I actually enjoyed the episode even if there were a few flaws of it. The Daleks are my favorite Doctor Who enemies and have been since I first saw one and so I’m always excited for more Dalek time.
Okay, such as last time, there will be spoilers ahead so be warned.
First thing is first, I’m always excited for more Dalek time (but I said that already didn’t I?). I liked Journey’s character from the first moment, her trying to be threatening and the Doctor was just not having it. He takes her back to her ship and introduces him to her uncle who immediately wants to kill him and not take him prisoner. Not entirely sure why the humans won’t take prisoners, who would be a spy for the Daleks (other than myself of course)? It was never really explained why they wouldn’t take prisoners at least for question instead of just shooting and killing the person on the spot. Eventually they all cool down and the uncle takes the Doctor to see his patient. A Dalek in wires and seemingly incapable of moving.That said, the reminiscent of the Dalek in chains to the 9th Doctor made me fill with glee. I’m sure not everyone had the same reaction as I did but I was happy to the nod.
Now on to the next subject that shows up–Danny Pink. I like the concept of a potential lover/boyfriend for Clara since I know Jenna Coleman isn’t going to be staying with us, it’s a good way to get a few episodes or so out of her (perhaps a season) and then have a good way of letting her go (much like what happened with Susan for Hartnell, she found love and the Doctor decided it was for the best). I know that I’ve read a lot of flak on him, but I personally like him. Even though he sheds that obviously fake tear at the question if he killed someone, I can imagine that the event was probably still fresh. Kids are cruel and they will do things without even thinking of the consequences. This can be said for the kids that harass Clara in the previous episode.
Even when Clara mentions “shooting and then crying about it later” it gives me the impression that the event is very fresh and it had to have happened within the last month and a half or so. I love the bit where he’s talking to himself in the classroom, second guessing his reasons for getting out of the date with Clara. I love that he’s this shy, awkward guy around her, it makes their potential romance interesting. Considering that she is a stronger woman she should have no problem getting that shy exterior to open up (as long as she gets rid of that creepy eye shirt).
The Doctor then comes along and asks Clara to help him with a potentially “good” Dalek and asks her if he’s a good man. She has trouble answering the question and the next moment they’re back on Aristotle and the patient that needs his ‘Doctor’. Now, considering I may not be up to par on my science and how nano-mollecular things work, but I don’t think that this would work the way that they depict it. The interior part of a Dalek is shell and wires and all of that, but the creature inside is a flabby, tentacle thing with one eye as portrayed here:
So, with that out of the way, interiorly, the Dalek should be a shell with wires and cables connecting directly to the creature inside of the shell. Exactly when did they become integrated in such a way with their casing that their entire being IS the casing? This has been something that was around during Hartnell’s time and the only thing that had me questioning everything else that happened in the episode. Such as… the robotic antibodies, the radiation poisoning. Radiation is something that the Dalek’s need to survive on, in the first episodes with them, they tried curing the radiation that was in their systems and found that their people were dying. They needed radiation to survive and even went as far as to almost set off bombs to increase it in the atmosphere on Skaro.
Now, there is a part of the episode where a soldier, Ross, is killed and it’s blatantly the Doctor’s fault. A lot of people I’ve seen have been questioning the Doctor’s method of saving everyone by letting Ross die. I can’t really say that it’s not something that hasn’t happened before (refer back to when Eccelston said “Today nobody dies!”) and while no, probably not the best thing that could have happened, it is as the Doctor said. He was already dead and used the situation to save the most lives, it really was the best decision.
As the events play out and continue, the Doctor and Clara find a way to get to Rusty and open his mind after fixing the wound he received. This includes turning on closed off memory banks and allowing Rusty to look into the Doctor’s consciousness and see the universe–as well as his hatred of the Daleks. I actually liked this part because it shows how much the Doctor and the Dalek’s are similar in ways. They both have a long impenetrable hatred for one another (or rather Daleks to Humans and The Doctor to Daleks) and even though the Doctor was trying to fill Rusty with the beauty of the universe, he was unable to keep out his hatred.
In the end, the Doctor was able to turn one Dalek good and while Rusty didn’t survive, it shows that there is possibilities that Dalek’s can indeed not be evil cans of hate. I felt bad for Rusty, he was a good Dalek.
I’m kind of sad that Journey didn’t get to go with the Doctor, but I do understand why he didn’t take her. The Doctor hasn’t had very many pleasing run-ins with soldiers and it’s really not the type of person he would want to journey with him. If my memory serves, he had the same misgivings with Jack as well.
Again, the mystery of Missy eludes us. I want to know more about her and what she’s about. From reading a few articles on theories, I have to say that one strikes me as the most sense. I have a feeling that Missy is an alternate Clara (as we’ve seen a few alternates of her in Victorian times and in the Asylum) who has gone somewhat insane. The area that she resides in is very similar to the area that Amy was stuck in for years, it also makes me think of the place that River was placed into in the Library episodes. River died, but she continues to live inside of the database of the library. What is to say that the same thing isn’t happening to others? Although I’m not entirely sure how it would be possible, it could just be another theory.