Doctor Who Review: Into the Dalek

Dr Who Into the Dalek
Doctor Who Review: Into the Dalek

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

The one in which they get all Fantastic Voyage and go inside a Dalek.

Best Moment: The bit where they go inside the Dalek, clearly. If not that, then the Dalek anti-bodies were kinda cool.

Verdict: Despite their ongoing popularity, Daleks are always going to be a problematic. They get trotted out at least once a year, and more often than not, they are poorly used. So how did I feel about this one? Overall, I liked the concept. Seeing a Dalek from the inside, a possibly good Dalek at that, was an interesting twist. The concept of the good Dalek reminded me a lot of the Star Trek: TNG episode, I, Borg, but it goes in a very different direction. Instead of the Dalek simply becoming good again, it looks into the mind of the Doctor and recognises all the hate inside of him, concluding that it is the Doctor who is “a good Dalek.”

There is a great deal of darkness in this episode though. I do feel like the writers are pretty heavy-handed with trying to get across the idea that the Doctor is not a good person, or at least, not the cuddly kind of Doctor a la Matt Smith. Seriously, how messed up was it that he told the one soldier to “trust me” before letting him die. Yes, he was dead anyway, but you know Tennant would have felt bad about it. So what’s changed? I mean, Gallifrey is out there still, no? Shouldn’t that be a hopeful thing?

Soldiers were a strong theme in this episode, both with the soldiers the Doctor and Clara were working with, and the soldier/teacher named Danny Pink back at Coal Hill. I’m liking what I’m seeing so far, and I’m curious to know his back story. I assume at some point he will join Clara on the TARDIS. Or will he? The Doctor’s made it clear he doesn’t travel with soldiers, but surely he has made exceptions in the past.

So overall this was a fun story, but nothing Earth-shattering. Roaming the inside of a Dalek was another neat concept, but Dr Who has yet to bring back the true menace of the Daleks. Instead, I kept getting annoyed at all the soldiers getting killed by Daleks- “maybe if they took cover they’d have a better chance!” As a story for the Doctor though, it is an important one. Any time the Doctor crosses paths with the Daleks, it’s important. For a long time now, the Doctor has run away from his past, but the Daleks always force him to confront his past deeds. On your path to redemption you must face your darkness, and that is clearly what the Doctor is doing.

Now I want to get to the bit that annoyed me the most about the episode, and what annoys me about recent Dr Who: Missy. This is the second episode to feature her, and no doubt we will get more appearances throughout the season. The thing is, after last year’s rather heavy-handed plot arc with Clara, I’m not sure I’m up for another “season-long mystery.”I don’t think the series does it very well, except in the sense of keeping fans talking. Rani. The Master. A version of the Doctor himself. All manner of theories are being thrown around. Me, I’m just content to wait and see….

There’s More! I’m afraid the next episode’s review will be a late one. Sorry!