DOCTOR WHO - Dalek Ironside and Prisoner Zero
A WWII-era Dalek and a convict from beyond the stars...
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Continuing on with the Series 5 Doctor Who figures, Underground Toys’ next wave included even more great alien characters from the show. Last time we checked out the Eleventh Doctor and Weeping Angel "Regenerating" (read our review HERE), the standouts from the first wave. In the next one the figure selection shifted from a wider mix to aliens only, and most of them are vicious enemies of the Doctor and/or mankind. The set includes Francesco the Vampire, Projected Weeping Angel, Smiler, Dalek Progenitor Guardian, Roman Auton, Dalek Drone, Dalek Ironside, and Prisoner Zero. Let’s take a closer look at the last two, a forced convert from the Dalek army and one of the most dangerous prisoners in the universe!
Series 5 saw the return of the Daleks (as every season does...), but this time viewers were in for something a bit different. The first of the cyborg aliens seen in “Victory of the Daleks” were not the usual gold or even the rarer bronze or black designs. Instead, serving in the British army in 1941 were green hued “Dalek Ironsides” outfitted with equipment belts and emblazoned with the Union Jack! Though they were part of a complex plot by the Daleks to regain their former pure genetic glory, the Ironsides served the British forces for a time as artillery and even waiters. The design was an instant hit with fans, and it would be only a matter of time before they were made into toys.
And then there’s Prisoner Zero. In the first episode of Series 5, the Doctor met Amy Pond whose house contained a crack in the universe. As it turns out that crack allowed Prisoner Zero to escape from an extra-dimensional Atraxi prison. A hideous creature that could appear as other life forms for disguise, the only parts of the alien that appeared onscreen were long tentacles and an awful face. After killing a variety of people in Amy’s town and threatening to cause the destruction of the Earth, Prisoner Zero was finally re-apprehended by the Atraxi.
With the current Series 5 the Doctor Who figures have received a whole new look with regards to packaging. While the previous figures came on tall cards with the red and yellow swirl and TARDIS-shaped bubble, the new packages are darker and more stylish, taking advantage of the updated logo and overall different tone. The package is still a bubble on card configuration, but with a wider and shorter footprint. In front of the figures is an insert with the show's title, the names of the characters, and Underground Toys’ information. The card itself (identical within each wave) has the dark blue swirl of the time stream along with the BBC logo and the exciting "Highly Detailed Poseable Figure!" and “New Figure!” announcements.
The back of the card has a very interesting angular layout with photographs of the figures in a given wave on top of dark purple and blue backgrounds.
Anyone familiar with Doctor Who over the last 47 years knows what a Dalek looks like. A single eye stalk extends from the domed head, along with two clear cylinders used in communication. The central body is barrel-shaped, and the forward-facing panel features two extremities: a ridged energy death ray and a black “plunger” tipped manipulator arm. Below this is the Dalek’s “skirt,” studded with control spheres, rounded in the back and coming to a point in the front.
Daleks have basic articulation, which includes everything they need. The eye stalk moves up and down, the dome rotates, and the two "arms" are mounted on ball joints. The bottom of the Dalek Ironside has two fixed wheels in the back and a free spinning wheel in the front. As with all Daleks, it rolls smoothly over flat surfaces.
The new Ironside utilizes a lot of the traditional Dalek figure sculpt, which still holds up extremely well. There are tons of lines and vents all over the figure, especially in the middle section beneath the dome. Tiny "rivets" line the figure's bumper and appear on the paneling. In addition to the regular parts, the Ironside has a padded belt around its midsection. It’s textured to look like fabric, and is decorated with buckles and a variety of pouches, containers, and canteens. There are even laces in the back! There’s one final sculpt difference, and one that’s new from the previous version of this character; this Ironside has “fabric” ear cozies on its dome cylinders! The British servant is decorated in various green hues, with details in silver (buckles, studs, and canteens), black, and blue (eye). Look beneath the eye stalk to see the tiny British flag!
While the Ironside is covered in armor, Prisoner Zero is like a creepy alien worm creature. Extending from a web-like organic mesh, the creature is a long snaky creature with a huge toothy maw. Its body is covered in lumpy protrusions, with multiple joints for slithery articulation.
“Zero’s” head is covered in similar bumps and ridges run over the forehead, while tiny eyes dot the sides. Past the needle-like teeth is a long pointed tongue, only adding to the creep factor. Prisoner Zero is comprised entirely of translucent plastic, with pink at the base and a gray body. Inside is a red center, and the creature’s eyes are green and teeth white. The unique alien can stand up straight on its base, or you can attach it with tape or other adhesive to a wall or ceiling so that it can menace the Doctor and his friends!
Aliens are the backbone of the Doctor Who figure line, and in a wave that’s all extraterrestrials the Dalek Ironside and Prisoner Zero offer some truly unique choices. The Ironside is very cool as an alternate, and less deadly, design, while Prisoner Zero is one of the creepiest aliens you’ll find in current figure lines!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of Underground Toys