Saturday, September 01, 2012
"Doctor...Who?": Asylum of the Daleks
Tonight marked the return of Doctor Who, and the first time I've watched a regular season show at the same time as most of the other fans! (There were a few who had the privilege of watching a sneak preview last weekend, but I unfortunately missed the preview in Toronto when I had to deal with a moving emergency and made an unscheduled trip from Toronto to London, Ont to Toronto again... there's nothing like getting a text when you're in Guelph saying, "I've got you a ticket to the screening!" GROAN.)
Anyway, here was the scene in my house just before it started:
Me to husband, who was a DW fan long before I was, having grown up watching Tom Baker and several other Doctors, who was very excited about the reboot in 2005, and who watched part of S1 with me until I became a little too ravenous and started moving ahead without him, and he never actually picked up the series again (?!): "Will you please watch the season 7 premiere of Doctor Who with me?"
Husband: But I haven't watched, like, any of the other seasons.
10 minutes later...
Me: OK, I'm waiting for you to come because it's 10 minutes in and we haven't started watching and I'm getting antsy.
Him: Nah, let it run a little and then we can click through the commercials.
5 minutes later, considering a repeat of what I did in S1:
Me: Seriously, come down NOW or I'm watching without you.
Him: OK, OK, fine...
One hour later:
Him: Wow, I'll keep watching with you if every episode is that good!
I KNOW, RIGHT?!
That episode was amazing. I have to watch it again to truly take it all in, but while the "who loves the other person more?" question is become a little overdone in the Amy/Rory relationship, I still liked it in this one and it made me happy. (I haven't actually blogged on seasons 5 or 6 yet, and I really should catch up on my writing on them, but the short version is, I LOVE RORY and I don't really like Amy that much... I hope this doesn't make me truly hated, but the guy stood next to her for two thousand bloody years and she moans and gripes and whines when he doesn't do the dishes or something, like COME ON. I've always felt like the Doctor wanted her with Rory more than she wanted to be with Rory, but let's move on...)
Daleks were amazing, as they usually are. I love their wit and snark, and that lovely moment of Rory being as dunderheaded as he usually is, where the one Dalek wakes up and says, "Eggs... eggs...." and Rory's picking up the sphere and asking if he's looking for this was hilarious. Both my husband and I were saying, "Eggs... term...in...ATE!" long before the Dalek started to.
We figured out that Oswin was a Dalek pretty early on, but I thought she was still a human, like that first cloaked one we see where the Doctor tells her she's a trap and doesn't even know it (the foreshadowing of what Oswin would eventually be). We certainly didn't expect her to be a faint consciousness holding on by a thread inside the tin can that is the Dalek machine, and that was devastating. What a wonderful, sad, and beautiful moment, where the Doctor looks at her and says, "You're a Dalek," and while she can't remember much else, she knows she really doesn't want to be a Dalek. As with many Moffat scripts, he inserts an annoying reminder throughout that actually has meaning, and in this case it's the Doctor constantly asking where she was getting her milk from to make that soufflé. Turns out, it was an important question: There was no milk. Because there is no soufflé.
Everyone was amazing in this episode — Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill — as the show moved from funny to frightening (the corpses coming to life!) to heartbreaking. Doctor Who has returned with a bang, and even though the Daleks no longer remember their "Predator," there's no mistaking that the Eleventh Doctor is referring to himself when asked how much trouble they're in, and he responds, "How much trouble, Mr. Pond? On a scale of 1 to 10... ELEVEN."