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Recap: Doctor Who S 33 E1 "Asylum of the Daleks"
How do you make the Daleks even scarier? By revealing the existence of insane Daleks...
"According to legend, you have a dumping ground. A planet where you lock up all the Daleks that go wrong: the battle-scarred, the insane, the ones even you can't control."
— The Doctor
Written by Steven Moffat, the Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
of the show.
This episode is notable for several reasons (aside from launching Series 7). It marks the start of 50th anniversary celebrations for the series by way of featuring Daleks from every era of the franchise (nearly every Series 7 episode will have some form of Call Back
to the show's long history). It is also notable for fact fandom united in keeping the introduction of Oswin Oswald a secret from the general public, despite the episode having had public screenings several times before broadcast.
Kidnapped by one of his oldest foes, the Doctor is forced on an impossible mission to a place even the Daleks are too terrified to enter... the Asylum of the Daleks
. A planetary prison confining a veritable Continuity Cavalcade
of the most terrifying and insane of their kind. When a human starship crashed there and started broadcasting songs from Carmen
, the Daleks realised that if something can get in
, all the insane Daleks could also get out
, which would be really very bad. There's something, or someone, down there that no Dalek wants to go near, so the universe's leading expert on blowing up insane Daleks, the Doctor, is forced to beam down to the prison planet to turn off the force field and blow up all the insane Daleks (as well as himself). He is sent in with Amy and Rory, since Dalek data indicates that he needs companions at all times, but their marriage is in meltdown.
A genius human hacker, Oswin Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman
), has been stuck on the crash-landed ship for a year. This is a bit of a surprise for the audience, since Steven Moffat
had stated that she wouldn't be appearing until Christmas
— then again, the Doctor tells the Daleks "it's Christmas!", so that's all right then. She's been keeping busy by making soufflés and playing Carmen
at a very high volume to keep out the nightmarish Dalek voices. She's almost impossibly successful in warding off the renegade Daleks: being the best hacker the world has ever known, she effortlessly destroyed the Daleks' security system and kept them away from her base. But the rest of her crew were killed in the crash, and — as they're horrified to find out — turned into humanoid Dalek zombies by the Asylum's automated system.
As soon as the heroes land, the automated system starts working on them as well. The Daleks gave them wristbands to trick the security system into believing they'd already been converted. Amy manages to lose hers quite early on, and the Dalek mind virus starts "subtracting love and adding anger" — turning her into one of their own. Oswin contacts the group using a makeshift intercom system, but avoids the question of why the Doctor can't establish a video link to her. The Doctor asks her how she made soufflés for a whole year — particularly, where she got the milk
The Doctor rushes off to save Oswin while Rory tries to force Amy to take his wristband. It's simple logic, he explains: if the Daleks "subtract love and add anger", they'll have to spend much more time on him. Because the fact of their marriage is that he loves her more than she loves him (by 2000 years, to be exact
), and she hates him more than he hates her. She responds by slapping him in the face. The reason for their breakup and impending divorce is that Rory wants more children, Amy can't have any more after what happened to her in Demons Run
, and she broke up with him to let him go and live a happy life without her. It doesn't matter in the end, because without either of them noticing the Doctor had slapped his own wristband on Amy before running off.
Meanwhile, Oswin has guided the Doctor to her hideout, and has used her suspiciously improbable hacking skills to delete all Dalek knowledge of the Doctor
. When he finally reaches her, he's horrified: Oswin is a fully converted Dalek, who unknowingly dreamed a world of cushy couches and soufflés to keep herself sane. She was right about one thing, though — she's indeed a genius hacker, and by accessing the Dalek Hive Mind
equivalent, she was able to override all information the Daleks ever had on the Doctor. Which is great
, because the Daleks kept growing stronger, and more hateful, and more innovative, every single time the Doctor fought them — every encounter with him just gave them more reason to become more violent. Daleks without knowledge of the Doctor are a fantastic favour to the whole universe. With her last conscious, human thoughts, she shuts off the forcefield, and the Daleks promptly blow up the prison planet with her (apparently) on it. The Doctor escapes through a sonicked teleport pad, bringing Amy and Rory along with him into the TARDIS as Oswin imparts one last message to the Doctor: "Run, you clever boy. And remember."
Amy and Rory rather effortlessly resolve their marriage, and the Doctor hastily bids goodbye to a collection of extremely confused Daleks
who wonder who this Doctor person is and why he's babbling about an Oncoming Storm
- Abnormal Ammo: The Daleks' Gravity Beam. It fires the Doctor.
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene
- Adult Fear: Going through a divorce. And being infertile.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Turns out Oswin only thinks she's still human.
- Alliterative Name: Oswin Oswald.
- Arc Words: "Run you clever boy, and remember."; "I don't know where I am."
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Rory gets two, courtesy of Amy. The first is played for laughs ("Amy it's me. Do you remember me?" slap) and the second is played for drama during their argument ("Give me your arm. AMY!" slap).
- Armor-Piercing Question: About cooking ingredients, believe it or not.
- Army of the Ages: Daleks from all eras of the show's history are in attendance as inmates. However, the focus is clearly on the Russell T. Davies-era Dalek models, as classic series models only appear as background cameos; The Doctor Who Site has a spotting guide for the latter kind. Counts as such in the Real World as well: the Dalek props were assembled from the BBC archives, private collections, and fan-made replicas. The oldest BBC one was first used in a Troughton story from 1967.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: "Have you considered tracking back the signal and talking to them? ...he asked the Daleks."
- Assimilation Backfire: Oswin kept her humanity after being turned into a Dalek, which allows her to wipe all memories relating to the doctor from all the other Daleks.
- Ax-Crazy: This is the place where the psychotic Daleks go. Daleks are considered psychotic by normal standards. These are Daleks considered psychotic by other Daleks.
- Badass Boast
- Batman Gambit: The Doctor tricks a Dalek into activating its self-destruct sequence to try and kill him, then reverses its direction controls and forces it to back into a room filled with other Daleks.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Oswin is shown boarding up a door to her "escape pod" to keep out the Daleks. Since it's all a fantasy created by her, what she's really doing is keeping her humanity safe from her encroaching Dalek conditioning.
- Bi the Way: Oswin flirts with both Rory and the Doctor, and mentions her that first crush was a girl called Nina. She elaborates that it was a phase, though.
- Black Dude Dies First: Or, in this case, has already been dead for a year. He'd just forgotten about it... until the Doctor and Amy reminded him.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Daleks believe that hatred is beautiful, the purer the better. It's why they couldn't bring themselves to kill the Asylum Daleks before this episode. Or why they seem unable to kill the Doctor. This sickens him.
- Body Horror: The Dalek eyestalk punching its way out of the forehead. The sickening crunch is the evil cherry on the terror sundae.
- Bookends: Inverted, as at the end of series six (the last episode of), and at the end of this episode (the first of series seven), there is the repeated question "Doctor Who?"
- Borrowed Catchphrase
The Doctor: We'll get through this, I promise. Don't be scared.
Amy: Scared? Who's scared? Geronimo.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: After uttering her Arc Words, Oswin looks right at the audience. There is nothing in the episode, nor in any episodes that follow, to suggest an in-universe reason for her doing this, making this a true wall-break as the audience will be asked to remember her.
- Break the Badass: In an echo of the revival's first Dalek episode, the Doctor is reduced to pounding on a door, begging to be let out, while the Intensive Care Daleks close in on him.
- Break the Cutie:
- Oswin, big time, at the end.
- And Amy as well, when she finally reveals why she wants to divorce Rory.
- Call Back:
- The Cameo: The Asylum features Daleks from every previous era of the show.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Anything Oswin says. And occasionally Amy, too.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- "Where do you get the milk?"
- The ladder hanging out of the escape pod's emergency hatch.
- Combat Stilettos: Darla, the Dalek puppet, sports a pair.
- Continuity Cavalcade:
- Skaro shows up for the first time in the new series.
- Intensive Care houses Daleks who have survived encounters with the Doctor on a number of worlds, including Spiridon, Aridius, Kembel, Vulcan, and Exxilon... supposedly; they appear to have all switched casings, though, for some reason.
- Also, the Nanogenes from "The Empty Child" make a return, only now they convert people into Dalek Zombies rather than Gas Mask Zombies.
- While they are not named as such, the Dalek Puppets are implied to be an advanced form of the Dalek Robomen.
- The idea of human prisoners who are transformed into brainwashed Dalek sleeper agents also calls back to "Resurrection of the Daleks".
- The idea of human-Dalek hybrids calls back to "Evolution of the Daleks".
- The Special Weapons Dalek from "Remembrance of the Daleks", which was said to have been insane, is in the Asylum.
- A Davies-era Dalek helpless and in chains, breaking free and becoming much more of a threat, echoing the first appearance of a Dalek in the 2005 revival.
- The spinning Dalek is almost certainly the one that the Daleks tested the Thal anti-rad meds on waaay back in "The Daleks". It caused the Dalek to spin around constantly and moan.
- The concept of the Daleks wanting human minds to give themselves an edge goes all the way back to "The Evil of the Daleks" where they attempted to integrate the "human factor" to make themselves even more deadly, and was seen in "Remembrance of the Daleks" when they abducted a child to serve as their battle computer. And as in "Evil of the Daleks" it ends up backfiring in the worst possible way for them.
- The Doctor reveals he is still good with teleports.
- Comically Missing the Point:
What is the noise? Explain! Explain! The Doctor:
It's me. Rory:
I'm sorry, what? The Doctor:
It's me, playing the triangle. Okay, I got buried in the mix. Carmen
, lovely show.
- Everyone gets exasperated when the Doctor keeps asking where Oswin gets the milk for her soufflés. Subverted; it turns out to be a very pertinent question.
- Couch Gag: This episode débuted a gag in the opening sequence, with the Doctor Who logo being textured differently every episode. In this episode it was textured with Dalek bumps.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: Once Amy tells Rory why she broke up with him, they're almost instantly back together again. This is after they've both already signed the divorce papers, though it should be noted that Rory is abducted before he can file them. Sadly, a lot of marriages actually DO end because of things like this.
- Crazy-Prepared: Rory, who had no idea he might be captured by aliens, keeps an electric torch in his pocket. Although looking at the history of his travels with the Doctor (especially things like the Silence and the Weeping Angels), he may have just kept it on him just in case.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Creepily enough, the Dalek Prime Minister seems to be one with regards to the Doctor, observing that maybe his species's admiration of "such divine hatred" is why they are unable to defeat the Doctor.
- Rory is on a roll as well.
- Demoted to Dragon: The Supreme Dalek is now subordinate to the new Dalek Prime Minister.
- Divorce Is Temporary: It only takes one episode to reunites Amy and Rory.
- The Dreaded:
The Doctor: The Doctor, the Oncoming Storm, the Predator.
- Driven to Madness: Every Dalek in the Asylum, particularly the Daleks who are in "Intensive Care" after surviving an encounter with the Doctor, and Oswin.
- Dying as Yourself: "I am Oswin Oswald. I fought the Daleks and I am human. Remember me."
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The episode is about... you guessed: An asylum... for the Daleks.
- Eureka Moment: Amy realising the unfortunate implications of the Nanocloud converting everything "living or dead" into Dalek zombies during the Doctor's explanation of the technology.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Daleks turn out to have standards just as screwed up as they are.
Dalek Prime Minister:
It is offensive to us to destroy such divine hatred
- Evil Sounds Deep: Inverted. Compared to the Dalek Emperor or Supreme, the Prime Minister is something of a tenor. The better to snark at the Doctor with.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: The Doctor, who doesn't realize everything around them is a possible Dalek zombie until Amy tells him to shut up for a second and think.
Yes, exactly. Living or... dead. Oh dear
- Face Cam: To represent Amy's Sanity Slippage as she is infected by the Nanocloud.
- Faux Affably Evil: The Dalek Prime Minister is far more polite, sardonic and respectful with the Doctor than any Dalek in the past. This oddly enough creates a rather disturbing reversal from the usual banter between Daleks and the Doctor, with the fuming Doctor being outsnarked by a Dalek.
- Flower in Her Hair: Oswin
- Oswin being able to hack Dalek technology.
- Possibly even the fact that some of her hacking is obvious Hollywood Hacking and button mashing.
- "Where do you get the milk for the soufflés?"
- "Make them remember you."
- Somebody else seems to have climbed out of the escape pod already.
- There's a ballerina figurine in Oswin's "escape pod".
- Oswin's escape pod looks vaguely like a Dalek on the scanners.
- Carmen. It's a tragic story as Carmen dies at the end.
- Also, in Carmen the Habanera aria, the song Oswin plays in almost every appearance and what the Daleks pick up, the translation of the lyric "Prends garde à toi!" is "You best beware!" But on the whole song, Carmen warns the onlookers she is like smoke, untouchable and unattainable. Just like Oswin.
- A sort of technically foreshadowing yet not actual foreshadowing yet actual foreshadowing. The Doctor mentions that Amy will be there at his end.
- Funny Background Event: Even after Amy's hallucination is broken, the "ballerina" William Hartnell-era Dalek can still be seen spinning around in circles in the background. Two Daleks can also be seen apparently holding "hands".
- Gender-Blender Name: "Oswin" is traditionally a male name.
- Genre Savvy:
- Gone Horribly Right: The Daleks converting Oswin to harness her genius. Combining her intelligence with Dalek technology made her able to hack just about anything, and indeed created a very powerful entity... that was beyond their ability to control. As the Daleks themselves are an example of the trope, the irony of one of their own experiments backfiring on them is almost poetic.
- Hand Wave:
- Happily Married: Subverted. At the start of the episode, Amy and Rory's marriage is going through difficulties. Though it is getting better by the end.
- Held Gaze: Amy and Rory when they are talking about the difficulties in their marriage and how much they still love each other that ends with a Big Damn Kiss.
- Henpecked Husband: Once again confronted, deconstructed and ultimately averted. When the Ponds are forced to finally confront their relationship issues, Rory laments how he's always felt he loved Amy more than she loved him, but Amy feels she was loving him by freeing him to go be with someone who could bear children.
- Hive Mind: Oswin's shorthand for the Daleks' sort-of-psychic network, the "Pathweb".
- Hollywood Hacking: Subverted. Oswin can only hack the Daleks' systems because she is one, and thus connected to their Hive Mind. All the Hollywood Hacking we see going on is just a fantasy inside her head.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Sort of. The Daleks claim to find hatred beautiful, even if that hatred is directed at them. The Prime Minister suggests that this is why they have so much trouble killing the Doctor.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Amy claims this is the reason she broke up with Rory. Poor Communication Kills.
- Jerkass Has a Point: When the Doctor questions why the Daleks seem to expect that he will just walk in and fix everything.
Rory: In fairness, that is slightly your M.O.
The Doctor: Don't be fair to the Daleks when they're firing me at a planet!
- Karma Houdini: The Parliament of the Daleks have their memory of the Doctor erased but otherwise are completely unaffected and unpunished at the end of the episode. Then again they have lost all knowledge of the Doctor and thus the single greatest motivating factor that drove them to be so obscenely powerful in the first place.
- Kill the Cutie: Oswin
- Knuckle Tattoos: Amy has the familiar "love" and "hate" on her knuckles for the fashion shoot, although it's almost certainly ballpoint.
- Lady in Red: Oswin
- Large And In Charge: In the Parliament scene, the new, larger Daleks from "Victory of the Daleks" appear to be acting as officers to the normal-sized bronze Daleks.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Inflicted on the entire Dalek species, thus robbing them of their greatest strength. Their fear of the Doctor.
Titles are not meaningful in this context. Doctor Who?
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- Living Bodysuit
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Oswin created her own personal paradise in her mind (as much as she could under the circumstances, anyway) and fully believes that she is a human trapped in an escape pod to avoid the truth that she has become a Dalek.
- Love Before First Sight: The Doctor did not need to see or touch Miss Oswald for her to impress him with her intelligence and willpower... or to do lots of flirting. Sort of downplayed in that this is more treated as a "first date" of sorts and that the attraction here didn't become a full blown crush untill after he properly meets original!Clara, but definitely still there.
- The Maiden Name Debate: Amy signs her divorce papers Amy Williams. Later in the episode, the Doctor once again calls Rory "Mr Pond".
- Manchurian Agent: Dalek puppets look human, and don't have any idea of their Dalek-ness... that is, until they're needed.
- Meat Puppet: Taken to all new levels of Body Horror. The Daleks hollow out their victims with Nanomachines and put Dalek machinery inside.
- Meaningful Echo:
- A running gag from earlier turns into the most chilling word known to man.
- The cut to the Doctor fixing his bow-tie, after Amy realises the Doctor has helped to sort out the relationship she told him earlier was "not one of those things you can fix like you fix your bow-tie."
- Mickey Mousing: When Oswin switches the music to the "Toreador Chorus", the music matches the banging on the door.
- Mind Rape: This is how the nanocloud conversion process begins.
- Mood Whiplash: From Oswin's narration into her diary at the beginning of the episode:
Oswin: Day 363. The terror continues. Also, made another soufflé... very nearly.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe: the Daleks manage to disgust the Doctor again, even after all they've done already. They keep the insane Daleks alive as they feel their hatred is beautiful.
- Motor Mouth: Jenna Coleman gives Matt Smith a run for his money.
- Well, that IS the reason why she was hired.
- Ms. Fanservice:
- Mushroom Samba: Amy starts seeing a room full of waiters greeting her and spinning ballerinas. It's actually a room full of half-active Daleks.
- Mythology Gag:
- In early drafts of "The Daleks", it would have been a plot point that Skaro was subject to regular monsoon-like storms. When this serial opens on Skaro, just such a storm is taking place.
- One of the Daleks that Amy sees as human is a ballerina. The design of the Daleks, specifically their long skirts and gliding motion, was inspired by the Georgian National Ballet dancers seen by Terry Nation one evening.
- Dalek Sec's casing appears as a man in a suit when Amy's hallucinating.
- Nanomachines: Like the ones from "The Empty Child", only even nastier.
- Never Trust a Trailer: Rory: "Who killed all the Daleks?" The Doctor: "Who do you think?" The scene's from the middle of the episode and involves only a room full of Daleks. There are still plenty left alive, even after the end of the episode.
- Oh, Crap: Rory's face when he realises the crazy Dalek was not saying "Eggs".
- Our Zombies Are Different:
- They're Dalek androids made out of human corpses. Anyone who lands on the Asylum becomes one.
- The ICU Daleks count even on their own, slowly lumbering toward the Doctor, stripped of their guns.
- Pietà Plagiarism: The Doctor, holding nearly-emotion drained Amy.
- Poor Communication Kills: Or at least ends marriages. Amy throws Rory out upon learning she can't have more children, and somehow doesn't think to actually tell him this, leaving him understandably bitter after a couple of months or so of wondering what the hell he did wrong.
- The Power of Hate: The Daleks both love hatred and hate the Doctor. His existence as an entity beyond them, who are supposed to be the most superior entity in all the galaxy, has driven them to such levels of power that they have threatened the whole of reality. And Oswin effectively neuters this hatred and drive to become stronger by stripping the Doctor from the memory banks of everything Dalek.
- The Power of Love: How Amy fights the Dalek-puppet conversion (or so she thinks) and how Oswin maintains her humanity, seemingly. Between this episode and "Closing Time", that's starting to become a theme on fighting cyborg conversion in general.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: In the end, Oswin the super-hacker writes the Doctor right out of the Dalek's minds. Not, however, instructing them to live a life of peace or stop bothering other species. Necessary though, because this is a TV show and we can't do without the show's most iconic enemies. Also, reforming the Daleks wasn't her priority at the time; she was more concerned with protecting the Doctor from imminent death. And just because she can delete memories doesn't mean she can rewrite their entire personalities.
- Red Baron: The Doctor gets a fresh one to go along with "The Oncoming Storm": "The Predator of the Daleks".
- Replicant Snatching: The Daleks can now harvest human bodies into puppets for undercover purposes. The horror potential of this is not particularly played out in this episode, though.
- Running Gag:
- The Doctor's exasperation at Amy and Rory's make-out sessions.
- Rory's nose gets some more jabs, although Oswin doesn't let the Doctor's chin off either.
- Where does she get the milk for all the soufflés? This one turns out to be quite serious, though.
- Sanity Slippage:
- Amy while affected by the nanocloud.
- Also Oswin when reminded of her true situation.
- Save the Villain: The Daleks' request to the Doctor, in a Lesser of Two Evils situation, of course.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Who do you think?
- Scenery Gorn: In the prologue, Skaro is an awful wasteland with acid storms and a giant statue of a Dalek.
- Scenery Porn:
- We only got those snow scenes because everyone realised how close they were to a resort while filming episode three in Almeria.
- The wide shots of the Parliament of the Daleks; somewhat like what they wanted the Shadow Proclamation to look like in "The Stolen Earth" but couldn't do for budget reasons. Except with Daleks.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: The Daleks' suits have one.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: All Dalek survivors from the events of "The Chase", "The Daleks' Master Plan", "The Power of the Daleks", "Planet of the Daleks", and "Death to the Daleks".
- Shut Up, Kirk!: The Doctor tries to appeal to Darla to remember the human she once was, reminding her she has a daughter. Darla smirks and replies "Yes, I know. I read my file".
The Doctor: Carmen, lovely show.
- Show, Don't Tell: Apart from being told that the insane Daleks are the worst kind, they don't seem that much worse than the regular ones, sleeping most of the time and in need of repair. Although there are enough of them to fill up a planet. Judging by Amy's hallucination scene, however, it seems the Daleks in the asylum have developed dreams and feelings beyond hatred. For Daleks this would be the worst display of insanity.
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: For months prior to the broadcast, Jenna-Louise Coleman had been promoted as playing the Doctor's new companion, and that she would debut in the 2012 Christmas special. As a result, and thanks to successful efforts by the BBC to prevent spoilers from getting out, her appearance in this episode was a complete surprise to most viewers. Needless to say, none of the advance publicity for this episode referenced her, even though she was the episode's main guest character.
- Skewed Priorities:
- "Where do you get the milk for the soufflés?" Of course, The Cuckoolander Was Right. There are no soufflés.
- Only the Doctor could be preoccupied with the state of Amy and Rory's marriage whilst in the middle of an veritable army of Daleks. Then again, they are, technically, his parents-in-law, and the series has made a case of how childish the Doctor can get.
- Slave Mooks: The Dalek Puppets.
- Snap Back: Starting with this story, the RTD-era "Time War" Daleks were reinstated as the main Dalek design, with the updated design introduced early in the Eleventh Doctor's run being relegated to filling out crowds.
- So Long, Suckers!: The Doctor, as usual, can't leave without at least one good taunt.
You know, you guys should really have seen this coming. Thing about me and teleports: I've got a really good aim. Pinpoint accurate in fact. Or, to put it another way: Suckers!
- Stealth Pun: The Doctor calls the Daleks "suckers".
- Taking You with Me: One of the Daleks, having a damaged gun-stick, activates its self-destruct next to the Doctor. This, however, is exactly what the Doctor wanted it to do. He forces it to go straight back into an enormous group of Daleks, destroying them all.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Subverted. The Doctor tries to do this with one of the Dalek Zombies, asking her if she knows that she once had a daughter before the Daleks hollowed her out and turned her into their puppet? The Dalek Zombie replies that she does... because she read her file!
- Title Drop: "Doc-tor Who?"
- Tomato in the Mirror: Oswin is a Dalek.
- Too Dumb to Live: Not only did Rory stick around when some insane Daleks started waking up — did he seriously think a bunch of glitched-out Daleks were saying "eggs" and not just the first syllable of "exterminate"?
- Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: The Daleks convert Oswin into one of them and attempt to add her to their Hive Mind, but Oswin's mind is too intelligent to be over-written. The Daleks become so confused by this they're too afraid to even go near her, and send in the Doctor, their worst enemy, to sort out the mess instead.
- Translation Convention: Presumably Daleks don't really have an operating system that displays messages in plain English, like we see when looking through the POV of the one who self-destructs.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Averted: Oswin's appearance in the episode was kept completely under wraps prior to the episode's début broadcast.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Oswin forgets she is a Dalek and imagines life in the asylum because the truth was too terrible.
- Up to Eleven: Lampshaded.
So... how much trouble are we in? The Doctor:
How much trouble, Mr Pond? Out of ten? Eleven.
- Verbal Tic: "Eggs. Eggs...stir...Eggs-stir-minate! EXTERMINATE!
- Violent Glaswegian: Amy implies that most of Scotland is after she slaps Rory, and Oswin wonders if the Dalek conversion is already making her angrier than normal.
Amy: Well, somebody's never been to Scotland.
- Visual Pun: Astonishingly, this is the first time in 49 years that televised Doctor Who has acknowledged the resemblance between a Dalek gun and an egg whisk. Oswin's obsession with soufflés turns out to perhaps be a subconscious way to deal with having aforementioned gun.
- Was Once a Man: The Dalek Puppets. Also, poor, poor Dalek Oswin.
- Wham Episode: Although the whole episode was filled with whams, the biggest one that affects the whole series was every Dalek, everywhere, losing all memory of the Doctor.
- Wham Line:
The Doctor: It's a dream, Oswin. You dreamed it yourself because the truth was too terrible.
Damaged Dalek: Egg-egg-egg-egg-egg-egg-eggz.
Rory: Eggs? You mean those things? (The roundels on the Dalek's casing. Some have fallen off onto the floor.)
Damaged Dalek: Eeeeggz.
Rory: I don't, I don't know what you want. Those things. Are those things eggs? This? You want this.
Damaged Dalek: Eeex...sterrr...miiinn...aaate.
Amy: You want kids, you have always wanted kids, ever since you were a kid. And I can't have them. Whatever they did to me at Demons Run, I can't ever give you children.
- And this heartbreaking moment:
Where am I?
(cut back to the room the Doctor's in) Dalek Oswin: Where... Am... I?
- The X of Y: Yet again.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: The Doctor, when the Dalek Prime Minister remarks that perhaps the reason the Daleks have never been able to kill the Doctor is because he is such a "divine" example of hatred.