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Best of Matt Smith: Asylum of the Daleks

best-of-matt-smith-asylum

Across the next couple of months Doctor Who TV is running a series of polls to celebrate Matt Smith’s era. We want you to cast your votes on every story and at the end we’ll be comprising a list to find the top scoring.

We move on to Series 7 with the opener Asylum of the Daleks. All you have to do is rate the story with your score out of 10, so get voting and join us again tomorrow for the next episode.

Step back in time...

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235 comments
MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

Good episode but dragged down by lots of plot holes and Amy and Rory's stupid divorce sub plot- 7/10

JolomontheCube
JolomontheCube

Why is everyone saying that the daleks are at their scariest here? They didn't kill anyone technically (case in point, they only fired at Rory but he got out unharmed). Now in Parting of the Ways, They wiped out the game station and killed a group of unarmed people just because they were there. That is what the Daleks should be like.

JJ2000
JJ2000

7 - Good. Everything about this is just very, very good. One of the best episode EVER! Absolutely love it.

KingOrokos
KingOrokos

The script is spectacular, the direction is amongst the best the series has ever produced, the music is as wonderful as ever, and the performances given by our three main leads (plus the fabulous Miss Coleman!) are beyond impressive. Easily Moffat's best standalone story in recent years, and one of the finest he has ever written in my opinion. An intelligent and scary revival for the villains who deserved one. 10/10.

TimeMasterX
TimeMasterX

7/10 for me. I know people defend the whole 'divorce' subplot but both that and how it was addressed was just insulting. In my opinion, 'I waited for 4000 years', 'I gave you up'...was adoption just never even on the table?

Also the utter pointlessness of the Daleks forgetting the Doctor was... Yeah...

Other than that, great episode, genuinely shocked at the twists and good use of Daleks. (Except the 'Parliament..just...no). Very good acting and very well made. 7/10

DrWhoGoesThere
DrWhoGoesThere

A very great episode, and probably the best Dalek episode since the reboot.  Also, it was set off-Earth, which is a major plus for me.  Doctor Who should have more episodes on other planets.

9/10


lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

The part of the story that people complain about, Rory and Amelia divorcing unexpectedly, was to show how the doctor was beginning to separate from the Ponds. He was dropping in on them less frequently, so he missed the times of troubles. That way the Doctor and the viewer should feel that this development was uncharacteristic. It should feel wrong because wrpe know it was wrong.

Huknar
Huknar

I think this episode quite easily gets a good, 7/10 score. It earned most of those points for Oswin. What a wonderful character she was (and how terribly sad it was that Clara didn't turn out to be much like her at all). The ending was the first shock I've had in the show for a long time and for that I praise it entirely. Unfortunately though, the plot barely makes sense and the daleks are heavily underused.

Creepy_Ghoul
Creepy_Ghoul

I wanted to give it 5/10, because of the fact that I was expecting better from this story, but I'll made it 6/10 because Jenna's surprise appearance worked for this story and the revelation at the end is also brilliantly done.

Dalekworld
Dalekworld

It would of been perfect if the Daleks didn't forgot but then it makes Doctor who more strong if something you don't want to happens. Anyway Moffat pretended it never happened, so 10/10

KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys
KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys

I never really liked this story and was going to give it a 4/10 but then I remembered the funny dialogue, the clever plot twist and a well intentioned plot idea (Even if it was never used much) and jumped it up to a 5/10. Which is high praise considering I see below average and average as having a big gap between them oddly enough. Sure the concept wasn't very well realised, there were some prop errors, the subplot was a bit pointless and the ending was a bit naff but it's got good things about it and despite not liking it I never recall feeling my time was wasted once I'd finished watching it. I only hope a similar episode is done with an idea like that but the concept is more realised because I felt it was a shame.

TheCyberDoctor is Undead
TheCyberDoctor is Undead

10/10 - A brilliant start to a brilliant series. Smith, Gillan and Darvill were on top form as usual. When are they not? Moffat too was on top form, again proving what a fantastic writer he is (after the poorly-recieved TDTWATW). The direction of this episode too was amazing; Nick Hurran is just brilliant. I liked the fact that the Time War Daleks were brought back (the newer ones are no where near as well designed). Jenna Coleman's appearance was a complete shock, and left everyone wondering how she would become his companion (most, including myself, thought that the Doctor would meet her before she died). But I was hoping that the classic Daleks would have more of a role in the episode, rather than just appearing in the background.

Series 7 so far: TDTWATW - 7/10


DaftDalek
DaftDalek

Very good episode (8/10), except for the Daleks. They could be soooooo much better in this!

JailBanksters
JailBanksters

It was a good one, classic: a bit of humour, a bit serious and a bit sad, I had to knock a point off because it wasn't a tear jerker.


Maryanne123
Maryanne123

Ooh seeing how much everone enjoyed this cracker of an episode makes me want to go back and watch it all again. Trouble is I'll then watch one more and one more. Matt and Moff are like a packet of penguin biscuits. Once you start, you just can't stop!

EdWhovian
EdWhovian

This was moffat's return to form. 10/10

DawnTime
DawnTime

A wonderful 9 from me.  Best bit Oswin.(Clara) a brilliant acted role.  She was amazing in this episode and that red dress - she looked fantastic. What a surprise she was too we did not know at the time she would be in the episode WHAT you killed the new companion. Brilliantly written by the Moff. Wonderful episode.

DrOswald
DrOswald

Watched this on Saturday. I have loved this episode since I watched it on first broadcast. Moffat did a cracking job with this, and all of his Series 7 scripts. I would rate it 9.5/10 if I could, but alas I can't so it is a 9/10 from me.

TheRiseOfTheTwelfth
TheRiseOfTheTwelfth

"Out of ten? Eleven." No but really, I thought the Moff did a cracking job here. Not perfect, but awesome. 9/10


Gallifrey Falls
Gallifrey Falls

This is where Matt Smith's era really starts to shine, 8/10

Christopher Brown
Christopher Brown

I know this is going to be rated highly but I think it's utter crap (albeit very well-directed and visually stunning crap) and was especially insulting considering my parents were contemplating an actual divorce at the time, which made the ratings-grabbing, completely unrealistic character-assassinating divorce subplot utterly trite. (As a side-note, this is probably the grumpiest post I've ever written. Beware :D) The Doctor gets a character downgrade from the lovable, unpredictable old alien to some bitter guy who sulks in the shadows refusing to fight the villains of his own d*mn show (whom, I might remind everyone, he has allowed to build a whole new empire, complete with prison camps). This spectacularly misjudged "arc" he goes through that begins here might have worked with Six or Ten but it goes completely against all the strengths of Eleven's character.                       Not only that, but then Moffat figures that the way to make Daleks scary again is to turn them into Cybermen. That's right, the full-powered Dalek Empire (or is it Bureaucracy now?) is willing to turn what they see as inferior creatures into Daleks with no problem at all - there doesn't seem to be much they won't convert. I mean come on, surely even the people who like the episode can see how stupid that is?                     There are some great bits - the Dalek zombies, Oswin's character arc (why couldn't we have her in place of Clara?), the scene where Rory awakens the Daleks...but they can't save what I found to be an utterly ugly episode beneath the surface, one that suggests that evil shouldn't be fought because it will only grow stronger - and to me, what the episode says morally is the most important part of considering it a good Doctor Who story. And even if any of the above flaws were absent, it still wouldn't explain the fact that they made a big deal of bringing back the Classic Daleks and had them in split-second background cameos - which means they brought back  the SPECIAL WEAPONS DALEK AND DIDN'T HAVE IT BLOW A SINGLE THING UP. While objectively it deserves 4/10 and would probably merit 7/10 on grounds of entertainment, that embarrassment alone (well, along with the others) is why I rated this *1/10*. Exterminate it, Daleks, if you're allowed to anymore (which didn't stop "The Day of the Doctor" from being awesome, but still).








TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

A genuinely creepy and tense episode which was also able to expand the Daleks' cruel and dastardly methods (the human/Dalek drones).  And the ending with Oswin was truly shocking and satisfying.  The only niggle I really have is that I didn't really care about the conflict between Amy and Rory at all.  It just felt random and it kind of felt like filler that distracted from the rest of the story.  But overall a fantastic episode.  9/10 from me.

Polyphase
Polyphase

I really wish he had taken Oswin Dalek with him, What a different companion that would be.

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

It's a real shame that what I remember most about this episode is the long wait for it. Nine months. And the tired old argument of the years' long wait in the 1980s being worse doesn't apply to me.

So, I was so hungry for a new episode of Who I would have gladly watched the paint dry on the TARDIS and rated it highly. And first time I saw this I was impressed, but it hasn't held up to repeated viewings. I only tolerate Daleks because they are so vital to Who, so I wasn't particularly interested in them, or the lack of "every Dalek, ever", that had so many fans upset.

I loved the Oswin reveal, the whole scenerio of her exsistence, and the Doctor knew, he just had to figure it all out. Loved the music and the beginning of Clara's theme.

Like others, I was put off by the whole divorce thing seemingly springing out of nowhere, but glad it got sorted out quickly.Loved the erasing of the Doctor from the hivemind. HA!

I was put off by the production design of the doors to the corridors changing shape while Matt was still acting a scene, from rectangular, to triangular and back and forth. I never look for those things they just sort of jump out at me and are very distracting.

Not a good start to a Series. I was disappointed. 7/10.

AztecsDaleksAndCavemen
AztecsDaleksAndCavemen

One of my favourite Matt Smith stories 8/10 A solid dalek story but the daleks need to start killing again.

ElizabethGreer
ElizabethGreer

I thought it was a great episode.  One of my favorites from Series 7.  Heartbreaking, and an interesting concept--it also set up several story lines.  I do think the "Asylum" concept was underplayed.  So much potential could have come out of insane Daleks! The Oswin story line was interesting, but Clara ended up being an underdeveloped character I didn't care for.  Still, 9/10. Matt was, as always, brilliant. 

Galactic Yo Yo
Galactic Yo Yo

This episode has always been something of a wasted opportunity for me. The idea of a dalek asylum is just brimming with possibilities. It's supposed to be about daleks that were too insane even for the daleks, but that never really comes into play. The daleks never really seem that different from any other daleks, other than they're more broken down. These daleks should be frightening just out of their sheer madness.

Furthermore, the Ponds' argument could have made for some interesting character drama, but their breakup feels too plot-induced to feel real. The whole thing is structured so that Amy's speech about why they broke up plays like a reveal. But that means that their motivations for fighting are hidden from us the whole time and we can't understand the conflict. We know that they're fighting but don't know why. It distances us from them at a time when we need very much not to be.   The only thing that works about this at all is Clara, but even then she feels less like a real person and more like a collection of funny lines. I think "The Name of the Doctor" retroactively justifies this somewhat, seeing as this isn't the actual Clara but a fractured copy. But still, it makes the character harder to connect with. Some people say that the eventual real Clara that we got was boring, but i prefer her to this one, who can be a bit grating. 4/10

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

Most of series 7 part 1 was a bit off. Asylum was good, but even it just felt like the same old stuff we'd gotten for the previous two seasons. I have a few other little nit picks with this one, but it was still a mostly desent story. 8/10.

Rainbow Kidneys
Rainbow Kidneys

I'd rate it somewhere between 5 and 6, I think. For me, it was kind of a disappointing episode for many reason: there weren't as many classic Daleks as I expected, the Rory and Amy sub-plot felt quite dull and badly written (really, stop to think about it: couldn't they at least discussed this before they broke up?), and although the idea of the asylum was simply FANTASTIC, I don't think it was completely explored



How I'd have done it (this is just my idea of a more interesting plot): as The Doctor keeps travelling throughout the universe, Rory and Amy's life goes on. Suddenly, in some clever way, The Daleks capture them, and put them inside the Asylum. Meanwhile, The Doctor receives a message from The Daleks, showing that Amy and Rory are in Danger, and they give him 2 choices: or he goes inside the Asylum to fix the faults that are occuring in the Asylum's barriers/force field, without his Tardis, or he Goes away and let them die. Of course, he choses the first one, and so, abou 1/3 of the episode is spent inside the Dalek asylum, with both The Doctor and the Ponds separated. As The Doctor tries to find them, he meets and gets the help of Oswin (she could have heard him somehow and communicated with him along the way, sort of helping him, something like that), while the Ponds find thenselves in some very hard situations where they have to get away from many insane Daleks, who tries to kill them at all coast. Between 15 and 10 minutes to the episodes ending, The Doctor and The Ponds are brought togheter *funny, happy moment* The Doctor goes saving Oswin, the whole scene proceeds like in the original episode, Oswin erases The Doctor from the Daleks minds (well, that's an optional) and lower the defenses of the Asylum.

.




The Doctor then finally activates the sequence of auto-destruction of the Asylum, .with his screwdriver, he brings the Tardis by "remote control" (maybe, something that he would have done previously, and that we didn't see onscreen). They get away before The Asylum explodes, killing all the Daleks inside it, and damaging the Daleks spaceships next to the asylum.



I don't think I would have included the Dalek Puppets, or the scenes outside the Asylum. I'd try to make the episode more "claustrophobic", with more tension, and I would include more scenes with genuinely scarry Daleks.

Those are just some of my ideas   :D







The Finn
The Finn

Aside from a few things I thought it was great. 9/10.

GregChipman
GregChipman

Nick Hurran and the cast are great, but... the script is awful. Awful, awful, awful. Derivative, amateurish garbage. It feels entirely like a first draft; it should never have been put before the cameras in the state it was in. Probably the worst thing Moffat's shat out in his entire career.

2/5. All credit for the two marks goes to Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Nick Hurran.

DW_girl
DW_girl

@DaftDalek The Daleks were great. i thought they were quite scary, actually. Everyone seems to complain about how the episode was advertised as having 'every dalek', but if it was never advertised as this, no one would complain.

Huknar
Huknar

@Maryanne123  That is strikingly true. But then when you think about having them you declare them rubbish and horrible. Until you start eating that is.

KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys
KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys

@Christopher Brown I know the misuse of the special weapons Dalek was annoying. (It annoyed me too) but 1/10 for that one thing?! Bare in mind I'm not one for this story either but that's a bit petty. Still your opinion I guess...

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

Comparing any aspect of 11 to 6 or 10 is fighting words! How very dare you insult poor 11 in such a way! Ha! Moff is a complete tease and surely noone really thought we'd see every Dalek with a significant role in the episode, so he didn't actually lie. I thought the Amy and Rory interaction was a strong point and showed the volatile nature of their relationship and Amy's impulsive character. It also showed the pain of losing her child which she carried deep inside. Karen and Arthur were wonderful and it sets up the heartbreaking finale in Angels so well.

I don't see 11's characterisation changing at all. He's an alien after all and who knows how his emotions work. Unlike 10 who was written as just a bloke with nice hair and a line in smug chatup, 11's character and motivation is more unknowable and complex. It's one reason Moffat's era is so re-watchable. You keep getting layers in Matt's performance and in the writing.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

@Christopher Brown  "That's right, the full-powered Dalek Empire (or is it Bureaucracy now?) is willing to turn what they see as inferior creatures into Daleks with no problem at all - there doesn't seem to be much they won't convert."

- You misunderstood. The Dalek Parliament only created the zombies, and that's just them using lesser species as tools. The insane Daleks in the asylum were the ones who converted Oswin, and keep in mind, they're insane. They converted Clara because she was a genius and her skills were valuable to them in their hopeless situation. Again, using her as a tool. But regardless, they were insane.



Maryanne123
Maryanne123

Have to agree with this. With a little bit more development definitely a 10/10 but still brilliant Matt +. Great concept and heartbreaking finale. Wonderful character development in Amy's and Rory's relationship which serts things up for their farewell. I love the cocept of the blockbuster of the week and that Moff has the guts to try something different. Season 7A is my favourite of all of NuWho - for me not a dud episode in the lot. Good solid 8.5/10

Galactic Yo Yo
Galactic Yo Yo

I'm seeing a lot of people here saying that they prefer 7A to 7B which honestly kind of blows my mind. 7A seems really lifeless to me.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

What?! It's witty and complex and human and heartbreaking and hums along at a right old place. Moffat agonises over each script. I doubt he even knows how to do lazy. Overambitious - yes. Complex and sophisticated - yes. Densely plotted and part of a wider Moffaty plan - yes. Awful or half- finished - hardly. No farting aliens or dobby Doctor or padding out here.

sontaran17
sontaran17

@GregChipman  How exacly is the script awful? Its funny witty, a little cheeky- emotional and even at times EpIC! 

Huknar
Huknar

@Galactic Yo Yo  Part One has quite some strong episodes. For the most part, they work. It's Part Two that is completely without soul. But what can I say, when you bring in a soulless companion that's what you get.

DW_girl
DW_girl

@Amy the Consulting Commentator Again, Moffat realises he's dug himself into a hole which he can't get out of with the daleks forgetting the Doctor, and so has to quickly remove it by a throw-away line in the christmas special... :/