Lead Up to the Revolution: “Daleks!: The Archive of Islos” review

Aidan MasonOnline ShowsLeave a Comment

2020 was a lucrative year for the Doctor Who franchise. Obviously, the twelfth series of the program (or the thirty-eighth season, if you want to get technical), was broadcast early this year. Diving into the extended universe, fans were treated to even more content, including Big Finish’s audio adventures, an anthology on companion Chris Cwej, and the like. One of the most prominent releases, however, is the “Time Lord Victorious” multi-media story arc. By extension, the mini-series Daleks!, a five-part web series free to watch on the official Doctor Who YouTube Channel. Given that the hotly anticipated Revolution of the Daleks is scheduled to air in less than a week, I felt that it would be fitting to review the previous outings of the Daleks from this year.

Probably the most common comparison you can make to this series is to the 1960s Dalek comics. Much like those comics, you won’t be getting something deep and profound. This isn’t something that will reinvent the Daleks, or reveal something new about their race. But, if you like seeing the Daleks fighting and exterminating, then this series does it well, especially in this first episode.

The Archive of Islos introduces us to the series very well, in both positive and negative ways. We are instantly treated to Dalek action from the get go, satisfying the urge we got from the title. The main Daleks, the Emperor and the Strategist, also make memorable debuts, and stand out well from the mindless drones.

However, the series also introduces a glaring flaw; pacing. With a limited thirteen minute runtime, certain parts feel rushed. In particular, the final twist, where the Archivians reveal that they bargained with a mysterious “Entity” in order to get their creators off the planet, doesn’t have much foreshadowing at all. This also means that the final lines, where the Chief Archivian reveals that the Entity wants the Dalek Emperor, don’t hit as well as they should.

Overall, this episode might not be something to write home about, but it’s not something to skip either. If you want some Dalek action, this episode is a pretty good place to satisfy that urge.

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Aidan MasonLead Up to the Revolution: “Daleks!: The Archive of Islos” review