Stars: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Nick Hurran
Network: BBC America, airs Saturday nights
Original Telecast: September 1, 2012
So DOCTOR WHO is finally back on the airwaves with “Asylum of the Daleks”! It is just me or does it feel like it’s been forever since there was a new WHO on, and by the same token doesn’t it feel just a little bit like it’s been no time at all? Timey Wimey Wibbly Wobbly. Please be warned there are spoilers ahead, but some things are too good and have to be talked about!
So what’s the Doctor been up to since we last saw him at Christmas time? If you watched the 5 part POND LIFE web series then you have a bit of an idea, and you can check out my separate review of that miniseries also on this site. This episode starts off with some really breathtaking CGI of Skarro, (home planet of the Daleks) where the Doctor (Matt Smith) has been lured into a trap by his oldest foes. Subsequently Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) are likewise abducted and all three find themselves before the Dalek Parliament. From there they get beamed to the Asylum of the Daleks to lower the shielding around the planet so it can be blown to Hell by Dalek planet killer bombs. And, that’s just where the fun begins.
This is the third series with Matt Smith as the Doctor, and he’s such a comfortable Doctor to watch and spend time with, that he’s really becoming one of my favorites. The further we’ve gotten into Smith’s characterization of the Doctor, the more he reminds me of bits and pieces of past Doctors, and of course a heaping helping of original character, but I really find myself thinking of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor from time to time. The way that Smith can go from absolutely zany and seemingly scatter-brained to deadly serious and almost menacing is something that Baker excelled at, and seeing the current Doctor behave that way only helps to lend a sense of continuity and that this is the same man that has been in the TARDIS for the last 50 years.
I like the Ponds. I really do. But, I am excited for a new companion. Especially after seeing Oswin (Jenna-Louise Coleman) in action is this series opener. Oswin is on a level with the Doctor in terms of mental capacity (she’s not a Time Lord…but she is a genius) and she’s quirky, fun, and bi-curious. What isn’t there to love in this new woman?! She’s like Donna (Catherine Tate) and Rose (Billie Piper) combined with some Sarah Jane (Elizabeth Sladen) thrown in for good measure, and she has one of the series most intriguing introductions yet! Of course she can’t be a companion without the Doctor looping back on the timeline (which he always says he doesn’t do…but we all know better) and saving her at a point before this episode takes place.
Steven Moffat loves to mess with time and this is going to be a bit of a ride to see how he gets this all worked out. Of course, changing time will change the outcome of this episode and does that mean death for the Ponds at the suckers and guns of the Daleks? One man and team of writers know but they aren’t telling.
The new Dalek servants (not quite replicants and not quite robo-men) are some kind of awesome. They’re disturbing to look at, and I’m willing to bet that there will be some action figures. Leave it to Moffat to figure out a way to make Dalek zombies…yeah something kind of horrifying, but I love them anyways. Of course, what do I expect from the man who gave us the Vashta Nerada, Weeping Angels, and the Silent?
This episode was a nice start to the new series. Lots of classic Daleks rattling around in the asylum, plenty of drama with Amy and Rory, a new companion introduced in a very unique way, and lots and lots of the Doctor back in action. I have nothing but high hopes for this new series as we head forward into next week’s “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”.
AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW HOW YOU FEEL – COMMENT BELOW!
Click on link: AX’s exclusive interview with DOCTOR WHO showrunner Steven Moffat – Part 1
Click on link: AX’s exclusive interview with DOCTOR WHO showrunner Steven Moffat – Part 2
Click on Link: TV Review: DOCTOR WHO – Series 6 – “Closing Time” – Review #2
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Article: TV Review: DOCTOR WHO – Series 7 – “Asylum of the Daleks” – Review #2