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Published on August 30th, 2014 | by Christian Cawley

Into the Dalek – What Did You Think? [POLL]

You’ve just viewed Into the Dalek, the Twelfth Doctor’s first direct encounter with his longtime enemies (The Day of the Doctor notwithstanding). It might be too early to tell at this stage whether you liked it or not, but first impressions are always important.

So, it’s time to vote in our Into the Dalek poll! Let us know how you rate the episode, and if you have any observations you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments box at the end of this article. We’ll revisit them and pick a few favourites in the middle of the weak as we assess the general feedback for the episode from fans and viewers (rather than the press).

The poll closes on Sunday night, so don’t be shy – vote now!

If you’re commenting, please be wary of leaving (and indeed finding) spoilers.

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.



74 Responses to Into the Dalek – What Did You Think? [POLL]

  1. avatar TonyS says:

    I can’t fit my initial thoughts into any one of your categories. The episode was a big improvement on last week’s. The writing was much better. I am getting to like Peter Capaldi more as the Doctor as he begins to settle into his new persona. Jenna Coleman continues to impress as Clara. Samuel Anderson was brilliant. I look forward to finding out more about Danny Pink.

    The Missy scenes continue to irritate me. I have no doubt we will get a pay off at the end of the series. At the moment, however, they are irritating and intrusive.

    I really liked the episode. Possibly the best Dalek episode this century!

    • avatar TonyS says:

      The scene of the Daleks boarding Aristotle was genius.

  2. avatar bonobobananas says:

    Hmm not sure about that one. It felt quite disjointed and the whole plot didn’t really make a lot of sense. First the crew are going to kill the Doctor, then they let him go off in his mysterious spaceship to pick up someone? Then they use him for a mission not knowing anything about him?

    Some of the supporting actors seemed weak in this. I also found the ‘Missy’ scene intrusive (if that’s going to be happening most weeks it will be very irritating). And. What’s going on with the sound? After last week where I missed some dialogue due to mumbling the same happened again here. Or maybe it’s the sound mixing?

    There were some good moments, for example the Doctor using the doomed crewman to trace an escape route. I also liked the psychedelic entrance to the Dalek.

    As ever a rewatch is required and I’ll probably change my mind entirely as per usual..

    • avatar bonobobananas says:

      Hah took too long composing, I appear to have repeated Tony S with the Missy stuff sorry :)

      • avatar TonyS says:

        No problem- nice to have someone agree :)

    • avatar Geoff says:

      You’ve said everything I was going to say about it. Some good moments but overall I wasn’t really keen on this one. I don’t think in his second outing the new Doctor should be confined in a tiny space, where he can’t really do much and you can barely hear a word he says. I don’t like him having a pop at Clara’s appearance all the time either, it’s not “edgy” it’s just bitchy and a bit cruel and the Doctor is not like that.

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      What’s the big deal about Missy? It was, what, 10 seconds from the whole episode? It was obviously there for a reason and if that 10 second scene ruined your enjoyment of the story then I think there is something wrong with you. I have enjoyed both her appearances. I’m going to enjoy further appearances from her and just hope that the pay off is worth it.

      • avatar microtoast says:

        Oh, come on, do you really have to throw around “there’s something wrong with you” for a different opinion? Go ahead and enjoy it, I’m happy for you. But being such a different change of pace and setting from the rest of the story, even though it’s very brief I thought it yanked us out of the overarching narrative and momentum – like someone walking in and asking loud questions in the middle of a tense scene in the theater. It also made it so not everything in this otherwise self-contained story can really stand on its own, which I don’t think is a good thing.

        • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

          There’s something wrong with you :) I’m sorry that those 10 seconds spoiled your enjoyment, I really am. At least most of us didn’t mind.

          • avatar microtoast says:

            lol :) It didn’t actually spoil my enjoyment, fyi, I quite liked this episode. I just don’t think people are wrong to point out problems they have with particular parts of things.

          • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

            Maybe it is best to reserve judgement until the payoff later in the series. I enjoy these little cutaway scenes at the moment because I believe they are building up to something. But trust me, I will be the first to complain if they fail to live up to the hype they are creating. At the end of the day though we are all fans and right now is a pretty good time to be a fan. We all love this show!

    • avatar bonobobananas says:

      Well I’ve done the rewatch and as usual changed my mind quite a bit. This was excellent despite a few inconsistencies (and the Missy thing was still intrusive and as microtoast says, it broke the tension).

      I still had some difficulty hearing all the dialogue but it was terrific and despite my difficulties I thought Capaldi was brilliant. The Daleks were used much more appropriately and were scarier than they have been since Eccleston’s Doctor.

      A final thought: the ‘altered’ Dalek: Maybe develops into Dalek Caan?

      • avatar TonyS says:

        That thought went through what passes for my mind too

  3. avatar Rick says:

    It was Ok. Too much packed in to the running time, and I’m bored with the whole good Dalek thing. It’s been done far too many times. But everything else was good. An enjoyable watch, and the best Dalek episode we had in quite some time. 3/5

  4. avatar DonnaM says:

    Capaldi is absolutely The Doctor now and thank goodness he’s no longer being portrayed as some kind of saint. He may try to be a good man but he’s been held up at times as a hero figure, which made me a bit uncomfortable. Now we’re getting some ambiguity, an acknowledgement that even he isn’t perfect. The moment with Ross is harsh but credible, and he characterisation is strong with both leads. At this rate I’ll be truly sorry if Jenna does leave.

    There’s clearly a past for Mr Pink. I’ll reserve judgement until we see more, but I do hope he’s not the “perfect boyfriend” for Clara to “settle down and have babies” with: that would be so last century :-)

    I can’t call it the greatest Dalek story ever told (Genesis or Invasion of Earth, either or will do for me) but with its more grown up tone it’s the first since 2005 it’s definitely one I will look forward to watching again.

    I agree, we get the point of Missy now; if she pops up every week it’ll be overkill so I hope she get s a break for a couple of weeks at least. Not too hopeful there, but that apart I think the series is shaping up very, very nicely.

    • avatar TimeChaser says:

      Nice to hear someone else say they enjoy the ambiguity in Capaldi’s Doctor. I read an online review and the reviewer basically said the Doctor is always good and the Daleks are always bad, and it would have been better to make the “good Dalek” plot of this episode more about a Dalek just pretending to be good and then revealing it’s trickery. Frankly this was already done in Victory of the Daleks, so to me the reviewer was saying this would be a better story if it was more generic.

      • avatar DonnaM says:

        That’s what I disliked about the whole deification, if that’s even a word, of the character. Ever since the show was revived for TV he’s been a “Lonely God” or some kind of superhero. I much prefer imperfect beings who strive to be the best they can. I can’t help but think that online reviewer was sort of missing the moral point of the episode :-)

        • avatar TonyS says:

          DonnaM can I just say…

        • avatar TonyS says:

          ‘deification’ is definitely a word

          • avatar DonnaM says:

            Thanks TonyS: good to know I’m not completely cabbaged!

          • avatar TonyS says:

            ‘cabbaged’ on the other hand…

  5. avatar vortexter says:

    I loved it. Last week was very disappointing with very poor writing but this week looked great and was a vast improvement scriptwise. The Dalek’s were handled incredibly well and came across as a real threat. 9/10.

    How disappointing that Journey Blue was not allowed the join the crew. I actually really liked Danny from what I saw but would have loved Journey to have been a regular.

  6. avatar Michael says:

    Disappointing. I love the Daleks, but this was just a cross between the Doctor Who episodes Evil of the Daleks and The Invisible Enemy, with a touch of the graphic novel The Only Good Dalek. All three independently being better than Inside the Dalek.

    • avatar Michael says:

      If this had been a story about a good Dalek becoming a regular TARDIS crew member, then we might have had something good. But to just show a good Dalek, no. The 2nd Doctor met good Daleks in the Evil of the Daleks and the 11th Doctor met a good Dalek in the The Only Good Dalek graphic novel, who did the same as the Dalek in Inside the Dalek; he blew up himself up along with some bad Daleks.

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      Sorry, did you just say the The Invisible Enemy was BETTER than Into The Dalek? You are entitled to your opinion of course but believe me, the vast majority of people will strongly disagree with you on that one. I absolutely loved the episode, with only two stories under his belt Capaldi is quickly becoming one of my all time favourites.

  7. avatar margarethe says:

    Another great episode. Those with any doubts about how wonderful Peter Capaldi would be will be reassured after two brilliant outings. Clara’s characterisation continues to improve and with Danny Pink we might actually have a three dimensional male companion for the first time since the blessed St Wilf of Chiswick. You can pick where Steven Moffat added his bits to the show, especially the charming scenes beween Danny and Clara and some of the great dialogue from Moffat. In two minds about Missy. The premise is a delicious one and I ache to see Peter and Michelle squaring off against each other, but hope this ends up being worth the effort of referencing her in each episode. Still, Moffat and Capaldi have already delivered two of the best episodes we’ve had in New Who, next week already looks to be an improvement on past Gatiss’ efforts and a nice change of pace after the darkness of the first two episodes, so In Moffat (and Capaldi) We Trust.

    Easy 9/10 for me.

    Episode 4, Listen, unbelievably good, unbelievably good, amazingly unbelievably good – just sayin’……

    • avatar Harold Finch says:

      I concur wholeheartedly. Another extraordinarily brilliant performance by Peter Capaldi. Two episodes in and he is already my favourite Doctor. In Capaldi we trust!

  8. avatar Michael says:

    I find it interesting that a Dalek would have a human HAZMAT Class 9 Miscellaneous placard inside its casing.

  9. avatar David F says:

    The main story was really good. Several aspects of the storyline have been seen before, but that’s probably unavoidable after fifty years of this stuff, and repeated ideas were used lightly rather than cut-and-pasted. It worked well.

    Maybe Phil Ford is the man to go to for proper science fiction that explores moral ideas. This wasn’t quite as stunning as Waters of Mars, but refreshing after several Moffat episodes in a row. The only downside was a tonal clash with the Moffat sequences featuring Danny and Missy. It weakened the story to spend the first few minutes (after the credits) in the school. The Dalek demanded a straight run from beginning to end.

    Three things really impressed:

    1. Capaldi’s stillness. It’s hypnotic, how he holds attention through lack of movement. It’s a fascinating contrast with Matt Smith, and a really smart choice.

    2. Jenna Coleman’s improved immeasurably this season. When she crawled through the pipes, she seemed like a proper companion, and almost believable as a rounded character.

    3. The pacing was good, despite the intrusion of the school scene at the beginning, which I feared would rob the main story of breathing space. Moffat used to be excellent at pacing episodes (The Girl in the Fireplace and Blink are masterpieces of making complex stories fit into forty-five minute slots) but it’s been a failing in recent years.

    I wonder whether Missy is collecting only those who’ve been persuaded by the Doctor to sacrifice themselves (assuming that’s what the half-faced man did last week). She seems to be an obsessed fan: someone who bumped into the Doctor once and then went around exaggerating it to her friends. Maybe she’s collecting these people the way some of us collected Target books.

    • avatar vortexter says:

      I think she is collecting raw material for a certain group of monsters who need an army to construct myself.

    • avatar DonnaM says:

      I’m starting to wonder if Missy and her Heaven are some aspect of The Doctor’s subconscious that will be forced into reality somehow?

      It’s bonkers I know, but maybe Missy = Mistakes? I thought it interesting that the only new arrival was the voluntary sacrifice.

      • avatar vortexter says:

        I like your idea. But the last episode is called Death in Heaven which makes me think that they are being saved, stored and re-used elsewhere. A little like Rivers mind being saved into CAL.
        Did anyone else think that Journeys brother who died looked a bit like Danny Pink? Maybe Missy save’s people at death and recycles their forms and looks. This may explain why The Doctor resembles a sculptor from ancient Pompeii?…

        • avatar DonnaM says:

          I didn’t notice a resemblance, but the surnames feel like more than a coincidence; I don’t believe in them where Steven Moffat is involved! It would certainly be interesting if Danny was some kind of pawn in Missy’s game (if a bit harsh on poor Clara, who obviously fancies the pants off him from the off!)

  10. avatar Al says:

    First, I’ll be very interested to see the alternate version of Deep Breath. It must be an alternate version that I saw because the episode I saw was terrific, well-written and well acted but it’s being slagged here mercilessly so I must assume an inferior cut must have been broadcast outside Canada, correct?

    Anyway, while not as good as Deep Breath I found Into the Dalek to be quite interesting. The Dalek battle scenes were a bit too slow-moving for what they should have been, and a few bits were derivative of Fantastic Voyage (though this is acknowledged early on) but just last last week the plot is secondary to the characters, and the new Doctor took great strides this week, as did Clara. I am not sold on the chemistry between Clara and Danny yet, in fact right now I don’t care for the character of Danny and I find him far more intrusive than Missy. But that said I hated both Mickey and Rory when they first appeared, but they both grew on me rather rapidly. I wish they’d kept Journey on as a companion, though. She might come back, of course, but right now she joins the ranks of great “never were” companions like Lady Christina and Astrid Peth.

    Despite my reservations I’m still calling Series 8 2 for 2 right now. Next week’s Sherwood episode has me concerned, but we’ll see what happens.

    • avatar CatPiper says:

      I would have been happy for Journey Blue to join the Doctor: but if Lady Christina or Astrid Peth had joined I would have been tempted to throw the telly through the window. Mind you, I really disliked both their episodes too, whereas I enjoyed ‘Into the Dalek’.

    • avatar Matt WalkerIt is the end...... says:

      Not true, Al: I also got to see the superior cut of Deep Breath, which was broadcast in a small enclave in south East England, and loved it.

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      Deep Breath was a brilliant introduction for Capaldi’s incarnation. Sadly, the haters are gonna hate. It’s also worth noting that, when you read all the reviews and comments that are out there, its is a very small (but vocal) section who disliked the episode.

  11. avatar Mary Scott says:

    One of the aspects of Doctor Who that makes it so special is Murray Golds music. So far the two episodes do not seem to have any stand out music. I hope this changes. Also, I do like Capaldi’s Doctor, but I do not feel a connection with the characters. They do not make me care about them. I also hope this changes.

    • avatar Harold Finch says:

      I couldn’t disagree more. I’ve found the music for the opening two episodes a refreshing change from Murray Golds usual orchestral bombast. It was much more subtle and atmospheric, which I personally prefer. The music has been lacking in variety for a long, long time. A vast improvement to my ears.

      • avatar Lily says:

        I agree, Harold. The music is understated and complements the scenes. In other episodes, it was getting impossible to hear dialogue because the music was just so dominant. The theme is growing on me, as well.

        • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

          Agreed that the music is as good as ever during the episodes. However, while the new title sequence is slowly growing on me, the same cannot be said about the terrible new theme tune. WTF? I’m sure Delia and Ron are turning in their graves whenever it is played!

          • avatar Harold Finch says:

            Agreed. 50 years and counting and no progress has been made at all with regards to bettering the original Delia Derbyshire version. This new version is extremely whiny and tinny with nothing much happening of any interest at all. After 10 years of doing the theme tune Murray Gold sounds tired and bored of trying to come up with any new ideas. Time to let someone else have a go next time (e.g. David Arnold). Other than that everything else with regards to this series has so far been excellent.

      • avatar Coopergreg says:

        Agree. Music has always been good in New Who, but this season has had a noticeable change in the incidental music – much needed.

        • avatar vortexter says:

          I think William Orbit would be a good choice to do a new theme mix.

  12. avatar Lily says:

    Can I just say – I was blown away by the CGI. It was incredibly good, especially with the group in the capsule. Having watched The Web Planet last night (no, really) it provided a nice contrast in seeing just how far the show and technology has come in 50 years.

    I will reserve giving my opinion too much on the episode itself, like I did for Deep Breath. This is really because I have nothing except one episode to compare it to. I thought Danny gave a great first impression, though. Peter Capaldi was fantastic, like last week. Clara is really coming into her own, and I think the character is developing well.

  13. avatar lozzer says:

    A good idea that actually worked as an episode. I loved the direction, especially the scene where they actually stepped into the Dalek – almost as trippy as the boat ride in the 1971 Willy Wonka film. As far as Dalek stories go this one is up there with the best we’ve seen since the series was revived. The thing I really loved in this episode though was Peter Capaldi’s portrayal of the Doctor – his acting was more than a match for the wonderful dialogue he was given, and I love the fact that after only two episodes we have a version of a 50 year old character who suddenly feels fresh and vital again. I’m very happy with this series so far.

    • avatar Harold Finch says:

      Spot on observations Lozzer. Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is a joy to behold and the direction by Ben Wheatley has been an absolute pleasure. I loved the psychedelic trippyness when they first stepped into the Dalek. I just hope that the directors of the remaining 10 episodes can continue in a similar tone and look as that achieved by Wheatley. Time will tell.

  14. avatar mrjohnm says:

    I’m reading comments about the obvious comparisons to Fantastic Voyage, The Only Good Dalek, and The Invisible Enemy. But no-one seems to have mentioned the connection between this episode and the ’05 episode “Dalek.” Remember when the Dalek told the 9th Doctor that he would have made a good Dalek? In this episode, the Doctor is told that he is a good Dalek. I wonder if this is going to come up again and if it has anything to do with Missy?

    • avatar Miss U says:

      I had a bit of a deja-vu as well and am just re-watching the Eccleston episode… the story is really very similar. The Doctor coming into an unknown environment where someone holds a Dalek (and then with the Doctor entering, him as well) without really knowing about it and then the Doctor trying/being forced to “heal” it… while his companion is flirting with some other guy…
      Then the Dalek turning “good” because Rose touched it / because Clara touched the blocked memory banks?
      But nevertheless I loved watching Capaldi in his latest adventure and look forward to more :)

  15. avatar R.J. says:

    First Dalek episode I’ve enjoyed in a long time. They’ve lost their bite due the years of over-useage but I felt tense watching their relentless march of extermination through the corridors :) There’s hope for them yet, but there are plenty of other baddies in the archives so let’s give the Daleks a rest for a bit, eh? It was interesting to see inside a Dalek and I must admit I’d never really considered how they feed before!
    I’m loving Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. He’s like a stern schoolmaster, insisting Journey says ‘please’ before he brings her back to her ship. Not a man who likes being bossed about or given orders. Nice to see Clara standing up to him, too (oh, that slap!). This Doctor seems to like being challenged, have his opinions questioned. Maybe it’s all part of him trying to find out what kind of man he is.
    Anyway, liked this episode a lot. Danny seems likeable so the Doctor is sure to hate him for being too nice. Clara is benefitting from having a Doctor who doesn’t let her have it all her own way (Jenna Coleman – brilliant!), and the scenes inside the Dalek were well rendered – loved the slightly psychadelic entry into the Dalek, like moving through a thick liquid.
    Series 8 looking good so far – can’t wait to see ‘there’s-no-such-thing-as’ Robin-Hood in the next episode.

    • avatar Eduardo deMoura says:

      They can’t give them a rest, the bbc doesn’t own the daleks… they’re owned by the terry nation trust, and if they don’t use the daleks at least once a season they lose the rights completely… sort of like sony and spider man… they have to keep doing spider man movies, otherwise, the rights will return to marvel… and doctor who without daleks would be like sherlock without moriarty…


      • Doctor Who managed perfectly well without Daleks between 1975s Genesis of the Daleks and 1979′s Destiny of the Daleks…

  16. avatar dr jon says:

    i enjoyed this episode and enjoyed the first too. I am wondering if the third story robots of sherwood will be weaker than the last two storys,just a gut feeling i hope im wrong.I think the missy person is a pain to some viewers as we don’t know that much about her yet and i think all will start to come together in a few weeks.Capaldi is getting more to grips with his take on the doctor everytime i watch him.So carry on the good work.

    • avatar J W says:

      Robots of Sherwood is different beast than the first two (going by the workprint) with more of a humorous bent. Fans are either going to love or hate that it. But LISTEN, the one after that is going to have everyone talking. A very creepy tale.

      • avatar J W says:

        -sentence correction- Fans are either going to love or hate THE ROBOTS OF SHERWOOD it’s that kind of episode.

  17. avatar Ranger says:

    I am loving Capaldi – as far as I am concerned he is one of the best Doctor’s ever. Jenna is showing her true colours as a great companion now that she is actually being given meaty scenes to perform – except for one that shocked me, which I will come too later.

    Missy didn’t intrude too much and I prefer the toned down version we had in this episode – eccentric without going over the top. I’ve got a thought that she may be collecting people who have a legitimate grudge against the Doctor (sacrificing themselves – I wouldn’t be surprised if we get this as a recurring theme in every episode).

    Now for the scene that shocked me and caused some awkward questions in our house (and it’s been done before in other episodes, with the same result). Clara slapping the Doctor. Having expanded considerable time and effort in teaching my children that it is never OK (except in self-defence) to hit, slap or bite anyone, I was dismayed yet again to be undermined by their favourite programme. Most of the violence shown is explained as self-defence or baddies, but for Clara to hit the Doctor is not easily explained or justified. I really didn’t like it. You can’t fall back on Clara was annoyed with the Doctor, when I am telling one child that it is not OK to hit her sister because she is angry.

    Otherwise a great episode, though I am glad that Journey Blue didn’t become a companion as I didn’t like the whiny character and was not convinced by the acting either.

  18. avatar TonyS says:

    One of the things we fans tend to do, that members of the general public probably do not, is rewatch episodes.

    My initial thoughts on “Deep Breath” were that, while there was plenty to admire, I didn’t necessarily enjoy it that much. I certainly was not blown away by its brilliance.

    With “Into The Dalek”, my first reaction was “wow!” These Daleks are mean beggars. I found the action moved along nicely.

    I have since rewatched it (and no doubt will do so again). So far, a repeat viewing is a less satisfying experience than rewatching “Deep Breath”. While I maintain some of my initial reactions to the writing of the first episode, I am enjoying it more each time I watch it.

    With “Into The Dalek” I probbaly got all my thrills on Blueberry Hill… no, hang on… on first viewing. It just didn’t seem quite as exciting on a repeat.

    Is it possible that we (I) are overanalysing this? Possibly. But we are fans and that is what we do.

    Since it is a good idea to end with a conclusion, mine is probably this: We need to be constantly revising our opinions as the series progresses. With some trepidation at the thought of so much Lincoln Green, I say “Bring on those sylvan robots”.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      “sylvan robots”? What a pseud!

  19. avatar Spider-pope says:

    I enjoyed it. It did something a bit different with the Daleks, gave us more of an insight into their inner workings, and the Daleks storming the Aristotle was terrifying, anyone who says the Daleks are daft should be shown those scenes.

    The only negatives i have are the whole Companion-who-barely-spends-time-on-the-TARDIS thing and the stuff with Missy.

    • avatar DonnaM says:

      I’m actually liking the companion not being permanently aboard better now it’s established The Doctor will come and go as he pleases, not meekly turn up when he’s told to :-) I felt he was too much on a leash – presumably a part of the Moffat Masterplan to establish Clara the control freak before we get to see her losing control.

      If he can take three weeks over fetching her coffee, and leave her to sort out her own train fare home from Glasgow, he’s definitely snapped that lead of hers. Good on him, I say :-)

      Also, it’s nice to see Daleks doing what Daleks are supposed to do again. There have been far too few actual exterminations in recent years for my taste!

  20. avatar Castellan Spandrel says:

    Here’s a thing:

    The soldier whom the Tenth Doctor took a shine to and asked Colonel Mace not to send to his death was called Ross (The Sontaran Strategem).

    The soldier whom the Twelfth/Fourteenth(?) Doctor willingly accepted would die was called Ross (Into the Dalek).

    Deliberate or coincidental? Either way, the change in the Doctor’s character couldn’t be more marked.

  21. avatar Lord Darth Tyeler says:

    I’ve only just got around to watching and thought it was superb. Have to watch again, but it may just be my favourite nuWho episode of all time.

    Firstly, and most importantly, there were lots of exterminations – something that’s been badly lacking in recent Dalek stories. Daleks closing in menacingly on humans, switching to rapid fire – the stuff of old Dr Who fears that only Midnight and the materialising cyborg in the desert have managed to do in NuWho so far.

    Secondly, Capaldi – wow. He’s even darker than I’d hoped, and he’s all the better for it. He has a dubious sense of morality and knows it, hence his need for Clara’s humanity to act as a counterbalance: ‘She cares so I don’t have to’ – brilliant. His flippancy over the soldier’s death and the resulting confrontation reminded me a little of the first Doctor and Chesterton. I see hints of other Doctors in there too, but they’re the classic ones and that’s a welcome move away from the ‘hip’ human Doctors of the past nine years.

    Agree with CS and others about the incidental music. You could set your watch to the ‘dum, dum, dum, da, dum, dum, dum’ (I am the Doctor) music in a Matt Smith episode – I think Gold would have played it if eleven went to the toilet, and when it started, you knew you were sixty seconds from the Dr coming up with a plan for the resolution.

    I have to watch it again, and it’s nice that I feel really compelled to. I think I will forgive this one its flaws because it was so ambitious and fresh, not to mention the sharp dialogue.

    Going to be completely presumptuous here, but Sherwood has ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ written all over it. Capaldi carried a weak story last week, but ‘Into the Dalek’ was a shining example of what Dr Who can be when everything works.

    • avatar Spider-pope says:

      Speaking of music, i really liked the return of the 10th Doctors theme. I thought we’d never hear it again.

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  23. avatar Bar says:

    Thanks for so much thoughtful stuff guys – you get a better class of commenter here! I loved ITD but like Ranger above have one serious reservation.

    ‘Beauty, endless divine perfection.’ ‘Make it a part of you.’ Not a bad aspiration. I can see all the Doctor Who and theology sites grabbing this.
    All the confidence the opener lacked, best Dalek story since ‘Dalek.’ Possibly since ‘Remembrance.’

    No compromise, no pulling punches nor terrible lines ‘not a good idea if you’re a proctologist.’
    Interesting change of pace with the entry through the gel of the eyestalk: weird but reminds us they’re doing something weird. Lots of changes in pace and tone through this 45 minutes. And no waiting around for you if you can’t keep up – briefest of brief comments make the plot work.

    Impressive as the Star Wars/cinematic-scale opening was, I preferred the Blade Runner shades; Cronenweth lighting and almost Vangelis moments in the music. And the martial operatic tone of the dalek attack. As Kory Stevens put it, ‘who are you and what have you done with the real Murray Gold?’ Like many here I’m really appreciating his change of approach.

    Not often a new character is introduced so carefully, like the Doctor last week, leaving plenty of scope to develop over time. I hope they don’t morph into Amy and Rory though, both for the sake of their fans, and Danny and Clara’s potential to be totally different if written with care.
    While on the subject of relationships, I dislike the casual sexism that allows Clara to slap the Doctor: if it were the other way round the programme would be taken off the air. If the ethos is really that guns never solve anything, how come other violence can?

    Which brings me to the Doctor’s ongoing search for the truth about himself and his morals. The coldly efficient use of the death of Ross was hard enough without the ‘top layer’ line, but I can’t help loving the shift to this far-from-human Doctor, such a vast contrast to Ten’s endless apologies. Reassured by his promise to Gretchen Alison Carlyle: ‘I will do something amazing.’ ‘She cares so I don’t have to’ slips when someone makes him care. His approach to this one soldier belies his stated prejudice elsewhere. Ross was just another soldier – as is the similar-sounding Rusty; ‘a better soldier than you’ll ever be.’ But if even a dalek can develop, maybe he’d let either Journey or Danny join the TARDIS, eventually.

    So to Rusty, or as I can’t help thinking, RussT. Or as others have gone for the initials, Rusty The Dalek. Which leaves the tune of ‘Frosty the Snowman’ stuck in your head: complete lyrics anyone?
    The eye-to-eye scene, silhouetted Doctor against giant orange thing was a nice contrast to Eleven’s Akhaten grandstanding speech. Quiet thoughtful mood, talking of saving souls to a character named like the famously atheist showrunner. The possibility of a secret agent, Doctor-friendly Dalek insider has revitalised them for me; I usually find all returning monsters boring, especially the overused ones, but the potential for encountering this one again might tempt me.

    Only reason I didn’t give it a 9 was I’m leaving scope for what Capaldi will do by the end of this season.

    Until the next time Rusty.

    • avatar Ranger says:

      Great comments, Bar! Especially about if the slap had been delivered by the Doctor.

    • avatar DonnaM says:

      I laughed at the slap at first but yes – on reflection it’s no way to deal with frustration, and as a teacher Clara of all people should probably realise that. Missed the whole Rusty/Russell T on first viewing, but did grin at it the next time around. There’s a definite benefit, as TonyS remarked above, to repeated viewings :-)

      Capaldi is doing, I think, a phenomenal job of making The Doctor recognisable yet still totally unique. I’ve seen traces of Hartnell, both Bakers, Pertwee, McCoy and Troughton and even Tennant in him so far, yet he still comes across as completely his own man. If he keeps this up, he’ll be my all-time favourite Doctor by November :-)

      • avatar Castellan Spandrel says:

        He doesn’t remind me of any other Doctors, bar the Pertweeish outfit, but that’s a good thing.

        Too early for him to be one of my favourites – yet – but it’ll be interesting to see how he develops.

        I also disagree with those saying Into the Dalek is the best Dalek story of the 21st century. What about Dalek and Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways?

        But Into the Dalek is definitely the best ‘new Dr’s 2nd story’ since Ark in Space!

        • avatar DonnaM says:

          Dalek’s my second favourite – personally I wasn’t sold on Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways, but then the only Pertweeish thing I see in his outfit is the lining. Otherwise it seems the polar opposite – stark and minimal against all those frills and flowing cloaks – but that’s the advantage of Doctor Who over any other show; there’s infinite opportunity for us to see different things.

          • avatar Bar says:

            and unlike some of the post-emotional hind-brain reactions on some sites, here people seem to be able to disagree without dissing each other. for instance I see Pertwee when Capaldi is mesmerically still and oozing authority, and I hear McGann in his moments of passionate inventiveness, & Big Finish fans will be familiar with that repetition of the companion’s name when he’s thinking…
            Maybe we will all see our favourites in him, until Mr C eclipses them all. at this rate by episode 6!

  24. avatar Ranger says:

    Is anyone else having a problem with the sound on the episodes so far? We’ve had to turn our TV up to the highest setting and still we are having some problems with not catching dialogue – particularly with the Doctor, but I put that down to me not having tuned my ear into his accent yet – it will come.

  25. avatar Lord Darth Tyeler says:

    I can see why some people would prefer Dalek and Bad Wolf/Parting to Into the Dalek There isn’t much in it for me between the three of them, but having watched a second time, I’d say it’s definitely on par with the greatest NuWho so far.
    I see some of Hartnell’s Unearthly Child brashness in Capaldi, Colin’s early flippancy and Baker’s gravitas. As CS rightly says above, though, only time will tell as to whether he will be ‘the best’, although early signs are promising.
    Agree with the people that love the boarding of the Aristotle – I liked the Dalek lights in the dark – might have been better if they had silently lit up one by one too.
    Sherwood has all the looks of a ‘take it or leave it’ for me.


    • In my opinion, this is the episode that would have benefitted from the extra minutes (Robot of Sherwood has a 50 minute slot rather than 45) as I could have watched the director’s treatment of the Daleks’ attack all night.

  26. avatar Lord Darth Tyeler says:

    If I had to Capaldi’s Doctor (thus far) with another TV character, it would probably be Hugh Laurie’s House.

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