30th Aug2014

‘Doctor Who: 8×02 – Into the Dalek’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


Trust the Daleks to give Doctor Who a wakeup call, and for me to be torn on whether I liked Into the Dalek or not. Last week I noticed little attempts to rewrite the history of the Doctor, and while it bugged me I let it go, but it happened again this week and this time I couldn’t let it pass. You can’t create the basic rules for a show and then try to change them…or I guess you can and hope that nobody will notice.

As always to keep spoilers to a minimum the basic story this week is that a Dalek is found and is need of aid from a doctor, luckily enough Doctor Who is available for that job. Now having enough of his memory back to know his nemesis, the Doctor is torn between his hate for the Dalek and his desire to help. His actions he is forced to take may just answer a question he has begun to ponder, is he a good person?

Into the Dalek gets some things right, but also others wrong. I was worried that the return of the Daleks would highlight just how overexposed they still are, but also had a feeling it was about time for them to be rolled out once again. The good news was that in this episode it felt that at least we had a more unique use of the enemy and questions were raised on just how evil the Daleks are, can they truly have no redemption? I’m not sure if the answer we got was a truly conclusive one or that it fits with what we’ve already been taught about them but there was enough there to consider. The repercussions for the Doctor though were more refreshing and may be an ongoing theme for Capaldi’s Doctor Who.

Peter Capaldi again was on top form and does feel like he is finding his with Doctor. He comes across as slightly uncaring for people around him, and has a selfish edge to his actions which is a nice change. Clara is there to literally slap him across the face at times to wake him up to the fact that he should care, and should take more thoughts about his actions. This is something a companion should be, but when it comes down to Into the Dalek a problem is apparent.

Where last week I was more impressed with Jenna Coleman this time I was slightly annoyed with Clara. Her lack of knowledge about the Daleks highlighted just how little time she has spent with the Doctor, even if we think back to Coleman’s first episode the fact is if she can argue there has to be good in the Daleks but shows a complete lack of knowledge of exactly what the Dalek is meant to represent and who they are to the doctor.

So the reason I’m torn on Into the Dalek is that there feels to be a clash between what we have been made to believe about the enemy and what this episode wants us to see. It felt rushed at times but for the Doctor himself this could end up being a very important episode. With further proof Capaldi is going to be a good Doctor I won’t call this a bad episode, but I also won’t say that it hit all the right marks for me.

While I was torn with this episode it is still one that is important for Capaldi’s Doctor. Proof that he is finding his feet as the character I can’t help but feel this episode could have been better even though I did still enjoy it…

***½  3.5/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

7 Responses to “‘Doctor Who: 8×02 – Into the Dalek’ Review”

  • alice

    I can’t hear what Peter Capaldi is saying his speech is not clear enough

  • Richard

    I definitely feel that Capaldi is going to be a great Doctor, but the episodes so far haven’t given him the chance to shine!

  • Lilly

    The writing style has changed, everything feels rushed, the first eppisode felt disjointed not smooth at all, I get that the doctor was supposed to be finding his feet and confused but that’s no excuse for the writing to so. It feels like there was a compleatley different writer at the healm and he’s a bit lost in the fog of trying to create bigger more complex plots but it doesn’t quite work. The episode spent more time on the stupid lizard wife plot, which could have been mentioned once but it just served to take up time that could have been best served on the doctors interaction with the dinosaur, or the reactions of the people of London needing help from it, or Clara doing something more pro active than simply doing well nothing, would rose or Martha not go out and try and help? Me thinks not. Another problem is the whole strax dialogue it’s really not funny. the clock work wannabe human thing felt like the monsters themselves cobbled together. Also most importantly of all the companions would Clara really be the one who has the most problems adjusting to a new version after all she went and interacted/saved most of his earlier versions, yet she freaks out more than say Rose it dosent add up! Really not convinced about this Peter is ok and he may grow on me but the writing needs to find its feet and soon or I think I may end up not watching who again…ps the sound is a bit weird I’m not sure if it is Peter himself or the technical recording but in some places it isn’t clear. pointing it out is not racist (and no before you say I am Scottish)

  • Corin m

    I agree its odd it feels like Moffat is just chucking ideas together the episodes so far aren’t fluid. Like its made up of little sound bites and not a full long plot stretched over the episode. i hate to say it but even the ponds where better written than Clara, I hope they swap a better actor companion next time.
    Also it it turns out the word woman who’s collecting dead people is living in a “heaven” (ie library where rivers been saved type computer thing) the doctor has made so no one really dies I’m gonna vomit, have a feeling it will end up along these lines. Moffat has lost it just like his writing went down hill in the last series of Sherlock… Hum I may just start re watching tenants episodes and pretend that’s as far as the doctor went until a new new doc arrives and is written much better

  • paul

    Doctor Who is going down hill faster than ever!!! Mr Moffat has done the damage, and its well and truly dead now. this episode was so all over the place (and that woman came up again…. oh here we go again SECRET meanings wait till episode 13 it’ll all be explained, who cares) just write decent stories and get on with it. and stop making daleks rubbish, (have them in an episode of there own where they fight the statues and DIE ! turning to STONE the END !