‘Asylum Of The Daleks’
‘Kidnapped by his oldest foe, the Doctor is forced on an impossible mission – to a place even the Daleks are too terrified to enter…’ The long wait is finally over, as the new series of Doctor Who returns to our screens in the form of ‘Episode one –Asylum of the Daleks’.
Reading that short episode description what more could you ask for from the opening episode to season seven? After all of the answering of questions and the River Song plot line from last season, it was very refreshing to see the Doctor back in action in a completely new setting. With the promise of Daleks in this season’s summer trailer, I was initially worried that this episode would fall short, however I was pleasantly surprised.
Over the last couple of seasons the Daleks have become less of a foe and more of an annoyance. People saw them as less scary and easier to defeat. With the introduction of the Asylum and the human housed Daleks, this episode delivered everything that was needed to strike fear back into the viewers, and restore the Daleks back to their rightful place as the Doctor’s arch-rivals. Although the evolution of the Daleks has been done previously in other seasons, the Human Daleks added an exciting new twist and added to the fear factor of the Daleks locked within the Asylum. For me the “Egg…Egg…Egg…” of the powering up insane Daleks has to be one of the scariest moments within this episode, as well as the tense moment earlier on when Rory decides to touch the rusted Dalek to check whether it was alive.
We can’t overlook however what certainly must have been the scariest moment this episode, seeing Rory presenting Amy with the divorce papers. Having seen Rory being thrown out by Amy earlier on this week (in the last episode of the online web-series ‘The Pond Life’), it seemed inevitable that Mr and Mrs Pond where no more and this would be the start of Amy and Rory’s exiting off the show. Who were we to doubt though that Rory the Roman and Young Amy Pond would not work things out in the end, with a little help from the Doctor. This crafty separation plot twist not only shocked viewers, but also brought to light one of the unanswered questions associated with Doctor Who, what happens to the companions when the Doctor is not there? Knowing that both Amy and Rory will soon be leaving the Doctors side, this was an opportune moment for the writers to delve into this question and give us a glimpse into life without the Doctor.
Another surprise we were presented with this episode was the arrival of Jenna-Louise Coleman, several months ahead of when viewers were lead to believe her character would appear. Previously Jenna-Louise’s character was scheduled to debut in this seasons Christmas special, so why are we seeing her now? Whatever the answer this teaser provided viewers just enough to show what to expect from this new companion. Stephen Moffat claimed “It’s not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it’s about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him on his merriest dance yet.” The frequent quirky comments, hilarious remarks about soufflés and bisexual partners, and a genius intellect that seems to surpass even the Doctor indicates that the Doctor truly has meet his match. With the performance Jenna-Louise provided this episode it’s clear that any questions regarding living up to the role of the Doctors companion will be put to rest, even following the high standards of Karen Gillian.
Even after all of the questions we had answered at the end of last season, when we finally felt we knew what was in store, the writers could not help but throw a whole bunch of new questions in this episode to keep us on our toes, such as:
• Is the new companion really a Dalek?
• Will Amy and Rory stay together in the end?
• Will the Daleks ever remember who the Doctor is?
• And finally, Doctor Who…?
As we know, silence will fall when the question is asked, but could this last question be what we’ve all been waiting for, or another deceptive ploy to throw viewers off before the real struggle finally begins.
Next week: A spaceship hurtling towards certain destruction, Dinosaur’s and Rory’s Dad…. Can the Doctor save the ship and uncover the mystery of the prehistoric cargo?