In March, Doctor Who left off with the last humans in the universe fighting to survive and a moment of massive introspection … so not too far off from the nine months that would follow IRL.
I’m not going to say that I am disappointed that the Daleks didn’t invade London on Christmas Eve, but I was at least expecting a minor spaceship invasion. Seriously, 2020 could have been written by Chris Chibnall — and it had just as many plot holes as the latest holiday special. But I digress, Doctor Who is back (at least for a minute).
The new episode met us on a hopeful day, the first of 2021. Quickly, we learned that we can’t expect everything to be glittery, gold forever. Sometimes, you are sentenced to eternal damnation in a prison by the Judoon.
It began with a random Star Wars intro that I’m guessing someone made using iMovie in 2009, but that’s OK. It began and was exactly what we needed after the year we just had.
In the special, Jack Robertson (the rich-with-money-not-with-manners businessman we met in 2018’s “Arachnids in the UK”) and a Prime Minister-hopeful quietly come together to discuss a plan to use a new technology that isn’t so new to anyone who’s caught a single episode of Doctor Who. In order for the government to hold order over protests and riots, they’ve given the Daleks crew cuts and mace. Nothing can go wrong.
A year later, Yaz is channeling her inner Bughead to uncover the conspiracy of where the Doctor has been for the past 10 months. The companions don’t know if she made it off of Gallifrey but Yaz is certain she did. Ryan and Graham, however, have other things to worry about. They show Yaz a video of the G.I.
Joe Dalek and the man who they recognize as the sleazy person behind it.
It’s at this moment that I would like to continue to apologize for everything bad I have ever said about these three companions. They’ve truly grown into hardworking characters who can save the world even without the Doctor. Well, maybe — they didn’t get the chance.
The Doc is in space prison counting down the days, *a lot* of days. It’s basically Orange Is the New Black meets Predator and Jon Favreau, I hope you’re taking notes. Thirteen spends her days greeting the security cameras, making up names for her prison mates, and telling herself the Harry Potter series as a bedtime story. We don’t know how long she’s been there, but a certain omnisexual, immortal man states it’s been more than 19 years.
Yes, that omnisexual, immortal man who will one day be just a face: Captain Jack Harkness. He’s there to save the day — and he committed a lot of crimes to do it. For almost two decades, he has been trying to get a cell next to the Doctor. Once he did, it was all smooth sailing from there.
Having Jack back is the biggest treat of the episode, as it’s like he never left, even though it’s been more than a decade since he last graced our screens (for more than a quick cameo). When the dynamic duo rejoins with Yaz, Ryan, and Graham, Jack quickly explains how he came to be immortal, hits on Graham a whole bunch, and helps Yaz through her Doctor-related abandonment issues.
Right, the Daleks. The Prime Minister-hopeful is now the Prime Minister and obsessed with security. She orders a rollout of the Daleks — a lot of Daleks — across the UK. The newly reunited fam doesn’t take long to find out that these are just empty shells but someone cloned the lifeform from inside the original shell and now they’re growing in a lab in Japan. Obviously, this all spells disaster for the universe, but the Doctor has a plan: more Daleks.
The Jarhead-era Daleks are “impure,” so the Doctor calls on Death Scout Daleks to take them out. The fight is a mix of red and blue light beams that pay homage to Star Wars — and to the death of all of the new Daleks. Robertson, who has been along for the ride, tries to sell out the Doctor to make a quick buck but fails and ends up becoming a presidential hopeful instead.
When we thought everything was over and the episode would end happily, Ryan announces he has decided to leave the Doctor. There’s too much work to be done on Earth for him to go back into space. Yaz stays, as she’s unable to leave the Doctor’s side just yet. Graham (oh, Graham) just wants to spend time with his grandson, so he also says goodbye.
“Don’t be sad,” says Yaz. Graham and Ryan will become the British Mulder and Scully the world needs right now and the Doctor and Yaz will save the universe — eventually. Season 13 still has no release date but this episode will hold us over until it comes out. The world may be ending in real life and on-screen but the Doctor will always be there to save us.
Check out some of Twitter’s reactions to the episode below:
"This territory is the property of the Daleks. Daleks are in control. All humanity will be exterminated" 💥
— Cooper Hillier (@CooperHillier) January 4, 2021
revolution of the daleks in one pic pic.twitter.com/khokr8qfds
— jelly (@thoscheis) January 2, 2021
— ValeryVal (@ValeryValTW) January 4, 2021
I’m ready for Revolution of the Daleks! JB @bbcdoctorwho @bbcamerica @doctorwho_bbca @bbcone @doctorwho_magazine @doctorwho_bbca @doctorwho_aus @drwhoonline @radiotimes #jackisback #captainjackharkness #whovian #companion #torchwood #woodies #tardis #revolutionofthedaleks pic.twitter.com/sgGkOIwb6k
— John Barrowman MBE (@JohnBarrowman) January 1, 2021