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Reviews & Ratings for
"Doctor Who" Asylum of the Daleks (2012)

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27 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

More Daleks Than You Can Shake a Plunger At

10/10
Author: boblipton from New York City
1 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Doctor Who begins the seventh season of its revival with a Dalek special. These favorite Doctor Who monsters, which the NEW YORK TIMES has recently called "pestilential pepper pots", were introduced in the second serial of the classic show and were an immediate British hit, spawning sequels, movies, comics, books, magazines and even a novelty seasonal song, "I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With a Dalek".

Why were they so popular? Unlike most sf monsters of the era, they were not humans gone horrendously astray, giant insects nor someone dressed up in a bad costume. Between their unearthly shapes, electronic voices and their inhuman way of moving, they were obviously alien.

In addition, a Dalek's simple credo of dealing with every foe -- "Exterminate!" -- gives science fiction a metaphor to hang its emotional hat on. One does not have to worry about subtleties when dealing with Daleks. It is you or them. Stop and worry about their unhappy youths or sex lives and you're dead. How could you not love them? Unless, of course, you're another Dalek. That's what this story considers, in the context of the Doctor's increasingly complex and lonely existence. More than that, it's a study in shared insanity and the circular nature of fear, hatred and, indeed, love.

Although the Daleks and their relationship with the Doctor is the major theme of this episode, series runner Steven Moffat has other fish to fry. The disintegrating relationships between the Doctor's companions are on view. A long story arc about the question "Doctor Who?" is advanced.

This season of Doctor Who is extending into 2013 and the vast arcs that lend texture to the series have to make room for other issues. Amy Pond and Rory Williams are scheduled to leave the show this year and a new companion was scheduled to be introduced at Christmas -- and shows up in this episode -- nice surprise, everyone!

Some of these issues have been set up as far back as 2006 with the episode "The Girl in the Fireplace" and some of the resolutions in 2010's "The Hungry Earth". A promo for the show notes that "Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end -- but not necessarily in that order. Moffat's patience in making the whole show fit together like an ornate ormolu clock is very much in evidence here.

This episode is a brilliant study in terror and hope that stretches back to 1963 and, I hope, far into the future. I look forward to the next one.

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33 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Genuinely Good

10/10
Author: alison-465-684768 from Great Malvern, UK
1 September 2012

No Spoilers - but an honest review.

I really had personal doubts as to whether I wanted to continue watching Doctor Who when I saw that Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were being pushed out of the show (so I felt).

All I can say to anyone who reads this and hasn't watched this episode yet - DON'T miss it! It really is brilliant, and I am so glad that I gave it a chance. It was exciting, (after a somewhat startling beginning) - interesting writing and a lovely twist.

I shall be interested to see how the writers develop the plots of the next few weeks - but personally, I WILL miss both Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill and the contribution they have made to Doctor Who.

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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A fine start to the seventh series

9/10
Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
2 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode gets off to an interesting start with the Doctor being lured to Skaro by a woman who has somehow been turned into a Dalek; once captured he is soon joined by recently divorced Amy and Rory on a ship that is the Parliament of the Daleks. The Doctors is expecting them to kill him but instead they have a job for him and his two companions! They have been receiving a strange signal from the Asylum of the Daleks... a planet where the insane Daleks are sent, and they expect the Doctor to go down and deactivate the planetary defence shield so they can destroy the planet and everything on it.

The signal is coming from Oswin Oswald; the sole survivor of the space ship Alaska. She has been there for a year and understandable hopes to be rescued. Before going down to the planet The Doctor, Amy and Rory are given special bracelets that will prevent them from being turned into servants of the Daleks by the planets Nano-shield; they soon encounter a problem though when Amy loses hers; it is now just a matter of time before she becomes a threat to her friends. Oswin surprises the Doctor with her ability to hack into the Daleks' systems; something even he couldn't do; perhaps she really is the genius she claims to be or perhaps there is an altogether more sinister reason!

I'll admit that I was unsure about this episode when it started; for a start why on Earth were Amy and Rory getting a divorce? That seemed to come out of nowhere; thankfully it was explained later in a way that was surprisingly emotional. It was great to see the Daleks again; particularly the ones on the planet the fact that they were almost broken seemed to make them creepier than the ones we usually see. The three main stars did well; having worked together for some time now they have developed a good dynamic. Guest star Jenna-Louise Coleman did a great job as Oswin; I thought the 'genius hacker' character might be a bad idea as it could be rather cliché but she was fun and when we learnt the truth about her character it was a genuine surprise and quite tragic. While this wasn't a comedy episode it did have some genuinely funny moments; the one I liked best was when a Dalek, struggling to speak, appeared to be saying 'egg'; much to Rory's confusion... it turned out of course that it was trying to say 'Exterminate'!

If the rest of the seventh series approaches being as good as this then I shall be happy.

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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

A bit over-hyped...

8/10
Author: stomper131313 from United States
14 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

... by fandom with the whole 'every Dalek since 1963' rumours running around the internet. Given the scope of the episode, it is forgivable. But having said that, there was no way in the world that this episode could live up to that hype and anticipation.

What was good about the episode? Daleks, Daleks, and more Daleks. More Daleks than you can shake a sonic screwdriver at. Including one that belongs to former show runner Russell T Davies and the Special Weapons Dalek (although I must have blinked and missed it) from the Sylvester McCoy era. And, of course, Steven Moffatt's new Dalek paradigm.

Interesting twists? Yes! And at the top of the list is the reason for the friction in and eventual 'ending' of Amy and Rory's marriage, the soufflé girl turning out to the the doctor's new companion (and what she actually turns out to be). Many claim to have seen that denouement coming from a mile away, but I will frankly admit I did not see either coming and was surprised to see the credits featuring Jenna-Louise Coleman as a cast member.

Steven Moffat promised to 'reboot' the Daleks and seeing what he did in this episode, you can confidently say that he has started. Where is going with the 'new' Daleks, no one knows (Maybe not even Mr. Moffat, but I seriously doubt it). And advancing one of the carryover story arcs about the 'first question' by giving his new Daleks a lobotomy and wiping their memory cores of the Doctor.

All in all a fun episode that seem to have a couple of nits that are being picked at by Whovians familiar with the Dalek back-story.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A very well produced story

9/10
Author: pjgs200 from United States
28 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Asylum of the Daleks is one hell of a way to kick of a series of Doctor Who. Visually, it's one of the most stunning episodes yet- the direction was really impressive. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are easily the highlight actors in this episode, and the guest performances were creepy. Oswin was great; her banter with the Doctor and Rory was funny and clever, and the end reveal where we learn that she is a Dalek could not have been done any better- Matt Smith and Coleman's acting was great, and Nicholas Briggs' Dalek voice was excellent- The directing and music worked together flawlessly to create a genuinely chilling twist.

The Amy and Rory divorce plot felt pretty contrived, but the rest of the installment really made up for that. The scene where Rory tells Amy he has always loved her more could have easily been the most cringe-worthy/cheesy moment of the episode, but Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill knocked it out of the park with their performances. Coupled with the excellent directing and writing, that scene turned out to be a standout sequence in an already great episode.

The production values were good, the directing was fantastic, the tone fit the story perfectly and didn't vary too much, and the acting was great! Asylum of the Daleks is an excellent way to kick off a new series, and a story that makes me proud to watch Doctor Who.

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29 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

The Ice Box Effect

7/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
13 September 2012

I could say I was really looking forward to the seventh season of NuWho but that would make me a liar . For many people the first of September 2012 was a date much anticipated as the start of a new series of DOCTOR WHO . . I spent that date wasting money on drinks with a bar girl in Pokhara . Nevertheless I did take some interest in what was happening back in the UK and emailed my friend Ange asking her what she thought of the new series of the Steven Moffat produced children's show masquerading as DOCTOR WHO . Ange shared my opinion that DOCTOR WHO is a children's show but that the opening episode Asylum Of The Daleks is a total belter . Having just watched the episode I do agree that it has a dramatic impact . Alas however as I type this the flaws are becoming more and more obvious

It was Alfred Hitchcock who used the expression " The ice box effect " . By this he meant that you watch and are compelled by a movie then when you go to the refrigerator , get a beer , open the can you're struck by how the plot falls apart when you give it any analytical thought . Asylum is a very good example of this

Lets ignore the illogical continuity like the parliament of the Daleks, after all why should metallic fascists need a parliament since parliaments are the foundation stones of all democracies . Likewise why have an asylum in the first place since Daleks are quick enough to exterminate any type of dissident Dalek as seen in stories like Planet Of The Daleks . In other words if neither the parliament or the asylum existed then we wouldn't have a story so as I said ignore these two concepts . What you can't ignore is how much of the plotting remains unexplained . What is the point of the plot in the first place ? Daleks can destroy whole planets as seen in both classic and NuWho so why'd they need the Doctor to do their dirty work ? Because if they didn't there wouldn't be a story ? Why do the asylum Daleks set a trap for the Doctor if they're not expecting him ? Because if they didn't there wouldn't be a story . Why does a character not realise they're a Dalek ? Because if they did there wouldn't .... Can you see where this is heading . Contrived writing disguised as mind blowing clever cerebral writing but not clever enough I'm afraid even though it is miles better than most of the stuff that's been served up to us in the last couple of years since RTD left

There might be a clever plot twist involving the new companion Oswin but I'm afraid this will be leading to more timey wimey nonsense from Moffat at a later date . Worse she speaks exactly like every generic female Moffat has created all the way back to PRESS GANG . I take it Moffat has been wasting his life writing not very good scripts instead of going out meeting girls . If you're reading this Steven please buy buy two plane tickets to Nepal so I can show what a real woman sounds like

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A beast of a Dalek story

10/10
Author: Paul Evans from Swansea, United Kingdom
7 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Daleks capture the Doctor, Amy and Rory, and set them a task. They must go down to the Dalek asylum, a hostile devilish planet and destroy it, wiping out all the mad and deranged Daleks that have been placed there. It's a huge challenge as the Asylum contains Daleks the Doctor has encountered in the past from Spirdon, Kembel, Aridius, Vulcan and Exxilon. They aren't left totally to their own devices, the enigma that is Soufflé girl, Oswin Oswald helps out, using her technical abilities to hack Dalek technology.

I've been quite critical of some of the Dalek stories. There are arguments for classing this as one of the best, they are brilliantly used, back to being the intelligent metal meanies from Skaro.

A brilliant Amy story, best Karen Gillan has been for a few episodes, Rory as always is on top form.

We knew we were going to see more of Oswin, she made a big impression.

Some outstanding bits in this one, Rory trapped with daleks of all kinds, was so good to see renegade Daleks, Special Weapons, and also good to see a battered teletubby dalek, classic line 'eggs, eggs, eggs,' true menace. I love the Doctor's walk through intensive care, dalek survivors from Masterplan, Power, death to etc, it was a nice touch, traditional Daleks would have been nice.

I think Asylum is a wonderful episode, clever, witty, intriguing, sad, entertaining. There are some wonderful references to the show's history. A brilliant episode. 10/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The best Dalek episode since Season 1

8/10
Author: gridoon2016
11 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Daleks, the Doctor's most iconic enemies, had grown a bit rusty by the year 2012 ("Victory Of The Daleks" and "Daleks In Manhattan" being among the weakest episodes of their respective seasons), but "Asylum Of The Daleks" shows that there is still some life in the old metal. This is one of the most cinematic episodes (directed by the same man who made the superb "Girl Who Waited"); the introductory sequences, one on planet Skaro and one inside the Parliament of the Daleks, are visually stunning, and there are some extra-creepy scenes as well, like the attack of the reanimated-skeletons-Dalek-puppets, or the scene where Rory is in a room full of dormant Daleks who are slowly starting to wake up. There is also one of the most epic moments of the series, when Rory asks "Who killed all the Daleks?" and the Doctor responds "Who do you think?". Series newcomer Jenna Coleman makes an impressive debut, and the final twist is somewhat illogical but still effective. *** out of 4.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Good, but...

8/10
Author: laura-bonaventura1 from Germany
25 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

8/10 for just one thing: I love the Daleks, you guys can get tired of them, as much as you like, I never will. But why a parliament? They are basically an army of killers in a metallic suit, they EX-TER-MI-NA-TE every inferior species (except for the Doctor, 'cause they're also the kings of procrastination), I can accept everything from them, not a parliament. Too much Star Wars in here! Besides this huge mistake it wasn't a bad episode, the Rory-Amy moments were sweet, but not pathetic. Oswin Oswald story is kinda interesting, I know she's gonna be the Doctor's companion Clara so I'm afraid Moffat has in mind a boring, non-sense, paradoxical plot for her, as he did for River Song. I'll see. It's a good start for the season, I'm genuinely convinced it's hard to get worse after season 5 and 6, hopefully I'm not wrong.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Remove the Daleks and this episode may be OK!

4/10
Author: Nigel Robinson
23 December 2014

Oh Dear, how can people call this the best episode in any way, it's not the best Steven Moffat episode, it's not the best Dalek episode, it's not even the best season opener, this is an abysmal attempt at creating a tense, action packed story that falls on it's face in the first 10-seconds, when the Doctor visits Skaro, the daleks' home planet, you know, the one he destroyed in Remembrance of the Daleks, whoops, but the biggest problem here is the Daleks, if you were to take them out of this story and replace them with any other powerful enemy, like the Cybermen for example, then you would have the exact same story. But no, the big thing about the daleks in this story is that every dalek in the BBC storerooms is being put into this episode, apparently, I barely saw any old series daleks at all, and just mentioning that a new series dalek once fought the Doctor on Spiridon, or Exxilon, is not satisfying, I wanted to see some old series designs, not to mention the story makes absolutely no scene. The Daleks tell the Doctor to go into the Asylum to switch off the forcefield, because it can apparently only be turned off from the inside, yeah let me think about that for a sec, not to mention that the President of the Daleks claims that Daleks must not destroy each other as they find that offensive, rubbish, just look at Destiny of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks, Evolution of the Daleks, Victory of the Daleks, and while this also shows the amount of imagination that goes into the titles of Daleks stories, if you watch any of these episodes, you'll see that this line is absolute Pony. But still the direction is very atmospheric, the acting is superb, the music is tense and the whole episode runs very smoothly, just a shame about Moffat's terrible script! Not the worst Moffat story, it's certainly better than Let's Kill Hitler, but still one of the worst!

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