In this play a young girl, Freda is arrested by PC Andy for shoplifting and it soon becomes apparent that everything is not as it seems. For one the girl seems to talk in some kind of wierd dialect even though she has a Cardiff accent and she also was carrying a strange device that was most definitely not from the present time and so PC Andy promptly called in his old chum Gwen Cooper and Torchwood who promptly tried to take over the entire investigate much to the annoyance of PC Andy who gave as good as he got in this episode. I am not sure whether or not Andy escaped the whole experience without being retconed as it was never stated in the episode whether he had or not, but with Jack around it is safe to say that he might well have been.
Asylum was a fairly good story and was most definitely a Gwen episode as she was the focal point of the episode along with the girl, Freda, and PC Andy. Jack and Ianto were barely present in the story with Ianto having even less to do than Jack! Andy is always fun when he appears and he even gets some of the best lines in this play as well as he did when he appeared in the televsion episodes and his reaction when he finds out that Freda is an alien is priceless!
I liked the idea of a number of aliens being sent to the Earth to blend seamlessly into society so that a few generations down the line they will even forget that they were aliens as if they were told that they were human why would they think otherwise, particularily if the only difference between them and humans was in the body chemistry itself as it is for this alien race. The safe house from Out of Time reappears in this episode and the episode itself is also mentioned.
Then there is the whole question about what to do with Frida when they find out that she is an alien? A lot of this is a bit similar to the second season episode Sleeper, with Jack being more than happy to lock her away for her own safety, and for the rest of the human race’s safety, and the other trying to persuade Jack that they will act a bit like social services with Gwen as her caseworker. Yeah, like that would work. But when she seems to be harmless and not hell bent on enslaving the human race then I guess that it wouldn’t make a lot of difference if they did just let her go.
I would have to say that the best performance in the episode was not from the Torchwood crew but from Erin Richards who played Freda who carried a lot of the episode herself much like Eugene did in the first season episode Random Shoes.
I would probably listen to this again, but perhaps not for a while.