For my first review of Rerunagade, I decided to choose a recent episode from Doctor Who because, A, I’m a massive fan, and B, this episode was horrible. Sure, this episode has many fans who loved it, but it has little amount of people who hated it. Remember, just because a lot people likes one thing doesn’t mean you will or have to like it too. I am one of those who didn’t like this episode, but it wasn’t that big of a deal to me at start, because I knew that there was something about it that rubbed me the wrong way. This is, of course, my opinion on Asylum of the Daleks.
First things first, I think I should give some of you some information about Doctor Who if you don’t know what this show is about (skip this paragraph if you already know). The main character is the Doctor, who is now close to 2,000 years old, and he is an alien called a Time Lord from the planet Galifrey. He can regenerate when he’s about die, and he can change into a different appearance when he regenerates. He travels inside of a time machine called TARDIS(Time And Relevant Dimension In Space), which is bigger on the inside, but smaller on the outside. He time travels in different locations in time and space, and he travels with one or more companions, but usually with one. He goes off into different destinations, fighting against different alien races that tries to threaten him or someone he cares about. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s get to business!
Like I just said, I wasn’t sure at first about why I didn’t like Asylum of the Daleks in the first place. I thought it was forgettable, even though Steven Moffat tried to make this as an unforgettable Dalek episode. Moffat wanted make the Daleks to be as creepy as they were before in the classic era of Doctor Who, but brought some of us into utter confusion of continuity errors that I will get into. Yes, you probably don’t tend to think, or look for, or see, or even even try to search for errors in your entertainment (aka, nip picking), but you will learn things from this.
The episode starts in the biggest plot hole this show has to offer: IN PLANET SKARO!!! For those of you who don’t know, the Dalek planet of Skaro was last seen in Remembrance of the Daleks, where it was destroyed in a supernova. Actually, I have heard, but not read, that in War of the Daleks book, the return of Skaro was explained. So maybe that wasn’t a plot hole at all. But the planet Skaro in this one looks desecrated and abandon. Why? Why go through all of the trouble by bringing back Skaro but leave it in ruins? That’s like if New York City was destroyed by a huge tsunami and finally got the funding and permission to make it livable, but do nothing to repair it. You may think I’m just nip picking, but I’m just barely getting started with the stupidity of this episode. The Doctor meets with a woman in a huge building that looks like a Dalek, saying that she escaped from a prison camp of some sort. The Doctor doesn’t believe her, because there is no one in history who ever escaped from a Dalek prison before. She then reveals herself as a woman who was then taken over by a Dalek, by revealing the Dalek lens from her forehead and Dalek gun from the palm of her right hand. I’m not sure if Steven Moffat was trying to bring back the human slave thing from Dalek Invasion of Earth, where the invading Daleks uses the captured humans to become their mind slaves.
I have no idea why the Doctor never asked who she is or anything else about her (like why she’s wearing high heels for an escape prisoner), but I will have more things to complain about than that, like what I’m about to complain about next.
The scene then follows by Amy Pond doing a photo shoot, which you would expect from seeing her advertisement on Closing Time. What you would never expect is a dark, but bad twist right away! Rory and Amy are getting a divorce! Dun-dun-DUUUUUUUUUNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!! Some people have their explanation on when Amy and Rory are getting a divorce, but I have some problems with this part. My biggest problem was that I did not see this coming when I first saw this episode. I was told, then saw later on to understand this a little more, that in the four part mini episodes Pond Life they were starting to have some issues, which had to automatically mean getting a divorce. Just because they started to have some conflict, doesn’t mean it has to be a divorce. That could be anything. It shows Rory leaving Amy in a hurry, and Amy was begging for him to stay. But that can also mean he might go after some dangerous situation with an offer that he made with the Godfather. So, no. I’m not okay with this whole divorce, and if you are thinking that this was Rory’s decision, trust me. The reveal will only get worse.
Amy and Rory are being captured by the Daleks (for some reason), along with the Doctor to, not kill them all, but to save the Daleks. The reason for why I don’t understand why Amy and Rory are being captured is because the Daleks could have captured anyone else to help the Doctor. Their decision of what they did with Skaro was stupid, their decision here is stupid, and this will get worse. I will say that the Daleks in this shot is amazing, and it was one of the things that made me want to see this episode.
As a matter in fact, if you have ever seen MrTARDISreviews of this episode, I agree with him that the production design of this episode is great. I truly love the work that was put to making this episode look good. Its just a shame that all the great sets was put into Asylum of the Daleks. The other thing that I like seeing in this episode are the Russel T. Davies Dalek designs. I always thought they looked spectacular! This place that the Doctor, Amy and Rory are in is called the Dalek Parliament, which I thought was just silly for the Daleks to have. The show never had the need to have one to begin with, so why now? Plus, if you’re going to have a Dalek parliament, then why not put it in Skaro? Anyway, the Dalek Prime Minister (no, I’m not making that up), said that there is a crash ship, who might find a way to, not only escape, but also lead the other insane Daleks on the Asylum planet to escape too. But here’s where it loses me. The only way out of the planet is free for anyone to escape. That’s right, the exit is open from the inside. If your brain cells hasn’t been dying at this moment, then there’s just something wrong with you.
The reason for why the Daleks doesn’t send any other sane Dalek to go in and take care of the problem is because they would have to encounter the insane and armed Daleks, meaning they would have to kill Daleks. They don’t do this because the Dalek Prime Minister says that would be offensive to do. …….even though they have done this numerous times in the past. The Doctor, Amy and Rory are sent on the Asylum planet, but are separated from Rory. Rory is in the bottom of the planet’s crust, which is where the insane Daleks are at, and finds one that is reactivating. The Dalek tries to say exterminate, but it starts saying ex, which makes Rory think it’s trying to say eggs. I will admit, that is funny. But then the Dalek beings to say exterminate and tries to kill Rory.
You know, the more I think about it, this planet almost reminds me of the asteroid Rura Penthe from Star Trek VI. The asylum is covered with snow, the Daleks are all underground, and there is one specific spot that you can get out of. Plus, there are two humans on the planet too. The only difference between this asylum and Rura Penthe is not that this is an asylum or that there are Daleks instead of Klingons. It’s the fact that Rura Penthe’s prisoners were all disarmed! Yeah, just about 99% of all these Daleks still have the ability to shoot. Even the only special weapons Dalek can still shoot! The Daleks later on in this episode where Clara Oswald is at are all disarmed. And don’t tell me that these Daleks can’t remove those guns and suction cups either, because they have converted human Daleks in the beginning of this episode, they have converted human Daleks in the crashed Alaska ships, and for some reason those 6-8 Daleks have their ray guns and suction cups removed, but no one was able to do the same thing to the rest of the Daleks! Was this asylum first started and run by chimps?! And about Clara Oswald in this show. I really don’t have much to say about her. She doesn’t have much of a personality other than being important, but that started to become predictable for almost all of the companions when the show first came back.
Yes, for those of you who have seen Remembrance of the Daleks, the special weapons Dalek is in this.
But it is shoved in the background, which does bring me to one of my biggest letdowns of this episode.
When I was told that the special weapons Dalek was going to be in this episode I was really looking forward to watching this. If anything, I really wanted to like this when Steven Moffat said that he tried to make this be as terrifying as the classic who Dalek stories, as well as trying to bring back some of the classic Daleks too. What I was not expecting, which does bring in a key problem, is that these Daleks he brought back were the same models that were used in the classic series. The reason for why this is a problem is because those are props that I don’t believe should be damaged, and in order to avoid any damage is not to have them do a lot. What I thought they would do, and this is a better and logical thing to do, is to replicate them. Build some new Daleks that looks like the ones from classic Who, that way you can do a massive amount of things that wouldn’t make them look like their only purpose in this episode is to sit in the background. Come on, I wanted to see the special weapons Dalek blow stuff up, and all I got was just two seconds of screen time for each classic Dalek in this episode. BIGGEST!!! WASTE!!! OF!!! THEIR!!! TIME!!!
In case if anyone who reads this and think that I’m being nip picky about this episode, I was thinking about whether or not if I would like it without thinking this much, and the answer is no. What drives me nuts about Asylum of the Daleks is that the pacing is just bad. This whole episode feels way too rushed for me that I can’t remember everything that happens in this episode. Things are happening, but anything that happens in this episode feels like it went away too fast. Shoot, even the episode feels short to me. It’s almost as if this episode ever happened.
The one thing that I have to applause this episode is the plot twist(skip to the last paragraph to avoid spoilers). I really thought that this is the only great part about this episode, because it was structured really well, and I didn’t see it coming. Throughout this whole episode, Clara was trying to make her soufflé, and keeps messing up. The Doctor keeps trying to figure out and asking her where she gets the milk. I was wondering that too, but I thought she happens to have some sort of dairy replicator, or she probably carries a cow with her in secret. If you can somehow cram in a cow in a house in Kakariko Village in Ocarina of Time, why not in her space ship?
Anyway, I thought that the plot twist of Clara being a Dalek was pretty good, and I have no complaints about it whatsoever. So, yeah. shortest paragraph on this review.
While Clara was reveal to be a Dalek, both Amy and Rory are in the teleporter room where Amy reveals that the only reason for why she divorced Rory was because she couldn’t give birth. 1: from watching Pond Life, why did it look like Rory wanted the divorce and Amy wanting to have the Doctor save their marriage? 2: Why was this a reason for a divorce? You have River Song as your daughter. You can settle for adoption. This didn’t even need to happen. 3: How is not being able to have children just shut you down for marriage? The married couple from Raising Arizona ended up doing just fine on the end of the movie with not being able to have children or adopted children either. That’s another thing, if you’re saying that a married couple who one is a cop and a criminal is better than a model and a centurian, then you’re seeing a huge problem with this relationship.
As a matter in fact, let’s take another look at Amy and Rory’s purpose of being in this episode. Note: I am not against Amy and Rory’s characters. I think they are great with each other and it is a breath of fresh air to have another married couple since Ian and Barbara, which is almost a total of 50 years. I just don’t like their role in this episode. But let’s examine their place in Asylum of the Daleks. Amy and Rory signs their divorce papers. Does that effect the story in any way? No. Amy and Rory gets captured and being taken into the Dalek Parliament. Does that effect the story in any way? No. Amy and Rory goes to the Asylum. Does that effect the story in any way? No. Amy reveals her reason for why she divorced Rory. Does that effect the story in any way? No. Was this divorce ever touched again afterwards? No. Overall, their presence in this episode is pointless, and if you took them both out, nothing about this episode would of changed.
So, after learning that dumb reason that I will never get over with, the Doctor then escapes from the teleporter. You know, the exit that can be opened from the inside of the asylum. After they get out, the Daleks stopped remembering who the Doctor was, which they somehow remembered who he was in Time of the Doctor. Amy and Rory go back home, slowly trying to forget about their divorce and this episode, and the Doctor flies away.
Like I said before, I really wanted to like this episode. I did. From the commercials that I got about this one, it looked like it had so much potential that could of made this great, and looking up the things that was going to be in this episode from some internet sources made me think that I was going to enjoy this better than what I thought. But instead, it was the opposite. I don’t have the level of thinking that Steven Moffat is the worst writer in the show’s history, because I think that belongs to Matthew Graham, writer of Fear Her. However, this is bad enough for me to say that not only is this the worst episode Steven Moffat has ever written, but this the worst Dalek story ever made. As a fan of the Daleks, I stand nothing but in complete honesty of what I just said, and I am aware that the third story in series 8 will be a Dalek story. I am hoping that the next one will be better, and I will hopefully not rant as much as I have with Asylum of the Daleks.
My final score: 1/5
If it weren’t for the plot twist or the production designs, then I could of given it a zero. But I spared it with a one, just to show that there was a tiny speck of me liking something from Asylum of the Daleks.