Saturday, 1 September 2012

Review - "Doctor Who: The Asylum Of The Daleks"

So overall, I'm quite the fan of the latest episode of Doctor Who. That said, there were a few things that impressed more than others and a few things were a little disappointing. So let's delve in.

Going through the episode, I've got to say that we've reached a point of being the literal opposite of the original Doctor Who. The production quality has now gone so high that we're pretty much looking at a high class film version of Doctor Who, with multiple explosions, particularly placed shadows and loud and overpowering music. It lined upself up nicely, arranging a fairly obvious trap, walking you into a big plot point that's already been revealed and is pretty in a sort of big action movie sort of way. There were a couple of small areas that could have done with a rethink. For example, Amy was bathed in a light before being kidnapped. Where was that light coming from exactly? The Dalek's eye is blue.

There are some odd quirks as well, mostly concerning the Daleks. For one think, they have a parliament and a Prime Minister. Now, that would be fine if the Doctor had labelled them as such, but the Prime Minister is referred to by one of his items as such. Why exactly are the Daleks English? The new Daleks from Victory Of The Daleks, that had previously destroyed the older models due to them being outdated, now lived with them in harmony, and were in the Asylum, despite being created afterwards.

Running with the big screen theme is the use of particular colours. For example, the black man in a white coat on a back drop of snow being the one blip on an otherwise blanket landscape. In the same way, Rory's watch was the only colour when he first encountered the Daleks. I did raise the question of why a craft called the Alaska has crashed in a place that looked like Alaska, but was undoubtedly actually a quarry in Wales. Of course, neither Amy nor The Doctor seemed cold at all, which is odd, isn't it?

And keeping to Rory, 'what colour?' is a damned good question, as the whites are Supreme, the reds are Drone, et cetera.

There are a couple of moments where The Doctor and The Daleks seem to forget their history. This could be something of a foreshadowing though, given. The 'Oncoming Storm' tag vanished, for a brand new 'Predator' line, then returned at the end. He referred to holding on to scared because Daleks weren't scared, but they evidently were, and he took no pleasure in this ideal. He actually needed his screwdriver to tell if rotting corpses were dead, but then again, said rotting corpses were somehow able to stand up and walk around, even though their muscles wouldn't be even nearly capable of such.

The Amy and Rory arc, I must admit, was kind of tacked on. Amy seemed to relive her time transforming into an angel rather than have anything unique to experience, and the new companion was similar to the original Amy Pond in her style and character, as well as dress sense, shoes in particular. It continues to raise the point that Rory alone is not enough for Amy, as once again she needed The Doctor in order to make her happy. Rory had an action moment, sliding under a door that was opening on a floor where nobody could possibly slide. Otherwise, they were kind of filling time. Everybody already knows that they're leaving, and maybe they should accept that.

Coming to the final plot twist, it was coming, and some could likely spot it, but I found it wonderful that they not only connected said genius, but placed it in the most padded of cells. All of the other Daleks were mad, and for some reason The Daleks, with their love of destroying anything faulty or defective let them live, but this particular one was entirely mental. The ones outside the door had been named, like the Cult of Skaro, but had their guns removed as punishment. To see The Doctor but be unable to kill him, harsh.

But one thing remained overall, and this is something that needed to be rectified. The Doctor was placed back into the main scene as the star of the show. His companion of sorts, Oswin, was his second, and effectively stole the show from everybody but him. This is how Doctor Who should be. The Doctor first, his companion second, River Song somewhere behind them instead of above them all.

I'm actually looking forward to more, and pretty much fine with the due to be disappearance of Amy and Rory.


  1. saw the twist at the end coming, but just why were the daleks afraid of the asylum? at first i thought it was going to hold some sort of deadly dalek secret....but no. the "insane" daleks weren't all that scary and seemed to pose little threat. was it a trap? if so it was a pretty crappy trap.
    also were did that TARDIS come from at the end???

  2. They dumped their faulty selves down there, and if there's anything that scares Daleks, it's Daleks.

    The TARDIS was there from the moment they first ended up on the ship. They just like to keep it nearby if they can catch it. Personally, I suspect it was just written in to get The Doctor his escape, but you know.

  3. "They dumped their faulty selves down there, and if there's anything that scares Daleks, it's Daleks."

    Doesn't really answer my question. What threat, if any, are the faulty daleks?
    How are the faulty daleks going to get off the planet, and even if they did, surely the regualr dalek ships would be superior to any on the asyulm?

    Also, I didn't realise planets could explode like that.

  4. Hmm, valid point. I suppose they were looking at faulty Daleks the way we look at mentally faulty people. Sociopaths and such.


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