The Earth has been taken to the heart of the Medusa Cascade with 26 other worlds, the heart of the New Dalek Empire. As humanity falls before the might of the metal bastards, Harriet Jones manages to unite Torchwood, Sarah Jane Smith and Martha Jones, and they summon the Doctor. When he arrives, he finds his longlost best friend Rose Tyler... and a trigger-happy Dalek. Mortally wounded, the Doctor is dragged back to the time machine by Donna, Rose and Captain Jack while the Daleks regroup and attack...
Aboard the TARDIS, the trio watch as the horrified Doctor slides away into death, glowing brightly on the floor and transforming into Nicholas Briggs! So stunned are they by this development, they don't notice his spare hand also glowing violently in its bubbling container. The new Doctor is dazed but more or less coherent as he struggles to get up ("How do I look, Jack?" "Ah... you been better." "Charming..."), telling off Donna and Rose as they boggle at his new body. Better having to get a new wardrobe than one of his friends dying. As the Doctor slumps into the pilot chair, he snaps at Rose to tell him what's happening. This new incarnation is a bit more formal and a lot less cuddly than the last one.
Jack meanwhile contacts the Hub. Ianto and Gwen are fleeing into the depths of the Hub as the Dalek hunts them down. Yeah, the Daleks only bothered to send one Dalek to nuke the lot of them cause even Daleks know how crap Torchwood is. Gwen frees Betty and Veronica the Weevils to attack the Dalek... and the Weevils run like fuck in the opposite direction. Ianto and Gwen run onwards. Meanwhile, Martha and Francince teleport to the Hub to find themselves with Jack on the answer phone...
Meanwhile, SJ accidentally bumps into two Daleks who, annoyed, prepare to blast her dead. Thinking quickly, our reporter claims she has information for Davros - and the fact any human knows of our favorite blind cripple gives the Daleks pause for thought. They agree to spare her and take her to the Crucible. Davros, getting told there's a journo to see him, asks the Supreme Dalek what the fuck he's on about. He's shown a picture of Sarah. Nope. Don't recognize her. Send her to be tested.
At the Hub, Jack checks readings on the console and tells Martha how to use the rift manipulator. As Ianto and Gwen flee back into the chamber, they slam down lots of levers and the oncoming Dalek rusts into dust before it fully enters the room. Jack punches the air and explains he's used the TARDIS and the rift manipulator to make a Time Lock. The Doctor acidly points out that he's effectively entombed Martha and the others forever - it'll take the best part of five centuries for the Lock to dephase, and nothing can get in or out.
As Martha and co ponder what the hell to do now, the Doctor and Rose talk. She explains that Pete's World is 3 years in the future, and she has been building a device to break through the walls in reality in the hope of finding the Doctor. The Doctor calls her a complete bloody moron ("What part of destroy the universe didn't I make clear?!") but Donna forces him to admit that he's actually glad to see blondie again. Rose explains that her Torchwood helped her when it became clear that the stars were going out, even planets were vanishing in "the darkness". Some kind of energy is sweeping through every dimension and destroying all matter. Rose managed to break the dimension wall and tracked down the Doctor to the moment they parted company, only to find herself on the Trickster Earth where he died. She managed to put things back on track.
Donna asks why everything on Shan Shen turned to say "BAD WOLF" and the Doctor notes it was just the TARDIS panicking via its translation circuits. Clearly this darkness is going to be triggered by the events in the Medusa Cascade, but if they can stop it, not only will every universe be saved, but Rose will never have punctured the dimensions. The risk to everything will unhappen. Rose doesn't like the way this is going, afraid she'll pop out of reality and return to Pete's World. The Doctor notes it may not come to that, but does not elaborate. He is just about ready to walks again...
Meanwhile, the Daleks have surrounded the TARDIS. On their command, they press their suckers against the police box and temporal shift to the heart of the crucible. The Supreme Dalek orders various technobabble to be placed and suddenly the Doctor, Donna, Jack and Rose are left cramped in a police box! The Doctor bitches that these Daleks aren't the pathetic losers they've had to face since 2005, but the real deal - and they've detached the TARDIS interior and exterior. The TARDIS is just a very fragile police box, so they better obediently step outside before the Daleks blow it up. Donna notices that the hand is still here, beside a curious slot in the police box floor. With a sudden crazed look, the Doctor hands Donna the sonic screwdriver and tells her to wait his signal. He's got a plan, and all concerned note that he's still the Doctor, despite looking like a bald toothbrush-wielding maniac...
Back on Earth, Martha explains to the others about the Osterhagen Key. Back in the 1970s, UNIT discovered a fault line running through the core of the Earth which, if tampered with, could trigger the destruction of the Earth (cue crappy Inferno summary). Osterhagen placed a nuclear device in that fault line as the final option. Should it go off, Earth will be utterly destroyed in a matter of hours. The others are horrified, but Ianto notes that it is something of a bargaining chip. The Daleks NEED Earth... and they have the chance to stop the Daleks if nothing else. Elsewhere, Luke is taken aback as there is a knock at the door. Mr Smith grows his laser guns, and is surprised when the caller turns out to be Captain John Hart.
On the Crucible, the Doctor, Jack and Rose emerge from the TARDIS and are confronted by the Supreme Dalek. The Doctor rolls his eyes. As Daleks go, this is the Saddam Hussein 70s porn star of the Dalek Empire, the one even the Emperor found irritating. The Supreme Dalek tells the Doctor to shut his lying mouth, while the attending Daleks point out that there's another companion in the TARDIS. The Supreme Dalek tells the Doctor to order her to emerge, but Rose starts taunting the Supreme Dalek as well. The Doctor nears a control console as Jack orders the Daleks to surrender. The Supreme Dalek stares at Jack for a moment, then shoots him.
But Jack gets back up again.
Terrified, all the Daleks open fire on Jack, while the Doctor starts frantically operating controls. The Supreme Dalek activates the nifty trap door and sends the police box plunging into the heart of the Crucible before the Doctor can cancel the dampener field. The Daleks realize they can't exterminate Jack... but they might be able to do it to Rose. The Doctor is forced to back down as the still-not-at-all-indestructible TARDIS plunges to its doom. Inside, Donna is too busy trying to stay inside the box to worry about the hand, which starts glowing brighter and brighter. When a jolt makes her touch the jar, it explodes and the hand grows a brand new Tenth Doctor... naked... and in a very confined space.
In the Crucible control room, the Doctor warns the Daleks that they are tampering with things they can't understand. The Doctor is the only survivor of the Time War - these Daleks were cowards who fled. They didn't see what he saw, or know what he has become. And if he can make Jack utterly immortal and indestructible, maybe it's not such a good idea to throw the last TARDIS in the universe into the heart of their oh-so-impressive Crucible. The Supreme Dalek tells the other Daleks, who are starting to get a tad worried, to shut the hell up. It knows what it's doing. And when the Doctor suddenly collapses, groaning, things look bleak.
The TARDIS finally hits the fireball, as the naked Tenth Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver and kapow! The control room unfolds into existence around them. The Tenth Doctor explains cheerfully that the Eleventh has sabotaged the Dalek systems that are suppressing the TARDIS, allowing him to pull it together again. Then suddenly all the roundels explode and the room bursts into flames. The defense shields are down and all they've managed is to buy the TARDIS a few more minutes of life.
The Doctor explains to Rose he's linked with the TARDIS and can feel it dying - but that means that Donna has got the interior working again. He notices his hand start to glow, and becomes delirious. Jack is dragged out of the room by the Daleks, desperately trying to crush his skull with their suckers. The Supreme Dalek watches the TARDIS bobbing in the flames. The Doctor shouts out that this is all part of the Time Lord's plan - and even if he's talking crap, the Supreme Dalek is getting rid of some seriously useful technology. The Supreme tells the Doctor to shut the hell up, and is reminded that it's not technically the Supreme Dalek. It's a field promotion, because all its superiors are dead, not a reflection on its skills. "You don't have the genome for it!" Rose mocks. The TARDIS vanishes in the fireball and the Supreme Dalek announces it is destroyed. It then orders the Doctor and Rose to be taken to the Vault to be dealt with by Davros.
As Jack is thrown protesting into a disposal chute (only to emerge a few moments later taking the piss out of the Daleks) Sarah Jane Smith is taken to a football-stadium sized place filled with people. The Daleks have taken crowds from London to use in the test, mainly since they happened to be the easiest to get as the Daleks lay in wait for the Doctor to turn up. As she awaits the test, Sarah realizes in the crowd... is Mickey Smith!
On Earth, Captain John explains his time agent wrist thing (TM) isn't working and so he homed in on the most advanced technology he could find on Earth: Mr. Smith. He finds it typical that some mad old woman in suburbia is more advanced than Torchwood, and, after getting some lip from the said computer after he flirts with a 14 year old boy, Captain John contacts with Torchwood. Gwen and Ianto know who he is, and Martha quickly deduces he's a time traveller like Jack ("I can tell from your walk.") Captain John is not exactly delighted at their plans for thermonuclear destruction, but agrees. He's never met Daleks before, but heard a lot about them. He kind of expected them to be a tad smaller. And sound more like Smurfs. They agree to set up the blackmail of the Daleks... until they discover the Daleks are leaving Earth, en masse. Mal Loup says the Americans are to be congratulated for scaring them off, and the total destruction of half their military (and the world's military, come to that) is entirely incidental. Spin doctors are already suggesting it become a public holiday, but no one is willing to leave their homes.
The Doctor and Rose are taken to the vault and trapped in holding cells as Davros arrives. The Doctor notes that Davros is still scared of him, and puts the mutant cripple in his place - the Daleks changed history and saved Davros in the Time War NOT because they needed him, but because they were altering their own destiny. He's incidental. Which is why he was locked in the vault, and no one asked him for tactics. Davros notes that this was, kinda, what happened... but after Dalek Caan turned up and rescued them, the Daleks agreed that Davros was the better leader. He allows the Supreme Dalek to do all the day-to-day extermination and also it's part of etiquette. The Doctor and Davros put aside their differences to wonder just what a dork the Supreme Dalek is - that utterly pointless neckbrace, what's up with that?!
Davros explains that when Caan saved them, the ripple from breaking the time lock around the Time War caused several planets to drop out of existence and arrive in the Medusa Cascade. Intrigued, Davros discovered the Cascade is a sealed-over rift in the multiverse, whose properties make the Cascade incredibly interesting. After rebuilding his forces, Davros created the Crucible, which drew another twenty-six planets of just the right densities to warp the Cascade into a giant transmitter. From there, and using Dalek Caan's oracle abilities, Davros watched what the Doctor got up to after the war. Amused at the whole Delta Wave fiasco, Davros has decided to adapt that strategy. Just to screw with the Doctor that extra little bit.
The Doctor points out that Van Cassadine energy on such a scale would not only be uncontrollable, it would burn out rapidly. At best, the Crucible would wipe the Medusa Cascade clean of life, but not touch anything outside it. Davros points out that he KNEW that, he's not stupid! He's using the idea, not the practice. And if they want to know more they can shut the hell up while he tests the Reality Bomb on the gathered humans.
At that moment, Captain John contacts the Crucible, along with feed from the Hub. ("Conference calls! How retro!") John explains that they can destroy the entire Earth, and upset the whole balance of the Medusa Cascade. The Doctor is horrified and calls out to Martha... but she has no idea who baldie and blondie are. She points out that the Hub is Time Locked and nothing can stop them from setting off the destruction of Earth. Davros laughs at them. They have NO idea who they're messing with.
At Davros' command, the testing carries out and the captured humans vaporize. Apart from Mickey and Sarah who leapfrogged to safety with his interdimensional gear. Mickey explains he followed Rose to this Earth when she failed to contact Pete's World Torchwood Control, but got caught in the exodus. Mickey suggests they try and steal a way back down to Earth (his teleporter doesn't work for another 30 minutes), but Sarah insists they stay and find the Doctor. They turn and are confronted by Captain Jack and a Dalek. Since they cannot exterminate the fucker, the Daleks decided to take him to the nearest airlock. Mickey throws his dimension jumper against the Dalek and activates it... but it still hasn't fulled charged up, and so half the Dalek vanishes, while the rest bleeds to death.
Meantime, our Earthbound heroes are gobsmacked at what they saw. Captain John and Mr. Smith are starting to understand what they saw, but Davros is quite happy to explain. The energy at the heart of the Crucible can be used to cause the molecular structure of matter to collapse. However, no one has ever been able to harness the energy to anything more than the size of an apple. However, the Crucible has been charging itself up for centuries, and the Cascade will act as a transmitter destroying everything outside the Crucible, turning the whole universe into darkness. The increasingly unwell Doctor points out that includes the 27 planets that make up the transmitter, but by that time the signal will be unstoppable. And when the whole universe is gone, the Medusa Cascade itself will finally shatter, the rift open and the signal will spread into every other universe.
Rose shouts that it can't work. "Of course it will work, Miss Tyler," Davros responds. "You've seen it."
The Doctor confirms that the 'darkness' Rose was fleeing wasn't some black cloud but the signal snuffing out the stars and planets. But he's still utterly convinced that that can be changed. The Daleks are still thinking the universe works the way it did before the Time War. "And that's why they will lose," the Doctor sneers.
Davros points out that they cannot be stopped. The signal will be ready in fifteen minutes - a lot quicker than Torchwood can destroy the Earth, and, after all, the Doctor doesn't want them to do it anyway, does he? Davros glides around the Doctor, explaining that he has watched the Time Lord's adventures. He's seen the corpses left in the wake of his lifestyle and arrogance, the lives snuffed out in his name.
The Doctor stares at Davros. "Amazing. You almost sound like you care. Davros, you're planning to destroy every single living thin in reality. You don't have the moral highground, I think you'll find."
"Then why does the concept bother you?"
"Because the idea that you've seen everything I've done and STILL think you can stop me suggests that your great genius died long ago. Sad really."
"You cannot stop me! You have nothing!"
"He's got friends," points out a voice behind them.
Everyone turns to see Jack, Sarah and Mickey standing there - and Jack shoots Davros in the chest. Davros laughs and activates the holding cells, trapping the three of them, and gives the Supreme Dalek the order to go ahead. The red dustbin bitches that he wanted to do a speech before reality itself was snuffed out, but goes ahead. The countdown begins. Martha swears she'll use the key, but it would take half an hour to get round the Time Lock AND take control of the bomb. All they've done is give Torchwood front row seats at Armageddon itself. "You turn your friends into murderers," Davros spits at the Doctor. "And not very good ones either."
"They're not good at being murderers, Davros..." the weakened Doctor notes. "Because they're not murderers."
"They won't be anything much longer..."
As the countdown ticks towards zero, Davros gleefully notes the Daleks have finally won. The Doctor has been defeated - though he does not accept the fact, Davros admits it would feel plain wrong if the Doctor ever gave up. He challenges the Time Lord to stop him now, in the full knowledge the Doctor can't do anything.
"Oh, I can still do something," the Doctor retorts, suddenly glowing orange. "Surprise!"
With a sudden inrush of energy, the Tenth Doctor is standing there.
Everyone is gobsmacked... and then the TARDIS materializes. Blackened, soot-stained and with broken windows. And out emerges, the other Tenth Doctor and Donna. The OTD carries Jack's defabricator gun and aims it at the wheelchair bound scientist. The gun will destroy Davros and every cell... including the Daleks created from him. Either Davros stops the countdown or the new Dalek-ruled universe is Davros-free.
Davros shrieks that, no matter what the fuck is happening, the Doctor would not murder him!
"Good thing I don't have to, then," OTD notes, as we twig Donna has been reprogramming the main console. Effectively, she'll pulled the plug out of the transmitter. The Supreme Dalek sends every Dalek available to the vault, but Donna is already locking the doors and reversing the transmitter. If the Daleks try to use their reality bomb now, the only thing that will be effected will be the Crucible itself.
Davros notes that he's pretty well screwed, but he can still kill everyone in the room ("Maybe not you," he concedes to Jack). He draws back a wall to reveal... HARRIET JONES! Yes, old Thatcher Mk 2 is still alive. And in suspended animation. And he will kill her right here and right now unless they get that fucking Ginger super temp AWAY from the bloody console!
"Do it," sneers OTD, to the horror of everyone, and Davros stabs the control.
As HJ burns up, the OTD plugs his gun into the console and pulls the trigger. The Daleks draw energy from the heart of the Crucible itself as their main energy supply. Now every Dalek borne of Davros' manly chest is dead meat. The Supreme Dalek wonders what in the name of Slitheen buggery is actually going on, as 98% of the Dalek race is blasted into oblivion. Dalek Caan laughs insanely, revealing he never actually COULD predict the future! He's been lying to the lot of them all the time! Why? HE'S INSANE, DIDN'T YOU GET THE MEMO?!?
All those exploding Daleks have blown lots of holes in the Crucible which is even now starting to collapse. The surviving Daleks are fleeing as fast as they can, and the Supreme Dalek is left alone screaming for someone to obey. Furious, it heads for the vault as Donna releases the others and they flee into the TARDIS. She sets the crippled Crucible (cue DT linguistics gag) to fling the planets back home, which SHOULD calm the Shadow Proclamaition down. The Supreme Dalek arrives and, without even speaking to it, OTD blows its dome off.
Everyone now in the TARDIS bar the proper Tenth Doctor, who turns to Davros and tells him to get the hell out of here before he sets his clone onto him. Realizing he is completely beaten, Davros uses his nifty new Emergency Temporal Shift to escape and find the new Daleks, but not before pointing out the Doctor is the ultimate hypocrite and destroyer of worlds. The Doctor retorts that therefore he is not someone to annoy.
The TARDIS leaves and the Crucible explodes utterly, as the planets pop back to their respective points... no doubt pissing off Magrathea-type planetary real estate agents who were moving in on all the empty space.
(Fucking blogger ate my incredibly detailed description, so...)
* Doc explains that his regeneration was split between him and the hand (no critical mass), making his body snap back to its former shape. He has lost a regeneration
* OTD grew when the hand reacted to the regeneration energy, the crucible fireball, and Donna
* Donna is now half human, which is how she saved everyone
* Jack takes Rose aside when she asks about his immortality. "Rosie, we gotta talk..."
* With the darkness gone, Pete's World was never threatened, so Rose never used the dimension cannon, so the walls were never broken down. As reality catches up, the walls reappear
* Thus, Donna pilots the TARDIS to Pete's World, Bad Wolf Bay
* Jackie is waiting for them. Just typical for them to turn up in the middle of nowhere
* Rose doesn't want to stay, but the Doctor points out that she has a family and a life. Did she come for the time travel, or did she come for him? "You're never gonna stay," Rose points out. "But he is,"
* OTD was grown from hand chopped off while the Tenth Doctor was still 'cooling', and his psyche has hardened into the entirely wrong shape. "Oh, charming! Call me Valeyard why doncha?!" OTD bitches. He is also half-human, one heart, and mortal, but he has all the thoughts and memories and dare I even say soul of the Doctor... up until the CIN special 2005.
* Donna points out that Rose can either choose to stay with the Doctor, grow old and die, or live a proper (dare I say fantastic) life with OTD on Pete's World. Rose is tempted, but won't leave the Doctor on his own. It is pointed out he's not on his own, he's got his spin off companions and Donna. Rose finally accepts it as a favor to the most wonderful man in her life
* Doctor and OTD play scissors paper rock. Both choose paper. Same mind, you see?
* The TARDIS auto takes off when the walls start to close. OTD, Rose and Jackie left alone on beach. Long pause. "Chips?" "Chips." "Chips." (so what if LOM used the same gag? It's bloody brilliant!)
* Mickey is still aboard! Never fear, he explains he was sick of the universe anyway, and was planning to move assuming they all survived it
* TARDIS arrives in the Hub, breaking the Time Lock
* "You live here?!" exclaims the Doctor. "This place is an OHS nightmare!" Donna boggles.
* The Doctor smashes a couple of laptops, insisting that he can't allow Torchwood access to time technology. He also nicks that bit of coral Jack was trying to grow into the TARDIS. "Mine I think!"
* Asks Gwen if they've met before. They haven't.
* "Who was that bald guy?" asks Martha. "I WAS NOT BALD! Just... receding..."
* Incredibly awkward bit with Francine "Ballcrusher" Jones
* Martha and Mickey decide to help TW put the world back together. All agree that the Earth got off lightly, and maybe having all their weapons nuked might get people talking rather than fighting.
* "As for the Daleks, well, there are only a few left. Probably won't be too pleased at what happened and when Davros turns up, he won't find adoring fans." "Are you gonna go after them?" "I'll count to a hundred first."
* As the TARDIS takes off, Jack grins - still got his teleport! Checks it. Fucking thing's broken!
* Captain John heads off, finding SJ's house too Stepford Wives for his liking. Mr Smith and K9 make him put back some stuff he stole. John notes he used to own a K9... till it went rabid.
* Doctor drops off Sarah, says hello to everyone.
* Sarah says goodbye. Wonders if they'll meet again. "Who can tell?"
* In TARDIS, Doctor starts rebuilding damage from Crucible (which desktop theme to choose?)
* Donna goes on about where to next. Starts to flake out.
* Weeks later. Sylvia and Wilf marvelling at the world coming back together. Knock at door. It's Doctor, with Donna apparently dead.
* Told via flashback, Doctor explains that Donna's brain couldn't cope with all the Time Lord consciousness. She knew it was happening, she got the console to scan her. Say goodbye. As he is about to wipe her mind, the Doctor asks, "Do you trust me?" "Yes." "Then forget."
* Doctor and Wilf agree to keep her in the dark. She must not remember. If she does, dead in a minute. But the Doctor is sure there must be some way to save her, and intends to go looking for her. Until he gets back, Wilf will look after her.
* Sylvia butts in, demanding to be part of the conversation.
* Doctor gives her his "Family of Blood" look.
* "She begged me not to send her back here. To this house. To this world. To this life. To a place where she felt WORTHLESS. With people who MADE her feel worthless. Who made her think she was NOTHING. When I get back, Sylvia Noble, I would consider it a HUGE favor, if your daughter felt her mother actually had any respect for her. Just some friendly advice."
* Sylvia, speechless, turns to Wilf. He looks at her, then walks off to check on Donna. Sylvia left alone.
* Donna back to her old self. Doesn't recognize the Doctor. Doctor tries not to be hurt.
* Wilf shows the Doctor out. Asks if there really IS some magical cure. Doctor doesn't know. But if there is, he'll find it. Nothing will stop him... except for the fact he has no idea where to look. Wilf shakes hands with him, promising to think of the Doctor when Donna can't. Doctor gives him a hug.
* TARDIS takes off. Donna hears it, frowns... then gets on with it and helps Sylvia with washing up. Slightly warmer atmosphere when Wilf comes inside.
* Inside the TARDIS, Doctor composes himself and sets course for Shan Shen. Maybe Chippo Chung knows some tricks... or tricksters... who can help.
* TARDIS goes out of control. "No no no no no!"
* TARDIS calms down. Stomping. Doctor looks up. Cybermen are standing over him.
TO BE CONTINUED... IN THE TWELVE UPGRADES OF CHRISTMAS...