Pretty sure I’ve seen at least part of this one. Don’t recall enough to say for sure what it’s about, though I have some glimpses or vague ideas of scenes/elements.

Episode 1:

We open with a ‘close up’ of the Earth, and we hear a variety of people (men, it is noted) speaking, recorded voices, broadcast voices. Some famous speeches in there, and not all in English.

As the voices speak, the camera zooms away, revealing a spacecraft approaching Earth. And then the opening credits roll.

We see a school, Coal Hill School, which is extremely significant in the history of the show. Students and teachers walk towards it. We see The Doctor and Ace (the latter carrying a ghetto blaster on her shoulder, listening to some poppy sounding crap – I’m sorry, but I think Ace would listen to Iron Maiden or Sabbath or at least Motley Crue) approaching the school.

A girl standing outside the school entrance is staring at them (possibly at Ace, who asks The Doctor what the girl is staring at. He says that Ace’s dress is “anachronistic”, as he shuts off her music, thank goodness.)

The Doctor notes a van parked outside the school, asking what Ace thinks of it. She asks if it’s a “tv detector van”, but he says it’s the wrong type of aerial. They approach and he continues, saying the aerial is awfully sophisticated for this time period.

Ace whines about being hungry, so The Doctor sends her off to fetch some food while he pokes about the van. The little girl outside the school is back, paying attention again (she’d disappeared briefly, early.)

Ace finds a cafe with a juke box playing Elvis’ “Return to Sender”.

The Doctor climbs the van, inspecting the aerial.

Ace makes a friend at the cafe, who helps her get the attention of the clerk. She orders four bacon sandwiches and a cup of coffee. While he goes off to prepare the food, she opens a bag of money The Doctor gave her, realising the coins aren’t local.

The Doctor enters the school courtyard, where a girl (the girl from the entrance?) is playing hopscotch. She’s singing, “Seven, eight, it’s a doc…” and when she jumps around she sees him and runs off.

He inspects one of four patches of… dirt or asphault or something.

As he wanders off, we see her (and it is the same girl), singing again, watching him. “Five, six, seven, eight… it’s a Doctor at the gate.”

Oooooh, creepy.

The Doctor returns to the van, opening it up and slipping in. Inside a woman is monitoring some instruments and doesn’t look to see who it is, just assumes it’s her companion and suggests he contact the captain about the source…

She stops, when she sees The Doctor. He continues for her, “the source of magnetic fluctuation, perhaps.” They start comparing notes, and then she asks who he is. He says he’s The Doctor, she introduces herself as Professor Rachel Jensen.

He leaps back, saying he’s sure he’s heard of her. This seems to please her. Someone calls to hear over her headphones, which she slips on. Suddenly, she says she’s on the way, and hurriedly slips off the headphones.

Ace and her friend from the cafe walk, discussing how many pennies in a pound. (Apparently the system has changed… ahah, I did a quick google and in 1971, it went to the 100 pennies in a pound system.)

Rachel calls out, “Sergeant,” and the man with Ace runs off. She tells him the group captain is under attack and needs their help. The Doctor yells for Ace to get in the van. Rachel tells the Sergeant they’re at Totter’s Lane.

(Oh, yeah, that should ring some bells, what what? Gee, I wonder what year they’re in…)

A military man is seen covering a soldier’s body with a blanket.

Outside the junkyard at Totter’s Lane, a crowd has gathered. The van arrives and the Sergeant flashes his military ID, and a bobby lets them in.

Inside, The Doctor and Ace jump out with Rachel and the Sergeant, the Time Lord demanding, “What’s the situation?” The group captain demands to know who he is. Introductions are made, snark is given by The Doctor, but Rachel stands up for them.

The group captain orders Smith (Ace’s friend) to take her and “set up position by Red Six”. They leave to do so. The group captain tells The Doctor and Rachel to come take a look. The Doctor examines the dead soldier, saying “massive internal displacement”.

He tells them it’s the result of a “projected energy weapon”, which Rachel questions as “a death ray?” He confirms this and asks if reinforcements are coming, which the group captain confirms.

Sgt Smith and Ace arrive at a van, where they asks a woman, Allison Williams, if Blue One is on their way. She says they are, but she’s more concerned about the dead man, Matthews.

The Doctor tells the group captain that whomever fired the weapon is trapped, indicating where. He adds, “There’s no way out.” When the captain asks how he can be sure, The Doctor replies, “I’ve been here before.”

Reinforcements arrive, a huge lorry drives in and soldiers hop out. The group captain briefs them, saying there’s “an armed hostile in that lean-to shed.” Several soldiers are sent to disperse the public. Sgt Smith is instructed to get Matthews’ body out and he takes two men with him. (So, we’ve effectively gotten rid of about half the reinforcements.)

The Doctor tells the captain he’s not sure they’re prepared, but the captain says his men are hand picked.

He sends his men to their positions (okay, there’s more than half left, looks like maybe 10-12 total arrived, originally looked like eight.)

Smith and his two men grab Matthews’ body. We see something target one of them (we see through the targeting sight) and then one of the men dragging the body is blasted.

The soldiers open fire on the lean-to shed. After several moments of fire, the captain calls for a cease-fire.

Rachel tells The Doctor that sort of power is beyond current tech. The Doctor is delighted that she’s figured this out, but the group captain interrupts the “science lecture” (his words, not mine – as often is the case with this show, the military leadership is not being shown in the brightest light), demanding to know what can be done.

The Doctor argues for him to call his men back, he refuses. Frustrated, The Doctor calls him ‘Brigadier’, and is corrected, “Group Captain Gilmore.” The Doctor insists nothing they have will be effective, but Gilmore orders for three men with rifle-grenades to prepare to fire.

Oh, there’s a delightful exchange here.

You’re not dealing with human beings here.”

What am I dealing with, little green men?”

No, little green blobs in polycarbide armour!”

Well, no cat is let out of the bag, considering the title gives it away. (That’s one thing I’ve always hated about the Dalek serials, you know from the title they’re in it.)

Despite The Doctor’s protests, Gilmore gives the order to fire. The shed is blown away. Ace is impressed (though she admits it was ‘unsophisticated’), and Gilmore presumes that whom/whatever is in there is dead. He orders for more men to come in and to bring an ambulance.

When The Doctor argues, Gilmore tells him, “Nothing even remotely human could have survived that.”

That’s the point, Group Captain. It isn’t even remotely human.”

Smith runs into the van, calling Blue Four to order them to bring an ambulance. We see through the Dalek’s sight again, this time targeting Smith. It fires, but Smith ducks at the last moment and lives to tell about it.

Again, the soldiers open fire. Again, the Group Captain orders them to cease fire and wait for a target. The Dalek rolls out and they open fire again. The Doctor yells for them to target the eye-stalk.

He calls out to Ace, “Give me some of that nitro-9 that you’re not carrying, quickly!” (Earlier, he asked if she was carrying any in her pack and she denied that she was, so that’s cute.)

She gives him her last two cans and he runs towards the Dalek. The Group Captain orders Rachel to head back to HQ.

The Doctor calls out to the Dalek, “Oi, Dalek, it’s me, The Doctor! Don’t your recognise your mortal enemy? The Dalek approaches and the Time Lord leaves the two cannisters in a trap, blowing up the Dalek.

Ace rushes over to The Doctor, who was knocked down, as the blast went off a second or two early. Ace and The Doctor hop in a van after he asks if she can drive.

Gilmore orders men about, telling Smith to set up a weapons team at Coal Hill School and be sure they’re armed with “ATRs.” (Anti-Tank Rockets, I’m guessing?)

Rachel and Allison and Gilmore inspect the Dalek’s remains, wondering what it is.

In the van, The Doctor tells Ace it’s a Dalek, but not the right one. She asks if the right one would be better or worse, to which he replies, “Yes.”

They drive off, telling Smith they’re borrowing the van.

The Doctor tries to explain to Ace about the Daleks, their history. There’s a bit of silly (and actually kinda funny) interchange over driving and directions, so The Doctor takes the wheel. It’s cute, but it’s a visual that you need to watch.

We get some exposition about the Daleks (I guess for new viewers?) That done, he informs that the Daleks are after the “Hand of Omega”.

Wow. So this really is a grand twenty-fifth special sort of story, isn’t it? When she asks what that is, he replies, “One thing at a time, Ace.”

Back at HQ, Gilmore is approached by Smith, who introduces a Mister Ratcliffe, who has “brought some of his men”. Smith says they can be of some use, but we don’t know who/what they are.

Rachel and Allison talk, the former wondering what they should do, the latter saying it’s her decision as Chief Scientific Adviser. (Hey, that title sounds familiar. We’re going all out with the easter eggs in this one.)

Rachel says she wants to catch up with The Doctor before she makes any decision.

The Doctor and Ace go to the school, and again the young girl is seen watching.

Inside, The Doctor meets the headmaster, who says he’s “a bit over-qualified for the position, but if you’d like to leave your particulars and references.” He thinks The Doctor is there for the job of school caretaker. They correct him and ask if they can look around, but he says no.

When The Doctor says they believe there is “some great… Evil” at work, the headmaster says he’ll have to be more specific. Suddenly, we (but not The Doctor, I don’t believe) hear some musical humming. The headmaster touches his ear and rubs it, saying, “But I don’t think it would do any harm,” if they had a quick look around.

The Doctor thanks him and he and Ace slip off.

Yep, I was right, ATRs are what I said. Gilmore asks Smith about them, and he says they’re in position and additional ones are going to the school. Rachel asks about the Dalek, but Smith says it’s safe.

Ratcliffe and his men put the Dalek in a lorry and drive off. Dead soldiers are left behind, their corpses ignored.

As they poke about a classroom, Ace asks if The Doctor was expecting the Daleks, to which he replies, “Yes, they’re following me.” She says she wouldn’t want them on her case, but he replies, “You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies.”

She sets her boom box (ghetto blaster, whatever) down and picks up a book on the French Revolution (a nod to THE REIGN OF TERROR, the William Hartnell first season serial.) This is odd, as they’re in a chemistry class room. (Ahah, Ian Chesterton was a science teacher of Susan’s… and Barbara taught History, so there you go.)

The Doctor calls her over to a window, pointing out the burn marks around the hopscotch ‘field’. She says they’re from a spacecraft, “But this is Earth, 1963, someone would have noticed. I’d have read about it.”

So, it’s official, we’re there. In the beginning? Before? After?

The Doctor asks if she remembers “The Zygon gambit with the Loch Ness Monster? Or the Yetis in the Underground?” She doesn’t, and he remarks, “Your species has an amazing capacity for self-deception, matched only by its ingenuity in trying to destroy itself.”

She asks what the Daleks are after. He says when he was there before, he left the Hand of Omega behind. They walk out of the classroom (and a point is made showing that Ace’s boom box is still in the classroom, next to the history book.)

He tells her that the Hand is “something very dangerous”.

Ratcliffe oversees the Dalek brought into his place and a voice, a metallic voice in another room orders him to “report”. He enters, and we see a figure sitting in a chair that is like a Dalek’s chassis. The person seems to be wearing a helmet with an eyestalk (like Lytton’s men were several Doctors ago.)

The seated figure says he must be kept apprised of The Doctor’s movements. They discuss this and he assures it will be followed. Ratcliffe says he wants to know what the “Dalek machine” is, and the figure (still facing away from camera, facing a computer screen/console/display the entire time) says it is “A machine, a tool, nothing more.” Very dramatic notes are struck in the score as the camera shows Ratcliffe’s face.

Ace and The Doctor wander the school, the latter saying they’re looking for whomever landed the spacecraft in the school yard – ie, more Daleks. He suggests checking out the cellar, “Good things to put places, cellars.”

The headmaster watches them enter.

I wish I had some more nitro-9,” Ace laments.

So do I,” The Doctor agrees.

Ace pulls out her bat as they descend the stairs. They find a transmat and as The Doctor examines it, a Dalek begins to appear. The Doctor tampers with the machinery, causing it to “de-phase” and overload and destroy the Dalek.

The Doctor tells Ace that the machine is out of commission until the operator repairs it. He explains the Daleks usually keep an operator handy for malfunctions.

That would be another Dalek,” she asks. “Yes,” he confirms, looking at her as they come to the same realisation that they are not alone.

The operator Dalek arrives, telling them to stay where they are. They run to the stairs, The Doctor tripping over them. Ace makes it out the door, but the headmaster shoulder-tackles her and locks the door before The Doctor can get out.

The Doctor frantically bangs on the door, yelling for her to let him out. He turns around and watches as the Dalek levitates up the stairs (I remember seeing this part before. THIS was a big deal at the time, cuz the old joke was that stairs would stop a Dalek invasion.)

The Dalek identifies him as “The Doctor, the enemy of the Daleks! You will be exterminated! Exterminate! Exterminate…” and the credits roll.

Best cliffhanger ever? Could well be. Wow.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

Ace gets to her feet and tackles the headmaster, who goes down. She lets The Doctor out and shuts and locks the door (okay, if the Dalek doesn’t blast the door, I’m calling bullpucky.)

The Doctor, laying on the floor next to the headmaster, who is clutching his gut, asks Ace, “What’s wrong with him?”

Stomach ache,” she replies.

School dinners,” he quips.

Inpsecting the headmaster, The Doctor spies a control circuit behind the man’s ear. He and Ace run off as the Dalek blast the door. The headmaster apologises, but the Dalek tells him they must repair the transmat.

Exiting the school, Ace and The Doctor find the military truck with the ATRs outside. The Doctor grabs one, saying they’re not after the Daleks, but the transmat.

The headmaster gets the transmat working (I though the Dalek was there for that?) The Dalek tells him to remain there.

The Doctor signs for an ATR and he and Ace return to the school. After they leave, the young girl who’d been watching earlier approaches the soldier.

The Doctor and Ace sneak into the school, but the Dalek attacks them. Ace uses the ATR to wipe out the Dalek. The Doctor is surprised that she destroyed it, but she tells him, “I aimed for the eye-piece.”

Smith and other soldiers run in, followed by Gilmore, Allison and Rachel. Gilmore compliments them on destroying it, but The Doctor says he’s made a grave error of judgment.

He asks Gilmore to evacuate the area, saying he believes a “major Dalek task force will soon be operating here”. He says there’s a ship in orbit, which Gilmore scoffs at, and The Doctor lectures him on doubting the extra-terrestrial nature of the Daleks.

Rachel confirms that the creature must be alien. Gilmore asks if they can trust The Doctor; Rachel says for the time being they should listen to him. Reluctantly, Gilmore says he will confer with his superiors on an evacuation and bids everyone a good day, saying he’ll have an answer in the morning.

Rachel confronts The Doctor, saying “I have questions I would like answered.” He says he does as well, and will return in the morning. He asks them to look after Ace, while he goes to “bury the past”. Smith offers to bring her to his mum’s, as she runs a boarding house.

The Doctor stops in the cafe, where he gets a spot of tea. He asks the cafe worker (not the same one from the morning) some philosophical questions. He goes on about the ripples of every decision. Like a boulder in a lake.

Life is like that, best thing is to just get on with it,” the cafe worker tells him.

In the school, the transmat comes to life as a Dalek begins to appear.

It must be next morning, as we see a milk person delivering some to door steps. A man inside hears some strange noises from a casket, and while he’s distracted, The Doctor enters with his milk, saying he’s there to collect his casket.

The man asks which casket he’s interested in, and The Doctor indicates the one the noises were emanating from, using Ace’s bat to do so. The man says he has to wait till the guv’nor gets there, which The Doctor agrees to, asking if he might be alone in the meantime.

The Doctor closes the door after the man leaves and approaches the casket, instructing it to open, which it does.

Outside, the man is on the phone, reporting it to the Guv’nor, that The Doctor is there to collect the casket. As they talk, the man says, “I thought you said he was an old geezer with white hair.” Oooh, this is interesting… (I’ve not seen this episode, though I had seen the first, as I recall the levitating Dalek.)

The Doctor places the bat into the casket, which is full of glowing smoke.

At the boarding house, Ace sees Smith leaving; it’s obvious she’s got quite the crush on him. He’s dressed and on his way out and she asks where he’s going. He replies he’s off to see his friends at the “Association”, whom she can meet later.

The casket spits the bat back up at The Doctor, who says, “Good boy,” and then instructs it to close and follow him. The casket levitates and follows him out, much to the shock of the worker, who faints.

Ratcliffe asks the figure in the Dalek chassis what will happen when the possess the Hand of Omega. The figure replies, “We shall be on the brink of great power.” They apparently have an agreement to share this power, but the figure warns him that “there will be casualties, many deaths”.

The Doctor is at a graveyard, accompanied by a blind priest. They discuss the grave being ready for some time, and The Doctor says that he had to leave suddenly. The casket it floating behind them.

They approach an open grave and the priest remarks that The Doctor’s voice has changed. I’d think he’s shorter, too. The Doctor tells him that yes, his voice has changed…. several times, since they last met. The priest remarks on how quiet the pallbearers are, saying they’re like ghosts and The Doctor agrees.

Ratcliffe gets a phone call; he instructs the person to stay with The Doctor. He gets off the phone and tells the mystery man that his man is onto The Doctor. The mystery man/Dalek (come on, is this really a mystery who this is?) says his enemies have found his man!

Smith gets out of a phone box, observed by the headmaster, who receives orders and then follows. He attacks Smith from behind, demanding to know the “location of the renegade Dalek base.” He says Smith is an agent of the renegade Daleks, but Smith says he works for Ratcliffe of the Association.

During the struggle, the headmaster collapses and goes limp. Smith runs off.

At the grave, the casket lowers itself in. The priest says, “It is over,” but The Doctor replies, “No, it is only just beginning.” As they depart, Smith runs up, watching.

Allison, Rachel and Ace are eating breakfast, wondering what The Doctor is up to. He, accompanied by Smith, walk in, and he says he’s been working, “Unlike some people.”

Smith’s mum drops a message off, saying they’ve been summoned by the group captain. He says Ace has been ordered to stay there, though. Ace turns to The Doctor, who gives her the bat back, demonstrating that he’s charged the bat with a field.

Everyone but Ace and The Doctor depart; she asks that she not be kept there, but he says he needs her to stay, that he’s up to something but doesn’t have time to explain. She reluctantly agrees to stay.

The mystery figure tells Ratcliffe that soon there will be war, with the Imperial Dalek forces. He asks if he’s ready for war, and Ratcliffe says that he is, saying that Britain fought “for the wrong cause in the last war”. So, Neo-Nazi?

Dav… I mean the mystery figure, says, “you will be on the right side in this war.”

Gilmore informs them that an evacuation has been arranged, complete with a cover story, though he’s not aware of the story itself. The Doctor rattles off a list of places to consult with, observatories and the like, looking for any high-orbital activity. He begins giving orders for troop placements and warns they have to be careful, for if not, “goodbye, civilisation as you know it”.

Ace is hanging out with Smith’s mum. Mum is ironing. Ace is bored. She turns on the telly, which takes forever to warm up. Music plays. As she pokes about, she finds a “NO COLOUREDS” sign in the window of the boarding house. She tells Mrs Smith that she’s going out for some fresh air. As she leaves, the BBC announcer says it time for a new “adventure in the new science fiction series, Doc…” but we don’t hear the rest as the scene changes.

That made me laugh out loud.

A teletype machine prints up a report that The Doctor takes and reads. From the information, he says it’s a mothership big enough to carry four hundred Daleks. Gilmore asks if they’re nuclear-capable, which he confirms they are, and more.

The Doctor tells them he believes they’re dealing with two separate, antagonistic Dalek factions. He suggests letting them destroy each other instead of confront them.

Ace arrives at the school, calling out, asking if anyone is home. (It’s Saturday, so there doesn’t seem to be anyone.) She pokes around, passing the Dalek she destroyed.

We see more Daleks gathered about the transmat as another appears.

She goes to the classroom to retrieve her ghetto blaster. Great, she’ll play more stupid music. She turns it on, but it picks up the Daleks talking, saying their attack squadron is in position.

She pulls out her bat and changes the channel to music. Heading out into the corridor, she sees a Dalek coming up the stairs. It shoots at her and she runs off.

The Doctor creates a device that, hopefully, interfere with the Dalek’s control systems, saying he “rigged something like it on Spiridon” (from the Third Doctor serial, PLANET OF THE DALEKS).

Allison detects multiple sources from Coal Hill School; The Doctor suspects that the transmat is operational again. Smith calls the boarding house and tells The Doctor that Ace has already left. They rush off to the school.

Ace hides in the classroom. The Dalek blasts her boom box. She begins bashing it with the bat and knocks its eye-stalk off. It fires blindly, requesting reinforcements. She dashes out, past at least one more Dalek. She grabs a ATR from a dead soldier and heads out, but is trapped between three Daleks, who close in as she struggles to arm the ATR.

The Daleks say she will be exterminated… and the credits roll.

Decent cliffhanger there. See you Thursday!