‘ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS’
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Pond Season – Daleks
NB: Watch ‘Pond Life’ and the ‘Asylum of the Daleks Prequel’ before this episode.
Series 7 was the first season that I’ve reviewed from the Matt Smith era of ‘Doctor Who’!
Here is ‘Series 7 – Part 1’! This is a collection of five episodes chronicling the final adventures of Amy Pond and Rory Williams with the Eleventh Doctor before they depart and leave the TARDIS behind. These five stories star Matt Smith as the Doctor with Karen Gillian as Amy and Arthur Darvill as Rory.
Like Series 6, this season of Matt Smith’s Doctor is divided into two halves. The first five episodes of Series 7 were transmitted during the autumn of 2012 from August to September. In terms of preference, I prefer Series 7 of ‘Doctor Who’ compared to Series 6 since I enjoyed that season so much.
Fans have criticised Series 7 for not being a very good season of ‘Doctor Who’. But I disagree with that since I found it easier to get into Matt Smith’s Doctor by this point. I especially enjoyed the Doctor, Amy and Rory episodes of Series 7, including those ones that were written by Chris Chibnall.
It’s a shame that I didn’t enjoy the Doctor, Amy and Rory as much as I would have liked in Series 5 and 6, since I found their characters well-developed in Series 7. But this season of ‘Doctor Who’ would also introduce a new companion and I was looking forward to seeing her (more on this later).
The first episode of Series 7 is ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ by Steven Moffat. It features the return of the Daleks who are in their dignified glory. It is such a shame that the conclusion of this episode is weak.
I first saw this episode when I came back on my holiday in Scotland 2012 and watched it on BBC iPlayer. I actually saw ‘Series 7 – Part 1’ when it finished and the five episodes were released on DVD.
The Daleks return in their proper design compared to how they looked in ‘Victory of the Daleks’. There’s also the return of some classic Daleks e.g. the Special Weapons Dalek from ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’.
Sadly for me, there was little time and light to see these classic Daleks in full view. There were some references made to the Doctor’s previous Dalek encounters including Kembel, Spiridon and Vulcan.
The Doctor responds to a summons on Skaro – the dead planet of the Daleks. The summons is from a woman who needs the Doctor’s help. But this turns out to be a trap, as the Doctor gets kidnapped.
And it’s not just the Doctor! Amy and Rory get kidnapped too! The trio find themselves on the Dalek ship that contains the Parliament of the Daleks. They’re soon sent on a mission to the Dalek Asylum.
The Daleks send the Doctor; Amy and Rory to the Dalek Asylum to shut it down and destroy it. They want the Doctor (who they now call their Predator) to do this as they can’t shut it down themselves.
This episode features a surprise appearance of Jenna-Louise Coleman who is the new ‘Doctor Who’ companion for the 2013 series. Here she guest stars as Oswin Oswald and I was delighted to see her.
Oswin Oswald is a junior manager aboard the spaceship Alaska that crash-landed on the Dalek Asylum planet. She contacts the Doctor and guides him, Amy and Rory in shutting down the Asylum.
It seems Oswin is a genius and enjoys making soufflés, to which the Doctor calls her ‘Souffle Girl’. But once the Doctor finds her, it transpires that she’s a human converted into a Dalek and living a dream.
Oswin eventually lets the Doctor go and allows him and his companions to escape before she blows up the Dalek Asylum. Oswin’s last words to the Doctor are, “Run you clever boy, and remember!”
Amy and Rory are facing a personal crisis in their lives, since they’re on their way to getting divorced. This shocked me when I saw this and I wondered what had caused this to happen so unexpectedly.
It turns out Amy can’t have children with Rory because of what happened on Demons’ Run in ‘A Good Man Goes To War’. Eventually Amy and Rory make up and their married life is restored again.
The episode’s end was rather rushed and a bit weak, as the Daleks in the Dalek Parliament don’t remember who the Doctor is anymore. It’s something Oswin did, but this left me cheated at the end.
‘Asylum of the Daleks’ is not a bad episode by Steven Moffat. It’s not the best Dalek story, but it improves on ‘Victory’. It’s lovely to see Jenna Coleman and I was looking forward to see more of her.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 2 of ‘Series 7 – Part 1’, there’s ‘Pond Life’, a series of five mini-episodes by Chris Chibnall that focuses on Amy and Rory’s life. There’s also the ‘Asylum of the Daleks Prequel’ by Steven Moffatt where the Doctor gets summoned off to Skaro.
On Disc 1 of ‘The Complete Series 7’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there is the ‘Life Cycle of a Dalek’ behind-the-scenes featurette. The ‘Asylum of the Daleks Prequel’ can also be found on Disc 1 and ‘Pond Life’ can also be found on Disc 2.
‘Asylum of the Daleks’ rating – 7/10
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