Only two episodes into his run, Peter Capaldi already has a classic episode under his belt with “Into the Dalek,” a truly ripping yarn! Yes, that may sound like too much praise, but I’ve been thinking about it, and I really think this story stands among the best Dalek tales ever.
Viewers also saw more of this new 12th Doctor – and the view is not entirely reassuring. This is a much (much) more gruff and short-tempered Doctor. He’s very (very) funny. And, most surprisingly, I really do not know if this incarnation likes Clara (Jenna Coleman). He acts like he can barely stand her one second, but relies on her the next. The Doctor/assistant relationship has been deftly and completely reimagined, and that has introduced a palpable sense of uncertainty.
On the plus side, BBC America’s INTRUDERS director Eduardo Sánchez and scripter Glen Morgan seem a bit more interested in telling a story rather than obfuscating their tale this week, but on the negative side, the narrative was too on-the-nose this time. Unlike last week’s premiere, The episode may have been packed with exposition, but it was given to us via info-dump dialogue and voice-overs, which is amateurish and, frankly, beneath longtime THE X-FILES producer Morgan and former DOCTOR WHO producer Julie Gardner, the braintrust behind INTRUDERS.
I know, I know, I’m having a very hard time getting into this series; maybe you aren’t. But forget about a secret society of people trying to return from the dead; I believe this series was rushed to air way before it was ready. The scripts are obtuse and wildly meandering, and the characters are complete ciphers – and that’s a major, major shortcoming in a series which depends on the viewer recognizing that people are acting out of character. How the hell should we know if Amy speaking a foreign language or dancing to jazz is unusual for her? Oh, her husband just tells us it’s strange. Bad storytelling!
Artist Stuart Manning (@stuart_manning on Twitter) has created a wonderful old-timer poster to promote tonight’s episode of DOCTOR WHO.
Tweets Manning: “My retro poster for tomorrow’s #DoctorWho episode, @Markgatiss’ Robot of Sherwood. Metropolis meets Robin Hood.”
Watch the episode at 9 p.m. on BBC America.