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It's weird to think 11 years later that the Daleks nearly didn't return. That instead of 'Dalek', this episode could have been called 'Absence of the Dalek'. Thankfully, they did in a classic episode of the show many rightfully think of first when they think of Christopher Eccleston's series as the Doctor.
In Dalek, the Doctor and Rose arrive in the year 2012 at a museum of alien artefacts owned by Henry VanStatten (Corey Johnson). The Doctor soon discovers that Henry is keeping a Dalek he calls 'Metaltron' prisoner, sending technician Simmons (Nigel Whitmey) to torture it in an attempt to get it to speak. What's brilliant about this episode is we essentially get to see the Doctor become a Dalek himself; he even uses their catchphrase 'exterminate' when pulling the lever to electrocute the Dalek. It's great to see the Doctor just lose it and fires the imagination as to what the character must have seen during the Time War to make him like this. Of course, the Doctor and the Daleks have a lot of history too which obviously counts for a lot of the hatred but let's not forget this is a character that couldn't destroy the Daleks when he had the chance in Genesis of the Daleks. This Doctor would have done it without the flicker of an eyelid.
You also get to see it from Rose's side: someone who hasn't seen the Daleks in action and therefore has no existing hatred for them. Rose feels sorry for it and so touches the Dalek out of compassion, however her exposure to time travel regenerates it meaning she accidentally unleashes it on a killing spree. It's hard to not see Rose's point of view, even knowing that the Dalek's actions were inevitable and it really adds to the story to see a different point of view to the presence of a Dalek and establishes that the show's not just about the Doctor and his companion VS the latest monster/villain but can also be about one, the other or both trying to help the monster in the episode (something important to be established in the new series' first series).
Dalek also sees the introduction of Bruno Langley as Adam Mitchell; unlike many, I actually enjoyed him in the role. Before The Long Game showed his true colours, he seemed a likeable character played superbly by Bruno Langley and one whom I hoped would become a companion at the end. Of course, he did and he wasn't very good at the companion lark. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper are both on top form here, especially Christopher Eccleston showing the Doctor's built-up Time War rage.
The writing is also impeccable; Robert Shearman is an excellent writer and it's crazy that he has never returned to the show, especially someone who can write lines like 'I can feel so many ideas. So much darkness. Rose, give me orders. Order me to die.'. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say Robert Shearman would make a great showrunner. Basically, if future showrunner Chris Chibnall gets Robert Shearman to write a story for his era then I for one certainly won't be shouting for him to go.
Overall, Dalek is simply a masterpiece expertly written by Robert Shearman and featuring stunning performances from Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper and Bruno Langley.