Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Are You My Mummy? Power of the Daleks Re-Imagined

This is the same feature as "Did you just say something about mummy?" but with a slightly better title. Ish. Essentially - this is the second installment of my very occasional 'watching Doctor Who with mum' blogs. Before, we watched Time and the Rani (as we're watching all kinds of Who and out of order), and now it's the turn of a fan film! We've picked one of the more 'professional' ones, and so this is the record of what happened when me and mum watched Power of the Daleks Re-Imagined.

I explain to Mum that the company who made Power of the Daleks had put on stage plays, and that Power is, first and foremost, a highly regarded story that was the first one of the Troughton era. I remind her the Doctor is not a re-imagined Second Doctor. Otherwise I think she'd be in for a shock.

Mum: So are all their stage plays with this re-imagined Doctor?

Me: Yeah I think so. We could play a game of spot the Doctor. It takes a while.

Mum: Right...


Mum: Is this based on the original?

Me: Yeah but modernised.

Mum: So they didn't use the original script?

Me: Nope.

Mum: It's all done very professionally. No wobbly sets.

The titles start.

Me: So do you know which of those is the Doctor?

Mum: No idea.

Mum: Quite good theme tune. I presume (seeing the picture) it's him.

Me: Yep.

The Doctor spouts some science stuff. Mum mouths her opinions. She's not impressed.

Mum pulls a face at the man saying "Yo".

Me: What do you think of the Doctor?

Mum: It's getting better... He reminds me of Sylvester McCoy.

Me: Really?

UNIT is discussed.

Mum: Why are they scared of UNIT?

The pod opens.

Mum: Is a Dalek gonna come out now?

Me: Wait and see.

Mum: What are they even doing there on the island? What are they digging for?

Me: I'm not actually sure.

Mum: They're just gonna open a door?

Me: Yep.

The Dalek is revealed.

Mum: Did they build their own Daleks? It's quite professional.

In Downing Street.

Me: Do you know who they are?

Mum: He's from Doctor Who.... He's a Dalek Operator.

Me: Well done.

Mum: How did they get him in it?

Me: I don't know. (I pause) And she's Lisa Bowerman, plays Bernice Summerfield.

Mum: Right..

She's not a Big Finish fan.

Mum: Script's a bit long-winded in places.

She notes the CGI holograms.

Mum: It's quite clever how they do that though. It's quite professional.

She even laughs a few times in the conversations following.

Mum: I'd like to see the original. You could make a better comparison then.

The Dalek "cliffhanger" arrives. I ask Mum's opinions.

Mum: Um... A bit dry. There's too many characters. It's not bad. The Doctor's ok, he's really like Sylvester McCoy.

We agree that his costume doesn't work.

Mum: But at least he's got a flowery shirt.

She's not following the story either, believing there needs to be more information at the beginning.

Mum: It feels like a very well done fan film. The effects are very clever - but you can tell it's a fan film. But that's good, that's the point. It's not meant to be totally professional. It's the kind of thing you'd watch and then want to skip to the end.

I've told her we're watching the whole thing.

Her rating for Part One is 8/10 for effects. 6/10 for everything else.


We discuss fan films and "am-dram" over the reprise. Agreeing that the effects are all well and good - but not helpful if the script doesn't work.

Mum: They're very good Daleks if they made those themselves.

Me: I think they're real ones they repainted.

Mum; I'm surprised they got away with using them .

I notice the Doctor looks into the camera.

Me: That didn't look great.

Mum hadn't noticed. She's pre-occupied with the spinning about of the Dalek.

Mum: Are the people not wondering where the Daleks came from or why they're there? Have they not noticed the Doctor yet?

The Dalek procrastinates.

Mum: But why has the Dalek not noticed the Doctor?

She pauses.

Mum: There are gaps in the story. And it's really annoying the Dalek hasn't noticed the Doctor.

Mum: What are they drilling for?

The guy in the hard hat and the flowery shirt has trouble working the drills. The Dalek turns up.

Mum: Ooh.

Me: I really like the Dalek eyestalks in this.

Dalek: We wish only to assist you.

Mum: Hmm. Don't trust that Dalek.

Mum nods as the Dalek explains what he's doing there, and how they want power...

Bragen (he's the guy in all black, a roll neck jumper and a beard, by the way) searches the Doctor and the Daleks on what looks like Outlook.

Mum: He's gonna find out what the Doctor and the Daleks are now.

Bragen and Hensell talk.

Mum: See I don't understand why they're worried about UNIT, if they're just a drilling company and I don't know what they're drilling for. There's lots of plot strands everywhere.

The Doctor deals some cards while he waits.

Mum: See the Doctor shouldn't do that. He is very Sylvester McCoy-ish though, did he base it on him?

The Daleks offer their help again. Mum doesn't trust them.

Mum: Who's he again?

Me: He's the security bloke (Bragen).

Mum: See you forget who everyone is in it.

In the cavey-thing.

Mum: Has he got a sonic screwdriver? Is it specially made, has he got his own version?

She squints her eyes to look. We're still non the wiser.

Mum: Where's his TARDIS? Do you get to see it?

Me: You'll see inside it at some point.

She raises her hands again in confusion.

Mum: There's lots of mysterious readings of things and half conversations. It's too mysterious, there's not enough answers.

Hensell (the guy in the shirt with a beard) questions Janley (the woman). Mum shakes her head in confusion.

The Daleks are Hensell's. Janley is an eco-warrior.

Me: Does that make any more sense?

Mum: Not really.

Mum: Who did they get to do the voices?

Me: Guess.

Mum: Is it Briggs?

Me: Yep.

Mum: They're real Daleks with real voices. The 'real' bits are really good.

We discover the "man in the red" is from UNIT.

Mum: Oh he's in UNIT.

Bragen talks again.

Bragen: Can you meet me in Access 3?

Mum: Why?

He draws a gun.

Mum: *gasps* Don't like guns in Doctor Who. Or swearing, there was no need for that earlier.

Me: Guns are in it quite a lot.

Mum: Yeah... but..

Access 3.

Mum: So why's he going to shoot him?

Bragen: I've received new instructions.

Mum: From?

Mum shakes her head in confusion.

Mum: I'm completely lost on the story.

Me: I think they all want the Daleks.

Mum: I'm confuddled. I wanna see the original. There's too many holes in it. But then you should be able to understand a story on it's own so...

So. At the end of Part Two, we're confused, lost, but appreciate the Daleks and the 'famous' people in it.


Mum's got the bit about the power for the Daleks.

Dalek: Daleks do not wage war, we achieve victory.

Mum: That's a good line.

The Daleks hear of the Doctor.

Mum: You see now, the Dalek recognises the name. But he didn't see him earlier. Do they recognise him when he changes, regardless?

Me: Most of the time.

The Daleks talk to Lesterson.

Mum: He's gonna get it.

The Doctor arrives.

Mum: Why don't they know he's the Doctor?!

The conversation continues.

Mum: He's growing on me.

Doctor: You know who I am.

Me: They do know who he is.

Mum shrugs her shoulders.

Dalek: You are to be Exterminated.

Mum: Ooh, first time they've said the word.

We debate over the Doctor being finite. She wins.

She still doesn't know who Bragen is.

The Daleks arrive through the portal.

Mum: Ooh that's a good effect.

Bragen announces he's been betrayed (Mum shrugs her shoulders as if to say it serves him right) and then shoots the Dalek.

Mum: You need to aim for the eyestalk.

She sees the TARDIS and points excitedly.

Mum: The Daleks are a bit slow though.

She picks up the "school playground and Spiridon" reference.

The Daleks arrive.

Mum: Oh dear, too late. That's a lot of Daleks.

We see the Battleship.

Mum: Very good sets.

And the helicopter.

Mum: How did they get a helicopter? Did they just film one?

Me: No they use it.

Bragen says he'll stay behind.

Mum: So he's not a bad guy?

Me: No cos the Daleks betrayed him.

Mum: Do they have to get in the helicopter before..?

Me: He triggers the Ray Phase Shift, yep.

Mum: Zappy, yeah.

The TARDIS makes an appearance.

Mum: Oh, the TARDIS - oh that's a bit... What a tiny little console.

Doctor: Things didn't quite go according to plan.

She laughs.

Mum: That was quite good at the end.

She rates it overall as.... 7/10. It's well done overall, the Doctor got better, the effects were good - but it probably only worked because of real Daleks.

But Mum does wish to say that she applauds the hard work and effort that's gone into the episodes.

Next time we should be watching The Caves of Androzani (I figured that might be a bit grim for Christmas), and the next fan film we'll watch is the 2009 American production "Fire and Ice". Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)

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