Sunday, September 2, 2012

Doctor Who, Doctor WHAT!!!!!

Doctor Who: The Asylum of the Daleks

               Doctor Who season seven debuted last night with a bang.  If you are a fan of quirky, fun, sad, hip, and intelligent television, you should be watching.  In the episode, entitled The Asylum of the Daleks, The Doctor, an ancient time traveler and the last of his kind, is summoned by his old enemies the Daleks.  Daleks are Doctor Who legends.  Creatures entombed in the robotic equivalent of a pepper shaker, they are all emotional hatred and destruction bent on destroying the human loving Doctor.  However, in the episode, they need The Doctor's help.  The very worst of the Daleks are kept on one planet, and though the Daleks hate to destroy their fellow warmongers, they ask The Doctor for help, sending him and his human companions Rory and Amy to shut down the shields of the Dalek prison so that it can be blown to pieces.
           I am a huge Who fan, but Daleks are not usually my favorite.  They shout exterminate a lot, and usually seem as threatening as the dinner table tool they resemble.  However, this episode made them truly ominous, giving them the power to transform humans into Daleks.   I will easily say it was my favorite episode where The Doctor battled them.  Rory and Amy, the beloved couple who have traveled space and time for the past two years with The Doctor added emotional resonance to the episode.  I was shocked when they revealed the two were getting a divorce, only to later reveal Amy was trying to let Rory go because she couldn't have children.  Fans know that mid season, the two will be leaving the show to be replaced by a new companion, but I am certainly glad they resolved their problems by episode's crazy good ending.  Amy and Rory have developed one of the most powerful relationships on television, and it would have been devastating for them to be apart.  (Even more devastating then their potential deaths!!!??)

         Speaking of the new companion, I was left screaming "WHAT!!!" at the television.  Jenna Louise-Coleman wasn't set to come in as the new companion Oswin until the Christmas episode, but Doctor Who never ceases to surprise.  In the episode, Oswin appeared on the Dalek prison, trapped in a ship for a year.  A fast talking genius with rapid fire humor, Oswin helps The Doctor and his friends navigate through Dalek territory.  When the time comes to destroy the planet, Oswin is the one to lower the shields.  However, the episode ends with the biggest shocker of all.  Oswin is revealed to be a fully changed Dalek.  She had crashed on the prison, but she had been turned.  Her whole little spacecraft is a fantasy she tells herself because the reality is to horrible.  (If you've seen Source Code, you know what I'm talking about).  Even though she is a Dalek, Oswin fights the urge to destroy, holding on to her humanity and saving them all.  Before The Doctor leaves, she asks him one thing.  "Remember me."  It was devastating and beautiful television.  Oswin certainly won't be forgotten by fans or The Doctor anytime soon.

      I can't wait to see the conclusion of Amy and Rory's story and to puzzle out how Owsin becomes human again so she can travel with The Doctor.  It was a blazing bolt of an episode.  If you aren't watching, don't worry.  There is a cure.  Watch this, then start at season 5.  The Doctor is in.

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