Tue, Aug
21
2012

Can Steven Moffat "Save the Daleks"?

Tue, Aug 21, 2012

A very cool trailer for the coming season premier of Doctor Who (entitled Asylum of the Daleks) follows:

Though I am an unrepentant Dalek fanboy, I have to admit that these beautiful machines have about the character of a cardboard box. Showrunner Steven Moffat himself notes that when these most popular enemies of the Doctor show up too often, they become far too easy to beat, and far less formidable a foe. My wife rolls her eyes whenever she sees them. My friend (and new father — congrats, man!) Jeff Szpirglas hates them. All for good reason.

But the Daleks can be beautifully ruthless as well as beautifully designed. Their best stories are when they step out of the EXTERMINATE! mantra and become devious. Or despairing. Remember how brilliant the first Dalek story of this revival was? It’s a challenge, but Daleks can step out of the box defining them and, when they do, it’s something beautiful to behold.

I can’t help but notice that Steven Moffat has yet to tackle the Daleks in any serious way. He was originally to be assigned the two-parter Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks back in the revival’s third season but bowed out due to time constraints (in the process giving us Blink, for which we are all grateful). At his worst (The Beast Below), he still manages to defy our expectations, give us little surprises, and interesting twists on whats happened before.

And now he is the writer who opens the revival’s seventh season with Asylum of the Daleks.

I could still be disappointed, but I remain hopeful that this meeting between writer and monster has been a long time in coming, and that Steven will surprise us.

The official launch date of the seventh season has not been announced, but one could consider it “imminent”.


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