Doctor Who Series 8 Review “Into the Dalek”

Though I do think that the Daleks have been featured far too much since Doctor Who was revived in 2005, I am still a fan of the Doctor’s greatest enemy. And, frankly, I think every Doctor should face off against the Daleks at some point or another, so might as well go for it right out of the gate with the Twelfth’s first true adventure. Fortunately, “Into the Dalek” was a strong showing for the genocidal maniacs, showing them in a new light while also giving us a better idea of who this new Doctor is.

Honestly, the Daleks were almost incidental to the narrative this time around, with the bigger focus falling on how this version of the Doctor faces threats and failure. He’s certainly a colder figure, not only accepting Ross’ death but rushing it along in order to help save the rest of the team. He’s also a much more cynical Doctor, rushing to conclusions about the evil of the Daleks instead of appreciating the possibility of a good Dalek. In that same vein, it reinforced this Doctor’s need for a companion, with Clara helping to keep him positive and showing that she still believes in him.

On the new character side, we were introduced to Danny Pink, a love interest for Clara and future companion of the Doctor. Though he didn’t have much screen time here, I liked his nervous energy and mysterious background. Also, though I didn’t mention her last week, we got another glimpse of Missy and “heaven,” an element that will no doubt continue to be built up until the season finale. No real opinion on either yet, but I’m curious to see where both storylines go.

Now, this episode’s biggest negative was the visual effects, which is kind of to be expected from Doctor Who. Honestly, I more or less used to the shoddy look to the show at times, but the overuse of green screens in this episode made it hard to ignore. Also, the Doctor’s mindmeld with Rusty was oddly shot, consisting mostly of the Doctor talking into the camera. I don’t know that I have a better idea of how to show off their brains interacting, it was just a noticeably low-tech way to handle it.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!