I love dalek episodes, and I love the premise of Into the Dalek— it reminds me of that episode of the Magic School Bus where the class goes inside Ralphie, or the Rugrats episode where Chuckie swallows a watermelon seed and the babies go in to retrieve it. Alright, now for the Doctor Who recap!
We start in a scene that’s half Star Wars, half Star Fox 64. There’s shooting space ships and shouting from the girl soldier, Blue. Her brother, he co-pilot, sits dead next to her and she’s about to join him. Her ship explodes, but Blue wakes up on the Tardis.
The Doctor, without Clara, explains that he saved her. She just wants to get back to her ship, the Aristotle. She wants go pilot the Tardis alone, but the Doctor points out, “you’d starve to death trying to find the light switch.”
The Tardis lands on the Aristotle, and the two walk out. “It’s smaller on the outside,” Blue says. “It’s a bit more exciting when you go the other way,” says The Doctor. The crew of the Aristotle initially wants to kill the Doctor, but thinking that he is a doctor, they have a patient for him… a dalek.
In a rare moment, we see Clara at work, at the school. There’s a new teacher, Mr. Pink, a former soldier who teaches math. The two have a completely awkward interaction thanks to Mr. Pink. Let me tell you, though, if I could flirt like Clara can I’d be all set! Anyway, Clara steps into a supply closet, I think, and comes face to face with the Tardis, and the Doctor, two coffees in hand. He takes her to the Aristotle to see the dalek yelling about how all daleks must be exterminated. Well, that’s a switch!
The Aristotle crew plans to shrink themselves and enter the supposed good dalek to fix the medical ailment. Clara and the Doctor along with some soldiers are up for the mission. “This is a dangerous mission and you look like a school teacher,” a soldier observes, to which Clara responds: “I am a school teacher!”
Inside the dalek is more mechanical than organic, but once one of the soldiers, Ross, sends a grappling hook-type thing into the dalek’s biology, dalek anti-bodies come to attack him like an infection. They completely disintegrate Ross. The rest of the crew jumps down a chute to escape the anti-bodies and land in something that looks very much like bodily fluid. “What is this stuff?” asks Clara. “People,” says the Doctor matter-of-factly, explaining that the dalek, who he’s taken to calling Rusty, need protein which the store from the people they kill.
Rusty the dalek says that saw a start being born and realized that life is resilient. He saw beauty in the universe and that’s why he’s not like other daleks. The crew powers on to help Rusty and crawl through to his heart.
“Any remarks about my hips will not be appreciated,” says Clara as they crawl. “Oh your hips are fine; you’re built like a man!” replies the Doctor. To this back-handed compliment, she utters “…thanks.”
Once in the heart, radiation is off the charts. They find a leak in the power cell and the Doctor stitches it up with his sonic screwdriver to stop the radiation poisoning. With that, the malfunction is corrected, and he is as any other dalek is. He starts exterminating everyone on the Aristotle.
Miniaturized and trapped inside a dalek, the remainder of the crew must get out. There’s a bit of a moral debate between Clara and the Doctor if there ever was a good dalek. The Doctor decides they must get to the cortex, which seems to filter Dalek thoughts and let through only evil. There, they must relocate the suppressed memory that made Rusty good.
One soldier, Gretchen, shoots her grappling hook up for Clara and Blue to get up to the cortex, sacrificing her life to the anit-bodies. As Gretchen dies, she opens her eyes to suddenly find herself having tea with Missy, who welcomes her to heaven. Guys, why do I have such bad feelings about her?
Clara hops into the cortex and starts pressing things, trying to turn the lights on that signify suppressed memories. As she does that, memories come flowing back to the dalek. The last memory is the birth of the star, the memory that made the dalek see beauty and divinity in the universe. Rusty starts remembering, but resisting. The Doctor tries to persuade him, and finally, to show him beauty. He melds his memories with his and the dalek sees beauty in the universe, he sees divinity… then, he sees hatred, hatred for the daleks that the Doctor holds. With that, Rusty is back to being a dalek-hating-dalek, and he goes on a spree of destruction, exterminating all the invading daleks.
It’s confirmed: a dalek’s nature is simply to destroy. I thought you were a good dalek, the Doctor says to Rusty. “I am not a good dalek. You are a good dalek,” he replies.
Well! I’ve got to say, as far as daleks go, Rusty has been pretty damn interesting!
The last remaining soldier of the Inside the Dalek crew, Blue, wants to join the Doctor, but he has something against soldiers. I’m kind of glad; I didn’t really connect with Blue.
I’m still getting used to Twelve. I do like Peter Capaldi, but I don’t get Twelve yet. I do love his red jacket lining! How are you all feeling about the new Doctor and the new season?