and asks about the status of incoming enemy planes; they are out of range, ordinarily at least. He then advises them to roll out the secret weapon. A figure is moved forward on the board — a miniature Dalek!
The Doctor’s TARDIS materializes in the War Rooms in response to Churchill’s call for help. The Eleventh Doctor is greeted by the Prime Minister, whom he greets happily. Churchill is shocked that the Doctor has changed his face once again; the two have long been good friends. The Doctor and Amy have arrived a month late; the newly-configured Type 40 TARDIS is still a bit inaccurate.
When a Luftwaffe squadron approaches London, Churchill takes the Doctor and Amy to the roof to showcase his latest weapon. The Doctor’s introduced to Professor Edwin Bracewell, head of the new Ironside Project. A squadron of Stukas comes into view over Blitz-torn London, and are shot down by energy weapons with amazing precision. But that was never human technology. The Doctor watches, horrified, Bracewell produces a camouflaged, Union Flag-wearing, obedient Dalek. The Doctor’s oldest enemies are back.
In Churchill’s office, the Doctor argues with his old friend; Churchill will not listen to reason. Explaining that they are the Daleks and not “Ironsides”, the Doctor is met with disbelief when Churchill produces photos, blueprints and test results Bracewell gave him as proof of inventing them. Continuing, the Doctor asks Churchill to eliminate the Daleks, but Churchill instead begins thinking what he can do with hundreds or thousands of them. Sourly, the Doctor points out that’s why he’s trying to show him. At wit’s end, the Doctor asks Amy to tell Churchill about the 2009 Dalek invasion of Earth, but Amy has no memory of any planets in the sky or the Dalek invasion, disturbing him greatly.
Inside the Cabinet War Rooms, Amy approaches a Dalek with intent to learn its origins, but the Dalek simply asks if it can be of assistance. The Doctor approaches Churchill again, prodding him to reconsider his actions, but Churchill cannot afford to abandon his Ironsides at the risk of his city and people falling to the Nazis. The Doctor indicates that he is a beacon of hope for the country, except Churchill doesn’t know if he can remain one for much longer. “If Hitler invaded Hell, I would give a favorable reference to the Devil. These machines are our salvation,” he protests. An all-clear siren blares overhead, and the Cabinet lulls from its lengthy clamor.
As Bracewell is offered tea by one of his Ironsides, the Doctor goes to see their “creator” to get some answers. He asks Bracewell how he came up with the idea for the Ironsides, leading Bracewell to show the Doctor other highly advanced inventions he has been planning. When the Daleks and Churchill enter the room, the Doctor strikes the Ironside Dalek with a large, heavy wrench, ordering it to attack him. He reminds them of how he defeated them, how he is their greatest enemy and how they are everything he despises. “I am the Doctor and you are the Daleks!” before kicking the Dalek across the room.
The Dalek recovers, and reverts to its true personality. “Correct.” The Dalek transmits the “testimony” to the Dalek mothership, which is hidden behind the Moon. Two soldiers run in to stop the Daleks, and are promptly exterminated. The Professor yells for his creations to stop; one of the Daleks blasts his hand off, leaving only exposed wiring — Bracewell is their android, and they created him. They teleport away. Feeling like an idiot for falling for the Daleks’ trap, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS, ordering Amy to stay behind.
He materialises inside the Dalek ship, where he uses a supposed TARDIS self-destruct device as leverage. The Daleks reveal that one Dalek ship survived the destruction of the Dalek race; it located the last Progenitor device, a genetic archive containing pure Dalek DNA. Their explanation confuses the Doctor; why would they go to the trouble of building Bracewell? When the Daleks simple state, “it was… necessary”, the Doctor laughs — the device doesn’t recognize them as Dalek. If the Daleks became part of an army, Winston Churchill would lure the Doctor in, and the Doctor would confirm them as Daleks. The Progenitor needs the Doctor’s testimony to confirm their identity. The Daleks order the Doctor to leave or else they will destroy London.
The Doctor, however, knows that their ship doesn’t have the power to do so. “Watch as the humans destroy themselves”; they activate a device which turns on all of London’s lights, exposing the city as a target for incoming German bombers. The Progenitor completes its process, creating a new paradigm of five genetically pure Daleks.
The new Daleks promptly label their creators as inferior. The old Daleks, without resisting, allow the new paradigm to exterminate them. The White Dalek identifies the Doctor, ordering that he be exterminated, but the Doctor tells it not to mess with him, again brandishing the Jammy Dodger. “Don’t mess with me, sweetheart!”
In the Cabinet War Rooms, Amy and Churchill realize that they have been given a gift from the Daleks: they can use Professor Bracewell’s alien technology to fight his own creator. They find him preparing to commit suicide, believing his whole life to be a lie. However, Amy talks him out of it, and Churchill demands to know whose side he’s taking. Remembering Bracewell told them all his ideas, they convince him to construct anti-gravity shields around Spitfire planes, and equip them with Dalek energy weapons. This will enable them to fly into space, and attack the Dalek ship. While waiting for the planes to take off, Bracewell creates a device that allows them to see what’s going on in the Dalek ship; it shows the new Supreme Dalek introducing the New Paradigm of Daleks to the Doctor.
Back on the ship, the Doctor demands the Daleks turn off the laser, or he’ll blow up the TARDIS and them with it. However, once the Daleks perform a scan that proves he’s bluffing, he eats the Jammy Dodger, joking that he had been promised tea. The Dalek sensors go off, informing them that they have incoming spacecraft. The Spitfires arrive from Earth, and are ordered by the Doctor to target the dish as he flees into the TARDIS. The Dalek defense lasers take out two of the planes, Jubilee and Flintlock, leaving only Danny Boy. The Doctor disrupts the Dalek defenses long enough for Danny Boy to destroy the dish the laser is coming from, shutting off London’s lights. Just as the Doctor gives the order to destroy the ship, though, the Daleks appear on the TARDIS scanner. They order the Doctor to halt the attack, or they will destroy Earth with an Oblivion Continuum bomb they have built inside Bracewell.
The Doctor reluctantly calls off the attack and returns to Earth, leaving the Daleks free to escape and build a new empire; however, they still activate the bomb as they flee. Upon arrival on Earth, the Doctor reveals that the bomb is charging itself insideBracewell. Realising that the only way to stop it from exploding is to convince Bracewell that he is human, not an android and a bomb, he tries to remind the Professor of his memories and how much they hurt; however, the countdown continues.
As the oblivion continuum approaches detonation, Amy tries the opposite tactic. She asks him if he’s ever fancied something he shouldn’t; Bracewell proceeds to remember a girl called Dorabella, recounting how beautiful she was as the countdown retreats, cancelling the detonation. The Daleks escape through a time corridor, declaring that they will return. The Doctor is distraught over the Daleks’ escape, but Amy reminds him that he has just saved the entire world.
Amy bids farewell to Churchill. Sadly, the war continues on with a cost for others. One of the young women at the War Rooms, Lilian, is sobbing; after several hours of fearing for his safety on the war front, she has just learned that her boyfriend Reg has been shot down over the Channel, and is being comforted by one of Churchill’s associates, Blanche Breen. Amy looks on solemnly, but carries on, asking Churchill where the Doctor has gone. The Doctor enters and explains he removed all the alien technology Bracewell had in the base. Churchill begs the Doctor to let him have the technology as it would allow them to win the war in a day, but the Doctor points out it’s that very reason why he took it. The friends hug, and prepare to part.
However, Amy outstretches her hand, and orders Churchill to return the TARDIS key to the Doctor; it was swiped during their hug. Churchill gives the key to Amy, calling her “almost” as sharp-witted as himself. The Doctor then demands his key from Amy; she reluctantly complies.
The Doctor and Amy go to Bracewell. He believes that, as alien technology, he has no place on Earth or during this time period. He sadly declares that he’s ready to be deactivated. However, they have no intention of doing so. When their subtle hints fail, the Doctor and Amy openly tell Bracewell to go looking for Dorabella or the old post office. Finally catching on, Bracewell happily packs his belongings.
The Doctor and Amy return to the TARDIS. Amy questions the Doctor about having enemies, but tells him she doesn’t have a problem continuing travelling with him all the same. The Doctor is puzzled and worried that Amy did not remember the Daleks from the Battle of Canary Wharf or the War in the Medusa Cascade, but puts this aside so that they may continue with their adventures. The TARDIS de-materializes, revealing a shining crack in the wall behind where the box once stood…