When executive producer and showrunner Steven Moffat claimed that this year he would throw the arc lever in the other direction for Doctor Who, he certainly wasn’t kidding. Much as Asylum Of The Daleks was undoubtedly a 5* episode in this writer’s opinion, its allusions to the overarching themes and plot threads of Series Seven were to some extent far more subtle. If anything, we may find that something akin to the ‘Bad Wolf’ and ‘Mr Saxon’ arcs begins to develop as the season progresses, albeit with far greater scale and ambition than the show could manage in its early years.
There were hints at what is to come, though- did you catch them? Well, in any case you’d be well advised to check out this guide to the teasers we received, as it could well prove invaluable come the time when we reach the series finale next Spring. Here, then, are the plot threads that Asylum began to unravel which are sure to crop up again in some form…
1. Darla’s Informers
In the ruins of Skaro, we initially see unknowing Dalek slave Darla Von Karlsen attract the attention of the Doctor in order to supposedly begin a rescue mission for her prison-bound daughter. It turns out that Darla isn’t all she seems, but the way she first puts her plight to the Time Lord and indeed the manner in which she found him proves intriguing. We learn that Darla has been informed by higher powers that the Doctor needs to be intrigued to answer a call for help, and that there were always rumours floating about that the Lord Of Gallifrey had survived his demise.
But where did the rumours originate? Much as the Daleks must think their ancient foe near-invulnerable (and rightly so), surely the mutated race knew that the death of the Doctor at the hands of an Impossible Astronaut in Utah, April 2012 was a fixed point in time. Sure, the corpse was actually that of a Teselecta shape-shifter, yet the point of the Doctor’s death must have got across, and it’s a bit of a stretch to think that the Daleks know better than the Silence. So could perhaps even the Doc’s greatest enemies have been informed by a higher presence- Silence or otherwise- of his survival? The answer to that intriguing question may well be crucial to the ongoing arc of why the Doctor truly needs to step back into the shadows- more on that later…
UPDATE: In the course of the drafting of this article, Doctor Who TV released a video of a strange hooded figure leading the Doctor to Darla and Skaro. Played by Barnaby Edwards, this character has been spotted in filming for Part Two, so clearly the man who Darla knew would get the Doctor’s attention is someone up for hire with a bigger part to play!
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