Doctor Who

Season 7 Episode 1

Asylum of the Daleks

64
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Sep 01, 2012 on BBC America
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

8.8
out of 10
Average
242 votes
  • Daleks play generic background threats in a hollow series premiere

    6.0
    SPOILERS, as River might say. The 3rd series for Matt Smith's 11th Doctor opens with a trip to Skaro and all the Daleks ever, then goes on to be a generic Doctor Who episode.



    A new character is introduced of sorts, the upcoming new companion's actress plays a 1-off character - Oswin - that seems to be a direct decendant of her regular character. 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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