THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER HEAVY
This is it, the wait is over. We finally get to enter the Asylum of the Daleks, Question is, was it worth the wait?
I have to say a resounding YES!
This episode strangely enough wasn’t about all thirty versions of the Daleks, actually they missed out 3 Emperor versions and DAMMIT, NO DAVROS! I do so hate to be wrong because I thought he would be at the heart of the asylum but twas not to be.
However, what this story did well was redefine the Daleks as a force of pure evil and the new look human Daleks were horrifying enough and added a great dimension to the legend. The Parliament was impressive enough but I just found the old Daleks were really a wasted opportunity.
Doctor Who scares, and here it did it in abundance when the shrivelled corpses became living Dalek puppets. It was almost Walking Dead in nature and totally terrifying. I can see kids all across the country freaking out as these things chase Amy and the Doctor.
One of the things this new era does is give the companions depth and here we see Amy and Rory signing divorce papers and in a truly heartwarming scene we discover that life with the Doctor took more than their daughter away from the Ponds. After the events on Demon’s Run, Amy is now sterile and has given Rory up so he can have a chance to be a father with someone else. Yet, Arthur Darvill breaks your heart when he offers to sacrifice himself to save the woman he loves, proving that even the Daleks can take away his love for his wife.
I was not a fan of Amy’s but I suddenly find myself not wanting them to go. Only 4 episodes remain and they will be gone forever. I’m not looking forward to it if they can affect me like this already. But Steven Moffat pulled a master stroke by including the new companion Oswin played by Jenna Louise Coleman this early on. She is trapped in the asylum and has been fighting Daleks off for a year while making souffles, something the Doctor finds odd.
The final reveal of who she is is a little too much like River Song’s journey, the Doctor meets her the day she dies but the fact she is a genius that has been converted into a fully fledged Dalek is a real shocker and even in this form she has a good rapport with the Doctor. How she finally joins the Doctor at Christmas is going to make interesting viewing, especially if the Doctor recognizes the name. She clicks with the ‘chin’ as she calls him and her final gift to him as she allows the asylum to be destroyed is breathtaking, especially when she wipes the Doctor from the Dalek memories.
He is truly dead in the eyes of the universe now and Matt’s last line as the Daleks screech ‘Doctor Who?’ is classic. Loved this. It went completely in a different direction than I thought and surprised and frightened throughout. Now he is free to defeat the Daleks all over again and they won’t even know what’s coming.
A great start, but I’m sure there’s more heartache to come. He’s back and it’s about time.
For more of Owen’s musing on Doctor Who and news on his own sci-fi book, The Time Warriors, go to www.thetimewarriors.co.uk