Thursday, 4 September 2014

Weekly Review: Doctor Who; Into the Dalek


Also, if you don't watch Doctor Who, you're probably going to find this whole post entirely confusing and boring. Might I suggest you go to Netflix and start watching the series instead? It may take you a while as there are 7 series until you get to this episode, but I absolutely promise you that your life will be altered permanently for good and you will spend the rest of your life so grateful that you took the time to watch hour after hour of pure TV awesomeness. Tomorrow I'll talk about something a little less niche, I promise. 

So, I had every intention of doing one of these reviews for all the new Doctor Who episodes but then failed miserably on the first one, due to the whole 'moving house' and 'general laziness' shizzle going on last week. As such, I'm going to start with Episode 2 of Series 8 and reference certain highlights from Episode 1 as I go along... 

First off, can I just say I am 100% on board with the new Doctor. With most Doctors, I tend to take a while to get used to them in the role whilst I move on from the previous Doctor and deal with the change. With Matt Smith it took me approximately halfway through his first season before I was fully in sync with him, and that was a Doctor who eventually became my favourite of them all. 

That being said, you would think that I was going to struggle a lot with his leaving my screen but Capaldi swept into Victorian London and I found myself accepting him as the Doctor almost instantaneously. For that I congratulate Capaldi. He clearly knows what he's doing and I'm excited for what he's going to continue to do. 

When finding out that this episode was going to be another Dalek orientated episode, I can't say I was as excited as I normally am. As a deep rooted Whovian, I will always love any new episode thrown my way, but the Daleks are never my favourite of the storylines when they occur. Having said that, I did like the take that they gave this particular Dalek episode. The idea being that they had found the first 'good' Dalek and were miniaturised and inserted into its body... 'Inner Space' style (now there's a blast from the past movie to take a moment to remember and reflect on...). 

The storyline was okay, a bit samey in places, the antibodies feeling very similar to a certain 'Let's Kill Hitler' episode in Season 6 and the afore mentioned recycled Dalek premise, but I enjoyed seeing Capaldi's Doctor being the Doctor and not spending the entire episode questioning who he was and trying to prove to everyone else that, although he's old, he can still be the Doctor... Just a side note, as much as I enjoyed Episode 1, I did feel that they basically got Clara to play the part of all fangirls out there who watched Doctor Who because they fancied Matt Smith. It clearly spent an hour and 15 minutes trying to convince this particular group of people that, although Capaldi might not be as young as Matt, he is still worth watching, then going ahead and begging them all not to turn off their TVs because they can no longer see him as boyfriend material... granted, I do feel that this needed to happen, otherwise they ran the risk of losing a bunch of fans, but still I don't buy that Clara would have had as big an issue over the whole 'regeneration' thing as she is the only companion to have been present at every one of the Doctors generations. Just a thought. 

Capaldi was great in this, and I did like him. I'm still not 100% there, but that's just due to not being used to him. As I did with Matt Smith, I'm sure after this series is over and I go back to watch them all again (which is what will inevitably happen... a couple 100 times) I'm going to love all his lines and the way he delivers them, but the first time round, I'm still trying to work him out, and that's okay. However, as mentioned above, I'm a lot further on with him than any of the others... like 90% there. 

The main change in Capaldi's Doctor that I am simultaneously most excited about as well as it terrifying me to my very core, is the dark side of him that is coming out. Episode 1, when he left Clara, I genuinely didn't know if he was going to come back and the question of whether he pushed the Cyborg out of the spaceship sent shivers down my spine. If I'm honest, I'm leaning towards the idea that he did... or at least said something that convinced him to jump. 

The one that has shocked me the most so far however is his decision to not even try to save the soldier in Into the Dalek. You know the bit I'm talking about, they're in the Dalek, one of the soldiers has damaged the Dalek, the antibodies are coming to kill this person, and instead of the Doctor frantically scrambling around to at least try to save this man, he gives him a tracker to eat with the hinted promise that he was saving him, and then lets him die without batting an eyelid; already deciding that his death is going to be more useful to him than him being alive. This is the biggest thing that I have seen this Doctor do so far that made me say "Matt Smith's Doctor would never have done that." Again, this isn't a bad thing, I wasn't disappointed that this happened, but it did terrify and excite me a lot. He has lost that desperate need to save everyone and anyone and now seems to be focusing on the bigger picture only, the one that is the most logical... his emotional side seems to have taken a back seat. Considering that both episodes so far have shown him to do something to this effect, I can't help but expect that something equally as ethically blurred will continue to happen in all future episodes as well... Again, both terrified and excited and not quite sure what to do with myself. 

Now for the others: 

Clara: I've not exactly been on board with Clara up until this series. I've liked her but she hasn't really stood out for me... she was going the way of Martha Jones in my books; okay to watch when she was on, but very quickly forgettable once she had gone. However, in this series, I am beginning to become a fan. Her speech in 'Deep Breath' about being terrified and therefore dangerous etc, sent shivers down my spine, and when she reached behind her for the Doctor to take her hand I stopped breathing altogether in anticipation... which was quite fitting considering the title. (I also tried to hold my breath for as long as she did and failed miserably, that woman has some lungs on her... either that, or she was cheating and breathing through her nose.) In Into the Dalek, I also really liked her. I like the way the relationship between her and the Doctor has changed. She's no longer the doting 'I well fancy him' companion, but rather someone who is a lot more of use to him. As awesome as the line was:

Clara: I'm his carer 
Doctor: Yes, she's my carer, she cares so I don't have to

(I laughed heartily) by the end of the episode, I was beginning to realise that this was actually pretty true. Her slap was awesome, her keeping him in check throughout was awesome, and Moffat is really pulling it out of the bag when it comes to her speeches. Yup, she keeps this up and I may have to bump her up my list of favourite companions... 

Danny Pink: I instantly liked Danny. I'm intrigued by him and I'm excited that they've brought in a soldier as a regular character. This is the first time they've really done this since the rebirth of Doctor Who, I reckon it's going to be intriguing. I get a sneaky suspicion we might not see him in the next episode, but you never know. I'm very excited for the inevitable 'Danny starts to travel with the Doctor' episode which must be soon. 

And now for the most exciting mystery character ever: 

Missy: We've had mystery characters pop in and out of episodes throughout series before, but this one? This character? Oh my days. I love her. Yes, I was biased beforehand as the actress plays my all time favourite character; Sue White in the Green Wing, but even without that, I am sold and happy and altogether buzzing with anticipation. I love it when Doctor Who brings in slightly unhinged characters... you just don't know where the hell they're going to take it. 

There are a ridiculous amount of guesses and predictions on who Missy is. I have my favourite, which I also think is the majority of Whovians' favourite as well. The Master-The Mistress-Missy... she's a female regeneration of The Master. If that is the case, I can't imagine a better actress to play that role. I'm most sold on this, but knowing Moffat, I'm also not convinced that it isn't going to be that simple so I'm fully prepared for a twist of epic proportions. Also, even if she is The Master, we still have no idea how she's talking to dead people, if she is talking to dead people, or she's somehow saving them... I'm pretty much convinced that she isn't in some form of heaven, but I think she's building an army for something, and I cannot wait to find out what it's all about... All in all though, her appearances in the episodes are beginning to become my most looked forward to part. I really hope she makes an appearance in each one... 

So, this review may have been a mostly generalised review of the two episodes, rather than just Into The Dalek, but now that I'm caught up, we can go forward with the strict episodes review. If you have any disagreements, agreements, topic points, or reasons to yell obscenities for my blatant lack of understanding of something, then please feel free to comment below. 

Very excited about Robot of Sherwood on Saturday. It looks highly amusing and I love it when Doctor Who does funny. 

Peace out my lovelies.

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