Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Into the Dalek - Doctor Who Series 8

Spoilers galore in this review!

"Where the hell have you been? It's been three months!"

I thought Saturday's episode was good, but not great. The episode started out well with Clara back in her normal life with the Doctor having abandoned her in search of "something interesting". I like that the subject of the Doctor's morality was touched on again in this episode; however, I didn't like how the concept was covered.

For backstory - the Daleks are Doctor Who's most feared and most powerful villains. They are the very pinnacle of evil, reminding one of the Nazis. In this episode, the Doctor comes across a Dalek that is "good" - or is it really?

It turns out that the Rusty the Dalek's judgement was clouded by radiation sickness, which allowed it to see the beauty in the birth of a star. When the Doctor cures Rusty, it goes back to its original function of exterminating everything and everyone in sight. The Doctor helps Rusty to remember the beauty that it saw in the birth of that star.

HOWEVER, I don't like the way that this was done at all. The Doctor lets Rusty see into his soul, where Rusty see beauty, divinity, and hatred of the Daleks. The Doctor goads on Rusty to hate his own race. I know that the scene where Rusty exterminates the other Daleks who are attacking a group of soldiers is supposed to be a stand-up-and-cheer moment, but all I could think of was that Rusty was killing its own kind... which reminds me a whole lot of the Doctor's regrets about what he did to his own people (up until "The Day of the Doctor"). When Rusty decides to stay and help the soldiers kill the rest of the Daleks, I felt as if the Doctor had tricked Rusty into deciding to do the work of the soldiers.

So Rusty's line, "No, I am not a good Dalek. You are a good Dalek" was another of those stunning, chilling lines. Other fans seem to think the opposite of me, but I am reminded of the "You would make a good Dalek" from "Dalek" in the Christopher Eccleston era. I agree with Clara that the Doctor tries to be good - but does that make up for his dark moments?

"You are a good Dalek."

However, there were a couple of really great moments during this episode. I loved all the parts with Danny Pink (played by Samuel Anderson), and I'm starting to love him already. Actually, I think I like him almost as much as I did Rory - which I thought was impossible. His chemistry with Clara is great and the scenes touching up on his regret for his past as a soldier reminded me a little of John Smith from "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood".

"Did you kill anyone who wasn't a soldier?"

What I really loved was the scene with Missy (played by Michelle Gomez). The instant that I realized that Gretchen was still alive, I had two ideas in my head: Did the Doctor somehow save her the way he saved River? or Is it Missy's heaven? Missy's appearance definitely surprised me. Her character is so delightful and I am very curious who she will turn out to be. Only's the Impossible Girl story arch has excited me as much as the Missy arch this series.

Here's to a (hopefully) great episode this coming Saturday! 'Stay tuned' for my review of "Robots of Sherwood" next week. You can read my review of "Deep Breath" here.

Alyianna's rating: 7 out of 10


James The Movie Reviewer said...

Good review! I added a link to it to my review. :)
I think that the Doctor was trying to make the Dalek see the wonder of the universe by looking into the Doctor's mind to turn it into a "good" Dalek. However, the Dalek saw the hatred inside the Doctor, which is not what The Doctor wanted. And that is why he said “You looked inside me and saw hatred. That’s not a victory.”

I don't think he was trying to goad the Dalek into killing its own because of hatred, but to make it see why killing everything is bad.

Anyway, that's my two cents. :)


Alyianna Baggins said...

Hmmm... yeah, those are some interesting thoughts. I kind of think that there is truth in both polar opposites of thoughts on this episode. :P