Yes, I’m adding my thoughts to the already countless posts about last night’s new episode of Doctor Who. I probably should also say that spoilers abound in what I’m about to write, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you probably don’t want to read this yet (unless you’re one of those people who enjoy knowing what’s going to happen before you see something, in which case, continue reading).
As of right now, I wouldn’t place it among the best episodes, but I thought it was very good. It was the first true Steven Moffat penned Dalek episode, and I quite enjoyed his take. Instead of the Daleks out to conquer the earth (or another planet), they needed help from the Doctor. I quite enjoyed the conversation he had with the Dalek Prime Minister, and I loved the addition of the people who had been turned into Daleks (including the eerie blue eyestalk that would emerge).
Of course the huge surprise in this episode was the debut of Jenna Louise Colman, the Doctor’s next companion. She played Oswin Oswald, a human whose ship crashed into the Dalek asylum. She is the typical Steven Moffat woman: clever, flirty, witty, and of course attractive (and wearing a short skirt). I have to admit that I suspected the big plot twist at the end (that Oswin was, in fact, a Dalek), but I was expecting one of the human looking ones, not a full-blown Dalek. And, of course, I kept thinking that my suspicions must be wrong because I knew that she becomes the new companion in the Christmas special. I’m really intrigued to see how Moffat is going to pull that off. I did wonder how she was able to communicate with the Doctor and his companions using her normal voice or most of the episode, but I guess you just have to accept that somehow the conversion to a Dalek allows her to speak in her own voice inside of the Dalek shell.
I have been sad that this will be the final series of episodes with Amy and Rory, but this was a great way to introduce the new companion. She won’t be a completely new and familiar character when she takes over, and pretty much everyone is waiting to see how the Oswin that was turned into a Dalek here is connected to Clara, the new companion. Are they the same person? Are they related (like Martha and her identical cousin Adeola or Gwen and her identical ancestor Gwyneth)? It’ll be interesting to see what Moffat has in store.
This episode also allowed for some great performances from Karen Gillian and Arthur Darville. They managed to make their scenes quite touching, without disrupting the flow of the action. The one criticism I would have is the out of the blue divorce of Amy and Rory. I can go with the fact that Amy was giving him up because she thought he’d be happier with someone who could have children, but did she really think this would be a deal breaker with Rory? He waited 2,000 years outside the pandorica, just to protect her. In “The Girl Who Waited” he was willing to accept the much older Amy, who probably would not have been able to give him children either. I could see there being tension between them, and problems, but I couldn’t see how it could have gone so far as to lead to a divorce. Of course, the Doctor was able to fix their relationship, and I’m wondering if the whole Amy not being able to have children storyline will have a pay off at the end of this group of episodes.
I remember reading somewhere that Karen Gillian mentioned something about new information about Amy not raising River, so I wonder if somehow Amy and Rory will be able to go back in time and raise their daughter. Their final episode does contain the weeping angels, who, at least in Blink, sent people back to a different time. Some people have pointed out that the old Scottish woman in “The Eleventh Hour” is wearing a pin that seems to be the same as one worn by River in “Let’s Kill Hitler,” but I’m not completely convinced. It would, however, be an interesting end to the Pond’s story. Of course, I like this version because I want Amy and Rory to get a happy ending. It seems like after all they’ve been through, they deserve on. All of this is just completely ideal speculation on my part, of course.
This episode also brought up the “first question,” mentioned in last season’s finale. When the Doctor leaves the Dalek parliament behind (after Oswin has erased him from the Daleks memories), all the Daleks are left asking “Doctor who?” The Doctor himself even repeats this when he is alone in the TARDIS.
Overall, I thought it was another great first episode. Steven Moffat does a great job of opening with an episode that leaves you with more questions than it answers. It really makes you excited for the season ahead and all the possibilities. It was after reading other opinions of “Asylum of the Daleks” that I appreciated it even more. The wide variety of theories that it sparked is amazing. I love that just one episode can spark so much discussion and theories amongst Whovians. I can’t wait to see what the seeds planted in this episode blossom into.