Spoiler Level: High
This episode has gotten a lot of negative buzz around the net, but I really liked it. I didn't think it was perfect; I thought it felt rushed, and I don't like the new Dalek design as much as the previous design. But other than that, I thought it was fantastic.
First and foremost: I loved that the Daleks are really, truly BACK. The "I have the chance to destroy the Daleks once and for all!" approach has really gotten stale. We know they're coming back. We want them to come back. Is it fair that the Daleks have managed to restore themselves after the Time War and the Time Lords haven't? Probably not, but there are only so many ways you can have one small group of Daleks survive the latest "final destruction of the Daleks," so I really feel it's better this way. Let them establish a New Skaro and build their empire again.
And this was a great way to come back. When Bracewell was talking how all these ideas would just come to him, I was starting to think that somehow the Daleks were influencing his mind from wherever they were currently trapped and he really was building a new breed of Dalek, just like the Cybermen in "Rise of the Cybermen." So the twist that it was the other way around was a real surprise to me.
And I love the look of Bracewell's Daleks. I love the pockets, the camo paint and the Union Jack under the eye stalk! The canteens on their backs reminded me of the discs on the Daleks' backs in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth."
As to the new Daleks: I LOVE that multi-colored Daleks are back. I can't wait for there to be armies of each color. I like the idea that each color has its own job. The things I don't like about the new design is the big blocky ring around the "arms" and the swooped vents under the dome. But hey, when I look at it I still say "Yep, that's a Dalek." And besides, in the old days the Dalek design was tweaked a little bit with practically every new appearance, so the parts I don't like may get tweaked away in the future.
And I loved that the new Daleks immediately hated the other surviving Daleks for being unpure. The swift destruction (and the old Daleks willingness to be destroyed) felt like a true passing of the baton (or maybe passing of the plunger), signifying a new era has begun for the Daleks.
Once again, Amy rushes in and provides what the Doctor has been missing to save the day. The Doctor tries to grip on to the feelings of pain and loss to bring forward Bracewell's humanity, but Amy gets him to grip on to feelings of love. And so love stops the oblivion bomb. A little cheesy, but still nice.
Oh, and I didn't notice a prominent use of "zero" in this one, so either I missed it or I was totally off-base on that one.