Saturday, September 01, 2012

Doctor Who - Series 7, Episode 1 “Asylum of the Daleks”

Poster artwork for series 7 courtesy of the BBC

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The 7th series (or 33rd in ‘old money’) of Doctor Who re-materialised onto TV screens tonight with ‘The Moff’ promising blockbuster type episodes rather than the long story-arcs of previous series.

It seems like an age since the series was last on TV, so what do we know about what’s coming up in this series? Well, we know this is the one where the recurring companions, The Ponds bow out in dramatic style, making way for the Doctor’s new companion, played by actress,  Jenna-Louise Coleman. We also know that transmission will be split into two parts with five episodes (plus the Christmas episode) this year, and then nine episodes showing in 2013 - the show’s 50th anniversary year.

Tonight’s episode had been well publicised. It features the Doctor’s arch-enemies, The Daleks and promises to be a scorcher!

So, how was it? Well, it certainly lived-up to the ‘blockbuster’ promise -  a movie-in-fifty-minutes is what it felt like to me. All the main characters have matured into their roles and the story itself was darker in tone and more adult in nature. I won’t give away the storyline here, but suffice to say, the tight scripting, the action scenes, the sfx, the acting, and the sheer scope of this opening episode covering love, hate, perception and the impact of a single decision all combined to provide 50 minutes of solid entertainment.  

The neat twist - or two twists, if you stand back from the storyline - at the end was a masterstroke and gave us our first glimpse of a major new character, who by their actions, has impacted on the Doctor/Dalek relationship in the most significant of ways.

Steven Moffat has raised the bar once more in  managing our expectations and this episode shows why he’s ‘the man’ when it comes to helming the Who franchise. Superb!

Next week - ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’