Doctor Who – Asylum of the Daleks

by Alan Rapp on September 3, 2012

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Doctor Who – Asylum of the Daleks
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“Don’t be fair to the Daleks when they’re firing me at a planet!”


When the Daleks need assistance they turn to their greatest enemy, “the predator of the Daleks,” and separately kidnap The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan), and Rory (Arthur Darvill), whisking off the threesome to the Asylum – a planetary prison even the Daleks are too afraid to enter because it contains the most unstable and terrifying Daleks ever created. And somewhere, admist all that insanity, is a single ship, with a single human crew member who has managed to survive and cause no end of trouble to the Daleks for the better part of a year. Ladies and gentlemen, Doctor Who introduces you to its newest companion – Clara Oswin (Jenna-Louise Coleman).

Against his will, The Doctor and his companions find themselves beamed to the planet. Separated from Rory, The Doctor and Amy fight of zombie Dalek puppets (admit it, that’s pretty cool) while searching for a woman whose ship crash landed on the planet a year ago and has somehow managed to stay alive. Time becomes even more short when Amy becomes infected by Dalek technology and starts to turn into a Dalek puppet. Separated from the others Rory finds himself in the bowels of the planet surrounded by malfunctioning Daleks.

As The Doctor puts it, “In no patricular order we need to neutralize all the Daleks in this asylum, rescue Oswain from the wreckage, escape from this planet, and fix Amy and Rory’s marriage (who, as the episode opens are separated and contemplating divorce).” The episode ends with a twist you’ll probably see coming (and certainly makes Clara an interesting, perhaps even River Songian, choice for The Doctor’s future companion) as well as a small but mighty shift in the relationship between the Daleks and The Doctor that will likely have huge ramifications to come.

As season premieres go “The Asylum of the Daleks” works pretty well, even if the logic behind the universe’s most feared aliens choosing The Doctor is pretty flimsy. The Rory/Amy dynamic is easily the weakest part of the show, and I’m ready to see Mr. and Mrs. Pond leave the TARDIS, but Coleman is delightful as Clara Orwain and I’ll be interested to see exactly how the show reintroduces her in this year’s Christmas episode.

Emma September 4, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Didn’t she say her name was Oswin Oswald? I don’t remember hearing the name ‘Clara’ at all in this episode. Clara and Oswin HAVE to be connected, though, so I’m excited to see how that will play out. I’m so glad Doctor Who is back! I’ve really missed it being on my TV every week. I’m already looking forward to next week’s episode – I can’t think of anything more awesome than the idea of dinosaurs on a spaceship!

Alan Rapp September 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm

There were only a couple of times I had trouble understanding her dialogue with the mix of her accent and the sped-up delivery (which I really liked), one of which was the speech where she introduced herself to The Doctor and I couldn’t quite make out her full name. It’s possible she’s playing an ancestor (or descendant) of the character we see here, which would prevent a very obvious paradox of having her play the same character.

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