Once a week, we have an unapologetic Doctor Who geek-out here to discuss the latest episode. I’ve just finished watching the second episode of the 8th season of the rebooted Doctor Who called Into The Dalek. And oh, we have some picking apart of ideas and theories to do, people. This is not a summary and it does contain spoilers. Of course it does – we have to talk about this stuff! So let’s begin, Whovians…

from BBC

from BBC

First, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed our last discussion. I had no idea I had so many fellow Whovians here! When I wrote that out, I was convinced it would be a dead post, just my own personal bit of fun. But instead it turned into fantastic conversation in the comment section, just a good old fashioned blog chat of yesteryear without anyone cursing anyone out – great theories, so many connections I had missed, so much goodness there. I’m mixing my British television shows but it must be said: SUCH FUN. So tonight, don’t just read my thoughts here, make sure you weigh in the comments – there will likely be MUCH better stuff there.

(Okay – for the record, I hate the new opening. It is terrible, truly grim.  I was hopeful last week that it was a just a lame steampunk homage to the Victorian London setting of Deep Breath but no such luck. Bring back the vortex and the untempered schism!)

Let’s hit the big points, shall we? This episode was packed with throw-backs to Doctor Who history, big themes, weighty questions, and for once very little slapstick silliness.

Am I a good man? This is the central question of the episode and, let’s not kid ourselves, probably for the entire season. For all the mystery surrounding Missy, I think we’re really exploring the true nature and character of the Doctor this season. Which means we’re going to be pushed and poked on our most cherished beliefs about the Doctor, I imagine.

A few people pushed back on me last week for thinking that the Doctor pushed Half-Face Man out of that freaky skin balloon thing – after all, isn’t he non-violent? I don’t think I was wrong there though…. The Doctor has drifted pretty mightily from his old pacifist  ways, two-hearts-and-a-screwdriver, and the anti-gun rhetoric, most particularly seen in Ten.

This is an aspect of the Steven Moffat years that I do NOT like – I loved Russell T. Davis era for a few reasons (even the silliness) but one thing that he stayed pretty strong on was the Doctor’s heart(s) for life, his inherent curiosity and respect for alien life, and his abhorrence of murder. When he met a new alien or “threat” his first response was always wonder, curiosity, or respect for life. Yet….those glimmers of the menace were always there under the exterior, right? After all, let’s not forget the regeneration of Ten after the hand-to-hand combat with the Sycorax. After having his hand cut off and (in some spectacularly bad CGI) regrowing it because his regeneration cycle was still so fresh, the Sycorax wonders what kind of man he is.  And the Doctor runs through what kind of man he could be in a jocular way – a fighter, a lover (winks at Rose), etc. and then ends the scene by launching that guy off the ship into the air for a murderous fall to earth: “No second chances – I’m that kind of man.”

The Doctor may not like guns but there’s a lot of difference between someone who doesn’t like guns and someone who doesn’t take up the cause of justice in his own hands, too. For all his bouncy energy and hand-flapping, the Eleventh Doctor was remarkably ferocious.

Remember the episode A Good Man Goes to War? “All this, in fear of you, my love,” reproaches River Song. I remember in that same episode how Madame Kovarian sneered that he wouldn’t kill them because he was a good man and good men have too many rules. His response: “Good men don’t need rules. And now isn’t the time to find out why I have so many.” Even when the Great Intelligence confronted him at Trenzalore, he called the Doctor blood-soaked and by the tragic look on the Doctor’s face, you know he believes it. Then there was the glimpse into his consciousness with The Dream Lord – his level of self-hatred and self-loathing is immense.

And in this episode, yet again, the people with him become collateral damage, sacrificing themselves on the hope that he is both mad AND right.

He even states at one point that it was encountering the Daleks for the first time that woke him to the power of the name he had chosen – the Doctor. And that reminded me of the 50th anniversary special when he explained to Clara that his name, his real name, didn’t matter because the name that matters is the one you choose for yourself. So his name, the Doctor, was a promise he made to himself. He made that promise because he was so disgusted by the Daleks.

At the end of the episode, we really do feel conflicted about his character, right along with the Doctor. We don’t know if the Doctor is a good man. And that’s not just because of his Angry Eyebrows. It’s because we begin to realise he was right in Deep Breath – there are 2,000 years of history and a lot of mistakes there, it’s time to start doing something about that.

But Clara’s point – that he tries to be a good man and that is what redeems him really does hit onto the ambiguity of motivation. If his motivation is to be good, does it matter if he does bad things? I think yes but we’ll see where the show goes. Doing the wrong thing for the right reason or the Greater Good can land us in a terrifying place.

 

Clara as the Doctor’s Care-er – so he doesn’t have to care. This Doctor in these early days does seem more mercurial. Witness his pretense of saving Ross – when really he was just setting himself up to figure out what was going on plus the lack of emotion for the ones who died, even Journey Blue’s brother. Perhaps he’s come so far from the Time War now that he has forgotten how to care again. But remember – that was part of what made Rose so special to Nine, she taught him to care again. Even with the occasional reversals (hello, Racnoss, I’m thinking of you…) we eventually ended up at Eleven who often cared too much, even staying in the town of Christmas for the rest of his life, dying of old age, just to protect the inhabitants, to that Doctor every single life was worth saving.

I can’t see that man in Twelve yet but I hope he’s still there, just needing to be “reactivated” or re-awoken. Or perhaps Clara is there to turn on the memories again for him, saving his soul. I confess that I was seeing ALL THE PARALLELS with the Dalek having his morality and “sense of beauty” and goodness restored by memory.

 

Dalek. Boom. I’m never a fan of just blowing things up. Yes, yes, you have a lovely special effects budget now, but blergh. More story, less explosions would be just fine with me.

 

Clara just keeps improving this series. Loving her new back story and the glimpses of her personality – even her flirting with the new teacher, Danny Pink is so much more endearing instead of off-putting like when she used to try to flirt with Eleven. I admit, I do love how she’s taking on the role of the “care-er” – it reminds me of Donna and her role as Ten’s conscience particularly after he had been on his own. She’s fiesty, too – slapping some sense into the Doctor and helping him to learn the truth of what they just learned. Perhaps that’s the responsibility of the Companion-Not-Love-Interest. They see the Doctor more clearly because they aren’t blinded by love. Even Amy Pond was blinded by her childlike love for the Doctor, she couldn’t see who he really was and he loved how she saw him. He wanted to be the man she thought he was. We saw that terrible dynamic of how much he needs a “Care-er” again when Ten was on his own for too long after Donna had to leave and he morphed into this Time Lord Victorious that was the worst parts of himself, he was devastated by what he had become even before his time ended.

 

Danny Pink, Soldier, Teacher, Love Interest? I like him. There, that’s my first reaction. I like him, he’s complicated, he’s got a story, and I’m ready for a new face in the TARDIS, too. I am interested to see how the connection between him as a Soldier plays out with the Doctor since this Doctor seems to be revisiting his distrust of soldiers. That’s a bit of the past I’m happy to see return. With the exception of the classic Who bout with U.N.I.T. the Doctor has always been suspicious of soldiers because they lack imagination. If someone shoots, you shoot back, period. But as we see with the Daleks, that’s pretty useless so we need imagination, eh? But Danny seems genuinely haunted by his stint in Afghanistan and so I’m interested to see if he will reawaken or recharge the Doctor’s anti-violence side again.

Either way, he’ll hold his own. He’s coming into the TARDIS as a fully formed character so the whole character arc of Mickey Smith or Rory Williams as “back up” or “pet” just won’t work here, I think.

 

But the Daleks though! What do we think of Daleks overall, folks? For me, I’ve never found them that terrifying. In fact, I have a tiny Dalek right by my kitchen sink next to the teapot. (“WOULD YOU LIKE SOME TEA?” in that horrible Dalek voice from the episode “Victory of the Daleks” never fails to make me laugh.) I have been way more scared of the Cybermen and the Weeping Angels, the Silence and the clockwork droids for instance. The first time I heard the footsteps of the Cybermen, my blood froze. But Daleks – meh.  I always know they will be defeated.

Okay, wait – the only Dalek episode that ever gave me actual shivers was the Asylum of the Daleks. Truly terrifying and creepy. And that twist ending STILL freaks me out. Never saw that coming. And the eye-stalk coming out of the forehead? SHIVERS.

 

Along comes Rusty. A “damaged” Dalek who now thinks Daleks are evil and must be destroyed because he was seen that “resistence is futile and life will win.” Rusty looks into an exploding star (which damages him and causes the radiation? was that what happened?). But then at the end, after Clara reawakens his memories of beauty and the star, even his regrets it seems, the Doctor then gives Rusty a glimpse into his own soul, trying to give him a gift to see goodness again. But Rusty then sees the beauty and divinity – and the hatred in the Doctor’s heart, too.

This made me wonder – what other times have we seen the inside of the doctor’s mind? The first one that sprang to mind was The Girl in the Fireplace (which had big parallels last week, of course) when he walked through Madame de Pompadour’s mind and she returned the favour. But she identified him more as being terribly alone, even calling him her Lonely Angel. She didn’t see hatred in him, just loneliness. Any other times we’ve gotten a glimpse into the Doctor?

Anyone else hoping that Rusty crops back up again? I don’t think we’re done with the moral Dalek.

But here’s my question: even before Rusty peered into the Doctor’s soul, he was raving that the Daleks were evil and must be exterminated. So that wasn’t “from” the Doctor, that was his actual moral centre. So perhaps the Doctor is right – there aren’t any good Daleks – as Rose discovered with the Ninth Doctor. Which brings me to….

 

“You are a good Dalek.” Hello, connection to our first glimpse of the Daleks with the rebooted series. When the Ninth Doctor met his first Dalek – after thinking they were all destroyed in the Time War – we see his first crack in the mask. He is haunted, terrified, furious, helpless at the sight of that Dalek. And what does that Dalek say? “You would make a good Dalek.” What do we think about THIS?

 

Once again, we see Missy. Gretchen died for the Doctor’s plan but awakens in “Heaven” with a tea-pouring mad Mary Poppins. I didn’t see a connection to the TARDIS, so I’ll be honest that I’m still leaning towards the theory that she is harbouring all of the Doctors “mistakes” or casualties somehow. But I know a lot of you think she is an incarnation of the Master.

Here’s my other thought: Is she connected to the data core of The Library with River Song? I want to go back and rewatch those episodes again but perhaps she is connected to CAL, the data core? And she is “saving” all these people? But then why does she call the Doctor her boyfriend? Gah. Either way WEIRD.

Next week, we head to medieval England for a romp with Robin Hood. I’m looking forward to it….

Now let’s get to the good part – your responses! I’ve gotten us started, but let’s talk it out.

Read More:

Episode 1: Deep Breath 

Episode 2: Into the Dalek

Episode 3: Robots of Sherwood

Episode 4: Listen

Episode 5: Time Heist

Episode 6: The Caretaker

Episode 7: Kill the Moon

 Episode 8: Mummy on the Orient Express

Episode 9: Flatline

Episode 10: In the Forest of the Night

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  • Your ability to remember detail from previous episodes amazes me. I recall general plot lines and a few points that stuck out at the time, but whoa.
    The Daleks have never really scared me either. I wonder if I associate them with R2D2? And especially after we saw the small, ugly being inside the shell, nah.
    I also agree with you that Clara is filling out more with this series. I’ve never really connected with her.
    I do like the turning the tables on the Daleks and making us think more about them. Can a thing ever be truly all evil and not worth salvaging?

    • Yes, that is the question, I think – very interesting one, too! And I know my memory is a freakish thing – ask my mother about that sometime. 🙂

  • Okay, so I just saw it, and I’m three-quarters sick with my second cold of this pregnancy, so I’m not sure all my theories are coming from a sound mind, but…

    When Missy showed up again, my immediate thought was that the people who go to “Heaven” are those who *choose* deliberately to sacrifice themselves for the Doctor in some way. That’s why we don’t get a scene of Ross (who dies in the same fashion as what’s-her-name-whose-name-we-are-supposed-to-remember-and-I’ve-immediately forgotten) with Missy in Heaven—he didn’t really choose that. Which makes me think that the Half-Faced Man actually CHOSE to jump off the skin balloon (or skiloon as Mark Gatiss called it in the after show.)

    I think that might be a strong thread, because that’s TWICE now that we’ve had the Doctor give an impassioned speech to an enemy, turning his heart and changing his actions to self-sacrifice (Christology, anyone?) even though the Doctor himself doesn’t know if he’s a good mean.

    I’ve always been a little scared of the Daleks, but that’s because my parents watched the first incarnation of the Doctor, and that music always came on after my bedtime.

    And HELLO connections to the first time we ever meet Clara. I mean, I was expecting her to be at the helm of this particular Dalek and meet herself, somehow, after making a soufflé. Alas, no soufflés, but a much stronger Clara character, who I’m actually getting to like, now that she has some spunk (great slap there, by the way) and vision. Especially since the Doctor doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing most of the time.

    I’m wondering about the Danny Pink story line (I was all set to really dislike him, because I haven’t been a fan of any of the male characters aboard the TARDIS, except Rory when he eventually grew a pair, but even then…), but they’ve managed to make me like him already. I know the soldier thread will tease out into something—I’m wondering about connections to the War Doctor, who was “soldier-ish” if not actually a soldier.

    And I’m with you with hating the opening credits. I’m over the steampunk thing, but the Roman numerals do harken back to Pompeii (and was that a display about ancient Pompeii on the walls of the school that Clara walks past after telling Danny he’s going to take her out for a drink??). My favorite opening credits are still Ten’s, with the strong cellos. I do love me some cellos.

    Also, what’s with the reference to Aristotle (being the ship that they’re coming back to)? I’m sure that wasn’t accidental, but I’m not certain what it means.

    And did anyone else think that Journey Blue’s brother might be Danny Pink?

    • Oh! I did immediately think of him when she mentioned her brother!

    • Skiloon!!! I love that, even if it does creep me all the way out. I like that theory about them choosing. All I know is that she said her full name. Gretchen Something Whatsit?

      • Gretchen Allyson Carlyle, right? Here’s hoping we hear her name again. Reminded me of the death of Father Octavian “you knew me at my best” – *sob*. And Skilloon – SHUDDER GROSS YUCK.

    • The more I think about Aristotle, the more I wonder if it’s connected with the question of what “good” is. Aristotle’s Ethics, after all, are kind of formative here. Pretty cheeky of the writers, if that’s the case.

      • Absolutely brilliant. I love those kinds of easter eggs.

    • I have felt that way about a lot of the male characters, too. It took me a long time to grow fond of Amy and Rory for that reason – I don’t like emasculating men for a laugh much. But your theory about Missy is FASCINATING – I love that and it would make sense. So maybe there is a connection to the TARDIS after all… And the Aristotle thing, brilliant. I totally missed that.

    • Nicole Chase

      BRILLIANT Missy theory. Though I still don’t like her.

    • I think your Missy theory may be spot on! Brilliant observation.

  • I so wish I could geek out with you. I have just watched Season 4, Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead. EEEP! Loved those episodes. Love them all. I know what this season is leading up to though and I’m dreading it. Worse, I have no one to geek out with. I will have to go through “Journey’s End” ALL ALONE. And by the time I get up to Season 8, you’ll all be well past geeking out about it all. Sigh.

    • Oh, man, those TWO EPISODES. They are amazing – and grow more amazing the longer you watch the show. I’ll be here for you, promise, Susan. 🙂

  • April Hunter

    all your keen observations and thoughts have made me realise I need to go back and watch several seasons where I missed episodes!! I have to admit it has not taken me long to get used to Capaldi….it’s like I’m not even thinking about it now…it’s just…he’s the Dr…that’s it!

  • Amanda

    You know what really irritated me about the episode? The constant badgering of Clara about her age and looks. The Doctor doesn’t have to flirt with her, but does that automatically mean he’s just full of retorts to bring Clara down? I appreciate how Clara doesn’t let it bother her – yet. But it’s just too patriarchal so I hope it ends.

    • It’s like he’s overcompensating for having been friendly in the past. I didn’t like it — it was rude.

    • Yeah, once it was cute or funny but the second time, it just seemed mean and tone-deaf.

      • Kate

        I read the age insults less as an overcompensation for previous flirting, and more as a reference to the fact that Clara is literally VERY old/ageless (?). I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the impossible girl arc.

  • this is just so great. I LOVE spoilers, so I read your posts and then go watch the episode. Sets me up perfectly. And also: the daleks are THE WORST thing about Doctor Who. hands down (cybermen are a close second). Totally off topic: have you seen Broadchurch?

    • No, I haven’t! I don’t do well with gruesome murder-y type shows so I kept away from it. Is it good?

      • Less gruesome, more brooding mystery and dark night of the soul. DO IT.

      • I second that, Sarah. Do it. It’s only like 10 episodes, if that. No blood-lots of intrigue and mystery and secrets hidden away in a small town. It’s delicious. (And yes, I love it so much I had to comment twice.)

    • Broadchurch is the BEST! It’s premiering this fall in the US as our own series: Gracepoint, with David Tennant reprising his role. I think it will pale in comparison to the original, but I’m excited to watch all the same. And season two comes out next year!!!

    • I’m thinking about getting into Broadchurch. Then there’s Gracepoint, which is the US version of it. I tried to watch The Escape Artist, but had to turn it off 40 minutes in because I loved the characters too much and knew something terrible was about to happen. Is Broadchurch less gruesome than The Escape Artist?

  • I didn’t like the episode at all. Maybe I’ll enjoy it more on a rewatch, but it disappointed me.

    It’s interesting to watch the Doctor have an identity crisis. Nine, Ten, and Eleven all had an assured cockiness about themselves that this regeneration doesn’t have yet. Maybe it’s a midlife crisis? I am intrigued to watch the self-reflection and character revelations continue.

    I am looking forward to the Robin Hood episode. I love the historical ones.

    • I felt underwhelmed while I was watching it, but then afterwards when I started to think it through I saw more to redeem it than initially felt. But yeah, not my favourite either.

      • SarahPinault

        I re-watched The Time of the Doctor last night, the John Hurt Doctor, and seeing Tennant and Smith side by side, really helps you understand the kind of Doctor that Capaldi is going to be.

        • Nikki Dilley

          I was just saying that I needed to do that as well. I vaguely remember that 12 was supposed to have a different sort of vibe as the rest.

  • TCtheshe

    I don’t really have a lot to say, except that the Doctor has never strictly been pacifist. I think we like to think that he was to put ourselves at ease, but think about Nine’s reaction to encountering the Daleks for the first time since the Time War. (There were a lot of parallels to last night’s episode–it’s worth a re-watch. I believe the episode is called “Dalek”.) He basically beats himself up for not eradicating them the first time. This was very early on in the new franchise, before Moffat took over. That said, I think it’s great that we’re playing with the notion of good and bad, what the Doctor actually would or would not do… Again, these themes seem to have a bit of a reflux from the Nine era, and I’m more than okay with that.

    • Great point. I loved the Nine era – even more now that we know about the War Doctor and why he was the way he was. The performance gets richer the longer you watch the show, I think.

    • I’m so thankful for Nine’s episodes. I think those who have not seen them won’t understand this Doctor. There are so many similarities between them, I feel. And I am thankful to tumblr. for helping me solidify that thought.

  • Alena Belleque

    I’m going to have to watch it again; I’m going through a pretty traumatic family thing at the moment, and couldn’t concentrate, to my utter frustration. I will say that the Doctor’s face when the Dalek talks to him about hate and being a good Dalek broke my heart, and made me cry.

    • Oh, I”m sorry to hear that, Alena. And yes, his face in that moment…whew.

      • Alena Belleque

        Thanks. God is good, and He is with me, and in this, and I will be okay. It’s just painful, and exhausting. You’ll be happy to know that pieces of your book keep coming to my mind and are very comforting! ♥ I just finished reading the copy you sent me, and I think I’m going to start over and read it again. Especially after this morning’s sermon on Lamentations; I walked out. Just…too much right in this moment, and I disagree with the view of God’s character being promoted.

        Anyway, Doctor Who. Doctor Who!!? Goodness, but I love him. ♥

        And I hate Missy. Sincerely do, and that’s a little disturbing since we don’t know who or what she is, yet. There’s something incredibly sinister, and entirely inhuman about her.

        I’m with you, by the way, in really loving Clara in this season. It’s like she wasn’t fully herself – or really, a person – with 11, but now with 12 she’s blooming in front of us. She’s a snarky little thing, and I love it!

        • SarahPinault

          I’m with you. I dislike Missy too. I would like that storyline to just go away!

  • The whole conversation about whether it was enough to know that there could be one good Dalek had me wondering if they would ever reference the fact that … um … Clara is/was a Dalek

    • Seriously! I can’t believe that never came up.

      • SarahPinault

        I know! How did that not come up!

    • TCtheshe

      My husband and I theorized that this wouldn’t be the last time we see Rusty because of that point.

      • I’m also thinking that Ten had a nickname for something called Rusty, but I’m forgetting what…

    • ginger-kidneyed-doctor

      I believe that ‘Rusty’ is infact the Clara-dalek in formation. Makes perfect sense that a ‘death to daleks’ spouting dalek would end up in a dalek asylum. Because of the connection made with Clara, it projects it’s love for humans onto fooling itself that it is Clara, while chained up in the asylum. Events don’t necessarily have to happen in order. I also believe that this will wrap up that aspect of Rusty-Clara before they resolve the other bits at or by Christmas.

  • I LOVE THIS POST!

    My family and I have spent the afternoon revisiting episodes that are referenced in the first two in Season 8. And ones we discover along the way. Just about to watch “Silence in the Library” so LOVE the idea of this “Missy” and “saving” others…

    :)8

  • Shane Deal

    What stuck me is how many reoccurring events between this and last week’s episode occur. Burning deaths, (The dinosaur and the others that were mentioned, Brother Blue.) Some kind of mental exchange with The Doctor, (Madam Vastra last episode, The Dalek this episode.) And of course Missy. — To hop onto another British cultural phenomenon for a moment, the season so far mirrors Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Which also made heavy use of hot, dry, fiery, imagery, self-identity questioning, and so forth. (A story which also centered around mental exchanges.)

    With that in mind and based on the somewhat common literature themes that it resembles so far, my guess is that The Doctor will discover himself a good man, but only after he loses something extremely valuable to him. (Even if he doesn’t know it’s valuable until it is lost.) In his next stage, after he goes through all that, I would expect him to turn rather more affectionate and caring, and finally sacrificially loving of friends and enemies alike. But right now he’s a bit hot-headed, dry, and a very broken man, melted and broken down to the core of himself. He very much is a frightened, broken man who has no idea who he is, which only makes him more frightened. I expect he will very much start asking himself if he’s the monster/villain/Dalek before the season is over. He will care again though, I believe.

    In many ways, 12 is starting exactly where 9 did when he began his journey. It makes sense I suppose that he has little tolerance for soldiers at the moment. He doesn’t want to face himself as the soldier, while at the same time is eager for war. This is what the Daleks saw in the 9th and 12th Doctor and that is why they say what they say to him. It’s not so much a connected tied-together event as it is two separate Daleks making the same observation of The Doctor while he is in his current state. (Which may be cycling around back to where it was when 9 started.)

    Of course, that may all just be reading into it, and he may in fact, go in an entirely different direction with his character.

    Random thoughts that are not connected to the above:

    I kind of like the “WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEA?” Dalek.

    I like Danny Pink, he was rather believable as a character right off the bat, he felt like a real person. He doesn’t feel like his only purpose in life is to move the plot along.

    • “He doesn’t want to face himself as the soldier” – that is a great point!

  • SarahPinault

    I am not enjoying THAT woman. I would like to move on from mysterious women who know the Dr, are married to the Dr blah blah blah. River Song was great. This feels like a cheap copy and it really bothers me. It could be connected to CAL, I mean technically River Song and those people are all still “alive” in there, maybe the system got corrupted and now thinks that it is the Dr’s boyfriend and he’ll have to go back to the Library. Who knows?

    I want the Dr to have a proper companion again. Rose went everywhere, Martha did until she didn’t, Donna did until she didn’t. Then Amy and Rory began slipping in and out of normal life, now Clara has a full time teaching gig. Let’s just go on some adventures please and get a proper companion again.

    Pink is a duplicate (Dalek disguised as human) I am sure of it.

    Capaldi was better this week than last week, I’m not averse to him but I am lukewarm so I’m glad he’s growing on me.

    • Nicole Chase

      Nah, I think the “I bet you did” secretary is the duplicate!

      • SarahPinault

        She’s too realistic as a British secretary to be fake!

  • eswan1600

    A “Miranda” fan, too … such fun!

    I was wracking my brain to think of other people who have been inside the Doctor’s mind. Craig Owens comes to mind, but I don’t remember him having any particular insight other than being amazed at learning about Timelords, etc. Unless he says something in “Closing Time,” which I don’t remember as well. The War Doctor in “The Day of the Doctor” says, “If you have been inside my head, then you know what I’ve seen. The suffering.” It strikes me that the Doctor sometimes acts like a person with PTSD.

    My prediction is that Journey Blue will be the next companion. Danny Pink is either her brother, or somehow linked to her. But he’ll ride along with Claire at some point, and his path will cross with Blue’s because of some timey-wimey thing. Then the Doctor will have a soldier (or soldiers) for a companion, and things could get interesting.

    I think there’s more to mine with the idea that the Daleks feed off humans they’ve killed. The Doctor said something about it being “the safest place” in the Dalek b/c nothing living is there. Is the “safest place” the part of us that stores the remains of dead people that we feed off? Is the Doctor feeding his own “brokenness” or “rustiness” with the memories of the dead? One of the women in this episode asked if Ross (the guy who died inside the Dalek) was down there, and the Doctor made some heartless, sarcastic remark about Ross being the “top layer” if anyone wanted to say a few last words. Do we have to wade through our darkness (the darkest place in the universe) in order to mend … and can we ever truly be healed? Deep questions.

    • Karen Morti Charles

      So glad you are doing these recaps! I was introduced to the Doctor in the 50th anniversary special, then went back to watch the series from the reboot to the end of the 11th Dr., dragging my husband through them with me. (By the regeneration of 9 to 10, he came along willingly!) We finished up just a couple of weeks before the new Doctor began, so were eagerly anticipating it – and not disappointed!

      Like you, Clara is finally growing on me in these new episodes. She never clicked with the 11th for me the way River Song and Amy did. A lovely part of the series is bringing along a known companion when the Dr. regenerates, to help us get to know him through their eyes. So smart, this show!

  • Melanie Dale

    I already like Danny Pink, and how interesting that Pink and Blue were introduced in the same episode…hmm…. I like Clara more and more and am excited about her evolving life as a teacher.

    Missy is the creepiest character EVER. Give me a Cyberman any day. Missy, full body shudder. That she could be connected to the data core in the library…mind blown.

    This Innerspace episode left me a little cold, although it was interesting getting a new perspective on a Dalek, from the inside out. I hope we see Rusty again, because Daleks are so similar and now we have one that’s a bit of a loose cannon.

    It’s unsettling seeing the Doctor so unsure of himself, so introspective. I’m more comfortable with a confident Doctor who’s always one step ahead. I don’t want him to sit and ponder if he’s good…so he’s teaching me patience as he figures himself out.

    All in all, my favorite part of this episode is definitely Pink and his fascinating backstory as a soldier who’s apparently killed someone who wasn’t a soldier. His tear and his total awkwardness with Clara made me love him.

  • Pox Voldius

    Tim Latimer in “Human Nature”/”Family of Blood” saw something of the Doctor when he looked into the fob watch that held the Doctor’s Time Lord consciousness.

    Tim Latimer: He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun.
    John Smith: [quickly and almost whispering] Stop it.
    Tim Latimer: He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the centre of time and can see the turn of the universe.
    John Smith: [Panicked/Angry] Stop it, I said stop it!
    Tim Latimer: and… he’s wonderful.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1000256/quotes

  • Liz

    I’m so excited about the Danny Pink storyline. I think his relevance to our current time is great. All of the other modern who companions could have come from anytime, but Danny was in a war that we all know and even some viewers were in! I’m interested to see where the Danny Pink/ Journey Blue thing is going too. Its never just a coincidence in the Whoniverse.

  • So, Clara is till growing on me, and I’d love for her to build a happy life in the present day, but… is that even possible for her? We don’t even know what she is.
    I can see her being the care-er, but only if she does it Donna style, calling him on his crap and making him see and feel what matters. Of course, the Donna idea makes me think about Pompeii again, and I just think this season is going to keep tying back to the themes in that episode, which I need to go watch right now. I do miss Donna.
    Can we just move past the Daleks? I’m sure they seemed maybe creepy in the past, but there have been so many villains who really legitimately creeped me out. The episodes with the Silence freaked me out SO MUCH, and the Weeping Angels are perfect. The Vashta Neranda episode was heartbreaking. The Master… I could go on and on. The Daleks are the reason I haven’t tried to force my husband into watching Doctor Who, because I know they would drive him INSANE.
    Dalek. Boom. sums it up. Let’s move on.
    I know Eleven wasn’t nearly as violent and angry as Twelve seems to be, but Ten got DARK, and often. I think that we’re wrong to ever try to put the Doctor in a pacifist or violent box. He has too much humanity in him. I love that suspense, never quite knowing how he will react, and seeing him make mistakes. Otherwise, he becomes a god, and when he thinks he’s a god, bad things happen.

    • Also, I accidentally left this page open and my husband stumbled across it last night and read my comment. He looked at me, and very sweetly and lovingly said “Wow baby. You really are a nerd.”

  • Nicole Chase

    “Resistance is futile” – Rusty’s been watching Star Trek. 😉

    So… CAN there be a good Dalek? If wanting to destroy the Daleks was why they originally called him good, but seeing the Doctor’s hate and therefore wanting to eradicate the Daleks didn’t actually make him good, what would a good Dalek look like?

  • Tony

    I think it may be slightly unfair to say that Moffat’s handling of the Doctor has drifted from Russell T. Davies’s “pacifist” approach. If anything, Moffat has pushed non-violence MORE than Davies. After all, Davies was the showrunner who introduced the Time War to the series and instilled Ecclecston’s Doctor with a hard, world-weary soldier’s edge from the very beginning. Yes, Tennant may have been “two-hearts-and-a-screwdriver,” but he was also one of the angriest Doctors and often solved problems with brutal “justice” (“The Family of Blood,” for example). When Moffat took the reins and Smith stepped in, it seemed like most of their run aimed to rewrite a lot of that, to bring the Doctor back to a “better” way of doing things, quite literally in “The Day of the Doctor” when a horrible act of bloodshed was rewritten. That being said, Capaldi’s Doctor may be going in a new direction — well, maybe not “new,” given that the character changes significantly with every incarnation — but isn’t that what this show is truly about? Continual renewal? I think “Into the Dalek” sums it up the best: The Doctor IS good, not because he’s an infallible god, but because he tries to be.

  • aleckert

    Missy and “Heaven:” There are too many good theories here! The fountain looks like a tardis consul, the shot of the garden from last week looked just like the garden in The Girl Who Waited, and the feel reminds me so much of the data core from The Library… I think we’ll just have to wait to know what is really going on. Definitely am getting bad vibes from Missy.

    My favorite personal theory is that Pink is Blue’s brother. I don’t know how the details of that will work out, but there is definitely a big connection there!

  • Bekah Harmon

    Wow, I am in awe of your recall. Also super glad I waited to read your post until after I watched it last night.
    My thoughts, are as follows.
    1. I believe that Clara’s growth is in direct result of a new kind of doctor, enabling her to be more than adoring companion.
    2. The Dalek may have turned on Daleks, but it’s basic need for violence and extermination seem rooted in its core and unaltered. It was sad to watch the Dalek revert back to a violent direction. I had Hope, but it was dashed by the episodes end.
    3. Missy is weird and freaks me out more than the lady with the patch ever did. I am however intrigued as to where they will take that thread of story.

  • little cat

    First thing: this new intro is BOSS! Idk how you can dislike it. Second, you got a nice comment on your ability to remember details from previous episodes, but what about this one? the episode title is actually “Into Darkness” and the Dalek actually ‘witnessed the birth of a star’. I don’t believe we can ever answer the question of the Doctor being a good man, this concept is always coming up. Clara says “I don’t know” and think that really is the answer to the question. yes he doesn’t like guns, and yes hes not fond of soldiers, and ya he doesn’t like cold-blooded murder but he always gives the badguy a second chance for redemption before he kills it. he’s always had to kill guys to protect Earth and Humanity and never likes it but he has to or we’d all die. so is he a good man? i dont know. i think you’re reading into the “new love interest” too much -it’s only been one episode. the REAL question is: are we ever going to see Captain Jack Harkness again???

  • tpanariso

    The one things a I am wondering about with this new interest of Clara’s – is the scene when a single year falls from his face when he was asked whether he ever killed someone he knew… I am wondering what the allusion is too? And will we ever find out?

  • Valesilor Boris Valesilord

    Daughter/Sister of Mine Missy = My Sis