Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks prequel review

Review

Asylum of the Daleks prequel

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The Doctor: I’m married.

Doctor Who Season: S33 (Ep1’s prequel).
Story Number: n/a, though a prequel to 226, released on iTunes after broadcast of that story.

It’s a “prequel” which is actually a prequel…

The previous four “prequels” were, like Pond Life, streaming on the Web (on bbc.co.uk and the YouTube BBC channel) but really they were preludes – something broadcast before the main event.

The release of this on iTunes after the (UK and US) television broadcasts of the main story means that any keen Doctor Who fan will be watching these as a flashback effectively, but of course they function as a teaser on iTunes and an encouragement to use the platform to view the new Doctor Who season (another element of the plan to build on Doctor Who‘s American popularity. It is the show that that was number 1 on 2011 US iTunes chart[1] after all.)

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So what of this prequel itself, with its 2-and-a-half minute runtime? A fun but inconsquential taster for the programme?

Viewing this soon after the fantastic Asylum of the Daleks, it was surprising that this even existed, but even more surprising just how exciting these new minutes of Doctor Who were.Asylum of the Daleks prequel reviewAsylum of the Daleks prequel reviewAsylum of the Daleks prequel reviewAsylum of the Daleks prequel review

Also, they add a whole extra layer of meaning to the Doctor’s trip to Skaro that began the most recent story, tieing that episode into the larger ongoing plotlines of Doctor Who (which is extraordinary really when you think it’s meant presumably as a teaser for new viewers, though it functions as that too).

This review isn’t going to include a synopsis, as it would take just as long to read as to watch almost, though it will say there was a surprising amount of echoes of Classic Doctor Who – the Matrix of The Deadly Assassin or The Trial of Time Lord.

The biggie though was how it closes, with Skaro and the eyes of a Time Lord, which is how the TV Movie begins.

That 1996 story was derided for using Skaro as a way of introducing Doctor Who to new viewers, has this prequel repeated the same thing but with a different digital geeky world ready?

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iTunes links for the first half of this current season which includes this prequel:

UK iTunes Asylum of the Daleks prequel

US iTunes Asylum of the Daleks prequel

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Footnotes

1. ^

“Doctor Who beats Dexter, True Blood and Glee to top 2011 US iTunes chart” (Radio Times, link)

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