Viewing posts tagged zargoids

Asylum, UK

A rejigg of something I wrote for the old site on the subject of 'Turn Left', the best episode of series 4.


The alternate world that Davies conjures up in ‘Turn Left’ is not so far removed from our own. We might not (yet) see British soldiers patrolling our streets and pointing automatic weapons at unarmed women (though the recent behaviour of the police towards student protestors has been pretty savage)... but that sight would not be so unfamiliar to the people of Baghdad. Or Belfast, for that matter.

The nightmarish, decaying, dystopian Britain in this episode reflects aspects of our current social predicament… indeed, as Simon Kinnear pointed out in DWM, the episode seems prescient of the years ahead of it, of (to put it my way) recession/cuts torn Britain.

While it doesn’t get specific, or touch economics much, ‘Turn Left’ seems like the closest thing to a direct political attack on crisis-wracked British society that any mainstream TV show could possibly get away with. Let’s just recap: in an episode of that highly commercial kid’s romp known as Doctor Who, Russell T. Davies suggested that, in a time of crisis, the British state might ...

The Power of the Zargoids (Reconstructed)

What follows is a substantially rewritten version of something I wrote AGES ago and originally posted at my old site. The original version struck me as woefully inadequate (and embarassingly gushy... which is a fault of mine) when I reread it recently.


Is ‘The Power of the Daleks’ a parable about a democracy destabilised by fascists or about an authoritarian society destabilised by liberals, or even people who think of themselves as leftists? Well… the answer is, of course, yes.

If this is about the rise of fascism, there are some problems with it. Bragen works as a sort of fascist, scheming to replace a relatively soft regime with an authoritarian one which he will rule with an iron fist. But the presence of the Daleks muddies this, separating the barbarism of fascism from fascism as a political movement. The Daleks have always been symbols of totalitarianism so, when they turn on the astonished rebels, it makes it hard to see the rebels as analogous to the Nazi party. If the rebels are Nazis, it should be they who are persecuting the ethnic minority in the colony… and that’s the Daleks! And the depiction of fascism is inadequate anyway ...

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