Doctor Who Reactions: "Asylum of the Daleks" (SPOILERS)

1)Skaro? Didn't the Seventh Doctor blow it up 25 years ago? I guess it got better.

 

2)I'm not buying the Amy/Rory divorce scenario. Not that our heroes couldn't have marital troubles, more that the  scenario as presented seems too "manufactured", too "Plot Convenience Playhouse".  It's as though our Steven said "Hmm, what's a good plot twist? I know - 'Amy and Rory have marital troubles'. But on what pretext? I know, they can't have children!"  Had they never heard of adoption? RTD handled this soap opera stuff much better. (Oooh, a fanboy milestone! Unfavorably comparing the new guy to the old guy who I used to dump on all the time!)

 

3)"The Parliament of the Daleks" - What the heck do Daleks need a Parliament for?  Surely they wouldn't bother with even the trappings of a democracy!  The Supreme Dalek consults with his Scientists, Strategists and the Eternal as he sees fit, and issues orders that the Drones carry out. No need for a Parliament!  Do they have elections? I imagine a Dalek party political broadcast:

 

Dalek Candidate: I am committed to the total extermination of all other life forms!

 

Dalek Voter: Liberal rubbish!

 

Also, I notice the Dalek Parliament seems to be all "old paradigm" Daleks.

 

4)"Save the Daleks!" "Well, this is new."

 

5)I see they've mucked about with the opening a bit. Meh.

 

6)Also - where does the Prime Minister fall in the scheme of things? I suspect Moffat of thinking "What's something new I can do with the Daleks?" without really worrying about how it's all supposed to work.

 

7)"It is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred." Nonsense - Daleks that aren't up to snuff are exterminated, they've always done that.

 

8)"Does it surprise you to know that the Daleks have a concept of beauty?" Well, yeah, considering it's not so long since Daleks were proclaiming that they had "no concept of elegance".

 

9)"You think hatred is beautiful." "Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you."  That, and you're all such colossal screw-ups.

 

10)"Predator of the Daleks" - Oooh, you're wasting a perfectly good story title, there!

 

11)"Don't be fair to the Daleks when they're firing me at a planet!"

 

12)The Daleks zombies are kind of creepy. "The Exterminating Dead"?

 

13)"Eggs!"

 

14)They made alot of noise about using the old Daleks, but they didn't make that much use of them.

 

15)"Who killed all the Daleks?" "Who do you think?"  "Who threw those pies?"

 

16)"Spiridon, Kembel, Aridius, Vulcan, Exxilon - ring any bells?"  Without looking them up:  "Planet of the Daleks", "Mission to the Unknown", "The Chase", "Power of the Daleks", "Death to the Daleks".

 

17)"You made them forget me?"  I call b.s. on two counts:

  • Count the First:  One lone prisoner locked away on an asylum somehow manages to memory wipe ALL Daleks EVERYWHERE?
  • Count the Second: Aren't the Daleks going to figure out pretty quickly that SOMETHING has been removed from their racial memory? "Hmm, we're the superior life form in the universe, but our plans have gone drastically wrong dozens of times for reasons none of us can remember?"

 

18)"Doctor Who?" Oh, dear.

 

19)You do suspect from early on that something is "off" about Souffle Girl - I didn't quite see the ending coming, I figured she'd be another Dalek puppet like the zombies were. I gather that's the new girl playing her. She seems OK.

 

Overall: A flawed but watchable story, what Moffat needs is a Terrance Dicks to whip a little logic into his scripts.

 

 

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1)Skaro? Didn't the Seventh Doctor blow it up 25 years ago? I guess it got better.

16)"Spridon, Kembel, Aridius, Vulcan, Exxilon - ring any bells?"  Without looking them up:  "Planet of the Daleks", "Misison to the Unknown", "The Chase", "Power of the Daleks", "Death to the Daleks".

 

If I was ever crazy enough to even consider trying to make sense of a Dalek timeline, this would have cured me of it.

Well, obviously, you're not as crazy as me, then, but I'll have to think about it before I update my "Daleks" thread.

Setting individual episode plots aside for a moment, the underlying story arc of the five episodes which make up the “Fall Season” concerns the relation of Amy and Rory (their relationship to the doctor and their relationship to each other). The passage of time between episodes is more noticeable in this season than it has been at any other time in the show’s history. The Ponds are unique in their role as companions, not because they are married but because they have long stretches of “real life” between adventures with the Doctor.

Watching this again last night. I couldn't help feeling how "contrived" this all is - one suspects that our Stephen came up with a great visual, then worked out a story to fit it into, like when Silver Age comics editors would come up with a cover idea, then tell the writer to fit a story to it. All writing is contrivance, to some extent, but Moffat's weakness is that his contrivance is a little too obvious sometimes.  One gets the feeling that he wanted to use all the old Daleks and/or wanted a scene where the Daleks needed the Doctor's help, and cobbled together a story to fit the scenario.  I remember Stephen King once writing that a tough but necessary thing for a writer is to be able to "kill your darlings" if need be - that is, get rid of a pet scene/gimmick/character if it doesn't serve the greater story, and I think that this may be something Moffat has trouble doing.

I have been meaning to re-watch “The Angels take Manhattan” but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Speaking of killing one’s darling, the Statue of Liberty as a Weeping Angel is one “darling that should have been euthanized early on in the process. I was only half paying attention when I watched it the first time, and when it showed up I couldn’t quite figure out exactly what it was supposed to be. (My subconscious mind rejected out of hand that it was supposed to be the Stature of Liberty.) Like you say, it’s a great visual, but it doesn’t serve the greater story.

The new series in general has been more about "fanboy moments" or the "cool visual" than the old series was. The danger of having fanboys running the show, I suppose.

In "The Angels Take Manhatten" there was a bit where the Doctor talked about why New York was a good place for them. There was a line where he said, if I caught it correctly, something about its having lots of statues for them to occupy. I took the idea to be a suggestion that they are non-physical beings that inhabit statues, but I may have misunderstood.

 

I felt the same way as Jeff about the Statue of Liberty image.

There was a line where he said, if I caught it correctly, something about its having lots of statues for them to occupy.

 

You're right, there is a line like that. If it's true, then either I misunderstood what the Angels' nature was meant to be from the beginning, or Moffat has revised his own idea of their nature. My own objections to the notion of the Statue of Liberty being an Angel are more spelled out in the thread for that episode, so I won't repeat them here.

I saw this today and my thoughts were:

  • Amy working as a model? Makes sense to me!
  • I wonder how many people thought that Amy and Rory divorcing meant her being with the Doctor? Or did that ship sail?
  • If the Daleks have a hive-mind, why do they need meetings?
  • And having a Parliament means having a hierarchy, so why would they all be in one place?
  • Why send the Ponds to the Asylum? Wouldn't they have been better use as hostages? They didn't really do anything (except fix their marriage).
  • "Spark out of your marriage? Take the Dalek Extermination Experience and rekindle your passion!"
  • Rory gets slapped a lot, doesn't he?
  • Not to be a pain, but Amy gets un-Dalek-infected...how?
  • Souffle Girl gets very important later on. A working audition, perhaps?

Souffle Girl was awfully cute. Maybe too cute--but I guess that was to serve a story point.

I thought the Rory/Amy divorce made no sense. I never believed the actors in those scenes. It just didn't seem organic to the characters they had established. And it gave the sense that without the Doctor, when left alone for a long period of time, Rory and Amy get bored with each other and drift apart. Which makes no sense with what we know about them from all the previous episodes.

The first time I saw the episode, I thought there had to be a deeper reason than what we got. The Doctor knows that it's all wrong--so I thought this was a subplot that would be developed in a future episode, but that didn't happen.

And while Karen Gillan might be a model, I didn't believe Amy as a model. She makes more sense as a children's book author (given her past).

Actually I was talking about the actress playing Souffle Girl!

There were too many Doctor/Amy moments NOT to be foreshadowing! The subplot of the Pond Divorce apparently was not previously mentioned but it gave the actors' some nice scenes.

Karen Gillan looked a little rounder on her face. Probably Amy ate better than most models! ;-)

I was talking about the actress playing Souffle Girl, as much as the character--but trying to talk about her without talking about her too much--so as not to give spoilers. I thought her performance here was not as subtle--but for a reason to do with the story at hand--she had to make a strong impression that wouldn't be forgotten.

Being Scottish, I imagine Karen Gillan eats a lot of pudding.

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