In Asylum of the Daleks, the Doctor knows

Clara is not alive,

because she is making soufflés. The Doctor asks her where she got the milk from.

Here is my problem. In the future (I assume it is far into the future), there is technology to convert any species into a Dalek, technology to beam on to planets. Even humans travel in space in luxury cruisers, which means they are quite advanced.

Which means, in this future, technology to store milk long term should be possible. Even now, we can store milk for 6-9 months. If humans travel long distances in space, they must have created a way to store milk for even longer. Surely they don't carry a cow with them?

So why would the Doctor assume Clara is dead, rather than assume the more simple, "She must have really high quality, long life milk powder, and I must try some with my tea"?

  • 7
    "The Doctor: All the species in all the universe and it has to come out of a cow!" source May 17, 2013 at 15:30
  • @GoranJovic, great quote! I had to check the link to prove to myself you hadn't made it up :) May 17, 2013 at 19:29
  • Except all mammals have the ability to produce milk, the Doctor should know that! (Incidentally you can make a soufflé from goat's milk...but IMHO it's horrendous)
    – Monty129
    May 17, 2013 at 20:07
  • 4
    Clara claimed to have made a souffle every day for over a year; that's a lot of milk to have survived an unplanned crash onto an uninhabited (by mammals) planet...
    – KutuluMike
    May 17, 2013 at 20:55
  • The fact that she never actually attempts an answer was in itself a clue that something wasn't right. We see her remove a failed souffle from an oven, with no indication of the prior steps she would have had to perform. Perhaps any focus of attention on any of the steps would have punctured the illusion.
    – Anthony X
    May 8, 2023 at 3:04

1 Answer 1


It was never about the milk. The milk was a clue something wasn't quite right.

Clara had been trapped on a planet controlled by Dalaks for over a year without a nano gene inhibiter. He would have expected her to have been converted by the time the got to her so he found her having the time or resources to manufacture soufflés to be suspect given where she was.

He held out hope she was still human because she managed to maintain her voice. Once confronted with her actual presence he put all of the discrepancies together. She hadn't escaped the conversion, the Dalaks had limited it for their benefit.

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