Doctor Who: INTO THE DALEK Spoiler Free Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: INTO THE DALEK Spoiler Free Review

Right then, we've got the tricky regeneration episode out of the way and now we're really down to business. Here's our spoiler free review of Into The Dalek.

Phil Ford's first Doctor Who story since the rather excellent Waters of Mars sees our newly regenerated Doctor come face to face with his greatest foes. Dalek stories are becoming harder to get excited about, with the frequency of their appearances it's almost impossible to find a new angle to entertain with.

Phil Ford has one here.

Yes he has most certainly borrowed elements of the 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage, actually he's borrowed one rather large element - or is that a 'very small' element? Either way it makes for a really entertaining story. I don't think it's news to anyone that Into The Dalek is literally a story about going into a Dalek. It's a spoiler free review so I won't delve any deeper into the storyline than that, just to say that there's a slight feel of the Ninth Doctor story Dalek on display here, and that's no bad thing.

Our new Doctor is absolutely fully formed, if you didn't know better you'd think you were watching his second year not his second episode. This is of course all down to the amazing Peter Capaldi. He comes across as totally comfortable in the role, like he's played the part for a lifetime. There's a real confidence and swagger about his performance, especially in the opening scenes, it's a huge jump up from the already excellent performance he gave in Deep Breath. He's still 'dark' (I can see that's going to be the most overused word when describing this season), and quite brutal.

Moffat continues the theme of allowing the current companion to live their own normal life whilst occasionally having anything-but-normal adventures with the Doctor. This worked very well with the Pond's, helping to round out their characters. You can see straight away that the same will be true this season as Jenna Coleman finally gets a chance to shake off the Impossible Girl moniker and just show us the real Clara Oswald. I like the real Clara Oswald, she's a welcome addition to the show.

Capaldi and Coleman gel together very well in this episode, there's great comradery between them, and they can play off each other in a way none of the other recent Doctor/Companions could've done - solely because there's no chance of any sexual tension between them. Capaldi's Doctor can say things to her that Smith's couldn't, and it felt good to watch. A very welcome call back to classic Who.

There are some great supporting characters too, not least the one played by Michael Smiley, plus we're introduced to Danny Pink for the first time. Sam Anderson really is fantastic in the role. Steven Moffat recently described him as their "secret weapon" and that after we meet him "nothing will ever be the same again". Maybe that's because Into The Dalek sees Clara point out a similarity between Danny and another character. Co-incidence? We all know Moffat doesn't do them, so it might just be the start of yet another story arc. Actually, unless this is just a huge Moffat red herring this arc began back on Christmas Day 2014 in the closing seconds of The Time of the Doctor.

The episode is not as relaxed as Deep Breath, there were times in the feature length opener when it felt almost laid back but we're down to a standard 45 minutes now. That being said Into The Dalek doesn't feel rushed, for the second consecutive episode we have the right length for the story. Let's hope this keeps up because it was always something Moffat had struggled with throughout a lot of Matt Smith's era.

Overall I enjoyed Into The Dalek more than Deep Breath, it's certainly one of the better Dalek stories we've seen, although I did feel the first half was stronger than the second. I kind of guessed where it was going but it was still a very enjoyable ride.

Two episodes in and Series 8 really does exude a confidence that's been missing from Doctor Who of late, a confidence that I hadn't noticed was absent until this season began.

Doctor Who has officially entered its Imperial Phase.

Into The Dalek airs at this Saturday 30th August, 7.30pm BBC One.

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