Dalek zombies, vegan-friendly soufflés and Democracy of the Daleks!
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When an Earth vessel, The Alaska, crashes onto the Dalek Asylum planet, the Daleks turn to their natural ally/worst enemy, The Doctor, to bail them out yet again.
Kidnapping The Chin and freshly divorced ex-companions The Nose and The Pout, the nefarious pepper-pots persuade the trusty trio to reenact the plot from Jedi, travel down to the surface and turn off the shield generator in order for them to blast the crap out of the place from above.
One crew member of The Alaska seemingly survived, however, namely, Oswin Oswald, a genius engineer who can rise to the levels of hacking the universe’s deadliest hive mind, but soufflés overcook her brain.
Our heroes now delve deeper and deeper into the heart of the Dalek Asylum on a mission to rescue Oswin, disable the planet’s forcefield, put Amy’s and Rory’s marriage back together and look badass in the process.
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A Dalek story riddled with problems? Well, this gonna be fun!
Asylum of the Daleks had so much going for it. You had Classic Series Daleks. You even had the Special Weapons Dalek! And they did nothing throughout the story except sit there! Why go through all that trouble getting those Daleks if you aren’t gonna use them? Why have a Dalek Prime Minister if you already established that the Daleks have a Supreme Dalek and an Emperor Dalek? Also, this is the final appearance of the Paradigm Daleks. Good riddance. NEXT!
On a good day, I like Amy and Rory. But here they are so nasty to each other at the start because of their divorce. Also, since when did they want a divorce? When did Amy become a model? Why break them up only to get them back together in the end? There was no point in any of it!
Oswin Oswald was nice as Jenna Coleman makes her (then surprise) Doctor Who debut here. We all know that she is later identified as the Impossible Girl Clara, but I’ll be honest this is the second best version of Clara. I loved the Clara from The Snowmen (honestly, that Clara is better suited to travel with the Doctor than the actual Clara).
The good things in this episode are scarce. Matt Smith is brilliant (crappy Eleventh Doctor pun and all), those Dalek Puppet creatures are actually kinda creepy (especially the undead ones) and are somewhat of a throwback to the Robomen from Dalek Invasion of Earth, and I did enjoy the twist with Oswin. If you haven’t seen the episode, I won’t spoil it because I’m sure Leon and the gang have already done that. So, I’ll leave it at that.
So, overall, what do I give this episode? It gets a 2.0/5 because of the misuse of the Daleks, Amy and Rory’s breakup/make-up storyline and just the fanwanky feel this story gives off. You gave us Classic Daleks, but they did nothing. Even when you try to have a little fanwank you fail! Even though Jenna Coleman and Matt Smith was alright here, 2.0/5 it the most you’re getting from me because the rest of this story is pretty bad.
Slight edit, I do recall Amy was a model now as I wrote this one before rewatching Closing Time. Not a huge fan of that story either.
Oswin Oswald! With the Oswin Oswald music! “Run, you clever boy.”
I love this episode so much, though I also have a Corri-don’t:
When dropped in a corridor filled with daleks that might be dead, or might just be in standby mode, don’t shove them and turn their heads to try to wake them up.
The angst surrounding Oswin’s situation, all the way up through the reveal and her struggle to accept what’s happened to her, is beautiful. I love Oswin so much.
4.8 out of 5 souffles that just couldn’t turn out right, even in a cozy mind palace with a hammock.
I had to split this one down the middle into what I’m loving and…other stuff.
The concept of Oswin is so perfect and perfectly heartbreaking. We are cheering her genius and resilience the entire way, then it all turns on a dime. She is left behind of necessity, when we want so badly to save her.
Not so much:
Amy and Rory’s relationship is written incomprehensibly. Throughout their run we watched them grow as a couple; Rory devoted and uncertain, gained experience and confidence, while Amy, at first trusting the Doctor above Rory, gradually came to rely on her centurion in times of need. It’s hard to figure out how that could lead to what we see in this episode. Amy is written as obsessed with her inability to produce any more children (for Rory!) as though this has been the basis of their relationship. I buy that she’s traumatized over losing Melody. They both rightly should be. But to dilute that down into a need to give her husband some children is grossly simplistic. To then simply say ‘aww they love each other!’ and bring them back together without working through ANY of that? It discredits their bond, ridicules Amy and Rory as thinking adults and partners, and diminishes the growth we know they are both capable of- I hate it.
New intro and its hologram colors.
Save the Daleks!!! Save the Daleks!!!
Amy’s trippy Dalek visions.
Rating: I’ll allow it because Coleman is so beyond brilliant here.
Things I Loved:
• The Special Weapon Dalek! The first returning villain unique to the Seventh Doctor’s era! Yes, it didn’t do anything. But I like to think it’s encounter with the Seventh Doctor drove it into a catatonic stupor. Asylum of the Daleks is all about the Seventh Doctor and the madness he inflicted upon them in 1988’s ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ (as well as being a direct sequel to that adventure).
• Skaro with a giant Dalek statue, zombie Daleks (this episode rocks), Amy’s weird hallucinations and Daleks basically being scary again (take a lesson Cybermen).
• That twist.
• The Dalek Parliament. Interesting. Do Daleks have proportional representation? Do they have political parties? Is there a UKIP equivalent faction that all other Dalek MPs think go a bit far on the nutty racism?
• For the love of god stop it with the ‘Doctor Who?’ Question. Stop it. Just Stop it.
• The Borg Dalek Collective concept.
Summary: a brilliant Dalek episode. On par with the high bar (criminally underrated) classic ‘Death to the Daleks’.
Rating: 4.7/5 looney cuckoo Daleks (extra point for direct Seventh Doctor continuity).