Doctor Who Review: Save the Daleks

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The biggest surprise of the Season 7 premiere was the unexpected appearance of the Doctor's new assistant, Clara.

Or, as she was called in "Asylum of the Daleks," Oswin Oswald. Oswin described herself as shipwrecked and being held captive. Things turned out to be quite different indeed, and only time will tell if the Oswin we met as a Dalek will be the same Clara purported to be the Doctor's future companion.

Doctor Who Scene

Frankly, it doesn't matter. How they managed to keep the lid on such a big reveal in the season premiere was pretty fantastic no matter who she turns out to be. Jenna-Louise Coleman, who reminds me a lot of a young, spunky Christina Ricci, was an incredible match for the Doctor, and I think meeting her - or a version of her or a relative or whoever she may be - will make the departure of Amy and Rory a little more tolerable when it happens.

Something I noticed straight away as the hour began was how adult Amy and Rory seemed. During the photo shoot, I didn't recognize Amy. When Rory showed with the divorce papers, I seriously considered that there were two eerily similar actors playing their roles, because they were close, and yet so different. Even the idea that Rory and Amy were no longer madly in love affected their entire being. 

Rory's lighter hair and modern styling left him almost unrecognizable, but it was the act of divorce that was truly changing the beloved characters with whom we have been through so much.

It was an interesting dichotomy to have the Ponds falling out of love and removing their emotions while they were called upon to assist the Doctor with the Daleks, who have now been somewhat humanized. On one hand, they still have the desire to exterminate, but on the other they want to be saved. To call upon their greatest enemy to save them showed desperation indeed.

To make a Dalek, you remove love and infuse anger. Even while she was being turned, Amy still couldn't hold back her love for Rory and we learned the reason she was divorcing him was because of his dream to have children. When she gave birth to Melody at Demon's Run, it left her unable to have more children, and babies won't be in her future. I hope we have a happy ending for Amy and Rory. Surely their love can survive not having children. We'll soon find out.

When Oswin Oswald, the human turned Dalek, maneuvered her talk of eggs for the souffle back to exterminate and then to tears, I teared up myself. Not only from Jenna's portrayal, but the archaic Dalek in all of it's kitschy glory, as well. It was a wonderful premiere and a great combination of the classic and modern Doctor Who phenomena. 

To quote the Dalek: Doctor WHO?! 


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (110 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I've been terrified of the daleks for years. This is the second time that the plot has made me feel empathy for a dalek.


Fantastic opener for the new series! The Amy/Rory scenes broke my heart and made me tear up. I'm going to hate to lose them, but I'm sure that Jenna-Louise Coleman will be a solid companion when her time comes.


I wouldn't be surprised to see her show up in some part in the next 4 episodes as well


Oswin preview was great. I hope she somehow does turn out to be Clara and not just a distant relative like they did with Gwen / Unquiet Dead. It would be a nice change from the usual if the Doctor found a way to save her. She doesn't need (or would want, I imagine) the memory of being a Dalek, but I hope at least her personality is unchanged.


Always loved dr who and matt smith has become my favorite. Moffit is a great writer and there are so many little stand out statements. The dalek saying they think hate is beautiful and that might be why they could never kill the doctor. How much trouble are we in from a scale of 1 to 10 rory asks. The doctor says 11, smith being 11th doctor. Etc.
I think amy's excuse for wanting a divorce was just an excuse. She missed the excitement of time travel and i wonder how they will leave, i hope they wont die. At first i thought amy was river so yeah she has matured.
Amy was my favorite companion since rose so i hated hearing that the ponds were leaving but oswin was so good i hope some version of the character will be the dr's new travel buddy.
The only problem i had with the story was the daleks. Since the shows return we hear that the daleks were gone and had reasons for their return. Here we see thousands. Why? Did the 3 new deleks remake the race? Also what did oswin do that so frightened the daleks that they needed the doctors help? to prevent a prison escape. But other than that out of 1 to 10 this episode gets an 11.


Daleks asking for the Doctor's help?..... No. Just no.


Considering that his new companion is from the Victorian era and not the current era, its far more likely that the new character will be a distant ancestor of Oswin. While its not been done exactly before in Doctor Who, Dodo Chaplet (Original series Doctor who) was a descendant of a character met earlier in Doctor Who.


Glad to have the Doctor back! Not sure I like him screaming like a little girl. I hope this is a time mismatch between Clara and the Doctor--with this kind of history already. Hang on--is Clara really River Song? That would certainly account for her confidence and sexiness. Still a great episode! I loved Amy and Rory's declarations of love. I was choking up. I am going to miss them. Hopefully they'll reappear on occasion.


I agree about Amy and Rory growing up. When they were beamed to Dalek ship, they didn´t panic, they were just there, accepting it. I think the break up was making a sense even without that Amy´s explanation. They always had problems in communication. It was obvious and only their love covered it. But since their childhood, the Doctor was always present. He influenced their relatioship since day one, they grew next to their own daughter! They never had a normal life, and travelling with the Doctor, sending them from one crisis to another, made it impossible to make an ordinary talk like "what will we have for dinner?" Even after the Doctor dropped them out, he kept coming back. So no wonder their marriage didn´t survive the normality. I am really curious about how they will go away because I doubt they can go back to their lives. They just can´t.


Good. Rory/Amy breaking up was strange. They can't adopt? Oswin reveal was great and made the plot make sense. There must be some connection between Oswin and Clara. 1) Casting announcement for Clara 2) No announcement for Oswin.

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Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 1 Quotes

I made you a souffle, but it was too beautiful to live.


You're going to fire me at a planet? That's your plan? You're going to fire me at a planet and expect me to fix it?

Doctor Who