“Doctor Who” returns Sept. 1 to both BBC and BBC America, and the Daleks are coming with it.
“Asylum of the Daleks” opens the seventh season of “Doctor Who” with The Doctor himself, played by Matt Smith, abducted by the tin can aliens. He and his trusted companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) are forced to escape from an alien prison where the most dangerous of all criminals are kept.
And that’s just to start things off.
“We have, I think, our biggest range of stories ever,” showrunner Steven Moffat said in a release. “We’ve got the return of the Daleks and the Weeping Angels — both of them poll-topping ‘Doctor Who’ adversaries — in cracking new stories. We’ve got dinosaurs on a spaceship, we’ve got a glorious western with a cyborg gunslinger, the most unusual invasion Earth story ever, and location shooting in New York for the Pond finale.
That’s right, this is the season that fans have to say goodbye to Gillan and Darvill as the show companions in what is the show’s second trip to the United States (following Utah last season).
This could be the biggest season for “Doctor Who” yet in terms of something else — audience. The show was the top-selling series of the year for Apple’s iTunes Store in the United States, and just last month, became the first British television series ever to be featured on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.
“Asylum of the Daleks” was written by Moffat, and will be followed by “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” the next week from popular scribe Chris Chibnall. In that episode, a spaceship hurtles toward destruction, and The Doctor is tasked to save it. With him, however, is a big game hunter, an Egyptian queen, and … dinosaurs. There’s also expected to be a “surprised” member of the Pond family in the episode.
After that, “Doctor Who” goes to the Wild West in “A Town Called Mercy,” written by “Being Human’s” Toby Whithouse. There, The Doctor becomes the sheriff of a Western town under siege by a cyborg known only as Gunslinger. But also hanging out is an alien doctor by the name of Kahler-Jex, who is harboring a secret.
“We’ve been off the air for longer than usual, so it was an easy decision to come back with ‘Doctor Who’ at its most iconic, and that means Daleks,” Moffat said. “Lots and lots of scary Daleks. There have been many monsters to face The Doctor over the years, but only one that can sum up the whole series just by being there.”
It’s also the first time Moffat has written an episode with the Daleks, aliens that were created for the original “Doctor Who” run by Terry Nation.
This season will consist of five episodes episodes and a Christmas special. The fifth episode was shot in New York and will be the departure of the Ponds, while a new companion played by Jenna-Louise Coleman debuts for the annual holiday adventure.
Guest stars this season include David Bradley, Rupert Graves, Stephen Berkoff, Mike McShane, Ben Browder, Adrian Scarbourgh and Anamaria Marinca.
The season premiere airs Sept. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America.