On ‘Asylum of the Daleks’

OK, I didn’t want to write this, but dammit – it’s going around my head for the second night in the row, and hopefully by writing it down I’ll be able to get some sleep.

(This is a stream of consciousness first draft as it is now gone midnight and I need to be awake for work in six hours – I make no apologies).

I have a few problems with ‘Asylum of the Daleks’, While I initially tweeted that I shouldn’t worry about such things as it is ultimately a kid’s programme, unfortunately lack of sleep means I am compelled to write this.

(On the argument that Doctor Whio isn’t a kids programme, it is irrelevant to my points – if you want to argue about it you can do so here)

Rather obviously there are big spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the episode, I suggest you stop reading.

The annoying thing is – I was completely swept up in the episode, enjoyed it thoroughly, but it was only when I stopped to think about it I realised that it made very little sense indeed.

Here there be spoilers…

1) Wow, how easy is it to capture the Doctor, I’m surprised the Daleks haven’t done it before.

2) People who are controlled by the Daleks, ok, I like that idea, there is a fair amount of ‘body horror’ in this episode so I’ve no problem with it. But an eyestalk sprouting from their head? Really?

3) Parliament of the Daleks? Wasn’t it an Empire? Were those Daleks elected to represent some bit of space-time? And their leader is a Prime Minister? Next you will be telling me that they have some sort of village fete to raise money for their reelection.

4) So, there were some ‘Nu Daleks’, the brightly coloured ones with the big arses and a whole lot of older fashioned Daleks in that parliament scene. I seem to remember that in the first appearance of the day-glo Daleks exterminating the older Daleks for being ‘impure’. Did they suddenly change their mind when threatened by the parliament with censure and stripping of their expenses budget?

5) The Daleks are too scared to go down to the planet, but why not send the zombie humans instead? And they don’t want to kill the crazy Daleks because they are ‘divine’ in their hatred. But then a bit later they blow up the planet. Reckon the Dalek priests (reserved seats in the Dalek house of Lords?) were a bit pissed off at that.

6) Oswin, the girl who will be the new companion? I didn’t know that she was the new companion, so the ‘shock’ of that completely passed me by. The reason? She looks like a lot of other ‘dark haired beauties’ that populate TV, and despite seeing a picture of her new role I still couldn’t pick her out of a line-up. I fully accept that this is a problem with me and not with her, or her casting. The problem was – not knowing she is to be a new companion, I was fully expecting the big finish of her being essentially a brain in a jar.

7) For a planet full of insane Daleks, they just seemed like regular Daleks who’d let themselves run their batteries a bit flat. None of the Daleks seemed any crazier than the regular ones.

8) Deus ex machine (quite literally in this case) – Well, it makes me grind my teeth. ‘Ah – I shall erase your from their databanks, thereby saving your life’. Erm. OK. Then the crazy Daleks who were about to kill you will instead just decide to wander off because they don’t recognise you. It’s not as if the Daleks have a history of randomly exterminating people.

9) Talking of which… By removing someone from the Daleks database, they all suddenly forgot about him? But it’s not a hive mind? But they are organic creatures driving tanks? Why not reprogram them to take an interesting in flower arranging and sink clearance rather than that whole ‘extermination thing’?

10) Nice bit of unsettling dialogue ‘This is the fourth time we’ve had this conversation’ I really liked that, I liked the dancing Daleks. But then that was that – Amy remembers Rory, remembers why she thew him out of the house, etc, etc. I suppose that this was the bracelet reversing the changes wrought by the nano-machines, but it all seemed a little too pat.

11) OK, the big one – Oswin Dalek proves that she is a human who just happens to be stuck in a Dalek body, She does that by helping the Doctor, by flirting with Rory by damping down the Dalek impulses and ultimately by sacrificing herself for the Doctor and his companions. And the Doctor doesn’t lift a finger to save her. That is what annoyed me the most – the Doctor suddenly choosing to let her die because her body is that of a Dalek. Just didn’t ring right for me.

12) Wasn’t it nice of the Daleks to bring the Tardis with them when they kidnapped the doctor, low loading it onto their spaceship and sticking it in the same room as the Doctor. Jolly sporting I thought.

I think that’s it.

As I said earlier – I enjoyed the episode while I was watching it – which shows it’s real strength, the ability of it to suspend my disbelief. I also liked that it was essentially a ‘body horror’ episode for kids. zombies, and transforming bodies and the denouement of a ‘brain in a jar’. Quite a nice thing to sneak onto TV.

I think it annoys me because it could have been better, they certainly took long enough to write and make it (We are getting all of five episodes this year? Why not take a year off and give us ten? It’ll nearly be a series then). It also annoys me because I’m trying to put together a script myself and I’m going over it with a fine-tooth comb to make sure there are no plot holes, but it looks like I needn’t bother.

OK, sorry – pointless rant over.I shall regret writing this in the morning no doubt, but if it lets me sleep – I won’t be too upset.

One thought on “On ‘Asylum of the Daleks’”

  1. behind the scenes clip

    in the end, what they make needn't conform to any semblance or similitude of quality thinking, internal consistency

    the entire movie could have been a dalek going around in an eternal circle and perhaps it was?

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