An interesting thought struck me as I watched Doctor Who last night (did any of you see it? Wasn’t it fab?) The episode, ‘Asylum of the Daleks’, seemed to be a pretty apt parable of the work we do here at Dawn Rescue. (I’m sure that thought struck you, too!)
Let me explain (if for some reason it hasn’t struck you). At the start of the episode, Dr Who, played by melted-faced Matt Smith- (ok, he’s no Sylvester McCoy, but he tries his hardest) and his companions, (the feisty Irish girl and handsome young Rory) are plucked from various places by daleks disguised as people (there was a stunning efect when dalek eyestalks suddenly protruded from human foreheads) They were then whisked away to the ‘parliament of the daleks’ – a huge spaceship filled with seemingly thousands of daleks (it looked great, but I can’t help feeling what a waste of licence payers money it must have been to make them all, couldn’t they have made do with 4 daleks and a few strategically placed mirrors around the studio, like they did in the glory days?) But then- get this- instead of blasting the Doc away, the evil mechanised mutants asked the timelord to save them! Whoa, unexpected plot twist!
We were then sent on a fantastic rollercoaster of an adventure, as the Doc, the endearingly rumpled Rory and feisty Irish girl were sent down into a ‘dalek asylum’ to do something or other to enable the daleks to blow them all up, (for some reason) and there was also ‘Souffle girl’ who had crash-landed on the planet, and made souffles, (hence her name) but she was really (SPOILER ALERT!) a dalek, which the doctor guessed because you need milk to make souffles and she’d been there over a year, and milk goes off after a few days, and there are no Tesco’s in the dalek asylum.
Anyway, to get to my point, just like the Doctor, the boyish, puppy dog eyed Rory and whatsername, we at Dawn Rescue bravely battle a deadly foe every day, an enemy with alien values, ‘mutants’ just like the daleks, but in Soho, not Skaro. Of course you can usually spot a dalek a mile off, but the genius of this episode was that the daleks had mastered the art of adopting human form, just as our enemy does! But like the Doc, we must be alert to any tell-tale signs, (or “souffle giveaways.”) And yet our foes, as dangerous as they are, also have the chance to be redeemed, (just like the daleks who screeched “Save us!” in this episode.) I must confess to shedding a tear towards the end of the show, as Souffle Dalek battled against her innate dalek evilness and helped the Doctor to defeat her own kind, it reminded me of all the troubled young souls down the years, some of whom, like Souffle Dalek, were ultimately too far down the road to be saved by Dawn Rescue and had to be abandoned to destroy themselves.
Overall, a cracking episode. However, one or two niggles (if you’re reading this, Steven Moffat!) I do feel that the idea that daleks operate a parliamentary democracy slighly detracts from their overall evilness. And the debates there must be even more interminable than the House of Commons! Or less so, maybe! (Which sounds more satirical?) Might liven things up if our MPs could just exterminate each other! (That’s just a joke btw, Dawn Rescue does not condone violence!)