Into the Dalek
5 September 2014 at 19:26 #31145
@drdai – thing is, with Moffat’s use of time travel, it’s entirely possible that the Doctor hasn’t yet met his stalker. 😀
As @arbutus says, the only pre-existing character who has ‘stalker’ written all over him is the Master. There’s also a long running (dating from BG Who) subtext that the Master and the Doctor fancy each other; as I’ve said a few times, The End of Time came extremely close to taking the ‘sub’ bit out. I could easily imagine that they were boyfriends; that the Doctor has a definite sexual attraction towards good-looking psychopaths has been very carefully established by – which writer was it? Oh, yeah, Steven Moffat.
HOWEVER. We’re talking about a Head Writer who’s ‘the fan who got the job’. He’s played these games himself; if you want to hide the real identity of a character, there’s no better way than giving a set of clues that seem to point to a pre-existing character … but when turned around, show someone else. 😈5 September 2014 at 19:40 #31146
@brewski Perhaps after its lie down you can give it a nice cup of alacri-tea To quote the Tenth Doctor: Oh yes!!!! 😀
Good point about the chameleon arch. I hope not, though. I would hate to see that start to be used as a get out of jail card every time the writers want to introduce (or reintroduce) a time lord into the story line!
@bluesqueakpip it’s entirely possible that the Doctor hasn’t yet met his stalker I like this! How soon we forget, and we’ve been talking about River all along. She was the obvious precedent for the Doctor meeting people he hasn’t met yet (so to speak). Sally Sparrow is another case.
I agree with your “however”. Part of my reason for not wanting Missy to be the Master is exactly that it seems way too obvious. You want a “big reveal” when we find out who she is, not an anticlimax.5 September 2014 at 20:05 #31147drdai @drdai
@bluesqueakpip that is true, in a way river being missy would be someone he hasn’t met due to them both regenerating, however it is the grand moff so that I doubt that it would be as simple as river.
Because he is a fan of the show we have to work out either who the most popular choice is or who is the most unexpected or a new character with an interesting role once found out5 September 2014 at 20:52 #31148Whisht @whisht
blimey – managed to reach the end – time to say something!
Some people mentioned that the crack in the Dalek looked a bit like THE Crack.
I thought so too.
And we’ve seen that the Time Lords have learnt (or have to learn) how to manipulate The Crack in order to get back to our universe.
So, if a TL was able to manipulate the Crack but was doing it for their own ends, who would that be and what for?
Well, The Rani experimented on species…
Yep – the Rani created the Crack in the Dalek to experiment on it to see if she could turn it ‘good’.
And then the Doctor blundered into her experiment and mucked it up (as usual).
Which means the Rani is in play, but is not Missy (Miss Direction).
🙂5 September 2014 at 23:01 #31152
Anyone want to buy some (empty) DOCTOR WHO – AUTHENTIC “SCREEN ACCURATE” COFFEE TAKE AWAY CUPS?
(I’m not the seller btw!)5 September 2014 at 23:20 #31153
@whisht – if Rusty’s crack is the result of Time Lord interference then the Rani is a possibility, but she might be experimenting with the approval of the Time Lords. As I stated somewhere back in the six or seven pages 🙂 it’s really vital, if the Time Lords are to return safely, that there’s some kind of possibility of a negotiated peace. With the Daleks.
Can there be such a thing as a good Dalek? It’s an important question. Especially if you’re a Time Lord who’d like to go home.
The crack does indeed have the similar shape to The Crack, but placed vertically instead of horizontally. It might be metaphorical rather than a plot point. It’s the crack which allows a concept of good and evil to break in to Rusty’s Dalek heart.
It’s the crack in the skin of the Dalek universe, the one signalling the reboot of their world.5 September 2014 at 23:27 #31154
by David M Busian5 September 2014 at 23:45 #31155
(‘Pinched’ from ‘Peter Capaldi’ on Facebook…)6 September 2014 at 00:37 #31157Anonymous @
Well, it’s been all week and I’ve not really been able to form much in cogent thought about Into The Dalek. Think it might be a case of liked it but didn’t love it. While it’s quite clearly a strong, thought-provoking episode, there’s still part of me that enjoyed Asylum of the Daleks so much more.
But here’s a few random thoughts.
Capaldi’s Doc is proving so much harder to get a handle on than Smith’s but I’m very much liking what I’ve seen so far. Definitely a faint strain of Malcolm Tucker in there, I think. And as I said before a much more solitary Doctor than we’ve seen in a long time. Even when he’s in a group of people he seems much more detached from them. Take the scene in the ‘larder’. Smith or Tennant would have been at the centre of that group, focusing the attention on himself but Capaldi seems to be much more in the background, even when he’s commanding the situation.
It also struck me that he’s much more at home with this kind of solitude. I always felt that those moments when Smith was left on his own in say The Snowmen just seemed wrong. Perhaps because he was the Raggedy Doctor and so tied up with Amy’s entire life, it just seemed that he needed other people to be around. Indeed, part of the point of The Snowmen was that he was ‘broken’ by his solitude. Capaldi’s Doc is just not like that so far — and I think you could even have a significant run of episodes where he didn’t have a companion of any kind and interacted with those he met on his travels. I always felt that Sylvester McCoy’s greatest moment as the Doctor were those few scenes of him alone in the TARDIS at the start of the TV Movie and I get a similar sort of vibe from Capaldi. Though it struck me that there’s something of Cumberpatch’s Sherlock in there too, it seems.
Onto the ep…
As others have pointed out, it was a real mish-mash of other influences (as was Deep Breath really). Shades of Aslyum, Dalek and especially, I thought, Resurrection of the Daleks. But also the ST:TNG I-Borg episodes and a perhaps even a hint of Nightmare in Silver in there too.
Samuel Anderson was very impressive indeed. I haven’t had high hopes for his character but I’m much more intrigued than I thought I would be. Looking forward to seeing how his relationship with both Clara and the Doctor develops. (And kind of wish I hadn’t seen a rather spoilery picture of him a few months back now.)
Colours. Perhaps Danny is related to Kai Blue. But I’m thinking it’s just Moffat trying to mess with @juniperfish‘s head. If that is indeed the case, it makes me like him that bit more because it shows that he has a positive, reactive relationship with fandom. (btw. Hope you’re feeling better, @juniperfish.)
RE. Missy. I’m still pretty sold on @bluesqueakpip‘s Master theory. Althoughh part of me does hope that she will turn out to be something entirely new. I do like the idea of some kind of Dark River character. I don’t think there’s any chance it’ll be The Rani, partially because I always thought she was rubbish and partly because I vaguely remember Moffat saying the same thing in another episode. Ditto The Valeyard.
But in general I enjoyed this episode mostly from watching Capaldi’s Doc unfold into our consciousness a bit more and for finally seeing Daleks being all Dalekey and exterminatey. It doesn’t seem like we’ve seen that enough of late.6 September 2014 at 02:34 #31161
I love the idea of a solitary Doctor. I enjoyed that aspect of the Tennant specials, that he was traveling without a companion, and hanging out with whomever came along. I’d love to see more of that, and I agree that this Doctor would be great in that situation.
Dalekey and exterminatey Can I just say that if these adjectives aren’t currently in the Oxford Dictionary, they should be!6 September 2014 at 03:07 #31163
Except… the Doctor always said that he would have sensed the presence of time lords who still existed. Would he not have sensed his own granddaughter?
At the time he said it Susan was locked in the future and essentially living a human life. She might well have been difficult to “detect” and he did not want to seek her out, to disturb her in the life she had chosen which was no the life of a timelord. That line always annoyed me becasue BG who depicted several renegade Time Lords hiding on earth. That line is the equivilent to killing off the Doctor’s daughter. You might not want to use her, or renegade Time Lords but a future writer might. In a show like Who it is not fair to future writers to kill off too many story possibilities so I am rather hoping that Moffat, or some future writer will ignore of explain away that line.
I really want to see a return of Susan. But I don’t think she’s the woman in the shop. For one thing Clara saw a picture of Susan in the Black Archive but showed no sign of recognition.
I am certain you are correct and the woman is not Susan however.. If it was Susan she would not necessarily look at all like she does in the photo. She would either be considerably aged, maybe even to the extent of 200 years older, or a fresh regeneration.
Janette6 September 2014 at 03:16 #31164Serahni @serahni
This is sort of a random but nearly relevant point, only because it’s something I remember reading in a book I had as a kid and I think it was in a chapter about Susan. At the time, and I have no idea if this was ever made properly canon, the book was suggesting that Timelords were not the only inhabitants of Gallifrey and that there were a race of humanoids, simply called Gallifreyans I think, who were without the ability to regenerate and therefore lived a more ‘usual’ timespan. The book claimed that Timelords were ‘loomed’, though I can’t remember details.
Is there any substance to this or was it just a behind-the-scenes book that has since been de-canonised?6 September 2014 at 03:30 #31165
@serahni In Invasion of Time there are timelords living out on the Galifreyan wilds but they have left the Citadel and rejected the life of the TimeLord. I don’t think it is know if all Gallifreyans regenerate or if it is a specific gift.
Janette6 September 2014 at 04:09 #31166midnyt @midnyt
I honestly hope Missy is a new character.
I’ll be really disappointed if it turns out to be River. Just because I want to see River one more time. I want to see her “Hello Sweetie” capdoc and have him tell her off. The thought of that just tickles me to no end. I have no idea why. I actually like River. But I don’t want her to keep coming back.
River has been dead since we met her, and her timeline is completely out of sync with the doctor. There’s really no way of her story being over. She can come back at any time.
I can’t really see her as Charlotte (CAL) or Miss Evangelista either. Basically they are the same as River, ghosts in the machine. The doctor fixed the data core before he left, so if someone’s getting out, then they all should be getting out. OHHH, if it is, then we can have a showdown between River and Missy. 😛6 September 2014 at 05:23 #31167
@janetteb Well, that’s a fair point. It’s never great to completely shut out possible future story lines.
And here’s another thing. There is one time when we know that the Doctor’s inner “timelord detection” mechanism definitely didn’t work, and it should have. In The Lazarus Experiment, the Doctor brings Martha back home, and they spend a good bit of time on an earth where the Master is currently masquerading as Harold Saxon. How did the Doctor not sense his presence at that time? So there could be a means in that by which Susan’s survival could be explained. As I said, I would just prefer it not to be another chameleon arch, because that’s just too easy, and there would have to be a believable reason for Susan to have arched herself.
Another thought: maybe the mysterious time lady who spoke to Wilf was Susan. And the Woman in the Shop. But not Missy, I don’t think. The Doctor made the assumption that the WitS and whoever put the message in the newspaper were the same, but it ain’t necessarily so. 🙂6 September 2014 at 05:26 #31168
@midnyt Another reason I love DW. What other show could inspire this sentence: River has been dead since we met her.
😀6 September 2014 at 06:11 #31170midnyt @midnyt
@arbutus so, true. Never a sentence I could imagine uttering before Doctor Who.
The Doctor made the assumption that the WitS and whoever put the message in the newspaper were the same, but it ain’t necessarily so.
This is true. The Doctor has been wrong before.6 September 2014 at 09:56 #31172
I suspect that the message was intended not to bring the Doctor and Clara together and how better to do that than in an situation of danger. I don’t think the message was ill intended and I don’t think the person behind it was Missy.
@arbutus I agree absolutely re’ the Chameleon arch concept having had its day. I don’t think it is needed to justify Susan’s continued existance. After all she was living in the future. The Doctor is a time traveller so his statement makes little sense given that there were timelords scattered about the universe before and after the time in which he is speaking. I think that was RTD just trying to ramp up the “Lonely God” thing without putting too much thought into the ramifications of what he was was writing.
Janette6 September 2014 at 11:27 #31178Apopheniac @apopheniac
Hello. There are a lot of posts, which I read thru quickly. Did anyone else see the similarity of sliding down into muck in this ep with The Beast Below?
Regarding Slapgate I think arguments for and against have merit. But DV is in the press more & more lateley and there should be other ways to show someone theyre wrong (even tho it wasnt “domestic” in this scenario). Punching or slapping someone to get attention these days leaves a bad taste if it isnt done strictly for slapstick humor. There are better ways to write that moment. Thats just my opinion tho.7 September 2014 at 10:58 #31240Anonymous @
hello hello I am a-watching Robin Hood -for about 10 mins now and the score is marvellous! Now, the thing I need to know is the cast? Who specifically is playing Robin? Is it the actor who played Wickham in Lost in Austen? Or am I mad?
Quite possible. So far, this is a jaunty tale and the Sherrif! -awesome and terrifying . Fantastic production values, as we have come to expect. Ah, the Doctor is now blowing things up….aand we have…robots….Now we’re getting somewhere…! See you on the other side
Kindest, puro7 September 2014 at 12:27 #31248
Well spotted @purofilion. Tom Riley, aka Robin was indeed Mr Wickham. I did not recognise him. (Just reached “the other side” so will catch you on the other thread.
Janette12 September 2014 at 21:59 #31490
So Danny Pink retired from the military to become a maths teacher.
Wasn’t there another character who did the same…..?
And there’s a pupil called Courtney?!12 September 2014 at 22:17 #3149112 September 2014 at 22:21 #31493
@bluesqueakpip But is it important, or are these just nods to that character & actor…..?
It has taken me 2 weeks to spot this. Important clue or inconsequential wild goose?
Shhh!12 September 2014 at 22:37 #31495Apopheniac @apopheniac
I thought I was the master of detail but I bow to you in your awesomeness.
It looks as though you’re letting go
And if it’s real
Well I don’t want to know
Please dont spoil me with anything about this series in the future. But the finger-shush of that image seems to indicate that Clara might be on her way out.
PLEASE OH YE GODS OF DW. Dont leave Clara on the scrapheap of “whooyah I found a hunky man and now Im complete and can stop travelling with the Doctor.”
Samuel Anderson provides a distinct distraction but a proper modern DW companion wouldnt have her head turned so easily. I’m hoping for a showdown of soldier v non-soldier and everything that confrontation means [could mean] in todays world. Man With Spoon who refuses to fall back on weaponry more fatal than expertly-wielded silverware, even after The Time War — versus — Man Who Has Seen Modern Earth Warfare and can still cry in front of children about the non-combatants he unfortunately killed.14 September 2014 at 23:58 #31720Oblique @oblique
The reveal of the Daleks in stories has always exciting, whether we know they’re coming on not.
However, Into the Dalek dispenses completely with anticipation. And anticipation is something Dr Who doesn’t do any more: there isn’t time! There’s a story to tell.
There was no build-up; no sudden reveal this time around. It was almost a throw-away entrance for this now common-place and over-worked use of the Doctor’s deadliest foe. A disappointing reunion for newly regenerated Time Lord.30 September 2014 at 08:36 #32752LordAllons-y @lordallons-y
I liked this episode but that’s about all. I don’t enjoy seeing the Doctor be a jerk. Caretaker is the most recent episode to be released at this time and still I haven’t seen any emotion from the Doctor besides contempt and frustration with the exception to some fatherly concern and love he’s feeling towards Clara in Caretaker. There was a crack in that stoic demeanor in this episode when he realizes his own hate is corrupting Rusty but that’s been pretty much it. He defines this with the line “She’s my carer. She cares so I don’t have to.”7 November 2014 at 08:50 #34914fonzysimon @fonzysimon
This was a good episode, after this i was expecting the series to get better and better, sadly i was very disappointed with what was to come 🙁19 December 2014 at 23:25 #36289romanblevins @romanblevins
I enjoyed the episode really, It did remind me of the lone dalek one with Smith, but was unique in the sense that you got the internal perspective from the Dalek. I am still wondering about Missy as well…3 January 2015 at 05:01 #36869
LordAllons-y, I have to say that I do enjoy seeing the Doctor act like a jerk (he’s not usually “made to” do things or do them in some particular way). He’s a Time Lord with super-powers (sometimes, anyway). If he didn’t have flaws and weaknesses, he’d be not just insufferable, but deeply, deeply boring, at least to some of his audience. Not to mention completely unreal and basically weightless fluff. Error is the plot engine of life (and stories): error in choices, error through accident, other stuff too no doubt. That’s why Utopias are so hard to write, and even if you succeed, hardly ever read.
As for Capaldi’s Doctor showing no emotion but contempt or frustration, what can I say? Other than, *Look Harder*. This actor has an amazingly mobile and expressive face, and subtlety in the way he uses his body as part of his character’s, er, character. Can I offer a short version of a long list here? Contempt, yes; frustration, of course; also sorrow, many grades of confusion, fear and horror (Missy/Master!), guilt, righteous rage (“I am the Doctor!”), and condemnation, joy (“I’m driving a sleigh!”), edgy competitiveness (Robin), triumph (the spoon duel), satisfaction (Clara is going out with the right fella), care and concern (all over the place), a tenderness that hardly bears looking upon (the hug in the cafe), resolution, self-loathing (final ep, talking with CyberDan), and and and — Don’t let this guy’s talent be wasted on you!3 January 2015 at 05:04 #36870
Whoops — Allons-y, sorry, I forgot that this particular discussion had only gotten us to ep #2, I think, so of course you’d had no chance to observe much of what I’ve listed above in Capaldi’s portrayal. Still, I’ve seen others asserting even later in the series that Capaldi’s range of expression is narrow, which it most certainly is not.
Still, if I knew how to edit this flipping thing, I’d remove the post above as not an appropriate response to your post (ye gods) 30 September, with apologies.3 January 2015 at 09:19 #36871
@ichabod no discussion is ever closed on this forum which is one of its great strengths so if you have something worth adding to any thread do so. It is always fun to revisit past topics and your “look harder” comment was spot on.
Janette3 January 2015 at 12:14 #36880ScaryB @scaryb
Good comment, and I completely agree with you re the subtlety of PC’s performance. As @janetteb says, topics don’t get closed around here, but you might find this blogpost has more up to date thoughts on Series 8. Several people make the point that Series 8 arcs also included Twelve’s post regeneration trauma; his character evolves from grumpy and confused to the sheer joy of the sleigh ride. But feel free to post wherever. (Note for posting on blogs (as opposed to comments threads) – there’s no “edit window” – once it’s posted, that’s it!)3 January 2015 at 16:44 #36884
Thanks, ScaryB and janetteB; it’s good to feel so welcome. I’m not a fast thinker these days, but I do like to ruminate over matters of interest, so I appreciate a place where I can come and comment about long-past events that I’ve been thinking over, on and off, for quite a while. I find DW particularly rich in stuff to think about, and I’m at a regroup-and-think-about-everything point in life, and an outlet for some of that is really nifty. And judging by the quality of the posts here, this is one smart bunch of people, which is always a joy.15 March 2015 at 20:02 #38827PhantomTollbooth @thephantomtollbooth
I’m sorry to just jump in randomly here, but how did the doctor go from who could potentially make a good dalek, to being actually called a good dalek. I really thought that he’d made some progress. Is it just a difference of opinion between the two daleks, or has he really changed? You could say that in both cases, it was just their opinion and didn’t necessarily mean anything. I think, however, that if anyone was qualified to make such a judgment, it would be a dalek. They may be pure evil, but they can also be very candid at times . I would take their opinion on the matter seriously.15 March 2015 at 22:34 #38841
@Phantom Tollbooth Well, the Doctor certainly took Rusty’s judgment seriously — although the epiphany in DiH proved Rusty, at least, wrong. MixMaster now, she really is pretty awful — maybe she’s the more-than-just-potential dalek!
Maybe Rusty’s judgment (that the Doctor now IS a good dale) was based on the chilly way the Doctor used his military escort inside Rusty, with no feelings for the doomed soldiers evident on the surface — and, it would seem, none inside either, since it was inside the Doctor’s mind that Rusty was looking.26 April 2015 at 07:17 #39698jphamlore @jphamlore
While the Daleks are the Daleks as they are now, they must forever seek to conquer the universe, and even time and space itself. If there is a Gallifrey that is at a known place, there must therefore be a Time War.
The easy way out would have been for there to be a renegade faction of Daleks who are somehow good and can coexist with other species. Yet this episode seems to deny that possibility. Therefore I assert that Gallifrey can never be returned to normal space as long as this state of the Daleks exist.
There is also the question of whether the Time Lords need change to coexist with other species as much as the Daleks do. The Time Lords stood aloof not helping those they could help in small ways without destroying the timestream, other than the Doctor, yet the Time Lords also irresponsibly used almost all of their forbidden weapons and almost destroyed the universe in the Time War.
Therefore perhaps the judgment that the Doctor is a good Dalek is saying something about more than the Doctor. Perhaps it is describing the Time Lords as well.24 July 2015 at 13:17 #41383SuzanneMS @suzannems
I hate Daleks. I really, really hate Daleks. I have always hated Daleks. I also hate the Cybermen and I hate the Borg. I hate all “invincible” enemies. They are boring. There are only two possible outcomes — either they die or the heroes die. And as the heroes can’t die, it’s all just waiting until the Daleks to die.
Is the Doctor a “good Dalek” or a “Dalek who is good?” Don’t know — don’t care. Can we see some new villains, please?
I admit to not having read all 337 postings, but the ones I did read — am I the only one who recognized the “Star Wars” reference? The garbage compacter scene?
Not commenting on the speculations about Missy, Danny, Journey, etc., as I’ve watched the entire series at this point.24 July 2015 at 20:52 #41391Anonymous @
am I the only one who recognized the “Star Wars” reference?
Thanks for bringing up “Star Wars” references. It’s totally fair that DW borrows some ideas from other scifi shows imo, especially Star Wars. George Lucas borrowed a lot of ideas from BG DW first.
Daleks came first and look suspiciously a lot like R2D2.
Yoda’s “hmmm?” is very similar to the way Doc 1 would say it and I think their personalities are alike too.
Darth Vader has to be based on a character from Curse of Paledon. The colors changed from green to black but the breathing is too close to just be coincidence. Darth Vader is a huge improvement on the character, but I think the idea still started with DW.
Another Doc 3 story, Colony in Space, has cars that bounce like the land speeder if you imagine them without wheels and the Sand People are just theft.
PhaseShift posted about how many scifi shows have some kind of Big-Glowing-ARSED Spaceships, so all shows borrow ideas from other shows but I think DW has had the most ideas borrowed from it. Even the catch phrase “Resistance is futile” used by the Borg was on DW first. So it should be fair that DW can borrow a few ideas back if it wants to.25 July 2015 at 09:39 #41410Anonymous @
“I hate Daleks. I really, really hate Daleks. I have always hated Daleks. I also hate the Cybermen and I hate the Borg. I hate all “invincible” enemies. They are boring”
boy, Suzanne, sounds like you need a drink at The Cloven Hoof!
Nope, I pretty sure others recognised the ‘borrowings’ from the compactor scene -it’s only fair. Goodness, soon you’ll be mentioning that the GI’s whisper men were the fellas from Hush in Buffy.
But @phaseshift has a poem for that one he “already prepared earlier”. I admitted to thinking, “whispermen from Hush!” It stands to reason, there’d be other borrowings as Barnable suggested.
Personally? I love the ‘Is the Doctor a good Dalek?’ argument. It’s no different to any other discussion 😉 “Well…really….Well, sort of….Well….a little bit….Well… OK…”
Kindest, puro25 July 2015 at 12:29 #41415SuzanneMS @suzannems
@purofiolion Why would I need a drink? Am I not allowed to hate the Daleks? Is it a requirement of this forum that one love the Daleks?
Why so snarky and patronizing?25 July 2015 at 14:06 #41421PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
Of course you are allowed to hate the Daleks. So does the Doctor. You can hate the Cybermen, Borg Collective and Hammy the Hamster if you like.
I think using six occasions of “hate/hated” in one small paragraph (including an out of show reference) is to probably invite a response to take a drink or consume a “chill pill” though, isn’t it? It’s YouTube and IMDB classic comment fodder. The Moderator side of me is usually suspicious when someone jumps immediately in this situation to “Requirement of the forum” and accusations of “snarky and patronizing”. An attempt to upscale a fairly innocuous comment to “duel” status.
Let’s talk Doctor Who, or let’s talk about the Forum. The usual form for the later is accusations of Clique-ness, being an attack site, etc. Very dull, and if we’re going down that path, let’s cut to the chase and get on with it.25 July 2015 at 20:52 #41433
For what it’s worth, I have never been overly engaged by the Daleks. I often find them a less engaging enemy than one with more interesting motivations, and they do a lot of shouting but often without a lot of threat. Ditto Cybermen. Matt Smith as the Cyberplanner was more interesting, as was Davros (initially, at least). But I will grant that the AG show has made some effort to do new things with the Daleks.
And the “Is the Doctor a good Dalek?” question is actually a pretty universal question to ask of anyone who has taken on the battle against evil. We ask questions like in real life all the time: What is acceptable in the fight against evil? Do we hate the sin and love the sinner, so to speak? Who is the enemy and are they redeemable? And so on. I’m not expressing this in the best way, but it makes sense to me to ask if the Doctor, in his absolute hatred of the Daleks, risks becoming like them.25 July 2015 at 22:51 #41435
@arbutus You expressed it just fine. That think about “the Abyss gazes back into you”, so unpleasantly true . . .25 July 2015 at 23:29 #41437PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
And the “Is the Doctor a good Dalek?” question is actually a pretty universal question to ask of anyone who has taken on the battle against evil. We ask questions like in real life all the time: What is acceptable in the fight against evil? Do we hate the sin and love the sinner, so to speak? Who is the enemy and are they redeemable? And so on. I’m not expressing this in the best way, but it makes sense to me to ask if the Doctor, in his absolute hatred of the Daleks, risks becoming like them.
Yes – I think that’s the fascinating aspect of that relationship. I think Stephen Moffat posed it as “can you fight the monsters without becoming one”. I think it’s an interesting point that in this episode there was a reference to his first meeting the Daleks on Skaro making him realise who he was. I think we both responded on The Daleks, but it is worth looking at the other stories of the Hartnell era.
In The Dalek Invasion of Earth, it’s the first recurring monster, and the first time the Doctor steps up to the plate and tells them he’s here to beat them, becoming more the hero. It’s also the first companion leaving, his Granddaughter Susan, which is mythology itself.
In The Chase they become the first adversary to be able to follow the Doctor and play on his turf. We lose his first two human companions, and the ones who have had a big impact on him as he returns them to their own time.
I mentioned in the exchange on faith/belief that there is an interesting period in Season 3 which plays out over more than 4 months in serial form, and seems to question directly the Doctors role as hero and, perhaps, his “godly” status. It’s really frustrating that all I have to go on are audio/reconstructions and novelisations. If @blenkinsopthebrave is around he may be able to confirm if I’m on track with this.
It starts with a Doctor Absent story – Mission to the Unknown. A Battle with the Daleks, and mini-prequel to their next story. The Doctor doesn’t appear. Carnage. The Doctor is not omnipresent.
We go to The Myth Makers and the Doctor gives the Greek army the idea of the Wooden Horse at Troy. His foreknowledge is limited though, which is rather clever. The historical/mythical perspective tend to focus on the cleverness of the Greeks, and gullibility of Troy and how this clever stratagem ended a long conflict abruptly. The Doctor discovers it does indeed – in a slaughter in which he barely escapes alive. He loses his replacement for Susan – Vicki, who goes off to forge myths of her own as Cressida.
He gets Katarina as an inadvertent replacement. A slave who thinks she’s died and crossed the boundary to meet the Gods. She thinks The Doctor is a God. The Doctor tells her he isn’t, but I couldn’t help feeling from the audio that Hartnell is playing it as if he’s secretly loving it really. It plays to The Doctors immense ego. He reassures her she will be safe, and he’ll protect her. A few episodes into The Dalek MasterPlan she’s dead. Self sacrificing to save the team from an escaped criminal. It’s brutal, it really is. The first companion of the Doctor (even if briefly) to die. Things get worse as allies get killed and we wind up with a damaged Steven and The Doctor on a destroyed world, stripped of all life. The last beings standing.
It’s then capped by The Massacre. Steven questioning himself, The Doctor and events. Is it worth it all. A doppelgänger of the Doctor appears to be zealous Catholic Abbot of Amboise. Plotting to massacre the of Protestants in 16th Century France. Steven, the Doctors sole companion at this point, has had his faith in the Doctor tested significantly and is disgusted by the Doctors lack of action in The Massacre. Imagine the Fires of Pompeii without the aliens and the Doctor not listening to Donna begging him to save someone. Steven is ready to leave the TARDIS at the next stop. What gives him pause is that, walking away in 1966 he meets Dodo Chaplet, a doppelgänger of Anne Chaplet, a young girl who he particularly wanted to save from the events in The Massacre. While it doesn’t particularly hold to close scrutiny, I think the clear intention is that Dodo is from the same lineage as Anne. Anne survived to have children, and this is some small reassurance to Steven. It could have been the first Clara storyline! “This Dodo is the impossible girl! Let’s investigate!” (this is 1 billion times more interesting than anything they ever actually did with Dodo).
So I think that run can probably be recognised as the start of so many of the themes that the AG years played with. The Doctor isn’t a god – he’s not omnipresent or omniscient. He’s fallible and in trying to fight the good fight can leave devastation in his wake. Like his lookalike the Abbot, can the Doctor be a zealot in his battle with the Daleks? Blind faith in him, like Katarina’s, can be a dangerous thing. Truly astonishing work in 60s television.
But I think that, fan of the Daleks or not, this is why they are intrinsically linked to the Doctor. On their own merits they fail. Terry Nation tried everything to sell them in the US. What they lacked was The Doctor, because their story is linked absolutely, even before they went to war with his people. Its mythological and the current series is building on that groundwork done in the 60s.26 July 2015 at 07:24 #41452Anonymous @
“The Doctor isn’t a god – he’s not omnipresent or omniscient. He’s fallible and in trying to fight the good fight can leave devastation in his wake”
I really enjoyed reading that particular post and also yours, @arbutus
The daleks are an increasingly augmented creature. They’ve grown in complexity and we’ve seen an agglomeration over the past 10 years. I think they were an interesting enemy even at the very beginning -when you consider the first Doctor’s contact, as Phase pointed out.
I was also taken by Eccelston’s reaction to the Dalek and in particular, the actual reveal. The direction and photography of that scene was perfect; to me, at least, and not at all “boring”. There are versatilities to this group of ‘evil beings.’ I believe Clara’s ‘induction’ into the programme as Oswin was one such example of this and it’s interesting that the recent iteration of the Doctor asked Clara herself, “am I a good man?”
Something that makes this programme and others, like Buffy and Farscape, so enduring, is the connection with characters: no matter what century, planet or monster, we have similar concepts which overtake colossal sets or even colossal disasters in set production. Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and Aeschylus asked questions of us all: “what is beauty?”; “who are the gods?”; “are these gods omnipresent and are they good?” Also, for thousands of years, the question: “what makes a good man?”
And then onto the next level, as @arbutus succinctly put it. If the Doctor, once the Oncoming Storm, could become like the Daleks? Certainly, this was one question of the 50th anniversary episode: why did the War Doctor deliberately choose another title (from a religious order, the Sisters of Karn)? Additionally, from the battle of Demon’s Run: how did the word ‘doctor’, universally known as healer, come to be associated with warrior?
On the other thread, @ichabod and I were playing around with the concept or theory of an Omni religious and/or Omni sexual Doctor or Time Lord; so it’s intriguing how this leads to a discussion about the omnipresence of the Doctor, himself. As Phase wrote:
“It starts with a Doctor Absent story – Mission to the Unknown. A Battle with the Daleks, and mini-prequel to their next story. The Doctor doesn’t appear. Carnage. The Doctor is not omnipresent….”
On this Forum, we have a pub for ‘drinks’. I’ll be headed there next Wednesday, actually! This is why I said, “have a drink, Suzanne.” I wasn’t meaning to be at all “patronising or snarky” (our Cloven Hoof is great for ‘letting our hair down,’).
On the other thread, I suggested you might read recent posts on the Deep Water thread as there’s labyrinthine meandering about the Master/Missy and her sexuality. It really is worth a read.
When I first lurked on this site, I recognised this Forum as a very civil place where manners are exceptionally important. It doesn’t take much to say “hey, thanks.” You asked for help with @tagging a member and I explained how to do this.
I was directed to the etiquette page when I first joined. Here I learned that ad hominem attacks don’t do the site, or the readers, any good at all. So, yes, “hating the Daleks” in the way you said it, caused me to think “heck, this new member is only interested in bagging things but maybe they could just do with a calming drink!” It was me reaching out to someone and was not intended as offensive. I make my fair share of errors & have been clocked for them too -and I’m totally on board with that.
“Not commenting on the speculations about Missy, Danny, Journey, etc., as I’ve watched the entire series at this point.”
Why not? 🙂 I hope Journey Blue’s travel hasn’t ended! But I feel that it will be left dangling -forever. A bit like the comment of Clara’s, “I was born under a clock tower.” Of course, as the Impossible Girl, she was born in many locations.
On the idea of Omni religious. Could mean in this instance, respecting all religions the Doctor comes across: witness ‘going naked’ to Church with Clara. Perhaps understanding multi-gods’ potency? As a religious being (but not a sexual one!). I don’t see it as Omnism but rather the Doctor’s respect of a god’s omnipresence within their society. Like the Applans (sic), perhaps. If nothing else, it provides an example of the complexity of hermeneutics. 🙂
Now, @bluesqueakpip with her post-grad in theology would be extremely helpful! But in any case, this debate started from the basis of the Doctor as an “omnisexual being.” I just threw my cap about the other concept into the ring…. In fact, the idea of “is he a good man?” certainly suggests that a thread about faith and mythology would be a good idea as @phaseshift originally asked. @arbutus agreed. Being rather contrary, I’d now respond, “absolutely go for it!”
Kindest, puro.31 August 2015 at 22:00 #42203
I’ve finally started a proper rewatch of the last series, which hopefully will flow nicely into the start of Series Nine, and got a bit of viewing in over the weekend. This wasn’t one of my favourite episodes on first viewing, but it was interesting to come back to it. In many ways, it was our real intro to the new Doctor, now fully functional and in charge. I liked his intro, facing Journey Blue with two cups of coffee in his hand, chastising her for threatening and demanding, rather than asking nicely. Imagine being on the point of death and suddenly waking up inside the TARDIS!
We are given a man who appears very confident, quick with snappy remarks and sarcasm, and enthusiastic about new and interesting things. But we are also shown immediately, through the brief scene in the TARDIS with Clara, that underneath it, he is still trying to work things out.
I really appreciated his cold, calm survivalist attitude in the face of Ross’s death – there is no one with whom to plead or argue, so he doesn’t waste time sobbing but takes steps to save the rest of them. I loved his absolute lack of filters. I realize that these things are what many people found off-putting, but I actually warmed to them instantly. (Not sure what that says about me!) But it reminds me of my favourite BG Doctor, my Doctor, the Fourth, who demonstrated a complete lack of sentimentality- something I found as crisply refreshing as a fizzy mint drink after the emotional Ten and Eleven.
Knowing the ending brings a little more perspective, and when Journey Blue made her decision to give the Doctor a chance to “do better” rather than destroy Rusty (and herself), it struck me forcefully that this was the moment when she stopped being a soldier, despite what the Doctor said later. It felt sad to know that her choice wouldn’t be rewarded in the end. And Clara’s lesson for the Doctor- “What did we learn today?” doesn’t seem to have sunk all the way in. The Doctor accepted that a Dalek could change, but didn’t seem to think that a human soldier could. And maybe, based on his experience of the day, she couldn’t. After all, Rusty didn’t.1 September 2015 at 05:54 #42223
@arbutus I really appreciated his cold, calm survivalist attitude in the face of Ross’s death – there is no one with whom to plead or argue, so he doesn’t waste time sobbing but takes steps to save the rest of them. I loved his absolute lack of filters. I realize that these things are what many people found off-putting, but I actually warmed to them
Yes! A cold and bracing breeze, that was, a real waker-upper. Not sure I loved it, but I certainly did appreciate it.1 September 2015 at 08:18 #42226James@Hexder @jameshexder
Man, how long has it become for me not watching Doctor Who?.. Clara looks cute 😉
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