It’s a bit of a shame really because this story was going somewhere it never went. Cabinet war rooms, Winston Churchill, and Daleks, it could’ve been quite dark or quite wacky but actually it was a bit dull; and it started off so well. Winston Churchill, yes; the Daleks suddenly working for him, yes; overweight Power Ranger Daleks, no!
The first twenty minutes or so was genuinely quite intriguing. The Daleks exterminating Nazi planes, why are they suddenly doing favours for Great Britain? Then there’s the name, Professor Bracewell apparently created them and they’re now known as ‘Ironsides’. It’s getting odd and you wonder what the Daleks are up to and what they really want, and why does the Professor think he invented them; questions that could’ve had better answers in my opinion.
The thing with history episodes is that obviously you know the world didn’t end else we wouldn’t be here now. For example, we know that the whole world didn’t become gas mask zombies during the Blitz. However, the threat is still very much there and if it scares you and chills you then you don’t really consider that you’re still here watching it. The Daleks on the other hand made this one of their least menacing stories of Doctor Who as well as one of the weakest history-based. Their master plan was to turn London’s lights on? Come on, at least Evolution of the Daleks had a bit of a creepy plan.
Now for the overweight Power Ranger Daleks; what the hell were they? I think what made them even worse is that they just stayed there and didn’t really do anything. What was the point in giving them ranks and jobs to do if none of them are going to actually do what they’re supposed to? They exterminated the older Daleks when they first emerged and it was looking like they were going to be powerful and evil; but then they just stayed there and did nothing. They turned some lights on and then they flew away. Congratulations.
So, in conclusion, I’d say it was Mark Gatiss’ weakest story. The initial idea was good but it should’ve been developed more; and that’s one of the big problems with 45-minute stories compared to the classic 4-parters. The ending was quite amusing though with Amy asking Winston for the TARDIS key back; the crack in time on the wall when the TARDIS dematerialised was also quite chilling (before it got complicated). I also quite liked the scene of Amy and The Doctor on the roof, that was when the story was looking slightly promising; but Victory of the Daleks? Not really.