Monday, 1 September 2014

Doctor Who Series 8 — Into the Dalek: Oh, Hello … !

30th August, 2014.

You know, I think I’ve had an evening, tonight.

No, really … !

Obviously, I’ve had an evening.

I know that.

You know that.

We know that.

All that actually remains … ?

Is for me to tell you what I’m talking about.

I’m hoping that — by now — you’ve been following me for a while.

So you’ll only need a gentle remainder that I’m single: with no children of my own.

And an uncle: with a nephew who’s possibly the nearest I’m ever getting to having a son of my own.

AND a Dr Who fan.

So the fact that my younger sister Ruth, decided to clean my kitchen, wander over — complete with Jude — so we could watch Dr Who as however much of a family we are.

For me personally … ?

That was something of an experience.

Especially considering Jude, and three and half, is getting to that stage: where he’s discovered the question the questions that motivates three year olds, investigative journalists and scientists, alike.

“Why … … … ?”


31st August, 2014.

OK …

Now I’ve had a chance to calm down … ?

Now I’ve had a chance to chance to calm down, I can actually concentrate on telling you about last night’s episode of Dr Who: the Ben Wheatley directed, Into The Dalek.

And I’m …


Yes, I’m impressed!

I’m also intrigued.

You see, I think Into the Dalek has given us our first Dalek character, outside the Cult Of Skaro.


Last night’s episode starts in media res: showing us Journey Blue*, a rebel soldier, as her ship is being destroyed by a Dalek battle cruiser.

She’s rescued by the Doctor: who materialises the TARDIS around her.   In time to save her, but not her brother.

She’s upset: understandably.

But, professional soldier that she is, also managed to remember that her ship — the Aristotle — and her commanding officer — Colonel Morgan Blue† — need a Doctor.

Not for themselves.

But for a broken dalek they’ve captured.

It’s got medical problems.

It want’s to destroy not them …

But other Daleks.

The only way the Doctor and his team of medical staff — Clara, in other words — and their body guard can get in to fix — or rather heal — the Dalek … ?

They need — in a nod to both Fantastic Voyage and (possibly) to Third Doctor story, Carnival Of Monsters— to get miniaturised: and inserted into the Dalek’s eyestalk.

That’s only where the fun starts.

Don’t even ASK about anti-bodies …


I said impressed, earlier?

I nearly always am.


But I think writer, Phil Ford and director, Ben Wheatley, have managed to come up with an episode that is impressive.   And is VERY watchable: and intriguing.

For starters, it’s introduced us to Clara’s new love interest, Danny Pink: played by Samuel Anderson.   And, while the interplay between Coleman and Anderson as Oswald and Pink is great fun — highlight of the episode, I think — it’s ALSO very clear that Danny has more than a few comparisons with the Doctor.

He’s someone who’s seen combat.   Who’s killed enemy soldiers.

And who, as that scene makes perfectly clear, has a conscience.   Has guilt.   And possibly has need of SOMEONE to help with that.

There’s ALSO the on going Missy character: played by Michelle Gomez.

She’s added Gretchen — killed by Dalek anti-bodies — to her collection …

Who on Earth is Missy?   I know — from having looked around the net — there’s a lot of speculation about that.

Going by that, she could be anything.

Anything.   Although I feel the fact she was introduced in the Series 8 pre-publicity as the ‘Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere’ only tells us so much.

Although the word ‘ Nethersphere’ implies a lot.

Although we’ve not been told much about it — and I frankly only expect to find out more, at the series climax — I feel Missy’s realm is an artificial heaven: much like the artificial heaven that River Song is stored in, at the end of Forest of the Dead.   (Another story by Stephen Moffat, I should add.)

Actually … ?   Much like aspects of the the Matrix, itself.   The powerful Timelord computer is first mentioned in 1976 story, The Deadly Assassin: and capable of storing the personalities and memories of dead Timelords.   Predating similar ideas used in the Matrix film saga: AND by William Gibson in his Neuromancer trilogy.

We’ll not know until early November, I think: rough guess at when the series climax hits our screens.


There’s another character that was introduced to us, last night.

Possibly the least important one: the Dalek, itself.

Dubbed Rusty by the Doctor, the Dalek is held captive by the rebels: and is … best described as ill.

And very definite about its wants.

By the end of the episode … ?

By the end of the episode, the creature is changed.

Not necessarily for the better, as the Doctor had hoped.

But it IS changed.

And, by the time the episode closes, its betrayed its own people, by killing quite a lot of its fellows.   And made sure the humans who’ve helped it, with a little jigery-pokery.

I think I have a confession, here.

We’ve had individual Daleks before now.   The surviving Dalek featured in Dalek springs to mind, here, as do the Cult Of Skaro.

Personally … ?

Personally, I think Rusty is going to be important: even if Missy will be more important as an on-going character.

I think Rusty may go two ways.

I think he may well end up as part of the Nethersphere: part of Missy’s collected of dead souls.

After all, we could argue he hard one, after the mind expanding events of Into the Dalek, we can argue Rusty has a soul.   As much as the Half-Faced Man, in Deep Breath, another life form was a huge robotic component.

Or … ?

Or, much like Hugh in I, Borg, returning to the Daleks fleet to cause SOME sort of havoc.

Either way … ?

Either way, the fact there’s a Dalek that is much more than the merciless killers we expect them to be… ?

That is something I found intriguing.

I’d like to see more of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor.

I like the start of the relationship between Clara and Danny: that looks promising.

I’m definitely intrigued by Rusty.

I want to know what happens to him …

*        Played by Zawe Ashton.

†        Michael Smiley.

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