Tuesday, 14 August 2012

"Asylum of the Daleks" - Spoiler Free Review - by David A James

Season 7 of the regenerated "Doctor Who" crashes back onto BBC One in September and this excellent opening episode wastes very no time in reintroducing the Doctor and his companions and immediately dropping them into the thick of it (where this is here defined as 'a room containing ten thousand Daleks'). 'Asylum', no ordinary Doctor-versus-the-pepperpots episode, properly re-establishes the Daleks as a force to be reckoned with rather than the depleted, desperate survivors seen in some recent outings.

There's always a lot to get through in a season opener and this one more or less manages to do everything it needs to do in 45 minutes thanks to the relative simplicity of the main plot, which allows room to explain what's been happening to the Ponds since we last saw them, and for the main drama of the episode, the relationship between the Doctor and one of the few supporting characters, to be established and explored. The Daleks are directed beautifully; although much was previously made of the appearance here of 'every Dalek', the majority of their screen time is given over to the beautiful bronze models we first saw in 2005, which ought to delight anyone unhappy with the 2010 'Paradigm' Daleks.

The effects and CGI work are top-notch throughout, there are thrills, jokes and gasps aplenty, and the episode ends with an instant-classic Doctor Who moment that owes a debt to 'The Wedding Of River Song'.

Avoid spoilers and sit tight until September 1st; it'll be worth it!