“Victory of the Daleks” is probably one of the most maligned episodes to come out of Series 5. Personally, I don’t mind it much at all. Sure, the story was crap, but it had its moments and one of them was Bill Paterson’s performance as Professor Bracewell, the tragic Dalek android who was programmed to believe he was human. The Daleks have snuffed out plenty of lives as they’ve rampaged across the small screen over the last 50 years. They’re evil, I get that. But I don’t think the scope of their cruelty was ever driven home as well as when they blew off Bracewell’s hand just to illustrate that he was a mere mechanical pawn in their plot against The Doctor and that his entire existence was just one big work of fiction. Oh, and by the way… he was a bomb too. Yep, the Daleks aren’t just evil, they’re also dicks. He was a great character, and I finally got starved enough for NuWho figures that I decided to pick him up.
Bracewell comes in the standard style cardback that has been used for the Series 5 and 6 figures. Its serviceable and displays the figure quite well. There’s not much else here to say. You get a couple of extra goodies with Bracewell that are mounted beside him inside the bubble. The figure is available in two variants. One with a flesh-toned left hand as he was seen in “Victory of the Daleks” and another with a gloved hand as he was seen briefly in “The Pandorica Opens.” I got the glove-handed version.
Bracewell comes equipped with a couple of different display options, so let’s start with regular Bracewell first. Ok, so he’s basically a guy in a suit wearing a labcoat. Not terribly exciting, but my hats off to Character Options for doing a great job with the detail and paintwork. The headsculpt is an excellent likeness of Paterson and while eyeglasses are usually tough to do in this scale, I think CO pulled it off quite well, as they are actually sculpted separately from his head. The tie and collar are nicely sculpted, as is the chain on his fob watch. The labcoat features sculpted pockets and buttons and lots of little wrinkles. Paintwork includes the tiny stripes on his shirt and tie and the sharp, clean detailing on his watch chain. There’s a little paint slop along his hairline, but nothing too bad.
The first alternate display option involves pulling off Bracewell’s left arm at the swivel joint and replacing it with the one with the blown off hand. There’s some paintwash around the coat sleeve to make it look damaged from the blast and the stump is an exposed clump of wires and servos. Cool!
The other display option involves pulling off the front of the figure’s torso and swapping it with the alternate one. Its actually sculpted in a separate piece and plugs into three sockets on the figure’s body. The alternate torso reveals his robotic body and the countdown dial for his internal bomb. The effect is very well done.
Bracewell has decent enough articulation, especially for a lab guy. You get a swivel neck, swivel shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinged elbows. His legs feature universal movement at the hips, swivels in the thighs, and hinged knees.
I’ve heard some folk refer to Professor Bracewell as the Dr Constantine figure of this wave. I can’t say as I agree, as a character Bracewell had a much bigger impact on “Victory” than Constantine did on “Empty Child/Doctor Dances.” They’re both dudes in lab coats, though, I get it. I’ll concede this isn’t a “must have” figure by any standards, but I think CO put some really nice work into him. In all honesty, I waited until I could snag him for five bucks, but either way I would have been perfectly happy with him.