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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. 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 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. 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. 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, takes the Doctor to a dying Dalek — later nicknamed Rusty — that they have managed to capture. At first the Doctor is uninterested in helping the creature, until stunned when the Dalek voices its desire to slaughter the rest of its own kind!

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. The Doctor claims he needs Clara's help urgently, explaining the situation on the way. He then looks despairingly and sits down. He takes the liberty of asking her to tell him — as honestly as she can — if she thinks he is a good man, to which she answers that she does not know. The Doctor stands up and agrees with her.

Back on the Aristotle, the Doctor explains that a malfunction that is also killing it has given the Dalek a conscience and he, fascinated by the idea, has agreed to help it. 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.

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". 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.

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.

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.

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

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







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

IntoTheDalekPlayset

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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