After all my preparatory work revising old Doctor Who episodes predominately featuring Daleks, I have to say that while I very much like Steven Moffat’s Asylum of the Daleks – it’s not without it’s flaws.
Firstly the Dalek PM – how the heck does he move around, or does he just sit in there permanently? Or can he teleport to a mobile unit or something? I also thought that the iDaleks saw themselves as being superior to all other Daleks, given that they were created from pure Dalek DNA (100% proof). That they just ride around in bigger shells with fancier wheels is all (I bet the mutant inside has a tiny penis).
As for the Dalek human meat puppets, this has been a concept that’s been used since the 1960s (particularly with the Dalek Invasion of Earth), so nothing new other than they’ve somehow inherited a pop-out Dalek eye (careful with that thing, you could poke somebody’s eye.. oh).
Getting back to the plot – the Daleks really are the most stupidest creatures in the universe. What society would create a (lunatic) asylum in which the force field protecting a planet can ONLY be disabled from the planet itself. For a technically superior race, they have no backup plan when things go wrong. Note I’ve said when and not if. Every single plan made by the Daleks has failed. I can’t wait to see an episode in which an irate Dalek Emperor attempts to send a Dalek Terminator back through time to bitchslap Davros at the time of the Genesis of the Daleks. What a stupid bunch of Daleks. Sigh. Okay – let’s not judge them too harshly, it’s their DNA that makes them stupid thanks to Davros. It’s all his fault. Stupid Davros.
I’m surprised that the Daleks that were left on the planet hadn’t been de-shelled and killed – regardless of what the Dalek PM said about Dalek “beauty” and the long-held belief that Daleks are perfect. That PM is clearly more insane than the Daleks that were left to rot in the asylum. He says that it’s probably the same reason the Daleks haven’t killed the Doctor yet. Poppycock. The Daleks from The Stolen Earth damn well nearly killed the Doctor through ext-erm-in-ation (and it was only due to him regenerating himself through his severed hand that stopped home becoming another Doctor).
I don’t buy the “beauty” aspect itself. I doubt we’ll see Daleks accessorising their skirts, flashing light bulbs and plungers with jewellery, or when the mutant is temporarily exposed, will find it wearing a jaunty hat and a tie any time soon. Yes, the Daleks view themselves as the superior beings – but I don’t honestly think they would continue to hold that view of defective, weak Daleks.
So I’m not buying Moffat’s explaination on this one – the Daleks would have destroyed that planet in heartbeat if they didn’t suddenly have this concept of Dalek “beauty”.
And given the events in Daleks in Manhatten/Evolution of the Daleks, why would the Daleks on the planet want to perform a complete transformation of Oswin into a fully fledged Dalek mutant? They can work out the intelligence of humans, yes, but if they had wanted her to be a perfect Dalek – and perhaps help them escape from the asylum – why would they lock her up in “intensive care”? It’s Owsin that helps everybody else escape and the planet is eventually destroyed with her and all the other Daleks with it. If it boils down to that “beauty”, that’s the worse MacGuffin I’ve heard of since the Sausage and Egg MacGuffin. Daleks in the past have been happy to blow each other up. Why stop now? Besides Oswin isn’t a pure Dalek and would have been the first in line to be destroyed once the others saw she wasn’t conforming with their ideals.
Stupid Daleks. Sorry, stupid Davros.
What I did like about this episode was the incredible performances from Karen and Arthur as Amy and Rory respectively – especially around the reason for their break-up. Demon’s Run/River Song clearly affected Amy in many ways – both mentally and physically and it’s only now that she admits what happened. Very powerful stuff and credit to all concerned.
Despite the Daleks being very silly and stupid, I still liked this episode. Elements reminded me of THe Night of the Living Daleks or Shaun of the Daleks mixed up with The Dalek in Black. Possibly a bit of A Nightmare on Skaro Street added for good measure. Or you could look at it as The Only Way is Skaro. I was kind of hoping to see mad Dalek mutants, de-shelled, scurrying/flopping/scuttling (or whatever they do with the tentacles) around, scaring the beejeezus out of everybody, but no. Pity we didn’t get to see some of the older Daleks (the Gunner Dalek) move about, but their presence were welcome nonetheless.
Next week it looks to get even sillier, but I welcome that with open nostrils.