a real world point of view
|Asylum of the Daleks|
|Main setting:||The Dalek Asylum|
|Premiere broadcast:||1 September 2012|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1x50 minute episode|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|Pond Life||Dinosaurs on a Spaceship|
|A Town Called Mercy||The Angels Take Manhattan|
|Behind the scenes video|
Kidnapped by his oldest enemies, the Doctor is forced on a mission - to a place even the Daleks are scared of - the Asylum, a planetary prison confining the most terrifying and insane of their kind. The Doctor and ex-companions Amy and Rory must find a way to escape. But with Amy and Rory's marriage in meltdown, it is up to the Doctor to save his oldest enemies... and his friends' marriage.
On Skaro, a woman called Darla meets the Doctor in a huge Dalek statue. She asks the Doctor to save her daughter from a Dalek prison camp, the camp she escaped from. However, the Doctor realises that it is all a trap: unbeknownst to Darla, she has actually been converted into a sleeper agent of the Daleks. Right as he says this, her programming becomes active, and she stuns the Doctor, as a Dalek saucer arrives.
On Earth, Amy Pond is posing for the camera when her secretary tells her that her husband wants to see her. She remarks that she doesn't have a husband anymore. She walks in to a makeup room, where Rory asks her to sign the divorce papers, joking that Amy was just "pouting at a camera". Once she has signed the papers, he leaves as Amy's make-up artist, Cassandra, enters. Unfortunately, it turns out she is also a Dalek puppet, and she teleports Amy away. Meanwhile, Rory gets on a bus, but the bus driver turns out to be yet another puppet, who in turn teleports Rory to the Daleks.
He wakes up in a cell with Amy, and looks through a small window to see they are in space, with an armada of Dalek saucers accompanying them. They are then taken to the Parliament of the Daleks, where the Doctor says it's finally Christmas for the Daleks because they managed to capture their greatest enemy. Much to the Time Lord's surprise, the assembled Daleks don't try to exterminate him. Wondering for what other reason they could have captured him, the Doctor is met with a surprise; the Daleks want the Doctor to save them. "Well, this is new."
The Daleks bring them to a planet they call the Asylum, a place that the Doctor has heard of only in legend. It's a place where the Daleks dispose of those of their kind who go wrong: the insane, the battle-scarred and the uncontrollable. The Doctor learns, to his disgust, that the Daleks didn't destroy their insane brethren because they find "Divine Hatred" to be beautiful. The whole planet is automated and surrounded by an impenetrable shield, but the Daleks have detected a signal of unknown origin on the planet: The Doctor traces the signal to a woman called Oswin Oswald, who has been hiding out on the remains of the crashed starlinerAlaska for a year.
The Doctor realises that when the Alaska crashed, it ruptured the planet's shield, leading to the risk of the inmates escaping. A planet's worth of insane Daleks roaming free is something that scares even the Daleks, who captured the Doctor to deal with the threat. The Daleks explain they kidnapped Amy and Rory because their records show he is always accompanied by companions. Because the shield is still strong enough to resist an assault from orbit, the Doctor and his companions will be sent down to the planet to deactivate the shield so the planet can be "cleansed". The three are given protective bracelets so they will not be affected by the "Nanocloud" that surrounds the planet, and are unceremoniously sent down the gravity beam.
Amy is the first to come to after landing... And sees a man in a white coat approaching her. Panicking, she runs away, with him chasing after her. The Doctor is next to come to, finding a Dalek eye watching him; Oswin has discovered visitors. Speaking to her via the radio, the Doctor decides to look for Amy and Rory first. Eventually, he and Amy run into each other, and the man, Harvey, reveals that he was a crew member of the Alaska. They decide to find Rory first. The Doctor tracks the reading coming to a hole in the ground; Rory is below them, in the actual facility. Because they cannot get to Rory at the moment, the Doctor and Amy decide to help Harvey.
Reaching the ship, they discover the rest of Harvey's crew are dead, having decomposed into skeletons. The Doctor reveals to the confused man, who claims they were alive and well not two hours ago, that they have been this way for a long time (a year at least). However, matters get much worse when Harvey remembers he died as well... The cold preserved his body, and the nanocloud turned him into one of the Dalek puppets charged with keeping the Asylum running. With his programming activating, Harvey tries attacking the Doctor and Amy. They quickly shut him into the storage unit of the ship.
The Doctor explains that the nanocloud will transform anything living or dead not protected by one of the Dalek bracelets into one of the "staff". Amy points out the second part of his explanation; even the DEAD are converted... including the dead crew members surrounding them. As the decayed husks of the crew suddenly come to life, the Doctor and Amy flee to another part of the ship. However, the undead attackers grab Amy for a minute before the Doctor pulls her free and locks them out. They then notice, on the monitor, that the zombies have a bracelet; Amy's is missing, meaning she's in danger of being converted. Oswin contacts the Doctor and Amy, informing them that there's a rope ladder leading down from the ship. It's the only way out now.
Elsewhere, Rory awakes to find himself underground. Oswin contacts him and leads Rory through the facility, where several deactivated Daleks litter the halls. Rory accidentally trips on a piece of metal, making a loud noise that awakens one of the severely rusted Daleks. Oddly, it repeats "Eggs..." over and over again, making Rory think it wants the orbs that have fallen out of its casing; Rory offers an orb to the Dalek in confusion. However, the Dalek's voice finally manages to unscramble; it's been trying to say "Exterminate." Rory runs through the room and locks himself in the teleport room on the other side. After Oswin makes flirty jokes, she tells Rory that she'll guide the Doctor and Amy to him.
In the tunnels below the ship, Amy questions the Doctor about what will happen to her. The Doctor explains the Nanocloud will erase her memories, "replace her love with hate", and transform her into a Dalek puppet. Memory is the first thing to be affected, and worse, it's already begun; he's explained four times already. The Doctor encourages Amy to embrace fear to keep herself human; Daleks don't fear. They head for the exit, but upon hearing the Daleks outside the teleport room yelling "Exterminate", they're forced back. The Doctor asks Oswin how many Daleks ahead of them as Amy walks off; she sees people in the room ahead. However, the Doctor, having noticed her, informs Amy her perception is now being affected; she's looking at Daleks. A Dalek advances on them, identifying the Doctor. However, once the Doctor taunts the decaying Dalek for having a damaged death ray beyond use, it simply activates its self-destruct program in the hopes of taking him with it. Instead, the Doctor sends it flying in reverse, straight into the other Daleks as it explodes.
Rory hears the explosion and leaves the teleport room to find several charred Dalek casings. Wondering who killed all the Daleks, Rory sees the Doctor carrying an unconscious Amy. With a smile, the Doctor rhetorically asks Rory, "Who do you think?" Once in the teleport room, the Doctor explains the situation to Rory, and discovers the teleport has enough power to get them back to the Dalek ship in orbit once the force field is down. Oswin points out that hostility, something Amy displayed by slapping Rory, is the first sign the conversion is becoming permanent. Amy jokes "Someone's obviously never been to Scotland," implying she's normally hostile. Accepting this, Oswin asks to be taken along, but the Doctor questions her about how she keeps getting the ingredients for her soufflés. His companions tell him to put the matter aside; they need to leave the planet before they lose Amy for good.
The Doctor then wonders how Oswin is not being affected by the Nanocloud, and learns that she used her genius to create a shield to block it. Leaving Amy and Rory behind, the Doctor sets out to find Oswin, as she refuses to turn off the shield until they come to rescue her. Rory offers to give Amy his bracelet to keep her human longer; he claims it would take longer for the Nanocloud to transform him into a puppet. He reasons since it transforms love into hate, he would last longer because he always loved her more than she loved him, referencing the 2000 years he spent protecting her inside the Pandorica as an Auton. As they argue, it's revealed Amy has become sterile because of something the Silence did to her at Demons Run; while Rory thought Amy suddenly left him, in truth, she knew he had always wanted children, so Amy "gave him up" so he had a better chance at having them with someone else, saying her sacrifice in doing so was far greater than his two-thousand year vigil. They then realise the Doctor put his bracelet on Amy while she was out cold; being immune to the Nanocloud to begin with, he'd tricked them into working out their relationship problems.
In the meantime, the Doctor reaches "Intensive Care"; it houses Daleks defeated in battles with his first, second, and third incarnations. Once the Doctor mentions they "survived" him, the Daleks (missing their guns) come back to life and corner him against the door leading to Oswin, intending to enact revenge. Luckily, Oswin hacks into Pathweb (the Daleks' shared information center), and erases all data on him, effectively making them forget the Doctor, and making the deranged Daleks quietly go back to their cells and go back to "sleep". The Doctor says it's impossible to hack the Pathweb; even he couldn't. Oswin invites him to meet the person who did. However, once the Doctor enters her room, he discovers, to his infinite sadness, Oswin is also a Dalek; the room she thought she was in only exists in her imagination. The Doctor explains the rope ladder he used to get into the facility was originally used by her when she was human; Owsin had been captured by the Daleks, and because of her genius, had been fully converted into a Dalek instead of simply made into a puppet.
When Oswin refuses to believe him, the Doctor points out that she wouldn't have been able to get eggs and milk for her soufflés for an entire year because there'd be a limited supply. The shocking truth causes Oswin to remember her exploration of the facility, her capture by the Daleks, and her conversion. Repeating "Eggs", she reverts to a Dalek personality, yelling "Exterminate!" The Doctor yells for Oswin to regain control of herself, seemingly working as she is next heard crying. She then asks the Doctor why the Daleks hate him so much, learning that he always prevents them from achieving large victories. Content with her fate, Oswin (still imagining herself in the fake room) tells the Doctor to remember her, explaining that the shield around the Asylum has been dropped. The Doctor thanks her, and - on her order - runs for his life.
In the teleport room, Rory wonders how long they can wait for the Doctor. Amy says for the rest of their lives and they kiss. The Doctor arrives and tries getting their attention - "for God's sake!" Annoyed that Amy and Rory always pick the worst times to kiss, the Doctor activates the teleport.
On the Dalek Parliament ship, the Supreme Dalek reports that the destruction of the Asylum has been successful. However, the alarm goes off; a teleport from the Asylum has occurred, possibly meaning they are under attack. The Doctor's voice is heard over the loudspeaker, saying that he is very good with teleports before popping his head out of the TARDIS, calling the Daleks "suckers". They demand that the Doctor identify himself, shocking him; he tells them who he is, only to be met with confusion. The Daleks all then starts asking "Doctor Who?" Realising that Oswin erased all data on him, not just for the Daleks in intensive care, but for every last one, everywhere, the Doctor laughs "You're never going to stop asking."
Despite their demands to stay there and elaborate on his identity, the Doctor takes off. He deposits Amy and Rory back at their house. Waving good-bye, Amy smiles to Rory and enters the house; she's taken him back. Rory smiles himself and whoops with joy. Rory then calms down when Amy says "I can see you." In the TARDIS control room, the Doctor is laughing to himself and saying "Doctor Who?", repeating the question himself several times, with joy, as he sets the TARDIS on course for his next adventure.
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
- Oswin Oswald - Jenna-Louise Coleman
- Darla von Karlsen - Anamaria Marinca
- Cassandra - Naomi Ryan
- Harvey - David Gyasi
- Voice of the Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- Dalek 1 - Barnaby Edwards
- Dalek 2 - Nicholas Pegg
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- The Daleks have a Prime Minister.
- The Daleks refer to the Eleventh Doctor as the "Predator of the Daleks".
- The Daleks have the ability to turn people into their puppets, via the use of nanogenes. Time Lords are immune to this technology.
- After Oswin hacks into the Pathweb, the Daleks forget who the Doctor is, shouting "Doctor Who?" in unison. This ties into the story arc, the Question, which the Doctor must answer at the Fields of Trenzalore. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)
- The Doctor described himself as "the Oncoming Storm". He first referred to this title in TV: The Parting of the Ways.
- Amy is now physically unable to have children due to the events on Demons Run.
- As Oswin remembers being converted, she repeats "Where am I?" multiple times.
Foods and beverages
- Oswin says she's been surviving in her crashed ship by baking soufflés; this troubles the Doctor, as she should have had no access to milk or eggs.
- The music played by Oswin Oswald is "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" from the opera Carmen.
- The Doctor claims to have played the triangle for the recording of "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" that is heard in the Parliament of the Daleks.
- The music playing during Amy's photo-shoot at the beginning of the episode is "Feel the Love" by Rudimental ft. John Newman.
- Skaro is the original planet of the Daleks. It still exists with the remains of a large Dalek-shaped building.
- The Daleks have an asylum planet.
- The Doctor brags that he has exceptional aim with teleports after he teleports himself and the Ponds into his TARDIS.
- The presence of Jenna-Louise Coleman in this episode was successfully kept secret, despite the episode having several preview showings prior to broadcast. After broadcast, Coleman and Moffat both issued statements thanking fans and the media for keeping Coleman's debut - months before her official first episode, the 2012 Christmas special - a secret.
- This story premiered in Australia on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's on-demand and catch-up service iView at 5.10am AEST; immediately following the UK broadcast. This was the first time Doctor Who had debuted on Australian TV in this way. A traditional free-to-air screening on ABC1 was followed on the 8 September.
- This story marks the first appearance of a new title sequence. It contains the same music and time vortex animation as the sequence used for the two previous seasons, but the font of the opening credits and the style of the logo have changed. The sequence appears to have some colour adjustments as well - the vortex has hints of green, while the TARDIS itself is a slightly darker blue with vibrant yellow lighting emanating from the TARDIS windows. The footage also has less-sharp focus, casting a more dream-like atmosphere to the sequence.
- The production team have confirmed that the title sequence for every episode in series 7 will have slightly different opening titles, including stylized versions of the Doctor Who logo. For this episode the logo appeared to have a bumpy texture, like that of the Dalek hemispheres.
- A prequel was released on iTunes shortly before the release of the episode.
- This episode was shown at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August, just as Let's Kill Hitler was in 2011.
- As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a "NEXT TIME" trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.
- Official and final BARB ratings reveal that the episode was watched by a total of 8.33 million people in the UK.
- It was watched by 1.555 million people in America, and became the most watched item on BBC America.
- In Canada, a total of 620,000 people watched the episode on Space, and was the second most watched item on the cable.
- On the ABC iView TV service, 75,900 people in Australia were recorded to have watched the episode.
- The scenes on the Asylum surface were filmed during production of episode three, A Town Called Mercy in the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain.
- The first Dalek Rory approaches inside the asylum has indicators on both sides from his perspective, but when the camera is behind the Dalek the light on the right-hand side is missing.
- The Doctor has a plaster on his finger that keeps disappearing and reappearing.
- In the ending scene where the Doctor is in the TARDIS, you can see the overhead camera reflected in the glass floor next to the console.
- When the Doctor, Amy and Rory are in the Dalek Holding Cell, the circular platform they are standing on lifts. On one shot, it shows them and the Daleks looking all around them - the Doctor is looking towards the audience - but in the next shot, the Doctor is looking upward into the Dalek Parliament.
- When the Doctor says, "It's Christmas!" in the Dalek Parliament, the shot has been "mirrored", as indicated by the flipped positioning of the manipulator arms and gunsticks.
- The wide shots of the Dalek Parliament do not match the close-up shots.
- When Rory is being sent to the Asylum, upside down, he yells, "Wrong way up!" twice. His mouth only moves to him saying, "wrong way!"
- While talking to the Doctor, Oswin's hair keeps moving between being over her forehead and behind her ear several times in one dialog.
- At 10:52, all of the Daleks' eye-stalks follow the Doctor's movements, except one which is instead looking up at something on the ceiling.
- When Rory escapes the awakening Daleks, the direction the Special Weapons Dalek is facing changes; in the next shot, it is back to its original position.
- When Oswin makes her "You'll put someone's eye out" joke about the Doctor's chin, there is a close-up of Amy stifling a laugh. Then it cuts to a wide shot with Amy out of focus in the background, and she is seen repeating the act of stifling the laugh.
- When the Doctor proceeds through the intensive care, Oswin describes the patients as having taken part in wars on Spiridon, Kembel, Aridius, Vulcan and Exxilon; however, with the exception of one classic series Dalek shown when the Doctor runs out, the only types of Dalek seen are dirty and corroded modern Daleks; these should have been Classic series Daleks of at least three different varieties.
- In some close-up scenes of the bronze Daleks, they either have no identification codes or they are clearly stickers.
- A Dalek in its original design from The Daleks appears in one scene. However, this design of Dalek had not developed space travel or been able to move beyond the confines of their city. This Dalek predates the entire asylum.
- The Asylum is stylistically similar to the city the First Doctor first met the Daleks in. (TV: The Daleks)
- The Doctor's "death" is public knowledge across the Universe. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)
- Rory mentions waiting outside a box for two thousand years. (TV: The Big Bang)
- On the Dalek Asylum, Nanogenes turn people both living and dead into Daleks. The Doctor has come across nanogenes which altered humans into hostile creatures before. (TV: The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances)
- Several models of the Daleks from different points in the show's history appear either in the Asylum or in the Dalek spaceship, although some only have one model of them shown on screen. Many of the bronze, modern Daleks appeared, (TV: Dalek onward) one Strategist Dalek and one or more Supreme Daleks of the New Dalek Paradigm, (TV: Victory of the Daleks onward) a Special Weapons Dalek, (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) several Renegade Daleks Remembrance of the Daleks), a few of the early silver Daleks, (TV: The Daleks, The Evil of the Daleks), the gunmetal-grey Dalek models, (TV: Day of the Daleks to TV: The Five Doctors), at least one Ironside Dalek, (TV: Victory of the Daleks) a cobweb-covered white-and-black Dalek, (TV: Death to the Daleks) a black-domed Dalek, (TV: The Evil of the Daleks) and a black Dalek identical to Dalek Sec. (TV: Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan, Evolution of the Daleks)
- The Daleks in the intensive care section of the Asylum are survivors of encounters with the Doctor on planets such as Spiridon (TV: Planet of the Daleks), Kembel (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan), Aridius (TV: The Chase), Vulcan (TV: The Power of the Daleks), and Exxilon. (TV: Death to the Daleks) This confirms that some version of these stories has happened in the current timeline, as well as the Fourth Doctor's trip to Skaro and Big Bang Two. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks, The Big Bang)
- The Doctor says that when the force field is taken down, the entire planet will get "explodey-wodey". This is similar to the Doctor referring to things as "timey-wimey" (TV: Blink), "spacey-wacey" (TV: The Doctor's Wife), or "humany-wumany" (TV: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe).
- The Doctor brags that he has exceptional aim with teleports after he teleports himself and the Ponds into the TARDIS. Rose Tyler had previously remarked that the Doctor was "good with teleports." (TV: Boom Town)
- The closing scene mirrors that of the Doctor's last adventure in the previous series. The First Question is said three times just before the end, just as Dorium Maldovar had said it when the Doctor left him. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)
- Dalek prison camps are mentioned, and the Doctor expresses some familiarity with them. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)
- The Doctor's taunt to the Dalek about it being useless without a gun echos a similar line said by the Ninth Doctor. (TV: Dalek)
- This is not the first time that the Daleks request help from their most bitter enemy. (AUDIO: The Juggernauts)
- This is not the first time the Eleventh Doctor's chin has been the subject of amusement. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)
- Once again the Doctor openly expresses to the Daleks his extreme disgust and hatred for them. (TV: Dalek, Victory of the Daleks)
- The Daleks previously converted humans into Daleks on the planet Necros (TV: Revelation of the Daleks) and after the Dalek Emperor escaped from the Time War. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)
- Rory has been seen to carry a small torch before. (TV: The Vampires of Venice)
- The Doctor once gave a disk to Mickey Smith that would erase all data of him from the internet, in a similar way that Oswin deleted all memory of him from the Dalek Pathweb. (TV: World War Three)
Home video releases
to be added
- ↑ The Doctor To Premiere On iview. ABC TV Blog (28 August 2012). Retrieved on 2 September 2012.
- ↑ John Plunkett (9 May 2012). Charlie Brooker, Steven Moffat and Ruth Jones top bill in Edinburgh. The Guardian. Retrieved on 23 August 2012.