Doctor Who: Into the Dalek Review -

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  • Episode: Into the Dalek (Season 8, Episode 2)
  • Starring: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Samuel Anderson, Michelle Gomez, Michael Smiley, Zawe Ashton
  • Written By: Phil Ford and Steven Moffat
  • Directed By: Ben Wheatley
  • Network: BBC, BBC America
  • Studio: BBC
  • Series:

Doctor Who: Into the Dalek Review

A good Dalek?

By Kimberly McCall     August 31, 2014

Peter Capaldi is Doctor Who
The Doctor has a patient.  “Into the Dalek “  thrusts our new and darker Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his impossible girl, Clara (Jenna Coleman),  into a physical and emotional journey inside the “most dangerous place in the universe”, the mind of a Dalek. 

Since regaining Clara's questioning trust after his regeneration, the Doctor enlists her help as he is recruited by a ship of soldiers, being hunted by the Daleks. After saving the life of one od their pilots, Journey Blue (Zawe Ashton). the Doctor is presented with a “sick” Dalek, who is hellbent on exterminating its own kind.

Written by Phil Ford (The Sara Jane Adventures, Torchwood), this week's episode is a lovingly crafted Dalek story mixed with a bit of real world character development for Clara. We are allowed a glimpse of her everyday life as a schoolteacher where she meets Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), a former soldier with personal demons who has just joined the faculty. The two bumble through their mutual attraction to one another and even agree on a date before Clara is whisked way in the Tardis.

The next part of the episode plays out like a 60's sci-fi movie as the Doctor, Clara, Blue, and two other soldiers are shrunk and injected into the Dalek's machinery to diagnose the problem. Given the name of “Rusty” by the Doctor, the sick Dalek tells its helpful invaders of having witnessed beauty and prevailing life in seeing the birth of a star.  However, no one seems to grasp that “curing” a Dalek will mean restoring its evil quest of unmerciful universal domination.  Needless to say, they lean this lesson the hard way.

In making a last attempt to bring Rusty over to the side of good, The Doctor begs the Dalek to see beauty through his eyes. The sadness comes when Rusty sees only hatred and anger in the thoughts and memories of the Timelord.

Peter Capaldi's Doctor is definitely more outwardly tortured than the last two incarnations. He is visibly still coming into who he is and struggling with what kind of a “man” he has become. Before parting ways, Rusty tells the Doctor that he is a good Dalek, referring to the Doctor being on the sie of good despite all his own hatred.

Oh, and there is yet another glimpse of the mysterious woman in Heaven. When Gretchen (Laura Dos Santos) sacrifices herself inside the Dalek to save her comrades, she awakens in that same bright garden from the previous episode and is also greeted by Missy (Michelle Gomez).  This new character has our attention completely, now.

The new season has just begun and we're off to a good start. Whether you're a fan of Peter Capaldi yet or not, you've got to admit his differences from Matt Smith are  intriguing enough to keep watching. Add a dash of the usual fantastic Doctor Who storytelling, and we're good to go.


Next Week on Doctor Who -  The Robot of Sherwood


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FerretJohn 9/1/2014 1:25:32 AM

 A good episode, I liked it, I'm looking forward to seeing this new guy Danny Pink more and wondeirng if maybe he'll be joining Clara on the TARDIS.  I had only one problem with the episode, in the end when Blue asked the Doctor to take her with them and the Doctor said no because she was a soldier.  Now I know the Doctor has displayed issues against soldiers in the past, and in certain cases I can fully understand it.  However having proudly served in the military myself it does get on my nerves.  As did the kids questioning Mr Pink about whether he killed civilians.  That's a place one really shouldn't go.

SarcasticCaveman 9/1/2014 2:37:45 AM

 I can certainly understand that position, FerretJohn.  I think a lot of The Doctor's distaste for soldiers comes from more than a bit of self-loathing though.  I'm sure he still remembers being the War Doctor, it was established that nobody would remember that Galifrey was saved, and he taught a Dalek to self-loathe in an attempt to open it's mind to new ideas.  In "Name of the Doctor" it was established that taking the title of The Doctor is a promise, and he hates himself for breaking that promise.  Or perhaps we're both reading too much into it.  As for the kids...yeah, even I had been taught by that age that there are some questions you just don't ask some people.

Wiseguy 9/1/2014 4:17:18 AM

This dude looks just like Skip Bayless

TheSilentKiller 9/1/2014 6:48:06 AM

 Danny Pink is confirmed to be a companion, so I guess the doctor is going to get over his aversion.

Also, I don't think the dalek was saying he's on the side of good. I think it was a recognition of the hate as a good dalek characteristic. This was the second time they've told the doctor he'd be a good dalek, both when he was displaying rage/hate.

finally, has anyone else got the feeling that Clara was Matts impossible girl? I'm sensing growing distance with Capaldi, and a pending conflict....

TheSilentKiller 9/1/2014 6:50:50 AM

Oh yeah. This was a great ep. I'm digging Capaldi.

Walker 9/1/2014 7:05:32 AM

I am convinced that Missy in Heaven is the TARDIS (as in Gaiman's episode The Doctor's Wife).  The TARDIS would have enough power to save these people, and the "boyfriend" comment from the first episode would fit.

Iridan 9/1/2014 10:52:21 AM

Love the new season so far. I really like Capaldi and the darker tone. I didn't have a problem with Smith. My problem of late was that I thought Moffat was over writing. Davies was great with the characters and pathos of the Doctor which Moffat seemed to abandon in favor of overly complex story arcs (IMO). Hopefully he's changed that going forward.

karas1 9/1/2014 12:13:46 PM

The Dalek does see beauty through The Doctor's eyes.  But he also sees hatred and being a Dalek finds it easier to connect with.  The Dalek likes The Doctor and since he hates Daleks, Rusty the Dalek decides he'd better kill Daleks.

And The Doctor lets him go off on what is obviously a suicide mission.  How far does anybody think Rusty will get before the other Daleks destroy him?

TheSilentKiller 9/1/2014 3:52:35 PM

 Karas, in the script, Rusty blew up the dalek ship, so he had some success. I hope we see him again actually. He's an interesting character, and I could see him becoming a Blade type figure to the Daleks.

monkeyfoot 9/2/2014 6:55:30 AM

Enjoyed the episode.This episode it seems Capaldi has completely gotten into his Doctor character and taking on the qualities he'll have from now on. He reminds me of a combination of House as played by Hugh Laurie and David Niven as James Bond in the original comedy version of Casino Royale.

It looks like Rusty will be similar to Hugh from the ST:TNG episodes with the Borg. The one Borg/Dalek that thinks differently from the others.

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