15Asylum of the Daleks
By the outset of his third season, Matt Smith had won over skeptical fans, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were confident and comfortable in their roles as Amy and Rory Williams, and Steven Moffat had a firm grip on the helm of his ship. "Asylum of the Daleks" finds the
Doctor doing what he does best: saving the day against impossible odds while also sorting out the personal lives of his friends.
It started with a killer hook: the Doctor and his two companions are abducted by the Daleks and taken to the one place in the universe the Daleks themselves are too frightened to venture out to: a creepy retirement home for Daleks that have gone mad. Moffat's stated aim was to "make the Daleks scary again," and he definitely succeeded. Along the way, the Doctor is stunned to find that in his absence, his two best friends have separated and are on the verge of divorce. He may have his work cut out for him, but not to worry. That's when the Doctor's at his finest.
Add in the clever surprise debut of the Doctor's next companion — months earlier than expected — and you've got a thrilling concoction of excitement and emotion that just can't fail.