Short thoughts on Doctor Who, disc by disc. (originally published July 2012)
The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Tonight’s soundtrack: Cat Stevens, “Wild World”
Don’t get me wrong; I know they’re Space Nazis and everything, but the Daleks did have some good ideas. For instance: make sure most everyone is wiped out by plagues, then visit London.
If that’s what it takes to get a decent room rate, then that’s what it takes.
Listen: should wanting uncrowded access to Tube stations and quick service in restaurants make this tourist a monster, then… yes, all right, you’re right, tourists are absolutely monsters. The Daleks aren’t alternate-future Germans here, they’re actual Americans. “Exterminate everyone who won’t be a mindless drone under my command! Tell me the way to the Albert Memorial! I can shout loudly for no reason!!! I have a massive urge to drill!”
The culling and the control are goals in themselves. That after the genocide and collapse of society one can get fantastic seats for One Man, Two Guvnors on a whim (understudies night) is just gravy.
The other way you can tell Daleks are meant to be Americans in this is that their ultimate plan is to drive the Earth somewhere. Presumably on fully leaded gas.
* * *
I’m glib here because the Doctor locking his granddaughter out of the TARDIS
because she flirted with a boy for her own good is grim stuff that I’m not prepared to get into. You can see it as his wisdom, his insight into true love, and his acknowledgement of Susan’s need to make her own identity.
You can also listen to his promises as they float out of a broken blue box while you stand on an alien world devastated by war and realize in your hearts of hearts that the Doctor will always lie, even to you.