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Into the Dalek was the second episode of the eighth series of Doctor Who produced by BBC Wales, and marked the Twelfth Doctor's first encounter with the Daleks. Danny Pink is also introduced in this episode, as well as his background of being an ex-soldier. However, he doesn't interact with the Doctor until The Caretaker ; it also marked the beginning of Clara and Danny's relationship. Also making his first appearance is Coal Hill School headmaster Mr. Armitage, who would be a recurring character in Doctor Who and its spin-off Class.

Oddly, it's never revealed if the Doctor managed to get Clara back to December 25, which where she was picked up before his regeneration. All that's noted is it's been three weeks.

Featuring the Doctor and Clara leading a miniaturised team inside a Dalek, this story originated as a pitch by Steven Moffat for a Doctor Who video game before deciding to save the idea for an episode, handing it over to Phil Ford. (DOC: Into the Dalek)

The episode explores the Doctor questioning whether or not he is a "good man", which would be a recurring theme addressed in Series 8.

The episode also shows the Doctor's first encounter with the Daleks three weeks after he regenerated, but more importantly from the Doctor's point of view after the 900-year siege on Trenzalore, as the Doctor's hatred for the Daleks is shown to have intensified because of Trenzalore. Clara even notes that the Doctor sounds prejudice towards them.

This marks the third time that a Dalek has seen the truth about its species. In Evolution of the Daleks, Dalek Sec realized the Daleks needed to return the flesh and "heart" to ensure the survival of their species. In Journey's End, it's revealed that after being driven insane by breaking through a time lock, Dalek Caan also saw the evil of the Daleks and manipulated events to allow the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor to be born to kill the New Dalek Empire, and granting Donna Noble the Doctor's knowledge. Much like Caan, Rusty shows an intense hatred of the Daleks because he saw life will continue despite their attempts to wipe it out.

Synopsis Edit

Surrounded by his greatest enemies, the newest Doctor will journey into the most dangerous place in all of the universe. With the limits of his compassion being tested, the Doctor will be forced to ask a question about himself that he doesn't know: "Am I a good man?"

Plot Edit

Journey Blue's ship is being shot at by a Dalek ship, and her brother Kai is unconscious. It begins exploded and Journey faints as she is enveloped by the light of the explosion.

She awakens, finding herself in the TARDIS console room. The Doctor stares at her silently, holding coffee. Grabbing her gun, Journey demands to know what is going on, as she examines the control room. The Doctor explains that he materialized his time capsule around her the moment of the explosion, saving her. Journey tells him her brother just died; the Doctor retorts that Kai's sister didn't, so she should take some peace in that.

Angered, Journey points her gun at the Doctor. He asks her to put her weapon away, because she might shoot him. When Journey says it will put her in control of his vessel, the Doctor laughs "you'd starve to death looking for the light-switch." She demands to be brought back to her command ship, the Aristotle, giving the coordinates. The Doctor tells her to get it right; taking his hint, Journey puts down the gun and politely asks to be taken back. Asking if it's the "big fella" behind the asteroid, the Doctor pilots the TARDIS.

It lands inside the ship and they depart. Journey is surprised the ship is smaller on the outside. The Doctor notes it's more amusing when said the other way around. Journey's uncle, Colonel Morgan Blue is grateful for the Doctor for saving journey, but plans to kill him and toss his corpse into space, to maintain the security of their location (out of paranoia that he may be a Dalek spy). Journey points out that they have need of a physician, however, and they have a patient.

Journey and Morgan lead the Doctor to a medical wing, where the Doctor wonders why a hospital needs a doctor. Journey explains that the ship wasn't always hidden; the Daleks found it first and killed everyone. The Combined Galactic Resistance later found the ship and turned it into their base. Seeing a shrinking device, the Doctor wonders if doctors are to be shrunk down and inserted into the patient to operate on them. Morgan confirms this. "Fantastic idea for a movie; terrible idea for a proctologist" the Doctor notes. Morgan opens the doors to the room where the patient is waiting. The Doctor is stunned, telling them they can't put him in that thing: it's a Dalek!

Coal Hill Cadets

Danny coaches his squad

Meanwhile, at Coal Hill School, a new Maths teacher, Danny Pink, a war veteran, meets with some students, the Coal Hill Cadet Squad, in the courtyard. Clara Oswald and he briefly catch each other's eye. Danny meets with the secretary to get his books for class; she asks him what he did the prior weekend. He truthfully says he did some reading, but she thinks he's a womanizer; outside, a girl laughs at her. Later, Danny is ending a class when one of his students asks if he has ever killed anyone. The rest of the students groan, and Danny implies that as a soldier, he may have killed enemy soldiers. The student persists by asking if he ever killed anyone who was not a soldier. Danny does not answer, but a lone tear appears in his eye as he dismisses class.

Sometime later, Danny is introduced to Clara, one of his fellow teachers. She recalls having seen him in the yard earlier. She then asks if he is going to the retirement party for one of the teachers later, which he indicates that he is not. Having awkwardly turned down her subsequent invitation for a drink, he verbally berates himself later once he has returned to his classroom. Unbeknownst to him, Clara has overheard him. Given another chance, he now accepts her invitation to have a drink.

Returning to her office, Clara discovers the Doctor standing there with the takeaway coffee. "Where the hell have you been?" Clara demands; the Doctor reminds her that she sent him for coffee. Bitter, she tells him it was three weeks ago in Glasgow; "which is dead in a ditch". He tells her that he got distracted. She wonders by what, to which he says there's always something as they enter the TARDIS.

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor looks despairingly and sits down. Clara sits with him, noting that he looks scared. The Doctor tells her that he is terrified. She asks what of, and the Doctor tells her it's the answer to his next question, which must be considered, honest and without remorse. He asks her to tell him if he's a "good man". Taken aback, Clara hesitantly tells him that she doesn't know; sighing, the Doctor tells her that neither does he. He heads to the controls. Clara tries protesting, but the Doctor tells her that he needs her desperately for what he is about to do.


"Are you my doctor?"

Flashback, the Dalek calls out to the Doctor. The Doctor wonders how it knows him. Morgan and Journey explain that it doesn't; they promised it medical assistance. It asks if the Doctor is there to help; the Doctor asks why. It states Daleks will die; the Doctor tells it to die all it wants. He walks away as the Dalek tells him that it's kind must be destroyed. The Doctor attempts to mock it, but realizes the oddity of what the Dalek just said; he asks the Dalek to repeat itself. The Dalek goes into a speech that it's kind are evil and must be destroyed.

Back to the present, Clara is surprised to hear about a moral Dalek. The Doctor tells her that there's no such thing as a good Dalek. Clara tells him that it's not like him to say such things, it was almost prejudice. The Doctor wonders if he pays Clara, telling her she deserves a raise. Clara smiles, telling the Doctor that he's not her boss; he's one of her hobbies.

The time travelers end up back in the medical wing, where the Doctor attempts introductions, but has forgotten who Journey and Morgan are. The Doctor presents Clara as his carer, not assistant; he tells them that she cares so he doesn't. They go back to the Dalek, who asks if they can help. The Doctor tells it that he will do his best to help. Clara wonders if they're really going to help; the Doctor states that he can't resist trying to figure out what has made a Dalek turn against it's own kid. They need to get into it's head; Clara wonders how until the Doctor says he wasn't being metaphorical

The group, consisting of the Doctor, Clara, Journey and two other rebel soldiers (Ross and Gretchen) are to be shrunken down and inserted into the Dalek's head. When warned not to hold her breath when being shrunk, Clara asks why; the Doctor explains it's like microwaving lasagna without pricking the top: it explodes. He encourages her with "don't be lasagna." Everyone is safely shrunk down and inserted into the Dalek through its eyestalk and begin exploring the upper levels.

Twelve listening to Rusty

The Doctor is surprised that a Dalek has learned to value the beauty of life

The Doctor takes the liberty of introducing the group to Rusty's artificial memory drive which filters out good memories and reinforces bad ones, calling it "evil refined and turned into a machine"; it's THE worse thing that's ever existed in the universe. Realising that they have to go down, Ross sets up a zip line which inadvertently damages Rusty's body and triggers the release of antibodies. Realising that he cannot save Ross, the Doctor has him swallow a pill that allows him to track where the antibodies store his obliterated remains so that they can hide there.

From there the group makes its way to the lower regions where they find the batteries. The Doctor then asks Rusty what made it turn on its own kind. It turns out that it witnessed the birth of a star, which made it realise the futility of the Daleks' mission of destruction.

Discovering a crack in one of the batteries that is leaking deadly radiation that is both killing Rusty and now them, the Doctor seals it off. Now that Rusty is fixed, it immediately returns to its programming and begins slaughtering the station's soldiers. Clara notes, however, that some part of the Doctor is actually pleased. She says that this has justified his belief that there is no such thing as a "good" Dalek.

Journey and Clara are furious with the Doctor's apathy, causing Clara to slap him hard — and points out to him that what they have learned is not that there is no such thing as a good Dalek, but that it is possible. Inspired by Clara's words, the Doctor instructs her, Gretchen, and Journey to make their way back to the memory drive and try to restore Rusty's memories of the star while he tries to reason with Rusty.

Gretchen sacrifices herself to set up a zipline to get Clara and Journey to the memory core while she fends off the antibodies coming after them. Dying from the antibodies, Gretchen finds herself in Heaven, where Missy introduces herself and offers her tea. Meanwhile, Rusty calls for backup from the Dalek fleet and plots to join in their slaughter of the rebels.

Shrunken Twelve at eye level with Rusty

The Doctor attempts to bring Rusty's morality back into play

Clara is able to deduce how Rusty's memory core works and reactivates all of his suppressed memories. The Doctor, meanwhile, is able to form a psychic link with Rusty and transfer memories to him. However, instead of simply reawakening its good side, Rusty is inspired by the Doctor's own "Divine Hatred" of the Daleks to instead try to wipe out the rest of its kind, whom it once again sees as evil.

Rusty destroys the rest of the Daleks on the station and the Doctor, Clara and Journey are returned to their proper size. Rusty has broadcast a retreat signal to the rest of the Daleks, falsely indicating the Humans' (completely fictional) intention to set the station to self-destruct. Rusty leaves to rejoin its kind, stating it will continue to work against them.

Before it goes Rusty disagrees with the Doctor's assessment that there is no such thing as a good Dalek: it says that the Doctor himself is a good Dalek. The Doctor also views it as something of a hollow victory: the Dalek looked into his soul and saw nothing but hatred.

Journey attempts to see the Doctor off when he abruptly begins to depart. She wishes to join him on the TARDIS as a companion, but the Doctor turns her down. While he recognises the good in her under the battle-hardened exterior, he just wishes that she wasn't a soldier. Journey watches with a subdued smile as the Doctor and Clara leave.

Clara is returned to Coal Hill School 30 seconds after the Doctor had picked her up, changing into new clothes in the meantime for her evening with Danny. As she leaves, she at last answers the Doctor's question about whether or not he is a good man — while she cannot say for sure that he is a good man, he tries to be one, which is the important thing. This somewhat reassures the Doctor. She joins Danny for their date, trying not to adopt the Doctor's policy against soldiers.

Cast Edit

Uncredited cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.

References Edit

Story notes Edit


Into the Dalek Character Options playset.

Ratings Edit

Filming locations Edit

Production errors Edit

  • A bouncing cushion is visible inside the remains of an exploding Dalek.

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

 DVD releases Edit

  • Doctor Who: Series 8 Boxset

Blu-ray releases Edit

  • Doctor Who: Series 8 Blu-ray Boxset

Digital releases Edit

  • The episode was released on Google Play, iTunes and Amazon Instant Video in HD or SD, also available as part of the Series 8 digital boxset. The digital boxset contains various features: trailer, interviews, The Ultimate Companion, The Ultimate Time Lord, Inside the World Tour and Doctor Who Extra episodes for each episode.
  • In the US, the series was released through digital streaming services Hulu and Netflix with a subscription.

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

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