Image Credit: BBC (Fair Use)
Image Description: The Daleks! promo image
By John Salway
Name: Daleks! Episode 2: The Sentinel of the Fifth Galaxy
Current TLV investment: £142.88
Hmm, well this is a bit of a comedown from the first episode and no mistake! The Daleks have been made to look pretty darn foolish, and in their own series too. We follow on from the cliffhanger ending to the first episode with the Dalek fleet in retreat from Islos as they try to outrun a mysterious, highly powerful entity, which the Daleks imaginatively name ‘The Entity’.
This first section of the episode doesn’t exactly show the height of Dalek strategy, as the Emperor’s response to this seemingly omnipotent new threat is simply to chuck more and more Daleks at it, even leading it back to (a rather nicely rendered) Skaro for more Daleks to shoot at it with no effect. Even the Strategist’s best plan of action seems to be to try and obtain even more reinforcements, despite all evidence suggesting this won’t have any measurable effect. Come on guys, you’re supposed to be smarter than this!
This episode’s next set of problems begin when the Strategist goes to meet the titular Sentinel of the Fifth Galaxy, who turns out to be…. a rather naff looking robot keeping watch over a Dalek army in stasis. Why have the Daleks left a robot in charge rather than another Dalek? Why does the robot himself need to be awoken when you get there, making his entire existence pointless? Why does he look like a cheap, yellow WALL-E? Why have the Daleks given him such an impressive sounding title when he’s so puny? The questions just keep coming.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. This second part of the episode focuses on the Dalek Strategist, who remains my favourite of the new Restoration Empire personalities. He’s sneaky and conniving at heart, but does seem to have loyalty to the Emperor, which is put severely to the test when he’s made a very tempting offer. I suspect this is a thread we’ll be coming back to as the series progresses.
All in all, this episode is something of a bump in the road for both the Daleks and Daleks! as a series, with our favourite fanatics showing none of the resourcefulness and guile they’re known for. But as this instalment remains fairly self-contained, there’s every opportunity to get this plot back on track. Bring on episode three!