Saturday, September 1, 2012

Doctor Who - Asylum of the Daleks Review

It’s about damn time!  Doctor Who crash landed back onto our television screens with the premiere of series seven.  In an episode which by the end had even I screaming “Save the Dalek!”

Cut for Spoilers and Speculation on Asylum of the Daleks and beyond.

By now most Whovians know that these first five episodes of season seven are the last with Amy and Rory as companions.  They also know that actress Jenna-Louise Coleman is set to be the next companion to step into the TARDIS with the Doctor.  So it was an utter surprise that she showed up in the first episode as Oswin Oswald,genius junior entertainment planner, who crash landed onto the Dalek’s Asylum planet.  The first thing you assume is the Doctor is going to rescue her and take her home and they’ll surely run into each other again down the road.  But then the twist arrives. When the doctor reaches her he finds that she isn’t a human, she’s been made dalek! (In an a very Cyberman-type fashion, maybe they teamed up and swapped some technology in their pursuit of the Doctor.)  

Not only do we get that bombshell, but then she presumably dies after the daleks fire upon the now unshielded planet.  What worries me about this revelation is that her storyline is going to be a mash-up of River Song and Donna Noble.  River’s story in that when we first met her we saw her death, and Donna because it appears she has no recollection of the Doctor which he is capable of.  Another possibility could be he does remember her name (Because remember WE saw her but they never saw what she looked like) and is able to save her, which might make quite the paradox...

Amy and Rory really need to learn how to communicate.  Whovians who came into this episode without first watching the mini-series Pond Life might be a bit confused as to why Amy and Rory are on the outs. Hell, even the ones who did watch it could be just as confused.  So we come to find out that Amy can’t conceive (another) child after demon’s run so she’s filled with guilt and kicks Rory out to “free” him.  Amelia Pond, he waited two thousand years for you and you think he only cares about having babies?!  I understand the nobility behind it, but can’t help to think this spat was unnecessary as a whole. Other than being used to remind us how much they love each other in these final five episodes to make our hearts break even more when their end comes.

The daleks have a whole batch of new tricks up their sleeve this episode, including nanotechnology that can make a human, living or dead, into a dalek puppet.  I really can’t help wondering,  as I mentioned earlier, if the Daleks teamed up with the Cybermen or simply stole some of their technology in the pursuit to eliminate the predator, the name they give to the Doctor now.  I have a feeling their humanoid puppets won’t be necessary much longer however, as Oswin managed to hack their pathweb so they have no recollection of the Doctor!  Will this finally be the last we see of the Daleks or will the pathweb somehow repair itself?

I’d say Asylum of the Daleks was a great premiere that will stir some things up and get people talking or angrily yelling at each other because that’s how this all works--opinions about this series are varied and it’s great that everyone can have one! Next week brings the episode ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’. Yes, you read that correctly dinosaurs and spaceships and Rupert Graves, oh my!

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