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The softer side of the sole remaining Dalek

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Doctor Who (BBC1) The Secret Life Of The Shop (BBC3)

THE new Doctor Who series continues to surprise. I mean, I never thought I'd end up feeling sorry for a Dalek? In the old days, these metal creatures rattled around pointing that egg whisk they call a weapon at people and screaming "exterminate, exterminate".

This new story showed their softer side. Or rather, its softer side, as there was only one Dalek. This was he last one in the universe as the rest, devotees will recall from previous series, were wiped out in the Time War.

American Henry Van Stattan had the lone Dalek as an exhibit in his museum of aliens in Utah in 2012. The arrival of the Tardis brought the Doctor face-to-face with his greatest enemy, only to discover that they had something in common. Both were the last of their kind as no other Daleks or Time Lords had survived.

Everyone was beastly to the Dalek. Van Stattan tortured the creature. They called it names like "great space dustbin" and "great big pepperpot". No wonder you felt sorry for it.

The Doctor's head was clearly being messed up by this reunion with his old enemy, especially when it absorbed travelling companion Rose's DNA and rose from the dead. Once the Dalek had "absorbed the whole Internet", it was unstoppable. Not only could it EXTERMINATE but ELEVATE. Now you'll believe that a Dalek can fly.

The death toll was unusually high for an early evening programme - 200 and counting - as the Dalek went on the rampage. But this wasn't just a shoot 'em up episode. The Doctor and the Dalek had some serious conversations about life, death and the universe. And when was the last time the topic of racial cleansing was raised in Doctor Who?

By the end of the episode, the Dalek was revealing its inner self, both physically and psychologically, and the Doctor was, not to beat about the bush, out of his depth.

Hearing him talk, the Dalek told him: "You'd make a good Dalek".

Christopher Eccleston's Doctor is a troubled time lord. It's becoming increasingly clear that his relationship with Rose, a girl young enough to be his daughter, is not the usual Doctor and travelling companion one.

His feelings towards her seem more than paternal. I look forward to seeing how they develop.

Film-maker Richard Macer's fly-on-thewall series about life in Middlesbrough store Psyche continues to make you wonder how they ever sell any clothes as staff seem to spend the entire time moaning about each other.

The men show that bitching isn't the sole domain of the female sex. Working in menswear is more dangerous than carving a joint in the dark. When owner Steve Cochrane decided to advertise for a buying director, World War Three broke out as two colleagues applied for the job. Steve knew he was in for trouble. "It's a bloody nightmare because one is going to be upset, " he said.

He also had to contend with his head of tailoring Paul quitting to set up a rival shop across the road. "Do you think taking us on is a good idea?," asked an aggrieved Steve.

I reckon the Doctor vs the Dalek confrontation would be like a vicar's tea party compared to designer label war in Middlesbrough.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Pratt, Steve (2005-05-02). The softer side of the sole remaining Dalek. The Northern Echo .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Pratt, Steve. "The softer side of the sole remaining Dalek." The Northern Echo [add city] 2005-05-02. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Pratt, Steve. "The softer side of the sole remaining Dalek." The Northern Echo, edition, sec., 2005-05-02
  • Turabian: Pratt, Steve. "The softer side of the sole remaining Dalek." The Northern Echo, 2005-05-02, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The softer side of the sole remaining Dalek | url= | work=The Northern Echo | pages= | date=2005-05-02 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=26 May 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The softer side of the sole remaining Dalek | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=26 May 2024}}</ref>