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< 7.0 - The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
7.2 - Dinosaurs on a Spaceship >

7.1 - Asylum of the Daleks

Rating Votes
10
3%
3
9
26%
26
8
26%
26
7
19%
19
6
7%
7
5
7%
7
4
4%
4
3
4%
4
2
0%
0
1
4%
4
Average Rating
7.1
Votes
100
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
7
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: X-altReview Date: 2/5/16 7:23 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A quite polemical episode in that the big questions that came out were that (a) why would the Daleks beg the Doctor for help? The Doctor's coming was desgined as a trap and, obviously, he did not really have the choice. Then (b) how on Earth can the Daleks so easily "acquire" the Doctor, Amy and Rory. If you overlook dramatic convenience, the purpose intended was to speed up the intrigue. Then came real continuity questions, questions whose answers either give the impression that you try to justify the writer's laziness or that you are just looking for excuses, such as (c) how is that possible that Skaro was not destroyed -- as seen in "Remembrance of the Daleks"? My guess is that when you destroy a planet, you don't necessarily eradicate it from space. Plus there's the "Skaro = home" theory, as seen in a previous episode of NuWho when the Daleks claimed Earth as "New Skaro". In a sense, Moffat simply exploited a continuity hole... but from a 'literary critic' point of view, he did even more.

The point when watching "Asylum" is that all these questions are not really relevant when it comes to re-introducing the Daleks. Just like Davros, the Daleks return every single time you think they have become extinct. What I liked about this episode is that Moffat has worked -- not only in this episode in particular but in a couple of others -- on aspects of Dalek society which we tend to forget, in the same manner we tend to forget that in every society has their madmen [and madwomen - hinting at Gilbert & Gubar], and their graveyards. For a long time, history was written in relation to great men, or figures (not to say women), and nations. Ever since the 1960s, historiography has taken a new turn, and is now also interested in peripheric areas like asylums and prisons (M. Foucault), as well as graveyards. This episode is the first in a group of some others, and introduce the audience with mad Daleks. The plot twist, our dear Clara, is in this respect the most revealing case in the lot, though the least expected one -- at least for me. Similarly, Amy's delusions are also part of this inquiry leading the audience inside the mind of a Dalek (I mean that's just obvious in retrospect isn't it?).

What must be retained from this digression is the fact that this whole inquiry into Daleks' psyche is probably a means used by Moffat to de-manicheanize the Daleks. I must reckon this episode really caught me, and I liked the prequel too. The fact that the Doctor is given a mission by the Daleks annoyed me at first, for reasons explained above, but I actually believe it to be part of a Dalek's plan to talk the Doctor into doing the dirty work -- whether they are lying about the non-efficiency of their missile or not -- and, hopefully, get him killed. Involving his companions in such a plan is consistent with the Pandorica intrigue of series 5 (season 31), or with the duplicates of Tegan and Turlough in the third episode of "Resurrection of the Daleks" (season 21) so I really overlooked the first six minutes of the episodes (the exposition scene) and the rapidity with which all events took place.

As, finally, for the "soufflé girl" mystery, it is in my opinion probably one of the best ways to introduce a new companion. It must be admitted that such introduction had never been tried before in the live-action franchise and I thought it was well-done (retrospectively of course). Plus, it added to the overall quality of the plot. The characterization of the Ponds is also interesting because it shows how Amy has evolved since she was introduced, turning from a mean girl who liked to tease Rory, to an empathic and devoted adult who likes to tease Rory. Unlike Rose, she certainly did not let go of her boyfriend to match with a human flesh copy of the Doctor... and that's a big difference. Not the best Moffat's episode, but certainly a very novative one. I take discontinuities to be part of what Doctor Who has always been. The real question is: Is it a reason to add even more discontinuities? Well, that's more debatable.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
6
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/21/15 3:05 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Daleks call on the Doctor to help them solve a problem in their asylum where the really crazy Daleks live. He has to help them or Amy and Rory’s lives will be forfeit. The story deals with concepts that are interesting and exciting. The newly designed human “Dalek puppets” are really quite scary. (Although this effect would be undermined a little in Time of the Doctor.)

At the core of the story is great mystery about Oswin Oswald (aka soufflé girl) and superb acting by Matt Smith and Jenna Louise Coleman in her Doctor Who debut. This could have been a much better story if it hadn’t been for Amy and Rory’s “divorce” subplot and if the story had made better use of all the Daleks in it. Still, it’s an exciting thrill ride with some very well-produced moments. Overall, it’s a decent season opener.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
NR
Acting Rating:
NR
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
NR
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: AshantaiReview Date: 7/1/14 2:10 am
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This story has a lot of problems, but it's been the only story I've really enjoyed from the latest series (excluding specials). Clara makes an immediately positive impression and the eventual revelation is suitably shocking and is brilliantly done. A fair bit of 50th anniversary referencing goes on, which is fine too. Even Rory and Amy are good, even if they are having relationship problems it's not annoying.