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A Dalek Reformed With The Thirteenth Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz
This should’ve been called ‘Resolution of the Dalek’, shouldn’t it?
After enjoying Series 11 of ‘Doctor Who’ so much on TV and BBC iPlayer in 2018, I was looking forward to the next Special episode at around Christmas time. But as Series 11 drew to a close, it turned out there was going to be a 2019 New Year’s Day Special instead of a 2018 Christmas Special.
I was initially disappointed that we weren’t going to get the first Christmas Special of ‘Doctor Who’ with Jodie Whittaker after her first season on TV. But as I thought about it, so long as they had a special ‘Doctor Who’ episode on New Year’s Day, it didn’t matter if there wasn’t one for Christmas.
People have become used to the tradition of a ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special every year since the new series began in 2005. So it was fair to have a change of tradition by having the special episode on New Year’s Day instead of Christmas. This seemed to be very exciting and I was looking forward to it.
I also heard that the viewing figures had been dropping on Christmas Specials and that maybe the production team was running out of ideas for them. I personally would’ve come up with my own Christmas Special in ‘Doctor Who’, but still it was intriguing to have a New Year’s Day Special instead.
Incidentally, with regards to the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Series 11 of ‘Doctor Who’ and the New Year’s Day Special ‘Resolution’, I did wonder why the two weren’t released together in a complete collection. I was happy Series 11 was going to be released in January and ‘Resolution’ in February, but I wondered.
Wouldn’t it have made more sense to combine the two releases into one DVD/Blu-ray box set? It was done with ‘Last Christmas’, Series 9 and ‘The Husbands of River Song’. Why wasn’t it done with Series 11 and ‘Resolution’? I assume the BBC were milking the DVD/Blu-ray ‘Doctor Who’ releases at the time.
‘Resolution’ was eventually re-released in the Series 12 DVD/Blu-ray box set of ‘Doctor Who’ for 2020, as originally predicted. It’s pretty interesting how the new series episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ get released onto DVD/Blu-ray compared to how classic series ‘Doctor Who’ stories get released onto DVD/Blu-ray.
The New Year for 2019 started well with an exciting ‘Doctor Who’ TV episode! I enjoyed the New Year’s Day Special called ‘Resolution’ by Chris Chibnall. I was pretty gripped into the episode from beginning to end since it featured the Doctor and her friends against an old foe whom we’ve been waiting for!
The Daleks were back! Yes! You heard right! The Daleks returned to ‘Doctor Who’! (Pause) Okay it was one Dalek in this, but it was still exciting to see the nasty pepperpot monster return to the series. And this was the first time Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor faced a Dalek in her era of ‘Doctor Who’!
I had hoped Jodie Whittaker would face the Daleks sometime soon in her era of the show. This first encounter she had with one of them didn’t disappoint me. I found how terrifying the Dalek was in this episode. Chris Chibnall managed to keep the fear factor with the Dalek throughout the Special! 😀
Speaking of which, I was surprised Chris Chibnall didn’t take the opportunity to have a ‘Doctor Who’ episode featuring Daleks shown on Christmas Day. I mean, it’s okay to have a change with tradition by having the Dalek episode shown on New Year’s Day instead, but there was a missed opportunity!
I would’ve liked it if they did a two-part Dalek story shown on Christmas Day 2018 and New Year’s Day 2019. That would’ve made the story more exciting with the Doctor dealing with more than one Dalek and having to deal with a Dalek invasion fleet. The production team could’ve been brave here.
It would’ve been nice if ‘Resolution’ was a two-parter as opposed to just one episode being shown on New Year’s Day. I hoped that this idea would be considered for next Christmas in 2019 as well as New Year’s Day in 2020 when they occurred. Sadly, that didn’t turn out to be the case by the end of 2019. 😦
I’ve done my own Dalek Christmas Special for my ‘Fifth Doctor’ fan-fiction series. We haven’t had a proper Dalek Christmas Special yet! We should have that sometime soon! That and with Cybermen in it! 😀 By the way, ‘The Time of the Doctor’ doesn’t count, despite having Daleks and Cybermen in it. 😀
Apart from that, ‘Resolution’ was pretty amazing! 😀 I was very pleased with how this episode kept to a clear storyline of the Doctor and her friends dealing with a Dalek. The episode had scary twists and turns throughout and there wasn’t anything complicated or silly to ruin things in the actual tale!
The episode has the Doctor and her friends return to Earth on New Year’s Day in 2019. As they return, a terrifying evil stirs from the sewers of Sheffield. It turns out to be a Dalek and the Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz have to find a way to stop the monster from wreaking havoc on the planet Earth.
The Dalek soon works to get its armour back by taking possession of a scientist called Lin. It builds this makeshift armour for itself before it sets out on a mission to summon a Dalek fleet to destroy the planet Earth and humanity. Will the Doctor and her friends save New Year’s Day from the evil Dalek?
What struck me about this episode is how it slowly built up to the reveal of the threat of the Dalek. I did think that we would never get to see the Dalek back in action in its casing. For the most part, it was a mutant creature taking possession of poor dear Lin. Soon the Dalek builds a brand-new casing!
I was afraid this episode might end up being average and we wouldn’t get to have the Dalek creature in its casing. Thankfully, Chris Chibnall didn’t disappoint and the Dalek soon had a makeshift casing that felt very much like the original Dalek design and was still unique in being built from spare parts.
Thankfully the Dalek design for this episode was not at all like the one featured in ‘Victory of the Daleks’ as I feared that might happen. In many ways, the Dalek in ‘Resolution’ looks like a skinnier version of the bronze Dalek featured in the new series. It’s a one-off design, but it looks pretty cool!
It’s quite surprising that the Dalek was able to build that makeshift casing in a short space of time. But on par with the equally excellent ‘Dalek’ episode, a Dalek mutant creature can be very clever and it can work pretty fast, which makes it even more threatening and terrifying to watch on screen.
The episode also didn’t play the Dalek for laughs as previous Dalek stories did. You did feel the Dalek was a threat and it was the Doctor’s responsibility to see that humanity and planet Earth got defended. I’m glad the Dalek was voiced by Nick Briggs. I would’ve been disappointed if it wasn’t.
The Dalek gets to do some cool stuff with its makeshift Dalek casing from spare parts. This includes firing its ray gun and…YIKES IT CAN FIRE MISSILES OUT OF ITS BAUBLES?! Where did that come from?! I didn’t know a Dalek can do that?! That must be the very first time I’ve seen a Dalek do that!
I really liked it when Jodie’s Doctor got to face the Dalek in the episode. Jodie Whittaker excels in this episode, showing off how she can be serious and funny at the same time. Jodie’s Doctor is determined to let the Dalek know that it’d better not get in her way, showing her mettle pretty extraordinarily.
I enjoyed those scenes where Jodie’s Doctor and the Dalek talked to each other. The build up of the Dalek’s reveal before the Doctor was pretty exciting. The Doctor also remarks that the Daleks keep coming back, no matter how many times they’ve been dealt with or got rid of many times in the past.
I did like the scarf Jodie’s Doctor wore in the episode. It suits her well for the New Year’s Day Special. I think she should keep that scarf. It’s not a Tom Baker scarf of course, but it suits her Doctor well. Maybe she’ll wear it again for a future festive episode. All she needs now is more custard creams. 😀
I also liked how the Doctor talked to Ryan’s dad Aaron telling him that he let his son down by not attending Grace’s funeral. It shows how honest and forthright she can be. She also does it in a way that sounds alien in her attitude towards humanity. Something I’m able to expect from the Doctor.
Bradley Walsh is very good as Graham in the episode. He shows concern for Ryan when his dad is back for New Year’s Day. There are some amusing moments with Graham’s character when he’s shocked at the Doctor breaking one of his chairs once the TARDIS has landed in the living room of his house.
I also found it amusing when Graham got annoyed with the Doctor for leaving him and Aaron behind and he calls her on his mobile to return for him immediately. Graham also has some interesting scenes with Aaron when he advises him about handling his son Ryan who has been through a lot pretty lately.
Tosin Cole is equally good as Ryan in this. This is an episode where Ryan gets to have a hard time trying to reconcile things with his dad Aaron who returns to try and settle things with him. Ryan is reluctant to reconnect with his dad, telling him what he wants to hear from him to accept him again.
The climax of this episode was a defining moment for Ryan’s character. The Dalek creature takes possession of Ryan’s dad and is soon about to be sent out into space when the Doctor tries to get rid of it. It was tense when Ryan saves his dad and reconciles with him before the Dalek is sent into space.
Mandip Gill is very good as Yaz in the episode, although I don’t think her character is standout throughout. It pains me to say it, but I think Yaz is the least developed of the Thirteenth Doctor TARDIS team. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a very good character and she wants to be there in the TARDIS.
But compared to the character development Graham and Ryan have had, Yaz seems underused. At least the Doctor recognises Yaz’s police skills when she suggests to her to escort Lin and Mitch out of the sewers. Yaz also has a connection with Mitch throughout the episode, contacting him via phone.
Charlotte Ritchie (who’s been in ‘Call The Midwife’) guest stars as Lin, a scientist who works at the site where the Dalek creature gets found in the Sheffield sewers. She encounters the Dalek and sadly gets possessed by it to do its dirty work. It was scary when Lin got possessed by a Dalek in this tale.
Nikesh Patel guest stars as Mitch, who’s a fellow scientist working with Lin in the Sheffield sewers. There’s clearly a romantic connection between Mitch and Lin, which I found sweet whilst watching the early scenes of the episode. Mitch is clearly concerned for Lin when he joins the Doctor and friends.
Daniel Adegboyega guest stars as Aaron, Ryan’s dad in the episode. It was interesting to see Ryan’s dad return to his son’s life in the episode as we’ve heard quite a bit about him during Series 11. It’s intriguing how he interacts with his son; wants to reconnect with him and discovers the life he’s had.
Interestingly, this episode doesn’t have any opening titles. This was the same for ‘The Woman Who Fell To Earth’. Not sure why the episode didn’t have any opening titles. If this episode was called ‘Resolution of the Dalek’ instead, then the omission for the opening titles would have been justified.
There’s a shocking moment when U.N.I.T. seemed to be out of action once the Doctor called for them via mobile. I was surprised U.N.I.T. didn’t make a special appearance in this episode. This is considering Chris Chibnall introduced Kate Stewart in ‘The Power of Three’. What’s going on here?!
I’m curious about this financial situation U.N.I.T. seems to be in. I wondered if this was a foreshadowing of things to come in Series 12 and what it could mean. I’m glad that U.N.I.T. wasn’t brought in mind. It would’ve made it less of a ‘Doctor Who’ story with the Doctor and her friends sorting out the Dalek.
The scene where the Wi-Fi gets lost and the family who realise it and they have to have ‘a conversation’ was funny to watch. I know it seemed like an unnecessary scene to establish that the Wi-Fi got lost once the Dalek caused trouble, but I honestly found it amusing since it does reflect modern-life for me. 😀
The DVD/Blu-ray special features for this festive special are as follows. On the ‘Resolution’ DVD/Blu-ray and on Disc 1 of ‘The Complete Series 12’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s the ‘Series 11 Look Back’ documentary; the ‘Resolution – Behind the Scenes’ documentary; the ‘A Dalek Re-formed’ documentary and the ‘Resolution – Closer Look’ featurette.
Overall, ‘Resolution’ is a superb episode! I enjoyed watching it on New Year’s Day via the TV with my parents. It’s a great episode featuring Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor against a Dalek and I’m very pleased she got to face a classic monster of the series as opposed to the lack of classic monsters in Series 11.
The Dalek was pretty scary and the episode was pretty scary to watch indeed. I felt gripped throughout. I found the tense moments worth watching, especially when the Dalek caused trouble; took over Lin and was about to take Ryan’s dad Aaron out into space before Ryan gets to save him.
This was a welcome and a superb festive ‘Doctor Who’ Special since the Russell T. Davies era. I was able to enjoy it; get engaged with the characters and feel thrilled when the tense scary moments with the Dalek happened. I loved it when Jodie’s Doctor confronted the Dalek at last in the episode.
I also loved how she was able to defeat it with the help of her friends. I’m very pleased that the Dalek was threatening in the episode compared to the efforts made by Steven Moffat during his era. The Dalek mutant out of its casing was pretty scary and the arc with Ryan and his dad was very good.
At that point, I was sad ‘Doctor Who’ wasn’t back on our TV screens for a while in 2019. I enjoyed Series 11 and ‘Resolution’ with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and her friends. I looked forward to when ‘Doctor Who’ would return in Series 12. Meanwhile, I enjoyed revisiting Series 11 and ‘Resolution’ via the Blu-ray releases.
As of February 2022, I’ve had my copy of the ‘Resolution’ Blu-ray signed by Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill at the ‘London Comic Con Spring’ in February 2022.
‘Resolution’ rating – 9/10
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