Episode V — “The Power of the Daleks”

© Copyright 2017, BBC WORLDWIDE LIMITED. All Rights Reserved.

By Brandy Dykhuizen. As the Daleks get closer to their surprise takeover (at least surprising to most colony residents), The Doctor also inches nearer to an escape from his cell and, hopefully, a fully-fledged plan of attack on his perennial foes.

Episode V opens with another eerie scene of Daleks in various states of amassing strength. We can see them pouring forth as rhythmically and silently ants, and even get a glimpse of the titular power that appears to shock their cephalopodic-looking nervous systems into action. These little war machines are growing impatient with their “masters,” and can hardly contain their eagerness to launch into battle. Their plan against the humans sounds foolproof – wait until the people turn on each other and fight amongst themselves, then strike; they didn’t have to exist in the same sphere as humans for very long to pick up on that inevitability.

While Episode IV woke up the audience and got us all excited about The Doctor’s ultimate foes, Episode V reeled it back in a little bit, settling into the psychology of the key players rather than setting up for battle. As dark and cynical as our recent iterations of The Doctor can be, the underlying theme in the Aughts is that, when push comes to shove, people are ultimately a-ok. It may require a less-than-subtle push from a certain Time Lord to jar people’s memories and return them to decency, but the human heart comes back around eventually. However, as The Power of the Daleks reflects, the ’60s Doctor Who was much less forgiving and couldn’t be bothered to put all it’s faith in humanity in one basket. And rightly so.

How will The Doctor stop the Daleks this time? Will this storyline be relevant to future episodes? Will the BBC continue to revive bits of its past in this fashion? The final episode will only be able to answer one of these questions, with all else coming together in due time. He may have spent much of this serial appearing to cower and run more than plot and plan, but the more inane and absurd The Doctor’s recorder whistlings and mundane musings seem to us, the closer he crawls to a big reveal.


Don’t you see? Human beings can’t be friendly with the Daleks – they don’t have friends. It’s a kind of hatred for anything unlike themselves… they think they’re superior.” – One could be forgiven for wondering if Polly is indeed speaking about the Daleks or commenting on her fellow man.

We don’t want him trying it. Though he seemed a bit tone deaf to me.” – The Doctor exercises caution even on those in which he has little faith.

Why do human beings kill other human beings?” – Even the Daleks can’t understand our shenanigans.


EXTERMINATE! ANNIHILATE! DESTROY!” – The Daleks intensify their usual battle cry this week.

BEST MOMENT: Bragan displays the ice coursing through his veins after toying with the governor and enjoying a blatant round of insubordination. Easing into his new, self-appointed leadership role, he engages in some low-level disrespect and provocation before employing the ultimate act of insolence: returning a Dalek’s gun to it just long enough for the creature to dematerialize the governor. Bragan relishes his new power, defying authority and ordering around the Daleks. But a true man of action he is not – he requires guards and goons to carry out his orders rather than getting his hands dirty on his own.

EPISODE’S MVP: Lesterson has lost it; he is crumbling into a melty mess of blubbering, half-formed apologies and warnings, and it’s difficult to hear his message through all that scatterbrained fear. His heart has shifted to the right place, and he jumps to desperately warn everyone in the colony of the dangers of multiplying Daleks, but Janley isn’t quite ready to let go of the potential power. With her gentle manipulation, Lesterson is seen by the higher-ups as a complete nutter who should be restrained until he recovers from his fits. Luckily, he was able to warn The Doctor before getting sent to seclusion.

© Copyright 2017, BBC WORLDWIDE LIMITED. All Rights Reserved.


– Us seasoned Dalek regulars knew that securing a set of doors by jamming a wrench across the handles wouldn’t keep those shouty tins with startling mobility out for long.

– Knowing full well The Doctor is far more clever than I, the entire business with the perfect tone and frequency being used to unlock the prison door is still far over my head. Perhaps it made sense to other folks.

– Didn’t miss What’s-His-Name one bit this episode. Polly is companion enough, really.

– A nice touch to see the Daleks worked up into a near-religious fervor near the end, lifting their “EXTERMINATES” to the heavens as a tent revival would volley a hundred “AMENS.” Could there be a lesson here?

7 out of 10

Next: “The Power of the Daleks, Part VI” soon.

Before: “The Power of the Daleks, Part IV,” here.