Evolution of the Daleks.



"Where am I?"
"Thanks. Thank you for coming."
"Who are you? Where am I?"
"You're inside the gimmick I'm using to plough through this week's episode review of Evolution of the Daleks. I needed someone to talk to and you're what occurred to me. I'm Stuart and you're…"
"Martha Jones."
"Or my poorly written version of her. Since you've not really had much of a chance to define who you are, I'm going to be winging it. So sorry if you find yourself saying something and it simply doesn't sound like something you'd usually say."
"Since I'm apparently a device to enable you to put into dialogue what you're too tired to put into paragraphs, it's not like I have much of a choice is it?"
"Nothing wrong in being polite though."
"True. Well, since I'm here, is this going to be a proper discussion or are you go just sit there and rant at me for ages like you did in those tedious Torchwood reviews?"
"Actually, I'm going to be a bit of an apologist."
"Really?"
"Yes. You see I think we need to take a break."
"But I've never met you before."
"No, not us. I mean me and the programme."
"So I'm representing the whole of Doctor Who?"
"I suppose you are."
"Crumbs. Hold on, I'd never say that."
"See what I mean. Anyway, I was being serious and heartfelt."
"Sorry."
"There's nothing for you to be sorry for. As I said I just think we need to take a break."
"But - and for the moment let's pretend that I care - but why?"
"You see Martha, I just feel like I'm getting overloaded. There's just been so many ways of reading, hearing and watching Doctor Who lately that it's just all getting to be a bit stale."
"You don't have to read, hear or watch it all. Plus it's a formula."
"That's why. It's just all getting a bit too formulaic. I just don't remember it being quite so formulaic."
"Perhaps, it was. I wouldn't know I haven't been in it for that long. A couple of trips to the past and one to the far future. I've had fun."
"I know. Believe me, I've thought about this. But let me try and put into words…."
"Go on."
"Alright. It's not you, it's me."
"Oh how depressing! Is that the best you can come up with?"
"But it is me not you. I think that because I've seen so much Doctor Who and got so many ideas about what it could possibly be like that nothing the show does now could possibly either surprise or move me."
"That's a shame."
"It is."
"Can you give an example."
"Dalek Sec. You sort of knew he was going to die as soon as he appeared on the Radio Times cover but not before he'd befriended the Doctor and probably given his life for him. And not a lot in that episode suprised me."
"That's a shame. Can't you give me anything more exciting to say?"
"Sorry."
"Nothing surprised you?"
"Well, the continued existence of Milo did and I thought the defense of Hooverville might have happened later in the episode, but other than that..."
"God. You're all out of love aren't you?"
"I've finally come to the conclusion that even though this is the most flexible of formats there aren't that many stories you can tell. And the problem is that in the new television series, that's been limited even further by the reluctance to do alien planets and what not and I'm getting a bit bored with it."
"Actually, that is depressing. So what do you expect us to do about it?"
"Stop it. Try something new, at least on the television. Look back into the history of the franchise and you'll see a whole vast range of wonderful, varied examples of storytelling."
"You've obviously thought about this a bit."
"Not a lot. If I'd thought about this, I'd have been able to writing a proper review instead of this thing."
"What about me. Did you like me?"
"Well, you're part of the problem."
"Oh ok."
"No, look it's nothing to do with you personally. You're a perfectly good, if underutilized character. I'm not sure I understand how after three trips in the Tardis you've gone gaga over the Doctor and there does seem to be an element of you sort of fitting the companion role in a far more traditional way that Ms. Tyler. But anyway - it just seems like such a shame that in picking another companion, for all your medical qualifications what they've ended up doing is creating a more forthright version of Rose but changed the dynamic so that the Doctor's not really valuing you the way he always seemed to artificially do with her. But I'm straying off the point."
"I think you've said enough!"
"No - no - no - I told you not take this personally. It's just that I wish they'd had the courage to drop in someone totally different to Rose. It needn't be a 'evil companion' or even someone from a different time zone to your one. But why not someone whose a bit of a geek chic, a bit bookish who reflects a proportion of the viewership generally underserved in heroic television."
"I see what you mean. Like Fred in Angel?"
"Exactly."
"The geeks shall inherit the Tardis?"
"Yes! Funny how you should say that. Or someone even closer to Tennant's age. Someone bringing a different chemistry to the relationship. When she wasn't bawling, some of the scenes with Catherine Tate in The Runaway Bride really worked because they were so different because there was a maturity there from both sides."
"Too late though. Because I'm there and I'm staying. As far as I know."
"True. I was just illustrating a point."
"Right. But something must have prompted all this."
"Tonight's episode."
"Go on."
"It was a perfectly fine episode. The Daleks are always good value and the team had obviously decided to pay direct homage to the original series by substituting the word 'Genesis' for 'Evolution' in the title and referencing a famous conversation from that story in the dialogue, Dalek Sec having a different idea to Davros as to the natural development the race should be taking. There were some excellent set pieces such as the bombing of Hooverville and the climax in the theatre. And David Tennant looked like he was having particular fun in his proper first Dalek story with all the shouting and emotion."
"Sounds like you enjoyed it."
"I did on a superficial level. I just didn't love it. I didn't punch the air at the end. I love Doctor Who when it makes me want to punch the air at the end."
"Why?"
"It just didn't excite me. I felt like I'd seen it all before, everything from the Human/Dalek factor to the marching alien(ish) species. Oh and Tennant with his waving coat on the top of a tower."
"But these are part of the formula."
"Exactly. And I can't help feeling that actually if this story had turned up in season one perhaps instead of the farting aliens I would have been thrilled. Daleks! New York! Pig men! A dance number! The depression! It ticks so many of my boxes superficially in terms of what I might want in a story that it's just bizarre that I'm not just sitting here raving on about it."
"There must have been something else you liked."
"I mean did love the moment when the 'mayor' of Hooverville gave that long speech about how they and the Daleks were like, the same and could get along, y'know, very Star Trek and he was exterminated. That's exactly the kind of thing you could imagine Douglas Adams doing. And the Universal horror references throughout."
"Let me just try and decipher all that then - sorry what was your name? Steve - STUART! Let's if I can decipher that then, Stuart. What you're saying is that Evolution of the Daleks was probably a really good story and you could imagine loads of people, millions, enjoying it, but because it was, in a way, too much like a lot of the stories that have already been in the new television series you didn't like it."
"You've gone a bit past interpretation there but, yes."
"Right. So what are you expecting?"
"I'm sorry, what?"
"It's Doctor Who! There are only going to be so many things in it. It is a formula. And besides you're the bloke who keeps watching Hamlet and that's the same bloody story every time."
"I know! It doesn't make any sense! Which is why I'm saying that we need to take a break. Absence makes the heart fonder and all that. Take a few months off from all this and then come back and see what I've missed."
"Like you can do that."
"Watch me."
"I'm watching."
"No more, books, novels, television series, certainly no Doctor Who Magazine. Or Adventures. Who needs another pen case or werewolf shaped eraser anyway?"
"I'm still watching."
"Bye."
"I'm still here."
"Erm. You are aren't you."
"Why do you think that is considering I'm a device and you're the one typing?"
"I can't work out how to end this?"
"Actually I think that's all a hollow threat. I think that somewhere in the back of your mind you think there might be something in the old dog yet. That you were conflicted about the cybermen -- whatever they are -- episodes from last year but on reflection you enjoyed those and that when you watch these again altogether with the rest of the series you'll like them more. I think that you'll be back for The Lazarus Experiment and the episodes beyond by your favourite writers, the likes of Paul Cornell and Stephen Moffat and you're pretty intrigued to see if Chris Chibnall can turn out a decent bit of drama for a change. I think there'd need to be a major incident for you not to be back in front of the telly at seven o'clock next week to see some more of my family. I also think, despite everything you said earlier that you secretly fancy me more than Rose Tyler which is why you picked me of all people to do this and you're dying to be there for the moment when I click into place as a character in the way that she did in Father's Day."
"You might be right."
"About what."
"All of it. Even the last bit. Plus it might be that it was just that this episode wasn't very good."
"Do you really believe that?"
"No."
"Well then."
"Aren't you getting bored with that top you're wearing? Must be ponging a bit."
"The Tardis has a laundry. The things you think about."
"I know."

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