Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks

New Doctor Who! It snuck up on me a bit, hadn’t realised it was quite so soon this autumn – but found out in time. Tho it feels weird having half a series now and half a series next year, even if that is just the same as they did last time. Many spoilers ahead, read at own risk. (And kindly don’t spoil things for later episodes in comments here or facebook/G+ coz J’s extremely spoilerphobic.)

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Not a review, more rambly thoughts.

I’d managed to be almost completely unspoiled for this, so I wasn’t expecting Daleks & I’d forgotten that they’d shown pics of the new companion who arrives later in the season so I wasn’t quite as “wow” about that surprise as I think the showrunners would’ve liked 😉 Presumably it’s not been an elaborate fake-out & she actually will be the new companion later. Hopefully with (some of?) the same personality coz I quite like the idea of shaking up the Doctor/Companion dynamic a bit in New Who by having a non-21stC Earth companion & someone who considers herself as clever as him. (Yes, I know that River & to a lesser extent Jack probably fit into that category but I mean a full time longer-lasting companion.)

The plot itself was nicely creepy, I thought. Particularly when they’re first on the planet & they find the shipwreck. And with some well-done foreshadowing, like the eggs->exterminate bit.

I did like the twist about Oswin being a Dalek in one sense – once J’d reminded me she’s the next companion I really wasn’t expecting her to be converted & then exploded. But that whole side of the plot doesn’t really fit with Daleks – aren’t they all about race purity? So while I could buy into them converting people into tools & security systems (coz that’s not really a Dalek) I didn’t really buy that they would do a full conversion of anyone even a genuis. I’d think they’d be too blinkered to consider that someone of another species would be capable of being in any way as good as a Dalek. Effectively it felt Cyberman-y rather than Dalek-y.

I liked the Daleks thinking of the Doctor as “the Predator” and kidnapping him to deal with the problem they were too scared to deal with. I also liked the asylum idea & the finding hatred beautiful idea. Although perhaps I’ll not consider too closely how it fits in with previous Dalek stuff 😉

I also liked how the Daleks were made to forget the Doctor, yet more unravelling of the “Doctor is a universal celebrity” concept we’d ended up with. And because of how they were partly what they were through fear of/fighting the Doctor (but then don’t poke to closely at that, as they were genocidal pre-Doctor I thought). Though of course time travel makes that “forgetting” fairly useless longterm because he’ll just meet earlier Daleks, or given Daleks can time travel too (presumably) then earlier Daleks will tell later Daleks & the status quo will be restored.

Overall I was rather “meh” about the Amy/Rory plot, tho nice to see some sort of consequences of the stolen baby part of the plot from last season. And the bit near the start where Amy gives a running commentary on what’s going through the Doctor’s mind was rather neat.

I’m not really going to speculate about how we get that actress playing the Companion later – last season’s finale felt a bit limp to me coz I thought I’d come up with cleverer ideas to resolve the dangling threads of the season arc than we actually got on-screen. I suspect it’ll just turn out to be someone that looks like Oswin, not Oswin herself (which would be a shame in some ways).