Review of Dalek (9th Doctor)

Posted by: Whochick

Review of Dalek (9th Doctor)
Dalek - Episode 1.6

Dalek is the episode in which The Doctor goes a bit mental. It’s an intense one, and I really like it. Did I mention that you get to see The Doctor’s naked chest? Onward to the spoilers!

Episode: Dalek by Robert Shearman
Rating (1 to 5): 4.5
Baddie: The Dalek and Henry Van Statten
Rose is Trapped: In a bunker with the Dalek.
The Doctor is Trapped: In a cell with the Dalek.
The Doctor Enjoys: The fact that the Dalek’s gun is broken.
The Doctor Dislikes: Daleks…and Henry Van Statten.
Doctor-y Strangeness: He has 2 hearts. He and The Dalek want to kill each other. He actually appears with a gun intending to deal with the Dalek himself near the end.
Scary Stuff: The Dalek. The Doctor going mental.
Does someone local help out? Adam? Only a bit though. Mostly a whole horde of soldiers who end up dead.
Bad Wolf? Bad Wolf One is the name of Mr. Van Statten’s Helicopter.
What we learn: The Doctor can play at least one instrument. The Doctor is the one that destroyed the Daleks in the Time War (and his people too, it seems.). He has two hearts (if you didn’t know that already.) Daleks were genetically engineered. The Doctor didn’t mean to survive the end of the Time War. Daleks can use the bio-mass from one touch of a time traveler to renew itself. Daleks have a forcefield that can melt bullets before they make contact. The Doctor knows how to use a gun.
The Doctor’s Death Wish: The Doctor didn’t survive the Time War by choice.
The Doctor Apologizes To: The Dalek, before he realizes what it is, about Mr. Van Stattan. Rose? When he starts to shut the bulkhead.
My Favorite Bits: The Doctor’s first meeting with Mr. Van Statten. The Doctor’s first encounter with the Dalek. “Ten million ships on fire – the entire Dalek race wiped out in one second.” “Release me if you want to live.” “What use are emotions if you will not save the woman you love?” “Oh, Rose. They’re all dead.”

Observations and musings:

Oh dear. Rose is always trying to help, but she really opened Pandora’s box this time. Mind you, if The Doctor hadn’t been there first, I don’t think it would have played out quite the same way. She is also quite perceptive in this episode. When the Dalek is looking at her, she knows it is looking specifically at her. When she is the Dalek’s prisoner she even gets it talking. And in the end, she’s there to stop The Doctor from doing something he would regret. Why did she decide to bring Adam with them? He’s worse than useless.

The Doctor isn’t at fault for the flight being off this time, as the TARDIS was drawn off course by a distress call. Too bad that the distress signal came from a Dalek. Before we may have suspected that The Doctor was suffering from survivor guilt, and was perhaps a bit war damaged. Now, we learn that it is so much worse. Somehow, The Doctor killed all of the Daleks, but also, it would seem, his people. Yeah, everyone lost. This encounter almost breaks him. You really feel for him, trapped in a bunker with one of his worst nightmares come to life. Worse yet, it has Rose. Strangely, throughout the episode he almost seems to respect the Dalek in some way. Another thing that The Doctor needs to learn is to keeps some of his knowledge to himself. He really shouldn’t have offered Mr. Van Statten so much information. All it did was get him captured and examined.

This time out the TARDIS crew ends up in an underground base in Utah in 2012. Interesting that they choose to show a classic series cyberman head in a Dalek episode. I would like to mention here that Adam really annoys me. Daleks have been able to elevate since the 7th Doctor’s time, by the way. The leader of the folks sent in the second wave to stop the Dalek should really have listened to The Doctor. Some of them might have survived if he had. I’m glad that Mr. Van Statten was relieved of duty at the end of the episode. He annoys me too. I loved how The Doctor and the Dalek tended to ignore him. You have to wonder how he managed to accumulate all of that alien tech with Torchwood and UNIT about. Anyway, as you may have gathered, I loved this episode. Interesting to see the dark side of The Doctor. Okay, I’ll see you next week for my review of my least favorite episode of season one – The Long Game.

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About the Author

Whochick is a huge Doctor Who fan. She loves the show so much that she not only co-authors a blog on the topic, but also a podcast that you should listen to. Whochick resides in California with her husband (the Shadow Architect), and occasionally refers to herself in the third person.


  1. unique1.ND  December 2, 2009

    This is the episode in which it got me to start watching the series again! There were highlights of the 1st season (this being one of them) but I didn’t really appreciate it until Christopher’s run ended & David’s began.

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  2. whochick  December 9, 2009

    I like this ep, too. Great quotes and all.

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  3. The Sister  December 21, 2009

    Psst. On Ace of Cakes they made a Dalek cake. Complete with sound – “Exterminate!”

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