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Asylum Of The Daleks

ShowDoctor Who / Series VII / Episode 1
First Broadcast2012/09/08 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeThe Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
Next EpisodeDinosaurs On A Spaceship

The series resumes with the Doctor still dead in the eyes of most. But there are those who hope. Somehow a hooded woman got a message to the Doctor and lured him to Skaro. The Doctor realises it's a trap, she turns into a dalek and he is captured.

On Earth we discover Amy and Rory completing their divorce before also being captured (separately) by the Daleks. They all wake up on a ship containing the Prime Minister and the Parliament of the Daleks.

Incredibly the Daleks don't want to kill the Doctor, they want him to save them. A ship has crashed into the planet that is the eponymous Asylum, the place where all the really mad Daleks are imprisoned, which means the inmates could potentially escape, something even the Daleks are scared of. Their solution: fire him at a planet and expect him to solve everything.

So the Daleks send the Doctor, Amy and Rory down to the Asylum to turn off the force shield so that the Daleks can destroy the Asylum. There they are assisted by Oswin Oswald, a survivor of the crashed ship, who has somehow, single-handedly managed to survive on the the planet for a year and make soufflés in her spare time.

After the usual fun and games, the team make it to the point where they can return to the Dalek ship via a transmat and Oswin shuts down the force field. The Doctor goes to get her. He has to travel through Intensive Care, which, it turns out, contains the Daleks that survived the Doctor. Oswin makes them forget who the Doctor is so he can get to her, where he makes the terrible discovery that she too is a Dalek. Somehow her genius and her strong will has meant she has managed to carry on fighting as if she were a human. She can't bring herself to kill the Doctor and he escapes.

Amy and Rory reconcile while left behind and we discover that Amy is infertile because of what the Silence did to her at Demon's Run. She gave Rory up so that he could have a chance to have children with someone else.

The team returns to the Dalek ship and materialise inside the TARDIS. The Doctor taunts the Daleks but soon realises they don't know who he is. Oswin's assistance in the Asylum, where she made a few attacking Daleks forget who the Doctor was, extended to all the Daleks.

And we're back where we started. The Daleks no longer know of the Doctor, so he's still effectively dead to the Universe. The Doctor drops the reconciled Amy and Rory off in Leadworth and goes back to travelling alone. And we're good to go for the rest of the series.

A few interesting bits:

  • This episode contains all the different versions of Daleks we've seen over the years, including a brief glimpse of the special weapons Dalek.
  • The Daleks have a concept of beauty; their hatred.
  • The Daleks refer to the Doctor as the Predator.
  • It seems that the Doctor's battles with the Daleks have, over time, helped them go stronger. Their hatred for him and their constant defeats have enhanced their evolution. In essence, the Doctor has helped make them worse. It's a good thing that they no longer know who he is.
  • The actress playing Oswin Oswald, who was outstanding, will play the new companion. Not sure how they'll make that work.
  • This episode was released on ABC iView immediately after being shown in England. Most likely an attempt to reduce piracy, but great for us.
  • The opening credits have been updated. There's a new logo and a new font. The logo appeared to have Dalek bumps on it. And no more, "When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary friend ..." We're moving on to something new.

A few quibbles:

  • Skaro was destroyed by the 7th Doctor. How can we begin this episode there?
  • Where did all the Daleks come from? Surely they've all been wiped out several times before. How do they keep rebuilding in such large numbers?
  • There's no way Amy and Rory would split up over Amy's infertility.