Dalek who? Or, Asylum of the Daleks reviewed

So we have had and largely enjoyed the Asylum of the Daleks, that being the first episode in the latest series of Doctor Who. We know this is the first of five and that by the end something will have happened to the Ponds such that they are no longer companions. We also know that in the sixth story (the Christmas special) a new companion will join played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.

We are also promised movie poster plots (see here), and no story arc. How well did Asylum deliver? My views (with some spoilers) below…

Synopsis

This is the story of a your woman the sole survivor of the crash of a spaceship on the Dalek’s asylum planet; this is also the story of a Dalek that thought it was human. This is also the story of the Daleks themselves and how they were afraid that the damaged and insane Daleks on the asylum might escape; so much afraid that they sought out their greatest enemy The Predator to infiltrate the asylum and allow the Daleks to destroy it.

This is also, almost in passing, the story of a marriage re-forged in adversity, a thrilling escape and how the Daleks forgot who the Doctor was!

Jenna-Louise Coleman

Forget glimpsing the special-weapons Dalek, this episode was all about the surprise appearance of the Jenna-Louise Coleman as poor, doomed Oswin. How she ends up as the new companion we don’t know; maybe she will be in every story but never seen by anybody except the viewers? This looks like a bit of a story arc to me despite protestations!

Sadly for Amy and Rory their on/off marriage and Amy’s attack from nano-genes seemed like so match wall-paper; all the energy of the show went into Oswin’s story (which still had a sad ending despite it being predictable). The Doctor got to do some clever things but the star of the story was Oswin. I wonder how being dead (or so we think) or a Dalek will impact here ability to travel with the Doctor?

Gripes

It is obligatory to find fault when reviewing and despite many things to complain about I find I don’t mind at all and none of this detracts from the enjoyment of the story. In no particular order:

  • How come the Daleks can only capture the Doctor when they don’t intend to kill him immediately?
  • How (and why) did the Daleks capture the TARDIS?
  • The nano-technology threat to Amy didn’t really convince
  • How did the Doctor teleport into the TARDIS? Is there a back-door?
  • I thought Daleks always exterminated units that were damaged, rather than pension them off to an asylum.

Conclusion

A fun story that was like a movie and had several things going on, including a powerful introduction for Jenna-Louise. Lots of invention and the human/ Dalek creations beat the old robo-men hands down! If the rest of the series continues to this level I suspect we will not be missing Amy and Rory at all.

Roll on the dinosaurs – I wonder what they will bring!

6 thoughts on “Dalek who? Or, Asylum of the Daleks reviewed

  1. It was a really lovely surprise that they were able to include JLC in this story without everyone knowing about it months in advance. It definitely whets the appetite for her travelling with the Doctor and has helped me get over my sense of disappointment that we’ll be saying goodbye to Rory and Amy this year.

    As for the episode, I liked it. I loved the tension of not knowing when a Dalek might suddenly spring back to life and I was amazed at how quickly the story moved. It felt like it packed a lot into its forty-two minutes and definitely leaves me hopeful that the move away from two-parters will be successful. Your gripes though are all excellent points though and I do struggle to imagine the Daleks having anything approaching a Parliament – it seems far too democratic.

    Like

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