“Tonight’s episode may not have the zany, off-the-wall humour associated with the ones written by Russell T. Davies, but Robert Shearman’s script -and I can’t believe that I’m about to say this -is strangely moving. It concerns the last surviving Dalek, which is being held in chains in an underground museum in Utah. Daleks, as we know from the lessons of history, are programmed to hate. But, amid all the excitement, tonight’s episode manages to sneak in a message about the redemptive power of human kindness and the way in which victims can turn into oppressors. This new Doctor Who is an unqualified triumph.”
“Robert Shearman’s script bamboozles expectations, offering a fresh take on the famous metal drama queens, here both more formidable and sympathetic than we’ve ever seen them in the past. Claustrophobic and suitably melodramatic, this should hopefully show 2005’s kids what was always so wonderful about the iconic tin-rotters.”
“This week’s episode title- Dalek- may crush the surprise the script clearly hoped to generate around the return of the killer pepperpot, but that’s the only disappointment here. … At its best, science fiction is supposed to be a metaphor. It’s not a theory that always pans out, but here, in the conflict between a murderous intergalactic dustbin and a double-hearted time traveller, we get a powerful look at the way war- whether it’s in the Balkans, Iraq or outer space- twists even the best of people. ‘If you can’t kill, then what are you good for?’ the Doctor hisses at the imprisioned Dalek. But by the end, you’re left wondering whether it is the Dalek or the Doctor who has been damaged most by the conflict. It’s heady, surprising, spiky and occasionally pretentious stuff, but I’ll take this over ITV’s spandex celeb-grappling any Saturday night.”
According to Outpost Gallifrey, the overnight ratings gave the sixth episode of the new Doctor Who an average viewership of 7.83 million viewers, which means that 42.73% of total viewers watching television at that time were tuned in. The episode had a high point of 8.73 million viewers (45.9% share) as the episode progressed, soundly beating its time slot competition on ITV, “Celebrity Wrestling,” which only received 3.05 million viewers for a 17.73% viewer share.
“Casualty,” the Saturday night program that usually wins the entire day’s rating race received 7.3 million viewers, leaving it in second place for the evening and making Doctor Who the most watched program in the UK for all of Saturday.
During the week, the BARB will release its final viewing numbers for the night, which are often higher due to the number of people who “time shift” episodes by recording to their Tivos and VCRs on Saturday, but don’t watch until later.