Doctor Who series 7 kicks off with Asylum Of The Daleks. Here’s our spoiler-packed review…
7.1 Asylum Of The Daleks
The Daleks, Iconic, popular, historic but I think it is safe to say no longer scary. That is until this fine episode where they have managed to bring the fear back leaving 6 year olds across the country cowering in fear. I remember my first Dalek experience vividly, they were my gateway to the wonders of the Who universe and had me paralysed with fear. I hope this episode captures the imagination of kids and breeds another generation of Whovians.
But back to the review and proceedings begin with an atmospheric pre-credits scene on Skaro which was a nice touch indeed. Things progress quickly to re-introduce Rory and Amy albeit they are in a very different place than when we last left them. Amy is a model and Rory is down on his luck again trying to get divorce proceedings finalised. Moffatt is very interested in giving us new angles on the Ponds and this turn of events gave us enough new material to explore. To be honest Moffatt is more interested with telling this story than featuring the Daleks. That doesn’t really annoy me but I can see some Whovians roll their eyes at this.
Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan are easily the most likable and relatable companions New Who have put together to date. The have raised the bar of what is acceptable and it feels like we are a long way away from the dark days of Rose.
The Daleks plan is surprising; they need the Doctor’s help to destroy Renegade Daleks, So crazy and full of hatred that they are impossible to control. They are imprisoned on a Hoth like planet and the possibility of their escape actually fills the Parliament of Daleks with fear
The planet in question is the Dalek’s asylum, the place where all the broken, damaged and scarred Daleks go. I personally found the idea of broken crazier Daleks truly terrifying. The vast majority seem dormant, and that means the tone of this part of the episode is more along the lines of a tense horror than any kind of action spectacular. It had tones of every Sci fi horror you have ever scene and that added to the tension
We were told that every variant of Dalek ever would be on display, but ultimately we don’t really get to see that much of too many of them it’s a bit of a shame, as we’d have loved to have seen some of the older models back at work. Not to be on this occasion, though. (I had been keeping my eyes peeled for the special weapons Dalek but either I completely missed it or it wasn’t there)
The direction here needs a special mention, with Director Nick Hurran racking up the tension at every available opportunity. You have to say my hard earned taxes do go into faultless production design with Doctor Who with this episode looking every bit the Hollywood Blockbuster we were promised. The point where the dormant Daleks were awaking from their Slumber struggling to communicate their threats was a moment of pure terror. Make no mistake the Daleks are a threat again and I look forward to seeing them again even the clunky Ikea versions.
The big surprise of this episode was the introduction of new Doctor Who companion Jenna Louise Colman as feisty Oswin . How this was kept a secret I don’t know as we had previously been told that she wasn’t due to appear until Christmas. Her performance was confident, sassy and very very sexy. I’m ashamed to say I may be a bit smitten. I was blindsided completely though with the big reveal that she was already doomed to an existence as a Dalek. She also managed to be on the Planet that was completely destroyed so it is entirely possible we also witnessed her destruction. How she will be reintroduced now is anyone’s guess really but I’m sure a Lord of Time could find a way.
Also, it’s interesting that Moffatt continues the reset work he undertook at the end of the last series. Theoretically, everyone believed The Doctor was dead come the end credits, although the Daleks (and presumably others) obviously didn’t buy that. But now, Oswin has found a way to wipe the Doctor from the Daleks’ collective memory. The Doctor’s mortal enemies not recognising him anymore? That leaves the mortal enemies at the most interesting point in their relationship. I can’t wait to see how this will affect the dynamic in the future
We were promised Blockbuster Movie poster episodes this time round and thankfully the series looks in rude health. I love the way the series can evolve and change each season yet still be completely engrossing. Isn’t great to sit down again on a Saturday night and not have to watch reality TV. I can’t wait to see what the grand master Moff can weave together over the next few weeks I for one will be hooked.