“Victory of the Daleks”
April 17th, 2010
On the one hand, writing this review seems a little silly: I know very little about the Daleks beyond their general appearance and their robotic cadence, so I can’t really tell you how “Victory of the Daleks” works in terms of returning the alien race to the world of Doctor Who. However, on the other hand, the whole point of this episode is a sort of rebirth, a Dalek renaissance designed to reassert the function of this particular arch-nemesis, so while I cannot judge the story for continuity I can judge how well the episode sets up the Daleks for their likely return in subsequent episodes.
“Victory for the Daleks” replaces last week’s futuristic setting with an historical glimpse into the London Blitz, and does not really switch up much else: the formulaic structure of the series is readily clear but also fairly effective, managing to continue to throw in some small characters beats and some fun standalone elements within an episode which primarily continues the series mythology.
October 6th, 2009
I’m in New York at the moment (my Twitter account likely reflects this), but I had a chance to catch this week’s Being Erica before I left. It’s, again, a return to the first season’s structure, hesitating to “open up” the show’s universe as much as the season premiere seemed to indicate. However, at the same time, the episode also reminds us that Judith as a character still exists, a problem with a show that deals with sending a character back to her past when some of the people in her life weren’t actually involved.
So, in many ways, the reason that Judith and her newborn haven’t been around Erica are quite similar to why they haven’t been on the show thus far this season, and “Mama Mia” does well justifying her absence and adding a few more shades to their relationship. The episode had a few hiccups, but it followed one of my favourite patterns for the show so it’s ultimately another enjoyable hour for the show.
June 16th, 2008
Billie Piper, best known to audiences as the Doctor’s first companion Rose on the rebooted Doctor Who, took her time away from that series to take on a very different role. Secret Diary of a Call Girl, a British series, is airing on Showtime after their acquisition of the show’s first eight episodes. As the story of an upscale female prostitute, one could draw a number of similarities with its lead-in Weeds, where a mother is forced into the drug trade to support her family. Of course, those similarities would be seemingly off-base, but only at first glance and if we take the narrator’s word for it.
What sets Hannah (or “Belle”) apart from Nancy (at first) is that she likes what she does: she did it by choice, certainly seems to relish in the life she has before her, and as we’re introduced to the character she seems to have everything figured out. Of course, that’s a rather blatant simplification: while the show’s pilot is admittedly quite slight, it does turn around our whole notion of her character by at the very least letting us know that her self-defined lifestyle is not quite as sustainable as she makes it out to be. And the pilot, and the series it launches, is better off for it.