Dee Discusses: Doctor Who 7.1

Posted: September 2, 2012 by Dee in Dee, Doctor Who, General Media, Recaps, Television
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This is about the Doctor Who season premiere of seven, “Asylum of the Daleks.”

The Doctor is suspiciously captured by a woman possessed by the Daleks who trapped them there by being a woman looking for her daughter. Amy and Rory are also kidnapped, in the midst of getting a divorce. The Daleks ask the Doctor for help because there’s a woman trapped down on the Dalek prison planet who keeps playing music and they think if she got in, that means their prisoners can get out. So they beam the three of them down to figure out what’s happening as the Doctor meets the girl – Oswin – and promises to help her. He also has to save the Ponds marriage, make sure they all get out alive, and start off the new season with a bang.

Okay I have a few questions for the analysis that I’m confused about. Not that it is entirely possible I missed some plot points or I forgot them that explains these things I’m missing. But this still seems weird to me. Also as usual: DEE OVER ANALYZES THINGS. THIS IS WHAT I DO. SORRY. Lots of spoilers below.

EDIT: Look at the comments! Some helpful commenter answered a lot of my questions below. 😀 You are awesome!

1. Didn’t the Dalek world and most of the Daleks die? I thought for sure their world definitely did during the Time War. I know they always end up coming back, but there didn’t seem to be an explanation this time for WHY they came back. They were just … back. And loads of them too, everywhere. The Doctor didn’t even seem that concerned that there were hundreds of Daleks hanging out at Skala. Aren’t they going to invade or something? Isn’t this a bigger concern than it seemed? Every time we’ve seen Daleks they’ve been just verging on extinction and fighting to survive. They look pretty good there. WTF.

2. Daleks are about racial purity, since when did they start converting humans into Daleks? They didn’t even like that guy who was part human because he was considered an abomination. So she was a genius and they liked her head, okay, but that doesn’t mean she’s good enough to be a Dalek. They’re hardcore into their own species, so that seems really weird for them.

3. So she was in the Dalek shell this whole time, got it. And making up her own fantasy land. The question is why did she sound like herself when she talked to the Doctor and everyone? Does she have a different voice on the comm and how does that even work? Also where did she get the music from? Daleks don’t have music and if she was in its body I can’t see how she is able to transmit something like that. Was it from her memory banks? Also Daleks are only IN their armor, their actual body is the little alien creature. So is she one of those? How did they get a human into one of those? Isn’t anyone concerned about the fact they’re turning humans into Daleks? I’m almost positive they haven’t been able to do this before.

I think the woman in the Dalek story was effective when it was executed, but all of these things started cropping up and I was super confused about them. I feel like I missed a step, that’s why I’m assuming I might have been forgetting some plot points from the past season. That’s the new companion but I don’t think Souffle Girl is actually the one who will be traveling with him. As far as I know. She was a little too Mary Sue in the beginning, since she was clever and perfect at everything and can hack the Daleks very easily. And a genius on part with the Doctor. Yeeeeah. Hello River Song, nice to meet you again only younger and a Dalek. Is he going to come get her? I don’t know, I am curious to see that one. And it was a GREAT way to introduce the actress, so kudos for that. A lot of people have mentioned how they hate that throwaway “I loved a girl but it was a phase” thing and I’m sure other people can talk about how offensive that is elsewhere and a lot better than I can. But it made me facepalm.

Here is my MAJOR problem with the episode: Rory and Amy’s divorce reasons. I want to state for the record this is entirely personal and it comes from a personal problem I have with the media in general using this trope. I can’t have a baby so I can’t be a good wife/mother. The idea of dumping someone “for their own good” is getting real freaking old at this point, because it’s implying that person isn’t an adult capable of making their own decisions. First of all, you have a kid, River. I know that she is grown up and you missed her childhood, but you guys haven’t had much of a chance to bond with her which I think is super sad. Amy losing her child and her ability to have children is horrible and one more horrible thing those people did to her. That’s valid and I completely support her sorrow about that. She has been traumatized so horribly over the years that I’m not shocked she’s having such a reaction. Man I’m not even sure I’d want to have a baby after what she went through. Nine months of not being in her body and then River was taken away? That’s got to mess you up.

Here’s the thing though: you don’t need to have biological children to be a parent. She didn’t think for a second that if Rory wants to be a father, he’d be okay with trying a surrogate or adopting? Of course he would. Any child would be lucky to have an awesome  family with the Ponds! Hell I’ll be adopted by them. This comes from a personal place though because my sister was adopted by my dad and they have no biological connection, but they are very close. As close as a biological father and daughter would be, closer than many! And then you see this bullshit in movies and TV and media acting like yeah, the only child worth having is a biological one, if you can’t do that then what’s the point? It just really rubbed me the wrong way. I don’t think this was their intention but that doesn’t mean it lacks problematic qualities. Maybe now they WILL talk about surrogacy and adoption. I hope so! Also seriously all their marital issues are solved like that? UGH. When did this even start? What did she tell him when she kicked him out? Has she seen a doctor, what exactly did they say? I KNOW THESE ARE A LOT OF DETAILS THAT THEY WILL NEVER GIVE US. And it’s TV and I have to accept that and assume they are having counseling off camera. But it still bugs me!

That being said, the acting was superb. The writing was sharp and funny, even if the plot problem sand questions did leave it with a bitter aftertaste. I’m certainly interested in continuing the series and I thought there was some fantastic imagery in the episode. I know from my ranting above it makes it seem like I hate the show, but I don’t. I think there are tons of wonderful parts of the show and I am really interested in seeing how this new companion is coming in. I really hope that we say goodbye to the Ponds by them ADOPTING A BABY and retiring. It’d be great to have a happy ending for them. I’d also love it if they could bond more with River, they never got much of a chance to be a real family, it’d be nice to have an ep where they spend a lot of time together. I love the show, I think the acting (even in the places I don’t like the story) was beautifully done. But it doesn’t take away from the things I say above.

Next time: dinosaurs, Arthur Weasley, and Lestrade!

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Comments
  1. Sam says:

    Okay. 1 – Skaro was never destroyed. Several times it supposedly was, but each time it has been retconned as somehow back. Also, the Daleks were resurrected as a species in the WW2 episode with Danny Boy and Winston Churchill, back in Season 5. And part of what they said then was that they were going to rebuild their race. The doctor had to choose to save humans and let them go over taking them out.
    2 – They started converting humans to Daleks back in 9’s season, and I would imagine that it is a thing they do. They convert people fully into Daleks using, I would imagine, radiation and genetic super sciences. Supposedly after this, they condition them to be Daleks. I dunno how Oswin avoided this, but we also saw the Cybermen conditioning fail back in Doomsday, so why not Dalek conditioning?
    3 – A: I figure she was able to modulate the speakers to sound like herself. Then when the Doctor was in the room with her, well, then she sounded like a Dalek to him, and like herself to her? I dunno.
    B – We can manipulate comm systems even now with toys that can alter the voice almost entirely.
    C – If the ship had crashed, maybe there were records there? Also, I believe at some time in the past the Daleks mentioned record8ing everything about species they did not like, within their memory banks, so she would find lots of music there once she was linked into the Dalek mental net.
    D – They would have mutated her into some sort of Dalek organism. They have advanced genetic and mutagen sciences from long time ago episodes. Their computer and medical sciences are incredibly far beyond human sciences, so they could convert humans to Daleks.

    Otherwise I agree with a lot of what you are saying. The Ponds’ storyline annoyed me a great deal.

    I have noticed also that Doctor Who likes the whole skipping time thing. They did it in Season Six, several times and it was implied a lot over 1-5, too. That we were not seeing adventures, even whole months and more of time that the characters were experiencing, and then making throwaway references to. I don’t mind there being off-screen adventures, but it is annoying to have them then use those as plot points.

    Overall I liked the episode and can’t wait for more!

    Thanks for the review!

    Like

    • Dee says:

      Thank you SO MUCH for answering the Dalek questions. I was super confused about all of that but I knew it had to be something I was just missing. There can be so many details sometimes and I don’t always remember it. I’m going to edit the piece and tell them to look down at the comments for the answers. 😀

      Like

  2. Sam says:

    I get confused too. This show makes me blink and then reference my notes and sometimes even old episode files. But yeah… so much crazy.! And yer welcome!

    Like

    • Dee says:

      Although it does bring up a good point, haha, if there are viewers like me who enjoy the show but don’t have the mind for every single detail, they were probably going O.o a lot too. I guess Doctor Who doesn’t mind doing that, and I don’t always mind it either and just going for the ride, but man I can’t imagine being a new viewer coming into all of this.

      Like

      • Sam says:

        Yeah. I agree, A lot of things happen like that. It feels every now and then like they expect us to remember every details of almost 50 years of fandom, and I just don’t have that much brain.

        Like

      • Dee says:

        I’m also one of the viewers who didn’t start until the newer seasons. I want to watch the old stuff, but it definitely means I’m missing big gaping holes in the background. I don’t think they need to accommodate us newbies entirely, but keeping that in mind couldn’t hurt. Especially since it’s harder for Americans to catch up.

        Like

  3. If you look on Youtube and search for Pond Life it gives you mini episodes of things that have happened before the season started. (Including a scene where Rory walks out) it doesn’t give you much information, just a bit of insight.

    Like

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