This is a weekly feature where Christa of Hooked on Books and myself will be watching and discussing all of the reboot of Doctor Who. Posts will contain spoilers for that episode and ones before it, so you may want to watch the episode before reading. I hope you’ll join us in enjoying this fantastic show, and don’t forget to check out Christa’s post as well! Allons-y!
Dalek by Robert Shearman
The Doctor and Rose answer a distress signal, finding themselves in a secret alien museum in the year 2012! But with the return of an old enemy, will the Doctor and Rose be able to survive?
Yupp, there’s a shirtless Christopher Eccleston in this episode. Yum.
I love that this episode takes place in 2012. I like to pretend that somewhere out in the middle of a desert somewhere, Rose and the ninth Doctor are hanging out looking at some cyberman’s head.
In totally unrelated news… the foreshadowing in this episode? Brilliant! Besides the reintroduction of the cybermen, we get another Bad Wolf reference. I love being on the lookout for those references; I missed a lot of them the first time!
As far as character development goes, I think this is the best episode yet. We get to learn about the Time War and see the effect it has had on the Doctor. Eccleston’s acting in this episode is so fantastic. He really lets loose during the scene with the Dalek and you can feel his hatred and his madness and his loneliness and his sadness. It’s all there and it’s all so raw.
And the duality of the Doctor and the Dalek are so perfect. The questions that the Dalek asks are the same ones that the Doctor is struggling with. It lets us see inside the Doctor’s head. When he pushes too far, it’s Rose who is there to bring him back down. It’s the same theme we’ll see in later episodes, and Donna says it quite bluntly (as she often does) in one of the Specials. The Doctor needs his companions to hold him back sometimes because there is a whole lot of darkness inside the Doctor, and I think at this point in the Doctor’s journey he’s still dealing with that darkness. I don’t think he’s quite accepted it yet, like Eleven seems to have.
The Doctor/Rose relationship takes another turn when the Doctor chooses the world over Rose’s life. The emotion on the Doctor’s face when he’s thought he lost Rose is so heartbreaking. I think the Doctor thought he was strong enough to make the right choice having made it once before, but this episode he realizes that he’s not strong enough. He knows now that he could never trade her life for the world’s survival again.
Rose herself deserves a round of applause. Her empathy towards the Dalek, the way she reigns in the Doctor when he needs it, and her all around courage show some of the reasons I love Rose as a character. When Rose thinks she’s about to die, she doesn’t cry or freak out or beg for her life. With her last words she tries to comfort the Doctor. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
(Also that moment when you realize Van Statten is talking about Barack Obama…)
“See you then Doctor. It wasn’t your fault, remember that okay? It wasn’t your fault. And you know what? I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” – Rose
“What use are emotions if you won’t save the women you love?” – the Dalek (Dude, the Doctor is so obvious; even the Dalek who doesn’t understand any emotions realizes what’s going on!)
“I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to end it.” – the Doctor
“What about you, Doctor? What the hell are you changing into?” – Rose
death toll: 201
fantastics: 3 (only 2 of them by the Doctor)
sexual scene of the episode that wasn’t sexual at all: when the Doctor was playing that alien instrument. I can’t be the only one who wanted to trade places with that instrument!