So, Asylum Of The Daleks, eh? What’s that all about then? If only somebody could provide a useful recap to tell you…
Lured to the original planet of the Daleks by a distress call from one Darla Von Karlsen, the Doctor swiftly works out that he’s been lured into trap. Once he figures it out, a Dalek eyestalk and gun emerge from Darla’s body and the Doctor is shot.
Fortunately, not only is he not dead, but the maritally-challenged Amy and Rory have been captured by similar methods and all three are now in rather a lot of trouble.
See, they’ve been captured by the Daleks, who take up the unusual chant of “Save the Daleks!” and fire the Doctor and co at a planet containing the Asylum of the Daleks (after giving them protective wristbands), from whence is coming an unusual signal; a song from Carmen…
On the surface, they find the remains of a downed ship (the Alaska) and the remains of her crew. Surprisingly, they promptly turn into more of the pseudo-Roboman Dalek puppets seen earlier. It turns out that happens to anyone who stays there too long due to the Nano Cloud (nanogenes, making a return from The Empty Child) without the protection of wristbands. Shockingly, the Dalek puppets took Amy’s off her wrist.
Keeping his wristband very firmly on his wrist is Rory, who got separated from the others upon landing and is now right in the middle of the Dalek asylum. He accidentally wakes them up (in a chilling scene) and is guided to safety by Oswin Oswald’s voice on the intercom while the Doctor and Amy make their way to them. Along the way, the Nano Cloud infection causes Amy to go a tiny bit mental; she sees dancing ballerinas and people dressed up, when they’re actually the insane Daleks having a ball.
Once Amy and Rory are reunited after an incident with a self-destructing Dalek, they still have to keep Amy loved-up, so the Doctor leaves them alone while he goes to retrieve Oswin (played, in what must be one of the best-kept secrets of Nu Who, by new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman). This presents the Ponds with an all-too-convenient chance to solve their marital difficulties (in which Rory brings up the perfectly valid point that he loves her more than she loves him). This whole plotline is possibly cleared up much too quickly and is symbolic of the whole “fairytale relationship” aspect of the Ponds’ marriage.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Doctor has to go through what passes for the Dalek equivalent of Intensive Care. This naturally terrifies the living [Kaled - Language Ed] out of him and he hammers on Oswin’s door, begging to be let in. After a while, she does, seemingly delaying merely to delete all information on him from the telepathic database of the Daleks. Once he’s in, his problems are just beginning. Because Oswin is a Dalek herself - the end stage of the process seen earlier with the Dalek puppets.
This is rather troublesome to say the least; obviously the Doctor can’t take an insane Dalek back with him (albeit a Dalek that used to be human - Oswin was one of the former crewmembers of the Alaska, a genius working as a Junior Entertainment Manager). And Oswin, upon realising the truth of her situation, almost immediately tries to kill the Doctor. She backs down at the last minute, and turns off the force-field. Since that’s the only thing stopping the Dalek ship in orbit from blowing up the planet, it’s probably best that the Doctor and company get out of there sharpish.
Taking advantage of the teleporter that Amy and Rory have been standing on for the last several minutes after having resolved their marital difficulties with a quick discussion (too quick if you ask us), they beam back onto the Dalek spaceship…right into the TARDIS. This rather neatly gets round the difficulty of beaming back onto the ship without getting shot on sight (the Daleks were hoping the Doctor would be taken out with the planet, see) and serves to antagonise them further by serving them with a mystery (since their collective memory was erased, all they see is a mysterious stranger teleporting aboard and taunting them).
This leaves the Daleks repeating Dorium Maldovar’s mantra: “DOC-TOR WHO? DOC-TOR WHO?” and once he’s dropped Amy and Rory off home, the Doctor starts chanting it in jubilation, marvelling at the new power this gives him over the Daleks. Fade out…
Next week: Dinosaurs On A Spaceship!