Friday, October 31, 2014

"Into the Dalek" - Some Thoughts

Into the Dalek, the second episode of Season 8, is definitely a stronger story than Deep Breath. It's also less light-hearted, definitely more serious, with less humour. The new Doctor has ironed out most of the regeneration craziness (although a few quirks still remain), and Peter Capaldi is settling nicely into the role, confirming my initial impressions that he will make a very good Doctor.

Clara is better written this episode, back to her brave, feisty self, especially in the scenes where she's helping to reawaken the Dalek's memory banks, while the troopers try to hold off the "antibodies". She's definitely interacting much better with the new Doctor, with no more of that ridiculous out-of-character nonsense that we had from her in Deep Breath. It also looks like there's an interesting relationship brewing between her and Danny Pink. There also seemed to be a bit of an interesting "soldier" sub-plot going on with both Clara/Danny and the Doctor/Journey Blue in this story. I dunno what the new Doctor has against soldiers. He's certainly fought alongside enough of them in his time. :)

Obviously the really big thing with this episode is that it is a Dalek story. It's only the Capaldi Doctor's second story, and he's already encountered the blobby little terrors, his most dangerous enemies. One would think that Moffat is doing a re-run of the First Doctor, William Hartnell, as they also featured in HIS second story. After all, Peter Capaldi is the new "first" Doctor, in this new cycle of incarnations, so maybe this was a conscious decision by Moffat.

The story itself is well-plotted and exciting although the whole premise of a "good" Dalek isn't a totally new one. Also, the Fantastic Voyage journey through the internals of a Dalek has also been done before in Doctor Who, both in the classic and the new series. And it has also been done many, many times before in other sci-fi series and films. But none of them ever had antibodies like those nasty little Dalek mofos.

But more than anything, Into the Dalek in some scenes reminded me so much of the classic Christopher Ecclestone story Dalek, particularly during the Doctor/Dalek interaction scenes, that parts of it seemed to be just lifted from the earlier story and rehashed in this one. A tribute? Yes, maybe. But a bit more originality might also have been appreciated (by me, anyway).