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Unpopular Opinion: Asylum of the Daleks

Guest contributor Daniel Massey gives an alternate viewpoint on the Series 7 opener.

asylum-of-the-daleks-abc (8)

Asylum of the Daleks ruined the Daleks for me. Which was a shame, because from what I remember of the marketing I’m fairly sure it was supposed to do the exact opposite. It was meant to bring the Daleks back – make them scary again, while at the same time pleasing Dalek fans by using old models. Unfortunately, it failed at both of these goals on a pretty catastrophic level, and set a trend that would run for the rest of the series all the way up until The Time of the Doctor, at the very least (The Time of the Doctor being the most recent episode at the time of writing). In this article, I’d like to examine exactly what went wrong with the episode, the Daleks, and how Moffat or future writers could fix it.

Lack of threat

asylum-of-the-daleks-promo-pic-b-(4)Quite a big part of being scary comes from being threatening. If you don’t pose any real threat then why on earth should we be scared of you? Well, in Asylum of the Daleks, I wasn’t scared of the Daleks. Not even close. In fact, I found them really quite funny and in some cases, very cute! I mean, the Oswin Dalek “They hate you sooo muchhh” – that line coming from a Dalek is just adorable. Then there’s the spinny Dalek when Amy has the hallucination, I just want to hug it! It must be getting really dizzy, I can picture a little Dalek mutant with his eyeball spinning around as he tries to get control of himself. Both of these scenes are meant to be dark and frightening, but they’re just not.

But the scene that really ticked me off was the one with Rory, stuck in a room with a bunch of insane Daleks. That should have been one of the scariest scenes of Series 7, but alas, the ‘powerslide through a slowly closing door’ cliche prevails over all. All the Daleks have Stormtrooper aim, Rory manages to roll and dodge like some kind of ninja, and the whole thing is just straight out of a Michael Bay film (and a bad one at that!).

But this problem goes back further – all the way back to Series 5! Have a quick think to yourself; since the Paradigm Daleks were introduced in Victory of the Daleks, how many people have the Daleks actually killed on screen? I mean killed in the classic Dalek way, with the extermination effect and everything. The victims also have to stay dead, so the Doctor’s extermination in The Big Bang doesn’t count.

I’m counting two. Two. Two! And both of them were from Victory of the Daleks, both being nameless canon fodder. Wow.

Plotholes

asy-daleks-skaro-opener-statue‘Plothole’ seems to have become a bit of a dirty word recently, but it’s really not. Plotholes are a pretty good judge of how well a story is written, as the more of them there are the less well thought out the story tends to be, and the flimsier it becomes. This would probably explain why I like to joke that Asylum of the Daleks doesn’t have a story at all, because the plotholes rip through it like a machine gun.

Firstly, I’m fairly sure Skaro was destroyed – twice! In Remembrance of the Daleks and the Time War. It’s also very illogical that the Doctor would go there in the first place and still be surprised when it’s a trap. Secondly, Dalek missiles cannot penetrate the Asylum’s shields, but a random starliner can? Those are some pretty crappy shields, and some even crapper missiles. Then, Oswin has the cure for the Daleks in intensive care – just make them forget about the Doctor! If that’s what’s wrong with them, and it’s that easy to make them forget, then why don’t the Daleks just cure everything in intensive care by making them forget? On the topic of the whole Oswin thing, why are the insane, angry Daleks connected to the Pathweb in the first place?

Finally, and this one’s the real nail in the coffin, the forcefield can only be disabled from inside the Asylum… where the inmates are. Just think about that for a second. It’s in the one place where the ‘prison warden’ can’t disable the forcefield, but the inmates can. They’ve locked the insane, murdering lunatics in their cell with the key. Yeah, these Daleks are pretty stupid.

Breaking Promises

asylum-of-the-daleks-s7-dwmHey, remember when there was all that buzz about how the Doctor Who team had basically raided the BBC warehouses to dust off all the old Dalek models for use in the new episode, and that massive cover shot of all the Daleks, and Matt saying how much he loved the sixties Daleks and all that? Oh yeah, those were the days. Unfortunately, all that hype was for nothing, as the Dalek everyone really wanted to see back (the Special Weapons Dalek, in case you were wondering) got literally a second of screen time. Wonderful. Thanks Moffat for your brilliant nostalgia trip.

There’s a scene which particularly annoyed me, and that was the intensive care scene. All of those Daleks are from classic series episodes, and they even go to the trouble of naming the planets, just to be sure that fans knew these were the real deal. Unfortunately, the team decided it would be a good idea not to actually use the classic Daleks from those stories, and instead plonked in some bronze Daleks. This is a literal example of Moffat just googling some classic series names and then putting little to no effort into actually going all the way with the reference. I know this sounds minor and nitpicky, but it really annoyed me on first watch. You’ve gone to the trouble of rooting out all of these Daleks and getting them on set, you’ve got fans excited, why not use the darn things when the situation calls for it?

Breaking Continuity

asylum-of-the-daleks-c (5)This episode breaks Dalek continuity more times than I can count. I’m going to focus on the Dalek Parliament for this segment, but bear in mind that there are little things scattered throughout this episode that just cripple any chance I have of enjoying it.

So, Dalek Parliament. What? Since when did Daleks have a Parliament? Weren’t they supposed to have an Emperor or something? Since the last one died I presumed they’d replace him rather than create a parliament and a Prime Minister. I’m pretty sure Daleks are all interconnected by the Pathweb anyway, so why is there any need for a parliament? Not to mention that the Dalek Prime Minister looks awful, it’s just some random tube with a horrible over-lit Dalek mutant inside. But let’s move on to what was actually said in this scene:

  • “Save us.” So the Daleks go from hating and desperately wanting to kill the Doctor, in some cases even fearing him… to this. I don’t have a problem with the Daleks using the Doctor to their advantage, but did they have to do it in such a pathetic and pitiful way as to beg for his help?
  • “It is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred.” Anyone remember Victory of the Daleks when the new Dalek Paradigm destroyed the old models due to their inferiority? Because Moffat certainly didn’t…
  • “Does it surprise you to know the Daleks have a concept of beauty?” In case it wasn’t already obvious, in Doomsday the Daleks mention that they have no concept of elegance. I’m fairly sure elegance and beauty are pretty much the same.
  • “Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill you.” Okay, this lines actually kinda cool. It’s built upon completely nonsensical rubbish, and it’s not expanded upon at all, but hey, credit where credit is due.
  • “The Asylum must be cleansed!” Hang on, I thought hatred was beautiful! This parliament is already contradicting itself. It’s like the Clegg and Cameron of Daleks…

How to fix it

Good question. Firstly, the Daleks need to be actually threatening. The easiest way to do this is by making them actually exterminate people, so I’d recommend a big massive two-parter with a Dalek war of some kind with lots of supporting characters who can be developed then killed off. Have the Doctor escape just by the skin of his teeth, and have the Daleks win in some way. Secondly, we need to fix all these continuity problems. Give a definite answer to all of these running questions so that no writer ever gets confused again and accidentally ends up doing something stupid. Finally, don’t make promises you cant keep!

Well, that’s that. I have to say that I don’t like hating episodes, it’s just that Asylum of the Daleks makes it so easy to hate it that I just can’t resist. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it, please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

Step back in time...

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323 comments
thribs1
thribs1

The 11th never got a proper Dalek story which was a shame. Hopefully the 12th gets a epic one.

TonySimmons
TonySimmons

Thoroughly agree with everything. especially all the crap Moffat gave us about classic Daleks appearing and they didn't. This could have been a great two parter if the story had been tweaked to take out all the holes and faults that this article lists. Moffat doesnt know how to use classic monsters. We've had a lesbian Victorian Silurian, a Victorian Sontaran butler, and friendly Cyberman head. We've even had the Cybermen as stooges to the James Corden. What really gets me is Moffat thinks he's such a clever writer, or a genius as some sycophant fans like to refer to him. I no longer bother buying the DVDs of the new series anymore, and if series 8 isn't an improvement on the recent confusing all style no substance rubbish, I sadly wont watch either. Wont stop me loving the show as it was, but I just cant be bothered with all the build up to nothing

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

Thank you for writing this. Eloquently put. Also, the stalks that come out of people's heads... stupid. But that's a personal nit pick I think. 

naoise406
naoise406

Loved this article! I've been saying almost the exactly the same things for ages now on sites like this and nobody would listen. Finally someone stating the obvious problems with the show, instead of just sitting back and not saying anything. The asylum of the daleks is terrible television. That's fact. Some people may like ot yet still the episode was ran terribly. Plot holes, poor writing and just terribly handled in general.

Thank you Daniel Massey.

tealeaves
tealeaves

'Have the Doctor escape by the skin of his teeth and have the Daleks win in some way'? Isn't that exactly what happens in this episode? The Daleks (who have amassed an empire, rebuilt or reclaimed their home planet and created concentration camps) capture and blackmail the doctor into destroying the Asylum. The Doctor does that and only manages to escape alive with the assistance of Oswin. At the end of the episode the Dalek parliament still exists and their problem has been solved. Can't really win more than that.

IanChesterton1
IanChesterton1

I have to make the point that HD close-ups of the old Dalek props wouldn't have done them any favours at all. Unless the production team had wanted to rebuild them and even slightly remodel them for the screen, their inclusion as anything other than background decoration would have been a mistake imo.

Polyphase
Polyphase

Personally I think it's by far the best Dalek episode since the wonderful Dalek from series 1. It had the atmosphere and a good storyline. When you hear the Oswin Dalek say “They hate you sooo muchhh”  I think it's one of the creepiest things I've ever heard a Dalek sayso I guess it shows how opinions vary:)

tealeaves
tealeaves

Don't get me wrong I love speculating about potential episodes of Doctor Who but the problem with speculating is that the Doctor Who in your head has an unlimited budget and is not restrained by issues such as money, practicality of location or insurance.

Lets be honest the reason the Daleks were not 'used' as moving characters in the episode is because they were taken from museums and private collections, they are moveable working props but they are also collectors pieces. Do you have any idea how much the bbc has to pay out in insurance and organise in damage reports? What would have happened if anything broke inside the Daleks while they were operating them? Granted maybe moffat shouldn't have hyped up the whole 'every Dalek in history thing' if he couldn't deliver but do you honestly think if he could have had someone working the special weapons Dalek he wouldn't have?

The Mind Probe
The Mind Probe

I like the articles where the Unpopular Opinion is supporting a story which is generally disliked by fans. I can't say I'm keen on articles which just criticise an episode and ignore all its merits.

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

I remember when unpopular opinion seem to be positive support of unpopular episodes. I think there was a bit too much personal attacks against Moffat, and a lack of understanding of some of basic concepts. There is a difference between elegance and beauty. Emperors do have legislative bodies; Emperors and many dictators had councils, parliaments or other legislative bodies. The Daleks are fascist not barbarians.

Bert_Macklin
Bert_Macklin

Eh. I can understand both sides. I personally found it enjoyable and it made me enjoy the Daleks again. Not Moffat's best, but definitely not his worst. I do agree about Special Weapons Dalek. Such a waste of potential.

AndrewSteed
AndrewSteed

I meant to say "...I completely agree with MOST of this article...". I didn't find Dalek-Oswin silly at all.

AndrewSteed
AndrewSteed

I'm a fan of both series (having grown up on the classic), so I'm not a kid who doesn't know the historical significance of the Daleks and how scary they could be even when wobbly and poorly-made. They were scary because they were emotionless Nazis, basically, but today they're impotent machines who mostly stand around.

Asylum was fun, and I met it halfway to enjoy it - but I completely agree with everything in this article. It was a rather large disappointment in terms of nostalgic value and story quality.

Jakob Boyd
Jakob Boyd

Don't like hating episodes? Why spread this hate then? There's no prompt or reason why you should be even discussing this, why now? Why choose this particular moment to spout random hatred against an episode of television that aired over a year and a half ago?

It's not even an unpopular opinion, a lot of people I know were underwhelmed by AotD. And a lot of people blame it on the hype, but that's not the fault of the episode or the people who made it and should never be a judgement on the episode, it's just bad marketing. If you're lead to believe that an episode is going to be THE BEST DALEK STORY EVER, and then it isn't, and you get mad, you got sucked in. The BBC offered you a rattle and you throw a tantrum when the rattle isn't good enough.

How to fix it? Meet it half way, don't attack it, try to enjoy it.

loopeedeedo
loopeedeedo

Congrats! A very Unpopular Opinion indeed. :)

Plot hole has lost all meaning. I think we need a new word... Like story void, or absence of cohesion. Molecular disbondancy. Or maybe build a discussion that holds water b4 posting.

Wholly plotter? =g

RomanadvoratrelundarII
RomanadvoratrelundarII

I agree with most of this article, I have loved every dalek story until asylum and was so disappointed when it turned out that way after all the hype. and the whole skaro thing confused me because the doctor fried it with the hand of omega and I just assumed they didn't have a planet or made a skaro mrk II which would have been destroyed in the time war so skaro mrk III now but it shouldn't be in that shape then. that was really the biggest thing that bothered me aside of how little the daleks actually made any move of attack and them all forgetting the doctor.

TheOncomingHurricane
TheOncomingHurricane

(cont.) Hey, remember when there was all that buzz about how the Doctor Who team had basically raided the BBC warehouses to dust off all the old Dalek models for use in the new episode, and that massive cover shot of all the Daleks, and Matt saying how much he loved the sixties Daleks and all that? Oh yeah, those were the days. Unfortunately, all that hype was for nothing, as the Dalek everyone really wanted to see back (the Special Weapons Dalek, in case you were wondering) got literally a second of screen time. Wonderful. Thanks Moffat for your brilliant nostalgia trip.


There’s a scene which particularly annoyed me, and that was the intensive care scene. All of those Daleks are from classic series episodes, and they even go to the trouble of naming the planets, just to be sure that fans knew these were the real deal. Unfortunately, the team decided it would be a good idea not to actually use the classic Daleks from those stories, and instead plonked in some bronze Daleks. This is a literal example of Moffat just googling some classic series names and then putting little to no effort into actually going all the way with the reference. I know this sounds minor and nitpicky, but it really annoyed me on first watch. You’ve gone to the trouble of rooting out all of these Daleks and getting them on set, you’ve got fans excited, why not use the darn things when the situation calls for it? 

Surely this is the fault of the director? Not only that, the old models may not have been suitable for use by the Dalek operators, and therefore could not be used in the Intensive Care scene where they needed to be shown moving. 

So, Dalek Parliament. What? Since when did Daleks have a Parliament? Weren’t they supposed to have an Emperor or something? Since the last one died I presumed they’d replace him rather than create a parliament and a Prime Minister. I’m pretty sure Daleks are all interconnected by the Pathweb anyway, so why is there any need for a parliament? Not to mention that the Dalek Prime Minister looks awful, it’s just some random tube with a horrible over-lit Dalek mutant inside. But let’s move on to what was actually said in this scene: 

Since when did they have an Emperor, until they did? How is that a contradiction? Did you complain when Daleks discovered religion in The Parting of the Ways? Somehow, I don't think you did. As for the Pathweb, it isn't a flaming hivemind, they're not Cybermen. 

“Save us.” So the Daleks go from hating and desperately wanting to kill the Doctor, in some cases even fearing him… to this. I don’t have a problem with the Daleks using the Doctor to their advantage, but did they have to do it in such a pathetic and pitiful way as to beg for his help?

I don't think telling someone 'you will save us' counts as begging, somehow. It sounds like an order. 

 “It is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred.” Anyone remember Victory of the Daleks when the new Dalek Paradigm destroyed the old models due to their inferiority? Because Moffat certainly didn’t… 

They were destroyed because they were impure (the Progenitor wouldn't even recognise their DNA as Dalek), not insane. It looks like you need to rewatch Victory of the Daleks.


 “Does it surprise you to know the Daleks have a concept of beauty?” In case it wasn’t already obvious, in Doomsday the Daleks mention that they have no concept of elegance. I’m fairly sure elegance and beauty are pretty much the same. 

They aren't. Consult a dictionary. 


“The Asylum must be cleansed!” Hang on, I thought hatred was beautiful! This parliament is already contradicting itself. It’s like the Clegg and Cameron of Daleks… 


Hmm. No, it's about time attention is paid to context. 


When I wrote the first Unpopular Opinion article, I was hoping future entries would present criticism that was well-written and thought out. I wasn't expecting MrTARDIS ill thought out criticisms to be stated without anything new to add. I wasn't expecting mean-spirited articles containing criticisms that made no sense. This was pointless.

TheOncomingHurricane
TheOncomingHurricane

This article is full of more holes than the author claims of Asylum. 



But the scene that really ticked me off was the one with Rory, stuck in a room with a bunch of insane Daleks. That should have been one of the scariest scenes of Series 7, but alas, the ‘powerslide through a slowly closing door’ cliche prevails over all. All the Daleks have Stormtrooper aim, Rory manages to roll and dodge like some kind of ninja, and the whole thing is just straight out of a Michael Bay film (and a bad one at that!). 







Errr, yeah. They'd literally just woken up from a near-catatonic state. I'd like to see you hit a moving target after a rude awakening, better still if you'd been catatonic. 


But this problem goes back further – all the way back to Series 5! Have a quick think to yourself; since the Paradigm Daleks were introduced in Victory of the Daleks, how many people have the Daleks actually killed on screen? I mean killed in the classic Dalek way, with the extermination effect and everything. The victims also have to stay dead, so the Doctor’s extermination in The Big Bang doesn’t count.



I’m counting two. Two. Two! And both of them were from Victory of the Daleks, both being nameless canon fodder. Wow. Hang on a second, I thought this was Unpopular Opinion: Asylum of the Daleks, not Unpopular Opinion: Why Don't The Daleks Kill Anyone? I think we can also add the protagonist from The Last Day, as well. And that's cannon, not canon.


Firstly, I’m fairly sure Skaro was destroyed – twice! In Remembrance of the Daleks and the Time War. It’s also very illogical that the Doctor would go there in the first place and still be surprised when it’s a trap. Secondly, Dalek missiles cannot penetrate the Asylum’s shields, but a random starliner can? Those are some pretty crappy shields, and some even crapper missiles. Then, Oswin has the cure for the Daleks in intensive care – just make them forget about the Doctor! If that’s what’s wrong with them, and it’s that easy to make them forget, then why don’t the Daleks just cure everything in intensive care by making them forget? On the topic of the whole Oswin thing, why are the insane, angry Daleks connected to the Pathweb in the first place? 


Yes, a planet was destroyed twice, so it coming back is a continuity error? Do me a favour. And it was never outright said that Skaro was destroyed in the Time War, so it may have only have been destroyed once. As it is, it's in a pretty bad way anyway. As for the Doctor, I wouldn't have said he was surprised, whether he expected a trap or not, he went anyway. Hardly the first reckless act he's performed. And here's a thing - the spaceship did not survive contact with the force field, or the launching of escape pods would not have been necessary. And regarding this 'cure'...yeah, because that was what was wrong with every Dalek in the Asylum. Why would the Daleks bother to cure 30-odd insane Daleks? Answer: they wouldn't, it's pointless. As for the Pathweb, well that implies that they can't be disconnected, doesn't it? Not a plothole. 


Finally, and this one’s the real nail in the coffin, the forcefield can only be disabled from inside the Asylum… where the inmates are. Just think about that for a second. It’s in the one place where the ‘prison warden’ can’t disable the forcefield, but the inmates can. They’ve locked the insane, murdering lunatics in their cell with the key. Yeah, these Daleks are pretty stupid. 

The Daleks being stupid is not a plothole, it's something they do quite often. (cont.)































Beasts_a_Snarling
Beasts_a_Snarling

Wow, are you a Dalek? Seriously, I don't understand why you have such abhorrent hatred for an episode of Doctor Who. If you are going to hate something, it should be for a personal reason not simply because it goes against your own expectations.

Galax
Galax

"I mean, the Oswin Dalek “They hate you sooo muchhh” – that line coming from a Dalek is just adorable."

... Seriously ? That tragic line coming from a girl turned into a Dalek but who tough she was still human... "adorable" ? Wow.

Barely read the rest of the first paragraphe...

Just :

- Daleks don't need to kill unnamed character to be scary. That's non-sense, I wouldn't feel anything to their death. I don't know why people seeing "Exterminate. ZWIIIP" are scared. We need :

-> Proper death of interesting secondary characters, not just figurants (Lynda in Parting ot the Ways is a good exemple, militaries in Dalek is a good exemple of what I don't really like)

or

> The protagonists of the show being scared themselves by the Daleks.

And we did have the second bit in Asylum of the Daleks. The Doctor screaming for help in the intensive care is one of the strongest scene of the episode. Gave me chills - (because like you said - Daleks didn't give me chills since the first word "EXTERMINATE" in The Stolen Earth)

Firstly, I’m fairly sure Skaro was destroyed – twice! 

And how can a planet be destroyed twice ? Isn't that plot hole from the begining (like the Doctor's age changing depending on episodes) ? It could have been restaured, or maybe "destroyed" meant in fact "burnt"... That is defintely not a plot hole. Skaro stands - Asylum of the Daleks made it clear, that's all.

Secondly, Dalek missiles cannot penetrate the Asylum’s shields, but a random starliner can? Those are some pretty crappy shields, and some even crapper missiles

You think ONE missile could destroy a planet ? No. Oswin found the crack = the weakest point, but to destroy the whole planet, the whole shield has to be disabled. That is an obvious answer.

Then, Oswin has the cure for the Daleks in intensive care – just make them forget about the Doctor! If that’s what’s wrong with them, and it’s that easy to make them forget, then why don’t the Daleks just cure everything in intensive care by making them forget? 

Did you see the state of the pre-Time War Daleks ? Why do you think they are in "intensive care" ? Because of their madness ? Maybe... but maybe it was simply to repair them. 

And still, Dalek-Oswin is a genius. She hacked the path web but Daleks obviously couldn't, otherwise it would have been done before. So the answer was in the question, and not the opposite.

On the topic of the whole Oswin thing, why are the insane, angry Daleks connected to the Pathweb in the first place?

... Why not ?... I mean, if you rid off your phone, is it ALWAYS because the wifi doesn't work ? Is an unused phone always deconnected of the internet ?

Finally, the only way to disable the forcefield inside the planet is actually the only way to be sure that no one would ever take the control over the asylum. And that's a pretting clever idea considering how powerless are the Daleks below. It's not a big risk.

Won't comment the "breaking promises" paragraphe. Just.. we have to be careful with spoilers and promises. Otherwise, disappointment is to be expected.

Unfortunately, the team decided it would be a good idea not to actually use the classic Daleks from those stories, and instead plonked in some bronze Daleks. 

Yes. They've been physically repaired. That's how Moffat cleverly put references even if they couldn't use the old Daleks. Why do you think he chose "intensive cares" for the room of these new-looking Dalek ? So they can be "bronzed".

So, Dalek Parliament. What? Since when did Daleks have a Parliament? 

Well, since this episode. What's the matter with that ? In what an empire is more "Dalekesque" than a parliament ? So yes, species with a parliament can still be governed by a dictature (sort of message here..)

“It is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred.” Anyone remember Victory of the Daleks when the new Dalek Paradigm destroyed the old models due to their inferiority? Because Moffat certainly didn’t…

And you, did you remember that the old models in Victory were "not pure" ? Because Moffat certainly did...

And for the whole continuity paragraphe, did you see that these events happened in the future ? Daleks did evolve. They know have a concept of beauty. They have sense of humour. They are basically more than robots (like we mainly had in the RTD-era), they are living.

“The Asylum must be cleansed!” Hang on, I thought hatred was beautiful! This parliament is already contradicting itself. It’s like the Clegg and Cameron of Daleks…

For god's sake. Absolutly NO effort of comprehension here. It's just obvious that IF they become a threat, they don't hesit to exterminate them. They are not SO stupid. And that's what happened. Btw, picking randomly two lines in the episode that mean different things isn't enough to find a "breaking continuity". So bad, I know.


Don't like the article tbh (though the whole style is good). I know some people who didn't like AOTD, but they do have some stronger arguments. Sorry.

I used to find the episode "not bad" but today I think it's an excellent story. Don't care about old promises. Judging by what I see, I think this story is simply awesome. Made the Daleks good again.
















DaftDalek is Ceter Papaldi
DaftDalek is Ceter Papaldi

I like the episode, its creepy concept and image, but I have to admit that the Daleks were useless here, as was the out-of-nowhere Amy & Rory divorce storyline, which totally made certain aspects of the episode underwhelming.

ReeceHE
ReeceHE

Thank god I'm not the only one who hated the filth that was this episode! I wanted to see the stereotypical insane asylum, dalek style with Kaled blood all over the walls, terrible in-dalek guards who slay the too insane! I wanted to see the classic 1960's daleks either exterminating the hell out of the rubbish new companions, or devising a cure for the insane (since according to the dalek tapes, they were part of the scientific core). The doctor's just too action packed, and escapes every time with his magic wand, the companions had less of a personality than a lego brick. Hell! I'd rather see lego bricks fighting the daleks! So thank you, thank you for showing me that I'm not alone in hating that god-damn episode! Back in my favourite series, the Hartnell, daleks were scary and manipulative and more than just robots. Effects don't matter to a 14 year old like myself, rather I want to see the daleks returning to glory! A glory they lost after the evolution of the daleks episode, which wasn't the best. A glory similar to when Mavic Chen was betrayed, that was awesome. I still can't believe people have the cheek to like his episode, I think most of them should watch the Dalek invasion of Earth, and the Daleks, then they'll see!

PaulMann
PaulMann

Upon reading this, my mind is fluctuating between "Kill the infidel" and "hmm - he's got a point".  True the Darleks have not been fearful since at the latest "Bad Wolf", it is also true that asylum offered something new - the Darleks fear something other than the Doctor,  Darleks who think differently to the crowd.  This is the biggest fear of every dictator and rightly so.  Imagine what would have happened if an  "insanely peace loving(yet fully armed)" Darlek allied itself with the doctor - a possibility missed by the writing team (IMHO).  Perhaps the most frightening thing to come out ouf "Asylum"  is the Darlek nano tech (so far over used an never to its fullest - again IMHO).  The biggest disappointment (to me) is that the Doctor fulfilled his role as a pawn of the Darleks even after managing to get back to the TARDIS (shields down and teleport should still be quicker than shields down, teleport, launch Weapon of World Destruction and then hit target).  In respect the destruction of the Asylum has harmed the Doctor.  An idea that had so much potential but served no other purpose than to introduce the "Impossible Girl".



















KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys
KingOfTheInterWebs has Kidneys

I usually have a similar stance on Asylum, not as strong as that but I do have a similar stance but even I was irked by this article, it just comes across as mean spirited, whiny and angry and given this is a fan site I'm surprised how much divine hatred (No pun intended) there is on this site towards the show sometimes. Sure fans are allowed to not like certain parts of the show, we all have our opinions and in a way we may want to improve the show in some ways by pointing out certain problems but this just comes across as trashing for the sake of trashing.

Swozor
Swozor

And lets not forget that the "insane" Daleks weren't insane at all, they were just old and broken and their machinery and casing was compromised. Apart from that, they were just normal Daleks. Normal Daleks that were even worse at killing than other Daleks, despite supposedly being more dangerous.


michg24
michg24

I agree the daleks haven't been killing in a long time since like series 4. Its Moffats writing and maybe it cost money to do the killing effects.

raggedyman
raggedyman

Dont know if its been brought up but I thought the bit in the intensive care scene where the doctor was backed against the door begging the daleks for mercy was one of thier better moments in the episode.. could it be that too often the doctors confidence when facing them reflects on the audience? If so, surely making the doctor more afraid of them would be a good place to start for making them a threat again?

DW_girl
DW_girl

Okay, I utterly respect that everyone has an opinion, but god knows why Doctor Who fans like to write articles about things they don't like about Doctor Who on a fan community site. Oh well, non-logic aside, the article was a good read. To be honest I didn't pick out any of these 'plot holes', and also different Daleks could have different outlooks, and new ideas could have evolved them. On the other hand, this Skaro could be before it was destroyed. In addition, I was never that bothered about the supposed breaking of the Dalek promise, and from what I remember, Moffat didn't ever specifically say that the story would feature every Dalek from start to finish and in most scenes. I didn't find the Daleks scary in this episode, I agree, but I've never ever found them scary. They were, in this episode, very threatening though, and I don't think anything about them could be considered 'cute' (the only cute Daleks I recall were from an old Dalek episode when they emerge from some water. Only have a vague recollection of this but I remember thinking they were just adorable). My point is that the Daleks have become scarier. Yes, they are scarier than Victory of the Daleks too, which begs another counter-opinion: The Daleks in this episode weren't as threatening but I still liked them as villians (the colours didn't bother me at all). All in all, I absolutely adore Asylum of the Daleks and I think it is one of the best series openers and one of the best Dalek stories (aside from Dalek and The Parting of the Ways).

hpcwarlord
hpcwarlord

Simple solution to making the Daleks scary again.
Have them capture Clara and then have the Doctor never find her again.



AndrewSteed
AndrewSteed

@IanChesterton1  Another excellent point.  Some HD work would likely be required given that the BBC doesn't own some of those models, so they might as well have just done that and skipped the live props entirely.

AndrewSteed
AndrewSteed

Good point. I have to believe that painful lack of use of classic Daleks was not Moffat's first choice.

naoise406
naoise406

How will the show get better if we do not criticize it?

JMorty
JMorty

@TheOncomingHurricane Why do you actually spend time doing this? Spend your time more wisely by reading some Bakunin or Kropotkin.

Pockydon
Pockydon

Surely this is the fault of the director? Not only that, the old models may not have been suitable for use by the Dalek operators, and therefore could not be used in the Intensive Care scene where they needed to be shown moving. I addressed this in a reply to another comment, but yes, I was wrong to say that this was sorely Moffats fault. Since when did they have an Emperor, until they did? How is that a contradiction? Did you complain when Daleks discovered religion in The Parting of the Ways? Somehow, I don't think you did. As for the Pathweb, it isn't a flaming hivemind, they're not Cybermen. Okay, I'll give you that one. Apart from the Pathweb thing. If it's not a hivemind, then how come the insane Daleks aren't able to leave it?I don't think telling someone 'you will save us' counts as begging, somehow. It sounds like an order. But listen to how they say it! The just say 'Save us' - it doesn't sound forceful or commanding at all. It sounds like an entire army of Daleks begging for the Doctors help. Whereas before he was in a strange room surrounded by Daleks, now he's in a position of power as the Daleks first line (the first ever line from this Parliment that we heard) was asking for his help. That's not very Dalek. If these were the Daleks that I know, then they would have commanded him to help them instead of just mildly asking him to save them. They were destroyed because they were impure (the Progenitor wouldn't even recognise their DNA as Dalek), not insane. It looks like you need to rewatch Victory of the Daleks.Okay then, so what about Revelation and Remembrance of the Daleks? The war between the Imperial and Rebel factions? There seemed to be quite a lot of hate then, but that didn't stop them.They aren't. Consult a dictionary. Okay, fair enough. Hmm. No, it's about time attention is paid to context. What? How is the context any different, this happens in the exact same scene as when it's explained that 'Hatred is beautiful'. The Doctor asks why they couldn't just kill the Daleks, and the prime minister makes it very clear that it's because they're beautiful and all that. Then a few minutes later, the Supreme Dalek says that they must all be killed anyway. This is a whole lot of emotional conflict for a species which is supposed to only have one. Hang on a minute, it's true that some of my criticisms were in MrTARDIS video, but that's probably because they're problems with the episode, not because I nicked them all from him. And there's plenty here that wasn't in his video - The Parliament doubling back on itself within moments, the Starliner, the stuff about the pathweb. And I think calling this article mean-spirited is a little harsh. I was simply expressing all the flaws I thought the episode had. Yes, I was harsh on Moffat, but I've admitted to that and realised my mistake. If this was all so pointless then why did you even bother responding? (P.S. Sorry for the lack of formatting, blame Malformed Content. How on earth do you people manage to get around it?)

Pockydon
Pockydon

Errr, yeah. They'd literally just woken up from a near-catatonic state. I'd like to see you hit a moving target after a rude awakening, better still if you'd been catatonic.Well, bear in mind that Daleks are also part machine, with lots of extremely advanced technology which probably does the aiming for them, plus by the time Rory slid under the door they were all moving pretty normally, so had obviously woken up to some degree. Hang on a second, I thought this was Unpopular Opinion: Asylum of the Daleks, not Unpopular Opinion: Why Don't The Daleks Kill Anyone? I think we can also add the protagonist from The Last Day, as well. Well, this article was originally titled 'Why Asylum of the Daleks needs to be Exterminated', but then DoctorwhoTV changed it to an Unpopular Opinion, so that might explain why I talked about Daleks as a whole. And yeah, I forgot about The Last Day, but then the total is still only 3 deaths over 6 stories which feature the Daleks, one of them being the Time War, which I think is pretty awful. Yes, a planet was destroyed twice, so it coming back is a continuity error? Do me a favour. And it was never outright said that Skaro was destroyed in the Time War, so it may have only have been destroyed once. As it is, it's in a pretty bad way anyway. As for the Doctor, I wouldn't have said he was surprised, whether he expected a trap or not, he went anyway. Hardly the first reckless act he's performed. And here's a thing - the spaceship did not survive contact with the force field, or the launching of escape pods would not have been necessary. And regarding this 'cure'...yeah, because that was what was wrong with every Dalek in the Asylum. Why would the Daleks bother to cure 30-odd insane Daleks? Answer: they wouldn't, it's pointless. As for the Pathweb, well that implies that they can't be disconnected, doesn't it? Not a plothole. Dalek Caan outright said that, quote, 'My planet is gone. Destroyed in a Great War'. That sounds pretty conclusive to me, and if Gallifrey was destroyed (or so the Doctor believes), then he should be pretty surprised that Skaro is still around and out of the Time Lock when Gallifrey isn't. And the point still stands that the Starliner got through the sheilds, and it seems that the only thing that can't get through the sheilds are the missiles - the one thing that's actually built for the purpose of getting through/destroying sheilds and blowing things up. And the cure, what I meant was that every Dalek has some kind of mental issue, that's why they're insane. If it's just as simple as making them forget what it was that gave them the issue, why not do that?The Daleks being stupid is not a plothole, it's something they do quite often. Yes, but this isn't just a 'plan going wrong' stupid, this is a full on 'we have no idea what we're doing' kinda stupid. The Daleks haven't always been the brightest, but locking yourself out of your own place to the point where you have to call on your oldest, deadliest foe to help you get in is pretty lame.

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

@michg24  "Moffat's writing"? Moffat has only written one dedicated Dalek episode in his entire run. Aside from that one, he's used them in "The Pandorica Opens" (a cameo appearance), "The Big Bang" (had all of five people to hunt and even then, it got pretty close to killing the Doctor) "The Wedding of River Song" (a cameo appearance), "The Last Day" (invaded Arcadia and killed the Time Lords soldiers who were on watch), "The Day of the Doctor" (set during the Time War where we know they were killing millions; the episode sees them massacring Arcadia), and "The Time of the Doctor" (participated in a 90-year-long war on Trenzalore, slaughtered the crew of the Papal Mainframe, killed Tasha Lem "several times"). And the only other Dalek episode in his era was "Victory of the Daleks" which was written by Mark Gatiss and still showed them killing people.

ReeceHE
ReeceHE

Well just one thing, if I may. You mentioned that some daleks may have evolved their ideas. Daleks do not change, they have a fixed dogma hence their ruthlessness. We only need to look back to remembrance of the daleks to appreciate how they deal with change and evolution.

DW_girl
DW_girl

@hpcwarlord Why don't the Daleks actually kill Clara? Then we'd all be scared! This thought started out as a vague idea but it has strengthened into a very good idea!

The Mind Probe
The Mind Probe

How will the show survive if its biggest fans are writing hate articles about it?

It's that attitude which resulted in it being cancelled in 1989.

Pertbaker34
Pertbaker34

That would assume that the writers, producers, and show runner give a $&1¥ about your opinion. And that would be a false assumption. The show will neither get better or worse based on fan criticism. You can express your opinion and others can express theirs but it would be foolish to think it will change anything. But thankfully based on viewership the show is doing quite well, and will be with us for some time to come.

Galax
Galax

@Pockydon   If these were the Daleks that I know, then they would have commanded him to help them instead of just mildly asking him to save them. 

Yeah, please don't avoid half of the conversation. They said "you will save the Daleks" a few times.

DALEK PM: Save us. You will save us. 




DOCTOR: I'll what? 

DALEK: You will save the Daleks. 

DALEKS: Save the Daleks.

DOCTOR: Well. It's new. 

Okay then, so what about Revelation and Remembrance of the Daleks? The war between the Imperial and Rebel factions? There seemed to be quite a lot of hate then, but that didn't stop them.






Daleks evolved. They even have a parliament now. So yes, when they could, they dropped off broken Daleks on a planet instead of killing them.

The Doctor asks why they couldn't just kill the Daleks, and the prime minister makes it very clear that it's because they're beautiful and all that. Then a few minutes later, the Supreme Dalek says that they must all be killed anyway. This is a whole lot of emotional conflict for a species which is supposed to only have one.




No. The Doctor asks why Daleks do have an asylum where they left old and mad Daleks rather than kill them. The Prime Minister answers him that it's because hatred is beautiful. Then, the Prime Minister informs the Doctor that someone gets in so everyone could possibly get out. The situation is critical, so the asylum has to be cleared to protect the whole race.

You see, dfferent context in the same scene. Scary, isn't it ? :p




TheOncomingHurricane
TheOncomingHurricane

@ReeceHE  If Daleks didn't evolve their ideas there wouldn't have been two factions in Remembrance in the first place! 

DW_girl
DW_girl

Fair enough. When i wrote it i was kind of thinking along the lines of The Cult of Skaro and how they were designed with new ideas to think like the enemy and what-not.

ReeceHE
ReeceHE

If they weren't scary, how comes they caught on? Hmmm? Because children idolise that fear, that intensity, and that ruthlessness! They [the 1960's Daleks] are still scary to this day for that matter.

TheFirstMaster
TheFirstMaster

@Notsosmartguy  If you were an 8 year old in 1963, you'd have literally hidden behind the sofa for about a week. That's when they were scary.

MRWhovian
MRWhovian

@DW_girl @hpcwarlord  she would still come back hence the nickname The Impossible Girl she will always come back as Clara Oswin

 Notsosmartguy  the dalek of Jersey
Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey

@TheFirstMaster&ReeceHE

I'm not hating on them guys. I just think their not that scary and that their popularity is more based on their coolness factor.

DW_girl
DW_girl

No she wouldnt because shes come out of the Doctors timeline and is no longer an echo.