Jim Shelly on this week's Doctor Who

The Doctor Who New Year’s Day special was meant to give Jodie Whittaker’s ‘historic’ first series the grand finale worthy of its status.

It did prove fairly fitting too, but for the wrong reasons, - epitomising what had gone with last year’s re-boot.

Even when show-runner Chris Chibnall (belatedly) resorted to a story about the Daleks, it was merely a pale imitation.

Historic: The Doctor Who New Year’s Day special was meant to give Jodie Whittaker’s ‘historic’ first series the grand finale worthy of its status

Historic: The Doctor Who New Year’s Day special was meant to give Jodie Whittaker’s ‘historic’ first series the grand finale worthy of its status

Exterminate: It did prove fairly fitting too, but for the wrong reasons, - epitomising what had gone with last year’s re-boot

Exterminate: It did prove fairly fitting too, but for the wrong reasons, - epitomising what had gone with last year’s re-boot

You wouldn’t have thought it possible to mess up any episode with the Daleks, let alone a ‘special’, but Chibnall managed even this.

When you thought back to previous festive specials, vintage/different Daleks, Whittaker’s predecessors’ incarnations as the legendary Time Lord, or what Doctor Who used to be like in general... it was not as good.

Much of Doctor Who is demented scientific nonsense of course. But the thing that made the least sense in the New Year’s Day special was how/why Ryan, Yazz, or Bradley Walsh knew what Daleks were. Neither did the police officer who was told ‘you are an enemy of the Daleks!’ and replied: ‘how you spelling that?’

Didn’t any of them watch Doctor Who?

Enemy: Even when show-runner Chris Chibnall (belatedly) resorted to a story about the Daleks, it was merely a pale imitation

Enemy: Even when show-runner Chris Chibnall (belatedly) resorted to a story about the Daleks, it was merely a pale imitation

If the BBC and Chibnall are not careful, this could be an accurate prophecy of what the future looks like.   

Most of the problems/mistakes that plagued the launch of the Chibnall-Whittaker re-boot had been obvious (as my review of Episode One predicted) and were still there.

It was cripplingly PC (‘not bad for a kid with dyspraxia right?!’), peppered with patronising CBeebies-style history lessons (‘so Iraq invented New Year’), and prone to gratuitous bits of politics (the Unified Intelligence Task Force had been suspended following funding withdrawal by the UK’s international partners’).

We were also subjected to endless speeches full of Positive messages and Life Lessons - about how to be a good dad or ‘fighting back.’

Above all it was Just Not Scary Enough.

Fear: But the thing that made the least sense in the New Year’s Day special was how/why Ryan, Yazz, or Bradley Walsh knew what Daleks were. Neither did the police officer who was told ‘you are an enemy of the Daleks!’ and replied: ‘how you spelling that?’

Fear: But the thing that made the least sense in the New Year’s Day special was how/why Ryan, Yazz, or Bradley Walsh knew what Daleks were. Neither did the police officer who was told ‘you are an enemy of the Daleks!’ and replied: ‘how you spelling that?’

Written by Chibnall himself, ‘Resolution’ was feeble fare, like everything about the Whittaker/Chibnall era.

If one thing summed this all up, it was the Daleks - or rather, the Dalek.

‘Resolution’ featured only one Dalek, which being on its own, never seemed to pose a real threat to The Doctor or the people of Sheffield (where it had appeared) - let alone to the whole planet (as it announced, and then insisted repeatedly).

When the Recon Dalek droned ‘all humanity is my prisoner now!’ even The Doctor didn’t take it seriously, scoffing: ‘in your dreams mate!’

A single Dalek can be sinister enough of course, or original.

Different: It was cripplingly PC (‘not bad for a kid with dyspraxia right?!’), peppered with patronising CBeebies-style history lessons (‘so Iraq invented New Year’), and prone to gratuitous bits of politics

Different: It was cripplingly PC (‘not bad for a kid with dyspraxia right?!’), peppered with patronising CBeebies-style history lessons (‘so Iraq invented New Year’), and prone to gratuitous bits of politics

But whereas the creatures Rose Tyler, Oswin Oswald, or Matt Smith encountered were insane or dying or Super-Daleks, the ‘Recon Dalek’ here just wasn’t special.

Its voice for a start was, like the Transformer-style creatures in Chibnall’s very first episode, beyond clichéd – like a six year-old’s idea of what ‘scary’ sounded like, completely lacking imagination or sophistication.

The Dalek’s dialogue too was woefully limited.

‘You are my prisoner! You are my puppet! Nothing shall halt the mission!’

As for the horrendous rock music that accompanied the ‘exciting’ car chase, it was a blatant copy of the Jack Shoulder film ‘The Hidden’ and so bereft of any subtlety it was an insult to the Doctor Who series of the past.

Positive: We were also subjected to endless speeches full of Positive messages and Life Lessons - about how to be a good dad or ‘fighting back.’ Above all it was Just Not Scary Enough

Positive: We were also subjected to endless speeches full of Positive messages and Life Lessons - about how

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