Air Date: 1st September 2012
Writer: Steven Moffat
The job of a series opener is to grab our attention from the start and 'Asylum' certainly doesn't disappoint with its pre-credits sequence. This episode has been described as 'making the Daleks scary again' and I have to say it succeeds in that just from the opening five minutes. There is also a moment just post-titles that will inevitably make people ask "What the hell?"
The events of 'Pond Life', the prequel mini series, lead into our first glimpse of Amy and Rory just after the title credits and it's practically guaranteed that their actions toward each other are going to cause a few broken hearts for viewers who have watched them since their first episode in series five.
The TARDIS trio are soon reunited and are immediately in trouble (are they ever not in trouble?). The sequence in question aboard the Dalek ship sets up the plot and has some wonderfully sarcastic moments, mostly from Arthur Darvill although Karen does join in at first.
Once the actual main plot starts up properly, it seems as though the problems between Rory and Amy are skimmed over to make way for the big explodey set pieces and the surprise new character, but although they resolve the problems incredibly quickly for what is actually wrong with them, I have to say that it might not have been so good if they had decided to drag it out and put more focus on it. Doctor Who is primarily for kids after all and I don't think too many kids would want to sit around watching a married couple fight for 45 minutes.
Matt, Karen and Arthur put an incredible performance into this episode and it really does feel like their characters are still evolving and changing in the lead up to the Ponds' goodbye. The script is good for the most part, like I've mentioned above, the problems between Rory and Amy could have been handled a little better but with the time constraints it was handled well enough.
All in all, 'Asylum of the Daleks' is a good start to series seven, it's big and bold and has just enough humour to balance out the drama. If it was given more time it could have been tightened up a lot more but for a series opener it is one of the best yet.
Next Review: Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
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