Saturday, August 30, 2014

Doctor Who--"Into the Dalek"

“Into the Dalek” is Doctor Who meets Fantastic Voyage.  One might question the cheapness of the homage if not for a reference to the film right before a proctologist joke.  It is difficult to decide what to think after such a combo.  I suppose the confusion is appropriate, considering the title character is one confused Dalek himself.  He is actually a good guy nicknamed Rusty by the human military unit that has recovered him.
   
I have given you enough info above to ascertain the plot.  The Doctor, Clara, and some cannon fodder soldiers are shrunk down and injected into Rusty in order to repair him.  The idea being that, since he is good, Rusty will be a major asset to the war effort.  The Doctor discovers Rusty witnessed a star being born, so he reevaluated his genocidal philosophy.  Odd.  Barbar Streisand has the exact opposite on me.  To each his own, I guess.
   
The Doctor repairs the damage done to Rusty.  He has obviously never seen his own show before, or he would have known Rusty would revert back to his normal mindset once repaired.  Then he would good go on a killing spree.  Which is exactly what rusty does.  As a bonus, he alerts his fellow Daleks to the humans’ ship so they can join in the carnage.  What fun!
   
The doctor realizes his error as the body count racks up, so he triggers Rusty’s memory of the star being born, which causes the Dalek to doubt killing is the answer, then gets a look inside the Doctor’s mind, where he decides killing Daleks is a good idea.  Ouch.  The series long question of whether the Doctor is a good man comes into play.  Rusty saw his dark side.  The Doctor’s hatred for the daleks inspires rusty to become the Dalek exterminator.  Clara herself announces she is unsure of whether the doctor is a good man, either.  Insult to injury--Rusty compliments the Doctor on being a good dalek.
   
Danny Pink is introduced as a recurring character.  He is one of Clara’s teacher colleagues.  He seems to be haunted by some incident involving civilians while serving in Afghanistan.  I am not yet clear on his role, strong hints are he is a potential love interest for Clara.  Another nail in the coffin of doctor/companion romance, one hopes.   The Twelfth Doctor dislikes soldiers more openly than past incarnations.  Will that come into play?
  
What time period is the fight between humans and Daleks taking place?  Are humans fighting both the Cybermen and Daleks simultaneously?  Such a fight would be way worse than a two front war.
   
“Into the Dalek” is far better than the premiere episode.  In spite of some similarities between this episode and “Dalek”--a damaged, confused Dalek telling the doctor he would make a good one--the episode is highly unique in terms of where we have seen Daleks in the past.   The special effects are amazing.  Expect to see some cheap, bare bones episodes later in the season to save some cash.  I like the idea the doctor is unsure of himself because of his dark side without a whole lot of the angst, angst, and more angst we have seen in recent series.  Oh, and Missy takes another one to heaven.  I do not think she is the Rani, folks.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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