Short lived though, because twist time, The Doctor slight of hands his LED protection bracelet onto Amy when he left to rescue Oswin. This whole episode we’ve heard nothing about but how hateful The Doctor is, so we’re supposed to be worried that he’ll turn all Dalek. Don’t bet on it.
Twenty feet from busting Oswin out of her hidey hole, The Doctor has to go through the ICU. But this ICU, children, is no ordinary ICU on a Dalek asylum planet, no this ICU is filled with Dalek survivors of the previous incarnations of The Doctor and let’s just say they have unresolved issues. Just as The Doctor is cornered and is about to get toilet plungered to death Oswin comes to the rescue by hacking into the Dalek telepathic life web, the pathweb for short, and deletes every bit of information of The Doctor from their memories. Let me say that again, she deletes every bit of information of The Doctor from their memories. How’s that for interesting?
Now to further the twist: When The Doctor walks in to Oswin’s room, he doesn’t find cute little Jenna-Louise, he finds a Dalek all chained up. Yeah. The woman who’s been helping him out and exchanging playful banter, the girl we all know is going to be a companion later, is a Dalek?!
Turns out The Doctor was on to it because you can’t bake a soufflé without any milk. And where was she getting milk? Milk and Eggs, kids, that’s what this whole episode was about.
So pretty much The Doctor scurries off, uses the teleporter and the newly rekindled Ponds to his TARDIS and then arrives back to the Dalek mothership to confront those he was forced to save. Only this time, they have no idea who he is. No recollection of “The Oncoming Storm”, “Bringer of Darkness”, “Destroyer of Worlds”, “The Predator” or even that of “The Doctor”. Which leads the Daleks and Dalek-puppets asking “Doctor Who?” the First Question, over and over again in confusion, as he saunters off to his exit.
So. Yeah. If any of you were like me, you sat in your soiled garments for a few moments as the credits rolled with its teaser for next week, walked off, changed, all the while quietly contemplating the episode. It wasn’t bad. No it wasn’t, it was good, yes. But … it wasn’t great.
I’ll tell you what I liked, Skaro, because that’s a neat idea but still confused about the effects of the Time War in this rebooted universe. I did like the very heart breaking moment between Rory and Amy over being able to conceive a child again, one they could raise. It really helped to bring a gravity, a realness to what it’s like to be a companion, how The Doctor’s adventures always have consequences on the lives of those around him. But it seemed to have gotten cleaned up rather fast. Maybe it will play out more in the season.
I also liked Oswin as a Dalek turn because we know that she’ll be a companion later so how the hell does he fix that? Does he? Will she be a Dalek that projects herself as a human woman into the minds of those looking at her? That would be very interesting. I also see how Moffat set up the whole “First Question” prophecy by deleting him from the Dalek history memory.
Everything else fell a bit flat, as interesting as it was to have the Daleks ask, see “force”, The Doctor for help saving them from themselves the plot was the same of, put Doctor into trap, throw in companions and impossible odds, toss in a game changer and then act surprised that he pulled it off. I also get that it was needed that one of the Ponds had to lose their LED protector bracelet, but did it have to be Amy? You still could have had the pay off if Rory lost his first. Also, I wasn’t sold on being worried that The Doctor would change into a Dalek without his bracelet, at least if we were expected to believe that, I didn’t. The dialog was more of the same, guess that just means I’m getting used to Moffat’s voice in all this.
As an opener, this wasn’t bad. It introduces some thoughts, but I’m wondering now how much of the new series will be more of the same escapism and not really dealing with issues head-on of The Doctor becoming too big and what that’s done to the universe. But I do loves me some Dalek and am hoping to see more in further episodes.