Well, here we are. The final episode of this story. At last. A twelve-part story (or as we’d think of it now, a season-long story arc), is perfectly fine. But in this case, there wasn’t enough story to sustain the story.
Chen has taken Steven and Sara hostage and has bad things in mind. They’re soon captured by the Daleks, who seem to be very unpleased. Then again, that’s kind of their default state, so… Anyhow, they have Chen escort Steven and Sara to the Dalek supreme.
And if I might digress for a moment, the music that plays over that scene is very interesting. Quite different from what I’m accustomed to.
So Chen is slowly learning that perhaps getting cozy with the Daleks isn’t the best way to remain alive. I suspect this lesson will come just a bit too late to be of much use, as they haul him off to kill him.
Meantime, the Doctor has finally turned up. He gives Steven a key to the TARDIS. He then sends them off. As that happens, the Daleks kill Chen. Fun.
When the Daleks return to their control room, it turns out that the Doctor is screwing around with their equipment. For the first time, we start to get a glimpse at the full fury of a Time Lord, as it’s very clear he’s quite pissed at the Daleks.
The Doctor and Sara leave the Dalek base, with the Doctor carrying the time destructor. As they do, Sara starts to have some issues. These issues include, but are not limited to, aging to death.
That kind of rapid, death-inducing aging is introduced often in various sci-fi properties, and it never made much sense to me. Surely if someone is having their personal time sped up so that it ages them, then their hair and nails should grow longer, right? Or rather, no, because they should die from thirst or starvation well before that happens, yes? Yes.
While the concept is silly, the scene itself is nicely done, with the Doctor and Sara both clearly feeling the effects as the time destructor continues to run. It does so just a bit too late to save Sara, sadly, but the Doctor is fine. One can mentally retcon this, however, to assume, that this is probably part of why the Doctor regenerated at a much younger age than he normally might have.
The Doctor and Steven escape into the TARDIS as the Daleks show up and start to be damaged by the time destructor. The machines basically fall apart and collapse as the aliens inside fall out and die. It isn’t pretty.
By the time the Doctor and Steven get back outside, the time destructor has burned itself out. They have some sad words about their victory, and then head off, pleased in the knowledge that the Daleks are gone forever and ever.*
Next time: “War of God”
* or at least until the producers need a ratings bump