What YOU thought of Doctor Who's Into The Dalek

What YOU thought of Doctor Who's Into The Dalek

By Stephen Kelly

Monday 1 September 2014 at 12:07PM

This was a big week for Peter Capaldi's new Doctor – even more so, arguably, than his debut in Deep Breath. For the second week of a new Doctor's tenure is when we finally meet them properly – they're free of regeneration madness, they know who they are, they're finally the Doctor. 

So, what did fans think of the twelfth Doctor proper? Is his age still jarring for some after the younger Matt Smith? Did they like his ruder side? Or was he a bit too callous? And then there's the episode itself. After the divisive issue of Deep Breath's slower pace, did the return of the Daleks mean a quicker, more action-packed episode? 

We asked RadioTimes.com readers to send in their reviews of the episode and the response, as always, was overwhelming. We can't, sadly, publish them all so if yours didn't make it then please do try again next week for episode three Robots of Sherwood. 

In the meantime, here's what ten RadioTimes.com readers had to say...


Joel, 19, Chesterfield, says…

A vast improvement from Deep Breath, Into the Dalek takes the idea of being a good person and examines it through the eyes of two characters: the new Doctor and a broken Dalek. Peter Capaldi is a revelation, his performance expertly bringing to life Phil Ford and Steven Moffat's beautifully-written script. Jenna Coleman as Clara is arguably given the most responsibility in this story, having to both restore Rusty's lost 'good' memories and answer the Doctor's question: is he a good man? Religion has been a theme played in both episodes so far, and the idea of 'heaven' and 'souls' promises to be an intriguing story arc for the series. However, it may have been better if Danny Pink was introduced in a later episode, because his scenes with Clara felt shoehorned in and distracted the viewer from the main story. Overall, a definite high point for the series so far.

David Tallach, 39, Inverness, says…

This is an innovative, imaginative take on the Doctor’s oldest foes, revisiting themes of morality in war also seen in Genesis of the Daleksand Dalek. The story’s debt to Innerspace is flagged up at the start and with that done it puts its pedal to the metal. Clara seems more independent of the Doctor than she was with Matt Smith, and is now more believable as someone having a life of her own outside the Tardis. Steven Moffat has clearly pressed a reset button regarding the more platonic nature of the Doctor/companion relationship, and it works. Tom Baker’s Doctor’s quotation, “Out of the Daleks, there must come some good”, is to some extent seen to be realised in this story. The Doctor is the author of both the good and evil in Rusty, both saving and condemning him as an atypical and also typical Dalek.

Jenna Burns, 19, Stranraer, says…

When the ‘good Dalek’ reverted back to its evil self, I was disappointed. I had predicted the outcome minutes into the episode. But, the heart of Into The Dalek didn’t lie with the Dalek’s fate at all. It lay with the Doctor struggling with his own morality. The steadfast loyalty and endearing innocence of Smith’s era are gone. Instead, we’re shown a Doctor who can casually leave someone to die, whose memories incite hatred rather than joy.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom: the Doctor’s newfound dry humour provides some cracking quips, and we get a refreshing insight into Clara’s life outside of the Tardis, along with a charming introduction to Danny Pink. This episode reinforced the ambiguity of Capaldi’s Doctor. Is he a good man? As Clara says, he is trying to be, but that all important question is left tantalisingly unanswered. As is the reappearance of Missy...

Samuel Atkinson,14, Isle of Man, says…

So the Daleks are back! And this is probably the best they have been since 2008 (Although there hasn’t been a good Dalek episode since 2008). I thought that this episode was very good, the performances were very good and the Daleks were actually scary!

I am really getting into this new Doctor. Peter Capaldi is giving a great performance and can recite every line, whether dark or comedic, naturally. Many of his comedic lines are very amusing (“I hate babysitters” and “Don’t be lasagne” being some of my favorites). Clara is also really improving this series. In Series 7B, she was more of a plot motivator then a character. Now her character is given more to do and is slowly progressing as a character.

The sets were very lacking but the cinematography was superb in this episode. This and Deep Breath have some of the best in all of Who. The episode was reminiscent of Dalek but I think that it did much better than this episode. Both episodes share the same moral but it is much more subtle in  Dalek. Because of this the moral is much more powerful there than in this episode. All in all it was a very good concept that could have been executed better.

Elizabeth Gunhild Carter, 19, Hull, says…

‪The story that follows the Doctor’s regeneration tends to depict more of how the incarnation of the character will act. Capaldi’s acting and portrayal was amazing in the episode. His facial expressions and dialogue showed more of the Doctor’s evil side which could remind viewers of McCoy’s era in classic Who. His portrayal of the character did not fail to disappoint viewers who expected more of an evil incarnation of the Doctor. Witnessing more of Clara (the companion) was a positive to the episode as this assisted in developing the character’s arc further. Since Coleman’s first appearance it has taken at least half a series before feeling that she is a part of the Tardis, rather than just being used as a plot device.

Along with strong serious, comedic dialogue, great acting and visually stunning sets, Peter Capaldi stole the show with his comedic and dark portrayal of the character.

Hope Sears, 20, Oklahoma, USA, says…

Doctor Who’s season opener’s theatrics have calmed down and let the Doctor be the Doctor. The Doctor is as witty as a Marx brother but the dark tone keeps the audience grounded to the gravity of the story. No one knows what to expect when a “good Dalek” is revealed, leaving a Hitchcock feeling of the unknown as the true terror. The tone of the show makes it hard to believe that this was once a children’s show.

“I’ve taken lives and I got worse. I got clever. Manipulated people into taking their own,” the tenth Doctor said. When the Doctor told us he wanted to correct his mistakes, I thought he was referring to that quote, now I wonder what he meant by that, because I think I may be wrong. Season eight is a mystery to me, just as much as Missy is an enigma.

Joe Harker, 20, Craven, says…

Into the Dalek is a mostly confident second step in Peter Capaldi’s first series as the Doctor. It establishes more of Clara’s life outside her adventures with a time travelling alien and affirms the moral direction the new Doctor is taking while also showing the surprisingly conveniently spaced inner workings of The Doctors greatest enemy.

The episode begins with rather standard, if well done, Who fare. A brief stop with Clara, then we move quickly to a spaceship in the future and our guest stars. Very entertaining and well polished stuff, especially by Zawe Ashton who stars in this episode. Then we go into the Dalek. From this moment the story revolves around an important question: is the Doctor a good man? Each decision and moment is framed with this in mind and it delivers a tense and introspective adventure that won’t go down as a classic, but won’t disappoint anyone either. 

Gavin Perkins, 25, Plucknett , says…

I do not think there has ever been a better episode in which the Doctor or the Daleks have been examined. Into the Dalek presents them almost as equals. They hate each other with a passion which blinds even the divine Doctor. Can a Dalek be good? Yes, but at a price which cuts the Doctor deeply. Capaldi’s incarnation continues to show off his darker soul, as he jests at the death of an ally, but there is sadness beneath those sharp eyebrows. He is a man who has lost sight of who he is, even going as far as to questing whether he is a good man. I will admit, I do deeply miss Matt Smith’s magical interpretation of the Time Lord, but this episode shows that Capaldi is taking the character to a fascinating new place. For now, I am more than happy to follow him into darkness.   

David Convery, 51, Northamptonshire, says…

Peter Capaldi's portrayal of the Doctor is already truly impressive. The effects were as ever wonderful with a hint of Fantastic Journey.... The story of a good Dalek was a welcome twist and even more so a tour of the inside of a Dalek being a positive bonus for many of us old die hard fans! Loving the Doctor's dark side and just who is the lady towards the end again? Coal Hill school was a pleasant past reference. Sadly, as a whole, the story flat lined again overall. Why? Too much is being crammed into 50 mins, the special effects are overtaking the storyline. The old 70's 4 parters were 100 mins, so make each story a 2 parter and get some depth to them. The brilliant Peter Capaldi is in danger of being let down by poor stories the way Matt Smith was. Huge mistake.

Ryan Pollard, 21, Huddersfield, says…

Into the Dalek set out two ambitious questions: Can you literally get inside of a Dalek? Can a Dalek turn good? Phil Ford tackled with those concepts brilliantly, and this episode showed a new side to the Daleks that we haven’t seen before since their big reintroduction in 2005’s Dalek. The episode was high on Dalek action and there were some glorious scenes of death and destruction. The Doctor’s question of “Am I a good man?” is perfectly reflecting audiences’ perspective on Peter Capaldi’s take on the Doctor. He’s being charismatic and generous one minute, then the next, he’s doing something shocking and out of character. Peter Capaldi is probably the darkest Doctor since Patrick Troughton, and if the rest of the series continues with that, then this is going to be one hell of a series.


Thank you to everyone who sent in a review – we really enjoyed reading them! If you've got a taste for sharing your opinion, or these clever Radio Times readers have inspired you to put pen to paper (or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard) keep your eyes peeled for the next Radio Times Reader Review....


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