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'Doctor Who' 'Into the Dalek' review: The beauty and goodness in things

Doctor Who, Season 8, Episode 2
Doctor Who, Season 8, Episode 2
Adrian Rogers, ©BBC/BBC Worldwide 2014, used with permission

The Saturday, Aug. 30 episode of "Doctor Who," 802, "Into the Dalek," sees the Doctor and Clara journey inside his greatest enemy. Meanwhile, Clara meets fellow teacher, Danny Pink.

This "Doctor Who" episode is about the question of "who or what is good," especially when it comes to the Doctor himself, a Dalek and this mysterious character of "Missy." The Daleks are around often enough that they're just not really scary anymore, but it doesn't seem like they're trying to make them scary – and they don't need to, not when they have other monsters that can do that now. That said, the Daleks are still entertaining, and this is a solid episode.

Is the Doctor a good man? Even he wants to know the answer to that question, and like everything about him, there is no real answer to it. "I don't know," as Clara tells him, is probably the best answer he can ever really truly get. "I think you try to be," she says as he's dropping her off, and that's what's important. He tries to do the right thing, and in this case, it's going into a Dalek and actually fixing a hole that's leaking radiation, though that does lead to a lot more trouble and lives lost when the "good" Dalek suddenly becomes the kind of Dalek he knows and hates. Even when he tries to fix that mistake, with some help from his schoolteacher companion, it backfires.

Can a Dalek be good? That's what the Doctor seeks to find out, even telling the soldier who sacrifices herself that if he can turn one, he can turn them all and save the future, but he doesn't get the outcome he's hoping for. The Dalek does see the beauty of a star being born again, just as it did before, but it also sees the hatred the Doctor has for the Daleks, and suddenly, that becomes its rallying cry. "Death to the Daleks," "Rusty" proclaims, saving the lives of the soldiers left and transmitting a retreat signal to the ships before going to finish its unfinished work.

Is "Missy" good? So far, we've only gotten a look at her "greeting" the "fallen," in these first two episodes of the season. "Welcome to heaven," she tells Gretchen and offers her tea. Who and what exactly is Missy? How many more will end up in her "heaven" along the way after an encounter with the Doctor? So far, it's intriguing enough to make us want to see more of her, but at the same time, they could be walking a thin line with this arc.

Meanwhile, Clara meets Danny Pink, and it seems like it could be the beginning of something beautiful. We don't know much about him quite yet, other than the fact that he's a soldier, doesn't seem to be a "lady killer" and has the worst timing when it comes to retreating to bang his head on his desk in peace. Nevertheless, before Clara sets off on her latest adventure with the Doctor, she makes plans to get a drink with him, and when she returns – 30 seconds after she left and changed, as he notices – he checks that she doesn't have a rule against soldiers. The Doctor might, but she doesn't. It does seem like he has his secrets, just like she has hers, but can they still make it work? We really have to see more of them together to really judge. After all, even if the Doctor does continue to drop her off seconds after she leaves, all that traveling has to have some effect on their relationship – and their secrets have to come out eventually.

Best quotes:

"How long have you been there?" "Longer than you would like." – Danny wishing that Clara hadn't seen him banging his head on his desk

"Am I a good man?" "I don't know." "Neither do I." – The Doctor hoping for the truth from Clara

"Daleks will die…Daleks must be destroyed. …All Daleks must die. I will destroy the Daleks. Destroy the Daleks. Destroy the Daleks!" – a good Dalek?!

"This is Clara, not my assistant. She's some other word." "I'm his carer." "She cares so I don't have to." – The Doctor introduces Clara

"A Dalek so damaged, it's turned good. Morality has malfunctioned. How do I resist?" – The Doctor decides to help the Dalek

"Welcome to the most dangerous place in the universe." – A.K.A. the Dalek

"Are you alright back there? It's a bit narrow, isn't it?" "Any remarks about my hips will not be appreciated." "Your hips are fine, you're built like a man." – The Doctor and Clara – he still has a lot to learn

"I saw beauty. …The birth of a star. …Life returns. Life prevails. Resistance is futile." – Rusty the Dalek

"Clara Oswald, do I really not pay you?" "You couldn’t afford me." – The Doctor would need to get a job

"Is he mad or is he right?" – What is the Doctor?

"Welcome to heaven." – Missy greets her latest arrival

"It's either that or the bulbs need changing." – Suppressed memories or a common household problem?

"I see into your soul. I see beauty. I see divinity. I see hatred. I see your hatred of the Daleks and it is good. …Death to the Daleks! …Daleks are evil, Daleks must be exterminated." – Rusty sees into the Doctor's mind and soul

"You looked inside me and you saw hatred. That's not victory. Victory would have been a good Dalek." "I am not a good Dalek. You are a good Dalek." – The Doctor disagrees with Rusty's definition of a "victory"

"I don't know. …You asked me if you were a good man, and the answer is I don't know. But I think you try to be, and I think that's probably the point." – Clara has another answer for the Doctor

"Doctor Who" season 8 airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on BBC America. What did you think of episode 2 "Into the Dalek"?