Doctor Who: Into The Dalek. Television Review, B.B.C.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Cast: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Nicholas Briggs, Zawe Ashton, Michael Smiley, Samuel Anderson, Laura Dos Santos, Ben Crompton, Bradley Ford, Michelle Morris, Nigel Betts, Ellis George, Barnaby Edwards.

For anyone who ever wondered what it would be like to be placed within the very heart of the most dangerous creature in existence, then the latest episode of Doctor Who, Into The Dalek almost provided the answer to that fantastic question. Until they find a way to see into the very soul of the Time Lord, seeing inside a Dalek who has discovered the point of existence beyond the blasted horizon by the Denisons of destruction encased in Dalekanium ranks almost as high.

Into the Dalek was an episode in which the real terror of these beings was once more realised. After a few years in which younger viewers might have looked upon their parents with thoughts of what on Earth is there to be frightened of in the only creatures to have appeared in more episodes than any other, the hatred in the very fabric of the Dalek Empire has once more been realised and it took Peter Capaldi to make it so.

Since the B.B.C. finally took notice that the fan base of Doctor Who was never going to go away and was only being added to on a daily basis, Daleks have not really, with a possible couple of exceptional concessions, caught the imagination and in some heart breaking episodes have actually been seen a figure to be ridiculed, to be made fun of. Matt Smith and David Tennant, for all their brilliance in the role of The Doctor, were able to talk them to defeat, the Doctor triumphant in some cases was a bigger menace to the Universe than the epitome of evil, the television science fiction equivalent to human genocides across the centuries.

In Christopher Ecclestone’s time as The Doctor, the metal encased and living on a diet of pure hate being was something to behold, to remember what exactly is was that made them the finest adversaries on television and matched only by Star Trek’s The Borg. The chilling feel of doomed expectation as Nicholas Briggs stuttered mechanically the word “Doctor” could almost make a fan faint in fear at what was to come.

Into The Dalek offered that fear once more as a miniaturised Doctor and Clara were placed into the shell of a damaged Dalek and ordered to repair it. There is nothing like fear to make you stronger, the false bravado in which time will tell if you survive or die at the hands of a lunatic drives you on in the dialogue between “Rusty” and The Doctor, the pauses between them were pregnant with possibilities.

The Doctor has truly returned and with the right balance of guide, teacher and madman, Peter Capaldi is already surely high on the list of greats to have played the destructive Time Lord.

Ian D. Hall