Doctor Who: 5 ways Steven Moffat recycled story ideas for Asylum Of The Daleks

Doctor Who: Asylum Of The Daleks teaser image
Seriously? You’re saying we’ve done some of this stuff before?

So, the season premiere of Doctor Who has aired and the internet is a-buzz with talk about the BIG REVEAL. But what I wanted to look at in this post is how many of Steven Moffat’s previous story ideas have been recycled for Asylum Of The Daleks.

Moffat’s re-used themes and ideas from his earlier episodes in the past. The Eleventh Hour was practically riddled with quotes and throwbacks to episodes of Doctor Who that Moffat had written while Russell T Davies was showrunner. Here are five ways Asylum Of The Daleks ‘borrows’ from earlier ideas…

5. Enormous Dalek statue = Teselecta from Series 6

Teselecta from Let's Kill HitlerYou remember the Teselecta – it was the shape-shifting robot that was powered by miniature people and it made quite a few appearances in series 6. Behind the eyes of the Teselecta, there was a platform where you could see out, which was very reminiscent of the enormous Dalek statue seen on Skaro.

Okay, maybe that was just me. But what about…

4. Nanobots!

The Empty ChildCast your mind back to the first series Christopher Eccleston adventure The Empty Child, which featured frightening gasmask-wearing zombie people. Whenever one of these creepy people would touch you, a gas mask would soon sprout from your face and you’d repeatedly ask “Are you my mummy?”

Turned out, the source of the problem was an extraterrestrial medicine cabinet crashlanded in wartime London and unleashed these nanobots – molecule sized robots that altered people’s DNA to their misguided view of what humans should look like. In Asylum Of The Daleks, the nanobots would alter any foreign subject – living or dead – into a Dalek-style killing machine. The common link between both these stories? Mr Steven Moffat.

3. Losing – then remembering – your humanity

CybermenThe common thread between the Cybermen and the Daleks is that they’re humans who’ve been stripped of their humanity. (Yes, the modern Daleks sprang from harvested human DNA. Go back to the series 1 finale for proof.)

When Oswin allowed The Doctor to escape, despite her Dalek impulse to EXTERMINATE him, it had echoes of Tracy Ann Oberman’s performance as Yvonne Hartman in Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday. Hartman was the chief of London Torchwood during the Dalek/Cyberman invasion, and the character was turned into a Cyberman herself. But when the final battle was going down, Cyber-Hartman remembered her humanity and sided with The Doctor, fighting against the Cybermen to the bitter end.

2. Dead spacemen come back to life!

Vashta NeradaThose nanobots triggered anything living or dead to become a weapon of the Daleks. But they also revived another Moffat plot device: the reanimated corpse.

Remember in Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead – the Vasha Nerada (another minute enemy, I notice) would invade a spacesuit, strip the person inside to a ghastly skeleton and reanimate the body to carry out their will. The only trace of humanity was the memory chip, which chillingly repeated the catchphrase “Hey, who turned out the lights?” Well, meet the updated version – skeletal creatures with Dalek eyestalks protruding from their heads.

1. Crash of the Alaska = Crash of the Byzantium

Doctor Who: Weeping AngelIt’s a familiar story. A starship crashes on a hostile alien planet…right slap bang in the middle of the hostile aliens themselves. In the crash of the Byzantium, the ship crash landed into a cave full of Weeping Angels, while in Asylum, the Alaska crashes onto a planet of insane Daleks.

At this point, you may be less than startled to discover that both episodes were written by one Mr S Moffat.

Bonus: Meeting a future companion before they travel together!

I’m skating on thin ice with this one. But basically Jenna Louise Coleman appears in this episode as Oswin Oswald. Could she be a future companion? Probably not, but there’s a connection here somewhere. We just can’t figure it out yet!

The press release says that Coleman is playing a new companion called Clara Oswin. Now, there’ll be some twisty, turny, timey-wimey explanation that Moffat will pull out to confuddle us all. But basically, we’re looking at a future companion of The Doctor before she’s even travelled with The Doctor. Which of course is a parallel with River Song’s appearance in the Silence In The Library two-parter.

Oswin Oswald
Oswin Oswald: Most awesome companion yet?

Not that we’re complaining. The intrigue, speculation and second guessing was part of the fun of that character. So, if we spend the remaining months until Christmas pondering how Oswin will become Clara/if Oswin is Clara/if Clara is Oswin’s ancestor

2 comments

  1. I think it would be good if Oswin gets downloaded somehow into a human body but is still a bit Dalek. When she gets stressed a Dalek eye could pop out of her forehead and she could threaten to zap someone. She could be a bit tragic and the Doctor could spend her arc trying to make her fully human again.
    Alas, I think that would be a bit much for a show like this, I just hope we don’t get a “I think I met your great great grandmother type thing, ala Fremma Ageman.

    Joel Pickering

  2. Reblogged this on I just wrote a blog and commented:
    My first shot at a reblog for this blog. Personally, one of my favorite shows, all-time, hands down. Series 7 premiered last Saturday, and I would love to share it with you guys. Oh, and Jenna Louise Coleman is smoking hot. Can we all agree?

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