Into the Dalek begins with The Doctor picking up Journey Blue (Fresh Meat‘s Zawe Ashton) from her ship, Aristotle, just before it’s been destroyed, and in trying to help, he winds up in a hospital where he’s mistaken for being *a* doctor, rather than *the* Doctor.
Doctors need patients and this one’s a Dalek. Unfortunately, for our titular hero, they’ve figured out how to miniaturise people so that, in this case, doctors can operate on patients. As he quips, “Fantastic idea for a movie. Terrible idea for a proctologist.”
Meanwhile, Clara’s gone back to being a teacher – like you would if you have all of time and space at your disposal – and meets her stupidly-named new colleague, Danny Pink. And, naturally, because he’s a man who fancies Clara, he makes a prize tit of himself in front of her. Love makes fools of us all…
The Doctor is still trying to piece himself together after the regeneration and asks Clara whether he’s a good man. Mysteriously, she replies that she doesn’t know, despite the fact she’s seen him do a lot of good in his former incarnation.
The twist, for a change with the Daleks, is that this Dalek has turned good and realised that all Daleks must die…
And so Clara, The Doctor and Journey, along with Gretchen and Ross (Ideal‘s Ben Crompton – he’s on probation!) go on a fantastic voyage to sort it out. While inside, The Doctor comments, “Imagine the most horrible thing in the universe. Then don’t bother, because you’re looking at it now.”
Another one-liner also comes early on, as The Doctor introduces his companion, “This is Clara. She’s not my assistant, she’s my… carer. She cares so I don’t have to.”
And, while following Clara through a tunnel inside the Dalek, she says “Any remarks about my hips won’t be appreciated”, to which The Doctor replies: “Ah, you’re built like a man”. “Thanks(!)”, she counters.
Alas, in repairing the Dalek they’ve accidentally realised it was never good and so it’s now bad again. Not only that, it’s summoning all the others which are somehow all alive again (don’t they keep killing them off?)
However, when the Doctor’s going to sort it out, once again the writing falls down because when questioned how he’s going to succeed, he always says something along the lines of “Not a clue”, until pulling a metaphorical rabbit out of a hat to save the day. Same goes for Clara’s task.
Unfortunately, The Doctor sorts things out with some sort of nonsense mind trick, while Clara’s success amounts to no more than pushing random buttons. Hence, it’s pretty much a bollocks conclusion. And, finally, she responds to her co-pilot’s question of whether he’s a good man, with “I think you try to be, and that’s probably the point.”
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the episode and the full cast list.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.