Into the Dalek was the second episode of series 8 of Doctor Who. It was written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat, directed by Ben Wheatley and featured Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald.
It 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. 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.
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.
This marks the third time that a Dalek has seen the truth about its species. In Evolution of the Daleks, Dalek Sec realised 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.
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?"
Journey Blue's ship is being shot at by a Dalek ship, and her brother Kai is unconscious. She tries calling for help, but gets no response from the rest of her team as the Dalek ship closes in. Inside it's saucer, the Dalek orders maximum extermination and the ship fires a powerful blast at Journey's vessel. She screams in terror as everything begins blowing up around her.
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 to see if anyone else is there. The Doctor explains that he materialised 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, beginning to tell him where it's located However, the Doctor stops her and tells her "not like that." She demands to be brought back to her base. 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; he also makes note that they're in a space hospital. The other soldiers are grateful for the Doctor for saving Journey, but plan to kill him regardless, 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.
Journey's uncle, Colonel Morgan Blue shows the Doctor to a medical wing. The Doctor asks why a hospital needs a doctor, to which Morgan explains that the Aristotle wasn't always hidden; the Daleks got to it first. Since the Daleks had already killed every living thing in the place, the Combined Galactic Resistance thought it was the best place to turn into their hideout. Passing a capsule, the Doctor immediately recognises it as shrinking technology. Morgan confirms that the Doctor will be shrunk down and inserted into the patient."Fantastic idea for a movie. Terrible idea for a proctologist." the Doctor laughs. Morgan then brings the Doctor to a set of doors, introducing the Doctor to his patient: a Dalek!
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. 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 another colleague's event 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 she sent him for three weeks ago "in Glasgow. That's dead in a ditch." The Doctor apologises, telling Clara that he got distracted. She asks by what, to which he says they can always find something and heads to the TARDIS. Clara tries to stop him, but the Doctor grimly says he needs her help.
They enter the TARDIS, with the Doctor muttering to himself; he sits on the stairs. Clara sits with him, noticing that he's scared; the Doctor tells her that he's terrified. When asked by what, the Doctor tells her it's the answer to the question he's about to ask; it needs to be well-thought, considered and without restraint. Sipping her coffee, Clara hears the Doctor's question "Am I a good man?" Stunned, Clara tells him that she doesn't know. Sighing, the Doctor admits that he doesn't even know anymore since his centuries on Trenzalore. He heads to the controls, telling Clara that he needs, desperately, for what he's about to do next. When asked where they're going, the Doctor replys "into darkness" and activates the fast return switch.
The Doctor asks how the Dalek knows who he is (as he's yet to run into them in his current incarnation). Morgan tells the Doctor that the Dalek doesn't know who he is; they promised it medical assistance. The Daleks asks if he's it's doctor. Journey explains they found the Dalek floating in space, deactivated; they didn't know there was a living thing inside until they tried to open it up. The Doctor asks the Dalek why he should help it. It states that Daleks will die; the Doctor tells it to die all it wants and heads to leave. The Dalek then states that it's own kind must be destroyed. Annoyed, the Doctor turns around to mock it, but realises what it just said and asks the Dalek to repeat itself. The Dalek declares that it's kind is evil and must be destroyed.
Back in the TARDIS
Clara finishes her coffee, considering the idea of a moral Dalek. The Doctor tells her that there is no such thing. Clara notes that's very inflexible thinking for him, even prejudice. Smiling to himself, the Doctor asks if he pays Clara for being his companion, noting that she deserves a raise. Clara smiles broadly, telling the Doctor that he's not her boss; he's one of her hobbies.
Back on the Aristotle
The Doctor returns with Clara, mere moments when he last left. He introduces Clara to Journey and Morgan, but has forgotten their names. He introduces Clara as his "carer"; she cares so he doesn't have to. The Doctor greets the Dalek again, telling it he will do his best to help him; a Dalek so damaged that it's developed a conscience, how could any resist such a chance to see what caused this? Clara wonders how they are going to do that, to which the Doctor tells her; they are LITERALLY getting inside it's head.
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. The Doctor is against having armed babysitters with them, but calms down when he's informed they're only there to kill him and Clara if they turn out to spies. 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. The Doctor takes the liberty of introducing the group to the Dalek's artificial memory drive which filters out good memories and reinforces bad ones, calling it "evil refined and turned into a machine". The Dalek calls for the Doctor, to which he responds with a kind greeting and names him Rusty. Wondering what they're going to do, the Doctor tells them that they can't do a medical examination from there. Ross sets up a zip line, causing the Dalek to scream in agony. The Doctor yells at the idiot; the Dalek is a cyborg, a complete living thing. And what happens when a living thing is wounded?
Antibodies arrive, with the Doctor telling everyone to remain still or they will be tagged as other invading infections. The Doctor tosses Ross a pill, telling him to swallow; however, Ross is still reduced to dust by the antibodies and hoovered up. Journey asks what Ross swallowed, to which the Doctor answers was a spare power cell. He traces it with the sonic screwdriver, running after the eye that swallowed the ash.This leads everyone to a hole, where the Dalek's victims end up. The Doctor tells them that the antibodies won't stop until they're inside, and it's better going in alive than dead. Everyone jumps in, screaming in terror; except the Doctor, who enjoys the slide.
They end up in green goo, which is actually protein made of the victims; the Daleks harvest sometimes to make sure they are nourished. Ross is on the top layer, so the Doctor tells them to say a few words if they like. Journey pins him against a wall, upset at his indifference towards Ross being killed. The Doctor tells her that this is the weakest point in the Dalek's defence system; "nobody guards the dead." He mutters that mortuaries and larders are the easiest places to break out of, noting that he's lived a life. Journey informs Morgan of Ross's death.
The Doctor finds a bolt with a screen in it, undoing the bolt with his sonic. Clara tells Journey and Gretchen that the Doctor will get them out of this, if they listen to his instructions; the hardest part is not killing him before he can do so. They enter the passage, which the Doctor says is a decontamination tube, so it's a bit hot. Clara tells him not to make any remarks about her hips; he responds that there is nothing wrong with them, she's built like man.
They exit the passage, as the Doctor hears a Geiger counter crackle; it's coming from Gretchen, who hands the scanner to the Doctor. The Doctor explains that he's figured out what's wrong with Rusty, leading them further in. Clara wonders what caused Rusty to change his point of view, to which the Doctor asks it. Rusty explains it saw beauty, endless divine perfection; the birth of a star. The Daleks try wiping out all life in the universe, but "life returns, life prevails. Resistance is futile." They get to the batteries, which the Doctor says are leaking radiation; it's scrambled the casing's memory core, allowing Rusty's morality. The Doctor seals it off, accidentally causing Rusty to revert back to a normal Dalek and begin genocide.
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.
Clara is able to deduce how Rusty's memory core works and reactivates all of his suppressed memories about the star and his realisation about life. The Doctor, meanwhile, is able to form a psychic link with Rusty and transfer memories to him. The beauty of the universe is shown to Rusty, who is in awe. However, soon, the Doctor's hatred of the Daleks manifests and Rusty sees all the mass-murders the Doctor committed towards the Daleks. Despite the Doctor pleading with Rusty to see beyond that, Rusty is more drawn to the hatred towards Daleks and partially reverts back to its enlightened self.
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 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.
- The Doctor - Peter Capaldi
- Clara - Jenna Coleman
- Journey Blue - Zawe Ashton
- Colonel Morgan Blue - Michael Smiley
- Danny Pink - Samuel Anderson
- Gretchen - Laura Dos Santos
- Ross - Ben Crompton
- Fleming - Bradley Ford
- School Secretary - Michelle Morris
- Mr Armitage - Nigel Betts
- Courtney - Ellis George
- Dalek - Barnaby Edwards
- Voice of the Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
Uncredited cast Edit
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin|
|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.|
- Journey uses the call sign Wasp Delta while evading the Daleks.
- Journey says the TARDIS is "smaller on the outside".
- A moleculon nanoscaler is used to shrink down the Doctor, Clara, Journey, Gretchen, and Ross.
- The equipment of the Resistance soldiers includes a Geiger counter.
- A trionic radiation leak is the cause of the malfunctioning of the Dalek.
- In the TARDIS console room there is a blackboard, written with chalk, full of obscure calculations.
- Danny's classroom has a poster of quadrilaterals.
- Several times Rusty says, "Resistance is futile", the battle cry of the Borg, a recurring hostile race from Star Trek.
- Beth and Cathy are staff members at the school.
Story notes Edit
- The conclusion of this story is similar to the conclusion of the Big Finish audio story Jubilee, where a lone Dalek notices the error of its comrades and stops an invasion, and Journey's End, in which the time-warped Dalek Caan ensured that the defeat of Davros' Reality Bomb plot would always happen.
- While this is the Twelfth Doctor's first proper encounter with the Daleks, he had previously appeared briefly in both the episodes The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor, which also featured the Daleks.
- Footage of the extermination of security guard Bywater in Dalek and the Dalek attack on the Valiant in The Stolen Earth is seen in "Rusty's" Dalek memories, and the destruction of the Daleks and the Crucible in Journey's End is seen when Rusty looks into the Doctor's mind.
- When the Dalek states, "Spare no humans", a rather obvious use of 12" RC asylum Daleks are seen to be in use. This is recognisable because their ears are of a different colour to the actual props (slightly blueish) and their backs don't look right. They are also seen emerging into the human ship on the bridge when they say, "Seek, locate, destroy, surrender is not accepted."
- This is the first episode since The Waters of Mars to have two credited writers. Like The Waters of Mars, it is co-written by Phil Ford and the show's head writer (then Russell T Davies, now Steven Moffat).
- This is the first full episode since part one of The End of Time in 2009 to not feature an appearance from Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, and the first episode since Nightmare in Silver to feature a single incarnation of the Doctor.
- Rachel Talalay directed Missy's scene because Ben Wheatley was unavailable.
- According to Lance Parkin's Whoniverse: An Unofficial Planet-By-Planet Guide to the Universe of the Doctor, from Gallifrey to Skaro, the script for Into the Dalek specifies that the story takes place in the 31st century.
- Michael Smiley and Ben Wheatley are frequent collaborators.
- 7.29 million (DWM 479)
Filming locations Edit
- Holton Primary School, Barry, Wales - Coal Hill SchoolIf you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
Production errors Edit
- A bouncing cushion is visible inside the remains of an exploding Dalek.
- The Doctor greets Clara with the coffee he got in Glasgow, three weeks late; he claims to have been "distracted". (TV: Deep Breath)
- Clara is still getting used to the new Doctor following his regeneration. (TV: The Time of the Doctor, Deep Breath)
- The Doctor states that morgues are easy to break out of. The Eighth Doctor previously broke out of a morgue shortly after his regeneration. (TV: Doctor Who)
- Colonel Blue suspects the Doctor of being a Dalek duplicate. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks)
- As revealed by the Doctor, Daleks feed on protein, occasionally harvesting it from their victims. Davros previously converted the bodies on Tranquil Repose which were not used to create loyal Daleks, into a synthetic protein food source. (TV: Revelation of the Daleks) Conversely, the original Daleks of Skaro were also shown to subsist on vegetative matter that is pulped and transformed into a gas that is absorbed through their intake valves. (COMIC: City of the Daleks)
- Inside the Dalek, the Doctor says he works better under pressure. (TV: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship)
- "Rusty" tells the Doctor that he is a "good Dalek". The "Metaltron" encountered by the Ninth Doctor previously told him that he "would make a good Dalek." (TV: Dalek)
- Rusty sees the destruction of numerous Daleks and also the Crucible when looking into the Doctor's mind. (TV: Journey's End)
- This is not in fact the first time the Doctor has encountered the use of shrinking for medical purposes. At that time, clones of the Fourth Doctor and Leela were miniaturised and injected into the Doctor himself, where they also had to fight off antibodies. (TV: The Invisible Enemy)
- The miniaturisation technique used to enter Rusty is not unlike that of the Teselecta. The Dalek also houses defensive antibodies just as the Teselecta did. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler)
- The Eleventh Doctor previously met a Dalek, known by its kind as the Abomination, which was engineered to be "good". After its apparent destruction, he insisted to Amy Pond that there was no such thing as a "good Dalek". (PROSE: The Only Good Dalek)
- The Sixth Doctor met a Dalek that notices an error in the Dalek race, with his then-companion Evelyn Smythe helping the Dalek to find this. (AUDIO: Jubilee)
- Rusty's epiphany concerning his people and its adamance that the Daleks must be destroyed mirrors that of Dalek Caan after he lost his mind following his breaking of the time-lock. (TV: Journey's End)
- The Second Doctor once made "good Daleks" by converting them with the Human Factor, even giving them names. Due to the introduction of human thought processes, they questioned the other Daleks, leading to a riot after which the Daleks were destroyed. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
- The Doctor expresses a dislike for soldiers. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky, etc.)
- Clara still teaches at Coal Hill School. (TV: The Day of the Doctor, Deep Breath)
- Journey refers to the TARDIS as being "smaller on the outside". The Victorian splinter of Clara was the first to make that remark. (TV: The Snowmen) The Doctor tells Journey it's much more exciting when experienced the other way around. (TV: An Unearthly Child, The Three Doctors, etc.) Donna Noble also first encountered the TARDIS from within, and then marvelled at its external dimensions. (TV: The Runaway Bride)
- The Doctor recalls his first encounter with the Daleks on Skaro, (TV: The Daleks) and comments on how that experience shaped his identity. In his seventh incarnation, he believed in his darkest thoughts that he was responsible for the Daleks actions because they didn't know of other worlds before he came to Skaro. (AUDIO: the Lights of Skaro)
- Rusty somewhat mingles the ideas of beauty and hatred, a similar comment having been made by the Prime Minister of the Daleks. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
- After the Dalek antibodies seemingly kill Gretchen, she encounters Missy, who welcomes her to "Heaven". (TV: Deep Breath)
- Despite her request, the Doctor refuses to allow Journey Blue to travel with him, much as he did when Lady Christina de Souza asked the same. (TV: Planet of the Dead)
- Danny Pink retiring from the army to teach mathematics mirrors what Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart did upon retiring from UNIT. (TV: Mawdryn Undead)
- The Doctor berates Ross with, "You idiot!" after he uses a weapon to act without thinking and jeopardises everyone else's safety. The Eleventh Doctor did the same to when Lieutenant Stepashin used a cattle prod on Grand Marshall Skaldak. (TV: Cold War)
- The "Break the Silence" poster about school bullying that appeared outside the headmaster's office in Leadworth also appears on the wall in the supply closet behind the Doctor. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler)
- The recently regenerated Doctor questions his morality. Right before the Sixth Doctor's conscious identity of who he was and what he stood for faded out of existence after inducing his own regeneration, he decided to let go of his moral restraints and hesitations, giving rise to the much more manipulative Seventh Doctor. (AUDIO: The Brink of Death, TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) The Eighth Doctor took this a step further and let go of the name of the Doctor to become a warrior, regenerating into the aggressive and uncompromising War Doctor (TV: The Night of the Doctor, PROSE: Engines of War, The Day of the Doctor) who no longer made promises to people. (COMIC: Four Doctors). After forgetting how he saved Gallifrey, the Ninth Doctor showed a higher level of aggression and darkness than his predecessors. (TV: Rose-The Parting of the Ways, COMIC: Weapons of Past Destruction) Similarly, the Tenth Doctor turned unwilling to give anyone second chances shortly after regenerating. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)
- Rusty has access to memories experienced by other Daleks. All Dalek memories, knowledge and experiences are linked through Pathweb, the shared intelligence of the Daleks. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
- The Doctor and his companions were previously shrunk in TV: Planet of Giants.
- This is the second time the Daleks and Coal Hill School have featured in the same TV story. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- This is the second TV story to feature a soldier named Ross being killed by the enemy. (TV: The Poison Sky)
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.
- ↑ Gomez' credit is taken from TV: Deep Breath
- ↑ http://racheltalalay.tumblr.com/post/125498345964/hello-rachel-i-want-to-know-if-you-directed-any#notes