Into the Dalek
This episode definitely takes you to places we haven’t seen before. Exploring the mental and psychological parts of one of the most famous villain in the Who Universe is a tantalizing treat for any Whovians. The Doctor must once again face his adversary to save humanity. Only this time, his adversary, a lone Dalek, is broken and needs to be repaired, and the Doctor is recruited to save it by a band of military soldiers fighting a Dalek Fleet.
The Doctor gets involved in this situation by rescuing one of the soldiers space fighters who is trying to reach their base, the Aristotle, and is being fired upon by a Dalek fleet. The TARDIS suddenly appears around them but only one of the soldiers materializes inside the TARDIS. The Doctor’s demeanor is rather abrasive with her and gives her a hard time when she tries to thank him for saving her. He then opens the door and walks onto the ship where he is greeted with unwelcome hospitality by the leader of the resistance. The leader believes he may be a spy or a duplicate, but the soldier confirms his value to the resistance and claims that he is a doctor. When the leader says duplicate, he may be referring to the Daleks disguising themselves as human beings.
The Doctor then goes back and picks up Clara from her day job as a teacher. This is where we first meet Danny Pink, a new teacher in Clara’s school. He is a former military soldier with a colorful past. Clara takes an interest with him, and they start up a conversation, well Clara does most of the talking because he is having trouble talking in front of her. This could be a little hint of what see will be seeing in the near future, a love interest maybe. Clara is then whisked away in the TARDIS with a Doctor. He starts by asking her, “Clara, am I a good man?”. Her response is “I don’t know”. Her posture kind of gives you a little bit more. Her answer is a little hesitant because she still trying to figure him out since their last encounter back in old London. Clara and the Doctor is then brought back onto the spaceship and confronted face to face with the injured Dalek.
The Doctor asks the Dalek why we should help you. The Dalek’s response surprised the Doctor. “Daleks must be destroyed”, is what it said. Here standing before him is a Dalek that claims it appreciates the beauty and wonders of the universe. With reluctant and a little push from Clara, the Doctor decides to help. The military has the capability to shrink humans to a miniature size so that medical personnel can go inside a patient and repair them from the inside. It reminds me of The Fantastic Voyage with a little Innerspace mixed in with it. For the first time we get the inner workings of a Dalek. The Doctor explains to the military escort and Clara that this entity knows only hatred and feels nothing. But it’s still a living organism, so he decides to find the source of the injury.
He finds it and repairs it, but as a result of the repair the Dalek is fully healed and reverts back to its original programming “EXTERMINATE ALL HUMANS!” The Doctor knew it was too good to be true and that there is no such thing as a good Dalek. He is just about to give up trying to reach any hint of goodness in it, when Clara seriously slaps him. She reminds him that his negative attitude and pessimism will not be tolerated, and that there is always a way to save a life. He then realizes that there maybe some way to save the Dalek. He would need a diversion from someone to distract the Dalek’s defenses so that he and Clara can get to the memory core. One of the soldiers volunteered and sacrifices herself in the process.
This is where Missy comes in. Missy greets the dead soldier in some sort of afterlife tea room, but that is all there was for that scene. I guess she will be doing that every now and then in the season. The Doctor reaches the central level of the Dalek’s mind. He mind melds with the creature, and initially it is successful, but then the Dalek sees the darker side of the Doctor’s mind and gets the realization that the Daleks are all evil and should be destroyed. The Doctor tries to help convince it that that is not the way, but then realizes it is impossible. “Daleks must be destroyed,” said the Dalek. The Dalek then turns against his own and starts destroying them. All the Daleks on the ship are destroyed, leaving the one Dalek alone. The Dalek says to the Doctor “You have victory, but that doesn’t please you.” The Doctor then says, “Of course not, you saw hatred in me. That’s not victory. Victory would have been a good Dalek.” The Dalek then finally says,” You are a good Dalek.” Then it strolls away. The Doctor says to Clara “Kill it the next time.” That statement of him being a good Dalek was not something the Doctor wanted to hear. For the most part Daleks are emotionless, and full of hatred, and he is afraid it might be right about him.
The soldier who initially meets with the Doctor at start of the episode asks him if she can come with him. He smiles and says, “I believe that you are a good soldier, you’re probably very brave, it’s just if you hadn’t been a soldier.” He then steps into the TARDIS with Clara. He doesn’t need anymore reminders of war and bloodshed in his life; he’s had plenty of that. He needs a fresh start. The Doctor brings Clara back to the school, she is about to walk out, when she looks back and say’s “I don’t know if you are a good person but you are trying to be, in that’s all that matters.” The Doctor then says “I think you are a terrific teacher.” Then she leaves.
This episode is great because it gives us a better understanding of how the new Doctor operates. The slapping of the Doctor by Clara made me realize that he has a lot of growing up to do. I see things in Clara that surprise me and it is refreshing. She is a lot stronger than any of the companions. The darker attitude of this new Doctor is fun to watch and it still needs getting used to. The constant struggle between the Doctor and Clara makes the adventures more interesting. I give this episode 9 and a half out of ten.
Here’s a preview for the next episode, Robot of Sherwood