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Doctor Who Eve of the Daleks New Year’s Day Special

Review by Paul Bowler

Having survived the Flux the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and companions Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Dan (John Bishop) are back to face the Time Lords dreaded nemesis, the Daleks in this festively themed New Year’s Day special! The Daleks return with a bang in Eve of the Daleks as the Doctor and her friends find themselves caught in a time loop with the Daleks hot on their heels!

The feature length special, written by showrunner Chris Chibnall is set on New Year’s Eve and guest stars Aisling Bea (from Channel 4’s This Way Up) who plays ELF storage facility manager Sarah, Adjani Salmon (of BBC2’s Enterprise) as Nick, the lovestruck customer who visits every New Year’s Eve, and Father Ted’s Pauline McLynn as Mary. Their lives turned upside down when they get caught up in an adventure with the Doctor, Yaz, Dan and the Daleks. The episode  cleverly utilises its core cast and single set  to great effect as it blends its rom-com elements with time loops, themes of loneliness, unrequited love, and of course lots of Dalek action!

Eve of the Daleks is essentially Doctor Who doing Groundhog Day with a Sci-Fi twist after the Doctor’s attempts to reset the TARDIS backfires, and the complex fun filled plot positively rattles along at a cracking pace from the outset. Jodie Whittaker excels as the 13th Doctor once again, the rest of the cast are also on fine form, and the action sequences are pretty spectacular as well. Director Annetta Laufer manages to strike just the right balance between the interconnecting plot threads, quirky humour and frenetic high-drama to keep everything on track.

This time though the Daleks are not just trying to end the universe. Instead this special squad of executioner Daleks have set their sights on the Doctor herself and are hellbent on getting some payback! 

Eve of the Daleks is fun run-around that milks its complex timey wimey laden premise for all its worth. The slapstick humour and goofy romantic sub-plot gets a tad overcooked in places, but the non-stop-action and great dynamic between the 13th Doctor and her companions more than makes up for any shortcomings. This is the first of three specials that will round off the 13th Doctor’s era in 2022 before the Time Lords imminent regeneration in the autumn. Eve of the Daleks provides a great showcase for the return for the Daleks as they battle the Doctor, while also providing an engaging coda for the events of Doctor Who Flux, and setting the stage for things to come. To top it all a surprise next time trailer heralds the return of the classic Doctor Who monsters the Sea Devils this spring in Legend of the Sea Devils!

Happy New Year Everyone!

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook