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Published on April 30th, 2007 | by Christian Cawley

Evolution of the Daleks Reaction

Back on track with the Doctor Who news at last! Fully equipped for the 21st century with a wireless network, your editor is ready to play catchup – so let’s start with reaction to Evolution of the Daleks.

General feeling among regular viewers was that this episode didn’t fulfill the promise of the initial installment, Daleks in Manhattan – but what did the professionals think?

SFX threw the two episodes into a single review (hmm, perhaps I should have tried that…?), awarding it 4 stars out of 5 and noting:

…like “The Shakespeare Code”, this story takes you back in time like only Doctor Who can, wrapping a little bit of history in a big, fun Dalek shell.

Whereas The Stage‘s Mark Wright is less happy. To paraphrase:

  • …The Dalek battle would have been better suited to the climax, and it comes bewilderingly early in the narrative
  • Evolution feels like a marathon runner sprinting for the finish line and not caring about how they look when they get there
  • …Cop out endings – Daleks escaping at the last second, saving Lazlo the pig man in a moment of dreary sentiment – don’t help add anything to the sum of this episode’s parts
  • I can’t help feeling that a climax involving the top of the Empire State Building, a race against time and a couple of flying Daleks would have been much more satisfying.

Clearly though, if we’ve learned anything about Doctor Who fans and the British public at large during this Dalek two-parter, it is that even the Daleks won’t stop Brits enjoying the sun so let’s move the show to winter; and Newsround‘s Lizo reallywas on the juice last week. Denouncing Daleks in Manhattan for being “too talky”, he’s bang on the money regarding the conclusion of Evolution of the Daleks. On the matter of the overall Series 3 of “being human”, he observes that Evolution fails to pull off some of it’s key moments (I think we can safely refer back to The Stage quotes above)

…although this is a story to make you think, the ideas don’t always come off properly on screen. Although it’s good to see a programme like this trying to be as ambitious as possible.

Also, it seems that Lizo is more than impressed with Martha Jones:

Big part for Martha

Much better is Martha’s role in Evolution of the Daleks…. it’s great to see her in action…

Down boy!

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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