I have been a bit busy lately, so I have missed quite a few reviews. I have therefore decided to catch up on my reviews of Doctor Who. Without further a do, let’s jump into the review!
*WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD*
Episode 2: Into The Dalek
In Peter Capaldi’s second episode, we find The Doctor rescuing a soldier piloting a space ship in outer space from a Dalek command ship. The Doctor materializes his TARDIS around the ship before it is destroyed saving a soldier named Journey Blue, but sadly her brother is destroyed in the explosion. Journey tries to order The Doctor to take her to her military command base, but The Doctor forces her to ask nicely, played brilliantly by Capaldi. The Doctor takes Journey Blue to her base known as The Aristotle, a spaceship stationed behind an asteroid. Here The Doctor is introduced to a Dalek who was captured by soldiers and because of a malfunction wants to destroy all Daleks!
The Doctor is intrigued and travels to Coal Hill School to invite Clara on his latest adventure. Here we are introduced to Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), another teacher at Coal Hill, who is a former soldier and apparently is guilt ridden over killing a civilian while serving in the army. Danny is now a Math teacher at Coal Hill and has a crush on Clara, but is too nervous to do anything about it, which results in some hilarious scenes between the two of them. Clara gets Danny to agree to go out for drinks and is greeted by The Doctor in her cupboard and has brought coffee for her and Clara claims that was three weeks ago haha. The Doctor says he was distracted leading to Clara joining The Doctor in his TARDIS. The Doctor asks Clara a very important and deep question that could have implications later on in the series. The Doctor asks “Clara be my pal, tell me, am I good man?” Clara is surprised by the question and answers “I…I don’t know.” The Doctor says he isn’t sure either, which is pretty telling for this incarnation of The Doctor so far.
The Doctor takes The TARDIS to The Aristotle and introduces Clara to Journey Blue and her uncle in a very funny scene, where The Doctor is trying to describe Clara’s role. The Doctor says “This is Clara, not my assistant, another word.” Then Clara says “I’m his carer.” The Doctor replies “Yea, she’s my carer. She cares, so I don’t have to,” Hahaha. The Doctor then introduces Clara to the malfunctioning Dalek who he refers to as “Rusty.” Journey’s uncle, Morgan Blue, the commanding officer of the Aristotle decides to use a machine to shrink and send The Doctor, Clara, Journey Blue and two other soldiers into The Dalek, Rusty, to determine why it has become good.
The Doctor, Journey and the other two soldiers begin exploring The Dalek, entering through the eye stalk. One of the soldiers, Ross shoots a grip hook into Rusty, sending out antibodies, one of which incinerates Ross. Before Ross dies, The Doctor gives him a pill to eat, which helps The Doctor figure out where the remains are stored, believing it to be the weakest part of the Dalek. Journey is very angry at The Doctor for letting Ross die, but The Doctor explains Ross was dead and he was trying to save them.
The Doctor, Clara, Journey and another soldier slide down a tube leading to Rusty’s stomache, where Ross’s remains are. The Doctor locates the problem with the dalek, it is a crack in the dalek, causing a radiation leak, which is in turn causing the dalek to become good. The Doctor speaks to Rusty and finds out that the dalek remembered seeing a star being born, and the beauty of the universe and deduces that Rusty witnessed some of these events when the radiation leak happened.
The Doctor seals the crack with his sonic screwdriver causing Rusty to revert back to being a normal Dalek and he begins killing soldiers on The Aristotle and communicates with the Dalek ship, to send reinforcements. The Doctor believes that no dalek can be turned good, and begins to give up, but Clara slaps him waking him up, reminding him that Rusty can be turned good, if they reawaken his good memories i.e. the memory of seeing a star being born.
The Doctor sends Clara and Journey to Rusty’s brain to try and reawaken Rusty’s good memories. The other soldier, Gretchen sacrifices herself for The Doctor, by shooting a grip hook above them, giving Journey and Clara a way into Rusty’s brain. Gretchen apparently dies and is greeted by Missy, (the same woman who greeted the half-face man in Deep Breath) in Heaven and offered a cup of tea.
Clara successfully reawakens Rusty’s memories, while The Doctor rearranges some circuits linking his mind to Rusty’s showing him the beauty and divinity of the universe. All of a sudden Rusty sees The Doctor’s intense hatred for The Daleks and clings onto that and believes he must destroy all the daleks! Rusty starts to destroy all the daleks on The Aristotle, saving Journey’s uncle and the rest of his men, but disappointing The Doctor. Rusty vows to destroy all the daleks and leaves The Aristotle, while The Doctor leaves with Clara. Journey asks The Doctor if she can come with them, and The Doctor believes she is a good person, but laments at her being a soldier. The episode ends with Clara leaving the TARDIS telling The Doctor she doesn’t know if he is a good man, but believes that he has good intentions and is trying to be a good man. Clara then returns to Coal Hill and meets Danny only a few seconds since she left with The Doctor. Danny asks Clara if it bothers her that he used to be a soldier and Clara responds and says she is not judgmental about Danny being a former soldier, but realizes The Doctor certainly would be.
When I first watched this episode, I thought The Doctor was a bit of a jerk, but after re-watching it, I realized that he comes off as a jerk because he is a man with a plan, and does not care what others think of him. He is rude, and mean, but still likeable at times, because he still has those Doctorisms we all know and love. This incarnation also comes off as more of a badass and someone who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. Capaldi is slowly growing on me, because I think we need a different take on The Doctor and it’s interesting to explore the idea of what makes a good person good, and if he did push the half-face man out of that balloon, what does that say about The Doctor? Does this Doctor have questionable morals? I mean he did have to be slapped in the face by Clara before he realized that something could be done to turn Rusty good again.
I will say that I have had a hard time adjusting to Peter Capaldi as The Doctor. Admittedly I loved Matt Smith as The Doctor and I was sad when he left, but I was open to another actor giving a fresh take on the famous Time Lord. I liked Capaldi in his debut Deep Breath, but was still waiting to see what his Doctor was like, and how he would react to different situations. I like how this new Doctor is more detached and alien than previous incarnations, but still cares about his companion and any other people he encounters on his adventures. Clara seems to be The Doctor’s only connection to humanity and she helps him realize if he is being an idiot or not helping in a situation, or being too cold. As a result, Clara seems to be more proactive than she was with the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and has to rein in The Doctor when she feels it is necessary. I have found The Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) to be less likable than the 11th Doctor, and at times it can be a turn off, but now that I have seen Capaldi in episode 4 Listen, I can say that Peter Capaldi has now become The Doctor in my eyes. More on that in my spoiler review of Listen. I have been waiting for a Doctor that is darker, more serious and has more gravitas, but yet retains aspects of The Doctor that make him undeniably The Doctor. I am liking this season so far, and am looking forward to seeing what happens. I really enjoyed this script by Phil Ford, and had high hopes for it seeing he wrote one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes of all time, The Waters of Mars! Thankfully I was not disappointed and that’s why my final rating for Into The Dalek is an 8.5/10!