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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. Lambda
    September 30, 2015 @ 6:02 am

    The way I read the dalek casing translating stuff from its occupant into extermination and the like was that the creature inside is still evil, but it’s like that because it’s spent its entire lifetime inside an environment which doesn’t allow the expression of anything else, so that’s just how it always develops. Or alternatively, you still have the “genetically evil” bit, but this mechanism makes sure it “never goes wrong”, slightly less evil daleks still end up the same instead of going around questioning things, they can never evolve away from it. (Either seems to be consistent with what’s presented, as far as I can tell.) So Clara is mentally unaffected (apart from the bit where it’s an awful experience) because she’s only spent a short amount of time in there, instead of growing up in it.


    • SeeingI
      September 30, 2015 @ 8:54 am

      Yes, this is similar to how I read it. It would have been cool, however, if Clara had started to be affected by the machine’s link with her mind, and I was a bit disappointed we didn’t see some flashback to “Asylum.” Like when she starts to freak out we get little quick flashes of Oswin in her shell from the end of the episode. I also wish the inside of the machine had been slimier – I’d have put a line in for Clara that it was more like being swallowed than just sitting inside a shell.

      I also was annoyed that Moffat had Clara suddenly affected by melodramatic dumbness – there are a lot of other things she could have said that the Dalek machine would have translated correctly, like “She is lying, I did not kill Clara Oswald, Clara Oswald is here” etc. And didn’t the Oswin-Dalek say “I am not a Dalek” several times?


      • SeeingI
        September 30, 2015 @ 9:00 am

        We might also posit that since Clara is not genetically or mentally a Dalek (not even Dalek-ized like Oswin was), then the translation matrix was behaving particularly clumsily trying to interpret what she’s saying.


  2. Cathyby
    September 30, 2015 @ 7:04 am

    My reading is the same as Lambda’s. Any “variation” or “mistake” gets corrected by the environment. It’s impossible for Daleks to even express contraband ideas, so they can’t spread. Any “deviant” remains isolated and unable to find fellow deviants. And since any strong emotion shoots the gun, remorse or empathy will do the same as hate. If Daleks have cognitive dissonance, this will have a reinforcing effect too.

    Re the killing little Davros, given the Fourth Doctor decided it would be wrong to prevent Daleks coming into existence, I’m glad Moffat didn’t alter that decision here. Has to be said, it’s impossible to know what the state of the universe would be if Davros was destroyed. Radically different, certainly. Could even be worse.

    The interesting comparison with Kazran Sardick – in that story I understood the Doctor’s trips back in time to end with a return to a different Sardick. Here, the effect is apparent before the Doctor takes the required action (comparable with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’s treatment of time travel). But still, Doctor Who being inconsistent with how time travel works is practically a defining feature of the show!


  3. Jennie
    September 30, 2015 @ 7:06 am

    I think that when the Doctor says he’s saving his friend he genuinely means Davros – all the stuff Missy says about friendship over centuries being something Clara is incapable of understanding etc.


    • Pôl
      September 30, 2015 @ 3:16 pm



    • Anton B
      September 30, 2015 @ 4:29 pm

      I’m pretty sure all that ‘Missy/the Master is my bestest frenemy’ stuff is just a long bluff. Moffat knows a fanwanky cliche when he sees one and usually goes out of his way to subvert it. The Doctor’s playing on Missy’s vanity. The key, I’m guessing, is that confession dial thingy. It’s gonna open up (probably in the finale) and reveal some crazy ass stuff and I wouldn’t want to be Missy holding it when it does.

      Oh, and great essay Jack.


  4. David Brain
    September 30, 2015 @ 7:40 am

    And yet this doesn’t work either, because someone within a Dalek shell – i.e. Clara – can apparently retain their individuality and free will. So we have arrived back at the notion of the Daleks as voluntarily evil, which leads me to wonder what any of that stuff with Clara’s words being translated actually meant?
    I’m with those who are arguing that you’ve also got to take into account the generations of inbreeding (combined with Davros’ own interference) that have led the Daleks to this point. They aren’t voluntarily evil in that sense because that notion has been removed from them – to the point that the lone survivor in Dalek (and, indeed, in Jubilee has only come to its own conclusions because it was alone for so long; and even then it needs to be freed from its casing to be able to articulate its thoughts properly.
    So the creature in the case can indeed retain individuality and free will, it’s just that those are practically meaningless concepts if the creature inside has been evolved to be unable to understand them unless they (a) are not a Dalek or (b) spend years and years rediscovering them.


    • Sean Case
      September 30, 2015 @ 6:49 pm

      I think we also need to look at Into the Dalek, in which the “good Dalek,” in order to stay good, has to have sections of its exocortex disabled.


  5. Kate
    September 30, 2015 @ 8:33 am

    Deceit is their flirting.

    Thank you, thank you, for the bit about “social actors”.


  6. Wm Keith
    September 30, 2015 @ 8:42 am

    I think it’s Colon-y Sarff – he’s full of shit.


    • SpaceSquid
      October 1, 2015 @ 10:25 am

      It’s worth noting that Colony Sarff is just “Colony South” said with a stereotypical Cockney accent. A mass of snakes that prides itself on being democractic – and hence representative – but which is really simply a slave to the whims of reactionary overlords?



      • Bar
        October 8, 2015 @ 4:28 pm

        I love this SpaceSquid! Jack Graham is obviously infiltrating our consciousnesses…


  7. SpaceSquid
    September 30, 2015 @ 9:07 am

    Brilliant post.

    Is it just me or is the scene where the Doctor and Davros share a laugh a direct rebuke to what Alan Moore does at the end of The Killing Joke?

    Like Phil, I think this is a clever reading, but if nothing else, it’s hard to believe Moffat would want to directly rebuke Moore having Batman & the Joker have a good old laugh in the same two-parter in which he reveals that the Doctor considers Missy as his best friend.

    (That said, of course, there’s much of doubtless great interest that could be written about the difference between the Doctor’s treatment of Davros and his treatment of Missy).

    Just as an absurd hand-wavey justification for Davros’ eyes, he’s clearly been partially rebuilt post-Remembrance, so I guess it’s possible he’s only just got the use of his eyes back. That does nothing to make the actual scene less ridiculous or counter-productive, but that’s what went through my mind.


  8. wanderingarmageddonpeddler
    September 30, 2015 @ 9:27 am

    It’s interesting that for some reason they decide to really strongly parallel Davros and Darth Vader in this two parter. I mean, the moment I saw his little life-shell thingy in Magician’s Apprentice I thought Vader’s similar life-shell thingy from Empire, and the “let me look at you with my own eyes” bit…yeeeaaaaah.

    I have absolutely no idea what the point of this was, but it’s undeniably there


  9. Chris C
    September 30, 2015 @ 9:33 am

    I think Davros’ eyes reveal could have used some subtle clarification to suggest any kind of reason he’s had them shut for so long, perhaps that they are damaged/verging on useless or that he risks something by exposing them. It was the sort of thing I was assuming anyway, but now I realise there’s nothing actually there to support it.


  10. Gregory Burie
    September 30, 2015 @ 10:16 am

    “Your sewers are revoloting.”

    That was line was just brilliant.


  11. Matt M
    September 30, 2015 @ 12:37 pm

    Jack, I’m genuinely interested as to where you stand on the ‘disability abuse’ thing people are complaining about over on GB. I mean sure, it’s a legitimate issue, but Davros is representative of literally Space Hitler. Is it only right to fight fascists in ways that are respectful to them? Or is this a different issue entirely and Moffat should have written it a different way. Should Davros being in a wheelchair give him protection against acts of violence such as this despite him being the embodiment of evil, or does stooping to that level devalidate resistance? At first I was fine with it but reading some of the comments by actual disabled people who felt hurt by it, I’m no longer sure.

    Also I assumed Colony Saff was in there when this was presumably extended from 1 part to 2 in order to pad it out a lot more, because seriously.


    • UrsulaL
      September 30, 2015 @ 6:02 pm

      While I’m not Jack, I think it is important to differentiate between a fictional story fighting a Disabled Space Hitler to stop fascism, versus knocking a Disabled Space Hitler out of his wheelchair, to take it for a joyride, for laughs. And the show definitely played this for laughs, without the Doctor doing anything to stop Davros or the Daleks long-term, or even medium-term, through his joyriding in Davros’s chair.

      For a real Hitler, of course, the stakes are different, and you do what you must to fight real fascism.

      There is a difference between “you have to fight to stop fascism, even if the fascist you are stopping is disabled” versus “it’s okay to pick on a disabled person, for laughs, if they are fascist.”

      Particularly since one of the real things real Nazis did was to demean, dehumanize and eventually mass-murder the disabled, in one of their first acts of genocide.


      • encyclops
        October 1, 2015 @ 1:17 am

        The “joyride” had a purpose: gaining access to Davros’s weapons, control elements, and defense mechanisms. And it didn’t end voluntarily: members of the Colony constricted him unconscious (apparently).


        • Matt M
          October 1, 2015 @ 4:41 am

          In terms of the actual story yes it had a point, but looking at the story as a constructed entity, what did that section actually achieve? The Doctor ends up back in the same place with nothing to show for his little runaround.


          • encyclops
            October 1, 2015 @ 7:55 pm

            It showed both us and the Doctor that he wasn’t going to be able to escape (or find Clara) by force, and would have to look for a way to trick Davros instead.

          • Bar
            October 8, 2015 @ 4:34 pm

            it gave him time for a cup of tea.

        • UrsulaL
          October 1, 2015 @ 8:51 am

          The joyride did nothing to further the plot of the story – the Doctor ends up right back where he was.

          But the joyride did serve as comic relief in the story, a break from the Doctor’s intense interactions with the apparently-dying Davros. He spun around, played bumper-cars, drank a cup of tea, and generally played while enjoying the use and protection of Davros’s adaptive equipment. While in the chair, the Doctor didn’t actually do anything to work to stop the Daleks or Davros, he only taunted them.

          And the Daleks, as well as Davros, are presented as disabled in the larger Doctor Who story. They’re “mutants” who can’t survive or function without the adaptive equipment that is part of their shells.

          As opposed to their original enemies, whom Susan described as “splendid men.” They are presented, initially, as being recognizable as the enemy because they are disabled mutants.

          Which is deeply (and likely unintentionally) ironic for a Nazi-stand-in, given how the Nazis targeted the disabled and weak. The narrative makes the same assumptions that the Nazis did, that good people are attractive and strong, while weakness, disability and otherwise being othered indicates moral failing. In doing so, the larger story of Doctor Who fails to challenge the Nazi concept of “untermensch”, it simply turns it around, creating their Nazi stand-ins as a form of “untermensch.”


          • encyclops
            October 1, 2015 @ 8:05 pm

            While in the chair, the Doctor didn’t actually do anything to work to stop the Daleks or Davros, he only taunted them.

            He wasn’t just taunting them, he was interrogating them, trying to find Clara. And probably at least half-believing she was really dead, hence working up his fury to actually start shooting Daleks.

            As for the Daleks being disabled, to my mind it’s apter to see them as atrophied — creatures who chose to rebuild themselves as the ultimate war machines and allowed all the inferior parts of them, the parts not used for extermination, to fall away.

            Characters like Davros — and Magnus Greel, and Sharaz Jek, and Morbius, and the Borad — are probably more deserving of this kind of criticism than the Daleks themselves. As much as I like Robert Holmes, it’s troubling how many of them show up on his watch.

          • UrsulaL
            October 2, 2015 @ 10:16 am

            Atrophy is a way of being disabled.

            By way of example, I’ve worked with disabled people, in group homes and elsewhere, and seen a lot of different types of disabilities. A common situation was that someone with a physical disability, such as CP. And very frequently, the lack of activity caused by the disability would lead to atrophy and worse disability, unless their ongoing physical therapy was meticulous, for both strength and range of motion.

            I’ve worked with people whose physical disabilities left them with physical capabilities not too different from a Daleks. Reliant on a power wheelchair, unable to leave the chair on their own, tube feeding, etc.

            The physical disability of the Daleks is far more profound than that of Davros. But it is still well within the range of how human beings can experience disability.

  12. thesmilingstallioninn
    September 30, 2015 @ 1:12 pm

    Very interesting, thought-provoking analysis. Now I’m curious if the rest of the series is going to take different aspects of the Doctor’s past and twist them around a bit, like they did with Davros and Genesis of the Daleks. I could definitely see that with the Zygon two-parter and maybe something similar might be done with the next two parter, Under The Lake/Before the Flood-possibly the Girl Who Died and the Woman Who Lived episodes as well?


  13. David H
    September 30, 2015 @ 3:07 pm

    Wow. That was an amazing analysis. I’m definitely more willing than you to look at things sideways to get them to make sense where necessary, but I really appreciated your approach here.

    I wanted to react to several points, but none of this should be taken to detract from my sheer delight in reading your essay –

    On the hand-mines:
    Another mythological image this evokes is Avalokiteshvara in the Buddhist tradition, who is depicted as having a thousand arms with an eye in the palm of each hand. What is interesting about this parallel for this story in particular is that Avalokiteshvara is the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

    On the Trolley Problem and Hypocrisy:

    I get what you are saying about inducing a feeling of Hypocrisy as an attempt to induce paralysis and inaction, to pacify the population, and see that as a genuine concern, but I read these discussions differently, at least as presented last year, and have to disagree with you (and Phil) in three different ways.

    1) Last year the morality of violence was discussed in the context of war, which is not an individual act, or a revolutionary uprising by an oppressed class, but rather the the act of a nation and specifically a government, usually to support some imperialist agenda. The imperialist government then goes about the process of manufacturing consent, by selling a narrative in which the killing and sacrifice is inevitably justified. In this context, introducing introspection, self-critique, or indeed even paralysis is an actively good thing.

    2) There are not just two different outcomes to the trolley problem – either kill one man or let five die – but four. Whichever decision you make, there is also the second order question of how you respond to and understand that choice.

    Do you “not worry about it,” do you tell yourself you are making the best decision you can and feel happy about it, or do you mourn for having to make that choice?

    When we choose to sacrifice innocent lives (as all collective violence does – it is disingenuous to claim any struggle will only injure the “bad guys”) for the greater good, I think it is dangerous to let ourselves be entirely comfortable with this decision. This isn’t a matter of hyporcrisy so much as one of honestly grappling with the moral consequences of our choices rather than telling ourselves a comforting fairy tale of a cosmological struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil to make ourselves feel better about those choices.

    The perspective expressed by the Doctor last year is that of Christian Realism: We live in a world where sometimes, all the choices are bad ones, but we still have to act. At the same time, we should do so with our eyes open, we should feel the weight and the burden of our choices, rather than rationalize them away. We should never let ourselves fall prey to the delusion that the lesser of two evils is a good. And most importantly, we should never sacrifice our humanity and our compassion, even for our adversaries.

    3) I think it is problematic, (and indeed, actually pernicious to the goal of genuine social change) to create a binary between violent action and inaction, as if those are the only two choices. In reality, even the most repressive regimes and systems are dependent upon (and invest huge amount of time and energy into manufacturing) the consent of those who are governed. Without the acquiescence of the oppressed and the active participation of a significant subset of the population, those in power have no actual control. Numerous oppressive regimes have been brought down by nonviolent direct action which operates on this basis.

    Ignoring and marginalizing this history, and inculcating the idea that the only choices are violent revolt or complacency is a strategy used by those in power to manufacture that complacency: they are obviously the ones most materially equipped to to succeed in a violent struggle, so why would any rational actors choose inevitably doomed violent resistance rather than acquiescence?


  14. UrsulaL
    September 30, 2015 @ 6:27 pm

    What the Dalek shells seem to do is weaponize the strong form of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis.

    What happens to a society when you forcibly remove all language of kindness and compassion, for generations?

    And when any expression of strong emotion, love or hate, comes out as the same act of deadly violence? Which is, itself, an interesting comment on the nature of domestic violence, and the claim of the abuser that they are acting out of love.


  15. UrsulaL
    September 30, 2015 @ 7:02 pm

    You ask:

    Does this mean that all Daleks are actually slaves, imprisoned within shells that strip them of identity, and manipulate and regulate their thoughts? They begin to look even more like the Borg than the Cybermen do, even down to mention of nanotech. If this were the case, surely the proper thing for the Doctor to do would be to try to free them. They become a population of prisoners rather than an evil species. It vitiates the race essentialism that has always made the Daleks an oddly ambivalent denunciation of fascism, but also makes the Doctor’s decision to drown them all in their own shit decidedly queasy.

    An ambivalent denunciation of fascism, but a realistic one.

    Or what would you consider my father? He’s German. He was born in 1937. His family were genuine, Real True Nazis. My grandparents met at a Nurmburg rally, my grandfather was SS, one of my great-aunts was very active in the BDM.

    While my father hasn’t a fascist bone in his body, he retains some odd ideas, such as that he somehow “remembered” that the war with Poland began because the Poles wouldn’t let the Germans build an elevated autobahn to connect the two parts of Germany. If the war had turned out differently, what would my father have been?

    And my family stories of that time were mostly positive, of exciting meetings, and camp trips with youth groups, and a sense of belonging and purpose. With the possible exception of my grandfather (who died when I was too young to question him directly) the horrors of Nazism seem to have been out of sight and unknown. The horrors of WWII came with the end of the war, and the occupation.

    Surely second-generation Daleks are much like my father, who would have been a second-generation Nazi.

    Only more so, as the language restrictions imposed by the Dalek shell would limit the exposure to outside and unauthorized ideas even more than my father’s options would have been limited had the war ended differently.

    The first-generation Daleks chose the shell. The second-generation Daleks, and all subsequent generations of Daleks, grew up in the shell. They’re still fascists, even if not by choice, and still need to be stopped, as a matter of brutal necessity.

    Fascism includes the belief in race essentialism, and the Daleks believe themselves to be what the Nazis believed themselves to be, a positive expression of their race’s power. We never see what life is like for a Dalek that isn’t on the front lines – one that is perhaps working building Dalek shells, or spaceships, or raising young Daleks, etc.

    And the child Davros we see is very much what my father was at the end of the war – a child, helpless and in danger, but part of a people who were well on the path to being the Dalek empire, even if he hadn’t put them in their shells yet.


  16. Loki
    September 30, 2015 @ 8:33 pm

    I have to essentially agree with all of this, though some things don’t bother me all that much- like Colony Sarff. I’d just say Rule of Cool applies here.

    As far as I’m concerned, regardless of the Dalek shell translation, Daleks and their casings are part of what makes up the whole. They are not slaves to their machinery, the machinery merely reinforces their nature. Hell, perhaps the neural link up Clara has is just so used to channeling Dalek thoughts that it struggles to cope with hers. At first Clara uses contractions but then it later stops.

    As for mercy from Davros – it could be that mercy is something he put in when he made them but doesn’t necessarily mean he’s continually psychologically linked to them into the present. Davros being introduced to mercy…well it is pretty ambiguous. Does Davros not know about it or does he just not appreciate it? Who knows.

    It is a good point through that if all Daleks now know the word, then Clara saying it proves nothing. Perhaps the Dalek even choosing to use the word is what surprises him enough to pause and think. I don’t know. That clearly goes against authorial intent.

    The other good point is that Daleks have long been able to talk about things they despise or allegedly do not have concepts of.

    Davros having eyes. Yeah, It doesn’t really make sense (it also clashes with audios, which I hold so dear). I have to figure that the Rule of Cool also applies here. Or the rule of I Need A Fast Way to Establish Vulnerability and Sincerity. The eyes also make me look at Davros as an old man. I know he’s old but I primarily view him as a burnt one, his age non-relevant. With his eyes open I definitely looked at him differently, more human, for better or worse.


    • encyclops
      October 1, 2015 @ 1:24 am

      It’s one thing for a Dalek to say the word “mercy,” and another to produce the sentence “I show mercy,” which is what seems to finally convince the Doctor this isn’t a Dalek.

      Also, I get the sense that Davros’s “third eye” is in fact a Dalek eye or something very similar. As seen in “Remembrance” (probably elsewhere, I forget), a Dalek eye isn’t just for seeing, but has got all sorts of heads-up display enhancements in it. Davros is basically a guy who’s wired his Google Glass up to his brain, to the point where it’s not only undesirable but probably even hopelessly confusing to have his eyes open while the third one is operating. That’s why he shuts it off when he opens his real eyes.


      • SpaceSquid
        October 1, 2015 @ 4:49 am

        New for this Christmas: the iEye.


        • Bar
          October 8, 2015 @ 5:05 pm

          Too expensive those who can’t afford the upgrade will have to settle for Whoogle Glass (TM).


  17. Christopher Brown
    September 30, 2015 @ 9:22 pm

    As a fan of both the Moffat era and your graffiti/blog, it was nice to see you enjoyed these to an extent 🙂 I found the Daleks’ vocabulary translator to be a metaphor for emotional repression, how we couch what we feel in generalized words – I.e. “Exterminate” instead of “lash out and destroy something I feel scared of because I’m in a negative emotional state, and thus am angry at, and thus feel hatred towards, and the pain of not addressing my anxieties/feelings merely fuels my desire of fear/anger/hate”. This is the unexpressed truth behind any bullshit prejudiced ideology as evidenced by the likes of Vox Day, who have long since rationalized their anxieties into delusional oblivion.

    As a side-note that I promise is relevant and that you guys at Eruditorum Press might think is really cool: I am currently attending a cognitive training program for people with learning/social disabilities, called the Arrowsmith Program; it consists of daily sets of exercises specifically targeted to the functions our brains have difficulty with, based on the individual. I recently started my second “school year” there and though it’s rough going at times, the program works. It has had a huge impact on our lives. By facing our challenges head on and training ourselves to master the exercises, we become more socially and emotionally aware, less anxious, more empathetic, better with managing activities of daily living/work. While the results vary depending on the specific person, the ongoing goal and result is material personal progress. Every day when we are working on our brains, we are performing alchemy, through and through. (And were the tenets of the program to collide with the mainstream education system…can you say “material social progress” anyone?)

    I mention this because “Into the Dalek” aired on the first weekend of the program last year, and both it and the Series 9 premiere are incredibly ahead of their time in their embrace of neuroplasticity as a story concept; Rusty’s brain is literally rewired to broaden his perspective. Without that re-wiring, the Daleks are trapped inside their shells of programmed responses, lack of exposure to experiences outside their frame of reference, and limited ability to express themselves, limitations fueled directly by their negative emotions and rationalized hatred.

    It’s a broader metaphor, in other words, for the workings of the human brain and how we express ourselves. Or fail, and lash out instead.


  18. Wack'd
    September 30, 2015 @ 10:11 pm

    Davros managed to fix his eyes somehow so that the whole “see the sunrise” thing would come off and he could manipulate the Doctor. There. Easy.

    Alternatively, perhaps it’s for the same reason Silurians don’t have big black voids in their skulls anymore–Julian Bleach would very much like to use them to act, please, thank you.


  19. dm
    September 30, 2015 @ 10:38 pm

    All the stuff with the shit getting into the Dalek cases reminded me pleasingly of the similar scene in Gilliam’s Brazil


  20. Aylwin
    October 1, 2015 @ 5:43 am

    Hey, I agreed with virtually all of that!

    On the question of finding some diegetic explanation for the extradiegetically-determined fact that the Doctor must neither kill young Davros, nor kidnap him (since, all things considered, I doubt that he would leave willingly), nor make any serious impact in reforming him, the Time War itself surely offers some possibilities for headcanon handwavery.

    As you say, the Daleks’ early history and prehistory must have been the object of all sorts of Time Lord interventions like Genesis, aimed at derailing their development, and Dalek counter-interventions to put it back on track, distorting and contorting and overwriting it over and over again. Take that together with the stuff from The End of Time about how the war was causing reality to disintegrate, and you can easily enough imagine old Skaro as being in temporal terms, as well as more mundane ones, a battlefield littered with unexploded ordnance. The fabric of reality there is held together with spit, and any major change to the course of events is liable to make the whole lot unravel and cause the universe to go fooey (again). Which would obviously screw up the emotional logic, but hey, that’s screwed up as it is.

    Having generally refrained from “but that makes no sense!” remarks about this story, I will briefly put that hat on and remark that, even if we accept that souped-up animated sludge is able to breach a load of airtight, heavily-armoured war machines, Daleks can fly. Indeed, in this episode many are seen rising from all over the city for no better reason than having a frolic, so clearly they can get airborne easily enough when they want to. Vivid though the idea is, the city being swallowed by its sewers doesn’t seem like something that would be much more than an inconvenience to them.


  21. Aylwin
    October 1, 2015 @ 6:03 am

    Presumably, and especially in the context of the Dalek expression system and its applicability to psychological as well as political repression, it would be very easy to apply a Freudian reading to the destructive rising from the disdained and disregarded depths, its faecal associations and what-have-you. I mean, easy for someone actually familiar with the relevant stuff, which I’m not.


  22. Chris
    October 1, 2015 @ 7:36 am

    “The story’s claim is that the Doctor teaches him the concept, and maybe even the word that goes with it. So little Davros has no concept of mercy before the Doctor shows up?”

    I don’t think it’s so much that the Doctor taught Davros the concept of mercy, but by coming back to save him he prevented Davros from abandoning the idea of mercy in the world. It’s a problem the Doctor created… in the timeline where the Doctor doesn’t return, Davros still gets out of the minefield, but as a hardened untrusting person. The Doctor fixes this by helping.


  23. Cespinarve
    October 1, 2015 @ 5:57 pm

    Are Davros’ eyes really that confusing? He’s a sick man with a body that barely functions: his third eye is clearly a form of prosthetic for eyes that long ago stopped working very well.


  24. Lewis
    October 2, 2015 @ 10:51 am

    I’m rather confused as to why nothing particularly happened when Davros and the Daleks stole some of the regeneration energy. We saw Davros on the floor, his lower half just cables and wires; and he still has the metal hand. I thought, at the very least, he’d grow his old hand back, and perhaps even rejuvenate slightly so as to appear younger.

    Heck, if the chair is his life support (which this story ignores, given he can apparently still survive for a bit while someone nicks off with it), then wouldn’t a jolt of regenerative energy give Davros a bit of a boost so that he’d no longer need the chair.

    I know taking Davros out of the chair, giving him legs, giving him eyes and hands takes away the classic iconic ‘look’, but they should’ve done /something/ at least. Same with the super duper Daleks – they glowed a bit, but nothing seemed to change. They still seemed like yer bog standard Daleks. (They even forgot they could fly upwards to avoid all the sewer goop!)


  25. Bar
    October 8, 2015 @ 4:57 pm

    Love the post Jack, in fact when I first saw the revolting sewers I thought of your skulltopus –
    definitely weird, gloopy, and at least occasionally tentacular, but rising from the depths whence they had been repressed so they could haunt/take revenge. But then it all falls down when you think that gloopy and tentacular is NOT weird to a dalek.
    Maybe I’m a little cynical, but I thought they did all that Star Wars stuff – the mediaeval bit being set in (THX) 1138, Sarff looking like Bibb Fortuna, Davros reveal to the Doctor being like that flash of Vader’s unhelmeted head, having eyes so he could play on all that Luke/Vader stuff, Murray Gold ‘homaging’ John Williams etc – just because they felt like it. Maybe it was George Lucas’ birhtday or something…


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