Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks

Posted: September 2, 2012 in Critical Hit
Tags: , , , , , ,

Warning: total spoilers.

I hadn’t planned on watching Doctor Who tonight for the same reason that I didn’t watch the most recent Christmas special, viz: a complete lack of faith in Steven Moffat’s ability to competently write and manage the series. My husband, however, was curious, with the result that we sat down to watch it over dinner. And even though the end result was just as frustrating as I’d feared it would be, having gone to the effort of watching, it seems wrong (or at least, deeply uncharacteristic) not to bother with analysing why.

Thus, I bring you Asylem of the Daleks: a review in three parts.

Part 1: Plot

Amy Pond is still a model, she and Rory are getting divorced, and the Daleks are back: in fact, they’re running prison camps on Skaro, where the Doctor has been summoned to try and rescue an unknown woman’s daughter. As it turns out, however, the woman herself is a trap: she’s actually a Dalek puppet – there’s an eyestalk in her forehead and a laser in her hand, both of which are apparently retractable – and the Doctor is promptly zapped (along with Amy and Rory, natch) aboard a spaceship containing the Dalek Parliament. Naturally, this is cause for alarm, until it becomes apparent that the Daleks actually want the Doctor to save them – a ship has crashed on the Dalek asylum planet, raising the possibility that its mad, bad inhabitants might escape, and because the Daleks are too afraid to go down and turn the force field off so they can bomb it, they want ‘the Predator of the Daleks’ to do it for them. (Amy and Rory are there because ‘the Doctor requires companions’.)

Let’s list the problems in order, shall we?

1) Skaro was destroyed in the Time War – which is to say, declared nonexistent and irretrievable – and nobody mentions this.

2) The Daleks were destroyed in the Time War – meaning they can only show up if they’re listed as having escaped it somehow, which these ones aren’t – and nobody mentions this.

3) Apparently there are human prison camps on Skaro – even though it’s the Dalek homeworld and they exist to exterminate, not enslave – and nobody mentions this.

4) Daleks are not their armour – making the eystalk and laser combination seem deeply weird as a means of indicating Dalek control – and nobody mentions this.

5) Daleks are obsessed with their own genetic perfection: we’ve had multiple episodes detailing their disgust for human impurity, to the point of committing genocide against a human-Dalek hybrid race, and yet apparently they’re OK with manipulating human corpses and putting the resultant hybrid entities in positions of command – and nobody mentions this.

6) Thousands of Daleks, their entire Parliament, the ship in which they reside and the asylum planet have all apparently survived the Time War, even though this is pretty much impossible – and nobody mentions this.

7) The Daleks want the Doctor to help them because they’re all afraid of the asylum inhabitants – and this is treated as normal, instead of absolutely mind-blowing.

8) The Doctor is called ‘the Predator of the Daleks’, a name he’s never heard before, even though he’s known in their mythology as the Oncoming Storm – and nobody mentions this.

9) At no point is the Doctor or anyone else surprised to see so many Daleks roaming about – and nobody mentions this.

10) At no point does the Doctor rail against the existence of the Daleks or even contemplate refusing to help – and nobody mentions this.

In other words: the entire fucking premise is a retcon of epic proportions, undoing a major part of the Doctor’s characterisation and history as established not only since the 2005 reboot, but since Moffat himself took over – and not only is this done casually, in the sense of having no build up or cathartic explanation, but not a single character thinks there’s anything odd about it. Which leaves me to conclude that it was done for no better reason than that Moffat thought the Daleks asking the Doctor for help was such a cool idea that taking the time to integrate it with the existing continuity or explain things at all would only detract from the shiny cool surprise of having a zany madcap adventure that doesn’t make sense. And given the lengthy history of Doctor Who, it strikes me as being supremely disrespectful of the story, world and characters to make such sweeping alterations to the canon out of laziness and ineptitude – as a byproduct of a ‘cool’ idea, instead of to a deliberate, actual purpose.

Part 2: Characterisation

Emotionally, Asylum has four main players: the Doctor, Rory, Amy and Oswin, a perky, flirty, genius girl trapped on the planet after her ship crash landed a year ago (and who’s played by the actress signed as the next companion). We’ll get to her in a minute, though, because first there’s the Amy/Rory dilemma to deal with. We first see Amy posing on a fashion shoot, and when Rory appears, it’s to get her to sign the divorce papers. Later, it’s revealed that the reason for the split is Amy’s inability to have children – or at least, more children – after what was done to her at Demon’s Run: knowing Rory wanted kids, she let him go rather than force him to endure a childless partnership, though until her inevitable damselling forces her to reveal this fact (she lost her special bracelet and was steadily being taken over by Dalek symbiot-eyestalk-implanting nanites or something, of course) he was apparently unaware of why she kicked him out.

And I just… OK. Look. Being as how I’m currently four months pregnant, it’s conceivable (hah! pun!) that I’m more sensitive than usual about plots of this nature, especially when they’re bullshit. But it seems to me that, what with her previous child having been stolen from her and raised by psychopaths after she was mindraped and imprisoned throughout her pregnancy, Amy might reasonably be expected to have a few more issues about getting knocked up than simply being sad that she can’t do it. And not only does no one mention River Song, let alone adoption, but Rory never says anything to the effect of caring more about Amy than about biological offspring – they just magically reconcile when, by all accounts, the actual problem that caused the split hasn’t gone away. And in any case, it strikes me as being excruciatingly cheap to have two characters who’ve literally been to the ends of time for each other break up off screen*, just so your can put them back together again in the next breath.

And then, of course, we have Oswin: a trapped girl who can endlessly hack the Dalek systems, and who has apparently spent the last year making soufles and listening to opera while awaiting rescue. We hear her speaking over the com and playing her music, as do the Doctor, Amy and Rory; we even see her hanging out in her wrecked-yet-cosy spaceship. But in an episode where every other human turns out to have been a Dalek-puppet, the Big Reveal – that Oswin was turned into a full-blown Dalek straight after landing –  is as predictable as it is stupid. Even ignoring the overall continuity questions this raises (how did the crazy Daleks manage it? where did they get the facilities? why and how was she allowed to retain her human personality?), there’s a massive goof in the fact that, when the Doctor reaches her, she’s shown as a Dalek chained in a room: her speaking voice is a Dalek voice, and she has no visible access to anything. How, then, has she been speaking to the Doctor in a voice that was recognisibly that of  a human girl? Where did the opera music come from? Why is she chained up, forgotten and unguarded, if the point of making her Dalek was to orchestrate an escape? How is she controlling everything when she doesn’t have any access to the asylum’s systems – or at least, no access that we can see? How does any of this work?

The answer is, it doesn’t: characteristically, Moffat has gone for the twist-reveal at the total and utter expense of logic. The solution simply doesn’t make sense – but then, neither did the premise, so what else was I expecting?

Part 3: Conclusion

Asylum of the Daleks is shoddily written, poorly constructed and atrociously characterised, all in the name of Shit That Looks Cool If You Have A Limited Attention Span And Don’t Stop To Think About It. Nothing in the script feels necessary to the plot: there’s lots of running through dark hallways interspersed with Daleks repeating themselves and dead/dying women being sad, but none of it so much as winks at the glaring, legitimate questions raised by the sheer nonsensical retconning and outright illogic of both premise and conclusion, which means that the whole episode feels like a badly-managed segue. Even the pacing is flabby: as difficult as it is to make a half-hour episode of action-drama feel both too short (in the sense of not addressing anything relevant) and overlong (in the sense of consisting entirely of things that don’t matter), Steven Moffat has managed the double whammy with aplomb.

And from what I can see, the rest of Season 7 looks to be more of the same: ideas that are flash and dazzle when glimpsed in brief, but which otherwise make no sense, not because they’re inherently unworkable, but because Moffat can’t be bothered to make them work. If I watch them, it’ll be down to a combination of my husband’s love of crap TV and narrative rubbernecking: I simply can’t believe how badly in need of editing his work is. Which, ultimately, is what it all boils down to: the only explanation for the marked drop in skill and execution between Moffat’s stellar episodes under RTD and what he’s producing now is the absence of anyone with the power to red pen to his scripts and tweak them until they’re presentable. He’s certainly never lacked for exciting ideas, but when it comes to narrative logic, pacing and characterisation, he’s far more miss than hit.

*No, I haven’t seen the Pond Life prequels; yes, I know the last episode ends with Rory walking away and Amy in tears. We still don’t get the reason until Asylum, and after everything Moffat’s put them through, giving them a kiss-and-make-up moment in literally the next episode is still unbelievably cheap.

Comments
  1. The plots in the Moffat era sacrifice coherence for spectacle. And the Doctor skiting. It’s very dull.

    Female-wise, severe aaaargh episode for me.

    When the trailers for this season came out, focusing around the image of the Doctor carrying damselAmy, and Rory asks “Who killed the daleks” and the Doctor responds “Who do you think?”, a lot of people said that damselAmy was mitigated by the fact that Any _obviously_ was the person who had killed the daleks, and that makes up for her damsel pose.

    No.

    Amy’s role in this story was to “love”.

    And the reason for breaking up the marriage…bigger aaargh. They HAVE A BABY. They’re just okay with not going and rescuing it!!!

    Did you notice, btw, that Oswin never once directed a comment at Amy? She flirted with the Doctor and with Rory, and said not one single word directly to Amy.

    • fozmeadows says:

      Ugh, that image of the Doctor carrying Amy. It’s been EVERYWHERE, and I just want to SET IT ON FIRE, because it’s a visual personification of everything that irks me about Moffat’s writing. Plus and also, why was it even necessary? Why would she even lose the use of her limbs when all the dead people puppets could still walk fine? All we were told was that her memory would vanish, not that her body would start to slip, but even so, BAM, classic ladydamsel pose. GAH.

      And I didn’t even notice Oswin ignoring Amy; double and triple ugh.

      • The Goldfish says:

        Agreed. I love Doctor Who but these days it’s like visiting an old beloved friend who is married to someone who doesn’t care a thing about them. There have been twists and subtle back-tracking with the rules of the universe, but Moffat doesn’t seem to believe there are any rules. And how many episodes there are now with multiple female characters who don’t talk to each other at all, I don’t know.

        Also, I’m *so* fed up with Amy’s aggression towards Rory. She slapped him twice in that episode. Twice. There weren’t even moments of great passion or anger.

  2. Brendan Moody says:

    Thanks for this review; it’s spared me watching the episode, being temporarily distracted by Moffat’s shiny new ideas and wacky one-liners, and then realizing over the next week or so how bad it really is. As if Amy and Rory’s baffling non-response to losing their daughter wasn’t bad enough last year, that whole mess of awful characterization has to carry forward into 2012’s what-passes-for-character-work. I live in fear of what “The Angels Take Manhattan” will bring.

  3. Derek says:

    The Daleks coming back, and not being wiped out anymore, was the entire point of the Victory of the Daleks story back in series 5. They won, they outsmarted the Doctor, and now they’re back. They built a new Skaro. They probably could’ve mentioned that in this episode, though, for those who forgot. And they’ve shown Daleks enslaving rather than destroying humans for a long time, including on their homeworld.

  4. Pam says:

    This is EXACTLY how I feel. All the feels. All of them.

  5. Thiago says:

    Hey, come`on, if you wanna talk about retcon, get your facts right…

    First of all, a huge amount of Daleks was seens several times already after it was estabilished that they where lock down in the time-war, both in russel era and in mofat era (In badwolf in Serie 1, from the Void Ship in Serie 2, recreated by davros in serie 4, the progenator in serie 5) so why would be a big deal if they appeared again?, also in the classic series if i remember right was set at some point that there are distinct factions of daleks (they even had a civil war), so maybe not all daleks were fightinh in the timewar, so some of then would not be locked down in it. So not that mindblowing that there are daleks still out there (russel even stated that Davros survived the ship explosion on stolen earth, so he can just have recreated the daleks some place else.

    Also, Skaro is said to have being devastated in the time war, but it was never estabilished that it was locked down in the time war with galifrey, skaro was left by the daleks at some point in the classical series in the classical serie what points that they probably have other planets to use as hq.

    There are no humans prisioners at all in any moment, those are dalek pupets and they are just tools for the daleks, they apear being human because the daleks use their memories, just that and nothing more, so those are not daleks themselves, the same as for the people in the planet, they were turn puppets as part of the security system (a clever one by the way). As for the sufflet girls, well the daleks in the asylum were established as “crazy”, so they may not care at all about a human-dalek hybrids, we cannot predict what those daleks would do. As for facilities, the dalek lider said that those are considered the most beautiful daleks, they are locked because they are unpredictable and they could not be controlled, that does not mean that they were send down there to die, but just as a way to contain then, so it is expected that they would have proper facilities down there. Why she retained her human continence? because it was a failure, the daleks turned her body but could not control her mind by some reason, that is also why she was locked in a room with chains, and why no guards? there is no guards down there, just crazy daleks, they were affraid of she because she was an already gifted human (perhaps the reason she was able to resist the mind control) that turned out to have a super smart mind as dalek (maybe that was exactly the goal, the next step toward dna perfection, increase mind capacities of the daleks). all the rest was her mind dealing with everything, including the classical music.

    Regarding the history the woman told the doctors in the begin, have you not realized that it was part of the trap? So there are no prisioner camps, and even if they existed, she never said they were in skaro. And, have lost several times trying to conquer earth, it is not suprinsing that daleks would buit a camp and keep prisioners as guinepigs, they are a very smarth race and research is expected to exist.

    Daleks NEVER were just their armors, the actual Dalek is a creature genetically engineered originally by davros that stay inside the armors (but are seen outside from time to time), this was estabilished from the begin back in the classical series.

    As for their obsession with dna perfection, again those are not daleks, they are just puppets, just tools. Daleks would not support the girl conversion, but again the daleks in the asylum are crazy and therefore unpredicable.

    If the parlament was lost in the timewar they can just have built anothers one, it is just a big spaceship full of daleks, get some scrap metal, some daleks and you are good to go.

    As for then asking the doctor for help, this is unexpected, but not entirely impossible, daleks have being showed as capable of fear before, so it is not all new that there are things they fear other then the doctor. Now, if you have to deal with a bunch of daleks, what would be the natural option, well anyone would say call the doctor, and as you can see by this very ep, the daleks are very smart, so not estrange that they came to the same conclusion. I dont want to deal with a crazy faction of my own very dangerous species, lets bring the guy who kicked our asses several times to do it, and if he die in the process you can still call it a produtive day.

    About the doctor refusing to help, what make you think he had a choice? In a room full of daleks pointing their guns at you, if a dalek say jump you jump, even the doctor is not crazy to cross then in such a situation (remeber as how easily he surendered back in stolen earth on serie 5?), and they just put the blue bracelets in him and tossed him in the planet, so if you wanna save yourself, then you gonna have to help us. And not much a big deal with then calling him predator, just another name. Every name had to start at some point, and predator seen just as good as uncoming storm.

    As for how the girl was able to hack in the system, in this very episode it is estabilished that the daleks are part of a hive-mind kind of thing, so tecnically she can hack into any daleks mind, armors and therefore theirs connection to any control panel, or there could even be an interface for this hive mind thing directly to the control systems.

    As for the no kids thing with amy and rory, i wouldn’t see this as a big problem if they had used the ponds life prequel better. They could have developed this more, made the break up in the last ep, and then reunited then in the first ep of the actual serie. So i will partially agree with you there, but as this is just a secondary plot, it does not matter that much, at the end it was just a tool to use when amy was being turned into a dalek puppet in that part “they take your love and increase your anger” that was there just to give a sense of urgency, if not they could stay there for months or even years…

    Mofat era can have many downsides, but if you wanna analyze the thing against the DW universe then do it properly and get yout facts right.

  6. Alexei says:

    I’m mainly disappointed by the lack of old series daleks, From what I heard in reviews and such, the asylum would be crawling with 60’s 70’s and 80’s daleks!! but no, its full of 2005 daleks. except for the one appearance of the special weapons dalek which you only see for about 1 second in a dark corner.

    And I was angry enough when all the daleks forgot who the doctor was, but when they all started calling “doctor who?” I frankly wanted to punch a something, preferably Moffat!

  7. Simone says:

    So much agreement. And yeah, the doctor who part at the end was quite rage-inducing.

    I’d like to request you keep watching though, I enjoy reading your thoughts on all the things, and there’s not much critical thinking of DW around these here parts.

  8. the twisted spinster says:

    Actually, wasn’t Skaro destroyed by Davros using the Omega Device in the Seventh Doctor episode “Remembrance of the Daleks“? Then again, I believe they resurrected Skaro for the 8th Doctor movie (haven’t seen it). But bringing Skaro back from the dead without any mention of how that could be seems to be something of a habit in Whoville. Meh, Daleks bore me, and a major disappointment I have of Moffat is the way he brought them back after promising “all new monsters” in one of his many lies.

    I haven’t watched the episode so can’t comment on it specifically, but I admit to being disappointed with what I’ve heard is the direction Moffat has decided to take the series, if it can even be called a “direction.” The only way I can reconcile all the retcons that go unmentioned and the weird way River Song only seems to be an issue to Rory and Amy when she’s actually in an episode, and the odd note of making major series characters forget the Doctor even exists, and just the plain way the main characters seem to constantly go out of character, is that none of this is real — not real in the context of the show, that is. I’ll skip the tl;dr and just say that if the whole series isn’t wrapped up with the Doctor waking up/escaping from some sort of virtual Matrix-world I’ll be… well, not surprised, it wouldn’t be the first time a tv show has let me down (hello, X-Files).

    I think that there is some truth to what you say about Moffat’s writing going off since he became showrunner. I have many issues with RTD’s writing, but he did know how to keep an episode flowing. Also even though he was not 100% great with female characters Rusty at least allowed them to have personalities and lives. Amy is… so frustrating, because there are hints that Moffat could write a consistent and interesting personality for her if he wanted to (train Amy in the alternate Pandora world comes to mind, and child Amy as well), but for some reason he seems to want grown “our world” Amy to be an Incomprehensible Female Object, who doesn’t do anything but react. Rory is the one in the relationship who does all the acting, the trying, the loving, etc. In general women in the Moffat-run episodes are increasingly just objects who are the impetus to male action and male pain. Who always had sexism but “women as object to cause men to do things” used to be rather rare, and saved for crisis scenes of short duration (Sarah Jane trapped by a monster and yelling for the Doctor, etc.). Now they’re often the centerpiece of whatever the episode is about: like the frozen dying woman in the Christmas special.

    The way more and more stuff is pushed offscreen is also irritating, and might be due to budget cuts, but a better writer, I think, would find a way to just not have so much of it. We get the hints that the Doctor is having all these adventures away from what we actually see, which is him making sadface because the Amy/Rory team is having problems because of course one of the Doctor’s main function is to be a marriage counselor for humans. Can you tell I’m getting tired of how “Doctor Who” seems to be more and more about the Doctor’s friends? At the base of it all I don’t fucking care about the companions, they aren’t what the show is about. I really like Matt Smith (after initial caution because I was expecting someone older and “grandfatherly” and we got yet another young guy) but he seems to be pushed more and more to the side so we can watch Amy and Rory angst. Moffat seems to think that he’s served the ladyfans of Who by getting them a cute young Doctor and then not doing much with him, which is not just a disservice to ladyfans but also to the actor himself, who is really quite good.

  9. Grant says:

    If continuity retcons are not your thing, Doctor Who is definitely not the show for you. They’ve been randomly ignoring continuity since 1964.

  10. Alison Grahame says:

    Perhaps it’s time to admit that Dr W has jumped the shark and move on.

  11. StansCoffins says:

    I’m not a massive Moffat fan, and have lots of problems with Series 6 and the thinly veiled misogynist streak throughout much of his writing, but some of these criticisms are simply plain wrong.

    “2) The Daleks were destroyed in the Time War – meaning they can only show up if they’re listed as having escaped it somehow, which these ones aren’t – and nobody mentions this.

    6) Thousands of Daleks, their entire Parliament, the ship in which they reside and the asylum planet have all apparently survived the Time War, even though this is pretty much impossible – and nobody mentions this.

    9) At no point is the Doctor or anyone else surprised to see so many Daleks roaming about – and nobody mentions this.”

    In Victory of the Daleks, Moffat made a conscious effort to restore the Daleks back into existence. The logic was that, with the amount of times they’d come back, having the Doctor constantly believing the Daleks to be extinct was getting pretty hard to swallow, and also made them look pathetic as a race of unstoppable monsters seeing as every time they tried doing anything they were wiped out COMPLETELY. Hence in Victory, they escape and explicitly state that they’re going off to rebuild the Dalek Empire. We see evidence of this in The Pandorica Opens, when they return, and The Wedding of River Song, where the Doctor fells a Dalek ship (not to mention the video games where we see armies of them).

    Personally I prefer it like this. It’s much more interesting knowing that Daleks are out there causing chaos than having the Doctor inexplicably shocked every time he sees they’re not completely dead.

    “3) Apparently there are human prison camps on Skaro – even though it’s the Dalek homeworld and they exist to exterminate, not enslave – and nobody mentions this.”

    This is hardly a new invention. The Daleks have enslaved humans all the way back to The Dalek Invasion of Earth (their second appearance) where they converted humans into Robomen which they used for labour en masse. Moffat has made a lot of annoying retcons, but this is simply one of the Daleks’ quirks.

    “4) Daleks are not their armour – making the eystalk and laser combination seem deeply weird as a means of indicating Dalek control – and nobody mentions this.”

    It’s a visual motif. This has been used to indicate Dalek control multiple times, just as handlebars have been used to indicate Cyber control.

    “5) Daleks are obsessed with their own genetic perfection: we’ve had multiple episodes detailing their disgust for human impurity, to the point of committing genocide against a human-Dalek hybrid race, and yet apparently they’re OK with manipulating human corpses and putting the resultant hybrid entities in positions of command – and nobody mentions this.”

    Well, the whole point of the Oswin twist was that the Daleks who did so were insane. I agree that it was stupid from a Dalek standpoint but it worked dramatically.

    “7) The Daleks want the Doctor to help them because they’re all afraid of the asylum inhabitants – and this is treated as normal, instead of absolutely mind-blowing.”

    Was it? The Doctor seemed pretty surprised to me.

    “8) The Doctor is called ‘the Predator of the Daleks’, a name he’s never heard before, even though he’s known in their mythology as the Oncoming Storm – and nobody mentions this.”

    The Oncoming Storm was an RTD invention, a name he’d never heard before, but nobody mentioned that.

    “10) At no point does the Doctor rail against the existence of the Daleks or even contemplate refusing to help – and nobody mentions this.”

    Okay, I agree with this one. He left pretty rapidly at the end too without bothering to try and bring them down.

    For what it’s worth, I loved this episode and found it a return to form for Moffat after my distaste for his writing had come to new highs after the Irene Adler episode of Sherlock. The pregnancy storyline irritated me for its use of very real and serious issues as a cheap plot device to split up the main characters, but I don’t view Moffat’s moving on from RTD’s Time War centric universe as a flaw.

    • Hand me your books. I will totally carry them, StansCoffin.

      And yes, DW continuity has been fluid and full of gaps since the series inception. Bagging Moffet on anything Pond related is fair, but holding RD up as some perfect DW time makes me ill.

    • fozmeadows says:

      Your first three points I’ve answered here, but basically: if they’re the rebuilt Dalek race as canonical from Victory, they’re the wrong Daleks – the bronze ones all destroyed themselves as imperfect compared to the coloured ones, and yet there’s scarcely a new Dalek in sight. (Although, weirdly, there’s a new white one in the asylum, which ought to be impossible if it predates the Time War.) Which makes it a massive continuity goof.

      The prison camps on Skaro I wouldn’t have a problem with if it were explained in any way, but it’s a big thing to just drop into the episode without any further context or greater relevance, and I dislike how cheaply it was done. The Doctor could’ve been anywhere in the universe and the Daleks could’ve trapped and found him just as easily – after all, they trapped Amy and Rory on Earth – but instead, it was Skaro, which raises a whole bunch of questions that lazily weren’t acknowledged, let alone answered.

      I know the eyestalks were a visual motif, but at least in the case of the Cybermen, the metal bodies is literally all they are – there’s nothing fleshy left, and even then (though I could be wrong) I think the Cyberman handlebars have always come from something the host was wearing externally, like headphones or earpieces, rather than being a concealed part of their anatomy. I disliked it with the Daleks because they’re not Cybermen, and it was, again, a lazy visual.

      The Doctor seems a bit surprised, yes, but accepts the idea of Daleks who can be afraid; I think the only other time we’ve seen Daleks show fear was in the original 2005 episode, and that was seen as massively aberrant at almost a genetic level. What I’m getting at is, given that the Daleks are literally meant to consist only of hate, it bugged me that the Doctor didn’t question the idea that they could feel fear en masse, as opposed to individually.

      The difference with the Oncoming Storm is that the Doctor knows they call him this; it was odd he didn’t know they called him the Predator, and even odder that he couldn’t work out that the term meant him from context. I mean, the Doctor is meant to be smarter than the rest of us, so if we all realised instantly what it meant, why didn’t he?

  12. JJ says:

    (Hello! Long-time lurker here. I love your posts!)

    I have long since stopped trying to insert logic into Moffat’s episodes. (As much as I liked “Blink”, that episode is RIDDLED with holes and questions. Let us not talk about the Library episodes.) I thought that, if he wasn’t so good with emotional logic, he was at least a master of intricate puzzle-box plots, but no, he’s bought into “There must be a twist at all costs!” mentality, sacrificing story flow and character development for a 5-second gasp. I don’t mind continuity hiccoughs, but Asylum of the Daleks didn’t actually feel like a retcon to me. It just felt like a regular old “adventure”, which I’d be okay with if the characters didn’t irritate me so. (And I like them all in THEORY. But that’s always been my issue with Moffat–I like his stuff in THEORY, but not in actuality. Also, those actors deserve to be in better-written show than this.)

    I’m more weary than outraged at this point. Series 6 did a number on me–constant anger at the poorly handled characterization, the implicit sexism, ableism, heteronormativity, and racism, the fact that Moffat betrays exactly what a shitty person he is whenever he opens his mouth, etc.–I can’t sustain that rage anymore. I’m TIRED. And bored. And bored was something I never expected to be when it comes to Doctor Who.

    • fozmeadows says:

      I can’t sustain that rage anymore. I’m TIRED. And bored. And bored was something I never expected to be when it comes to Doctor Who.

      Ditto this. The whole thing is just draining.

  13. Oh god, yes. Thanks.

    Other distressing implications:

    Stephen Moffat’s Universal Hierarchy of Feminine Desire
    Literally every woman in Stephen Moffat’s private wankverse just want to be mothers. They are only capable of holding pink-collar careers, with occasional high-flying Sexy Spies, or Foxy Prostitutes, or even Slinky Entertainment Managers. These cutesy little day-jobs are nothing, however, to the love of a Good Man, for whom all interests are sacrificed. But the Good Man, the career, the Interests, etc. are all insignificant at the altar of Baby. Because Motherhood is the endgame of all women, the pure and rarefied pinnacle of achievement. Without the ability to achieve Motherhood, women are worthless – a good woman, like Amy, will recognize this. The worst thing that happened to her in her travels with the Doctor, the thing that was so mentally scarring that she could not maintain her adult relationships in the light of it, was not “losing parents for most of life due to weird hole in space-time continuum” or “years of therapy due to imaginary friend” or “watching her older self die” or “kidnapping, mindfucking, forced pregnancy” or “hey! you’re not really real! or “traumatic loss of baby” or “witnessing husband die, like, a million times” – no, she had to throw out her husband because she couldn’t have biological children. How does she even know this – did she go to a Secret Alien Kidnap Fertility Clinic to figure out why she’d been menstruating sparkles for the past year, and why is this not a thing she mentioned to Rory? Why is this even a problem? Well, because Motherhood, obviously. MOTHERHOOD. I imagine Moffat leading his actresses through a mantra to get into character: “Muuuuuuummmmmm.”

    (Motherhood is totally awesome, though – congratulations!)

    Adults Totes Get Divorced Without Talking About the Reason Why
    That’s totally a thing. But if they actually talk about the reason then it just goes away. ARHGAKJSDGHKAJSDGHKJASGHDkasdhGaksjgh.

    Also, Oswin really bothered me. Not necessarily as a character – she was appealing, and the actress is very charming. But I had the same questions you did (how does she communicate with a woman’s voice? HOW THE OPERA MUSIC?) and a specific frustration about how Daleks are not armor, but floppy biological creatures that scoot around in stupid armor shells. Right?

    So what is Oswin? Like, a biological human brain in a jar, and the jar is in the armor, and the armor is in the room? She clearly has a human’s mind; she feels affection, humor and sexual interest; her memories are intact, she loves her mother, she pursues her limited interest, she hacks the Daleks in order to amuse herself, and all in all, she is in control of the Dalekification process (oh god, how am I even typing this trash). Upon discovering her Dalek armor, the Doctor reacts to her with fear, contempt, horror and disgust, provoking her into accepting she’s a Dalek (“You’re not human! You’re a Dalek. Fuck you!”) and this makes her briefly want to kill him. Then she regains control of herself, but too late; the Doctor got the reaction that he wanted (confirming his feels that anything dressed like a garbage can with eggs and a toilet plunger is Evil, kill it with fire.)

    But nope, she’s not going to be saved. She’s in control of herself, she has emotions, love and memory, she’s clearly so brilliant that even the Daleks didn’t want to kill her. She is not the armor; there is a biological piece in that armor, a human brain that is unaffected by all this nanobullshit.

    I mean, the nanobullshit process stops. It doesn’t really affect anything. Amy and the Doctor both had their bracelets off for several minutes, and rather than having all of their “love” steadily deleted, it just went away – poof! – okay, you’re fixed now, you can love again, you have the same love levels as you always did, that was just a glitch. After a year of living in the bullshitcloud, Oswin is flirting, dreaming, joking and protecting strangers. I highly doubt she’s a huge danger, even after being triggered.

    And that wasn’t worth rescuing.

    Because it wasn’t in the body of a human girl.

    Nope, can’t travel the skies with a girl in Dalek armor! Can’t take her brain with you! Can’t download her consciousness into a memory stick, or turn her into universe-traveling sentient sparkles. Definitely can’t build her a new body, save her, fix her, or give her closure; can’t throw some Flesh stuff on her, can’t bring a message to her mother or even thank her for saving your life; she’s a Dalek. If she doesn’t have the body of a pretty girl, she’s trash. Let her kill herself while saving you, it’s really for the best. Men, now, can be made out of white goop or memories, or even evil wife-killing plastic bodies that they have no control over – but there’s no worth to the consciousness of a human female in provoking armor.

    This is a long damn comment and should probably have been its own blog post. Sorry.

    • StansCoffins says:

      Now that point about the Doctor’s ablist reaction to the Oswin Dalek was a good one. Would you mind if I quoted it on Gallifrey Base?

      • Sure, if the link goes to Foz. And an interesting comparison/parallel would be between Rory’s plastic body (which he uses to murder his wife, but which the Doctor forgives him for, because he didn’t mean it/recovers compassion/fights the hive mind) but which looks human and is male… and Oswin’s Dalek body, which does not look human or attractive, and which belongs to a race the Doctor hates.

    • fozmeadows says:

      It broke my heart that he left Oswin to die purely because she had a Dalek-body, but it didn’t surprise me. It’s something Moffat’s Doctor does again and again: he destroys imperfect women, or is saved by female death. Having spent a whole two episodes yelling about how ‘gangers are people, he killed Ganger!Amy in a heartbeat because she wasn’t the ‘real’ one. He left Older!Amy to die – more than that, actively caused her death – because she wasn’t the ‘real’ one. He let River Song give up all her regenerations just to heal him, which she did literally about two seconds after he’d convinced her to switch sides, BECAUSE REASONS. And I just… IT IS NOT COOL.

      • Oh god, you’re right – the Ganger!Amy had kind of slipped by me, so thanks for that. Yes, it is terribly nice to know that female bodies have literally no value (except as incubators) BECAUSE REASONS.

        It is so hard to watch this show. Why do we do it? Is it masochism?

    • AMEN to what you said about the Doctor’s revulsion at Oswin. Since when has he been one to judge by superficial qualities? He *knows* the girl thinks she’s still human, and yet he’s still repulsed by her Dalek form and cruel to her. Oh yeah, and lets her die. The fuck?

      Also, has the Doctor been this homicidal this entire time and I just didn’t notice? He didn’t even blink, just laughed his shit off when he manipulated one insane Dalek into killing itself and then sent it on its way to massacre more. Then let the Daleks blow up the planet. What?

      The fact that Oswin was played by the new Companion makes me think that perhaps we’re going to see this character again. It’d be a pretty big continuity fuckup if they didn’t mention it. The Doctor might not have seen her physical form, but we sure as Hell did.

      Who knows, perhaps she’ll somehow get her magical Dalek powered-self transplanted into an appropriately cute human body. *Then* the Doctor can take her on adventures.

  14. Chris says:

    “The Daleks decided to terraform the planet Antalin to resemble Skaro as a decoy and manipulated Davros and the Doctor into ensuring that Antalin was destroyed in place of the original Skaro. (EDA: War of the Daleks)”

    That’s why Skaro still exists.

  15. Kathy says:

    I haven’t read each post so I could be repeating something that gas already been brought up, but…
    The Doctor and Amy were both exposed on the planet. They are both being turned into dalek puppets. I can’t believe that everyone would just go on their merry way with no concern for that huge fact. I sure wouldn’t want a dalekized Doctor running around the universe!

  16. Been avoiding this post until I finally saw it (we’re a week behind here in Aus) and agree with all your points. Profoundly stupid and disappointing episode, and such a lousy way to treat the Ponds. (and the ‘River who?’ thing pissed me off – how could a couple forget they already have a kid?!!)

  17. lily monleone says:

    when all said and done and leaving all the complexities of Who world aside, I was just plain bored. Amy and Rory bore me, Matt Smith bores me, and this new assistant bored me. The plot (if there was one) was cliche-ridden and tired. Nothing made sense (in a bad way not a good way) and I just didnt care what happened to any of them. In the RTD era I ALWAYS cared, I laughed, cried, and loved each episode no matter how weak. The episodes had heart and soul, the assistants were friends to the Doctor, it seemed real. The Ponds just run down corridors looking gormless, they do nothing and contribute less. I cant wait for the day they get rid of the lot of them so I can start to enjoy Who again, as I have done for the last 40 odd years. This latest incarnation is appalling.

  18. Lissa says:

    The plot holes and blatant ultra-feminising of Amy annoyed me. I’ve never liked Amy because of her damsel-in-distress role and I’ve increasingly grown to hate Smith’s Doctor. After watching the whole episode with my fanboy partner all I could say to him was, “Well, the dialogue’s still good.”

    • lily monleone says:

      I agree, but even the dialogue seems to be a bit too supposedly clever and ‘witty’ for its own good. It strikes me as being false and trying too hard to be cool. I dont find the in jokes funny at all. Its all so frenetic it wears me out. and Smith as the Doctor is just plain annoying, they have all got what I call ‘shark eye’ i cant see any real emotion behind the acting. I always got a real sense of warmth from Tennant, Donna and Rose. Donnas grandad was brilliant too. I miss them.

  19. Your Death, lol says:

    Have you ever heard of:
    Victory of the Daleks, where it is explicitly stated that the Daleks go off to rebuild their empire,
    or the Doctor Who movie, where Skaro is shown to be, erm, alive and well.
    Also, the converted humans are simply PUPPETS!

  20. Your Death, lol says:

    Oh, and, Moffat’s episodes are good, you just have to have an IQ of 60 to understand, something that you are clearly lacking.

    • lily monleone says:

      If by good, you mean pretentious pseudo intellectual tripe, I would get a refund on that test you did.

      • lily monleone says:

        Has anyone noticed how vicious and nasty Moffat lovers can be? They cant bear anyone who disagrees with them, and try to bully anyone who dares to question or critisize Moffat. Its really weird and its starting to bore me.

  21. bookgazing says:

    There are prequals for this series? I guess they weren’t on BBC at any point, because those would have been advertised, right? Really think you should be able to watch a mainstream TV series and feel a sense of continuity between series without having to have seen all the supplementary stuff.

  22. fishcustard says:

    alright i chanced upon this review, i havent even finished reading yet, and I AM PISSED. for one, get your facts right.

    1) this isn’t the first time we’ve seen thousands of dalek survivors in the 2005 series. in fact it was davies who first introduced them again, since the 9th doctor’s time, specifically bad wolf i think..

    2) it was gallifrey that was locked in the time war. skaro was never mentioned to have suffered the same fate. and the planet was clearly badly destroyed. being destroyed in the time war doesnt mean it ceases to exist, that’s idiotic. gallifrey was irretrievable because it was locked in the war, but even that planet still existed.

    also, stop being so inflexible. things evolve and change.

    1) yes, the daleks are obsessed with their own genetic purity, which is why they don’t treat the dalek puppets as equals. their idea to create dalek puppets was a matter of convenience and security. the essence of a dalek isn’t their armour, youre right, but those dalek puppets weren’t intended to be daleks, they were only for security, protection. daleks are about self-preservation. isn’t it a fine idea to use unimportant, replaceable humans as their guards then? all these puppet guards only need armour, since their sole use is to protect. no need to waste precious dalek lives too. besides, they needed to trick the doctor into entering skaro in the first place. so it’s quite logical that daleks should invent such a plan.

    2) just because you’ve never heard of The Predator, doesnt mean i can’t happen. change is what keeps things interesting and new, and thats all moffat’s trying to do. the doctor need not always be the oncoming storm, a name which they do honour eventually near the end of the episode.

    3) it isn’t new either that the daleks feel fear. this was also established in the 9th doctor’s time. and if there’s something that the daleks fear other than the doctor, it’ll be themselves. gone mad, turned against their own kind.. those daleks down there are dangerous, and the dalek race is smart enough to know that.

    also also, stop being such a prick. reason why i’m writing this before i’m even finishing reading your review is because i don’t want to continue. your writing style, your tone, your completely biased attitude and your stupidity is too much for me to handle without breaking all my arteries.

    how can i tell youre being biased? well, from the start you expressed dislike and distrust already for moffat, which doesnt usually put one in a very impartial position. furthermore, out of 10 of your points about the plot, 4 of them are basically about the same thing- the fact that so many daleks still exist. which shows that youre clearly not a real dw fan, because you sound as if this is the first episode to introduce them again in such numbers. and another thing, there is much ingenuity in this episode that you just choose to ignore, such as:

    1) the eggs and the souffle- mentioned in the very beginning as a passing comment twice, only to be revealed later as a key hint to the ending. also, the comical mistake of rory misinterpreting exterminate as eggs comes back to haunt later as oswin threatens to exterminate the doctor. brilliant continuity.

    2) oswin’s frequent and humorous boastings of her genius-level intellect again come back to bite everyone in the arse. that very intelligence causes her to be chosen for a full dalek conversion.

    3) oswin doing impossible things that even the doctor couldnt do, like hack into dalek tech, etc, and the strangeness of her surroundings- once again these come together and suddenly make sense and form the ending.

    basically, just quit pretending to be an indignant lifelong dw fan. or quit writing critical reviews of clever shows or of moffat as if you have the intellect to do so.

    • fozmeadows says:

      Translation: OH NOES SOMEONE ON THE INTERNET HATES A THING I LIKE SHE MUST BE A FAKE FAN AND SHOULD SHUT UP FOREVER MOFFAT IS THE BEST ahghdgfjhgdhkjdghdgf

      Yeah, no.

  23. hannadevries says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I got into Doctor Who relatively recently, but from the first couple of episodes of Series 1 I’ve been totally in love with the series. That is, until Moffat took over. I’m still watching – I haven’t fallen out of love yet – but many of Moffat’s episodes just leave me kind of angry and frustrated. And since my husband (or any other of my real-life friends) isn’t interested in Doctor Who, I can’t really discuss or analyse these feelings with anyone, and that’s – weirdly frustrating.

    So usually I just surf the internet until I find people who manage to articulate the issues I have with Moffat-Who. And so far, this post (plus the many insightful comments above) has done so better than anything else.

    I don’t know if anyone’s still reading this, but just for the satisfaction of getting the list off my chest:

    (1) I love Moffat’s timey-wimey stuff and the way he plays with paradoxes. But all too often he just uses it to avoid actual characterisation. Character X needs a motif to do Thing Y? We’ll just screw with time a bit so she actually saw her future self doing Y in the past so she knows it has to happen and subsequently does it! (and a thousand variations on this). The most blatant example is River Song, whose character gets more and more hollow over the course of Series 5 and 6 as more and more of her personality gets reduced to a kind of timey-wimey predestination – culminating in that awful wedding to the Doctor where her opinion or consent isn’t even asked because we’ve already seen that they’ll be married in the future so supposedly she’s OK with it (or whatever). (And I love River, so this just hurt on an almost personal level.)

    (2) When a character’s personality and motifs aren’t defined in terms of timey-wimey stuff, they’re defined almost completely in terms of the Doctor’s influence. Amy’s personality is completely defined in terms of her relationship with the Doctor – in Series 5 she’s presented as ‘broken’ and suffering from all kinds of trust and commitment issues that are ALL caused by the Doctor’s failure to return for her when she was 7; in Series 6 (after her trust issues are magically fixed because of the Doctor and timey-wimey stuff), her Blind Faith in the Doctor is both the reason for basically everything that happens to her, and the way she deals with it. (Her secondary defining ‘personality’ trait is that she’s In Love With Rory because… well, timey-wimey stuff forced him to wait for her for 2000 years and in Moffat’s world, stubborn persistence is super romantic and will make you Get The Girl without fail – cf. the creepy ‘he followed me home every day’ from The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe).

    (3) The casual sexism, much of it played for laughs and entirely avoidable. This ranges from the ‘LOL River Song is irrational and unpredictable because she’s a woman!’ remark from Let’s Kill Hitler, to the ‘LOL men are completely awkward with babies’ from Closing Time, to the ‘LOL Amy just slapped Rory – AGAIN’ from… just too many episodes to count. It just makes me go ARGH every time.

    (4) The Doctor’s sudden endorsement of violence. I get that it’s hard to write a nonviolent SciFi character, but RTD at least tried, and grappled (albeit a bit half-heartedly) with its implications (when a nonviolent Doctor just leads to others being violent on the Doctor’s behalf). But since Moffat’s takeover the Doctor seems to be perfectly fine with killing aliens, or telling others to kill aliens. Rory’s offhandedly blowing up an entire Cybermen fleet in A Good Man Goes To War – just to ‘send a message’ – was presented as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for his character; River and Amy both got a similarly ‘epic’ moment gunning down Silents. This seriously, seriously makes me sad – TV is painfully short of nonviolent role models for kids (and explicitly nonviolent characters in general), and I used to be really happy with Doctor Who for this reason. Now, not so much anymore.

  24. hannadevries says:

    Did my insanely long comment just get eaten by WordPress? Can I try again?

    —-

    Thank you so much for this post! I got into Doctor Who relatively recently, but from the first couple of episodes of Series 1 I’ve been totally in love with the series. That is, until Moffat took over. I’m still watching – I haven’t fallen out of love yet – but many of Moffat’s episodes just leave me kind of angry and frustrated. And since my husband (or any other of my real-life friends) isn’t interested in Doctor Who, I can’t really discuss or analyse these feelings with anyone, and that’s – weirdly frustrating.

    So usually I just surf the internet until I find people who manage to articulate the issues I have with Moffat-Who. And so far, this post (plus the many insightful comments above) has done so better than anything else.

    I don’t know if anyone’s still reading this, but just for the satisfaction of getting the list off my chest:

    (1) I love Moffat’s timey-wimey stuff and the way he plays with paradoxes. But all too often he just uses it to avoid actual characterisation. Character X needs a motif to do Thing Y? We’ll just screw with time a bit so she actually saw her future self doing Y in the past so she knows it has to happen and subsequently does it! (and a thousand variations on this). The most blatant example is River Song, whose character gets more and more hollow over the course of Series 5 and 6 as more and more of her personality gets reduced to a kind of timey-wimey predestination – culminating in that awful wedding to the Doctor where her opinion or consent isn’t even asked because we’ve already seen that they’ll be married in the future so supposedly she’s OK with it (or whatever). (And I love River, so this just hurt on an almost personal level.)

    (2) When a character’s personality and motifs aren’t defined in terms of timey-wimey stuff, they’re defined almost completely in terms of the Doctor’s influence. Amy’s personality is completely defined in terms of her relationship with the Doctor – in Series 5 she’s presented as ‘broken’ and suffering from all kinds of trust and commitment issues that are ALL caused by the Doctor’s failure to return for her when she was 7; in Series 6 (after her trust issues are magically fixed because of the Doctor and timey-wimey stuff), her Blind Faith in the Doctor is both the reason for basically everything that happens to her, and the way she deals with it. (Her secondary defining ‘personality’ trait is that she’s In Love With Rory because… well, timey-wimey stuff forced him to wait for her for 2000 years and in Moffat’s world, stubborn persistence is super romantic and will make you Get The Girl without fail – cf. the creepy ‘he followed me home every day’ from The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe).

    (3) The casual sexism, much of it played for laughs and entirely avoidable. This ranges from the ‘LOL River Song is irrational and unpredictable because she’s a woman!’ remark from Let’s Kill Hitler, to the ‘LOL men are completely awkward with babies’ from Closing Time, to the ‘LOL Amy just slapped Rory – AGAIN’ from… just too many episodes to count. It just makes me go ARGH every time.

    (4) The Doctor’s sudden endorsement of violence. I get that it’s hard to write a nonviolent SciFi character, but RTD at least tried, and grappled (albeit a bit half-heartedly) with its implications (when a nonviolent Doctor just leads to others being violent on the Doctor’s behalf). But since Moffat’s takeover the Doctor seems to be perfectly fine with killing aliens, or telling others to kill aliens. Rory’s offhandedly blowing up an entire Cybermen fleet in A Good Man Goes To War – just to ‘send a message’ – was presented as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for his character; River and Amy both got a similarly ‘epic’ moment gunning down Silents. This seriously, seriously makes me sad – TV is painfully short of nonviolent role models for kids (and explicitly nonviolent characters in general), and I used to be really happy with Doctor Who for this reason. Now, not so much anymore.

  25. hannadevries says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I got into Doctor Who relatively recently, but from the first couple of episodes of Series 1 I’ve been totally in love with the series. That is, until Moffat took over. I’m still watching – I haven’t fallen out of love yet – but many of Moffat’s episodes just leave me kind of angry and frustrated. And since my husband (or any other of my real-life friends) isn’t interested in Doctor Who, I can’t really discuss or analyse these feelings with anyone, and that’s – weirdly frustrating.

    So usually I just surf the internet until I find people who manage to articulate the issues I have with Moffat-Who. And so far, this post (plus the many insightful comments above) has done so better than anything else.

    • hannadevries says:

      I don’t know if anyone’s still reading this, but just for the satisfaction of getting the list off my chest:

      (1) I love Moffat’s timey-wimey stuff and the way he plays with paradoxes. But all too often he just uses it to avoid actual characterisation. Character X needs a motif to do Thing Y? We’ll just screw with time a bit so she actually saw her future self doing Y in the past so she knows it has to happen and subsequently does it! (and a thousand variations on this). The most blatant example is River Song, whose character gets more and more hollow over the course of Series 5 and 6 as more and more of her personality gets reduced to a kind of timey-wimey predestination – culminating in that awful wedding to the Doctor where her opinion or consent isn’t even asked because we’ve already seen that they’ll be married in the future so supposedly she’s OK with it (or whatever). (And I love River, so this just hurt on an almost personal level.)

    • hannadevries says:

      (2) When a character’s personality and motifs aren’t defined in terms of timey-wimey stuff, they’re defined almost completely in terms of the Doctor’s influence. Amy’s personality is completely defined in terms of her relationship with the Doctor – in Series 5 she’s presented as ‘broken’ and suffering from all kinds of trust and commitment issues that are ALL caused by the Doctor’s failure to return for her when she was 7; in Series 6 (after her trust issues are magically fixed because of the Doctor and timey-wimey stuff), her Blind Faith in the Doctor is both the reason for basically everything that happens to her, and the way she deals with it. (Her secondary defining ‘personality’ trait is that she’s In Love With Rory because… well, timey-wimey stuff forced him to wait for her for 2000 years and in Moffat’s world, stubborn persistence is super romantic and will make you Get The Girl without fail – cf. the creepy ‘he followed me home every day’ from The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe).

  26. hannadevries says:

    [terribly sorry about the formatting by the way – wordpress kept eating my post, and cutting it up was the only way to make it work]

    (2) When a character’s personality and motifs aren’t defined in terms of timey-wimey stuff, they’re defined almost completely in terms of the Doctor’s influence. Amy’s personality is completely defined in terms of her relationship with the Doctor – in Series 5 she’s presented as ‘broken’ and suffering from all kinds of trust and commitment issues that are ALL caused by the Doctor’s failure to return for her when she was 7; in Series 6 (after her trust issues are magically fixed because of the Doctor and timey-wimey stuff), her Blind Faith in the Doctor is both the reason for basically everything that happens to her, and the way she deals with it. (Her secondary defining ‘personality’ trait is that she’s In Love With Rory because… well, timey-wimey stuff forced him to wait for her for 2000 years and in Moffat’s world, stubborn persistence is super romantic and will make you Get The Girl without fail – cf. the creepy ‘he followed me home every day’ from The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe).

  27. hannadevries says:

    Oh dear, I’m terribly sorry. WordPress didn’t give me any indication that my reply was being posted/processed so I kept trying to post it, not realising that I was spamming you like crazy. Please feel free to delete everything after the 1st comment.

    Apologies again. I feel really embarrassed now.🙂

    • fozmeadows says:

      Don’t apologise! For some reason, all your comments wound up in my spam queue and I didn’t know which ones you wanted most to go through, so I just approved them all🙂

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