What did we learn today? There’s no such thing as a good…anything, really. Everyone has flaws, humans, Timelords, Daleks…the Doctor (yeah, yeah he’s a Timelord, but let’s put him in his own category anyway). This theme’s been a’cooking for a while now, and this episode clearly lays the foundation down for a series-long study of the Doctor’s moral makeup. With a Dalek (who the Doctor dubs Rusty) suffering from morality (taking us right back to series one’s ‘Dalek’ innit?) as the central plot, the Doctor, Clara and a few soldiers are shrunken ‘Honey I shrunk the Doctor!’- style and off into the heart of the Dalek (darkness) they go.
Surely the Doctor should have known that by ‘fixing’ Rusty, the Dalek would revert to his natural state of hate. Was a bit dumb. However through this central plot-line the Doctor is faced with an idea that’s been giving him intense internal turmoil for the the better part of 2000 years. Because when Rusty gets a glimpse into the Doctor’s mind there’s a hiccup as he picks up on the Doctor’s hatred of the Daleks. And the age old ‘we’re not so different, you and I’ rears its familiar head.
Is the Doctor a good man? He makes quite a few judgement calls that could be deemed cold, but this isn’t new. Clara’s answer, that she doesn’t know if he’s a good man but the fact that he tries is the point, works. The Doctor often needs his companion, or carer, to slap some sense into him. And in this instance Clara literally does. Capaldi’s stint as the Doctor is shaping up to be rather excellent, and I welcome all the coldish zingers with open arms. He’s looking to be less apologetic in the sense that he doesn’t beat around the bush about the facts. The Doctor’s dynamic with Clara is, in my improving, Clara should be glad he forgot her in Scotland (which isn’t too far from her home, and is thankfully in the same time and on earth). Also, our introduction to Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) was great. I can already see the Doctor not liking Danny- not just because of his alpha maleness (even if he’s socially awks) but because he was a soldier. Even one with enough of a conscience to reflect upon past deaths and shed a tear in front of a class of students. Way to make us all uncomfortable, sir! I’m already living for any and all his interactions with Clara. I bet you’re living for it. That’s what I said. I bet you say that.
Next week we’re off to Sherwood Forest!
– Why couldn’t the Doctor have taken Journey with him? Think of all the puns!
– And Missy, once again in ‘heaven’ greeting those who’s ‘passed on’ during the episode. Nobody guards the dead, aye?
– Danny Pink, ladies and gentlemen. Lady Killer extraordinaire.