Doctor Who 8×02 ‘Into the Dalek’: It’s about as literal as you can get

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Whoever thought we’d ever see The Doctor be called upon to actually be a doctor. Well, it happens. Unconventionally, of course. So much so that his patient turns out to be his deadliest enemy. And yet, his bedside manner is not as bad as you might expect.

With the continuing of the new series of Doctor Who, fans are anticipating how the rest of this season is going to go and for the evolution of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. He is in his element in this episode, and is clearly a snarkier, more cynical Doctor. And I think his sense of humor has gotten much more brutally sharp which I personally am a fan of. In the beginning of this episode he saves a soldier who’s battling the Daleks. He brings her back to her command ship which is also a hospital, apparently. Upon finding out that he’s a “doctor,” he’s asked to take a look at a patient that they have who just happens to be a Dalek. Bit awkward. But this Dalek is suffering a moral dilemma: instead of hating humans, it hates Daleks.

BBC

BBC

So The Doctor requests Clara’s assistance and they, along with three other soldiers, are shrunk down to an extremely miniature size so they can be put inside the Dalek and figure out why and how it’s become good, to put loosely. It’s basically an especially twisted episode of The Magic School Bus, and I quite enjoy that. They find out that a radiation leak within the Dalek is causing its moral malfunction. The Doctor fixes the Dalek, but as soon as he does, it goes back to its human hating ways, and somehow helps the army of Daleks find the command ship and get on board.

Obviously The Doctor takes this as confirmation that what all the Daleks know is hatred and that they will never change. But thanks to Clara and her powerful hand slap, he realizes that what happened proves that they can also be good. Or at least not always want to murder every human in existence. He comes up with a makeshift plan, as he does, and Clara does something clever, as expected. Clara is able to unlock memories from the Dalek’s mind while The Doctor basically mind-melds with it in order to show the world in its true beauty. But instead of quelling the hatred that Daleks naturally possess, the Dalek’s hatred shifts its aim from the humans to the Daleks. Good news for the soldiers who were about to be annihilated. Bad news for The Doctor, since all the Dalek could see when he was in The Doctor’s mind was hate.

BBC

BBC

As common with one plot episodes, it ends well. Clara goes back to her life which now includes a new character (prospective boyfriend, just a friend or maybe even future companion?). We can speculate all we like, but it does seem like he will be important in later episodes. Especially since he’s a soldier turned teacher, and we see clearly how The Doctor thinks of soldiers at the end of this episode. But I must also mention the other appearing subplot that has cropped up yet again: heaven. Yes, we see it again when one of the soldiers dies (important to note that she did basically sacrifice herself and had a brief moment with The Doctor). All we know is that heaven is guarded by Missy. That’s basically it. Oh, and that they have endless amounts of pastries and serve tea upon arrival.

BBC

BBC

This episode proves to be a lot more interesting than last week’s. Mostly because it involved the Daleks and it wasn’t a recycled plot line. And also because we saw Peter Capaldi’s Doctor in full force. He’s cynical, snarky, but he’s still The Doctor. And he himself goes through his own moral dilemma of whether or not he is a good man. We’re going to be seeing a very different side of The Doctor this season, but it makes him so much more interesting than what the writers were doing to Eleven at the end of his run. He feels like an actual character again. The episode also continued the heaven plot line and introduced Mr. Pink, the new teacher at Clara’s school and possibly her future boyfriend. But he’s going to be more than that hopefully, since it’s clear he has some sort of secret.

I’m actually looking forward to where the show is going, and it’s been a while since I’ve felt that. Now it all depends where they’re going to take it. I’m not worried about Peter Capaldi, I’m mostly worried about the writing and I’m just hoping they’re going to go in a direction that we haven’t seen before but that also isn’t confusing as all heck. That would be preferable.

 

Sarah Lord

is a college student in New York City. Her extreme knowledge of British comedians and TV shows almost surpasses her general love for film. When she’s not sitting in her apartment/nerd cave reviewing movies and TV shows, she sometimes makes time for long walks in the moonlight. Check her out on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr as TheSplord.

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