iWho: Asylum of the Daleks

I’m not considering this image to be particularly spoilery due to its similarity to promotional images that everybody has already seen, and the fact that it is from the pre-titles sequence.  Episode screencap taken while watching on iView.

I just watched the new episode of Doctor Who, less than twenty-four hours after it aired in the UK.  And I watched it completely legally, thanks to ABC iView.

A couple of weeks ago, the ABC announced that they’d be airing the new season of Doctor Who on Sunday nights… a week after everyone in the world has already seen it.  For fans and spoiler-phobes, this really meant that there was no other option but to acquire the episode illegally.  Otherwise you’d have to hide from the internet and basically shut yourself off from the world – every week!  [This is something that I’ve written about before, in relation to another favourite series of mine, Ashes to Ashes].  Earlier this week, however, it was announced that while the episode would air a week later, ABC iView have decided to make each episode available for viewing just ten minutes after it finishes airing in the UK.  Ten minutes!  It takes longer for them to upload the torrent.  Perfect, right?

Well, there was still some concern – the main one being the low quality of iView streaming.  But, while I’d love to be able to watch each episode in full HD, I’ll settle for availability over perfect quality – especially when most of the illegal options, while better, still aren’t as good as watching a DVD.

This bit didn’t look very good.  The rest was fine.

The only time that I really had an issue with quality was during the titles sequence.  For the rest of the episode there was a tiny little bit of pixellation, but not enough to make me turn it off and find a better copy [although that could have been down to the quality of the writing in the episode itself – as it definitely drew me in].

Speaking of the actual episode…

WARNING: SLIGHTLY SPOILER-Y CONVERSATION FOLLOWS. Click through at your own risk.

…it was brilliant!  The appearance of Jenna-Louise Coleman [as the lovely and clever Oswin Oswald] was a complete surprise.  She’s a great character, and I can’t wait to see how she’s used later in the season.

I’d really missed Amy and Rory.  Throughout the past two seasons I’ve grown increasingly attached to their characters and the relationship between them – so much so, that I found it absolutely heartbreaking when Rory tried to explain to Amy that their entire marriage was based around the fact that he loved her more than she did him.  There was a brilliant nod to Press Gang there, too [“For the rest of our lives”], which is hopefully not too foreshadowing a notion.

Overall, the episode was a fast-paced beginning for what promises to be a full-on season.  As an opener, I enjoyed it far better than last season’s “The Impossible Astronaut”.  It reintroduced The Doctor quite well [although I’m still not a fan of mentioning “Doctor Who” in the episode’s dialogue – I know it’s “the question” and everything, but I just don’t like it], and brought Amy and Rory back into his world.

The next episode, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” is certainly intriguing with the inclusion of Rory’s father [who is hopefully just like an older version of his son], and there are plenty more exciting things to come throughout the new season.  Doctor Who is back, and I’m excited to find out what comes next.

Further reading:
mUmBRELLA: ABC to premiere new Doctor Who series online within an hour of international release
A Beginner’s Guide to Free to Air Television: WANTED- one interdimensional cabin
A Beginner’s Guide to Free to Air Television: Asylum of the Daleks
Radio Times: A message from Steven Moffatt and Jenna-Louise Coleman about tonight’s surprise
Radio Times: Asylum of the Daleks review with Katy Manning

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