When the Daleks need assistance they turn to their greatest enemy, “the predator of the Daleks,” and separately kidnap The Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan), and Rory (Arthur Darvill), whisking off the threesome to the Asylum – a planetary prison even the Daleks are too afraid to enter because it contains the most unstable and terrifying Daleks ever created. And somewhere, admist all that insanity, is a single ship, with a single human crew member who has managed to survive and cause no end of trouble to the Daleks for the better part of a year. Ladies and gentlemen, Doctor Who introduces you to its newest companion – Clara Oswin (Jenna-Louise Coleman).
Against his will, The Doctor and his companions find themselves beamed to the planet. Separated from Rory, The Doctor and Amy fight of zombie Dalek puppets (admit it, that’s pretty cool) while searching for a woman whose ship crash landed on the planet a year ago and has somehow managed to stay alive. Time becomes even more short when Amy becomes infected by Dalek technology and starts to turn into a Dalek puppet. Separated from the others Rory finds himself in the bowels of the planet surrounded by malfunctioning Daleks.
As The Doctor puts it, “In no patricular order we need to neutralize all the Daleks in this asylum, rescue Oswain from the wreckage, escape from this planet, and fix Amy and Rory’s marriage (who, as the episode opens are separated and contemplating divorce).” The episode ends with a twist you’ll probably see coming (and certainly makes Clara an interesting, perhaps even River Songian, choice for The Doctor’s future companion) as well as a small but mighty shift in the relationship between the Daleks and The Doctor that will likely have huge ramifications to come.
As season premieres go “The Asylum of the Daleks” works pretty well, even if the logic behind the universe’s most feared aliens choosing The Doctor is pretty flimsy. The Rory/Amy dynamic is easily the weakest part of the show, and I’m ready to see Mr. and Mrs. Pond leave the TARDIS, but Coleman is delightful as Clara Orwain and I’ll be interested to see exactly how the show reintroduces her in this year’s Christmas episode.