Doctor Who's Series 7 Premiere: The Daleks Return

Doctor Who S07E01: "Asylum of the Daleks"


The powers that be have decided that the first five episodes of Doctor Who Series 7 will be standalone, movie-style episodes, so much so that they have released movie posters for each one:

I like this idea, as overarching storyines can either be an amazing, goose-bumpy homerun or feel tacked on to otherwise-great episodes.

"Asylum of the Daleks" began with the Doctor being summoned by a woman. "They say you can help." "Do they? I wish they'd stop saying that." We are a long way from the Doctor of just two seasons ago, the one who use to bristle with excitement about being summoned to far away places for adventures. The faraway place in question was the original Dalek planet Skaro.

Now, Doctor Who fans have wildly different opinions about the Daleks. Some people think it's awesome that they're still considered the ultimate bad guys, terrorizing people with their slow-moving, menacing tanks. Others think it's ridiculous that the show keep trying to hold onto Daleks when we have better technology to make creepier, scarier villains. I tend to lean more toward the latter camp, but I do like it when Doctor Who tries to look at Daleks in a new way, and based on those requirements, these Daleks succeeded. These Daleks have figured out how to hijack humans and use them as their disguises. It's a familiar Doctor Who trick to make us wonder whether the person we're meeting is human or... other, but it always pays off for me. The Doctor, Rory, and Amy were all summoned by these Dalek-humans to the Parliament of the Daleks for a mission that could only be carried out by the Daleks' Predator—the Doctor.

Besides changing up the Daleks, the other steadfast thing Doctor Who is messing with this season is Amy and Rory, who were signing divorce papers and snapping at each other exasperatedly at the episode's start. This genuinely affected me, especially when the childlike Doctor questioned their marital problems, and Amy retorted, "Don't give me those big sad eyes, Raggedy Man." In the real world, where they live, people get divorced. Ouch. While Amy, Rory, and the Doctor tried to do the Daleks' bidding by shutting down the forcefield of the Dalek Asylum so the Daleks could clean house, they encountered a young woman who'd been shipwrecked on the Asylum planet for about a year. It was Oswin... and if she seemed familiar, it's because she's the next companion, the one you've seen splashed all over every Doctor Who blog. Oswin is a gorgeous, witty, hacking genius, and she flirted with both Rory and the Doctor as she tracked them around the Asylum. Unsurprisingly, she wanted to be rescued. I found her to be charming and a bit much, but hey, I also thought Donna was a bit much in her first episode, and she went on to become my all-time favorite companion.

While at the Asylum, our heroes were only protected from being turned into Dalek-humans by special armbands, and Amy discovered that hers was missing, which meant the process of turning her into a Dalek-human had already begun. Once again, similar to the most recent Weeping Angels episode, Amy had to struggle to hold onto herself and not be turned. This led to—thank goodness!—the reunion of Amy and Rory. It was a lovely moment, but a bit of a sitcom dilemma they were in; you know, the kind where one conversation between the characters would have cleared everything up. Ultimately, though, I'm just happy they're back together.

The Doctor finally located Oswin, and it turned out she wasn't what we thought she was, or what she thought she was. She was a Dalek-human that had been turned all the way into a Dalek, and she had no idea. The human part of her erased every memory that the Daleks had of the Doctor to help him, and she begged the Doctor to remember her as a human. When they were returned to the Dalek planet, the Daleks had no idea who he was, calling out "Doctor Who?! Doctor Who!?" Essentially, it seems this will reset the Daleks' relationship with the Doctor. So much of their identity has been based on considering the Doctor their predator; what will happen now that they just hate him as much as they hate everything?

Overall, this episode had some sparks to it, and a fun welcome for Oswin, but I grade Doctor Who episodes on how goosebumpy they make me feel. I get goosebumps based on the emotional weight of the stories, the creepiness of the monsters, and the surprise level when things come together in a way that I never thought they could. As much fun as this episode was, it wasn't that goosebumpy to me. The two sides of the Doctor—his childlike joy and cynical universe-weariness—are still at odds, and it's going to take a lot of changes in his life to get him back to where he needs to be. Those changes are coming.

"Asylum of the Daleks" was a good toe-in-the-water episode, but I'm ready to jump back in.


NOTES


– I loved Rory sliding, Indiana Jones-style, under the closing door in the Asylum.

– I had kinda hoped that the "crazy, insane" Daleks confined to the Asylum planet were actually there because they were kind, and had love in their little Dalek hearts. That could have been a very fun twist.

– The Doctor describing the a Dalek as "a tricycle with a roof" was genius.

– It was pretty nice that Oswin flirted with both the Doctor and Rory. Rory's a babe, it's time we all objectify him properly.

– I loved how the "eggs... eggs... eggsterminate" moment with Rory and the Daleks came back with Oswin and her souffles, as she was holding on to the "eggs" part and trying to make something human out of it.

Comments (114)
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This will also be the first companion that isn't from the current century that the show is coming from. She is human though. It will give a different element to future episodes. Also, the Doctor will know the outcome of his companion before she meets him in her timeline.
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Regardless of this episode (so happy the show's back!) is anyone else MEGA excited for the next episode?? All those historical figures (I'm a huge history buff), I personally have been waiting for a ligitamite ancient egypt episode (not just references to Cleopatra) since I started the show, and now there's going to be Nefertiti! SOO excited! (:
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The Daleks in the asylum DID have love in their little hearts, which is why Amy sees them as people (one's even a little ballerina girl)
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I actually love (gorgeous) Amy & Rory, and while travelling with the doctor I feel they have been trough hell. I'll be pretty sad to see them go.
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I really wish they would move away from the "Amy and the Doctor" premise. The assistants are supposed to be replaced every few years, but the producers are intent on modernizing the show so much that it is now almost unrecognizable. Some changes are good, but this is not one of them. This show was never about "Amy and the Doctor", it is about the Doctor and HIS adventures accompanied by a litany of assistants over the years. Drop Amy and Rory. They've been on for three seasons now. Their time should be over. They've already been on longer than Rose who was the most popular of modern assistants. Move on to someone else, and get rid of that horrible descriptive monologue in the opening credits! It's an insult to fans because it makes it appear that the show centers around Amy who met some "weird Doctor fella".
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Thanks to each of you who replied. All of you added an interesting perspective.

@angeleys151 - I had not considered that idea, but it makes sense. It's good they dropped it for the 7th season.

@Safibwana - I agree that a story arc is always the best way to dismiss the companions, and I did like the way they showed off Amy and Rory by having the weeping angels send them both back to the same time where they were able to live together for the rest of their natural entire lives, well into their 80s. Thank you for explaining the reason for the opening narration. It makes sense to me, although it was a bit awkward. A lot of Americans are familiar with Doctor Who, however.

@Wisperin88 - Katherine Tate (Donna Noble) was also in a Christmas special: "The Runaway Bride". That was the episode where she was poisoned by her fiance to serve as a catalyst to release the Racnoss spider babies. She was made a companion one season later.

@Cranky_Old_Batt - In most polls Sarah Jane Smith and Rose are the two most popular assistants. In fact, there was a not insignificant number of fans who had hoped the 12th Doctor was going to be Billie Piper (I was one of them :D) because Rose had looked into the heart of the TARDIS and her essence was absorbed by it.

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I agree, I really hate the Amy intro, because the show is about The Doctor, and not about Amy, but I thought/am hoping that the intro was just for the marathon in case people were tuning in having never watched the show before.
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Pretty sure Amy and Rory have had 2 seasons as this is just the start of their 3rd season. Yes the companions should change occasionally but forcing them off the show before the story can appropriately depart them isn't a good idea, i.e Martha Jones/Donna Noble both needed a bit more substantial story time to make their departures carry a little more weight. Rose had 3 full seasons and i believe is the only series companion to be on a Christmas special episode. When Amy and Rory's story surpasses Rose's in length then you can start to complain, otherwise respect the story telling process as by this time i think its clearly evident Moffat knows what he's doing.
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Amy is scheduled to be on exactly the same number of episodes as Rose (Karen Gillan one more episode because of her episode as Soothsayer). BBC America added that monologue because they thought the American audience needed it. I'm not going to get into the rest of it, but I thought clearing those things up might be useful, no matter what ones opinions were.
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Replaced every few years, like Sarah Jane Smith?
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Believe it or not, her actual run as a companion was just under 3 years, December 1973 to October 1976.
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Amy's been a companion for 2 full seasons. She's leaving this season soon, supposedly around the 1/4th or 1/3rd mark in the season.

Personally I would have rather they just had her say her goodbyes in the previous Christmas special and start with someone new immediately. But this isn't too bad.

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No offense Emily, but I don't recall you writing a weekly review ever before. I think Doctor Who may be a little out of your depth. The review reads more like an episode synopsis than a review. I definately couldn't do it any better myself, but I've come to expect a certain level of insight from TV.com reviews that I'm not getting here. I wish you the best, but I hope you improve substantially from week to week. A show like Doctor Who deserves the best.
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If The Nerdist wasn't so busy with his tv-show/podcast/comedy tours/Youtube Channel/Panel Moderating etc etc, then i would say (imo) Chris Hardwick would make for THE BEST reviewer/commentator for Doctor Who.
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Hardwick has Kyle Anderson to do the Doctor Who reviews for The Nerdist, and he does a great job. He's my go-to guy for all things Doctor Who.
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Bloody Hell qbe_64 you sound bloody snotty.. "no offense"
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Non taken. I was trying to be constructive and not come off like one of those internet trolls who just rip on people for their own amusement. Based on your comment either;

1) I failed, or

2) you're one of those said trolls.

After reading your posts below, you don't seem like a douche so I'm left with option 1. I'll work on it.
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I think often when people start with the phrase "no offense" it usually follows with something super offensive, as such you came off a bit trollish and not constructive. If you really want to make your comments constructive and add to the conversation that is a forum board, how about posing questions that force people to think rather than retort, like the Tv.com people do at the end of their reviews? for example can we watch doctor who without succumbing to the temptation of spoilers?
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Nothing constructive about it.
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I don't know... I see it the other way around. LOTS of commentary, with the plot synopsis kind of just thrown in every now and then.

It is hard to find a good balance between synopsis + review + commentary.

I'm not saying this review was bad OR good, just saying that it did have a mix of both synopsis and review... and that the review was a heavier percentage that you allude to.
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So about that nanite cloud. I can be reprogrammed, yes? If it can take human DNA and turn it into something Dalek....why not the reverse? Especially if it has been hacked....
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Did anyone else not like how they introduced Oswin? cuz if you think about when she comes on the show we already know her ending. Like River song you already know she's gonna die in the Libary, so it makes me really not wanting to get invested in the charachter, unless somehow they turn her charachter back human, and somehow she survived the blowing up of the planet or She has a Twin sister lol... Idk maybe that's me.
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Considering there are 2 "Oswin" names flying around (first/last name), I imagine it's going to be a family-member thing... twin sister / ancestor / distant cousin / etc.

After all, the starliner crash was her FIRST journey into space.
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the doctor made donna forget all her adventures with him, there is no reason he couldn't do it again
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I thought Moffat did a good job in making the Daleks relatively "scary", I only ever laughed at them since the shows revival, especially that awful bit where they were in battle against the Cybermen. A very good episode, looking forward to the rest!
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Yeh, this was the only time I ever really felt the "menace" save for their first appearance after the restart. In the episode "Dalek" with Chris Eccleston it was pretty creepy. The DOCTOR was freaked out, one little Dalek was killing everyone, and the Doctor just goes on to say how the nearby city / state / country / etc will just be "gone" due to this one guy.

The later appearances, even in Eccleston's good-bye episode, were "meh"
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A couple of problems that I see in the Daleks forgetting the doctor...

Firstly, when caught in a bit of a bind the Doctor has used his past triumphs to scare off his foes, e.g. in The Pandorica Opens. If the Daleks don't remember him then this tactic will no longer work. But I think that's a minor problem.

Secondly, and more importantly, at the end of Season 6 Dorium Maldovar warned the Doctor that there was a question that must never be answered. Now we open Season 7 with every Dalek in the universe (because they are all linked) is asking that very question...
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the ep had its fair share of odd things that didnt quite make sense but its ranked up there for me because one reason...oswin...JLC did an amazing job with the role and great one offf performances on this show can make an episode for me...last time it happened was with idris in the doctors wife...when you get a character in one episode that has you going "moreeeeeeeeee!!!" you know they did damn good.
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Am I the only one who thinks that the twist that Oswin was a Dalek the entire time didn't, in retrospect, make any sense?
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I actually saw it coming a mile away, especially after we saw that an early-transformation Amy was seeing other Daleks as people. Though I thought that Oswin was either (A) always just a crazy Dalek and NOT a transformed human or (B) a huks-transformed human, but was smart enough to stay in human-mode.

I mean, keeping Daleks out with 2x4's? Finding ingredients for soufles on a Dalek planet? etc

The only thing that didn't make sense was making her a full Dalek, I thought Daleks were all about genetic purity and such.
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In the episode "The Parting of Ways," humans were used to re-create the Dalek empire. Those were like Oswin - complete conversions still capable of human emotion and thought. However, their intense self-hatred combined with the Dalek mission made them more dangerous than pure Daleks.
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Yeh, but it was said that from each person... something like only 1 cell in their body could be cultivated into a Dalek biological life form. Yet here... it looks like they just converted HER... mind and all.

And then didn't the Doctor say, when in the Medusa cascade, that the real Daleks (cultivated from Skarro himself) were deadlier than the faux Daleks in Parting of Ways?
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I absolutely adore Dr. Who, and I am so glad TV.com is covering it this year. It's not available on my cable, so it will be nice to keep up while waiting for the DVD's to come out. Matt Smith is the greatest of all doctors in my opinion. I love him, love him, love him.
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Gotta say, though I love Doctor Who, I'm SICK of the Daleks and the Cybermen. Why not come up with more original baddies like the Weeping Angels which were AWESOME!?!?!?
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I know they are "original baddies"..but man! the weeping angels scares the hella out of me!..i get nightmares. Ever woke up in the middle of the night and scream at ur own curtains?..I love scary movies but when it comes to weeping angels i will read the review/recap!!



For the sake of the show, i agree the Daleks are "over-used", but the weeping angels..mmh
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Me too. The weeping angels and the Silence. oooh (shivers) very frightening, like scared to close my eyes at night, scary.
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You better not watch the mid-season finale then. :P



*Spoilers*



The Weeping Angels and River Song feature in Manhattan as Amy & Rory are written out of the show.
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It was a decent episode, but by no means one of the best. I also had trouble with the 'universe-weary' doctor at the beginning of the episode and how he immediately became campy the next time we saw him. I LOVED the ending.... every time I hear "Doctor Who?" mentioned as interior dialogue it makes me shiver.



As for the Daleks, I'm torn. I agree that it's weird they are constantly destroyed forever and then constantly reappear, but this can easily be explained away in the show with time travel.
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Loved the ep but I do agree that some things... might have been better?



First of all I loved the new opening credits! There WAAAAAY much better than the last ones that I thought were hideous... So new intro! That's good!



Then I feel that Matt Smith really owns the character now! Is he going to be better than Tennant? I doubt it, but he has a legitimate place now!



Well everybody has favourites, for me Tom Baker & David Tennant so far...



The bit about Rory & Amy being at odds with each other... sorry didn't ring true to me... not that their marriage might be in in a rocky place but the reason they gave for it to be "there"...



Anyway, the introduction of Oswin was very clever I thought! Plus I am all excited with Jenna-Louise Coleman because I've hear that she's good and her dialogue delivery can really give Matt a run for his money! And funnily enough she also reminded me a bit of Donna and actually Tennant & Tate were great because of the relation and chemistry they had. So really big expectations here with Smith & Coleman LOL!



Can't wait till next Saturday!



Thanks for reviewing the ep here! :-)
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That's a very common reason for divorce.
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Yes that is true, but in my opinion, the characters (probably the script) doesn't sell it well... that is what I am saying. It didn't feel authentic...
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That is because they just throw it in there to explain something else in the story without giving it more time/background. They just use it as a setup (pay-off being she loves him "more") for the plot and it becomes a cheap trick.



Anyways... I LOVE the episode AND Doctor Who so I can live with that.
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Don't get me wrong as I said I loved the episode it is just that some things annoyed me a bit like that.

And yes you are right it feels like a cheap trick! Do I forgive them? Yes of course! But it is still there! LOL!
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First, I want to say how glad I am to see a Doctor Who review here. I liked the episode more than you did, but maybe only because it's been so long since I've seen a new episode. I would have liked almost anything. The Daleks were scary, but I expected more. Moffatt said they would be scarier than they have been in a long time. I didn't sense that. The twist with Oswin was great. I'm anxious to see how this works out with the new companion. The Rory/Amy story was good. I was glad they worked things out, although very quickly. But that's better than dragging it out over another episode.
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I think what he should have said is that the Dalek puppets are scarier than the Daleks have (ever) been in a long time.
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You know, I agree. Why is that? Were they written that much better in the drier hose days?
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I suspect it is us viewers and not the writers, because a Dalek is not a scary thing anymore when I re-watch the old episodes from Tom Baker's days.
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Yep... and we are also... GROWN UPS? Right? ROFL!
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i loved it as well. glad to see you are covering it.



that would have been hilarious:

"I had kinda hoped that the "crazy, insane" Daleks confined to the Asylum planet were actually there because they were kind, and had love in their little Dalek hearts. That could have been a very fun twist."
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Question about something not to do with this episode:

I will never understand the Martha hate, can someone explain it? And don't mention Rose in the answer, because I find it strange people would base hate of that character on the fact that Rose loved the Doctor FIRST, so Martha somehow had no place even trying to love him. I really don't get it. She frequently proved how capable she is, saved the Doctor, did badass things, spent a year alone, travelling the world, to save the world...the worst thing Martha ever did was look a little jealous when the name Rose is mentioned. But she never actually came BETWEEN the Doctor and Rose. And she accepted the Doctor didn't love her. And she walked away, pride intact. And...I just do NOT get it. From the Tennant run, I can honestly say she was my favorite companion. I can never understand the Martha hate.
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I have been thinking about this and I think it was the way she was written. She started out as this super intelligent, strong independent woman, then became a love-struck sad sack. By the time they gave her a spine again, it was too late.
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My problem with Martha was that she always sounded like she was trying to hold back tears even when she was laughing or happy. Maybe that's the way the actress talks but it make the character sound like a petulant child, and to me that was like fingernails on a chalk board.
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Really? Funny it didn't feel that way to me...
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I didn't dislike Martha as a character, but they made her unrequited attraction for the Doctor a major part of her personality, and it just didn't work all that well having a girl with puppy dog eyes for the Doctor travelling alongside him. That being said, I think, as a companion, she's had the most interesting journey of all of them from the new series. The way she left the Doctor was very emotional, and I loved her line when she returned in The Sontaran Stratagem: 'The Doctor's like fire, if you stand too close, you're going to get burned', demonstrating her growth and her realisation that that travelling with the Doctor has a lot of consequences.
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They could bring team Martha and Mickey back for ep. That has some cool potential.
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Im with ya on the confusion about all the Martha hate. Two of my favorite eps (shakespeare code and blink) are during that time period. Besides as much as I wish I was like Rose (adored by the perfect guy) I related better to Martha (pining after the perfect guy)
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I meant " Although I like Amy a lot, I feel that she is NOT that well rounded" ... dropped an important word there LOL
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I loved Martha and I digged her character! I've always thought she was intelligent, self-confident, absolutely gorgeous and mature. A very well defined female character!



I actually think that Mr. Russell T. Davies was very good for the female companions in the reboot! Donna was a hoot!



Although I like Amy a lot, I feel that she is that well rounded... Let's see if Mr. Moffat can make it better with Oswin...

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I didn't _like_ Martha when it was her time (only one person in the whoniverse I hate), but the way she left I thought really made up for everything.
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I loved the episode, it was fun, funny and exciting just like Doctor Who should be. Tbh I'm kinda on the fense when it comes to the Dalek's being featured in every season because they're either really good like in season 1 or they could be skippable like the Dalek's in manhatten or victory of the Dalek's. I'm really curious as to how they're going to do the whole Oswin/Ciara thing. Since the names are different they're obviously not going the River Song route (Thank god) and having the actress play 2 different characters has been done quite a few times now on the show. Oh god I was laughing when the Dalek's were waking up and trying to say exterminate and Rory had no idea what they wanted. I'm going to miss the Pond's when they leave but I'm excited/interested to see what the next companion has in store for us.
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as I said before, I'm not a big Daleks fan.. I'd say they're more trashcans on wheels than a tricycle with a roof though.. all it takes to outdo them is run around in circles.. but the episode was great, obviously. and I'm glad the whole marital trouble resolved fast, I was saddened by that storyline. I thought it was funny that when Oswin helped Rory find a place to hide she immediately got flirty with him and tried to get him to take his shirt off. cheeky Oswin. sad that she's gone (for now?), I liked her.



I was skeptical about a new companion, as everybody is probably, it's same thing when the Doctor regenerates too.. but Jenna-Louise Coleman was good, I'd only seen her on Titanic miniseries. I wonder how they'll explain the whole Oswin/Clara thing.. oh Doctor Who and your timey-wimey habits! Clara will either be a distant relative (past or future) of Oswin and it's some sort of time anomaly like with Eve Myles (Gwenyth in series 1 episode and Gwen in Torchwood and two series 4 episodes) or she'll be a totally new character like when Freema Agyeman and Karen Gillan played different and unrelated characters in the series before they joined. I guess technically either would be fine for everybody except the audience since technically we saw the human Oswin and the Doctor only saw the Dalek-itized version.
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Actually Martha was related to the character who got killed by the Cybermen. Cousins or something.
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that's right, I forgot about that... woops lol
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No worries.



About the flirty thing:



"Take off your shirt, quick as you please!"

"Why?"

"Does there have to be a reason?"



I about fell out of my chair laughing.
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LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT!
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I really, really liked Oswin. I hope Clara matches up to Oswin's potential; Jenna Louise Coleman erased all of my doubts about her upcoming position as the Doctor's companion. She proved she can stand out in an episode.

I was so upset after watching Pond Life 5 and finding out that Amy and Rory were having marital problems. Remember all those episodes again when their love was defined by how far they would wait for each other? 2000 years is a long time to be single and alone. I'm glad they're back together in the end, although their reconciliation moment was a tad corny.

I wasn't particularly thrilled that all the history the Daleks have with the Doctor is now gone. I haven't even watched the original series, but the show has made a point of emphasizing the Doctor's actions with the Daleks before, during, and after the Time War.

Favorite moment of the episode was Rory confusing eggs with "exterminate." The entire time, I kept thinking, "Oh, Rory. You poor, poor guy. I love you, but you're too cute for your own good."
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Seems a tad generous on every level.



Oswin was indeed a bit much out of the blocks, as a 1-off character she'd be fun but as a companion she'd be a wreck with just too many gimmicks at once. Her being a Dalek all the way must have been a lot of fun for Moffat to use to trick those who were following the blogs so heavily, but for those of us who weren't it was a really obvious and trite twist we've seen several times before on DW.



Rory and Amy's relationship issues just brought this episode down and made the ending so cheesy - this is Doctor Who made in Hollywood, less thinkin' and more 'splosions. Things just happened to them until finally they were forced to have a storyline happen again. And the threat to Amy transforming into a Dalek drone, then to the Doctor when he gives her his wristband, is entirely dropped with no explanation as to how Amy's conversion was reversed.



The Daleks were set dressing, they weren't scary, they weren't deep, they weren't harkening back to the classics, they were just monster-X in the background while the episode went through its motions. Chained Daleks should have been clever - after all, who chained them? Yet the chains broke EVERY SINGLE TIME which I suppose was meant to be dramatic but just felt hollow. An asylum for crazed Daleks should have been interesting - remember Dalek Caan going mad and becoming a prophet? That should have been expanded upon, but instead we get regular Daleks all sleepy and turning in circles for no reason.



Another thought about the Daleks, remember when they were all dead except for 1 in 2005 and that 1 changed everything about the Eccleston 9th Doctor? That Dalek was dangerous and scary and had a real emotional impact as it was relearning how to be an OG Skaro pimp before it realized the ugly truth and dropped the hammer - that was frightening not for what it was and what it was doing, but for who it was and why it was doing those things. 1 Dalek was horrifying and complex under Russell Davies, yet thousands of Daleks under Moffat were bland, generic background fodder.



Having people turning into Dalek-drones was beyond silliness, it felt like a bad cliche for DW - how many times do we get to question whether someone is a good guy or not before it gets old? But more importantly, it's something the Daleks have never bothered with in the past because it's against their chief motivation - lesser beings aren't meant to be used, they're meant to be exterminated. Worse still was the Dalekified zombie skeletons - that was moronic, they have NO locomotive means anymore, they're worthless skeletons with bits of decayed flesh dangling off, even with Dalek bodies taking them over they should have just sat there and done nothing - they had no brains, no nervous systems, no muscles, no anything to get them up and moving.



Bottom line, this felt like a thoughtless episode, there was light personal story movement and character arc action, but it really was pushed to the background for the spectacle of trying to do big movie poster things without a compelling, well-thought-out story driving it and just like all the Hollywood drivel lately this fell flat for the effort.
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You made quite an effort and I give you that some things were truly moronic(that's the price I will have to pay for DW after RTD) BUT you've seemingly forgotten about some changes over the last 5 seasons concerning the Dalek.

First of all are Moffat's Daleks different from the Dalek's before. They know fear, are therefore more cautious and slightly changed their priorities from extermination to empire building. But overall I think you're right, the Daleks don't deserve to be generic background fodder. They should have dropped the Daleks for good after season 4 - at least for 4-5 seasons to keep them interesting.

Better bad Daleks than Cybermen anyway ...
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DONNA FTW!!!
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Loved Oswin. Glad the folks who watched this episode months ago at the premiere kept that little secret off the web that she would be in this episode. Anyway, her being the a Dalek at the end was definitely a surprise. Can't till she officially comes on as the Doctors' companion. I love these Daleks. They have come a long way from the earlier ones. And am glad that Rory and Amy are back together. Those two being angry at each didn't feel right. The whole "Doctor Who, Doctor Who," with the Daleks and the Doctor was just great. Love the "A Town Called Mercy" and "The Angels Take Manhattan" posters.
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Oswin was great, I guessed her fate but it was still shocking. Glad her character or just the actress is returning next year. The Doctor needs someone who is a bit cheeky and rebellious.
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Glad to be back in the Who-verse. Very fun episode, although that whole Amy-&-Rory-getting-divorce nonsense annoyed the hell out of me from the get-go. Not being able to have kids is very dramatic, but, after EVERYTHING those two went through, couldn't they manage to have an actual adult conversation about their relationship without being in life-threatening danger? Anyway, that divorce business felt a little tacked-on solely for cheap emotional effect - the fact it got resolve so quickly made it even less important.



Love the fact the Daleks have no idea who the Doctor is now - hopefully, whoever write the next episode involving them won't forget it. I am quite impress, by the way, of how big their ranks have become again. From near extinction, to their 'new models' from "Victory of the Daleks" to what is a truly impressing-sized army. Truth is, a couple of Daleks facing the Doctor by themselves... that hardly seem fair.



So, again, very enjoyable episode, great introduction to the lovely Ms. Coleman (I doubt Oswin got any connection to Ciara, but that's something only Moffat and the rest of his crew know at this time), really curious to see how Daleks who doesn't view the Doctor has their worst enemy react to his presence now... and only 4 episodes left with the Ponds. That's sad.



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I really like Oswin. Was never really a fan of Amy and Rory so am looking forward to a new companion.



However... reading the comments below I really hope she is in fact Oswin and not the same actress but a different character. That, ipso-facto, FYI, would be LAME. Hopefully its just a bit of Moffat misdirection.
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If I want to start watching, should I start from the very beginning or could i start from season 1 from 2005?
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Thanks everyone! That's a huge help! :)
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Actually I think that if RTD hadn't been the one to reboot Doctor Who, Mr. Moffat would have had a terrible time getting the series where they are now.



Because, granted: some of the greatest SCARY episodes of the reboot have been penned by Mr. Moffat! But RDT gave depth and definition to the reboot and to the whole S1-4. I love the way he defines people no matter their sexual orientation: men, women & LGTB.



I absolutely love the way Mr. Moffat writes (and also love his other hit series Sherlock) but he is not as versatile as RDT... that is just the way it is.



Now RDT might be considered a sentimental fool by some people (he says that himself as well) but heck it is a TV series thought out for CHILDREN and you have to teach them to care...



I would recommend you watched the whole S5 of the reboot to understand about #11 and then go back to S1 to watch the fantastic #9 performed by Mr Christopher Eccleston. At the end of S1 you will have a big shock when the doctor regenerates and that is part of the Doctor Who experience too.



Then watch S2-4 for the excellent and brilliant Tennant and have another shock (bigger than the previous one usually, but that will depend on how much you like Tennant) and then go through S6 so you can fully enjoy S7!



That is what I did with my nephews and they loved it... and cried at each regeneration! LOL
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Start with the 2005 series, not necessarily with the 1st one...

Some of the episodes can be watched quite independently from the others, but the longest story arc started somewhere in the middle of the 4th season, so I don't recommend to start with the 5th, 6th or now with the 7th as you'd miss some good mysteries.
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if u start from 2005 and find it a little bit silly - don't worry, it gets better after Russell T Davies departure.

just watch the 6 episodes that were written by Steven Moffat, and then start with the 5th series.
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the 2005 series is fine, it tells stuff from the past where it's needed.. you couldn't watch the whole original series anyway, a lot of the episodes were lost



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who#Missing_episodes
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While I did occasionally watch the original on PBS when I was a kid because my grandma was into it, and I watched the Fox TV movie in the late '90s, I really started with the first Eccleston episode in 2005 and that's where my own fandom took off, that's all you really need since there was such a violent shift from the previous anyway. So 2005 is a fine place to start, they do a good job building a new version of the character, reintroducing aliens slowly and having lots of breathing room before the canon closed in around it.
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I started with the 2005 episodes. I've never seen any of the 'classic who' but im a big fan of the new stuff, got them all on DVD. There are some callbacks to the old stuff, but not so much that new viewers would be lost.
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Start in 2005. It'll take many many many days to get through all the previous episodes. If you're that committed, carry on and enjoy!
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You could easily start with the 2005 series. They tell you about everything you need to know. You could almost even start with the first episode of the current Doctor, as that was a relaunch of sorts, (bigger budget, different doctor, different companion, different showrunner) and the doctor always tends to explain stuff to the companion. That said, you'd be missing a lot of great episode of you skipped the Eccleton/Tennant runs.
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I'm just gonna start my comment by pasting this Moffat quote:

"The new companion will, again, be a human from contemporary earth. This is necessary for audience identification and a 'jumping on' point for new viewers



How the companion gets where she is and what that means for the character is what will make her utterly different and fascinating



The new companion will not have any links to any previous characters



Her 'journey' will be shocking and intriguing. The Doctor has never met anyone quite like her before



Her very presence in the TARDIS will change the Doctor and there's something different about her that will have a knock-on effect for the Doctor/companion dynamic"



All of that makes me think of three self-conflicting possibilities

1. The next companion will be her in all her human-turned-Dalek glory (Oh god oh god yes please)

2. The next companion will be in every episode, but in a way the Doctor won't know it's her. (Just like she was a Dalek in this episode) It would be a mystery figuring out just what was going on. This would go against Moffat's "no overarching storyline this season", thing, but Moffat loves lying.

3. River Song all over again. (Please, don't.)
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I'm a little bit afraid of these big words :)



The main problem with Moffat that he loves building great mysteries, with a lot of promising, exciting little details and questions.. then at the end he just can't always deliver.. After a lot of build-up and tension and expectations comes some disappointing, lukewarm solution.



I hope they can live up to the promise and we will see great adventures!
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So ... we already know what the new companion's ultimate fate will be?

Quite a downer.

Besides, a good opener although I don't know what to think of the "no overall arc" -concept. Am I supposed to believe that?
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"the new companion's ultimate fate"?

It that case she would have recognized the Doctor... (just as River in the library)
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Not necessarily. The Dalek conversion process messes with the memory. The guy who died frozen, for example, forgot about dying.
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Does not really relate to the original question, but it was not the same process..

Frozen guy was "empty", a puppet. Body kept, mind removed.

Oswin was converted for her intelligence, she preserved her emotions and memories. Mind kept, body removed.
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I think you're wrong. Obviously they both still had some nonzero portion of their memories.
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Coleman played a girl named Oswin in this episode, she will play Clara in future episodes and Moffat has said the 2 characters will have no connection so we don't know what will happen to Clara.
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Very good to know. Thanks!
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Oswin wasn't too bad. i did tear up a little bit. And I have to say Rose was my favorite companion, then Amy, and then Donna. Martha... she isn't even on this list. Good episode and can't wait for next week!!
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I loved the episode, it was a really good start for Season 7 after Season 6 being a bit...well...I liked it but the overarching storyline was a bit much for the writer, I think.

I nearly got a heart attack when I saw Amy signing those divorce papers...thankfully they got together, eventually. But it's sad that they can't have children. :(

I still hope they get out alive after all (at the very end, I mean, when they leave the series for good).
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I feel a little bad for you dude. You have the daunting task to write reviews for this new season of doctor who and most likely will invoke the wrath of every doctor who fanatic if you A. get something wrong be it intentional or untintentionally ( i too was going to say something about skarro) b. if you show too much favoritistim or disdain. I seriously don't envy you. While I agree with you that since these are going to be pretty big episodes ( good bye ponds! Standalone, no big arc, etc) I kind of like that it was bit of a "dipping the toe in" versus full blown assault on the Doctor who senses. For starters it was a reallly long hiatus and for some reason having it start a bit gentler, easy your way in to it gives older fans a treat and newer fans a chance to start somewhat fresh. But then again thats just me. I know the sitcomy way that rory and amy got back together seemed a little silly but if we really want to nitpick Pond life shows them happy one month, fighting the next and then getting back together in Asylum of the daleks. I think... if moffatt had left out the divorce papers and made them just seperated then it wouldn't have seemed so sitcomy but what are you going to do? it was still an awesome moment of reconcilliation. :) ahhhh I've been rambling far too long. Good luck this season with your reviews. :)
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I feel a little bad for you too, "dude". I mean, a guy with the name Emily? I bet you got beaten up every day in school during recess. So sad.
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umm... should i have been politically correct and said dudette? Its a figure of speech. I was well aware that the reviewer was a girl. In fact, more props for female doctor who fans.
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I love this episode and I cried when Amy and Rory had their conversation. So heartbreaking!
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I don't know if it's typo or you misheard but the Dalek home planet is Skaro not "Staro."



I thought this was a great episode, I think there's a lot more in this episode that will come back in the second half of the season and I'm excited.



I'm still a Dalek fan (except the Daleks in Manhattan one with Tennant and Agyman) "Exterminate" still sends a chill up my spine. I find little in this life more scary than blind hatred for the sake of ethnic cleansing, and that's what the Daleks are. They can't be reasoned with or appealed to, they don't admit they are wrong, or change their minds. They are the perfect sociopaths. They could make themselves new armor and change their weaponry but what makes them scary is that they want everything in the universe dead.



That being said the creators have to stop destroying them all and then expecting us to believe whatever line they come up with as to how a new army has been created (which I don't think they even bothered with this time around).
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Staff
fixed "Skaro." (damn you autocorrect!)
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When I wrote that there weren't any other posts, the other correction appeared after I hit submit. The person above is right we Whovians are impossible, but I look forward to your future reviews. :-)
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To be fair to the daleks in manhattan episode, it does feature Andrew Garfield in it as well as a snazzy jazz number so I don't hate the episode.
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Loved it. I must live under a rock or something, though, because I had no idea that Oswin is the new companion.
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You and me are under that same rock, buddy.

Ultimately, Ms. Jenna-Louise Coleman won me over, though, and I can't wait to see her as a companion.
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well... technically the actress is but that character might not be. But who knows?
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right, the companion will be Clara, not Oswin.. things are going to get timey-wimey up in the TARDIS!
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Just fyi the dalek planet is called skarro not staro and oswin is not the next companion. Same actress, different character. The next companion's name is Clara although knowing Moffat there is some way she could be oswin somehow its also likely shes a completely different character or relation of clara like martha and amy's roles before they became companions.
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could be completely new or it could be sort of like Eve Myles, played Gwenyth in series 1 episode and then came back as Gwen for Torchwood and those two Doctor Who episodes where it was explained as a rift anomaly or something
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The new companion's full name is Clara Oswin, so she is the one.
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Her full name in the episode was Oswin Oswald... She even said it twice. Never said Ciara anywhere, so...
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Well I saw on the internet like on a lot of pages that her full name is Clara Oswin Oswald. Maybe Oswin is just her nickname? Well anyway we are gonna find out in a couple of weeks.
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Hey I once met a kid called Michael Miguel... now Miguel means Michael in Spanish... so guess what ROFL!
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No one is named Oswin Oswald. That's like naming your kid Mitt Mittington. People often refer to their nicknames as their names.
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The whole 'Ciara Oswin Oswald' - that didn't happen until very recently, probably just last night. In July, people were still calling her only Ciara. And remember: she specifically called herself Oswin, as in, when the Doctor kept callin her 'Soufflet girl': "You should only call me Oswin, seeing that's my name." So... not a nickname. So it seems some people made updates which may not have needed to be made in the first place.



Bottom line: even though it would be easier to just jump to conclusion and assume the same character will be the next companion, let's wait and see how Moffat gonna make Oswin, an entertainment manager for a spacecraft who got transformed into a Dalek and who's now, quite literally, dead into Ciara, a human from Earth who's never been near a spaceship as the internet described her just a couple of weeks ago... IF he even bothers doing that at all, which isn't at all likely.



My personal take: those are two very different characters. Anyway, we'll see in about 3 months...
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