Doctor Who: Series 8 Review – ‘Into the Dalek’

Doctor Who Series 8

BBC America

Showrunner: Steven Moffat

Starring: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Louise Coleman & Sam Anderson

Series 8, Episode 2 – ‘Into the Dalek’

Into the Dalek’ proves that Doctor Who is going in a totally new direction, all while keeping the heart and charm of both the show and it’s main character intact. One of the best aspects of this episode is that we bear witness to both sides of the Doctor, the humane side as well as the cold/manipulative side. He gives you reason not to trust him, but yet, you still do.

What Worked:

  • The Doctor’s Questions – “Clara, be a pal. Am I a good man?” It’s such a heavy question that 12 poses to Clara, and one that she can’t possibly answer. ‘Into the Dalek’ really explores part of The Doctor’s morality. “Can there be a good Dalek?” “Can a Timelord be a Dalek?”. By the end of the episode however, Clara is the one shelling out questions that need to be answered. “What have we learned?”, which leads to The Doctor coming up with a plan. This shift leads me to…
  • Clara Taking on a More Proactive Role – Without Clara, The Doctor doesn’t save the day. Her role continues to evolve into his intellectual equal, thinking outside the box when needed, much like The Doctor himself. I mean, she SLAPS him…hard. I will say that, so far, the writing of Clara as a character is greatly improving and because of that, Jenna Coleman is really allowed to shine and show what she’s truly made of as an actress.
  • We’re in a Dalek!!! – Now I know what dead people inside a Dalek look like! Split Pea Soup! Whovians rejoice!
  • The Doctor Himself – He’s conflicted, charming, confident, insecure, unsure, reflective, crabby, and jovial all in the course of one episode. Capaldi’s range as an actor is top-notch here, not that we expected anything less.

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  • Danny Pink – Sam Anderson makes his Doctor Who debut as a war veteran that teaches at the same school as Clara. We didn’t see much of him in this episode, but what we did see was highly emotional stuff. His past is heavy and it’s obvious that he still reels from the very thought of it. Also, his chemistry with Clara was “Fantastic”. I loved the part when he kicks himself for refusing to go on a date with Clara, even when she keeps giving him chances to atone for it. It’s a cute scene, as Danny hits his head on his desk and Clara sees everything. She gives him one more chance though, and this time he takes it. I think Danny Pink (Mr. Anderson) will be a fine addition to the cast. I can’t wait to see how he and The Doctor interact.

What’s Starting to Work:

  • Missy – She’s growing on me. This episode, her presence is short, sweet and right to the point. Let’s see where the writers take her from here.

Overall, this episode capitalized on some of the positive aspects of ‘Deep Breath’ and expanded upon them. We are witnessing the creation of a very solid foundation for this new Doctor, one that can stand for a very long time if done right.

9/10