Okay, but was anyone else not at all surprised that those teleportation capsules weren’t actually going to kill their users? Because for some reason — first when I saw Saibra use hers, and then more firmly when Psi used his — I couldn’t stop thinking about the disintegration rays in Bad Wolf.
September 21, 2014
On this weeks edition of “Peter, what is your face?”
September 13, 2014
Doctor Who Reviews - Into the Dalek (S8E02)
Is it just me, or is Doctor Who on fire right now!?
I had high hopes for this episode in particular because, beside Steven Moffat, writing this episode was none other than Phil Ford (aka writer of my favorite New Who episode ever, the Waters of Mars). However I was also a bit worried as well. The Daleks have featured as a main villain in nearly every series since the show rebooted (the exception being Series 6 where they made a quick 5 second cameo). Being the Doctor’s oldest recurring foe, it’s difficult to find new things to do with the Daleks. Already the writers have been making them less scary and more defeatable with each episode. Last time an episode tried to make a recurring foe scary again, we got Nightmare in Silver which, while not a bad episode, did not fully meet it’s goal, especially with a writer as a good as Neil Gaiman behind it.
So does this “new” take on the Daleks set itself apart?
Phil Ford and his morally ambiguous Doctor:
In Phil Ford’s previous adventure, the Waters of Mars, he explored the Doctor’s morality. When is he right? Is he always justified? Is the Doctor not necessarily the big grand hero that we sometimes hold him to be? The answer to that questions is: No. This concept has been missing from Doctor Who for a while. It’s been lightly hinted at in the last few years, but we’ve seen a lot of occurrences of the Doctor doing something very controversial and he is rarely or only lightly held accountable by the narrative as well as his companion. Both in the “Deep Breath” and “Into the Dalek” it seems the narrative is finally holding him accountable as it asks whether the Doctor is a good man. The episode ends full circle as “Rusty” the Dalek says to the Doctor “You are a good Dalek.” Echoing a line from the 2005 episode Dalek. And his actions really seem to indicate that maybe he’s right. The Doctor clearly cares but he’s much more calculating, cold and ruthless, especially in the face of death. Using one of the soldiers as bait so that the rest of them can escape, making sarcastic jokes during inappropriate times, and being kind of an ass when the Dalek turns bad again. This Doctor clearly wants to just get things done. Thank god we have Clara to slap (literally) some sense into him. Speaking of which
CLARA FREAKING OSWALD!
Who are you and what have you done with the under-developed plot device?
Seriously though, Clara has undergone a serious transformation. It’s honestly like someone went into the script and cast a spell on her that turned her into a real girl like the Blue Fairy to Pinnochio.
We’ve been waiting for a Clara that can really hold her own and challenge the Doctor on his occasional bullshit and that she does. The Doctor really starts to be a jerk in this episode in order for him to feel validated in his blatant racism toward the Daleks (somewhat justifiable given that they are Daleks but still). His insistence that there can’t be a good Dalek (not to mention the tasteless jokes he makes in relation to the death of a squad member that he made happen in order for them to escape) finally give Clara the urge to give him a proper slap that is just oh so satisfying
Not to mention she’s the one coming up with all the ideas that eventually saves the day. Her experiences as a teacher, like the last episode, comes into play here and we really see how it impacts her life and choices both in mundane situations like dating and in dangerous circumstances inside a Dalek.
Not much is known about Danny yet, we’ve only gotten a small introduction to his character but he seems like he’ll be cool. It will be interesting to see how the Doctor reacts to him given his supposed wariness of soldiers. I don’t have much to say about him other than I like his awkwardness. It’s different from Rory’s awkwardness. We’ll have to see more when he shows up in “Listen”
I’m not quite sure how I feel about the Doctor casually making somewhat insulting remarks to Clara. It seems like it’s becoming a thing. Perhaps it’s over-compensation for the flirting in the last season. I mean it seems like one of this Doctor’s traits is that he is extremely honest, almost to a fault. Like when he thinks something, he never sugar-coats it. We’ll see if this plays out more.
Most were in the background but I’m glad that we actually got a bit of development with them, primarily from Journey Blue. She seems to have a consistent personality. She’s stern and focused but she does have a compassionate side. I actually would have liked her to stick around for the few episodes in the series as a temporary companion.
Must see: …Probably. There are elements of the story arc at play. Missy makes another appearance. But more importantly it seems to be extremely important to the Doctor (and Clara’s) character development. So I wouldn’t skip.
September 12, 2014
The Doctor arrives at Coal Hill School
fifteen minutes late with a Starbucks three weeks late with a nondescript brand of coffee, and he and Clara are off on another adventure! Like last week’s “Deep Breath,” “Into the Dalek” was a superb episode marred by an increasingly odd dynamic between…
Max’s review of Into the Dalek is coming later today. But while you wait, check out alum Alyssa’s review over at Whovian Feminism.
September 11, 2014
Doctor Who @ AU turned 2 today!
September 10, 2014
Let me get this right... you are a group at a University for Doctor Who fans to gather together and watch episodes??? I am actually considering moving to America to simply be a part of this!!! :D —by carrie-rose-tyler
That’s us, yes! We are based out of American University which is located in Washington, DC. :) I don’t know where you live but I think you could try starting the same thing wherever you go to school, or are planning to go to school.
I believe I have found my favorite part of last night’s episode.
September 7, 2014