Saturday, August 30, 2014

Anatomy Lesson: Into the Dalek Review

"This is Clara, not my assistant…She's...some other word...." 
"I'm his carer"
"Yeah, my carer. She cares so I don't have to."

Another Saturday, another new episode. Though this is no ordinary episode as it involves the Daleks. Since 2005 we've had TV Dalek stories that varied from sublime (Dalek,) to limp (Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks) to simply a 45 minute toy commercial (Victory of the Daleks), to twistsing about (Asylum of the Daleks). Here comes the Phil Ford effort, Into the Dalek. Ford, a fan darling with the co-penned and widly praised Waters of Mars five years before, takes another spin in the TARDIS with a tale that not only give Skaro's pepperpotted monsters their bite back but also asks the same question as the Doctor: Is he a good man? Let's get down to business, eh?

The Good:

  • Journey Blue, Journey Blue! She's has the shades of a potential companion in every way. 
  • 12th facing down his Dalek patient leading to his surprised reaction to it saying all Daleks must die
  • The introduction of Danny Pink. With an older Doctor about, Clara's now given a love interest; one with a conflicting past he's hesitant to talk about. 
  • "No, You are a good Dalek". A wee callback to the lone Eccleston season's Dalek
  • Dat chalkboard!
  • The music's tone down! Who are you and what have you done with the real Murray Gold?
  • The production design of the inside the Dalek is utterly sublime
  • We finally get more of 12's personality which gives us the cold, distant nature not seen since the 1st Doctor's characterization in the unaired pilot version of An Unearthly Child. "He was dead already " response to Russ' demise by the Dalek spores does harken back to 7th during the New Adventures days as he back then saw many a death at his own door step especially in the grand scheme of his own machinations much to the chagrin of Ace and a host of others.
  • Finally after four year dryspell, we got the Daleks exterminating again on screen

The Bad:

  • The Coal Hill student's contunation of asking Pink whether he killed as soldier. Change the record, squirt!
  • Gretchen's save via Missy. It's not going to be an all season thing is it? I'm getting shades of Kovarian to some exent and I wasn't exactly taken in with her the three years before.
  • Journey's request to come with the Doctor being denied. One can hope for another Liv Chenka like situation that paves for her coming back in future, who knows?

Bottom Line: Into the Dalek earns it stripes as the finest post 2005 televised Dalek story in the revival's eight year run. Giving an freshing tale of morality and the heavy nature of evil that answers its question but draw more questions to come out the woodwork. Onward, Robots of Sherwood!

8 jelly babies out of 10

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