Violet recaps Season 8 Episode 2 of Doctor Who, titled Into the Dalek, where the Doctor encounters an injured Dalek that appears to be a “good” Dalek! But is there really such a thing as a good Dalek? Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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Episode Recap of Doctor Who, Season 8 Episode 2: Into the Dalek
- A woman named Journey Blue in a fighter jet in space is in a battle, under attack by a Dalek ship. The Doctor rescues her right before her ship blows up. He takes her back to her command ship, the Aristotle. Her commander decides not to kill the Doctor when he hears that he is a doctor. They take him to see their patient, a Dalek who wants the Daleks to be destroyed.
- Clara meets and flirts with Danny Pink, a new teacher at her school, who is a former soldier. The Doctor shows up with the TARDIS in a closet at school and we learn it’s been 3 weeks since Clara last saw him. He asks her if he’s a good man, but she says she doesn’t know. He takes her to see the “good” Dalek. The Doctor, Clara, Journey, and a few other soldiers are miniaturized with a “nano scaler” and placed into the Dalek.
- Inside the Dalek, they take a look at its memory banks. They need to go down to get to the living creature, who the Doctor begins calling “Rusty,” but when they shoot anchors into the Dalek, it hurts it, and antibodies are sent out. The antibodies hover around a soldier named Ross, and the Doctor gives him something to swallow, but the antibodies eliminate him, and he disintegrates.
- The Doctor is able to track the radiation signature from the body, and they slide down what turns out to be a long feeding tube, and land in fluid made from people. The Doctor determines that Rusty is suffering from a radiation leak. When the Doctor asks Rusty what changed him, he says he saw beauty and saw a star being born.
- The Doctor finds the damage and uses his sonic screwdriver to seal the breach in Rusty’s power cell and stop the radiation leak. With the malfunction corrected, Rusty turns back into an evil Dalek and attacks and kills the people on the Aristotle. Then Rusty contacts the Dalek ship, and the Daleks prepare to board the Aristotle.
- Journey realizes they had a “good” Dalek and made it bad again, but the Doctor says there was never a good Dalek, just a broken one that they repaired. Clara slaps the Doctor for being so smug for being right about all Daleks being evil. Journey gets orders to destroy the Dalek, but the Doctor convinces her not to. The Doctor admits that the radiation expanded the Dalek’s consciousness, and that they learned that a good Dalek is possible.
- The Doctor directs Clara to show the Dalek that star being born again and reawaken it to be suggestible once more. The other soldier, Gretchen, sacrifices herself to distract the antibodies, while Journey and Clara go up to where the memories are stored. After the antibodies disintegrate Gretchen, she awakens to find herself sitting at tea with Missy, who welcomes her to Heaven.
- The soldiers of the Aristotle try to fight off the Daleks who have boarded the ship. Meanwhile, the Doctor goes eye to eye with Rusty. Clara climbs into the cortex and manages to get the memories turned back on, while Journey holds off the antibodies. Rusty remembers the star being born, and the Doctor encourages him to remember how he felt. The Doctor then connects his mind with Rusty’s.
- Rusty sees the Doctor’s hatred of the Daleks, concludes that Daleks are evil and must be exterminated, and attacks the Daleks on the ship. Rusty sends a retreat signal to the Dalek ship, and tells the Doctor he must go with the Daleks. Rusty says that he is not a good Dalek, and calls the Doctor a good Dalek. Journey asks the Doctor to take her with him, but the Doctor says he wishes she hadn’t been a soldier.
- The Doctor drops Clara back off at school 30 seconds after she left. Before she goes, she tells him she doesn’t know if he’s a good man, but that she thinks he tries to be, and that’s probably the point. She runs into Danny in the hall, and he reconfirms that she’ll go for a drink with him, because he thought she might have a rule against soldiers. But she says she doesn’t.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 8 Episode 2 of Doctor Who: Into the Dalek
Did anyone else feel kind of like they were in an episode of The Magic School Bus in this episode? You know, that one time they shrank the school bus and went into the human body? Except we went into a Dalek instead, and the Doctor was showing us around instead of Ms. Frizzle.
From the moment that we met the “good” Dalek, I was skeptical, much like the Doctor. I, too, thought that we’ve always known the Daleks to be evil, why would there randomly be a good one? I thought for sure Rusty was merely trying to trick the Doctor and get his guard down so that he could then destroy the Doctor, a long-time enemy of the Daleks. But that turned out not to be the case, and instead it was a radiation leak that allowed the Dalek to think things other than evil thoughts. This part of the plot seemed a bit too predictable, that if they fixed a broken Dalek who was good, that once fixed it would return to its true evil nature. On the other hand, I kept expecting the fact that Oswin, the Impossible Girl, had once been a Dalek, to come up, and maybe for that to be an example of how a Dalek could be good. But disappointingly, it was never mentioned.
Interestingly, when Rusty sees into the Doctor’s mind, he initially sees goodness and beauty, but that is quickly overpowered by hatred toward the Daleks. Therefore, the Doctor is disappointed in himself to find out that what the Dalek took away from their mind meld was hatred. This newly regenerated Doctor is still trying to find his footing and figure out who he is. Is he a good man? Clara doesn’t know the answer to this at the beginning nor at the end of this episode, and by the end she can only say that she thinks he tries to be. Will that answer change as the season goes on? Only time will tell. I’m still not sure what to think of this new Doctor myself. After watching the first episode, I thought I could find myself accepting Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor pretty quickly, but in this episode, he felt a little off to me for some reason. We’ll see how I feel about him after next episode.
As for the Clara and Danny thing, it looks like they’re trying to introduce a new romantic interest for her now that the Doctor is “old” and she’s no longer interested. But why the soldier conflict? At the end of this episode, Journey asks the Doctor to take her with him, but he doesn’t because she’s a soldier. However, Clara makes sure to let us know that she herself doesn’t have a problem with soldiers. How involved will Clara get with Danny? Involved enough to make him the new Mickey or Rory to bring along as another companion’s companion? Will there be a bit of friction between the Doctor and Danny when the Doctor finds out Danny is a soldier? What will his reaction be? I may be looking into the future too much at this point, but that issue has to come up eventually considering how much they talked about soldiers this episode!
Finally, who is Missy? And where exactly is she? She claims to be in Heaven, but she may be just beaming people to wherever she is. What does she plan to do with these people who have been associated with the Doctor? Is Missy going to be this season’s “Impossible Girl” mystery, where we get a small mention of it each episode, and then finally several episodes later get an explanation? Hopefully we’ll get more clues that we can work with than we did for the Impossible Girl season!
Josh’s Thoughts: Doctor Who , Season 8 Episode 2: Into the Dalek
I, like Violet felt like this was a Magic School Bus episode. Or, like the Family Guy episode where Stewie goes into Lois’ body (which was parody of Magic School Bus I am sure). I am curious to know why the inside of a Dalek is about as robot as their outer shell. For the most part, the Dalek didn’t look organic, it looked more mechanical.
Putting the visuals aside though, I thought this was an intriguing episode. I thought this could be the episode where Daleks might become more than just a mindless world conquering alien, and the Doctor seemed to think so too. It seems that Daleks are genetically disposed to universe domination though, and the only way to get rid of that behavior is to expose them to radiation!
It was pretty sad when the Doctor thought that he had “fixed” the Dalek towards the end, only to discover that the hate still remains, it is just directed differently. Although I guess it could be argued that maybe this isn’t even hate–maybe it is something else. Hate has emotion behind it. Daleks seem devoid of the choice to “hate”, they just have to hate.
I kind thought that this episode was not only about the Daleks, and finding out if they are capable of good, but it was also an introspective look for the Doctor. The journey this episode seemed to really resonate inside him. Perhaps he is still struggling with himself to see who is really is, even though he has been around for around 2000 years now. I think it was this episode that it came up–the Doctor talks with Clara, and he makes a reference to something being a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, and was seemingly trying to ascertain if that person or thing was the same or a different thing all together. This was clearly a look at the Doctor and who he is, and more important if he is who he was, say back at the first Doctor. It is certainly something to consider. Maybe he is a different person, who just happens to use the same molecules that make up his body, rearranged in a different way?
Then finally, I thought we may have been learning of a new companion this episode–the female soldier the Doctor runs into. So far the Doctor has decided he doesn’t like soldiers, and would not let her tag along. I am curious to see if this sticks though, as the soldier thing was pretty prevalent this episode. Perhaps so much so that the Doctor will have a change of heart later on?
Overall, I think I am getting behind Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. David Tenant still remains my favorite, but I am not as lukewarm about Capaldi as I was with Matt Smith. Although the next episode seems really cheesy–Robin Hood, really? I guess we’ll see where that goes…
Scenes from Doctor Who, Season 8 Episode 3: Robot of Sherwood
Here are scenes from the next episode of Doctor Who, titled Robot of Sherwood: