Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

Happy 2021! Most of the Verities join the New Year’s party to discuss this year’s “festive special”! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, Lynne, and Tansy as we pick apart “Revolution of the Daleks”. Some of us loved it. Some of us didn’t. As always, we have a lot to say about why!

What did you think about this festive special? Drop us a tweet or let us know in the comments!


Joy Piedmont’s tweets about adoption trauma and Doctor Who
Erika on The Incomparable Doctor Who Flashcast
Extra-special thanks to this week’s editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
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Comments on: "Industrial Revolution of the Daleks" (16)

  1. The promos and the episode synopsis played up that the fam would be dealing with the Dalek issue without The Doctor but they really didn’t. I think the story would have been better if The Doctor and the fam had been reunited later.

  2. Squibby said:

    I can’t see Jack doing drop in appearances as the actor has so much more charisma than the Doctor. They won’t want the Doctor overshadowed.

    I liked large parts of the script, that I liked when the lines appeared in classic episodes. Perhaps this should be ‘Plagiarism of the Daleks’.

    Total shark jump for me. Until Chibnall’s gone and the cannon is re-established them this fangirl is gone.

    I only wish the new announcement wasn’t a new companion because he’d make a marvellous Doctor. No doubt he’ll act the Doctor and Yas off the screen, because Dan knows what Dr Who is.

  3. saxon_brenton said:

    Mark me down as one of the 12% who care about the numbering. I keep copies of past episodes, saving the specials as .5, .6, .7 etc variations on the main numbering sequence in order to keep them together chronologically in my archive. So as soon as I started downloading the patreon advance copy I noticed the change to a new production code and wondered, “Is that a typo?” But it wasn’t. Erika, I apologise for doubting you.

    Meanwhile, how about a Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy reference: the Recipriversexclusion Of The Daleks.

  4. Scott Boswell said:

    I’m with Deb and Liz with this ‘passive Doctor’ issue. I can take the Doctor wanting to stay to think about her existence, but I didn’t feel or see that. She was going through the motions. Show her being annoyed/frustrated, have flashbacks, something so I know she’s working on something internally. If Jack shows up and she complains and tells him to go away, she wants to stay; or even better, tells him to go because she already has a plan in motion and he’ll ruin it, either of those would have made me feel better. Instead it feels like she goes, ‘oh, okay.’ Flat.

    I also hoped we’d get a scene where this Doctor faces the moral dilemma the 4th Doctor faced in “Genesis of the Daleks”. Would she confront the problem of killing a new breed of Daleks, who could potentially become better versions of the old ones? Done something that reintroduced an idea going back to “Evil of the Daleks”? That would have been revolutionary! And it would have been in keeping with her strong reluctance to killing.

    I don’t want to make comparisons with this Doctor to other Doctors, but I do want this one to do or say things that make me say, THAT is The Doctor!

    • Liz wasn’t on this episode

    • Icon_UK said:

      Since the first thing the new Dalek’s had done was attempt to take over Earth, murdering the Prime Minister on live TV, and lord knows how many other people, in the process, I don’t think we’d seen any evidence that these Daleks (grown from the possibly even more malevolent than usual Reconnaissance Dalek with some random human DNA because… well we never do find that out) would be any more likely to be potentially able to improve than their originators, any more than the bionic blob versions in “Remembrance…”, or the cloned-from-Davros ones in “Journey’s End” were any better.

  5. My friends and I took the Gwen has a daughter in Torchwood → Gwen has a son in this episode as a subtle indication that Gwen’s child is a transgender boy, and that Gwen is supportive of him!

  6. Icon_UK said:

    Thanks for another enjoyable discussion, and a Happy New Year to all… or at least a step up from last year and the START of 2020!

    I enjoyed the special, perhaps more than I was expecting.

    I was, to be charitable, NOT a fan of “Arachnids in the UK” and the Chris Noth character in general, but his return sets up something I don’t think we’ve seen before in Doctor Who, a RECURRING human villain.

    Normally they are either completely defeated or killed in their one off story, but to have someone come back, and clearly being set up to come back again, is an interesting new idea. I’m honestly not sure what resolution to the character I would find most satisfying, but I think I’m tending towards retribution rather than redemption for the amoral billionaire narcissist (2020 and the dawn of 2021 have used up a LOT of my sympathy in that regard)

    I agree that the Doctor passively accepting jail time was a little odd. I could see what they were aiming for with her time in the prison, taking the time to adjust to her newly understood reality, but would have appreciated either a mention that she’s tried escaping on a regular basis, just to keep her hand in. Or when Jack shows up, have her reveal one of the on hundred and forty three escape routes she had already set up, but was just needing a prod to get going on (or perhaps deliberately NOT mentioning that to Jack, so it doesn’t hurt his feelings too much because she appreciates the effort)

    I was a little surprised no one wondered what had happened to Ravio and Yeldarmi who were last seen in the TARDIS/house and who Graham seemed to be interested in perhaps spending some more time with.

    I’ve seen some concerns with how casually the Doctor sentenced a TARDIS to death, since they are alive in their own way, but I figured that if you asked a TARDIS if it would like to go down taking that many Daleks with it, it would most likely agree.

    I did like the “Security Drone” Dalek’s and yes, that seemed a depressingly logical thing for some entrepreneur to do with a leftover Dalek shell (especially as it was the only Dalek casing we’ve ever known made from Earth materials)

    Ryan’s leaving left me a little cold because, as noted, he was passive aggressive as heck and I had sort of ceased to care whether he wanted to go or not. (I will give him a pass on the “my mates need me” line because that might be a bit of a reference to Tibo, the guy with the depressive issues in “Can You Hear Me?” that he was helping)

    Graham’s leaving made sense after Ryan announced his decision. He knows his grandson has some deep rooted abandonment issues and Graham is very repsonsible about such things, putting it above his own desire to continue travelling.

    The line that made my eyes roll most was the one from the trailer where Jack says “Being with the Doctor, you don’t get to choose when it stops. Whether you leave her or… she leaves you.” because I nearly shouted “Oh yes you do” in true panto fashion, as in Ian, Barbara, Vicki, Steven, Dodo, Ben, Polly, Victoria, Liz, Jo, Harry, Leela, Romana, Nyssa, Tegan, Turlogh, Mel, Mickey, Martha and Amy (though not Rory).

    As for John Bishop, I just keep reminding myself that i never warmed to Catherine Tate’s sketch comedy style, but I think she’s a brilliant comedic actress, so this might help.

    Also, not sure about the “they thought they’d have Graham longer” rumour. Given he’s one of the UK’s most popular and busiest light entertainment stars, hosting the gameshow “The Chase” as well as filming the “visiting places with his real life son” travelogue show (Which is rather fun), I’m frankly stunned they were able to keep him for two who seasons, and suspect that he would never have planned for more than that.

    At any rate, enough waffling from me! Looking forward to seeing what you so for 2021. (If you’re addressing other media, I’d love to hear you review “At Childhood’s End”, the Ace/13th Doctor novel that came out last year, co-written by Sophie Aldred)

  7. Another daft Dalek story, which was fine, just enough menace and stupidity to keep me engaged. But only just! Nice to see Jack, and I had no issue with him busting the Doctor out of gaol, or her introspection; but then he spends the rest of the episode doing Jack like things (yay) while counselling Yaz on how to be a good companion (Oh God no). The Doctor has done terrible, unspeakable things to her companions in the past, why when we get a female Doctor does she have to walk on eggshells around the Fam? Why can’t she be a bit of a bastard and then charm them back to her like she’s done for hundreds of years? When Yaz pushed her and she apologised I gasped. It was appalling behaviour on Yaz’s part. Something weird has happened with Yaz, and I think it’s because after bringing sexual tension into the Tardis all those Doctors ago, they’ve banished it now the Doctor is female, and what’s left? A weird asexual vacuum. Yaz’s feelings for 13 come off as a little obsessive and a bit weird. We don’t know Yaz’s preferences but she’s coming off as an obsessed repressed lesbian, which is an old homophobic trope from the dark ages. It’s just all wrong. I’m not saying there should be sexual tension in this Tardis, but it’s not clear what is going on, one way or the other. It’s a mess.

  8. flibbertygigget said:

    I went in wanting to love this episode. I’m a sucker for a good Dalek story, thought that their new design was really sleek and cool, and was hoping for an interesting and thoughtful story that we haven’t seen before based on what the previews were emphasizing. At the beginning of the episode it even seemed like they were gonna go there, with the presentation of these new Daleks being created as sort of the perfect police force, and I was looking forward to all the ways that could go wrong – especially with them being AI based on the Dalek shell rather than actual Daleks.

    I ended up being disappointed, however. After a promising start, we get next to no reaction to or introspection about the Daleks being used as police by Yaz, a police officer. Instead of using the prison break as a parallel to the rest of the story, it’s almost a throwaway thread, making me wonder why they bothered putting 13 in prison in the first place. The only POC with lines outside of the main cast dies in a really disappointing way. The Daleks being used as police isn’t for any thematic purpose, leaving the whole story feeling hollow. And, finally, the way the Daleks are turned against each other is beat for beat how they’re defeated in “Blood of the Daleks,” the first Big Finish with 8’s companion Lucie. Usually reusing something like this wouldn’t bother me, but it’s very nearly beat-for-beat. I also feel like they should have made a bigger deal about the other TARDIS being destroyed, especially since Yaz had been practically living in it and it feels like she should have had some kind of telepathic connection.

    Idk, it just felt kind of like Chibnell did one draft and then threw it onscreen. I liked the team up of Jack and Yaz and felt like Graham and Ryan got a good sendoff, but I had such high hopes that ended up not panning out at all. I also wish that they’d give us a one-companion season so we can really focus in on 13.

  9. Thanks for another fun and thought-provoking podcast!

    I found ‘R-word of the Daleks’ mildly entertaining, which is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from the Chibnall era. It was a mixture of recycled elements from previous stories, and there’s a grand tradition of that in Who, so yeah.

    As usual, the best scenes were the character scenes, and the companions were all fairly were served. I was hoping for some chewy scenes with the Doctor in the prison, and I was hoping that would be a bigger part of the story, but no. There was some enjoyable comedy, then Jack showed up to break her out.

    Which brings me to the next thing – the Doctor’s passivity. And your discussion about that helped me put my finger on something that’s been niggling at me since Chibnall took over from Moffat – I’m not sure Chibnall knows how to write the Doctor.

    I think Jodie is great, but she has yet to have any blistering Doctory moments, and that’s down to the writing. There’s nothing wrong with her performance or screen presence and I’m sure she could act the hell out of some good dialogue, if only someone would give her some. For me, her best scenes so far have been the ones she shared with Sacha Dhawan’s Master, and even then, he did most of the talking while the Doctor was mostly reacting.

    Is this a new thing, or is it common to all of Chibnall’s Who scripts? I’m trying to think back to his episodes during the RTD and Moffat eras, and I can’t say there are many classic Doctor moments jumping out at me. Not that I find his stories very memorable overall, which might also be part of the problem.

    Maybe the reason Captain Jack got so much to sink his teeth into is because Chibnall would really rather be making Torchwood?

    On the issue of another MAWG companion, I’m one of those myself so I can’t complain TOO much, but I was rather hoping for a season with just the Doctor and Yaz in the Tardis. Partly because it would be a flavour of Who we’ve never seen – an all-female Tradis crew! But also because it might help to address Chibnall’s issue with the Doctor’s dialogue. When there are only two regular characters on the show, you have to write interesting things for both of them to say!

    • Morgan said:

      “Maybe the reason Captain Jack got so much to sink his teeth into is because Chibnall would really rather be making Torchwood?”

      100% agree
      The Doctor needs a good, solid, scenery munching speech and fewer of Tosh’s Torchwood lines.

  10. Icon_UK said:

    Oh, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this already (you probably have) but this is a rather fun take of the episode courtesy of Joe Vevers on Youtube;

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