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Chris Hardwick


Asylum of the Daleks: A Screening

Although the season seven premiere of Doctor Who aired this past Saturday, I had tickets to an advance screening of the premiere on August 25th at Ziegfeld Theater. That Saturday was meant to start off like another other Saturday for me. I would wake up, get ready for the day, work for a few hours, and come home. This particular Saturday, however, started very differently. Instead of my normal boring adventurous ride to work, a deer decided to run into the side of my car as I was driving. Though I think the event traumatized both of us, I think we both walked away healthy but a little banged up.

After work, I scarfed down lunch, and got dressed – as the 11th Doctor – while I waited for my friend to arrive so we could catch the bus into the city. The line was already pretty long by the time we got there, but once the doors opened things moved along pretty nicely. Unfortunately Matt Smith and Karen Gillan arrived after we were let into the building, so we didn’t get to see them get out of their DELOREANS. Yes, they came to the showing in deloreans – check it out in this video:

SPOILERS AHEAD: If you haven’t watched last Saturday’s episode or any episode since the 2005 reboot, you might not want to read further.

While we waited for the screening to officially begin, BBC America had set up a really well-put-together video playlist of “top” lists and random clips throughout the Doctor Who show. Plus, it was nice to see that many Whovians in one place. In the photo above, you can see everyone raising their sonic screwdrivers. Right after, everyone clapped to the tune of the Master’s drumming. It was as if we were all transported to another world – since I’m not used to being around that many people who like the series. I became instantly grateful to my friend Matt (pictured with me here) and all of the other Whovians who had urged me to watch the show. Especially since they dealt with my teasing – until I became a Whovian myself, that is.

Thoughts on ‘Asylum’

I was so in awe of the episode. I didn’t like how it started – at all – because to me, it felt really rushed and less thought-out than previous episodes. After that initial frustration, though, I was hooked. My heart felt torn out when Amy signed the divorce papers. What is going on?! I’ve always been kind of off-and-on about liking Amy, especially since I’m a big fan of Rory, and seeing her just write him out of her life like that really hurt. Doesn’t she know how in love he is – and always will be – with her?

But then humans began turning into some human-Dalek hybrid and the Doctor and the Ponds were transported into an entire room full of Daleks. To a Whovian, this is terrifying (and I’m not even that scared of Daleks… compared to other monsters). Basically – without giving anything else away – the trio are sent on a mission against all odds fighting the Daleks. Luckily, they have the help of Oswin Oswald to guide them through this terrifying maze and to safety.

Now, Oswin Oswald, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman (the future companion) was excellent. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for her soufflés – seriously, she’s shipwrecked for a year and still apparently pops out for the milk? She’s a regular Martha Stewart. Well, quite a bit more badass (sorry, Stewart) and a technological genius – she’s been resisting Dalek control for a year – and survived!

The big reveal at the end, and what happens to the Doctor, the Ponds, and the Daleks was too much to process. I still can’t wrap my head around it.

And for those of you speculating that the Doctor will travel to a previous period in Oswin’s timeline to take her on as a companion – who says Oswin is the next companion? We just know that Jenna-Louise Coleman is playing the next companion – not who her character is. Right?

What did you think of the episode? Were you as shocked at the ending as I was? Oswin! My feels!

The Q&A

Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, and producer Caroline Skinner stayed around for a Q&A with The Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick. Check it out here. I thought it was an excellent follow-up to the episode, and it was fun to see Matt and Karen – even though we were pretty far back. I felt really bad for Caroline, though. I think only one question was directed towards her – and the asker mistook her for the casting director. I wanted to yell out “I appreciate you, Caroline!” Us filmmakers gotta stick together, ha.