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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Doctor Who Review - Episode 7x01: Asylum of the Daleks

Dialogue Triumphs

Rory: "Where are we? {he sees a Dalek fleet outside—in space} So how much trouble are we in?"

The Doctor:  "How much trouble, Mr. Pond? Out of ten? Eleven."


The Doctor: "Well come on then. You've got me. What are you waiting for? At long last! It's Christmas! Here I am!" {he prepares to die}

Dalek: "Save us. You will save us."

The Doctor: "I'll what?"

Dalek: "You will save the Daleks."

Dalek Parliament: "Save the Daleks! Save the Daleks!"

The Doctor: "Well. This is new. "


Dalek Prime Minister: "It is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred."

The Doctor: "Offensive?"

Dalek Prime Minister: "Does it surprise you to know that Daleks have a concept of beauty?"

The Doctor: "I thought you'd run out of ways to make me sick. But hello again. You think hatred is beautiful?"

Prime Minister: "Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you."


The Doctor: "You're going to fire me at a planet? That's your plan? I get fired at a planet and expected to fix it?"

Rory: "In fairness that is slightly your M.O."

The Doctor: "Don't be fair to the Daleks when they're firing me at a planet! "


The Doctor: "Speaking of Rory, is there anything that you want to tell me?"

Amy: "Are we going to do this now?"

The Doctor: "Well what happened?"

Amy: "Oh, stuff! We split up, what can you do."

The Doctor: "What can I do?"

Amy: "Nothing. It's not one of those things you can fix like you fix your bow tie. Don't give me those big wet eyes, Raggedy Man. It's life. Just life, that's thing that goes on when you're not there."

The Doctor: The air all around is full of micromachines. Robots the size of molecules. Nanogenes. Now that you're unprotected you're being rewritten.

Amy: So what happens, I get one of those things sticking out of my head?

The Doctor: Physical changes come later.

Amy: Well what comes first? How does it start?

The Doctor: With your mind. Your feelings, your memories, and I'm sorry but it's started already.

Amy: How do you know?

The Doctor: Because we've had this conversation four times.

Amy: Okay, scared now.

The Doctor: Hang on to scared. Scared isn't Dalek.

 Oswin: Do you know how you make someone into a Dalek? Subtract love, add anger. Doesn't she seem a bit too angry to you?

Amy: Well. Somebody's never been to Scotland.


Rory: Amy, basic fact of our relationship is that I love you more than you love me. Which today is good news because it might just save both of our lives.

Oswin: Why do they hate you so much? They hate you so much. Why?

The Doctor: I fought them many, many times.

Oswin: We have grown stronger in fear of you.

Dialogue Disasters

Dalek: Ex- ex- ex- .

Rory: Eggs? You mean those things?

Dalek: Ex— !

Rory: I don't... I don't know what you want. Those things? Are those things eggs? {he picks one up} This? You want this?
Dalek: Ex...ter... min... ate!


Oswin: Eggs... ter... min... ate. Exterminate...

Double Entendres/Sexy Talk

Oswin: "Lovely name, Rory. First boy I ever fancied was called Rory."

Rory: "Okay."

Oswin: "Actually she was called Nina. I was going through a phase. Just flirting to keep you cheerful."


Oswin: Okay, you're safe for now. Pop your shirt off, quick as you like.

Rory: Why?

Oswin: Does there have to be a reason?


The Doctor: Identify me. Access your files. Who am I? Come on, who's your daddy.


Oswin: So. Doctor. I've been looking you up. You're all over the database. Why do the Daleks call you "the Predator".


The Doctor: What's wrong with four seconds? You can do loads in four seconds.

The Review

Has it been a hot minute since I last reviewed a Doctor Who episode on here or what???  I neglected to review 2011's Christmas Special, "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe", for which I apologize.  Instead of writing a full review of it, I think I'll just sum it up with a brief: "Meh."

"Asylum of the Daleks", written by showrunner Steven Moffat, sees the Doctor get forcibly enlisted by his oldest foe, the Daleks, to infiltrate the Dalek Asylum, a prison where injured or insane Daleks are sent to rust in obscurity forever.  The Daleks need to destroy the planet to prevent their brethren from escaping.  As extra incentive, the Daleks also kidnap Amy and Rory, who are in the middle of getting a divorce, to accompany the Doctor in this mission.  As the three navigate their way through a planet-sized mausoleum full of dusty Daleks that are just as deadly and dangerous as ever, they are aided by a mysterious woman named Oswin, who has used her genius-level hacking skills to survive for an entire year on the planet after her ship crashed there.   

It was good to see a Dalek-centric episode of Doctor Who after getting an entire seasonal break from them, especially after the disappointing season five episode, "Victory of the Daleks".  The Daleks are great in small doses, but I appreciate Moffat's attempt to downplay them in favor of introducing new enemies into the Doctor Who mythos (such as The Silence, the Weeping Angels, etc).  "Asylum of the Daleks" is an entertaining start to the seventh season, although it does regurgitate a couple of plot elements from past Doctor Who episodes, chiefly, the plot twist from "Silence in the Library", where the little girl introduced at the beginning of the episode turns out to be the main computer for the Library.  Also, the idea of the Daleks forcing the Doctor to help them is nothing new, despite his astonishment at the request - the 2nd Doctor was compelled to assist the Daleks in "The Evil of the Daleks" and the 3rd Doctor had a brief alliance with the Daleks after being stranded on an alien planet with them in "Death to the Daleks".  My point is, "Asylum of the Daleks" doesn't really explore anything new with the Daleks, except perhaps what happens when a human has too much willpower to be fully converted into a Dalek, and even that is all-too-briefly touched upon.  I would've loved to have seen The Doctor run around with a sassy, free-spirited, flirty Dalek companion, if only for an episode.  It feels like an opportunity wasted.

The subplot involving Rory and Amy's marital issues is interesting, and makes one wonder how that factors into their permanent departure from the show mid-season.  The best aspect of the episode is most certainly presentation.  Moffat has seemed to find a way to make Doctor Who even more cinematic than it already was, lending this episode an air that it is more a short movie than a television show.  I suppose that is part of Moffat's plan imbue season seven with more self-contained stories, instead of the overly intricate arcs that tend to fizzle out by the end of the season.  This is a good move, as I believe Moffat's ideas tend to work better as two-part episodes, rather than entire seasons.  Since he took over the reins, it seemed like he would occasionally bite off more than he could chew story-wise, promising incredible plot twists that don't quite satisfy.  Even though "Asylum of the Daleks" doesn't begin the season with quite as much gusto as "The Impossible Astronaut", it is still very fun and a sight for sore eyes for fans who have waited extra long for new Doctor Who.

Next week... Dinosaurs on a Spaceship...

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