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Published on April 23rd, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Muted Daleks Reaction

It’s been a busy week for Doctor Who news – finally, here we’ve got the first of our round-ups covering the reaction to Victory of the Daleks which was seen by an initial 6.4 million viewers.

Doctor Who - Victory of the DaleksThe episode attracted an overnight audience of 6.2 million on BBC1 with 231,000 tuning in on BBC HD – evidently a bit less than initial results for previous episodes. In fact Victory of the Daleks may even turn out to be the lowest rated episode since the series returned in 2005.

Victory of the DaleksAudience Appreciation Index was 84, slightly lower than for previous episodes yet still quite high, however unfortunately this this doesn’t give any indication as to why the episode rated lower on the overnight audience figures. One of the finest weekends in the UK for months meanwhile might account for this, as might the return of ITV’s Spring megalith Britain’s Got Talent., which dominated the weekend schedules. However long-term interest in this competition is likely to be weakened by the impending General Election.

The arrival of new Daleks in Doctor Who has traditionally been a cause for excitement – despite (or because of?) major promotional work (including a Radio Times cover) it would seem that this time around things haven’t gone exactly as planned, for no particularly apparent reason.

However (based on previous weeks) once delayed viewing figures are added, Victory of the Daleks is likely to pickup around 2 million viewers, so all is not lost.

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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+.




4 Responses to Muted Daleks Reaction

  1. ChrisL says:

    I’m surprised that the article states there is no apparent reason for the less than enthusiastic response to the new Daleks. The reasons are obvious and you only have to take a cursory glance at the various Dr Who sites and message boards to discover what these are as people have not been slow to let their feelings known.
    The new Daleks are laughable. Instead of invoking trepidation or dread they look comical with their garish colours and oversized rear end. I really do not understand the need to re-invent this iconic creature, but if people whose opinions are more important than mine have decided to ‘upgrade’ them then surely they can do better than this!

    I had such high hopes for the Moffatt era of Dr Who, he’s such a tremendous writer and his previous episodes of Dr Who have been among the best I’ve ever seen, but so far it’s been a huge letdown.
    I love Matt Smith’s interpretation of the Doctor but he deserves so much better than I’ve witnessed so far. I only hope things improve dramatically or this fabulous programme could end up descending back into the debacle that was the Sylvester McCoy era and audiences will desert in droves.

    RTD, for all his faults, had taken Dr Who and resurrected it so well that it had become essential viewing for a huge percentage of the British viewing public. It had once more become an iconic programme loved by millions but Mr Moffat is in danger of destroying all that good work in the space of 13 episodes. I admit I didn’t see this potential disaster coming, in fact I foolishly thought it would actually improve when “The Moff” took over. Just goes to show how wrong you can be… Gutted, totally gutted.


  2. Hi Chris L

    Thanks for posting. If I might answer each of your general points in turn:

    The article states:

    “Victory of the Daleks‘ Audience Appreciation Index was 84, slightly lower than for previous episodes yet still quite high, however unfortunately this this doesn’t give any indication as to why the episode rated lower on the overnight audience figures.”

    Nothing about the AI can explain why fewer people tuned in.

    However, your criticisms of the Daleks themselves I think are quite commonplace, but there is little about them that hasn’t already been seen in the 1960s movies. in the flesh they are huge, imposing things, far superior to the 1970s/80s versions, and while the “Khaki 2005″ Daleks looked great, there is a new man in charge.

    Its interesting that you dont mention Mark Gatiss once – the man who wrote what is probably the weakest episode yet should take considerable blame for its low points, as should Victory’s director, Andrew Gunn. There is a lack of energy in places in both Victory and The Beast Below that can both be reasonably attributed to the director. While the producers hired the director, this shouldn’t be interpreted as a disaster, its far too early for that.

    In fact I could quite easily point to other modern disasters in Doctor Who – Fear Her, New Earth, Voyage of the Damned, Planet of the Dead – none of which has rocked the boat, and a couple of flat, consecutive episodes isn’t likely to have any more impact than those.

    Steven Moffat is nowhere near being in danger of destroying Russell T Davies’ good work (especially when RTD had a good enough stab at doing that himself throughout 2009) – I’m writing this having a bit of an advantage over you, but I’m sure you’ll be more than happy with The Time of Angels.

  3. Pingback: Doctor Who Reviews - Victory of the Daleks | Kasterborous Doctor Who News

  4. ChrisL says:

    Hi Christian,

    Thanks for your reply.
    I take on board your point that some earlier episodes from RTD’s era were also rather ropey, (although I did actually enjoy Voyage of The Damned), but they came on the back of some excellent fare and therefore I was able to accept that, while these episodes left a lot to be desired, the programme as a whole was excellent. It can’t be spectacular EVERY week and occasional dips into mediocrity are only to be expected.
    My concern is that, although I’ve only seen 3 episodes so far, 2 of these have been poor. That’s a pretty high percentage – even though I concede it’s still early days yet and hopefully things will improve.

    You’re right when you say I should be blaming Mark Gatiss but I didn’t want to start personalising my disquiet with the new show. I only mentioned Steven Moffat in the context of it being his baby now in the same way as I refer to the previous 4 series as being the responsibility of Russell T Davies. The final word on each episode must sure rest with the ‘head honcho’, no matter who wrote or directed it, and Mr Moffatt must have been happy with the finished result.

    Anyway, hope springs eternal, and I am really looking forward to the upcoming two-parter. You say it’s going to restore my faith in the show… oh how I hope you’re right, I really do!

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