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Enjoyable newcomers and a brilliant return,
This review is from: Doctor Who: Series 1 - Volume 2 [DVD]  (DVD)
An excellent three episodes from the first series.
'Aliens of London/World War Three' is terrific fun. I imagine the satire will go over the heads of younger viewers, but then 'Doctor Who' always did try to provide something for all ages. It's a good, fast moving storyline with plenty of humour. Penelope Wilton and Annette Badland stand out from a solid cast. For a fan of the classic series like me it was a thrill to see the return (albeit briefly) of UNIT. Although the CGI is not perfect, the crash-landing of the Slitheen spacecraft is spectacular and the Slitheen themselves, when presented in CGI form, are impressive. Therein lies one of the major flaws - it is difficult to believe that the athletic, fast moving hunters that they appear as CGI are the same as the shuffling, wobbly-headed creatures played by actors in rubber suits. Still, a hugely entertaining couple of episodes.
Now for 'Dalek'. It's difficult to express how wonderful this story is. The new-look Dalek is imposing and has been given a glorious new look whilst remaining true to the original basic design. Perhaps for the first time it really does look like a virtually indestructible war-machine. It is wonderful to see a Dalek as the cunning, manipulative creature that the race was always intended to be. Equally, the two battles it fights are spectacularly realised. Writer Rob Shearman clearly had great fun subverting the traditional jokes aimed at the Daleks; the much talked about 'hovering Dalek' scenes aren't as exciting to a classic series fan like me - despite all the jokes about stairs, Daleks have been seen hovering on at least three occasions before - but CGI allows this to be rendered much more convincingly. The Dalek mutant, when it is finally revealed, is likewise well realised. I've never found the Daleks particularly scary, but this came close to it. Elsewhere, Christopher Eccleston is on particularly good form, bringing out his loathing for the Daleks in superb fashion, and the gradual reversal of roles with the Dalek is both shocking and moving. One other thing - this was the first time a television series has ever made me cry; I doubted I ever would, and I certainly never thought it would be the plight of a Dalek which did so. Simply stunning.