Even though the series 8 premiere of Doctor Who was splashing in so many different ways, “Into the Dalek” was one step better than the introduction of the 12th Doctor.
It’s really hard to compete with an episode that features the Daleks because they are one of the Doctor’s greatest villains in the whole mythology of Doctor Who.
This week we got introduced to Danny Pink (played by Samuel Anderson) who was just two days before the episode aired, confirmed as the new companion. Even though we all knew it the day the announced that he was going to join the show, it was still nice to get that detail confirmed. Without knowing too much in advanced what kind of character he was, I quite enjoyed Danny a lot right from the get-go and his dynamic with Clara got off to a great start.
You could really feel his pain from his time being a soldier and that is something that I haven’t felt with the previous companions because with characters like Rose, Donna, Martha and so on, you always felt a bright energy from. But with someone like Pink, you could see that this is a man who has had it very rough and that’s something we will get to feel with him as series 8 progresses.
The idea of a Dalek suddenly going good (whether it’s accidentally or not) was intriguing, but what was even more phenomenal with this story was the fact that we got to go INSIDE one. The reason why Rusty (as the Doctor called this particular Dalek) had gone good, was because there was a crack inside of him where radiation was leaking and starting to affect it.
But Steven Moffat and Phil Ford (co-writer of this episode) went a step deeper which I didn’t see coming at all. Once the Doctor had closed the leakage inside of Rusty, the Dalek went (unsurprisingly) back to being evil and caused a bunch of chaos within that station. What followed was what surprised me so much and that was when the Doctor – while still being inside of Rusty – managed to get his mind inside of Rusty’s and they both experienced memories.
I never knew how deep a Doctor Who writer could go in a Dalek because all we have ever seen them in is just as evil non-emotional antagonists. It’s not a guarantee that we will get to see this particular Dalek again, but they did leave the door open and based on they did it, I would actually be open to seeing him/it again later this season.
The mystery of heavens as well as the big question mark that is Missy continued in this week’s episode. This part I was a bit curious about because when the first soldier died by those antibodies, we didn’t see him go to heaven. But when the other soldier, Gretchen died, we see her suddenly sitting in front of Missy.
This is going to sound incredibly weird and perhaps a little stupid, but could it be that Missy can actually pick who gets to come up and join her? Who knows, maybe the other soldier did end up in heaven with Missy, but off screen? The mystery of “heaven” is going to be so much fun to follow in this series/season.
Overall, Capaldi’s Doctor was a lot more enjoyable in “Into the Dalek” as he was a little bit easier to follow this time and he was also a lot more humorous than last week. I really want to see what his interaction is going to be like with Danny because we all know that at some point in the next few weeks, we will have a third person in that good old TARDIS.
Doctor Who airs on Saturday nights, 9/8c on BBC America.
[Photo via BBC]