Sue: Thank God Rob Shearman is in New York this week. He’ll be too busy worrying about his play to care about this blog.
Me: I bet he’s shitting himself. After all, you gave the Slitheen two-parter eight out of 10.
Me: (Exasperated) Eight out of 10, Sue! That’s the same score you gave to Invasion of the Dinosaurs and The Time Monster! Actually, forget I said anything.
The TARDIS has arrived at a museum, and as the Doctor and Rose browse its exhibits, the Doctor is startled by a familiar face.
Sue: I’ve visited this place. They’ve landed at the Doctor Who Exhibition (she means Experience). Don’t drink the coffee; it’s horrible.
Sue: Come on, Rob!
A helicopter with the call sign ‘Bad Wolf’ is descending.
Sue: Did Rose actually hear that? Because if she didn’t, it was a complete waste of time.
The museum’s owner, Henry Van Statten, suggests that the Doctor and Rose infiltrated his secret base by climbing “intruder window”.
Sue: Rob’s Broadway play isn’t a comedy, is it?
When the Doctor meets Van Statten, the multi-billionaire is examining an alien device which vibrates when you finger it.
Sue: I hope that isn’t an alien sex toy. This could get messy.
Once it’s been established that Henry is “a massive twat”, the Doctor is taken to see his most valuable exhibit – the ‘Metaltron’.
Sue: Rob should have called this episode Metaltron. Then he wouldn’t have given the plot away in the first five minutes.
I pause the DVD so I can explain to Sue that there was a time when this episode didn’t include a Dalek.
Sue: Eh? How can you call your episode Dalek and not have a ****ing Dalek in it? How does that work?
Me: Rob called it Absence of the Daleks.
Sue: **** off!
I tell her that the BBC couldn’t secure the rights to the Daleks at first (they were probably doubled-booked on a Twix advert or something), so Rob had to rewrite the whole script with a different monster.
Sue: Did he replace it with a Cyberman?
Me: No –
Sue: The Master?
Me: No –
Me: No! Anyway, Russell drew a picture of the monster he wanted Rob to replace the Dalek with (he’s a very talented artist is Russell), and this is what he came up with:
I hold up my notebook for Sue to examine.
Sue: (Laughing) A Sontaran?
I cast her mind back (or is it forward?) to the David Tennant episode which featured floaty balls and the Master dancing to The Scissor Sisters in order to jog her memory (because the word ‘Toclafane’ simply isn’t enough).
Sue: Oh yeah… Those things. Right. So what did Rob do? Did he refuse?
Me: No, I think he wrote 17 drafts of the script with a floaty ball in it.
Me: And then the BBC got the Daleks back and Rob had to rewrite the script all over again.
Sue: I hope he was paid extra for being messed around like that. Does this explain why Rob hasn’t written any more Doctor Whos? Was it too painful for him? Poor Rob.
The scene where the Doctor confronts his arch enemy is so intense, Sue is rendered speechless for a good five minutes. In fact, it’s only when the Doctor is dragged away before he can commit cold-blooded murder that she remembers to breathe again.
Sue: Doctor Who doesn’t get any better than that.
Me: Now imagine that scene with a floating ball.
Sue: The Doctor could have headbutted it when he got angry. Like a football. But yeah, it would have been shit. I wouldn’t have cared if it was just a ball. There’s no history between the Doctor and a ball for me to get excited about.
Me: Yeah, some things are definitely better with the Daleks.
Sue: I just don’t understand why they didn’t replace it with a Cyberman. Idiots.
Meanwhile, Rose is flirting with Adam, Van Statten’s young and attractive expert in alien technology.
Sue: This is so sweet. Don’t you think they make a lovely couple?
Me: Not really.
Sue: Oh come on, Neil. They’re falling in love with each other – look! It’s so cute. Adam is basically a Doctor substitute for Rose. He’s basically the Time Lord she can shag without people complaining about it. Unless you count Mickey, of course, but who cares about him?
The Doctor is stripped to his waist and tortured.
Me: There you go, Sue. Some eye candy for you.
Sue: Don’t be ridiculous, Neil. There’s nowt on him!
When Rose touches the imprisoned Dalek, it miraculously repairs itself. Seconds later, it crushes a technician’s skull to a bloody pulp with its plunger.
Sue: **** me! I’d forgotten they could do that! That was horrible! Oh, Rob, you sick bastard.
The Dalek escapes from its cell.
Sue: Shoot its ****ing eye off!
The Dalek downloads the internet.
Sue: I’m surprised it can still move with all that porn rattling around inside it.
The Dalek makes short work of Van Statten’s security forces.
Sue: Why doesn’t our toy Dalek have a spinning-middle like that? I feel cheated now; I hope you kept the receipt. I do love these new chunky gold Daleks, though. To me, they’re proper Daleks. All the rest were just leading up to this.
When the Dalek’s progress is hindered by a staircase, Adam stupidly takes the piss. “Great big alien death machine defeated by a flight of stairs!” he guffaws.
Sue: The Dalek should have pointed its gun up the stairs and shot him for saying that.
The Dalek elevates itself instead.
Sue: You must have loved this when you first saw it, Neil. Look! A Dalek is flying up some stairs!
Me: For ****’s sake, Sue.
Me: We’ve seen Daleks do this before, remember? Sylvester McCoy? The one in the school?
Sue: Oh yeah, but they didn’t say “Elevate!” then. This one says “Elevate!” How cool is that?
The Doctor tells Van Statten’s security forces to aim for the Dalek’s eyepiece.
Not that it helps.
Sue: Have this lot been seconded from UNIT? What are you doing?! Shoot its ****ing eye off!
The Dalek sets off the base’s sprinkler system.
Sue: And now it waits for the soldiers to die of pneumonia or run out of bullets, I guess.
The Dalek electrifies the floor and the water does the rest.
Sue: The clever shite.
Van Statten’s base is littered with corpses.
Sue: It’s a bit bleak, this, but I think I’m on the Dalek’s side. It serves them right for torturing it. Am I wrong for thinking that? It’s a tricky one, this. I think Rob’s made it difficult on purpose.
We are told that Rose’s time-travelling DNA caused the Dalek to regenerate.
Sue: That almost makes sense, I suppose… Actually, no it doesn’t. EH? WHAT?
The Doctor is so angry with this particular Dalek, he spits at it.
Sue: Bloody hell. I think that’s probably the best scene I’ve ever seen in Doctor Who. And I’m including everything that comes after this, as well. Bloody hell, Neil. What else do you want me to say? I got goosebumps watching that.
Adam and Rose have reached Level 49.
Sue: If only they’d reached Level 42, they could have had a quick burst of Lessons in Love as they ran off together. They missed a trick there.
Adam escapes from the Dalek in the nick of time, but Rose is left behind.
Sue: It’s like that bit where she ends up trapped in another universe and she has to say goodbye to a wall. This was definitely planned in advance, Neil. I keep telling you this, but will you listen? Will you ****.
When the Dalek taunts the Doctor with the question “What use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love?”, Van Statten looks horrified.
Sue: He wants to say, “Isn’t she a bit young for you?” but now really isn’t the time.
The Doctor and Adam search Van Statten’s collection of alien artefacts for a weapon that can destroy a Dalek.
Me: The hair dryer joke is the only thing that stayed in every draft of Rob’s script.
Sue: It’s a good job Russell didn’t ask him to replace the Dalek with a giant hair dryer, then.
And then Sue doesn’t say anything for a very long time.
Sue: I’m sorry. I’m just enjoying this now. Ask me something.
Me: Not now, love. I’m watching this.
The Dalek and Rose have almost reached the surface. The Dalek blasts a hole in the ceiling and sunlight pours into the base. And that’s when the Dalek reveals its true self.
Sue: For a moment there, I thought it was going to transform into a car. Oh, and your toy Dalek doesn’t do that either.
A mutated tentacle reaches out to touch the sunlight.
Sue: I really hope that’s its finger and not… you know.
The Doctor wants to kill the creature, but Rose manages to talk him down.
Sue: This is very profound. Only Rob Shearman could make you feel sorry for a Dalek. Even after it’s killed all those people. I know some of them were lawyers, but even so.
Both the Doctor and the Dalek are the last of their kind.
Sue: They’ll kick themselves later.
The Dalek begs Rose to give it one last order.
Sue: Aww… This is so sad. I think Rose should hold its tentacle before it passes away. Unless, well, you know.
The Dalek rises into the air and prepares to self-destruct.
Sue: Look, Neil! BALLS! Rob managed to get his balls in!
And then the Dalek is no more.
Me: Bloody hell, Sue. Are you actually crying?
Sue: (Dabbing her eyes with a tissue) **** off, Neil.
There is some good news: Henry Van Statten will get his comeuppance when his memory is erased and he’s dumped somewhere beginning with S.
Sue: Stockton-on-Tees. That’ll teach him.
The Doctor assures Rose that he definitely is the last of his kind, and the Daleks are all dead, too. He knows this is true because he’d be able to tell if wasn’t. Oh yes he would. Honest.
Sue: He’s wrong, you know. Completely wrong.
Me: Yeah, but it doesn’t matter, does it?
Sue: Actually, it’s beginning to get on my tits now.
Despite the Doctor’s misgivings, Adam manages to hitch a ride on the TARDIS.
Sue: I’m glad he went with them. I couldn’t remember him doing that. They really do make a lovely couple.
Me: Wow. Who saw that coming?
Sue: Are you saying it isn’t worth 10 out 10? Is that what you’re saying, Neil?
Me: No, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m trying to say is –
Sue: Don’t listen to him, Rob. I thought it was brilliant. And next week looks great, too!
I give up.