Doctor: Matt Smith (Eleventh Doctor)
Karen Gillan (Amy Pond)
Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams)
Jenna-Louise Coleman – Oswin Oswald
Anamaria Marinca – Darla von Karlsen
David Gyasi – Harvey
Naomi Ryan – Cassandra
Nicholas Briggs – Voice of the Daleks
Barnaby Edwards – Dalek 1
Nicholas Pegg – Dalek 2
Zac Fox – Photoshoot PA (uncredited)
Directed by Nick Hurran
Written by Steven Moffat
Produced by Marcus Wilson
Executive producer(s) Steven Moffat
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Series Series 7
Length 50 minutes
Originally broadcast 1 September 2012
In the ruins of Skaro, homeworld of the Daleks, the Doctor is approached by Darla von Karlsen, who requests his help in freeing her daughter from a Dalek prison camp. The Doctor's suspicions are confirmed when Darla turns out to be a humanoid Dalek puppet and teleports him to the spaceship housing the Parliament of the Daleks. There he is reunited with a now divorced Amy and Rory, who have been similarly kidnapped from present-day Earth by other humanoid Dalek puppets, just after Rory has delivered Amy their divorce papers. The Doctor is surprised when, rather than exterminate him as he expects, the Daleks ask him for help.
The Dalek Prime Minister explains that they have a planet known as the Asylum - which the Parliament is currently orbiting - where they keep battle-scarred Daleks that have gone insane. They are unwilling to kill these Daleks, as destroying such pure hatred would contravene their sense of beauty - something which sickens the Doctor. The Parliament has received a transmission of the Habanera Aria from the heart of the Asylum. The Doctor makes contact with the source of the transmission: a woman named Oswin Oswald, who states that she was Junior Entertainment Manager on the starliner Alaska, which crashed into the Asylum. Oswin claims to have been fending off Dalek attacks for a year, occupying herself by making soufflés, which intrigues the Doctor as he wonders where she got the milk and eggs. The crash had ruptured the planet's force-field, thus risking escape of the planet's inmates. To prevent this, the Parliament wishes to destroy the planet remotely, but the force-field is not ruptured sufficiently to allow that. The force-field can only be deactivated from the planet itself, but afraid to face such a mission themselves, the Daleks task the Doctor, Amy and Rory with doing so.
The three are given bracelets to protect them from the planet's nanogene cloud, which would convert them into Dalek puppets to serve the facility's security systems, before being dropped through the force-field breach onto the surface of the planet via a gravity tunnel. The Doctor and Amy land close to each other, and are discovered by Harvey, another survivor from the Alaska. Rory, however, is dropped to the bottom of a long shaft into the Asylum. There he accidentally awakens some of its inhabitants, but is guided to a safe room by Oswin, who has accessed the computers. Meanwhile, Harvey guides the Doctor and Amy to his Alaska escape pod, where he attacks them after being revealed as a Dalek puppet, converted by the nanogene cloud. A similar fate has befallen the corpses of other Alaska survivors, who re-animate and attack the Doctor and Amy, stealing Amy's nano-field bracelet just before the pair are saved by Oswin, who also guides them to Rory through a hatch in the bottom of the pod. Now unprotected against the nanogenes, Amy begins to be converted, experiencing memory loss and hallucinations.
The Doctor guesses that the Daleks will destroy the planet as soon as he deactivates the force-field, but he realises that Rory's hideout is a telepad, via which they can teleport onto the Dalek Parliament ship. Oswin agrees to deactivate the force-field in return for the Doctor coming to rescue her. While the Doctor is gone, Rory tries to give Amy his bracelet. The Doctor had stated that love slows the Dalek puppet conversion, so Rory argues that he would be converted more slowly because he has always loved Amy more than she loves him, referring his 2000-year vigil in "The Big Bang". Amy angrily replies that she loves him equally, but gave him up since she is unable to have children as a result of the events of "A Good Man Goes to War". They realise that the Doctor had secretly slipped his bracelet onto her without telling them (since as a Time Lord he is probably immune to the nanogenes) to possibly get them to discuss their feelings.
The Dalek holding Oswin, on display at the Doctor Who Experience.
The Doctor makes his way to Oswin, venturing through the "intensive care section", which holds Daleks who survived encounters with him. They begin to re-activate, but he is saved by Oswin, who deletes the Doctor from the Daleks' collective telepathically-shared knowledge, leaving them with no memory of him. The Doctor has never been able to hack into their hive intelligence, let alone remove anything from it, and is confused to how she has done so. The Doctor enters Oswin's chamber, only to discover to his horror that she is really a Dalek. It turns out that Oswin had been captured by Daleks after the Alaska crashed on the Asylum and, to preserve her genius-level intellect for Dalek use, was turned into a full Dalek rather than a standard puppet. Unable to cope with her conversion, her mind retreated into a fantasy of survival as a human. The Doctor had suspected that something was wrong from the beginning, however, as one of the things Oswin had kept herself busy with while in hiding had been making soufflés, which the Doctor noticed would be impossible to get the ingredients for. Oswin is nearly overcome by her Dalek personality at this revelation, but she still possesses human emotions and is unable to kill the Doctor. Her confrontation causes the Doctor to reflect that the Daleks' many achievements — including their parliamentary discourse and newfound diversity — have been developed in fearful response to his threat to their existence. Oswin fulfils her promise of deactivating the force-field, making her final request that the Doctor remember her as the human she once was: "Run. Run, you clever boy, and remember...". The Doctor returns to Amy and Rory, and they teleport back to the TARDIS just as the planet is destroyed. The Daleks fail to recognise the Doctor due to his removal from their hive intelligence. He jubilantly leaves the ship, and drops the reunited Amy and Rory back home. He then departs alone, delighting in the Dalek Parliament's closing question to him: "Doctor Who?".