Friday, March 15, 2013

Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks, Review pt.1: The Pre-Review

Since they chose to continue on from Doctor who episodes in the past and not completely starting fresh, this is either the 34th or 35th season we are in the middle of. This depends on whether or not you count the 2009 specials as a season and considers the 1996 movie as a "season" for the 8th Doctor. I still call it series 7, but find it fun to think about.

As the BBC have been focusing on each Doctor monthly starting at the beginning, I decided to use each month to watch episodes from those Doctors. There's something exciting about seeing a 50 year story slowly unfold before you over the course of 11 months. I'm not watching every episode, but hand picking stories that represent favorites, or each companion, or are of significance, like regeneration episodes.

But that's a different story. I'm wanting to talk about "Asylum of the Daleks", first episode of series 7. The reason I even bring up the classic episodes is because in this first half of the series, particularly in Asylum, it felt very "classic Who" to me, and other "classic fans" like myself. It's hard to put tangents into words sometimes. Forget the fact that shots and effects are so much better now, and story lines and dialog fit the here and now. At its base structure, this was Doctor Who, almost as if they were paying homage to the early years. I know I saw lights thrown up on a corridor wall in a circular fashion that reminded me of the very first encounters with the Daleks. The episode is 6 months old, so I feel no need to post a spoiler alert. We are currently at 15 days until "The Bells of Saint John" and I want to get through the first half of the season before then so here's series 7, episode one, The "Asylum of the Daleks" review.

First of all I loved the way they changed the titles each episode to fit the episode, even through the Christmas special  I wouldn't mind that continuing. In this episode the letters of Doctor Who were filled in with the spheres of a Dalek. The titles appearing and disappearing in a 'wispy' way were well described by a friend as being less offensive to the eye. To me the clouds of the vortex changing each week was fun and for me got better as they went on. Other then that, I'll talk about the titles when I review "The Snowmen."

Now, while it isn't essential to see the 5 part "Pond Life" that ran the week leading up to this episode, it does give you a good sense of the relationships between the Ponds and The Doctor and between Amy and Rory since the end of "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe." Only about a minute each, but you do see that they haven't been regularly travelling together and that Rory and Amy have split up. Oh, and of course how can you miss seeing The Doctor actually changing the light bulb atop the TARDIS? Now, I see how long this post is already, so I'm just going to give thoughts and not full story descriptions. If by some chance you haven't seen it already, do so before reading this. Well, the rest of this now.

I'm making this the pre-review. Otherwise it'll be waaaay too long. I had so much intro to do. My actual thoughts on the episode are almost all typed out and will be done today. See if your thoughts on it match up with mine, and if you could answer one or two questions I still have.

And I swear I'm still working on non Doctor Who related things to blog.

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