Short thoughts on Doctor Who, disc by disc (originally published June 2012)
Day of the Daleks
Tonight’s soundtrack: The Mighty Boosh, “Future Sailors”
How badly do you have to fuck up to get posted to U.N.I.T.?
It’s not quite a Dirty Dozen situation where they’re all military criminals commuting death sentences with suicide missions, but if you’re routinely tasked with “approach the Tyrannosaurus rex in Shaftesbury Avenue” or even “babysit the rich man’s haunted house”, you’re probably not considered a vital cog in the furtherance of the Commonwealth’s agenda.
Imagine back with me…
“Situation,” chirps the war computer code-named ALAN. “We get at least five dozen reports of High Weird Shit a year. Most of these are delusions or pranks that waste military time and equipment when investigated. The remaining five or six turn out to be death traps where we lose good troops in a way we haven’t since The Somme. Yet we cannot be seen to do nothing, and we cannot afford to do what we’re doing.”
The Prime Minister chomps angrily on her cigar. “ALAN, this is… certainly some year after 1968. Britain single-handedly sends manned probes to Mars. Tell me we can solve this.”
ALAN goes ping. “Of course, Ma'am. We shall assemble a task force of soldiers who, let us say, might otherwise be a drag on the efficiency of operations. We then ensure that the United Nations "discovers” that High Weird Shit is in fact a global phenomenon and reluctantly allow them to fund the infrastructure and provide the berets.“
The Prime Minister smiles, all teeth and curls. "Send the poor shots and hippies after fairy tales while Johnny Foreigner foots the bill? ALAN, I could kiss you!”
“Sadly not, Prime Minister. Sadly… not.”
Anyway, Day of the Daleks is fun, and plays with time travel while the Doctor drinks wine and U.N.I.T. nibbles cheese. Two plungers up!