Wednesday, April 29, 2009
And now the exposition comes. I suppose it was inevitable that we have a massive info dump as to why and how the Daleks came to invade Earth in the 22nd century. It is the first invasion of Earth that the show had ever attempted (but certainly not the last), but what sets this one apart from the others that were to come is that :
a) it's a worldwide invasion, not just the home counties of London, and not while the populace is hypnotized or drugged, which brings me to
b) it takes place in the future, making a) all that more believable
I may be jumping ahead of myself here a bit, but this is how you stage a Dalek invasion. Being set in the future, but with the humans subjugated enough that they no longer possess 22nd century technology, you get a recognizable enough setting (London) with characters not too futuristic to be unsympathetic to. Also, you don't have to worry about the after effects of, say, if the invasion was set in the present day, where any story set on present day Earth afterwards would have to conceivably refer back to the events of the invasion. I mean, who gets invaded and conquered one day, and then goes back to their normal life as if nothing had happened the next? In The Dalek Invasion of Earth, though, things happen in the future, and so the consequences can be played with a lot more freely.
The other (wrong) way to portray such an invasion is to set it in the present day, on a grand scale, and then the only solution you have to write your way out of a corner is by inventing some sort of reset button, deus ex machina, or a TARDIS pulling the Earth home from across the galaxy in order to make sure Earth is safe, well, and ready for the next biannual invasion.
Anyway....The Doctor gets to be smart and clever in this episode, too, and really displays a strong desire to remedy the situation for the first time since the show has started. You might say the Daleks bring out the best in him at this stage. There's also a big action set piece towards the end of the episode that begs to have been filmed at Ealing studios, but, with all the location filming in this story, the piggy bank was well empty for that to happen.
Another good episode, though, and it's already rattling along at faster and more robust pace than Nation's previous Dalek story.
Posted by Steven at 2:34 PM