Doctor Who: “Into the Dalek”, A Soldier Problem and Clara


S08xE02 “Into the Dalek”

While I spent the last year or so really, truly excited for the new Doctor, I’m beginning to feel a bit of a let down with series 8. The writing (MOFFAT, I defended you!) has been lackluster and the plot almost nonexistent. Although the Collectress has encouraged me to rant my frustrations, I’m still giving the new Doctor and the new series a chance, and therefore will save my judgements for at least a few weeks from now. There are a few things that interest me in regards to the over arching storyline, so that’s where we will begin.

Spoilers ahead, sweetie!

The Doctor and the Military

Throughout his 12 regenerations, the Doctor has had a tenuous history with military forces. While he and Brigadeer Lethbridge-Stewart remained friends through numerous regenerations, the Doctor is wary of the armed forces, for obvious reasons. He is an alien with a spaceship that contains the technology and history of, not only the Timelords, but the entire universe across space and time. UNIT, as well as other military forces the Doctor has encountered over the years, continuously attempts to exert power over the Doctor, his property and his friends. As Nine and then Ten, the Doctor is suspicious and somewhat rude to soldiers, working with UNIT only when Martha or Rose asks for his help. When he does help the military, it often turns into a standoff, with his TARDIS confiscated and his life threatened by soldiers with guns. Eleven was a softer Doctor and, while he didn’t volunteer his help, he often worked with the military because of River Song and her connection to the Papal Mainframe. At the end of his life, Eleven may have become more than disillusioned by the idea of the military, because of the tense situation on Trenzalore. Soldiers on both sides had a complete disregard for the innocent lives lost in the town of Christmas, while the innocents are the precise people the Doctor is always trying to save. With both sides, the Daleks and the Papal Mainframe, fighting against the Doctor right before his regeneration into Twelve, his personality seems to have taken a dark turn in terms of how he feels about soldiers.

In “A Good Man Goes to War”, the Doctor meets a soldier who dies protecting Amy and baby Melody, a soldier who joined the army to meet him and with whom he inspired when she was a child. Eleven takes the time to talk with her, he doesn’t immediately judge her for her military ties, instead giving her a chance to prove herself as an individual. For him, this is enough to invite her to run with him once again, but, alas, she dies and her chance is lost. Twelve shows us that he is not as forgiving as he once was. In “Into the Dalek”, he meets a soldier who seems to have a good heart. He saves Journey Blue and even works with her team to heal a “sick” Dalek (Who subsequently turns evil as soon as he is healed, leading the Doctor to articulate that a kind Dalek is a sick Dalek. I thought we already knew this?) but, once the adventure is over, refuses to allow Journey to travel with him, even though she proved herself to be worthy. Twelve believes Journey made the decision as to what kind of person she wanted to be as soon as she joined the military. Meaning, Twelve may not believe in second chances as his former regenerations once did. If this bias against the military remains strong in him, Twelve and Clara may have a problem soon enough, because it seems she’s met herself an army man.

Clara Gets A Life

It was the beginning of the end for the Ponds when we began to see them at home, doing everyday activities and struggling with the balance between life on Earth versus life in the TARDIS. We have all heard that Jenna Coleman (Clara) is leaving the series at Christmas, and I wonder if this new recurring character, Danny Pink the former soldier, will have anything to do with that departure. In this episode, viewers received the chance to see Clara at home and interacting with peers, specifically the new teacher at her school, Danny Pink. He obviously has some PTSD issues; barking orders to the kids on the field and shedding a tear when asked if he’d ever killed anyone who wasn’t a soldier. He also asks Clara if she has a problem with soldiers and, even after seeing the way the Doctor treated Journey and refused her request to travel with him, she still tells Danny “no”, she doesn’t have a problem with soldiers and would like to go out with him. It’s an interesting juxtaposition between Clara’s “real” life and, as she calls time traveling with the Doctor, one of her “hobbies”. Will her decision to leave the Doctor ultimately come down to her having to choose between his righteous anger toward soldiers, which is indeed justified, and her lack thereof? Will the Doctor, assuming he meets Danny Pink, treat him with a lack of respect and cause Clara to, in turn, lose respect for the Doctor?


This stranger gets her own section, again, because I am intrigued and oh-so curious as to what Moffat’s endgame is with this character. I have a few theories. Let me know in the comments what you think of them or if you have your own theory on who this mysterious woman may be.

1) She’s the Master. Missy=Mistress=lady Master

2) Heaven=Gallifrey

3) River Song regeneration

4) Great Intelligence related villain



xoxo Your Friendly Neighborhood Wholigan

The Collectiva Diva

Nerd out over Doctor Who on Twitter with me! @collectivadiva





  1. idream3223

    First, I love a good Dr. Who Discussion! 🙂

    Second, I am not personally disappointed with Twelve. I am disappointed in Clara. I had not heard that she was leaving the show and I am disappointed to hear that because I thought that The Impossible Girl had more stories to tell with the Doctor, no matter what face he is wearing, because she has seen and saved them all. It seemed logical to me that in a darker place, likely bearing the scars of 300+ years on Trenzalor, that Twelve is darker. It seems completely off the mark to me that Clara finds him so unacceptable and unknown to her.

    She has known them all, saved them all, and the fact that he has to BEG her to see him on a street, to look beneath the flesh and see him as she has always done was terrible and heart breaking, that she had completely forgotten that moment and that acceptance a week later (or even 3 from her perspective) is completely unacceptable.

    Of all his companions, with the possible exception of River Song, who also knew his faces, this should have not been an issue.

    I vented to a friend, and he suggested that the wedge between who Clara was and now seems to be is based on the shows expectation that the audience could not accept a May-December flirtation based relationship. I said pish posh, the show should never pander to the limits of the audience, but rather maintain the bar where they placed it and show they expect the audience to keep up. When they separate the wheat from the chaff they will be left with the people who get it, totally and completely.

    Star Trek is an example of a successful program that did this. They never slowed down to bring in the slow kids, they said hey come on fast kids and lets see how fast we can go.

    Even if she is leaving, she should leave better than this. She should leave true to her own canon. She is The Impossible Girl, not the “what you changed your face and now I am don’t know who you are, and gosh you look old and unacceptable to me, girl.”

    If she was going to be that, then she should have been that all along.

    I think that the Doctor has never been one for second chances, and Ten tells the Sycorax that when he cuts his hand off on Christmas Day. I saw that in Eleven when a Good Man Goes To War. He has always been a man at odds with himself, and who tries to do the right thing, even when he doesn’t know what that is. That is just my humble opinion though :).

    As to Missy, the theory I like best is that she is Clara from some point in the future, it’s not mine, I read it on the web. I hope though that she is someone new, or old that we haven’t met yet. If Clara is leaving to go be mundane then best of luck, but don’t come back.

    I suspect it is the GI, who got mixed with Clara in the Doctor’s time stream. There is fine line between love and hate, and they were both in the forge together. It makes sense that some amalgamation would result from that cross over of time and space

    I like Twelve. I do. It’s because he speaks dinosaur, it’s because he begged her to see him, it’s because he is going to take us to places we have not been with this character, but only glimpsed in moments of pain and torment in Nine, Ten and Eleven. The series has always been great fun, but it has always masked a deeper pain that is often alluded to but rarely explored.

    We want to be the kind of people who judge a person on who they are, not what they look like. He is begging us for that, while he gets it completely wrong himself, as he did with Journey Blue, he usually gets it right in the end. That is why we love the Doctor, and why we keep coming back.

    Thank for sharing your thoughts! I look forward to more discussion as this season unfolds for us and we plumb the depths of Twelve together. 🙂

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