Wonder why the BBC were so keen to co-ordinate the launch of Doctor Who’s seventh series across the globe? Well, Steven Moffat had a massive spoiler up his sleeve. A spoiler which he shared with selected journalists and fans at the BFI screening of Asylum Of The Daleks in August.
It centered around an incredibly sexy, fast talking new character who didn’t appear in any promo material for the episode. Yes, Jenna Louise Coleman popped up as a feisty shipwrecked traveller who had the rotten luck to crash-land on the Dalek asylum planet. But since she technically didn’t set foot in the TARDIS, she’s technically not a companion of The Doctor. Yet. Read on for spoilers and speculation!
Okay. SPOILER WARNING OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. Do not read on if you haven’t seen Asylum Of The Daleks yet…
So, The Doctor, Amy and Rory are chucked down into the middle of a planet crawling with lunatic, uncontrollable Daleks. And they quickly make contact with a marooned girl called Oswin Oswald. She describes herself as “Junior entertainment manager, Starship Alaska. Current status: crashed and shipwrecked somewhere…not nice.”
She establishes a flirty and clever banter with The Doctor (and Rory) within minutes, calling them the chin and the beak respectively. And she’s a genius too – she’s taken control of the Dalek technology on the planet and can use eyestalks as cameras and open doors for the time travellers as they explore the asylum.
That familiar Moffat twist…
It couldn’t be straightforward with Steven Moffat. As The Doctor promises to rescue the stranded Oswin, he has to run the gauntlet to the room that she’s trapped in. But when the door opens, he discovers that Oswin is…a Dalek.
Should’ve seen it coming, really – the nanocloud that transformed anything foreign to the planet into Dalekesque killers, the fact that Oswin had impressive control over the Dalek technology and…that oft-repeated clue about where she was getting milk to make soufflés.
Yes, when Oswin landed on the Dalek asylum, she became infected with nanobots and was fully converted into a Dalek. She created the soufflé-making, shut-in fantasy to shield her mind from the horror of what she’d become.
So what happens next?
There are a few questions that should be lodged in fans’ heads.
- The press release said the new companion’s name was Clara Oswin, not Oswin Oswald. So, is the Oswin in this episode a different character?
- She might be a different character, because unlike River Song, she’s never met The Doctor before. So, are we going to meet an ancestor of Oswin Oswald in the same way we met Gwen from Torchwood’s ancestor?
- Or will The Doctor find some way to rewrite history and save Oswin from being turned into a Dalek in the first place?
Either way, Moffat has managed to create a witty, attractive and technically brilliant character. Someone who’s potentially one step ahead of The Doctor in terms of intellect, but funny and quick-thinking at the same time. Unfortunately, he also managed to kill her off at the same time.
Over to you, Whovians! How do you think The Doctor and Clara/Oswin will eventually end up travelling together?