Asylum of the Daleks

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Asylum of the Daleks

A Doctor Who discussion for longtime fans and newbies, too!

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My biggest gripe with the episode... well at least the first part of it... a Zombie Episode with Daleks is still just a Zombie Episode, nice try Dr. Who writing team.

Though I did love the Oswin plot twist at the end, it was particularly interesting and creepy.

We most recently saw Davros in The Stolen Earth and Journey's End (2008), where he was accused of betraying the Daleks because if there's one constant in the Whoniverse, it's that Davros' arrogant assertions that he's amazingtown don't mesh well with the Daleks' inability to appreciate nuance.

I thought that was more because the Doctor-Donna screwed with the reality bomb and the Supreme Dalek blamed Davros despite his protests that the Doctor did it.

Oswin is that most rare of characters on Doctor Who - one who can not only keep up with the Doctor, but actually surpass him in some ways.

Yeah Oswin was a genius and that's why she was turned into a Dalek, but 80% of the things she does in the Asylum are based around her being able to be able to control Dalek-tech, which we discover she is only able to do because she is connected to the Daleks by being one. She may be smart but so was Captain Jack. The Doctor is definitely smart but he also seems so much smarter compared to the humans he picks up that know jack-squat about science or time travel. He's shown before that he dislikes anyone whose intellect rivals his own (Jack, River, the Master because he is as smart as him and that intelligence is used against him) but 21st century humans are so ignorant to the wider universe that he can lord it over them with what he knows because he can show off!

I liked the Doctor's pure fear at being trapped against the Daleks. He may have beaten them at nearly every turn but they can still kill him when he is unprepared.

I think the "Doctor Who?" question is an interesting one. Moffat talked pre-series 6 saying that there was something in the show that "had always been there" that would be shown to shape and/or change the Doctor's life. There's no way they'll end this story arc quickly, we still haven't had answers to the end of series 5[1] yet and it's been 2 years! This is a much bigger question that has been teased throughout the entire history of the show and I don't see being given a one line answer any time soon.

[1] Who controlled the TARDIS? Why did it explode at that specific date? What was the being who destroyed the TARDIS hoping to achieve? etc

I didn't realize that those Daleks that trapped him were from the old series. I figured they were some of the few that (Somehow always) managed to escape all the other times he's blown them to bits, like that last Cult of Skaro dalek did.

And while the "Doctor Who?" bit is a pretty cheesy indulgence, I still thought it was cute. I hope it means the Daleks will be more prominent in the series again after their complete absence last season. Goofy as they may seem, they're still my favorite villians on the show.

Was the whole Oswin thing really a "twist" though?

Not to sound like one of those "Pfft, I figured that out right away" kinda guys but the Doctor's questions, Oswin's vague as hell answers to said questions, the dalek-guy at saying he forgot that he died or something like that and the fact that Oswin seemed to have total control over the facility really made it obvious that she'd be a Dalek. Although I'll concede that I expected her to be a human/dalek thingy rather than a full blown Dalek.

I also think that they tried to do too much with Rory and Amy in the one episode. They went from "Getting divorced" to "Rory still loves Amy" to "Amy still loves Rory too" to "Amy can't have babies which is why she left" to "We're back together again" in the space of what, 30 minutes? Maybe it's just me but it felt like a rushed solution.

Not to say I didn't like the episode. Basically, if I didn't bring it up in this post then I loved it.

Oh, and as much as Matt Smith is my favourite Doctor of the new series, the man just can't pull off "Tough Doctor". I happen to think he does a very good "Angry Doctor" but that whole "Who do you think?" line had me cringing a little bit.

Wait... Oswin's the new companion?

I'm suddenly envisioning the Doctor plucking her out of her timeline before she crashes but, eventually and unfortunately, ultimately being what causes her ship to crash into the asylum...

Unlike some of the people in the comments above me, I actually didn't really like the whole "Doctor Who?" line. I didn't mind it in last season's finale; for me, that worked because it seemed to be a one-off thing, implying that "The Question" was related to who the doctor is/was. If Moffatt is planning on making that line a central theme of the season, I will be sad indeed.

It will be interesting to note *why* Oswin was locked up in the room. Was it because she was deemed more insane than all the others for refusing to acknowledge being a Dalek? If not, then why lock her up with all "Doctor-survivor" Daleks? Had she met the Doctor before getting changed, and if so, why didn't she remember him?

SO MANY QUESTIONS!

Of course, none of the Daleks threatening the Doctor at Oswin's door had blasters, so what was there to be scared of? That bugged me rather a lot.

Wilcroft:
It will be interesting to note *why* Oswin was locked up in the room. Was it because she was deemed more insane than all the others for refusing to acknowledge being a Dalek? If not, then why lock her up with all "Doctor-survivor" Daleks? Had she met the Doctor before getting changed, and if so, why didn't she remember him?

SO MANY QUESTIONS!

I would assume it was, as you said, because while she is a genius and thus good Dalek material, she refused to give up her humanity.
I think the bigger question is how is the Doctor going to save Oswin when she becomes his companion without screwing with what she did to the Daleks. Oswin said herself that the Daleks have grown stronger in fear of the Doctor, so it's not just his own security against the Daleks the the Doctor would sacrifice by saving Oswin pre-Alaska but the entire universe. While the Daleks may still advance and exterminate, they won't do it to combat the Doctor directly, unless saving Oswin resets what she did, which would be a pointless waste of an episode and an Intersting universe shift she created.

I'm a huge fan of the Classic Series (owning a considerable collection), and I loved the New Series up until Moffat took up the reigns of showrunner; although Series 5 did have redeeming features. It probably won't surprise anyone to say I think this episode sucked hard. It's just another example of the populist takeover and pandering to idiots that the show seems to enjoy so much these days.

I'd talk about the huge plotholes, the boring and unlike-able characters, the raping of lore, and the odious Dalek lady if I had more time and were less tired. That isn't currently the case, though. But I will name my biggest grievance; I'm sick of all the female companions being sassy, pretty, intelligent and young. Amy and Oswin are just annoying bitchy/quirky archetypes that aren't really interesting; more annoying in that they try to act smarter than the Doctor.

TimeLord:

Wilcroft:
It will be interesting to note *why* Oswin was locked up in the room. Was it because she was deemed more insane than all the others for refusing to acknowledge being a Dalek? If not, then why lock her up with all "Doctor-survivor" Daleks? Had she met the Doctor before getting changed, and if so, why didn't she remember him?

SO MANY QUESTIONS!

I would assume it was, as you said, because while she is a genius and thus good Dalek material, she refused to give up her humanity.
I think the bigger question is how is the Doctor going to save Oswin when she becomes his companion without screwing with what she did to the Daleks. Oswin said herself that the Daleks have grown stronger in fear of the Doctor, so it's not just his own security against the Daleks the the Doctor would sacrifice by saving Oswin pre-Alaska but the entire universe. While the Daleks may still advance and exterminate, they won't do it to combat the Doctor directly, unless saving Oswin resets what she did, which would be a pointless waste of an episode and an Intersting universe shift she created.

I think it's hasty to assume that it is Oswin, per se, who becomes the companion, and not just the actress playing someone else. When we saw Lalla Ward, for example, she wasn't Romana.

Susan Arendt:
Of course, none of the Daleks threatening the Doctor at Oswin's door had blasters, so what was there to be scared of? That bugged me rather a lot.

The lone defenceless Dalek in 'Dalek' suffocated its torturer to death with it's plunger arm and the Cult of Skaro used it to drain the life and memories out of the scientist in Torchwood tower.

Also you've got this iconic image of the Daleks. Maybe Moffat was paying homage to it?

image

TimeLord:

Susan Arendt:
Of course, none of the Daleks threatening the Doctor at Oswin's door had blasters, so what was there to be scared of? That bugged me rather a lot.

The lone defenceless Dalek in 'Dalek' suffocated its torturer to death with it's plunger arm and the Cult of Skaro used it to drain the life and memories out of the scientist in Torchwood tower.

Also you've got this iconic image of the Daleks. Maybe Moffat was paying homage to it?

image

Hmm...perhaps. Though it's worth noting that The Doctor has dodged past Daleks by putting his hat on their eyestalk, too. Bit weaksauce, is all I'm saying.

Susan Arendt:

TimeLord:

Wilcroft:
It will be interesting to note *why* Oswin was locked up in the room. Was it because she was deemed more insane than all the others for refusing to acknowledge being a Dalek? If not, then why lock her up with all "Doctor-survivor" Daleks? Had she met the Doctor before getting changed, and if so, why didn't she remember him?

SO MANY QUESTIONS!

I would assume it was, as you said, because while she is a genius and thus good Dalek material, she refused to give up her humanity.
I think the bigger question is how is the Doctor going to save Oswin when she becomes his companion without screwing with what she did to the Daleks. Oswin said herself that the Daleks have grown stronger in fear of the Doctor, so it's not just his own security against the Daleks the the Doctor would sacrifice by saving Oswin pre-Alaska but the entire universe. While the Daleks may still advance and exterminate, they won't do it to combat the Doctor directly, unless saving Oswin resets what she did, which would be a pointless waste of an episode and an Intersting universe shift she created.

I think it's hasty to assume that it is Oswin, per se, who becomes the companion, and not just the actress playing someone else. When we saw Lalla Ward, for example, she wasn't Romana.

True and Karen Gillan played a bit part in 'Fires of Pompeii' before becoming the companion. But that was years apart and it's literally 3 months until the Doctor gets a new companion. It wouldn't make sense to me to use the same actor for two quite large parts in the same series. But then again who knows what goes through Moffat's mind!

I enjoyed the "it is offensive to us" spiel from the Daleks about destroying 'beautiful' objects of such hatred (not as a personal concept, just as a further addition to the Daleks' character). I'm not a fan of the slide in depiction from total warrior race to Saturday morning cartoon villians, so something that gave them a bit more venom was appreciated.

The killer-line of the episode was "Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you." directed at the Doctor...and then it was just left hanging there, what was with that?

TimeLord:

Susan Arendt:

I think it's hasty to assume that it is Oswin, per se, who becomes the companion, and not just the actress playing someone else. When we saw Lalla Ward, for example, she wasn't Romana.

True and Karen Gillan played a bit part in 'Fires of Pompeii' before becoming the companion. But that was years apart and it's literally 3 months until the Doctor gets a new companion. It wouldn't make sense to me to use the same actor for two quite large parts in the same series. But then again who knows what goes through Moffat's mind!

You can add Freema Agyeman to the whole 'in Doctor Who before playing a companion character' list too.

I think what we are all forgetting is that the SPECIAL WEAPONS DALEK showed up for a second, and that's awesome.

image

As for the episode itself, I really enjoyed it. It really felt like an old school episode, you know? Doctor gets roped into doing something, has to "fight" through a load of Daleks, then does. Simple.

TimeLord:

Susan Arendt:

TimeLord:

I would assume it was, as you said, because while she is a genius and thus good Dalek material, she refused to give up her humanity.
I think the bigger question is how is the Doctor going to save Oswin when she becomes his companion without screwing with what she did to the Daleks. Oswin said herself that the Daleks have grown stronger in fear of the Doctor, so it's not just his own security against the Daleks the the Doctor would sacrifice by saving Oswin pre-Alaska but the entire universe. While the Daleks may still advance and exterminate, they won't do it to combat the Doctor directly, unless saving Oswin resets what she did, which would be a pointless waste of an episode and an Intersting universe shift she created.

I think it's hasty to assume that it is Oswin, per se, who becomes the companion, and not just the actress playing someone else. When we saw Lalla Ward, for example, she wasn't Romana.

True and Karen Gillan played a bit part in 'Fires of Pompeii' before becoming the companion. But that was years apart and it's literally 3 months until the Doctor gets a new companion. It wouldn't make sense to me to use the same actor for two quite large parts in the same series. But then again who knows what goes through Moffat's mind!

Now, be fair. Lalla Ward was literally Princess Astra in one episode and Romana in the next. :)

IndianaJonny:
I enjoyed the "it is offensive to us" spiel from the Daleks about destroying 'beautiful' objects of such hatred (not as a personal concept, just as a further addition to the Daleks' character). I'm not a fan of the slide in depiction from total warrior race to Saturday morning cartoon villians, so something that gave them a bit more venom was appreciated.

The killer-line of the episode was "Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you." directed at the Doctor...and then it was just left hanging there, what was with that?

They didn't want to destroy such "exquisite hatred" as they saw in the failed Daleks, they were implying that they saw something similar in The Doctor... which is of course horrifying to him.

PedroSteckecilo:

IndianaJonny:
..The killer-line of the episode was "Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you." directed at the Doctor...and then it was just left hanging there, what was with that?

They didn't want to destroy such "exquisite hatred" as they saw in the failed Daleks, they were implying that they saw something similar in The Doctor... which is of course horrifying to him.

I know! A punchy line with such weighty implications and the episode just seemed to..glaze over it and carry on - my reaction was very much in the "Wait up, he just said WHAT?!" camp.

This is one cool compendium you've got here. I am genuinely impressed might make this a regular friday evening/saturday morning read to refresh myself for the new episode.

With regards to the episode, I saw the twist coming (because I'm awesome like that) but when he asked where she got the milk from... well, I had already come up with a reasonable but unpalatable solution to that. The real question was where did the eggs come from?

Also OMG! The question has been asked... I await the fall of the eleventh... though we all know that won't happen.

Dang I don't want to spoil anything so I'll be have to read this article and the comments in exactly twelve hours! One week Australia lag.

For some reason, I just imagined Matt Smith saying;
"I have had it with these mother****ing dinosaurs, on this mother****ing spaceship!"

Overall, a good synopsis, like always; although I do have to admit that I saw the twist at the end coming; stephen moffat is getting laughably predictable, and I see him like a British M. Night Shyamalan, as the twists are one of the only things unique about his writing.

Could see the twist coming as soon as the Doctor asked where she was getting the milk/eggs.

The thing that bothered me most was the reason why Amy kicked Rory out. You've known him your entire life but INFERTILITY is the one thing you can't bring yourself to tell him?

IndianaJonny:

PedroSteckecilo:

IndianaJonny:
..The killer-line of the episode was "Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you." directed at the Doctor...and then it was just left hanging there, what was with that?

They didn't want to destroy such "exquisite hatred" as they saw in the failed Daleks, they were implying that they saw something similar in The Doctor... which is of course horrifying to him.

I know! A punchy line with such weighty implications and the episode just seemed to..glaze over it and carry on - my reaction was very much in the "Wait up, he just said WHAT?!" camp.

Well to be fair it's not exactly news
image

Susan Arendt:

TimeLord:

Susan Arendt:

I think it's hasty to assume that it is Oswin, per se, who becomes the companion, and not just the actress playing someone else. When we saw Lalla Ward, for example, she wasn't Romana.

True and Karen Gillan played a bit part in 'Fires of Pompeii' before becoming the companion. But that was years apart and it's literally 3 months until the Doctor gets a new companion. It wouldn't make sense to me to use the same actor for two quite large parts in the same series. But then again who knows what goes through Moffat's mind!

Now, be fair. Lalla Ward was literally Princess Astra in one episode and Romana in the next. :)

Fair enough I did not know that. I'm not great with Classic Who trivia :P

LavaLampBamboo:
I think what we are all forgetting is that the SPECIAL WEAPONS DALEK showed up for a second, and that's awesome.

As for the episode itself, I really enjoyed it. It really felt like an old school episode, you know? Doctor gets roped into doing something, has to "fight" through a load of Daleks, then does. Simple.

It showed up for 3 (ish) seconds, as scenery. For all they hype they threw around about "every Dalek ever in one episode" they still defaulted to reboot gold and Moffat skittles. I was hoping for some classic design Daleks from long forgotten wars with the Doctor mixed with newer styles and a Special Weapon Dalek that actually moved and talked.

TimeLord:

Susan Arendt:

TimeLord:

True and Karen Gillan played a bit part in 'Fires of Pompeii' before becoming the companion. But that was years apart and it's literally 3 months until the Doctor gets a new companion. It wouldn't make sense to me to use the same actor for two quite large parts in the same series. But then again who knows what goes through Moffat's mind!

Now, be fair. Lalla Ward was literally Princess Astra in one episode and Romana in the next. :)

Fair enough I did not know that. I'm not great with Classic Who trivia :P

The better comparison would be Freema Agyeman, who played a small part in Doomsday, and was brought back as Martha, who was the "cousin" to explain the similarity.

That all said, given that this is Moffat and everything is planned out for seasons, I would say that Oswin will be the new companion and there will be something timey-whimey. Remember that at the last moment, Oswin did a very direct look to camera after saying "Remember me". It is planned.

Good summary there. I was quite surprised when we found out that Oswin was a Dalek - though should have guessed earlier on that something was wrong - considering the map we see Oswin looking at showing the Doctors location sees him heading towards a dead end, not a downed spaceship that conveniently manages to be connnected to the asylum facility.

I do hope it does actually turn out that Oswin is the companion, though I just wonder how they would work that out. In one way, the Doctor would have to pick her up after she helps them escape from the asylum planet which wouldn't exactly be much of a time window to work in, even for the Doctor. Plus, there's the fact that even if rescued that way, she would still be a Dalek (do we think that she had actually assumed the full physical form of a Dalek under there?).

As someone else said, it could be that the Doctor meets Oswin earlier on and ends up being the one who causes her to end up on the asylum planet. Could be interesting, and if she joins the Doctor in that way, it could explain how she ended up working on a ship. There's no evidence that the Doctor and co are taken into the future in this episode and as far as I know, in the present day in the Whoniverse (sic), humans aren't zipping around the universe in spaceships. Would seem a bit of a morbid conclusion to a companions time on the show though.

Though it could also be something really cheesy I fear - the fact that the concept of remembering is used a few times in the episode (the Doctors tells Amy to "make them remember you") and is Oswins last words to the Doctor not a request that he remembers her? My memory of the dialogue isn't perfect. In a way, seems like a way to hint at a convenient Deus Ex Machina to get her out of there - hopefully I'll be wrong there...:)

DVS BSTrD:
The thing that bothered me most was the reason why Amy kicked Rory out. You've known him your entire life but INFERTILITY is the one thing you can't bring yourself to tell him?

Actually, I buy that completely. It's not as though it was news to him that she couldn't have children, so it wasn't the infertility per se that was the issue. It was the fact that she could never give him something she knows he wants, and that forcing him to give up that great want would be selfish. Also, being able to bear children is a pretty huge bit of female identity, whether you actually plan on having kids or not, so it's tough to deal with in any kind of rational way. Was she being silly? Well, obviously, given Rory's reaction, and if they'd ever talked everything out, they'd have known that ages ago. But dealing with such emotional issues - even with your spouse, even with someone you've known your whole life - is easier said than done.

Right, looking through the main article.

The Dalek colour has more import because there is (was) a hierarchy based on colour. From the movies, through to Day of the Daleks and more, there have been black Daleks and red Daleks and a Gold Dalek, with basically ranks. By the time of Remembrance, this was basically Grey vs White Daleks, and the Special Weapons Dalek (the same episode confounded the Emperor Dalek with Davros, which was silly of Ben). There has never been a Parliament of Daleks, which doesn't mesh with the idea of an Emperor Dalek anyway...

[Did Amy and Rory ever discuss adoption?]

As for the "Doctor Who?" line, I'm with Susan. However, since we know there will come a moment when the Doctor will stand on the plain of blah and the Silence will ask him that question, and the answer will destroy the universe (or something)... I think this is going to be the Bad Wolf of this season...

i assumed that oswin is the new companion. look at the whole river story line the doctor first meets her at the end of her life and then over time get to know her in reverse. so it could be something similar.

a small point there was a review in the paper and the writer told of the dire warnings handed down by the bbc not to tell the secret untill the episdoe had aired, if it was just the same actress being used twice then i doubt they would have bothered.

Susan Arendt:
This not only creates a completely new dynamic for the show (which is good, because it was getting a wee bit stale), but also setting up the unfortunate "Doctor who?" line at the end of the episode. Yeah, it echoes the end of The Wedding of River Song (2011) in which "Doctor who?" is revealed as "The first question. The question that must never be answered. The question that" the Doctor has been running from his entire life ... but it's dumb. Yeah, it's a play on the show's title, har, har. It was stupid last season and it's stupid now. I hope they drop that particular shtick soon.

Firstly, while it got milked a bit at the end of the episode, the idea of a series based around the idea of "Doctor Who?" has a lot of promise. Since Moff took over one of the underlying currents of the show has been what is The Doctor really like if you strip away the rose-tinted glasses the people of Earth have for him because he likes us. So far we've had:

The Pandorica Opens:
A Goblin, a Trickster, a Warrior. A nameless terrible thing soaked in the blood of a billion galaxeys. The most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tare down your world.

A Good Man Goes To War:
A man who can turn around an army at the very mention of his name. Doctor. The word for healer, wise man throughout the universe. We get that word from you, but if you carry on the way you are, what could that word come to mean? To the people of the Gamma Forests the word Doctor means Mighty Warrior.

The God Complex:
An ancient creature drenched in the blood of the innocent. Drifting in space through an endless shifting maze. To such a creature, death would be a gift.

In this episode we find out the Doctor doesn't keep his name among the Daleks, but instead is known as "The Predator". I wouldn't be surprised if this is the running theme throughout this series, meeting different species who all have their own name for him either from previous meetings or legend. I would also dovetail nicely into a multi-doctor episode for the 50th anniversary as a case of "We've shown you how other species see the Doctor, now how does he see himself?"

On other areas of the episode, I didn't see the twist coming, but thats due to me never looking particularly hard because in my opinion that just spoils all the fun. I'd be surprised if Oswin and the new companion arn't related in some way. This is partly due to the fact all the fans and press who saw screeners were asked to not mention who was playing Oswin until after it had aired as they wanted to keep it a secret, and partly due to Moffett being someone who plans ahead to a surprising degree.

Edit:

DVS BSTrD:

Ok, that's awesome.

Plinglebob:

In this episode we find out the Doctor doesn't keep his name among the Daleks, but instead is known as "The Predator".

That reminds me, previously (more from the books than the TV series), he was known to the Daleks as Ka Fariq Gatri, the Oncoming Storm. (I think he has a similar title in Family of Blood, but can't recall.)

Good recap, and good episode. I for one like the new Dalek design. I particularly like the deeper red colour given to the red Daleks in this series. It looks really cool.

Ok, red Daleks I'll give you, but orange, blue and yellow? No. Sorry, but no.

ritchards:

Plinglebob:

In this episode we find out the Doctor doesn't keep his name among the Daleks, but instead is known as "The Predator".

That reminds me, previously (more from the books than the TV series), he was known to the Daleks as Ka Fariq Gatri, the Oncoming Storm. (I think he has a similar title in Family of Blood, but can't recall.)

He calls himself that at the end of the episode when seeing if the Daleks remember him.

The Doctor, The Oncoming Storm, The Predator

Have to say, out of all his various names and titles, The Oncoming Storm is by far the best.

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