We’re on to Episode 2 – ‘Into the Dalek’. Literally, it turns out. Needless to say this episode is going to include the Daleks, arguably the Doctor’s greatest enemies, even if they still do look like something knocked up in the sixties out of washing up liquid bottles and some cleaning utensils. Their presence usually means a higher than normal bodycount too.
It opens with a spacecraft hurtling through space being pursued by a larger ship, a la Star Wars Episode IV. So it looks like this isn’t going to be a ‘lets visit London in the early 21st century’ type episode. Unfortunately for the pilot of the smaller craft, she’s being chased by a Dalek ship, so its not looking good for her.
Masters of the one word battleplan
It must save time in planning meetings. Just as the ship is about to blow, she is scooped up by a passing TARDIS. Turns out the co-pilot was her brother. Confused, and confronted by not-very-compassionate Doctor, she demands to be taken back to her command ship, but the Doctor only complies when she calms down and says please.
Unfortunately the vessel turns out to be highly secure, so they decide to kill the Doctor, but Journey Blue, the pilot he saved, points out they need a Doctor to treat a captive Dalek, via shrinking him and sending him inside it. Why that’s necessary isn’t made clear, besides the Doctor saying its a good idea. Not sure why, it just is. That’s the only justification we get the whole episode as to why they have to be shrunk as opposed to normal surgical procedure. When he realizes the patient is a Dalek though, he changes his mind. Really? That was the only problem with this plan?
Clara’s new look for the episode
After the credits we flip to a new guy, Danny Pink, who is a teacher at the same school as Clara. He’s quickly established as a bit awkward with women, and a soldier. Which given the new Doctors intense dislike of soldiers means he’s a natch for being the new companion. He also has a tragic past it seems.
Nothing says ‘Tragic Past’ like a single tear.
Whilst it is corny, it does denote a more interesting character story than might at first be apparent. Its suggested he’s killed someone who wasn’t a soldier, and clearly regrets is. He meets Clara, and stumbles about the conversation and this seems to incite Clara into a dating frenzy. He resists her initial attempts out of shyness, but she follows him and arranges a date. Despite the fact that this is entirely in character for the pushy little control freak, I wish we could have had one episode that was free from soap romance or the Ponds turning the TARDIS into a lurve shack. Still, Danny seems like an interesting character.
The Doctor collects Clara up to get her opinion on the situation with the Dalek, and whether he’s a good man. In this incarnation, he’s certainly reverted to a harder personality than the last two regenerations – but he wants to know if he’s a good man or not. Why? Because the injured Dalek has developed morality, or seems to have – but the Doctor can’t accept there is such a thing as a good Dalek. It feels like a parallel to the series one story where Rose turned a Dalek ‘good’ by touching it, but sensibly the Doctor doesn’t reference that bizarre story. Made absolutely no sense at all.
They prepare to be shrunk and injected into the Dalek. If you’ve seen ‘Fantastic Voyage’ you know the drill. They’re in the cybernetic part of the Dalek, the mostly machine bit, and the Doctor explains how the electronic parts of the Daleks cortex help keep it psychotic. A cable subscription to Bravo would do the job for less money.