Recap: Returning to Coal Hill School and Totter’s Lane, The Doctor and Ace find two factions of Daleks battling it out. At least one of them is after the Hand of Omega, which apparently The Doctor left behind in his first visit here, six incarnations previously.

We left off with Ace being surrounded by three Imperial Daleks, yelling for her extermination.

spoiler warning

Episode 3:

The Doctor rushes in, followed by the troops. He uses the device he cobbled together to immobilise the Daleks, while the troops jam explosives into the chassis of the Daleks. Then, they rush out and detonate them.

Okay, where’s Ace? After the explosion, I don’t see her.

One of the Daleks is still alive inside and The Doctor goes to look. The Dalek reaches out with a claw, rather unlike any Dalek tendril we’ve seen before and begins to choke him until Allison grabs Ace’s bat (where is Ace?) and beats the Dalek to death.

The Doctor says they’ve mutated again, so that explains the difference. He invites Rachel over, who says the Dalek from Totter’s Lane was less developed, almost amoebic. They note it has functional appendages and some sort of cybernetic enhancement.

Ace, who is laying nearby (ok, there she is) calls out, “Don’t anyone give me a hand.” The Doctor sends Rachel and Allison to check out the cellar while he tends to Ace, who is injured.

When I say to stay put, I mean to stay put, not take on an entire Dalek assault squad single-handed.”

She explains she was looking for her tape deck, and he’s delighted to hear it was destroyed, saying it would have caused irreparable damage to the time line if someone found it and examined the parts, developing microchips decades earlier. He points out that even the Daleks think twice about altering timelines drastically, saying the mothership in orbit could easily wipe out the entire planet if they chose to.

On the mothership, we see the bridge. A Dalek says the ship will maintain geo-stationary orbit around Earth. An attack squad is ordered to enter the transmat.

Rachel and Allison examine the transmat pad. The Doctor arrives, and begins to bash it to pieces with Ace’s bat. The bat is destroyed in the process, but the damage seems adequate. The Doctor tells the ladies they look hungry and suggests lunch.

Ratcliffe walks through the cemetery. He finds a strange black set up near a grave, seemingly marked with a sidewards 3. It’s the grave site The Doctor had his casket buried, I believe.

Ace and The Doctor are eating in the cafe, as are the girls and Smith and his men.

Ratcliffe pushes a metal pole into the dirt. When the pole hits the casket, there’s feedback which puts him on his ass.

On the mothership, the power source is detected. A full alert is sounded. They identify it as the Hand of Omega and the order to inform the Emperor Dalek is given.

Gilmore sits with Rachel and Allison, frustrated that they can’t do anything. A man of action, our Group Captain. Rachel tears into Gilmore, upset that she got drafted into this and has learned that all their advances are nothing compared to “tin-plated pepper pots” from outer space.

The young girl skips through the cemetery. She sees Ratcliffe’s men digging up the coffin. Ratcliffe approaches her, wondering what she’s staring at. She stares at the grave site, then up above into the sky.

The Emperor Dalek (basically a regular Dalek with a huge sphere for a head/upper frame) arrives on the bridge. The Daleks report that the transmat is not operational but the Omega Device has been located. The Emperor orders them to prepare the assault shuttle.

Ratcliffe asks if the girl has a home to go to, but she ignores him. When he turns away, she seems to vanish. Ratcliffe turns back to regard her and is confused to see she’s gone.

The Doctor tells Gilmore they need to establish a base at the school and he sets Smith and his men to that task.

Everyone but The Doctor and Ace leave. The Doctor explains that the school isn’t important, now that the transmat is taken out. “As long as the renegade Daleks have got the Hand of Omega, then the Imperial Daleks’ attention will be focused on that.”

So he knows the renegades have it? Or have they had it all this while? I’m confused. If the former, why let them have it? (I thought it was the hand which was in the casket.)

Ratcliffe’s truck returns home and the casket is unloaded. Ratcliffe goes inside to report they’ve gotten the hand (so I was right.) Ratcliffe gets on the phone to say he’s calling his man. The mystery figure says, “Excellent.”

Smith gets a call at the school.

When Ace asks why they’re returning the school, if there’s no action going on there, The Doctor says he wants to keep an eye on Gilmore. He tells her he wants to keep the military fully occupied and out of the way, and is why he suggested setting up a base there to Gilmore.

Taking Ace aside, away from the military men setting up base, The Doctor tells her of Omega. We get more exposition here, which I won’t bother to relate. The Doctor says the Hand isn’t actually his hand. “It’s called his hand because Time Lords have an infinite capacity for pretention,” he explains.

Ace’s reply is golden, “Hmm, I’ve noticed that.” ACE!

He says that it is a “remote stellar manipulator, a device used to customise stars”. It seems the Daleks want it to improve their time travel technology, as the time corridors are, in The Doctor’s words, “very crude and nasty”.

He says he wants the Daleks to have the Hand of Omega. He didn’t expect two Dalek factions and he has to make sure that the wrong ones don’t get their “grubby protuberances” on it.

As the men unload the casket, three Daleks approach them, telling them to stay where they are.

Ratcliffe pontificates about being a strong leader, knowing when to be harsh. Suddenly, the sound of blaster fire is head and the men scream. Ratcliffe demands to know why they were killed.

The mystery figure turns around and lifts the helmet, revealing DAV… no, it’s not. It’s the young girl from the school!

She says he was born to serve the Daleks. The lead Dalek from the group that just killed the men come in and orders the girl to activate the time controller (a lightning ball/globe thing.) She does so. They tell Ratcliffe to come with them. He does so, frightened.

Daleks patrol the street outside of Ratcliffe’s warehouse, but The Doctor and Ace hide and avoid detection. They head towards the warehouse.

Gilmore sends men to retrieve The Doctor and Ace.

The Doctor finds the murdered men. The casket beeps and The Doctor touches it, telling it to be quiet. He tells Ace the Hand of Omega is in the box. She asks if he’s sure that he wants the Daleks to have it and he agrees.

He talks to the Hand, through the box, asking if it knows what it needs to do. Ace asks if it is alive, and he replies, “In a manner of speaking.” Okay, he’s obviously up to something, but what?

They move into the office area of the warehouse, where they find the control chair the girl was sitting in. The Doctor identifies it as a battle computer and stops Ace from sitting in it.

He explains that by plugging a human child into the battle computer, it uses their ingenuity and creativity to enhance the system.

They see the time controller and, after warning her away from touching it, The Doctor explains to Ace that it’s the time travel device the renegade Daleks use. He says they’ve come a long way with it and turns it off.

They hear Ratcliffe and the girl and the Dalek returning and hide. The Doctor leaves a calling card on the device just before they do hide. The girl comes in and sees the time controller is shut off. She picks up the card and shows it to the Dalek – the Dalek recognises it as being from The Doctor and orders for him to be caught and exterminated.

The girl gets in the battle computer set up to orchestrate this.

Ace and The Doctor dash out into the street, hiding from Daleks as they do so. She asks why he just give the Hand to the Imperials, but he says they’d be suspicious if he just handed it over. When she tries to ask what he’s up to, he covers her mouth and drags her away as a Dalek patrol comes near.

Smith and a group of soldiers leave the school, looking for The Doctor and Ace.

The Doctor and Ace run by the TARDIS. She stops, to pull a Peri (you know, ask if they can just up and leave), but he says they can’t. Smith and the men arrive and The Doctor asks if Gilmore is back at the school. When Smith says he is, he heads off. Gilmore sends his ment to accompany him and then stops Ace to ask her out on a date.

Daleks show up, so they have to run back to the school.

The Doctor and Ace make it in the school, telling Gilmore that his mission was moderately successful, but unfortunately, some Daleks came with them. Mike and his men burst in, and Smith (that’s Mike, btw) complains, “I don’t get it, they’ve got the Hand of Omega, why don’t they just leave?”

The Doctor asks how he knows of that, and he says Ace told him. She calls him a “lying, dirty scumbag,” saying he’s selling them out to the Daleks. The Doctor drags her away as she yells. Gilmore confronts him, but he swears he didn’t know it was the Daleks.

The renegade Daleks assault the school. The soldiers fire back.

The Imperial Dalek shuttle heads towards Earth. The renegade units are ordered back to Ratcliffe’s to defend the Hand.

Rachel informs The Doctor about something coming from low orbit. He says that’ll be the shuttle from the mothership, but says it won’t be landing here, it’s too far from the action.

But, however, land there it does, in the courtyard. Pretty much over the hopscotch area.

I think I might have miscalculated,” The Doctor says, looking at the camera… and the credits roll.

That cliffhanger doesn’t work for me because of the breaking of the fourth wall, sadly. Other than that, it’s a good one.

Episode 4:

The Imperial Daleks exit the shuttle, intent on capturing the Hand of Omega.

Gilmore orders everyone out of the classroom. He and The Doctor regard the shuttle in the courtyard and The Doctor tells him that he needs to do as he says, suggesting they need to do “a little bit of piracy.”

The girls head downstairs but Smith tries to talk to her, saying he thought he was helping Ratcliffe, not knowing the Daleks were involved. She gets upset, saying she trusted him and liked him and he betrayed her.

Gilmore comes down and Ace slips off. He calls Sgt Smith to attention and places him under close arrest.

The Imperial Daleks (all white) engage renegade Daleks (grey). They begin blowing each other up. The Imperials retreat.

On the mothership, the Emperor Dalek (whose voice sounds more familiar now…) says they must get the Hand of Omega without delay. It is reported that the renegade daleks gave heavy resistance, so the Special Weapons Dalek is ordered into position.

The SWDalek has a giant cannon built into its chassis and vaporises two renegades with one blast.

The Doctor plans to rappel down to the shuttle (as it has ground defenses but none on top). He breaks into the bridge of the shuttle and takes out the control Dalek present. He calls out to the others that they can come down.

Mike breaks free from the soldier guarding him and escapes.

The Doctor hacks into the computer system, learning they want to return to Skaro. He instructs everyone to leave the shuttle.

Mike returns to Ratcliffe’s, where he is greeted by two renegade Daleks. He tells them that he has a message for Ratcliffe and they take him prisoner.

The girl has almost repaired the time controller. Ratcliffe tells Smith that if they get the time controller, they can use it to bargain for power.

Returning to the school, they learn Sgt Smith escaped. The Doctor tells Allison and Rachel he needs their help in the cellar.

The time controller is repaired and the renegades prepare to leave. The Dalek Chief gives the order to kill Smith and Ratcliffe, but just then SWDalek blasts open the gate to the warehouse. The Imperials attack!

Ratcliffe grabs the controller as he and Smith run off. The girl blasts Ratcliffe with force lightning (no, really) but Smith grabs the orb and keeps running.

The Doctor is tinkering with the transmat as Rachel and Allison bring down some equipment. Ace explains to the ladies about the war between the factions, in her own special way.

The Emperor Dalek orders everyone to withdraw, once the Hand has been captured.

Mike leaves the warehouse, still in possession of the controller. Not sure where the girl is, she was in pursuit. The Doctor sends Ace after Mike, to keep an eye on him.

The Imperial Daleks bring the Hand into the shuttle.

Gilmore informs the ladies the shuttle is leaving. The Doctor watches it from outside the TARDIS. Ace sees it leave, as she looks/follows Mike. I’m not sure why she’s so impressed with spaceships, considering she was living on an alien spaceport planet.

Back in the cellar, The Doctor says they’re out of the woods if everything goes according to his plan.

The Hand of Omega is brought onto the mothership and locked into control circuit.

The Doctor contacts the mothership. The Emperor Dalek comes up on the view screen. The Doctor introduces himself as “the President-Elect of the High Council of Time Lords” though we know he was removed from that position due to absence.

He orders them to surrender the Hand of Omega and to return to their proper time and place.

The Emperor addresses him, acknowledging that he’d changed his appearance again. “You have confounded me for the last time,” it says. The dome of the head of the Emperor Dalek slides back to reveal… DAVROS!!!

They banter, threaten, argue, mock. As they always do. It’s interesting the strength of dialogue, regardless of the writer, when it comes to any Doctor and Davros.

Ace follows Mike back to the boarding house; Mike catches her, gun in his hand, and says he’d shoot her if he had to.

Davros says he will use the Hand to transform Skaro’s sun into a source of power and use it to sweep away Gallifrey and the Time Lords. Wow, this is like the ramping up to the Time War!!

The Doctor mocks him, making fun of his desire for power. Davros threatens to destroy Earth if he angers him. The Doctor continues to mock him. Rachel warns him against it, but he says he knows what he’s doing.

Davros has lost his temper, and The Doctor switches tack, begging him not to use the hand. Davros rejoices in The Doctor’s fear and gives the order to activate the Omega Device.

Davros gives the order to activate it and the Hand flies towards Skaro’s sun, which it causes to go supernova, destroying the Daleks’ homeworld.

The Doctor tells Davros that he “tricked himself”. The Hand returns to the ship, while Davros begs for pity. Davros heads to the escape pod and slips out just before the hand blasts the mothership.

The Doctor says he reprogrammed the Hand to make Skaro’s sun go supernova, and it is now returning to Gallifrey.

The doorbell at the boarding house rings. Mike goes to answer it, warning Ace to stay where she is. Ace begs him to put the gun down. He goes to answer it, but it’s the young girl, who blasts him with her force lightning, killing him.

The Supreme Dalek is surrounded by The Doctor and the military.

The young girl tracks down Ace and smiles at her. It’s not a nice smile.

The Doctor tells the Dalek that the forces are destroyed, the home planet burnt, that it’s all over. He says that even Davros is dead (though…)

The young girl tries to force lightning Ace, but she ducks.

The Supreme Dalek is confused. It cannot handle this and begins to spin out of control.

The young girl begins flailing about, screaming.

The Dalek… vaporises?

The girl falls down. Ace goes to her and helps her up, comforting her as she cries.

The Dalek is nothing but smoldering ash. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” The Doctor says.

Church bells chime, organ music plays. A funeral procession carries a casket. Gilmore and Mrs Smith, Rachel, Allison, The Doctor and Ace and others are there.

The Doctor stops Ace from entering the church, saying it’s time to leave. Out of character, Ace calls him, “Doctor,” and asks if they did good.

Perhaps. Time will tell,” he says, pausing, then adding, “it always does.” They walk off as the church door closes… and the final credits roll.

That was a damn fine serial. Strong story, great action. Good seeing Davros again, even if only briefly.

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