Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yay! Got him!

And the most successful Dalek in the history of Dalekkind gets to enjoy its triumph for about one second before being dispatched by Captain Jack's massive weapon. That's life.

I was expecting this post to be a rant about the over-reliance on Davros as a villain. Then, having seen yesterday's episode, I thought maybe I should hold fire until I've seen part 2 next week. But what the hell, here's something to fill the embarrassing silence.

Davros, evil creator of the Daleks, was a scientific genius of the Kaled race on the planet Skaro. The Kaleds were pretty well human, give or take, which was fortunate as it meant they could be played by human actors. Their level of technology, I suppose, was what we could call mid to late 21st century, though exact comparisons are difficult as they had been at war for thousands of years with the Thals, whose capital lay a short walking distance away the other side of a quarry. You can see how a war could get drawn out under such conditions.

Long story short - Davros was a technologically slightly superior amalgam of Wernher von Braun and Josef Mengele. He was a good one-off villain for a one-off adventure, at the end of which his creations (naturally) turned on him.

And so it made absolutely no sense that he should be resurrected centuries later by a science vastly beyond his understanding, and rise to become the kind of evil genius who can move planets into time/space anomalies thousands of lightyears distant. Why, it's like expecting Penelope Wilton to show a sudden unsuspected aptitude for subwave communications. And yet, every Dalek adventure after 1975's "Genesis of the Daleks" was ultimately a Davros adventure and the Daleks got more and more wimpy and laughable as a result. Three years ago the Daleks were resurrected in the inscrutably titled "Dalek" adventure, and I cheered, because finally the evil pepperpots were back in their own strength and not a sign of bloody Davros.

I wasn't pleased when it became clear he was returning ...

But let's leave that to one side. There's the usual running around and much too much shouting that we get in the end-of-season RTD crowd pleasers, but also enough going on to impress me. For goodness sake, we've had Bernard Cribbins - Bernard Cribbins! - showing that he actually is an actor. Okay, I presume he trained as one many years ago with the full range of drama, as actors do, but his career since then has hardly tested his ability to tug at the heartstrings. Possibly apart from Albert in The Railway Children upsetting the kids by thinking they were offering him charity. And as for that last shot ...

Hmm, yes, that last shot. Speculation will be rife over the next seven days. I'll only say that there's no law (as far as we know) that they have to end up different? Is there?

1 comment:

  1. Damn, you got there first! But yes, I think you've pretty well covered off the Problem of Davros. Maybe the Kaleds were all really fast learners.


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