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Happy New Year, Whittaker era! And how better to celebrate than with beefy beans and countless countdowns?

It’s New Year’s Eve 2021, and for the third year running Jeff’s done a bunk, leaving Sarah to pick up the pieces as the family always expects her to because she still hasn’t found a nice man to settle down with, and the odds of him being the guy standing across the counter from her holding a 1930s Monopoly board bequeathed to him by his latest, possibly latest ex-girlfriend seem limited to non-existent.

Into this madcap Mancunian melodrama plop Team TARDIS 2.0, thinking they’re seven seconds and a brush with death away from a sentient beach holiday, but who instead of playing chess with crabs are forced into a four-dimensional chess version with Daleks, corridors, and somehow finding a way to survive a mega-meta-countdown before midnight finally comes and the clock strikes Thirteen.

This is the second time we’re discussing Eve of the Daleks on Who Back When. When you’ve listened to this one, check out our instant(ish) reaction review here (and below) as well.

Here's what we think of N173 Eve of the Daleks — The 2022 New Year’s Day Special (re-review)

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

4.2

Drew | @drewbackwhen

4.6

Here's what we think of N173 Eve of the Daleks — The 2022 New Year’s Day Special (re-review)

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

4.2

Drew | @drewbackwhen

4.6

Here's what you think 3 Responses to “N173 Eve of the Daleks — The 2022 New Year’s Day Special (re-review)”
  1. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    I’m going to stick my neck out and say this is the best Chibnall Dalek story. For me it’s more inventive than the previous two which borrow a lot from previous Dalek stories. It’s been mentioned before that for a show which is about time travel, it rarely actually does time travel/loop stories. This is a bit of a palette cleanser after Flux (I think I might have said something similar for the instant review).
    I’d forgotten that the reason the Tardis is out of order for the ep is the Doctor clearing out the mess from Flux. The continuity flows there which is nice, but it’s not too heavy and doesn’t weigh the story down. You don’t really need to know about the events of the final ep of Flux to understand the plot here but doing so adds context.
    Bold way to end the pre-title sequence but of course that’s something you can do with a time loop ep. I feel Nick and Sarah realising they’re in a time loop was well done. Ah, Nick. Yeah, he’s a bit creepy but don’t actually mind him really. The ending with him and Sarah going off together is sort of played as them just being friends but also something a bit more. I’d prefer if it was just straight them being friends.
    ‘Not covered for an Act of Dalek’ lol
    I just find this fun and enjoyable. You can tell it was made during COVID but the smaller scope is actually nice for a change.
    4.0/5 Gatling gun dalek blasts
    Cheers
    Kieren

  2. Oli Raven | @FoggyDrWho (Instagram)

    Hello! So this one has Aisling Bea, Daleks, and a time loop with a twist, you say? For this lonely, single, straight cis male thirtysomething sci-fi nerd, New Year’s Day treats don’t come much finer!!!

    Bea’s character is framed as the protagonist for the first half of the adventure, which means she gets a lot of screen time. The camera likes her; you won’t find me complaining. So of course they give her a romantic interest whose behaviour around her is… not creepy at all, honest.

    I like the idea of being nosey around other people’s stored belongings. Presumably it was a very compact, Covid-safe, budget-friendly set.

    John Bishop works well as Dan here, with no need to fridge Diane to make him interesting (*atrocious* retro rewrite in the last episode there, by the way). He really gets to exercise his comedy chops nicely in that one scene.

    In isolation, acknowledging Thasmin was actually quite cool even if it went nowhere in particular over the following two stories.

    The Daleks are great value here, although ultimately cheapened when being outsmarted by the gang in this one despite all the odds being stacked in their favour. Jodie is also never anything less than solid as The Doctor by this point too.

    What was up with that returning character at the end though?? Unless I missed something, that’s another Chibbers moment which led to precisely zilch.

    Overall, I give it 4.1 fireworks out of 5.

    Oli Raven

  3. Andy Parkinson | @caffreys71

    ​​Hi chaps,

    So I sent an instant review at the time and my opinion has changed slightly……….. I love it even more now!!

    Likes
    Aisling Bea – absolutely brilliant can we have her as a permanent companion please?
    The setting – The Doctor running around in corridors – everything that’s brilliant about Doctor Who
    The Time Loop – a Dalek story with the same story looped over and over – what better epitaph to Terry Nation?
    Dan and Yaz’s relationship is brilliant “Oi you, no dissing my mate – that’s my job!”
    Dan has swapped his wok for a steam iron and a ski – I love his choice of random weapons

    Beefs
    Ok I know the TARDIS was regenerating, but when the building blew up, we don’t see how it got out.
    And speaking of the ending it did feel a little bit rushed and I’m not sure hiding behind wooden pallets is going to protect you from a massive explosion!

    Overall, it was a brilliantly fun episode I can ignore any bad bits because it was so good. Probably my favourite Christmas/NY story so far. I loved it at the time, and with each rewatch I just love it even more.

    I award this story 4.7 Jeff’s dodgy sex toys hidden in the basement out of 5
    Andy Parkinson
    @caffreys71

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