Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Recap: Doctor Who "Dalek"

I can't even tell you how excited I am to be going over this particular episode today.  After the two-part nightmare that was of "Aliens of London” and “World War Three," I get to talk about the best stand-alone episode of Christopher Eccleston's tenure on Doctor Who. It's got thrills, drama, humor, and the return of an iconic villain from the Classic Series.

That's right, NewtCave readers. In this episode, we witness the return of an outer space menace that had been terrorizing Earth since the era of the First Doctor.

The metal-clad xenophobes known as... the Cybermen.

What? Were you expecting something different?
The episode begins with the familiar whoosh of the TARDIS fading into some kind of museum, instead of where the Doctor meant to land.

Doctor: "Some kind of signal, drawing the TARDIS off course."

Oh, right, blame the "signal," Doctor. After you missed Rose's home by a whole year two episodes ago.

But even though the Doctor might not know why he’s here, he does know where he is.

Doctor: "Earth. Utah, North America. About half a mile underground."
Rose: "And... when are we?"

"The real question is: When are... oh, wait, did you?"
"Yeah."
"'Cause I was gonna...."
"No, it's fine."
Doctor: "2012."

The distant future!

And also the same year as “Fear Her,” which means that the Tenth Doctor could very well be carrying the Olympic torch as we speak.

The Doctor looks around the room he parked the TARDIS in, and sees multiple alien artifacts on display.

Doctor: "An alien museum. Someone's got a hobby."

The Doctor points out meteor chunks (probably from Addis Ababa), moon dust, the mileometer from the Roswell spaceship, and... oh, crap.

WHY WON'T YOU JUST LET ME WATCH THIS EPISODE IN PEACE, SLITHEEN?
But he also finds something he hasn't seen in ages.

See? I told you the Cybermen were returning.
Doctor: "The stuff of nightmares, reduced to an exhibit."

Wouldn't be the first time.
Doctor: "I'm getting old."

But the Cyberman head isn't the source of the signal. The head is completely dead; whatever sent the signal is calling for help. The Doctor reaches out to the glass, setting off an alarm. Suddenly, a swarm of jackbooted thugs rushes in to aim their guns at him.

Rose: "If someone's collecting aliens, that makes you Exhibit A."

So in yet another ongoing reference to later events, a helicopter codenamed Bad Wolf One descends to the facility’s helipad. The owner of the whole operation, Henry van Statten (Corey Johnson), disembarks and gets down to business.

Aide: "On behalf of all of us, I wanna wish you a very happy birthday, sir. And the President called to convey his personal best wishes."
Van Statten: "The President is ten points down. I want him replaced."
Aide: "I don't think that's very wise, sir."
Van Statten: "Thank you so much for your opinion; you're fired."

Man, this guy's like Donald Trump if he were a supervillain.

Heh. "If."

The poor guy gets taken away to be memory wiped and dumped in a random city beginning with "M," as per van Statten's whims. A new aide, this one a young lady played by Anna-Louise Plowman, runs up to fill the gap. In blatant disregard of why he fired a guy five seconds earlier, van Statten asks for her opinion.

Van Statten: "So, the next President. Whadda you think, Republican or Democrat?"
Aide 2: "Democrat, sir."
Van Statten: "What reason?"
Aide 2: "...They're just so funny, sir?"

Hey, Obamacare is no laughing matter.

He asks for her name (Diana Goddard), tells her he likes her moxie, and asks for "the English kid" next. Said kid (Bruno Langley) runs up and tells Van Statten that he bought ten more alien artifacts at an auction. Van Statten wants to see them, but Diana tells him that they arrested two intruders 53 floors down, and that might need to be addressed.

Diana: "We don't know how they got in."
Van Statten: "I'll tell you how they got in. In-tru-da window."

Gonna admit, I love that joke. Even though his staff doesn't.

Van Statten: "...In-tru-da window, that was funny!"

On command, his entourage laughs as he forms a new schedule: Check on his intruders and then visit his "pet." As he walks off, Diana calls some guy named Simmons up on her headset to see if said "pet" is talking yet. Whatever it is, it sees the world through some kind of screen or lens. And instead of talking, it's just kind of screaming. Because Simmons is taking a drill to it. But what do you expect, Simmons? You're taking a drill to it. You think it's going to say "Hey, how's it going?" in response to you putting a hole in it?

The Doctor and Rose are taken to van Statten as the English kid tries to theorize what the alien tech he spent $800,000 on actually does. The Doctor can't help but pipe up, though.

Doctor: "I really wouldn't hold it like that."
Diana: "Shut it."
Doctor: "Really, though, that's wrong."
English Kid: "Is it dangerous?"
Doctor: "No. It just looks silly."

As the Doctor reaches out to show them how to hold it, all the guards’ guns click. But van Statten gives his approval, and the Doctor is allowed to take the alien thingamabob and gently move his fingers along it, creating music. Van Statten wants a try, so he grabs it out of the Doctor's hand and starts making some random noises with it. But he manages to play a few notes before literally tossing the thing aside and demanding to know who the Doctor is. And the Doctor wants the same from van Statten, which van Statten has a hard time believing, since everybody knows who he is.

Van Statten: "We're hidden away with the most valuable collection of extraterrestrial artifacts in the world, and you just stumbled in by mistake."
Doctor: "Pretty much sums me up, yeah."
Van Statten: "Question is, how did you get in? 53 floors down. With your little cat burglar accomplice. Quite a collector yourself, she's quite pretty."

You should have seen Leela. Yowza.
Rose: "She's gonna smack you if you keep calling her 'she.'"

Well, maybe if you introduced yourself, he'd know your name.

The British accent makes van Statten smile as he jokes to the English Kid that he found him a girlfriend. The English kid formally introduces Henry van Statten, who neither the Doctor nor Rose have ever heard of.

English Kid: "Mr. Van Statten owns the internet."
Rose: "Don't be stupid; no one owns the internet."
Van Statten: "And let's just keep the whole world thinking that way, right kids?"

Oh, God, this is an alternate 2012 where Congress passed SOPA!

Van Statten and the Doctor have a bit of a penis-measuring contest when it comes to alien knowledge, which van Statten tries to win by reminding the Doctor that he was easily captured.

Van Statten: "What were you doing down there?"
Doctor: "You tell me."
Van Statten: "The Cage contains my one living specimen."
Doctor: "And what's that?"
Van Statten: "Like you don't know."
Doctor: "Show me."
Van Statten: "You wanna see it?"
Rose: "Blimey, you can smell the testosterone."

Diana gets the order to prepare everything so they can see the Cage, and English kid gets the order to look after Rose.

Van Statten: "Go and canoodle or spoon or whatever it is you British do."

But plenty of spooning! And by that, I mean the Seventh Doctor played the spoons.
Van Statten: "And you, Doctor-With-No-Name...."

The Doctor-With-No-Name.
Van Statten: "Come and see my pet."

They make their way down to the lower levels, where van Statten tells the Doctor that they've tried everything to get this thing to talk.

Van Statten: "The creature has shielded itself, but there's definite signs of life inside."
Doctor: "'Inside'? Inside what?"

Van Statten is informed that the "Metaltron" is resting, and... oh, God, I think I know what we're going to find on display.

Because that's what Americans do; we keep bringing back Megatron.
Van Statten brags that "Metaltron" was his idea, though he'd like to find out its real name. The Doctor gets handed some gloves, since the last guy to touch it burst into flame.

Doctor: "I won't touch it, then."

The Doctor is locked inside until they can verify some kind of result, and the first thing he does is apologize to the Metaltron for whatever van Statten might have done to it.

Doctor: "Look, I'm sorry about this. Mr. van Statten might think he's clever, but never mind him. I've come to help. I'm the Doctor."

For the first time in years, something clicks inside the mind of the Metaltron.

Metaltron: "Doc... torrrrrrr?"
Doctor: "Impossible...."
Metaltron: "The Doc-torrrrrrr!?"

The lights around the Metaltron glow, illuminating one of the Doctor's greatest enemies throughout time and space. The monsters that made Doctor Who one of the most watched shows of the 60's. The original abominations that made little kids hide behind the sofa as they watched in terror. The greatest foes the Doctor ever faced have returned.

Living hate trapped inside a tank.
Dalek: "Ex-ter-min-ate! Ex-ter-min-aaaate!"

And the man who we've seen stop multiple alien invasions begs to bet let out of a room containing a single Dalek. Even if this is the first season you've ever seen, it's very clear that things have just escalated. But van Statten's just glad that the thing is talking, despite everything it says being a declaration of intent to kill.

The imprisoned Dalek tries in vain to destroy the most hated enemy of the Daleks, but can't do it. His death ray is simply out of order.  Then the Doctor does one of the scariest things he's ever done.

He laughs.

Out of sheer happiness that the creature in front of him is weak and wounded.

Doctor: "Fantastic! Oh, fantastic! Powerless. Look at you! The great space dust bin. How does it feel?"

A Dalek without the power to kill.

Dalek: "Keep back!"
Doctor: "What for? What're going to do to me?"

Well, if you touch it, it'll make you burst into flames.

Doctor: "If you can't kill, then what are you good for, Dalek? What's the point of you? You're nothing."

But the Dalek has been doing one thing for the many years it has spent of Earth. And nothing has been able to stop it from doing the one thing that gives it a sense of purpose.

Dalek: "I am waiting for orders."
Doctor: "What does that mean?"
Dalek: "I am a soldier. I was bred to receive orders."
Doctor: "Well, you're never gonna get any. Not ever."
Dalek: "I demand orders!"
Doctor: "They're never gonna come! Your race is dead. You all burnt, all of you. Ten million ships on fire. The entire Dalek race, wiped out in one second."

Well, then. something has certainly gone down since we last saw the Daleks. I mean, the last time they were seen onscreen in "Remembrance of the Daleks," the rival Dalek factions were trying to wipe each other out.

Dalek: "I watched it happen. I made it happen."

Yeah, we're getting some major bombshells dropped on us.

Barring the unfortunate treatment of Mickey, the Doctor is not cruel. At all. One of his defining character traits is that he will offer mercy. Of course, he's been perfectly willing to use force if that's what the situation has come down to, but he will do what is necessary. Heck, the Fourth Doctor was once paralyzed with indecision when given the option to commit Dalek genocide. This Doctor brags about having done it.

Dalek: "You destroyed us?"

In that moment, the Doctor realizes precisely how out-of-character he's been acting and has to take a second to recompose himself.

Doctor: "I had no choice."

Which may be true, but it does nothing for the guilt he obviously feels for having enjoyed what he had to do.

Dalek: "And what of the Time Lords?"
Doctor: "...Dead. They burned with you. The end of the Last Great Time War. Everyone lost."
Dalek: "And the coward survived."

Since the Dalek has resorted to mocking, the Doctor mocks back by making fun of the poor little helpless Dalek and its little distress signal.

Doctor: "But there's no one else coming 'cause there's no one else left."
Dalek: "I am alone in the universe."
Doctor: "Yup."
Dalek: "So are you. We are the same."
Doctor: "We're not the same! I'm not..."

Not what?  A murderer? A slaughterer? A genocide... er? He can’t even bring himself to finish the sentence because he knows that the Dalek has a point. Angry at first, he returns to his horrible, horrible happiness. And he agrees.

Doctor: "I know what should happen. I know what you deserve. Exterminate."

The Doctor reactivates Simmons’s torture equipment and starts electrocuting the Dalek.

Dalek: "Have pity!"
Doctor: "Why should I? You never did.”

Van Statten sends in his men to stop the Doctor from killing the Dalek and demands that the Dalek repay him for this kindness by talking to him. Nothing.

Van Statten: "Goddammit, talk to me!"

Wow, that's some pretty heavy swearing for Doctor Who. And yet, people took more offense to his reference to spooning. Go figure.

The Dalek stays silent, so Van Statten tells Simmons to continue torturing it until it talks again. Elsewhere, English Kid is showing Rose his workshop/lab/office where he tinkers around with some of the alien tech. He geeks out a bit as he shows her a lump of metal that he thinks is from some kind of alien spacecraft. And in all honesty, it probably is. I mean, the Cybermen once crashed their ship and wiped out the dinosaurs; there's probably more than a few fragments scattered around.

Rose sits there and pretends to be amazed while he tries to blow her mind about how aliens are real, and they live among us, and cover-ups, and whatnot, as she also tries to get clarification as to what his job actually is.

Rose: "And you do what, sit here and catalogue it?"
English Kid: "Best job in the world!"

She starts talking about how much better it would be to actually go into space and meet with aliens, and he agrees.

English Kid: "I don't think it's ever gonna happen- not in our lifetimes."

You know, it's funny. In the 1960's, Doctor Who established that there was a functioning moonbase in the 80's. And then it ended up setting dates for Mars landings, wars against the Daleks, and so on. And yet, all these things are retconned by the time real life actually catches up to that date. So, from a metafictional point of view, English kid has a point. The only way "present day" humanity will have un-retconned contact with aliens is for it to happen in real life.

Rose: "What about all those people who say they've been inside o' spaceships and things and talked to aliens?"
English Kid: "I think they're nutters."
Rose: "Yeah, me too."

You utter troll.

After Rose inquires, English Kid talks a little bit about himself; he's one of the many geniuses van Statten keeps on staff. And he's always had a bit of a roguish streak to him.

English Kid: "When I was eight, I logged on to the US defense system."

Walter O'Brien, the guy whose life they very loosely based Scorpion off of, tells a similar lie story.
Except for him, it was NASA.
English Kid: "Nearly caused World War III."

You better be talking about an actual war; if you're referring to that horrible episode, English Kid, you will not escape my wrath.

Wait a minute, actually. World-building time.

In "World War Three," the characters kept referring to some unseen event that led a bunch of countries to hand over their nuclear codes to the U.N. for safekeeping. A tie-in website to the series features an essay from a 14-year-old Adam Mitchell in 2005, meaning that he would be eight in 1999.

The Doctor was also Eight in 1999.
So in the absence of any other evidence, I'm going to assume that Adam did his alleged hacking in 1999, leading to the U.N. taking the nuke security codes for safekeeping after this brat nearly started the missiles flying.

Anyway, English Kid has fond memories of them all running around at the prospect of global war, and calls the whole thing fantastic, reminding Rose of the Doctor.

English Kid: "Are you and him...?
Rose: "No, we're just friends."

"Yeah, like the Doctor would ever fall in love with me."
English Kid: "Good."Rose: "Why is that good?"
English Kid: "Just is."

With a bit of prodding from Rose, English Kid sneaks a peek on the "pepperpot" Van Statten has in storage, and they find Simmons torturing it with no sign of the Doctor. Mainly because the Doctor is teaching van Statten (and the newer members of the audience) about the Daleks.

Doctor: "The metal's just battle armor, the real Dalek creature's inside."
Van Statten: "What does it look like?"
Doctor: "A nightmare. It's a mutation. The Dalek race was genetically engineered. Every single emotion was removed except hate."
Van Statten: "Genetically engineered by whom?"

First of all, missing the larger point. Second of all, why does it matter to you whether these things were created by Crell Moset or Oolon Colluphid? You'd still have no idea what that meant. Which is why the Doctor puts it in terms Van Statten can understand.

Doctor: "By a genius, Van Statten. By a man who was king of his own little world. You'd like him."

Oooh, sick stealth burn.  Diana explains the Dalek's history on Earth. It fell to the Ascension Islands 50 years ago, spent three days screaming in a crater, and then spent the time being sold in private auctions.

Diana: "Why would it be a threat now?"
Doctor: "Because I'm here."

The Doctor guesses that the Dalek must have fallen through time to survive the Time War.

Doctor: "The final battle between my people and the Dalek race."
Van Statten: "But you survived, too."
Doctor: "Not by choice."

Van Statten might be a buffoon, but he's not an idiot. He realizes that the Doctor himself is a one-of-a-kind alien, so he decides to subject the last Time Lord to painful, torturous medical scans, filmed to look like the controversial torture scene in the Classic Series serial "Vengeance on Varos."

Thor's pecs are much better than Malekith's. Just saying.
Van Statten: "Two hearts. A binary vascular system. Oh, I am so gonna patent this!"

Maybe that's not the best idea. From what we've seen, having two hearts will just confuse cardiologists and end badly.

The Doctor might be restrained, but he can still insult his captor by calling him a scavenger. But van Statten considers himself a visionary who uses alien junk to benefit mankind.

Van Statten: "All it took was the right mind to use it properly."

Really? Who did you get?

Van Statten: "Broadband? Roswell."

The Ferengi gave us broadband?
Van Statten: "Just last year, my scientists cultivated bacteria from the Russian crater, n' do you know what we found? The cure for the common cold."

Of course, he's not doing anything with it.

Van Statten: "Why sell one cure when I can sell a thousand palliatives?"

Because without a cure, people are just going to waste money on that useless fizzy Airborne crap instead of whatever you're selling. Unless you own Airborne, in which case that's a sound business model.

Doctor: "Do you know what a Dalek is, Van Statten?"

"A mutant inside an armored tank. I was paying attention in the elevator."
Doctor: "A Dalek is honest."

What about that time they pretended to be robotic servants for that colony of humans?
Doctor: "It does what it was born to do for the survival of its species.”

A Dalek may be evil, inhuman, fascist, racist, hate-filled, and genocidal... but at least it's honest. Dang it, I already used up my Donald Trump comparison, didn't I?

Doctor: “That creature in your dungeon is better than you."
Van Statten: "In that case, I will be true to myself and continue."

As van Statten continues the painful scans, the Doctor keeps protesting that the Dalek will find a way to get out and kill everybody on the planet. Elsewhere, English Kid and Rose fake some security clearance to get in to see the Dalek. Rose tells the Dalek that she has a friend named "the Doctor" who might be able to help if the Dalek is in pain.

Rose: "What's your name?"
Dalek: "Yes."

"That's a funny name."
Dalek: "I am in pain. They torture me, but still they fear me. Do you fear me?"Rose: "No."
Dalek: "I am dying."
Rose: "No, we can help."
Dalek: "I welcome death."

Never thought I'd ever see an emo Dalek.

Dalek: "But I am glad that before I die... I have met a human who was not afraid."

Because Rose never got the briefing about the whole "touch-it-and-you-burn" problem, she reaches out to the Dalek in an attempt to comfort it. But oddly, she doesn't conflagrate, thought she does leave a glowy handprint on the Dalek casing....

Dalek: "Genetic material extrapolated! Initiate cellular reconstruction!"

Sparks fly, the chains break, and Simmons comes back in to try and keep things from getting FUBARed too badly. In defense, the Dalek sticks up its goofy plunger arm.

Simmons: "Whatcha gonna do? Sucker me to death?"

Yes.
Rose and English Kid run out of the Cage while the security forces establish a Condition Red, sounding the alarm throughout the base. Van Statten wises up and releases the Doctor, who quickly puts his shirt back on and contacts Rose over the comms. She blames herself for all this, for good reason, but she's interrupted by a security guard who says that there's nothing to worry about. They sealed the Dalek in a room by itself, and the lock has over a billion possible combinations.

Doctor: "A Dalek's a genius. It can calculate a thousand-billion combinations in one second flat."

We humans refer to that number as a "trillion," Doctor.

And in the space of a few seconds, the Dalek manages to open the door while the humans open fire.

Van Statten: "Don't shoot it. I want it unharmed."

Well, it can't say the same about you.

Rose and English Kid get escorted away by a guard named De Maggio, a spunky little guard lady who might as well have "Dead Meat" tattooed on her forehead, while the Dalek jams its plunger into a computer, drawing upon the energy to repair itself while the guards fall back. Upstairs, Diana tracks the... okay, no. You've crossed a line, show.

Why isn't Michigan's upper peninsula on that map, Russell T. Davies?

If you seek a pleasant peninsula... you ain't finding it here.
Did our state's beautiful trees, delicious fudge, and majestic wildlife offend you in some way? What if I did the same thing with a map of England?

"Isle of Wight"? Never heard of it.
As the entire west coast blacks out, the Doctor says that the Dalek is absorbing more than just electricity.

Doctor: "That Dalek just absorbed the entire internet. It knows everything."

Every hateful tweet. Every overused meme. Every single YouTube comment. If it didn't want to kill humanity before, you bet your butt it does now.

And the Dalek resumes lasering everything while the Doctor tells van Statten that he needs to order his men to kill the genocidal pepperpot. The guards converge on the Cage as Rose, English Kid, and De Maggio escape, but they're no match against a fully functional Dalek. Its forcefield disintegrates their bullets. Its laser kills them all one by one. And it evens shows off its new ability to swivel its midsection to attack things behind it.

Van Statten: "Tell them to stop shooting at it!"

Good idea, the bullets are worthless. They need a new plan of attack.

Van Statten: "They're dispensable. That Dalek is unique. I don't want a scratch on its bodywork!"

And bring it back with a full tank!

Van Statten: "Do you hear me? Do you hear me?"

But no one down there is alive to hear him.

Diana brings up a schematic of the base, showing all the levels between them and the Dalek. Unfortunately, all the alien weapons are on the levels below the Dalek. Van Statten suggests sealing the entire Vault, but since Rose is down there, the Doctor vetoes that. When Diana points out that the Dalek is approaching weapons testing, he tells her to give the word to arm everybody down there.

Meanwhile, Rose, English Kid, and De Maggio have reached the stairs. And since Daleks don't have legs, this presents an advantage to the humans. They walk up half a flight, and the Dalek emerges. With the higher ground firmly on the side of the humans, English Kid taunts the thing and De Maggio firmly orders it to return to the Cage.

De Maggio: "If you wanna negotiate, then I can guarantee that Mr. van Statten will be willing to talk."

Yeah, talking to the Dalek is all he wanted in the first place.

De Maggio: "I accept that we imprisoned you. And maybe that was wrong. But people have died. And that stops right now."

I considered making a joke regarding Americans and wrongful imprisonment... but it's a Dalek. Even if they imprisoned it for the wrong reasons, that thing needs to be kept away from any living thing.

Unfortunately, the Dalek has an ace up its sleeve.

Dalek: "El-e-vate!"

Yep, it's a flying Dalek. Stairs are useless against it.

Though they can still stop Professor X, no problem.
De Maggio: "Adam, get her out of here."

Oh, hey, English Kid has a name.

De Maggio stays behind to try and stop the thing while Rose and English Kid Adam escape. De Maggio's cunning plan? More bullets! Guess how well that works.

Back in Van Statten's office, he's finally willing to try a new tactic: Negotiation. After all, it must want something, right? Unfortunately, what it wants is the problem.

Doctor: "What's the nearest town?"
Van Statten: "Salt Lake City."
Doctor: "Population."
Van Statten: "One million."
Doctor: "All dead. If the Dalek gets out, it will murder every living creature. That's all it needs."
Van Statten: "But why would it do that?"
Doctor: "Because it honestly believes they should die. Human beings are different, and anything different is wrong. It's the ultimate in racial cleansing, and you, Van Statten, you've let it loose."

No, Rose did, technically. Van Statten was keeping it chained up.

The Dalek approaches weapons testing as the Doctor gives advice over the intercom. The Dalek has a forcefield, but it's not indestructible. If they all concentrate their fire, they might break through and hit something vital enough to stop it. And they should probably take out the eyepiece if they can. But the deep-voiced, manly-man American trooper scoffs at the Doctor's advice.

Manly Guard: "Thank you, Doctor, but I think I know how to fight one single tin robot."

Yeah, no offense, but I'm betting that even K-9 could take you out.

After Rose is unnerved by the odd look the Dalek gives her, it wipes this particular legion out in record time by activating the sprinkler system and channeling energy through the water to kill all the humans. And it deliberately makes a show of it for the Doctor to watch over the security cameras.

Van Statten: "Perhaps it's time for a new strategy; maybe we should consider abandoning this place."
Diana: "Except there's no power to the helipad, sir. We can't get out."

The Doctor reconsiders the plan to seal the lower levels off, which they could do by rerouting the emergency power, and Van Statten is more than willing to make that happen. But before they can get cracking, the Dalek appears on the security monitor.

Dalek: "I shall speak only to the Doctor."

Boy, that Dalek is just rubbing it in to spite Van Statten, isn't he?

It explains that it fed off the DNA of Rose Tyler, a time traveler, and used that latent time energy to regenerate. From there, it downloaded the internet to search for any sign of the Daleks. And it found nothing online, or while scanning Earth’s photos of the cosmos.

Dalek: " Where shall I get my orders now?"

Without any superiors to get orders from, the Dalek falls back on the Primary Order. Extermination. But the Doctor points out that there's no point to doing that. The Dalek is fighting for an extinct race.

Dalek: "Then... what should I do?"

The Doctor tells the Dalek to finish the job and kill itself, but it can't.

Dalek: "The Daleks must survive!"

With one final Dalek in existence, which can neither move forward with its goals not bring itself to die, the Doctor unleashes a spew of hate at the genocidal tin can.

Doctor: "The Daleks have failed! Why don't you finish the job and make the Daleks extinct? Rid the universe of your filth? Why don't you just die?"
Dalek: "...You would make a good Dalek."

The screen shuts off, and the Doctor gives the order to seal the Vault. They set to work while the Doctor calls up Rose and tells her to get past level 46 as fast as she can, since they don't have much emergency power to work with. Adam slides under the door at the last second, but Rose wasn't fast enough. And right behind her is the Dalek, slowly approaching.

Rose: "It wasn't your fault. Remember that, okay? It wasn't your fault. And do you know what? I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

The Dalek fires a blast from its death ray. With no companion around to reign him in, the Doctor begins aiming his fury at the man responsible for her death and rips him a new one about what he's done.

Van Statten: "I wanted to touch the stars!"
Doctor: "You just want to drag the stars down, stick them underground underneath tons of sand and dirt and label them! You're about as far from the stars as you can get! ...And you took her down with you."

But unbeknownst to the Doctor, Rose is still alive. The Dalek missed. And for some reason, it's not taking a second shot, despite yelling about how willing it is to kill her.

As Adam reaches van Statten's office, the Doctor yells at him for basically being faster than Rose. Adam rebuts with the fact that the Doctor's the one who okayed the plan to seal the Vault. But the argument is cut short when the Dalek delivers an ultimatum: Open the bulkhead or Rose dies.

Dalek: "What use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love?"

Dalek, I know it's 2012, but don't go spoiling the end of the "Army of Ghosts/"Doomsday" 2-parter.

The Doctor, having gone through the guilt of letting her die once, can't do it again, and he opens the door for the Dalek. It escorts Rose down the hallway as the others try and figure out what to do. And that's when Adam pips up with his secret arsenal, which he'd been accumulating in case he ever needed to fight his way out of a memory wipe. In not time, the Doctor goes through them.

Doctor: "Broken... broken... hairdryer..."

Eventually, he ends up finding a functioning Kill-O-Zap blaster while the Dalek and Rose share a quick, tense elevator ride filled with existential crisis.

What, no "Girl from Ipanema" muzak?
And they soon emerge in Van Statten's office. After Van Statten waffles for a bit on why he had his men torture the Dalek, he eventually breaks down.

Van Statten: "I just wanted you to talk!"
Dalek: "Then hear me talk now. Exterminate. Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!"

Rose pleads with the Dalek to not kill van Statten and desperately asks if there's anything else the Dalek wants.

Dalek: "I want... freedom."

The Dalek heads for the hangar and shoots a hole in the roof, revealing the sun.

Dalek: "How... does... it... feel?"

The Dalek opens up its armor, feeling sunlight for the first time on its misshapen body. As it lifts a tentacle to touch the sunbeams shining on its pale body, the Doctor quickly meets up with it to exterminate it once and for all, before seeing its pathetic body desperately trying to feel the sun's rays.

Maybe get a tan. That thing's paler than I am. And I'm a blogger.
Doctor: "It can't..."

But it can. With Rose's DNA inside of it, it's experiencing new sensations that conflict with its inner nature. The only killer in the room is the Doctor.

Dalek: "Why do we survive?"
Doctor: "I don't know."
Dalek: "I am the last of the Daleks."
Doctor: "You're not even that."

But the Dalek is still enough of a Dalek to hate itself for what it's becoming.

Dalek: "Rose, give me orders. Order me to die."
Rose: "I can't do that."

The Dalek, though filled with wonderful new feelings, still believes that it has been contaminated. Changed. Ruined. Desperately, it screams at Rose to order its destruction. And reluctantly, she does.

Dalek: "Are you frightened, Rose Tyler?"
Rose: "Yeah."
Dalek: "So am I."

And it uses the spheres on its outer casing to exterminate itself, leaving nothing behind. Speaking of leaving nothing behind, Diana Goddard takes over van Statten's operation by ordering a mind wipe on him after he caused this whole ordeal.

Diana: "And by tonight, Henry van Statten will be a homeless, brainless junkie living on the streets of San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento. Someplace beginning with 'S.'"

Rose and the Doctor return to the TARDIS as he thinks about what this means.

Doctor: "I win. How 'bout that."
Rose: "The Dalek survived. Maybe some of your people did too."
Doctor: "I'd know."

Right. And I'm sure that you'll never be surprised by a Time Lord hiding behind UK politics or the same Time Lord harvesting human minds.

Adam comes up and tells them that Diana is having the whole base sealed up with cement, and they should probably all get going.

The Doctor and Rose briefly argue about letting Adam come with them, but he eventually agrees to let him come along. And so, the three of them enter the TARDIS and vworp away, though their newest passenger is more than a little confused.

Now let's review the first outing for the Daleks in the Revived Series... and why the Daleks will probably never be this good again.

2 comments:

  1. Dalek...so many thoughts about this one.

    This whole absorption of time traveler DNA thing, I'm not sure if it's a nonsensical plot device to justify story or a brilliant adaptation from species that fight Time Lords on regular bases.

    Van Statten is funny, isn't he? He owns Internet, decides who gets to be a president...in other show, he sounds like a villain for at least a season. Here, he's tiny and insignificant, somewhat entertaining at first, but quickly overshadowed by one Dalek. No one talked about him episode was over and no one will remember him.

    And wow, that odd Déjà vu. You ever watch something and keep going back to same thought? Like maybe you watched Yahtzee's Assassin's Creed Syndicate review and now you keep quoting "the famous Charles Dickens" scene in your head while watching The Unquiet Dead?

    Well, while watching this episode, I kept going back to Ben 10's "Alone Together", episode that I now I realize was largely inspired by this one. I mean there are differences that distance them, and I'm still glad I saw Dalek...but I'm kinda upset to realize that one of my favorite episodes in series is just a knock-off.

    -Faceless Enigma

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    Replies
    1. Well, at least it's a knockoff of something GOOD, right?

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