Series 7 of Doctor Who kicks off with Asylum of the Daleks; a very good episode, littered with The Moff’s usual witty dialogue and comedic one liners, but in the same breath, it’s an episode that I couldn’t help but have a few niggles with. Contains spoilers…
Doctor Who is back! Four words I’ve been screaming from atop the custom built TARDIS I have erected in my front garden.
Yes, my neighbours love me.
This series of Doctor Who promises to be big; gone are the heavy story arcs that dominated series 6, instead we’re being treated to self contained blockbuster epics. Good news, surely, for the Whovians who weren’t completely satisfied with the last series…
First of all though, let’s start with one of the episode’s biggest surprises: the appearance of Jenna Louise Coleman. As we all know, Coleman is all set to be the Doctor’s new companion though it was believed we wouldn’t be getting to see her in action until the Christmas episode.
What’s more, considering we find out at the episode’s conclusion that Coleman is in fact a Dalek, a Dalek that gets blown to smithereens, it really puts her character, Oswin Oswald, in an intriguing position.
So regarding the Christmas episode; will we see the Doctor meeting Oswin Oswald earlier in her time line? Will we have another ‘Riversong’ inspired relationship? (Are they groans I hear?). Could the Doctor ever have a Dalek as a companion?
One thing I am certain of is that Oswin will make a rather wonderful companion. Her cheeky flirtatious manner was a joy to watch a times, and I have no doubt Coleman’s character will become quite the hit within the Doctor Who canon.
But Asylum of the Daleks wasn’t all about Oswald, oh no.
Moffat turned the spotlight on to Amy and Rory’s relationship, or rather, the lack of one. I’ll hold my hands up say I had a little trouble buying the whole divorce. Mainly due to a lack of a build up and down to the fact that all seemed to resolved during the episodes running time.
Still, the make up scene between Amy and Rory was acted superbly. Seriously Karen and Arthur are on great form here, and their realisation that they still needed each other felt extremely genuine. Personally I would have liked their relationship troubles to last an extra episode or so, but then I guess that defies the whole point of standalone episodes.
On the subject of great performances, as usual plaudits must go to Matt Smith. His ability to switch between a range of moods whilst still retaining the gravitas of his Doctor was an absolute pleasure to watch.
With the cast all on such good form, it’s quite a shame Asylum of the Daleks plot doesn’t really hold up to careful scrutiny. For example why oh why did the Doctor, and Rory for that matter, only hear Oswin’s voice as human? Maybe I’m just being too picky…
Also, for an episode named Asylum of the Daleks, which promised to boast every incarnation of Dalek ever, they didn’t seem to dominate the episode as much as I would have imagined they would. This could be a good thing, and I have to commend Moffat on managing to make the Daleks slightly creepy again.
So was Asylum of the Daleks as success? Of course it was! And next up we have the very promising Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. The special effects look ace, here’s to hoping it also delivers on story.