Into the Dalek

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243 – "Into the Dalek"
Doctor Who episode
Into the Dalek 8.2.jpg
The Doctor with "Rusty" the Dalek.
Writer Phil Ford
Steven Moffat
Director Ben Wheatley
Script editor Derek Ritchie
Producer Nikki Wilson
Executive producer(s) Steven Moffat
Brian Minchin
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Series Series 8
Length 47 minutes
Originally broadcast 30 August 2014 (2014-08-30)
← Preceded by Followed by →
"Deep Breath" "Robot of Sherwood"

"Into the Dalek" is the second episode of the eighth series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, written by Phil Ford and Steven Moffat, directed by Ben Wheatley, and first broadcast on 30 August 2014. Ford has previously written for the show, co-writing 2009's "The Waters of Mars". Starring Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman the episode also introduces Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink. It was watched by 5.2 million viewers in the UK on its initial transmission, according to unofficial overnight figures, taking a 24.7 per cent share of the entire TV audience and making it the second-highest rated programme of the evening,[1] with the final numbers giving a total of 7.29 million viewers.[2]


The Doctor saves Journey Blue, a rebel fighter, from her space shuttle, which is under attack by Daleks, but is unable to save her brother, who has already perished. He returns her to the rebel command ship Aristotle. He is greeted by Journey's uncle, Colonel Morgan Blue, who thanks the Doctor for saving his niece, but declares that he must be killed for fear he is a Dalek spy. However, Journey declares that, as he is a 'doctor', the Doctor can help their patient, which is revealed to be a war-torn Dalek they found floating through space who has appeared to have turned good.

Meanwhile, Danny Pink, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan with emotional scars from his past, begins teaching Maths at Coal Hill School. In the staff room, Danny is introduced to Clara Oswald, who invites him to a leaving do for one of their colleagues. Feeling awkward due to an obvious connection between them, Danny declines, but when Clara finds him in his classroom despairing over his actions, she invites him out for a drink. He agrees, and she returns to her office, where she comes face to face with the Doctor, who she has not seen since he left her three weeks ago when he went for coffee in Glasgow (as seen in "Deep Breath"). He tells her that he needs her help, and asks whether he is a good man. Clara replies that she does not know.

They return to the Aristotle, where Colonel Blue details plans to miniaturize the Doctor, Clara, Journey and two rebel soldiers, Ross and Gretchen, so they can enter the broken Dalek, nicknamed Rusty by the Doctor, to see if they can determine what is making it good. Entering through the eyepiece, they begin exploring the upper part of the Dalek. Ross shoots a griphook onto the floor, and the Dalek releases antibodies, much like in the human body, which incinerate him. The Doctor, Clara, Journey and Gretchen flee to Rusty's waste centre, where the Doctor correctly guesses that nothing will be guarded. From there, they head to an area of high radiation, with Rusty speaking to the Doctor on the beauty it had witnessed in the galaxy, including the creation of a star, and that the Daleks must be destroyed for wanting to destroy that beauty. At the Dalek's power center, the Doctor discovers a large crack, which he deduces is causing the malfunction within the Dalek. He uses his sonic screwdriver to seal the crack, fixing Rusty in the process. However, this causes it to return to its normal thinking pattern, losing the good within it.

Colonel Blue and his men are helpless as the Dalek breaks its chains and begins exterminating the rebels, determined to aid the Dalek cause. It contacts the Dalek main ship, which releases more Daleks with the aim of destroying the rebel command ship. Inside Rusty, Clara slaps the Doctor in the face and convinces the Doctor to try to reawaken the good side of the Dalek. They split up, with Clara and Journey heading to reawaken memories of the Dalek's past now being suppressed, and the Doctor heading to the Dalek's consciousness. Gretchen sacrifices herself to set up another griphook to get Clara and Journey to the mind of Rusty, and is destroyed by antibodies. She awakens after her death in "Heaven" and is greeted by a mysterious woman named Missy, the same woman who greeted the Half-Face Man ("Deep Breath").

Clara manages to awaken Rusty's memory of him seeing the creation of a star, while the Doctor manages to link his mind to Rusty's consciousness, reminding him of the destruction the Daleks caused. However, Rusty assimilates the Doctor's own deeply-rooted hatred towards the Dalek race, and he exterminates his fellow Daleks as they attempt to destroy the rebel ship. On leaving the inside of the Dalek, the Doctor parts with Rusty, upset that the Dalek saw only darkness within him and wishing for a 'victory' in creating a good Dalek. Rusty's response is that the Doctor himself is a good Dalek, while Rusty is not. Rusty sends a signal to the Dalek mothership, causing it to believe the Aristotle has self-destructed, and vows to continue with his mission to destroy the Daleks. The Doctor and Clara depart. Journey asks to come with them, but the Doctor declines, telling her that though she has a kind heart, he wishes that she hadn't been a soldier.

The Doctor returns Clara to her office, moments after she left. Clara tells the Doctor that, although she is still unsure of whether he is a good man, she knows his intentions are well-meant. On leaving, she bumps into Danny, who says he is glad that his being an ex-soldier has not put her off. Remembering the Doctor's treatment of Journey, Clara tells Danny that she is not so judgemental.


The Doctor refers to his first encounter with the Daleks on Skaro in The Daleks and his first incarnation's initial lack of altruism prior to meeting them. The Doctor's loathing for the Daleks earlier manifests in "Dalek", "Victory of the Daleks", and "Asylum of the Daleks".


Co-writer and executive producer Steven Moffat conceived the idea while discussing possible concepts for a Doctor Who computer game.[3]

The read-through for the episode took place on 17 December 2013, the same day as "Deep Breath". Filming began on 25 January 2014, and took place at the Uskmouth power station, which had previously served as a location for the 2011 Christmas special, "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe".[4] Filming also took place in St Athan, Newport, and a hangar outside Cardiff.[3][4] Regular filming concluded on 18 February 2014. The last scene to be filmed was the one featuring Gretchen (Laura dos Santos) and Missy (Michelle Gomez), which was filmed concurrently with the similar scene with Half-Face Man from "Deep Breath" on 23 May 2014.[4]

Broadcast and reception[edit]

Pre-broadcast leak[edit]

As part of the series 8 leaks, both the script and a rough cut of the episode were leaked online from a server in Miami.[5][6] Despite the fact that the initial online copy of the episode contained a glitch that prevented downloading, a workable version found its way online by the second week of August 2014.[7]


Two clips from the episode were featured alongside an interview with Peter Capaldi on BBC News on 7 August 2014.[8] On 25 August, a ten-second clip was released showing the Doctor's reunion with a lone Dalek.[9] The same clips were re-released on 27 August in slightly extended form.[10][11]


Into the Dalek was watched by 5.2 million viewers in the UK upon its initial transmission, according to unofficial overnight figures, taking a 24.7 per cent share of the entire TV audience and making it the second-highest rated programme of the evening.[1] The episode was watched by 7.29 million people according to the final viewing figures.[2] In the United States, the première airing on BBC America had an audience of 1.22 million viewers, well below the 2.19 million viewers earned on Deep Breath.[12]

Into the Dalek received largely positive reviews. Simon Brew of Den of Geek wrote that the episode "stakes one hell of a claim... as a series highlight," and that it was "a really good, really entertaining episode," noting the similarities to 2005's "Dalek". Brew praised the new characterization for Clara and Capaldi's emergence as the Doctor.[13] The Guardian found the episode to be "better than we might have expected." They singled out the character development of Zawe Ashton's character in such a short space of time, and Ben Wheatley for "evoking a genuine sense of claustrophobic menace.'"[14] Terry Ramsey of The Daily Telegraph gave the episode four stars out of five praising Capaldi, "It may be hard to believe in a good Dalek, but after Saturday night it is easy to believe this will be a good Doctor."[15] IGN also praised the episode, particularly Ford and Moffat's script, stating that it "evolves along with its characters". They ultimately labelled the episode "an entertaining new take on a classic old foe", awarding it 8.4 out of 10.

Neela Debnath of The Independent was positive regarding the episode, calling it "A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster," while praising the new dynamic between The Doctor and Clara.[16] Tim Liew of Metro commented, "I rather enjoyed this episode." He was also positive about the character development for Jenna Coleman and noted, "the tight focus on a single enemy makes this the most menacing Dalek episode since Dalek."[17] Morgan Jeffery of Digital Spy felt the episode was an improvement over the series' opening episode and that it "felt like the proper debut of our new lead." He felt the dynamic between Capaldi and Coleman was very similar to that of Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, and called the episode "smart, stirring and visually spectacular," awarding the episode four stars out of five.[18]

Forbes gave a negative review of the episode, criticising the Daleks' appearance so soon after Capaldi's entrance saying, "It feels like the BBC have a lack of confidence in the public accepting Capaldi as The Doctor," and the "flawed" concept of the episode. They were critical of the characterization of Capaldi's Doctor: "the modern Doctor is not the irascible, self-centred William Hartnell of those early episodes." But they were positive about the characterization of Clara and overall said, "Nonetheless, this action-packed second episode made me much more likely to tune in next week than last week’s opener.[19]

The episode received an Audience Appreciation Index score of 84, considered Excellent.[20]


  1. ^ a b "Into the Dalek: Overnight Viewing Figures". Doctor Who News. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Doctor Who series 8 ratings accumulator", Doctor Who TV (UK) .
  3. ^ a b BBC (30 August 2014). "Into the Dalek - Doctor Who Extra: Series 1 Episode 2 (2014) - BBC". YouTube. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Into the Dalek: Fact File". Doctor Who. BBC One. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Dowell, Ben (7 July 2014). "Please don't share secrets of Doctor Who series 8 - BBC Worldwide "sorry" for five leaked scripts". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Andy (12 August 2014). "Doctor Who “Into the Dalek” Workprint Fully Leaks Online". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Poladian, Charles (12 August 2014). "'Doctor Who' Season 8 Leak: Episode 2 Torrent Finds It Way Onto The Pirate Bay". International Business Times. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "BBC News Series 8 Preview Featuring New Dalek Clips". Doctor Who TV. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Doctor Who - Into the Dalek - Trailer – And this is your patient…". BBC. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Doctor Who: Into the Dalek preview Clip: 'Am I a good man?'". Doctor Who. BBC One. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Doctor Who: Into the Dalek Preview Clip: 'This is gun girl...'". Doctor Who. BBC One. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (September 3, 2014). "Saturday Cable Ratings: College Football Wins Night, 'Doctor Who', 'SportsCenter', 'Attack on Titan' & More". Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  13. ^ Brew, Simon. "Doctor Who series 8: Into The Dalek review". Den of Geek. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Doctor Who recap series 34 episode two Into the Dalek, Peter Capaldi", The Guardian, 2014-08-30 .
  15. ^ "Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: the Daleks are good & so is Capaldi", The Telegraph .
  16. ^ "Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: a classic SciFi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster", The Independent .
  17. ^ "Doctor Who season 8 Into the Dalek: can the Doctor make a good Dalek?", Metro (UK), 2014-08-30 .
  18. ^ "Doctor Who series 8 Into the Dalek recap meet the new Doctor", Digital spy .
  19. ^ Midgley, Neil (2014-08-30), "Review, Doctor Who episode 802 Inside the Dalek: Peter Capaldi almost takes charge", Forbes 
  20. ^ "Into the Dalek UK ratings", Doctor Who TV .

External links[edit]