The biggest surprise of the Season 7 premiere was the unexpected appearance of the Doctor's new assistant, Clara.
Or, as she was called in "Asylum of the Daleks," Oswin Oswald. Oswin described herself as shipwrecked and being held captive. Things turned out to be quite different indeed, and only time will tell if the Oswin we met as a Dalek will be the same Clara purported to be the Doctor's future companion.
Frankly, it doesn't matter. How they managed to keep the lid on such a big reveal in the season premiere was pretty fantastic no matter who she turns out to be. Jenna-Louise Coleman, who reminds me a lot of a young, spunky Christina Ricci, was an incredible match for the Doctor, and I think meeting her - or a version of her or a relative or whoever she may be - will make the departure of Amy and Rory a little more tolerable when it happens.
Something I noticed straight away as the hour began was how adult Amy and Rory seemed. During the photo shoot, I didn't recognize Amy. When Rory showed with the divorce papers, I seriously considered that there were two eerily similar actors playing their roles, because they were close, and yet so different. Even the idea that Rory and Amy were no longer madly in love affected their entire being.
Rory's lighter hair and modern styling left him almost unrecognizable, but it was the act of divorce that was truly changing the beloved characters with whom we have been through so much.
It was an interesting dichotomy to have the Ponds falling out of love and removing their emotions while they were called upon to assist the Doctor with the Daleks, who have now been somewhat humanized. On one hand, they still have the desire to exterminate, but on the other they want to be saved. To call upon their greatest enemy to save them showed desperation indeed.
To make a Dalek, you remove love and infuse anger. Even while she was being turned, Amy still couldn't hold back her love for Rory and we learned the reason she was divorcing him was because of his dream to have children. When she gave birth to Melody at Demon's Run, it left her unable to have more children, and babies won't be in her future. I hope we have a happy ending for Amy and Rory. Surely their love can survive not having children. We'll soon find out.
When Oswin Oswald, the human turned Dalek, maneuvered her talk of eggs for the souffle back to exterminate and then to tears, I teared up myself. Not only from Jenna's portrayal, but the archaic Dalek in all of it's kitschy glory, as well. It was a wonderful premiere and a great combination of the classic and modern Doctor Who phenomena.
To quote the Dalek: Doctor WHO?!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.