This season of Doctor Who is shortened to five episode to tie into the Christmas Special. Karen Gilian and Arthur Darvill will be leaving at the end of this season and a new companion, Oswin – played by Jenna-Louise Coleman – will take over.
The first episode of the new season is Asylum Of The Daleks which joins the Doctor, Amy and Rory as they are captured and put forward by a Dalek Parliament. The Dalek Prime Minister asks that they go down into a planet filled with millions of insane rouge Daleks and release them into the universe. Once on the planet the Doctor is greeted by the surprise appearance of the new companion who helps the Doctor and his companions to blow up the Dalek planet and rescue her from her crashed ship.
This was a good first episode to the series but does suffer some major problems on reflection. We find out that Amy and Rory are now divorced due to events which happened on the episode Demons Run. This is quickly resolved though and they are reunited again by the end of the episode. The companions in this episode were hugely underplayed and unimportant to the episode. It would have been better to just have The Doctor on the planet assisted by Oswin so that fans can get used to her working with The Doctor when she takes over. Instead Moffat needed a reason to keep them in this episode so wrote in an underdeveloped plot point which changed nothing. Both Coleman and Smith played their roles brilliantly and I look forward to seeing them work together some more.
The Dalek Parliament was something which never made sense to me. The Daleks are supposed to be a race stripped of all emotion but hate and anger and are ruled by a supreme Dalek overlord.. Suddenly Steven Moffat decides that The Daleks are a Democratic race with a full parliament and an elected Prime Minister – I think this was supposed to be a metaphor towards the British Parliament. And I fail to see what possible reason the Daleks would have to vote on anything.
“Dalek Parliament has now been called to order! First order of business, Justin Beiber!”
“We will now hear from our secretary of defense! What are our plans for defeating The Doctor this time?!”
“Thank you Prime Minister! When the Doctor appears, we will yell Exterminate! and then we will Exterminate him!”
Overall I think that Asylum Of The Daleks had some interesting ideas but executed poorly with nothing really being resolved or changed. The ending was very good, however I fail to see how Moffat can write his way out of this one for the new companion taking over in the Christmas Special. And don’t just say “Time can be re-written.” But as they say, only time will tell.
Final Verdict 3/5