The Latest of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who (a few days late due to Comcast)

Summary: Is there such a thing as a Good Dalek?  or a Good Doctor?

Plot:  The Doctor saves a soldier about to be killed by the Daleks, and is asked by her commanders if they can heal a wounded Dalek who has apparently turned Good,   He pops over to pick up Clara from work where she is flirting with a teacher named Danny Pink and with a team from the ship are miniaturized & injected into the Dalek.  Can they heal and save this “good” Dalek and if they do will it still be good when they are done?

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Writing:  As a rule I don’t care for Dalek stories and they don’t really impress me as a villain but Steven Moffat & Phil Ford  managed to do something great with it.  The whole concept of what is good and what is evil comes into play without sacrificing any of the action that a Dalek episode implies.  It also emphasizes the new style and thought process of this incarnation of the Doctor without sacrificing wit.  I’m really starting to think that while River Song is the character that has been in Moffat’s head nearly forever this is the incarnation of the Doctor he’s dreamed of all his life.  I’m hoping to see more than the “broken solder” when it comes from Danny Pink and I found myself waiting for the School Secretary to say “Nudge Nudge wink wink say no more” but all of that stuff will likely be resolved over the next few episodes.

Acting:  I have a feeling that this section is going to be rather repetitive until Capaldi does something wrong or stupid.  For the 2nd episode in a row he doesn’t put a foot wrong.  He remains the best part of the this season and  has Moffat’s 12th Doctor down cold.  Jenna Coleman meanwhile proves she isn’t limited by which doctor she is with to shine. As I said  Samuel Anderson’s Danny Pink is almost stereotypical as the solder with regret but does an OK job with it.  The rest of the cast from Zawa Ashton to Michelle Morris do yeoman’s work and Laura Dos Santos takes her one big scene and runs with it to the point where you are delighted to see her have a cup of tea.

Memorable Moments:  Please and thank you, what are you children?,I  bet you did, , You’re my hobby,  I was  saving us, I see Hatred, you passed the test.

Doctor Who Flashbacks:  Shades of both Journey’s End (10th Doctor) II have seen the Dalek & Evil of the Daleks (2nd Doctor) making good Daleks in this plot.

Oddities: Why would a Dalek have an area for dead people or things?  If this is basically a Dalek’s waste does that mean Daleks have to eat and if so what?

Pet Peeves:  I seem to recall the Doctor was quite fond of soldiers his best friend being some guy named the Brigadier.

Even with the element of surprise Rusty had no business outfighting all those others.

Great Quote(s):

The Doctor:  What are those ones for? I don’t need armed baby-sitters. 
Gretchen:  We’re not baby-sitters.
Ross: We’re here to shoot you dead if you turn out to be a Dalek spy. 
The Doctor: Well, that’s a relief. I hate baby-sitters

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Gretchen:   Tell me the truth. Is he mad, or is he right? I’ve come this far. Probably going to die anyway. Wouldn’t mind something to do for the rest of my life. Is he mad, or is he right?

Clara: Hand on my heart? Most days he’s both. 

Gretchen:  One question, then. Is this worth it? 

The Doctor: If I can turn one Dalek, I can turn them all. I can save the future. 

Gretchen:  Gretchen Alison Carlisle. Do something good and name it after me. 

The Doctor:   I will do something amazing, I promise. 

Gretchen:  Damn well better. 

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The Doctor:   I saved your life, Rusty. Now I’m going to go one better. I’m going to save your soul. 
Rusty the Dalek:   Daleks do not have souls.
The Doctor:  Oh, no? Imagine if you did. What then, Rusty? What would happen then? 

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The Doctor:  See, all those years ago, when I began, I was just running. I called myself the Doctor, but it was just a name. And then I went to Skaro. And then I met you lot and I understood who I was. The Doctor was not the Daleks

Final Verdict: Five stars.  Unusual for the 2nd episode of a Doctor to be this good.  The job of a 2nd episode is to keep you from being let down after a premiere and keep you wanting more, Into the Dalek does the job in spades.

Ranking of Season: 1st of two.   Anxious to see what the crew is going to offer to knock it off.

1.  Into the Dalek
2. Deep Breath

Victory of the Daleks (Initial review here)

Summary: Has Winston Churchill made an alliance with the Doctor’s greatest enemy in order to defeat Hitler?

Plot: The Doctor arrives in London during the blitz to find the new secret weapon of Churchill’s strongly resembles the Daleks. Are these actually the Ironsides invented by a Scottish genius or do the Daleks have a cunning plan, and why doesn’t Amy remember them the Dalek invasion of earth anyways?

Writing: There is a lot to digest here, the supporting characters are written pretty cardboard, but Churchill is much better as is Bracewell. The “lit up city” business while a fair plot device isn’t earth shaking. The “spitfires” were a lot of fun, a tad corny but had to love it. On the down side the resolution to the final problem was meh.

Acting: McNeice did Churchill very well and Patterson’s Bracewell was just as good and we see another Angry Doctor episode sequence. While I didn’t like some of the resolution I really like Gillian’s pond in this one. As for the rest of the supporting cast, I found them over the top.

Memorable moments: Jammy Dodgers, Spitfires in Space, Paisley boy

Oddities: The Dalek progenitor device is designed to create Daleks based on a totally different design rather tan an existing Dalek one, apparently after being teased by the Cybermen they have developed a sense of elegance.

Pet Peeves: Shouldn’t Brits of the 40’s be treating Amy different than they do, particularity with her clothing.?

Great Quote(s): Dalek: “You do not require Tea?”

Final Verdict. A stronger episode that the previous one but the first of several that will have weak resolutions.fun episode if you don’t think about the plot holes too much but I’ve found the more I’ve watched it the more the plot hole scream out at me.

Three 1/2 Stars

Ranking in Series 5 to date 2nd out of 3

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Victory of the Daleks
3. The Beast Below

Ranking in Matt Smith Era (out of 2)

1. The Eleventh Hour
2. Victory of the Daleks
3. The Beast Below

both starring Peter Cushing as a very human Are now available for free viewing on Youtube:

The first was called Dr. Who and the Daleks the second and more notable one is Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. made notable by the appearance of Bernard Cribbins who would later play Wilfred Mott opposite the 10th doctor.

Neither is anything near canonical to the series but they made a respectable amount of money in the mid 60’s.

Hat Tip Combom

At the end of the last episode we found out that the Doctor has given at least one major player in history his number and so off he goes to 1941 to answer the Call of Winston Churchill.

In the middle of the Blitz Winston’s scientists have come up with the ultimate secret weapon, it shoots down planes and even fetches tea, however the doctor finds them strangely familiar.

Ian McNiece’s Churchill is first rate, the basic plot is very good. The Dalek plan is exciting and there are several really comic moments that work.

I don’t like the “did you ever fancy somebody” resolution to the bomb and that keeps it back. I think Amy is not used well here. and that hurts it too.

Rating ****

Last episode: The Beast Below

Next Episode: The Time of Angels

My review of the Big finish Adventure 121: Enemy of the Daleks staring Sylvester McCoy as the 7th Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Phillip Oliver as Hex is available at Amazon.com here.

As always you can pick up the episode at Mike’s Comics and you can listen to a preview here.

Update: Wrong link for the preview, corrected.

Terror firmaMy review of Big Finish #72 Doctor Who Terror Firma Staring Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor, India Fisher as Charley Pollard, Conrad Westmaas as Crizz and Terry Molloy as Davors is available at Amazon.com here.

Doctor Who magazine voting not withstanding I have given this audio the lowest rating I’ve ever given any Dr. Who audio I’ve reviewed. It was simply dreadful.

Out of the last 8 of the new series (not counting the three latest that i don’t have yet) that I’m missing there are 3 more Charley, Crizz 8th doctor adventures. I sure hope they are better than this one or I’m steering toward a huge letdown.

If you simply MUST have it to complete your set then Mike’s Comics does carry it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Patient-zeroMy review of Big Finish adventure 124 Doctor Who: Patient Zero Starring Colin Baker, India Fisher , Nicholas Briggs is available at Amazon.com here.

This begins the end of the the days of the Doctor and Charley. And for us fans we can only be grateful for the time we’ve had together.