A kind soul who has figured out I like Doctor Who has sent me a treat! While most people won’t be seeing the holiday special for a few more days, this person managed to get hold of an advance version of it! Awesome! And I’m going to watch it right now and tell you about it! (I promise not to spoil anything.)
All right, I got my popcorn and my blanket. Let’s fire up Voyage of the Damned!
What? Hmm. I guess they changed the title at the last minute. And this title sequence, while a nice homage to 50’s sci-fi movies, is decidedly un-Who. Why isn’t David Tennant getting billing over all these women? For that matter, why isn’t David Tennant getting billing at all? “Special guest appearance by Baron Trenk” — I’m betting that anagrams into something! Man, I’m only at the opening credits and already Davies is giving me mystery upon mystery!
(Proceed with caution here, folks. I think things may get a little naughty.)
Okay, now we’re beginning. Four women in a car. They’re lost, it seems, driving through a forest. I’m not a huge Kylie Minogue fan, and I know she’s supposed to be in this story, but I can’t tell if any of these women are her.
I don’t know if it’s just this copy or what, but the sound and video production isn’t that great. Some of these women have thick slavic accents and it’s hard to make out what they’re saying. They’re talking about a serial killer who has attacked women in this forest, stripping them naked and skinning them alive. Pretty dark for a Christmas special!
Holy cow! They just ran into the alien from Close Encounters!
[05:45] Okay, so they’ve decided to get out of the car and investigate with flashlights.
[07:30] Oh no, the car won’t start! They’d better start walking through the woods with flashlights!
[09:00] Still walking through the woods.
[10:00] Still walking through the woods. This is very slow-moving.
[10:24] Still walk…HOLY COW, WE GOT DALEKS, FOLKS!
Huh! They seem to be older-style Daleks, including one with a movie-style claw! INTRIGUING!
[10:45] …aaaaand we’re back to walking in the woods.
[12:16] Well, one of the ladies just found what I guess is a dress hanging on a branch in the woods. How odd. And now she’s
WHAT THE HELL? I…but…I…the…
Why on Earth would she strip and try to put it on? What’s more, before she can, the Daleks apparently teleport the mysterious dress away, leaving her naked in the woods. Since she obviously can’t just put the dress she just took off back on, she’s got no option but to soldier on through the woods in the buff.
[13:29] After a brief Dalek interlude that explains that the teleporter is set wrong and needs to be adjusted, we’re back to walking through the woods, only naked now. At this point naked Kylie (I assume this is Kylie) gets her shoe stuck in a twig and tries to free herself while she hears eerie noises around her.
[14:53] A minute and a half of this later, the Daleks successfully teleport Kylie!
Or perhaps she’s appearing on Wonkavision?
Oh no, Kylie’s in serious trouble now! The Daleks menace her with threats and looped dialogue from Destiny of the Daleks (“Obey without question! Obey instantly! Obey! Obey!”) They tell her, “We need to find out all about you Earthlings! Your weaknesses! Your desires! We will study your body in full; every hole will be examined.”
This is not at all how I thought this was going to go.
[16:50] Whew! Enough excitement! Let’s get back to the woods! There’s a discussion among the three remaining women regarding their missing friend, and something is decided on, but I can’t make out much of anything due to their accents. I usually don’t have this much of a problem with stuff on the BBC.
[18:00] Two of them leave the other and go looking for their missing friend. They get scared, though, in this dark forest, and one asks the other to hold her. Turns out, she has “such delicious skin” and her friend decides to undress them both. They momentarily seem to forget their friend and instead proceed to, well, rub each others’ legs. This goes on for a bit, and then the Daleks teleport them.
Ah yes, the infamous Russell Davies GAY AGENDA rears its head once again!
The girls are unaware they’ve been teleported and are now surrounded by inhuman killing machines until one of them…and I’m not making this up…clears its throat. The recoil in shock and this prompts the THIRD playing of the Destiny of the Daleks lines!
[21:56] Blooper! I can see one of the Dalek operator’s feet as they escort the naked women to the interrogation chamber! THIS IS SERIOUSLY MESSING WITH MY SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF, FOLKS.
Incidentally, the interrogation chamber is identical to the room where they just were.
[23:55] So it seems the Daleks are having trouble getting information out of the three young ladies they’ve captured. They’re going to bring in someone else who can get what they require.
[24:55] Here you can see how well designed the red Dalek leader is. Unfortunately you can’t see his neck and head parts shaking and coming loose from his body as he rolls around.
[27:05] Okay, now this is just confusing. The Daleks, unable to pry information out of three women, decide to step up their techniques by…
…teleporting in their friend, dressing her in this outfit, and giving her a whip. Though, thinking about the Ogrons and the Robomen, I guess this sort of thing isn’t too unusual for the Daleks. Okay, then, proceed.
After the friend limply waves her whip around (punctuated by a crack! sound effect) the Daleks then fire lasers near two of the girls, who are manacled to the wall. This goes on for some time, but the women still reveal no information to their captors. This is possibly because they aren’t asked any questions. Of course, the Daleks are disappointed in the results.
[29:36] Wow! One of the girls somehow escaped and found a hunting knife and stabs the red Dalek in the eyestalk with it!!
She then makes a run for the door but is shot and killed by the other two Daleks (well, to be fair, only one of them really hit her, the other one is WAY off.)
I hope that wasn’t Kylie!
[30:12] Okay, here are the strobe effects. From what I can gather, this escape attempt has resulted in the Dalek spaceship becoming unstable. This causes alarms, flashing, tilted cameras, and Dalek yelling (sounds like more recorded voices.) In all this chaos, the women somehow escape.
[31:22] In a really poorly framed scene, the woman with the whip confronts the other two in the teleportation room. Instead of a whip, she now has a gun. They save themselves by teleporting her away, but it’s no use. The Daleks come in and exterminate them.
This is not looking good. The Doctor had better show up soon.
I’m starting to suspect maybe this isn’t the Holiday Special after all.
[34:08] Maybe this one is Kylie? Anyway, the one who had the whip and then the gun is back in the woods, and is now naked. Except, it’s not her. This is a completely different actress. After walking in the woods for three minutes, she finds a mirror and decides that her DNA must have been altered. “I feel like I’m looking at a stranger. A very sexy stranger!” I was not aware that navel piercings are coded into DNA.
[41:03] After wandering through the woods, she gets captured by a man in an ill-fitting mask who speaks with a synthesized voice. He tells her he’s hunting the “serial skinner” (remember him from the beginning?) who stalks these woods in search of young women, which seems to me like a pretty poor place to do so. He describes the skinning process: “Soon his helpless victim is standing there without a scrap of skin to protect her modesty.”
He asks her why she’s walking naked through the woods at night and she tells him, “I was captured by the Daleks and imprisoned for intergalactic crimes.” She explains that she was capturing young women and selling them as sex slaves to the planet Earth, where “they have much need for fresh nubile females.” The Daleks offered her a choice: 40 years in prison or bring them three females from planet Earth. “So they can interrogate and inseminate them.” I’m disappointed in Billy Hartnell. This isn’t making a whole lot of sense.
Anyway, this guy first fondles her a bit and then decides to use her as bait to catch the serial skinner and soon they hear him approaching, attracted by her “love juice”. The skinner apparently takes out the hunter and then heads for our, uh, protagonist? As the camera closes in on the young woman, we return to…
[46:57] The Daleks! Yay! They have to find her on Earth before she tells the Earthlings of their plan!
[47:58] At last we meet the serial skinner, who is a Sleestak in a red jumpsuit.
[48:25] The Daleks take note of her plight and agree to beam her up.
[51:32] The skinner draws on her with lipstick and prepares to skin her when suddenly…he’s teleported away! “You idiot!” says one of the Daleks. “You’ve beamed up the serial skinner!” They shoot him and he explodes. It starts to rain in the woods. Fade to black.
[52:34] “…and I waited there for two days until a farmer came and freed me,” says the woman, who is now seated in the office of someone who may be a policeman, because he has a flashing blue light on his desk, like cops do. Oh, and she’s still naked.
The cop only partially believes her story, but since his colleague doesn’t know what country they’re in, she’s free to go. She asks about clothes and he tells her they don’t have any for her, but that someone has come to collect her. How can that be? She doesn’t know anyone here! She looks at who enters the room and gasps as we hear, “YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!”
The credits roll and then the Daleks blow up the moon.
I think this was not really the Holiday Special.