In an interview a while back, RTD mentioned that DiM had originally begun with a TARDIS scene, but that he didn't want to get too enamored of TARDIS scenes and so cut it in the interest of getting straight to the action. So that would be... the TARDIS scene that would have showed how the Doctor rationalized taking Martha on just one more trip? Or isn't it just one more trip anymore? Where was their relationship left after their little chat in New New York? The Doctor's had time to change his suit, so it would seem that it's at least become an overnight trip by now. I presume we'll be permitted to see the moment when there's actual commitment, but did we really have to lose whatever status report was planned in favor of a standard "TARDIS lands, Doctor and companion come out, companion says "ooh!" and Doctor says something vaguely witty" opening? Are we really going to gloss over the somewhat-uneasy Doctor/companion relationship in favor of more camera time for the pig men? We are!
Speaking of which: Rusty. Pig men really aren't hilarious. The Daleks weren't enough to carry the episode on their own? WTF do Daleks want with pigs? Pigs make good slaves? I thought RTD got the pig men out of his system in Aliens of London. (The weird thing is, I think Rusty's vision of the new series is fantastic. I love it. But some of the specifics he latches on to as being the best things ever are the things I hate. Like the entire cast of End of the World, which is apparently supposed to be a deathless classic with iconic aliens we'd love to see popping up again and again. I didn't even remember who the Face of Boe was when The Long Game rolled around. Did I miss a long cut of EOTW where he and the Doctor developed a deep, meaningful relationship? Or, like, actually exchanged words?)
Tallulah's boyfriend has been pigman-ized. It takes all of thirty seconds to conclude this, and about twenty minutes of show time to exposit it. That was the slowest revelation ever. Seriously, we couldn't have fit in that TARDIS scene? Twice?
Even when they haven't been separated by their enemies, the Doctor and Martha don't interact a whole lot. I would like to see some sort of relationship development, or at least conversation, but she goes off to watch a show while he puts on his glasses and pokes at his squishy Dalek brain and generally looks really hot. Those are the five minutes that will remain in my cut-down version of this episode. The Doctor's reaction to seeing a Dalek is nice, but Martha isn't there for it. Geez, it's been hard enough getting her up to speed without this sort of thing.
I do rather like Sec's philosophical musings. Insofar as Daleks can be said to have philosophical musings. But why the hell is he wiggling his eye-stalk in time to his words?
"I don't want them to notice me." Yeah, well, one just trundled by and looked right at you without comment. Apparently the blue suit threw them off. Good work.
Scaroth. 'Nuff said. My inclination is to dislike that development, but I'll give it a pass till next week. I think it's a real pity that the "art deco Daleks" rumor was false, because that would have been way cooler. But I'll play along with the philosophical angle. We'll see.
Final verdict: I haven't been so frustrated with something since New Earth. I'm mostly happy with this season so far, but I'm withholding judgment on the Doctor/Martha relationship so I'm going to be fairly impatient with an episode that sidelines it. I also think that if you've got the bloody Daleks you don't need to cram the episode full of distractions. Tennant was, as usual, wonderful, but there were points when I was wondering when the hell he'd be on the screen again because we were dawdling over labor disputes and pig-boyfriends and pretending there is no racism when you're poor and oh my god a Doctor Who episode where I was actually bored. A little more noodling on the nature of humanity next week, though, and I might forgive 'em.