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Who Review – Into the Dalek

Doctor-Who-Season-8-Pic-31Hey there, Evil Geeks! Last week we finally got to properly meet Peter Capaldi’s twelfth Doctor and while we fans think he’s certainly a kick ass descendant to Matt Smith’s exiting eleventh Doctor, it seems those closest to him, particularly Clara, still aren’t so sure about the new guy.  Even the Doctor himself is unsure of who he is, as he straight up asks Clara if he’s a good man.  She doesn’t immediately answer the question and when she eventually does, it might not be the answer the Doctor wanted to hear.  Is this slightly dickish Doctor still a decent person or did his regeneration leave him without the sense of compassion and kindness that’s been the Doctor’s trademark all these centuries?

d111-600x342What would you think would be the absolute last thing a man going through a time of deep identity crisis, struggling to find his moral compass should get himself involved in? Well if you said “An extremely complex, life or death based. moral conundrum”, then by golly you just hit the jackpot.  In one of the darkest moments of the Doctors lives, he’s going to find out exactly how good a person he is, as he is presented with a situation involving the Dalek’s, from which there may not be an ethical way out.  The decision revolves around a Dalek that has been captured by human forces in some future conflict in a far flung region of the universe.  The Dalek has sustained some physical damage which seems to be affecting it’s mind.  You know how Daleks are usually all “EXTERMINATE!!! KILL THE HUMANS!! KILL THE DOCTOR!!! EX-MUTHAFUCKIN-TERMINATE!!!!!!!””  Well this Dalek is pretty much the same way, but instead of wanting to kill anything non-Dalek based, this one wants to kill ONLY Daleks. Now personally, if I were to say, come into possession of a member of an almost invincible army, who wanted to kill only the members of said invincible army as opposed to me, I’d let the little tin can have at them.  Not these humans of course, they want to figure out what’s wrong with the Dalek and fix it. I mean common sense would dictate that once the malfunction is fixed, the Dalek would go back to his murderous ways.  I guess if the humans took that path though, then we wouldn’t have a show, so on we go.

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The human army conscripts the Doctor and his “assistant” Clara in the service of repairing the Dalek.  In order to do so, they must be shrunk down, InnerSpace style, and inserted into the Dalek. The Doctor is faced with an extremely difficult choice: refuse to help the injured Dalek and knowingly let it go on to commit genocide or help one of his most hated enemies, but possibly lose a potentially valuable ally in the battle against the Daleks. As much as he hates their entire race, I don’t believe the Doctor wants the Daleks eradicated completely from the universe. He’s always willing to embrace the answer that doesn’t involve killing, so I think that even with the Dalek’s he’d be willing to help out. Where as the Doctor may have had an easier time choosing before this particular regeneration, this predicament he finds himself in now, makes his decision exponentially more difficult. How can he do the right thing here when he doesn’t know what the right thing is or if he’s even capable of doing what is “right”.

into-the-dalekUltimately the Doctor decides to do what the humans have asked, even if he isn’t necessarily helping them.  He goes along with the plan, knowing full well what’s going to happen once the Dalek is restored to working order.  He’s not exactly playing protector to the humans either. In one instance, while a soldier is facing down potential doom in the form of Dalek antibodies, he asks the Doctor for help. Instead of aiding him though, the Doctor tosses him a pill and tells him to swallow it.  Thinking that the Doctor is saving him, he wolfs it down, only to be killed in the next moment by the antibodies.  We then find out that the Doctor had no intention of helping them distressed soldier, the pill he gave him was radioactive. After consuming the soldier, the residual radiation from the pill would be absorbed by the antibodies, allowing the Doctor to track them.  It’s easy to say that this new Doctor is unlike earlier Doctor’s, but I contend that he’s VERY much like the Doctor’s before him; he’s almost like a concentrated form of the Doctor.  Think about this: the Doctor has never been too keen on armies and soldiers in general. After the Time War, it’s understandable that he’d be a little averse to fighting types. Now take into the account the way that the 11th Doctor perished. It wasn’t a quick kill; he outlasted a siege, FOR CENTURIES!!! He was in a constant state of war for about 1,000 years on Trenzalore, wouldn’t it make sense that his distaste for the military would have grown immensely during that time?

doctor-who-into-the-dalek-clara-danny-rule-against-soldiersEarlier I said that Clara still wasn’t sure about the new Doctor.  Well… I may have been fibbing a little bit there.  I don’t think that she is still not accepting of the new Doctor, I think that she’s mourned and moved on from the Matt Smith version of the Doctor. We found out last episode that maybe there was a little more to the relationship between Clara and the Doctor than either of them were willing to admit to. She cared deeply for the 11th and when the 12th initially came about, she wasn’t sure what to make of the situation.  Yes, deep down inside, he is the same person he was per-regeneration, but he’s dealing with some BIG stuff, so maybe emotionally he isn’t in the same place as he was before.  This is someone who’s recently met past versions of himself and not only discovered that his homeworld was still out there somewhere, but also helped to save it (whereas he was the one responsible for destroying it before), oh yeah and let’s not forget to mention that he FREAKING DIED!!! Clara’s accepted that those things mean that he might not feel the same way about her anymore, so she herself has moved on from that place.  Enter Danny Pink.  As we found out this week, he’s been announced as the new companion, in addition to being Clara’s love interest.  He’s not just another Rory though. He’s had firsthand experience with war and it’s damaging effects. He now seems to share a similar view of the military that the Doctor does, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Doctor takes to him.  Of course, with Clara/Jenna Coleman’s departure from the show being announced recently, it’ll be interesting to see how long Danny stays around. Could it be that something really bad is going to happen to Clara and Danny will carry on with the Doctor in her absence? It remains to be seen, but rest assured, the Evil Geeks will be here to talk TARDIS for the rest of the season!

Wanna catch up on past trips in the TARDIS? Read On…

Deep Breath

The Time of the Doctor

The Time of the Doctor

day of the doctor

The Day of the Doctor

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About C-Mart

A true Marvel Zombie, die-hard George Romero fan, Star Wars addict, Whovian, and life-long gamer. I make with the Tweets @CMart0979

Posted on September 1, 2014, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, TV, Who Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. As someone who’s sampled all the previous Doctors, this Doctor is actually kind of old-school. He’s got some William Hartnell moral ambiguity combined with Tom baker eccentricity. In fact, the Hartnell parallels are interesting. Once again we have an older Doctor who travels (or will travel) with a couple of teachers from the Coal Hill School. I think it’s neat that they’re trying this, though. Writing a more classic-style Doctor in the newer, more punchy 1-hour story format (the old show was a serial and could sometimes take six half hour episodes to finish a story).

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    • I agree, he’s very old school. I pin a lot of his personality and style on Jon Pertwee, but now he’s leaning more Hartnell for me too as they’re building up his recurring cast and his characterization.

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