Back From the Asylum

September 7, 2012

Doctor Who is back for its seventh season of the new series and change is in store. It’s already been announced that the Ponds will be leaving as companions after 5 episodes, and a new companion will be joining the Doctor on his journeys. But this doesn’t appear to be the only big change coming for the nearly 50 year series.

I honestly didn’t like the way Asylum of the Daleks started, with Amy and Rory separated. It felt completely wrong. After two seasons of seeing not only their love but dedication to each other, to have them suddenly seeming to hate each other just did not sit well with me. Of course this is all resolved by the end of the episode, making the whole thing seeming really cheap. Hollywood likes to do this when a movie becomes more successful than they anticipated and have to do a sequel. Can’t have the leads together otherwise there’s no emotional story for part 2. And the reason, no matter how noble sounding,was just dumb. This is the 21st Century, there all kinds of options. And beyond that, Amy and Rory are the in-laws to the Doctor. In all time and space I’m sure he could have found a way to have helped them IF THEY HAD JUST BOTHERED TO ASK.

The other changes seem to be coming as mini reboots. We see this with the Daleks, as a simple hack changes them in ways we will not be sure of for a while. This also frees up room for the writers to create new stories with the Daleks, stories that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. I’m going to hold judgement on this until I see if/what Moffat has in mind. He never does anything without a reason, and I know this one must have one. After the River Song story last season, I can’t put my trust in him, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt for the new series.

This episode also reintroduced the question referenced at the end of last series; “The oldest question in the universe, hidden in plain sight.” I’m sure this will be another thread through the series, popping up every now and then, Like “Bad Wolf”, “Torchwood”, “John Saxton” and all the other season arching phrases that have permeated the new series. I hope it’s a question that is never answered. There are some questions that I agree must never be answered, and this is one of them.

There were some fun moments in the episode. The running commentary Amy does as the Doctor paces before the Parliament of  the Daleks was great. She has him so pegged. Amy’s fearlessness and the knock she gets about her heritage were fun too. The Daleks didn’t feel right though. They were closer to the Daleks from the first series with the 9th Doctor, than the new and improved “Skittles” Daleks introduced in the 11th Doctor’s 3rd episode Victory of the Daleks.

I’m not feeling as confident with this first episode as I did 3 years about with Matt Smith’s debut in 11th Hour.  But then I wasn’t confident after The Impossible Astronaut. That episode had nice moments but unbelievable set ups. Hopefully, this season won’t go down last season’s path.

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