Series Issues: Doctor Who 8×02 – Into the Dalek

(Source: BBC)

(Source: BBC)

Extermin- I mean, spoilers ahead.

With the new Doctor onboard, it was just a matter of time until someone decided to break out the old Daleks again. On one hand, it seems we’re using up all our backstory ammo. On the other hand, perhaps this means we have something new coming up. Both the first episode of the season and this one, Doctor Who 8×02: Into the Dalek, seem to be planting seeds. Does this mean there’s a plan? We hope so.

The episode starts with a spaceship running away from a larger one. It’s immediately obvious who’s on the large spaceship as the calls to “exterminate” can soon be heard. Onboard the spaceship we have Journey Blue, a character that seems to have a lot of depth to her for just one episode. I have my suspicions here, but let’s not run ahead.

Back on Earth, it’s life as usual for Danny Pink. He’s a school teacher with a military past, one that seems to have left deep scars as he sheds a tear in front of his young students at the mention of killing someone. One thing you notice right away, is one of the kids is the same that Clara sees when she’s still recovering from passing out on the previous episode. She’s the girl that taunts her to “do it” when the mechanical men are threatening to kill her. Not an accident. Seeds, I tell you.

(Source: BBC)

(Source: BBC)

Mr. Pink soon meets new school teacher Clara Oswald, who’s there because the Doctor left for three weeks to get coffee. Although Mr. Pink is introduced to her by the principal as a heartbreaker, it’s just an old case of cockblocking on the old man’s part. Mr. Pink awkwardly turns down an invitation by Clara to a party by one of the teachers. As he later seeks refuge in an empty classroom to reflect on everything he said wrong, Clara joins him again as he’s knocking his head on the desk. There has to be a connection between Pink and Blue in the future.

Clara’s date will have to wait though. The Doctor has rescued Journey Blue an taken her back to the Aristotle, a hospital ship. There, the man in charge plans to execute the Doctor – until they decide they need him. They have a sick Dalek on board who has become… good. As in, this Dalek wants the destruction of the Dalek Empire.

(Source: BBC)

(Source: BBC)

A team is assembled as the Doctor fetches Clara and brings her onboard. Journey Blue and two more military types that might as well be wearing red shirts, join them. The mission is to reduce themselves, go into the Dalek and find out what made it good. I expected something parallel to the journey into the TARDIS, but alas… it goes by quick.

After one of the team members shoots cables into the Dalek to descend to its heart, Dalek anti-bodies attack them. With one of the members doomed, the Doctor manages to track down the digestive system for an alternate path to the heart. The discovery is that the Dalek, who the Doctor has started to called Rusty, has a radiation leak that caused it to become moved at the sight of the birth of a new star. Fixing it does cause it to return to its evil ways and alert the Dalek mothership of the location of the hospital ship.

(Source: BBC)

(Source: BBC)

The solution comes via yet another personal sacrifice from a woman that gives the Doctor her name, Gretchen Alison Carlyle, and asks her to do something good and name it after her. Blue and Clara travel to the memory banks to turn on the suppressed memory so the Dalek remembers good, just as the Doctor approaches Rusty itself. By then, the Daleks have boarded the ship and started to kill people left and right.

The day is saved in the end, the Dalek turns good to turn on its own comrades and exterminate them all. Journey Blue wants to go with the Doctor and Clara in the TARDIS and is turned down because the Doctor doesn’t like military people. Something tells me that Journey Blue is a future Companion.

We do get the scene of expired Gretchen meeting Missy, the same woman from “heaven” that appeared to the mechanical man on the premiere. That’s more seeds for a future confrontation. I’m guessing Missy will be the big baddie of the season finale, or a gateway baddie to a bigger one. Either way, this is going to be a repeating thing.

Overall, I felt they could have done a little bit more with this episode or divide it in two to fully explore both storylines. It feels a bit short.

Highs:

  • I like Journey Blue, but they could’ve expand on her backstory a little more. So it’s a high that soars not that high. More like a medium.
  • Danny Pink seemed like a well built character. He’s guy with his own issues. The character has potential, same as Journey Blue. He might turn out to be an ancestor of hers.
  • We know that the Doctor will have to make something amazing at some point and name it Gretchen Alison Carlyle. Unless he was fibbing. Since chances are he will meet her again, he should really remember that promise.
  • If one good Dalek was created, chances are the Doctor will meet the Daleks again. That could be good or bad. Either the good Dalek will make an impact somewhat on Dalek culture or become even more evil. Not sure which outcome favors a better story.

Lows:

  • Daleks were a cheap device here. Usually they make a better entrance at a later date. In this story they just kind of appear without building up to the reveal. I expected the Doctor to protest more against helping one.
  • The Impossible Girl has a connection to the Daleks that should have at the very least been alluded to in this episode.
  • It felt like the two storylines, Mr. Pink and going into the Dalek, stole time from one another. I was really hoping for something like the journey into the TARDIS.

That will do for now.

(Source: BBC)

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