Doctor Who Review: Series 8 - Episode 2 - Into The Dalek

NOTE: This review contains spoilers for Into The Dalek, Dalek, and Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS. 

Poster: copyright RadioTimes and Stuart Manning. 

The Episode

This, the second episode of Peter Capaldi's run as the Doctor - and of Series 8 - sees the Doctor and Clara delve somewhere that has never been seen before: Into a Dalek. The episode starts of with the Doctor saving someone called "Journey Blue" from a Dalek ship which is attack her and her brothers smaller, less powerful vessel. We also see the introduction of series regular Danny Pink who is an ex-soldier turned teacher, and Clara's new love interest.

The Review

I was a little apprehensive when I found out that we were getting a Dalek episode this series. Recently, encounters with the Daleks have been a little below par. I wondered if this was because they're not scary any more, or perhaps whether we have nothing new to see. I was certainly wrong about that. Never before in Doctor Who have we seen INSIDE a Dalek to the level we in this episode. It was fascinating to see inside in the way we did, and I only wish there had been longer to do so. But, alas, this episode we are back to the normal 45 minutes. If only Deep Breath and Into The Dalek had been the other way around! 75 minutes for a properly good Dalek story, and 45 for a less good story, that really didn't need the extra time.

Sadly, not everything was as good as the story. I was extremely annoyed by the poor acting of the supporting cast on the spaceship. Everyone was wooden, and didn't seem at all soldier like - which was disappointing. However, this did give ample opportunity for Peter and Jenna to shine again this week, having superb chemistry and giving another wonderful performance. I also feel I should mention that I felt Samuel Anderson did a great job as Danny Pink - the character intrigues me and I feel he has more to tell. Sadly though, he didn't get much screen-time in this episode (again contributing to my annoyance at the length of the episode).

I mentioned how much I loved the story before. Which was true - but it did all feel a little to similar to something else for me. I've not really read anything where anyone's picked up on this, so maybe it's just me - but this episode felt like a mash up of the 2005 episode "Dalek" (The Doctor and Rose find a Dalek being kept prisoner on a base in the desert. The Doctor refuses to help it, but Rose feels sorry for it and eventually brings it back to life with her touch - possibly one of my favourite episodes ever) and last years episode "Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS" (The Doctor and Clara travel through the rooms of the TARDIS - a good idea, but a really boring episode, again with rubbish supporting acting). It didn't feel like that in a bad way, but that's what it reminded me of to an extent. Just thought I'd mention it.

Again, we say the enigma who is Missy (Michele Gomez). I've read a lot of theories about who she is, most of which are crazy, and a few of which make sense. The most popular one seems to be that she is the Master or River Song. Personally I hope she is neither of these, but it would make sense that she was a female incarnation of the Master for two reasons. 1) The name Missy could come from Miss. As a child, or before marriage, you are referred to as Master or Miss. (That's my theory.) 2) In Deep Breath she spoke the line "I am the Master of this place." Coincidence?

Despite having a few annoying points, the story of Into The Dalek more that made up for it - again showcasing its stars very well. 


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