Doctor Who: Into The Dalek
By Phil Ford and Steven Moffat
Reviewed by Jeffrey Zyra
“I am not a good Dalek. You are a good Dalek.”
The 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi has his first encounter with the Daleks. Well it was inevitable that he would as every Doctor has faced the blobs encased in Dalekanium. We didn’t have to wait long as in the second outing for the 12th Doctor we get to see that meeting in the little bit different type of story and I do mean little as Into the Dalek actually takes us inside a Dalek.
Yes you read that right. The Doctor and Clara go inside a Dalek after being shrunken down to size and inserted into the eye stalk. Yes this has been done before somewhat in “The Invisible Enemy” as The Doctor and Leela went into the Doctor but those were just clones. Still the premise is the same and if you’re new to Doctor Who just think “Innerspace” the mediocre movie starring Dennis Quaid as this is the same premise. But imagine all possibilities of going inside a Dalek. This filled me with excitement as this has never been done before. Oh sure we have seen what the occupant looks like but this time we are going to get to see what makes it work.
Well we do in a way. We get to see the Daleks anti bodies fight off an infection and where his memories are stored but more or less that is it. The visuals of the inside of the Dalek are pretty cool but not too mind blowing. I did find it funny that the protein that the Dalek feeds on was a pit of water. Well not much you can do with that for a visual so a dip in the water is called for. It did look like they were sliding down a water slide though. One of those crazy ones you see on Extreme Waterparks.
“Into the Dalek” was more enjoyable for me than Deep Breath. I really enjoyed this story as it made me stop and think about The Doctor and his way of handling the situation and what the writers were trying to accomplish. They went for something different and something that has not been done before and with Doctor Who that is kind of difficult because of the longevity of the show. I mean how cool was it to have The Doctor and Clara shrink down and go inside the casing of a Dalek. I thought it was pretty cool. Into the Dalek also developed Clara more and you see her now standing up to The Doctor more and challenging him when she knows he is wrong. Case in point when he gives up on Rusty (Dalek can I call you Rusty. Love that line.) When he goes bad again and Clara challenges him into doing something instead of just giving up. “What did we learn here today?” is what she yells at him and that makes The Doctor change his mind about the situation and act. If he was good once why not again and that is what Clara makes The Doctor realize. Clara is beginning to become quite the good companion who is beginning to not back down from this harsher Doctor.
“Into the Dalek” did seem a bit familiar to me. While watching it I was reminded of the 9th Doctor story “Dalek’. It did as you could see similarities to it right from the get go. I mean a Dalek locked in a room hooked up to wires. “Into the Dalek’ seemed familiar with the same type of message that a Dalek cannot be good and that the Doctor is filled with a lot of hate towards them and that a Dalek cannot change. The morality story is not a bad one to rehash from time to time as it is good to see The Doctor get called out by his enemies from time to time. Plus it is his hatred for the Daleks that causes the good Dalek from being truly good as he ends up feeling what The Doctor always feels towards them. So in essence The Doctor does not make a good Dalek but instead makes one in his image filled with hatred towards the Dalek race.
“Into the Dalek’ introduced us to Danny Pink. We find out that he is a former soldier and that he might have killed someone who wasn’t a soldier. Not much is revealed about him yet but it is evident that he will be Clara’s boyfriend who may cause a rift between her and The Doctor. Danny is a soldier and when The Doctor and Clara were leaving the rebel ship Journey Blue asks to come along but the Doctor declines to take her. She is a soldier and The Doctor will not take a soldier as a companion. So now we have something to watch for in the coming episodes. I think this could be good having some friction in the TARDIS as it would make things interesting as it would not be the same old same old. I think I will like seeing this dynamic situation unfold in the coming weeks.
Missy makes a return. This time she is sitting at a table offering tea to the dead Gretchen in Heaven. Now hopefully this will not be a weekly occurrence. Once in a while to remind us that she is there will be fine but every week can get old fast. I do like the mystery of Missy. To me it seems like she is collecting people that died for The Doctor either as witnesses or something to use against him.
‘Into the Dalek” for me is a really good Dalek story. I could say it was one of the better ones from the NuWho era of Doctor Who. It had a strong story and lots of Dalek action to keep everyone happy. I mainly liked the fact that this was a different type of story and not the same old type of Dalek story that we have been served so many times in the past. Even though it was a mini clone of “Dalek” that was ok as it was handled very well and you can tell that this Doctor is much darker and has an edge to him that can turn people off. So far I have warmed up to this new Doctor as the show needs an edgier Doctor and hopefully the stories are as good as Into the Dalek.
Grade A –