Asylum of the Daleks
First Broadcast September 1st 2012 @ 7.20pm (8.33m viewers)
Doctor Who is back! The seventh series of the modern show kicks off with a bang. Following in the footsteps of Seasons 9, 17 and 25 the programme returns with it’s most popular adversary, the Daleks. It was advertised as being the biggest Dalek story ever with every Dalek design featuring during the episode, with a particularly memorable cover for Doctor Who Magazine leading the promotional campaign. Another highlight was the poster of the Doctor carrying Amy through an explosive scene surrounded by various Daleks which still adorns my wall four years on.
Unfortunately, I have a number of issues with ‘Asylum of the Daleks’, including the use of humanoids who aren’t what they appear just like the Roman Autons, the Gangers and Teselecta all were and the lack of screen time for the classic Dalek props. Other problems I had were:
- Daleks have an Asylum because they won’t destroy fellow Daleks. Yet, in the end, they blow it up?
- Why do Daleks have a parliament and a prime minister? They aren’t a democracy.
- “Hang onto scared. Scared isn’t Dalek”. But isn’t the reason the Doctor, Amy and Rory are in the Asylum because the Daleks were too scared to go in there themselves?
- The Doctor is also called ‘The Predator’ by the Daleks? How many names do they need for him?
- If those Daleks were survivors of Spiridon and Exilon then why did they look like modern ones?
- If Oswin had been converted to a Dalek then why were her communication exchanges non-Dalek sounding?
Beneath the facade of Daleks however, is a far more intriguing plot regarding Amy and Rory’s relationship. Following events of the ‘Pond Life’ mini-episodes, the story begins with the revelation that the much-loved couple are getting divorced. As the story develops we learn more about the reasonings behind their split before triumphantly they are reconciled. However the most memorable part of watching the episode when broadcast, was the inclusion of an actress that you really weren’t expecting to see…
Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)
The biggest spoiler needing to be kept, for those of us lucky enough to attend an advanced screening, was of course that Jenna Coleman was in it. For those fans who faithfully follow all the news relating to the production of the show the announcement of Jenna (Louise as she was called then) Coleman’s casting as the new companion was accompanied by the information that she would appear in the 2012 Christmas special. And yet somehow she was in this episode? How could this be? Fandom was bemused and excited. Her appearance would set in place the groundwork for her ‘impossible girl’ story arc which would then carry through to the dramatic conclusion of series seven. Unfortunately, to casual viewers of the show, unaware of her casting, Coleman’s appearance was nothing noteworthy.
The Doctor – Matt Smith
Amy Pond – Karen Gillan
Rory Williams – Arthur Darvill
Darla Von Karlsen – Anamaria Marinca
Cassandra – Naomi Ryan
Harvey – David Gyasi
Voice of the Daleks – Nicholas Briggs
Enemy 1 – Barnaby Edwards
Enemy 2 – Nicholas Pegg
Director – Nick Hurran
Writer – Steven Moffat
Producer – Marcus Wilson
Also First Aired On This Day…
- Destiny of the Daleks : Episode One