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02 September 2012 @ 08:25 pm
Aslym of the Daleks  
Non-spoiler thoughts: HELLO MOFFAT AND THE DOCTOR WHO CREW, I MISSED YOU! I missed the way you play with my heart and my brain and my expectations. And I missed your wonderful, wonderful dialogue.


Ponds (and in defence of Amy)

I’ve read some reviews where people are not happy with Amy trying to divorce Rory because she can’t have children and that she should have just talked to him about it, that it wouldn’t have gone that far. May I point out that Rory was the one that brought the divorce papers to Amy?

I know a lot of it happened off-screen and I think if we’d seen it across more than one episode it might have been clearer, but. Amy says that Rory has always wanted children and she’s upset that she can’t give them to him. Yes, they have River, but they never raised her, she’s never really been theirs (and Amy’s got to be hurting from that as well – she never does get to rescue her baby, only find a grown-up River who rescues the Doctor after killing him). Yes, they could adopt, but think about it: how do you tell a guy who loves you so much, who waited 2000 years for you, who you want to give everything to, that when he came to save you at Demon’s Run not only didn’t he save your baby but he also didn’t save you? That you feel broken, that you can’t give him everything that he wants and everything that you feel he deserves? Amy’s more of a do-er than a talker on top of that. And if she never talks to him about it then Rory is going to get more and more frustrated by her distance from him, with the things that she isn’t saying, and his self-sacrificing streak will make him try and give up her, because if she isn’t happy with him then he’s going to do whatever it takes to make her happy, even if that means leaving.

(Plus, you know, there’s an Ood in their house. Want to bring up complicated relationship issues around an alien that showed up on your loo?)

People saying ‘they could have asked the Doctor for help’ well, Amy does stand by the phone in the last episode of Pond Life and say that she needs the Doctor. Remember when she didn’t tell Rory that she thought she was pregnant? She wanted to check with the Doctor first to make sure that the baby would be okay, because she didn’t want Rory to be worried or hurt. Now Rory’s the one bringing divorce papers whilst maybe Amy wants to check with the Doctor first, ask if she can be ‘fixed’ because maybe she doesn’t want to give Rory false hope.

I can see it, because this arc is all about consequences. (You can't just lock away what you don't like and who doesn't fit on a planet.) It’s not just that Amy can’t have children, it’s what else their travels have done to them – they find it easier to talk in the middle of a life or death situation than in a house, at work, in a ‘normal’ situation. As they say in the episode, you can argue about who loves who more and who waited 2000 years for the other, but that isn’t the point. The point is that they love each other, they want to give each other so much, and yet travelling with the Doctor has changed them and it’s difficult, in more ways than one.

They could have explored it more, rather than just touching on it in one episode, yes. But I can see it, I can understand it, I can fill in the blanks, and the emotional scene where they sorted it out tugged on my heartstrings. Even though at the same time my heart aches for these people whose normality, whose declarations of loving each other until the end of their lives, must always be in those ‘we’re about to die’ situations.

Daleks (and yes they're scary)

“What colour?” asks Rory ‘because all the good questions were taken.’ I love this address of the multi-coloured Daleks we’ve been having. (Skittle jokes everywhere.) And at the same time Moffat tells us from the start that it doesn’t matter what type of Daleks they are, they’re all scary. The ones that kidnap you and fire you at a planet that they plan to explode. Ones disguised as people! Ones disguised as dead people! The fact that you too can be turned into a Dalek. The silent, broken ones that suddenly start working again; that old ‘is it working or is it going to come after me’ classic. The ones that even other Daleks are afraid of and lock away.

Then, in the shiny solitary room in the special section the one that the Daleks are most afraid of: one that maintained its humanity.


When Amy sees people where everyone else sees Daleks I think we get a hint then, because isn’t she seeing who the Daleks used to be before they were turned? I always remember with the Cybermen that you can become one of them, but I often forget that with the Daleks because they’re the pepper pots, they’re so different to us, and here we get a huge kick up the butt reminder that the scariest thing isn’t that they find hate beautiful, not really. It’s that they’re us finding hate beautiful.

Oswin (surprise, surprise!)

Oh well done! (Although I give up, I am never believing anything termed ‘news’ by the Doctor Who gang ever again lol.) All the people that were saying, ‘oh, look, another Amy style companion. Why can’t we have someone from the future or an alien? Someone new?’ Excuse me whilst I laugh my head off, because she’s from the future and she’s as alien as you can get.

It reminds me of when the promotional photos of Amy first came out and people were complaining that he police uniform wasn’t realistic and was over sexualised. Then BAM. She’s a kissogram.

I guessed from the ‘where do you get the milk?’ near the start that they was something fishy going on, but no, I didn’t guess that she would be a Dalek. I did start wondering towards the end if she was a human-looking-Dalek with memories activated. (I also wondered if she was Jack’s daughter or Jenny, but I wish like that.) I thought it was a wonderful twist, a great reminder of the true horror of Daleks, and I loved that it brought the Doctor face to face with the fact that the race that he’s been at war with, the people that he hates so much, are essentially us.

Questions (...)

So we got a reminder at the start that the universe believes that the Doctor is dead and then Oswin wiped his memory from the Daleks. We’ve had an arc of the Doctor moving from the Oncoming Storm back to being a trickster, are we now getting a further unravelling of his legend? Will the question that must never be asked be asked when no one knows who the Doctor is any more?

Will Oswin come back? Will timelines have to be messed with or did she somehow survive the explosion and the new Doctor’s companion is a Dalek? Does the Doctor go back and rescue her at some point, when he finally gets over himself when it comes to hating the Daleks (and maybe puts her in a unit that’s less of a pepper pot)?

It’s interesting that Amy ‘remembers’ the Daleks as people, that Oswin ‘remembers’ her humanity, that the Doctor is forgotten by the Daleks, that Oswin entreats the Doctor to ‘remember’ her, that Amy and Rory ‘remember’ how they love each other… I wonder if this ties into The Question and how Amy is always being asked to remember? (EDIT: And at the start when Amy asks the Doctor what to do he says to remind them who she is. Is that to remind them because she's amazing, because of what she's already done? Because of something she's going to do? Because she's River Song's mother, the woman who the Dalek's beg mercy from? River Song who keeps her memories in a blue book and who eventually is pretty much reduced to memories and... Okay, I think I've convinced myself that memory is a thing!)

Have Amy and the Doctor got some consequences in store for walking around without the bracelets on? ‘Losing love’? Are the Daleks going to be a theme here, with the Doctor and Amy turning somewhat and Oswin having been turned and the Doctor realising that hating an entire race isn’t the way to go???

I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out :D
feeling: excitedexcited
rthstewartrthstewart on September 2nd, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
I avoid all Amy hate on principle and in fact avoid most of the Who fandom. I heard lots of complaining last night.

But as to Amy and Rory and heaping blame on Amy, and whatnot, I thought divorce completely likely and had a lot of sympathy for them.

I think Moffatt got this one pretty right -- yeah it occurs mostly off camera but do we really need to see a marriage disintegrate? Being married is hard, hard work and it's a lot easier to not deal with your issues when you are running for your lives. And then you have to come home and have to decide who cleans the litter box and does the laundry and pays the bills.

And having children is a HUGE issue and I completely see how a breakdown over that could occur.

I loved Oswin. I'll be curious to see how they turn her into the companion.
inkvoices: dr who:rory and amy intimateinkvoices on September 2nd, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
A lot of my offline friends are Whovians and we're of the 'oh my gosh!' and 'what do think that means?' school of squee, so I usually stick to them :)

I didn't want them to divorce or have relationship problems, but I'm a huge fan of there being consequences and of marriage not being shown as easy, because it isn't. So I liked that we get to see some of that.

I really hope we don't lose sight of the fact that she is (or will have been) a Dalek, because the Doctor having a Dalek (or someone who has been a Dalek) as a companion? Knocks my socks off.
rthstewartrthstewart on September 3rd, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
I think, btw, you had a terrific analysis of the episode and oh YES PLEASE a current or former or future Dalek as companion is wonderful. They did such a great job with her.
inkvoices: dr who:no difference (jenny)inkvoices on September 3rd, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! I've been doing more meta and analysis stuff lately. And the 'Amy is horrible' crowd made me want to throw in my two cents.

I would love the Doctor to travel with a Dalek or a companion that has been a Dalek, to come to the realisation that Oswin-as-a-Dalek is still Oswin and to let go of the hate. (After all, the Daleks don't hate the Doctor anymore, right?)
daxcat79: Doctor Who:  Where Is Amydaxcat79 on September 2nd, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
This is what I love about Doctor Who. There's subtext under subtext and it's like ANYTHING could be a clue as to what the season will be about. It's beautiful and deep, and just guh! I love this show! :D
inkvoices: dr who:roar of starsinkvoices on September 2nd, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
I love sitting around with my friends chatting about what everything could possibly mean *grins*. There's just SO MUCH to pick up on, especially under Moffat, and I love it!
Lady Mercury: AmyRoryHugladymercury_10 on September 2nd, 2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
*flailing and nodding*

You have lots of good points about the Daleks--I didn't realize that the Daleks were most scared of Oswin, say, or that when Amy hallucinates the Daleks as human she's actually seeing them as they used to be.

Poor Amy and Rory. I hope they're heading towards something they can call normal, or at least happy.
inkvoices: dr who:rory and amy intimateinkvoices on September 2nd, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
Yep, Oswin's locked away in a shiny special room, even when the truely scary Daleks who were defeated by the Doctor are in the shabby special place in front of her. She's the scariest, oh my heart.

It was the little girl twirling with her red hair flying out and then the Dalek in the same place as that girl spinning and my mind that has been so obsessed with the Avengers lately, that has Natasha who may or may not have been a ballerina, went: that's a little girl. Or what used to be a little girl. In fact, all the 'people' in this room look like performers of some kind. Oh my gosh, no wonder they're the 'defective' Daleks, because people who love what they do so much, people who are what they love, how could all their love ever be truely stolen away?

I want them to be happy! But I also love that consequences are being addressed! ARGH!
Lady Mercury: AmyRoryBlueladymercury_10 on September 2nd, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
I want them to be happy! But I also love that consequences are being addressed! ARGH!

sweetwatersongsweetwatersong on September 3rd, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
So many feelings about this episode! I was mildly spoiled because I opened up Tumblr without thinking about it, but managed to still be surprised.

The change in the Doctor's attitude about Souffle Girl was so evident, so abrupt, once that door opened. It was a brilliant transition from seeing him be concerned about this human girl to seeing him assume that hating, angry attitude he always has around Daleks... and be torn, because she was human.

She still is.

I am so hoping that, through the magic of Doctor Who, Oswald becomes Clara, the next companion, so Clara's not a descendant/relative/clone. I really want the Doctor to travel with that Oswin, the woman who was a Dalek... and who still might be.

I was, however, left wondering exactly who was doing the transformation when all of the Daleks on the Asylum were purportedly insane, and she was changed after she landed. Did the crazies do it themselves? Did some other Daleks rescue her, alter her, and then abandon her? Hm...

Edited at 2012-09-03 12:16 am (UTC)
inkvoices: dr who:new tardisinkvoices on September 3rd, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
I avoided the internet until I watched it :)

YES, EXACTLY! He can be intrigued by and like and want to rescue someone he's never seen on the basis of this small glimpse of their personality, but the minute he realises that she's in the form of a Dalek he;s brought up short. And I love that she pushes him, that she asks why he hates them, her, so much.

ALSO YES. I would love the Doctor to travel with a Dalek or someone who had been a Dalek or by the end of the season by able to match Oswin-as-Dalek to whatever other Oswin that we get and realises that she's just and always Oswin. To let go of the hate. After all, the Daleks don't hate the Doctor anymore, do they?

Huh, good point. The nanogenes were making the Daleks-who-look-like-live-or-dead-people but what converted Oswin? What locked her away? I suppose whatever locked the other Daleks away. The Parliament at the start says that the planet is 'fully automated'. If that includes looking after the Daleks there, repairs maybe, then it could also be capable of conversions? Ahh, one of those times where we go DOES IT MEAN SOMETHING?! OR IS THIS JUST DOCTOR WHO TIMEY-WIMEY CRAZY SCIENCE LOGIC?!
sweetwatersong: [avengers] i heart everyone in this barsweetwatersong on September 3rd, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
I spaced on the fact and then came to a screeching halt in my dashboard trolling, going, "No, no, I didn't see anything!" You're clearly the smarter one. :)

I think on some level he knew something was hinky - as you pointed out, he does ask about the milk right off the bat - but I don't know if he assumed there was some other reason for it (like that she was one of the Dalek puppets) or just didn't want to face his growing suspicions. He certainly didn't treat her like a Dalek until he knew. It really highlights how ingrained and potentially irrational his response is; time and time again he's encountered them, battled them, killed them. As Rory asked, "Who killed all the Daleks?", and the Doctor almost smiles when he replies.

That was such a chilling moment.

If they put her in a ganger body or a Tesseract or something, if he swooped back in to save her pepper pot ass right before the explosion reached her, I would lose my mind. It would be so amazing to see this finally be the season he takes the clean slate Oswald handed him and make good on it, instead of repeating the same old war. To make peace with them.

Knowing Doctor Who, it's probably one of the timey-wimey logic bits. As I've said sometimes, if you're applying logic in this situation, you've applied it incorrectly.
JadeLotus: Amy/Rorylotusflower85 on September 5th, 2012 10:18 am (UTC)
Completely agree with you about Amy and Rory - I do wish the arc (if you can call it that) had a bit more background to it, but I still believed it and didn't think it was OCC. Particularly because a lot of their relationship about what they don't say to each other, and this was in that vein.

Also think that the big theme for this season is going to be memory - which has really been Amy's theme her entire run.