Week two is an important one for the new Doctor. This is when we start to get to know them. Matt Smith’s second week was all over the place, making it difficult to warm up to him. After such a fantastic introduction with the Eleventh Hour his second adventure could have only been a step down. Here the reverse is true. Peter Capaldi’s next trip in the TARDIS was a definite step up.
Most of the issues I had with Deep Breath are largely absent here. Other than a bit of banter with future companion Danny Pink, Clara’s usual/awkward cockiness is kept firmly at bay as she ventures with this man she doesn’t quite know anymore. The side characters we get talk to each other like actual people in a desperate situation. None of them were very interesting beyond their plot needs, neither did they outstay their welcome. Some trippy visuals kept things fun and surreal. Stepping into the eye of the Dalek gave us our first glimpse of the Classic Who style we’d been promised, and I was glad to see.it.
Capaldi’s performance was more relaxed this time around. In Deep Breath I got the distinct vibe that much of his dialogue would have sound more natural coming from Matt Smith, making Peter’s slower, intentional delivery of the lines to sound forced. Here, with the exception of a few action hero type lines, he sounds much more like his own man.
As far as Dalek episodes go, this is easily the best of the Moffat era. It could easily be compared with the 2005 reintroduction of The Doctor’s oldest foes, Dalek. One Dalek in a military facility, ready to blow it to pieces. This good gone Doctor Dalek even commends The Doctor on his Dalek qualities. As opposed to the Power Ranger Daleks of season five or the Dalek Zombies of season seven, this Dalek is actually intimidating and dangerous, making the squids driving tanks with plungers scary again.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call this a great episode. Most of it was pretty good. More than I can say about last week. Now, how will they do in Sherwood next.Week?