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'To the Death'

Released March 2011. 2 episodes.

Written and directed by: Nicholas Briggs

Roots: Lucie calls Tamsin "Nancy Drew" (see: Links) and Alex "Alexander the Great" and compares the Monk ironically to the 'caped crusader' [from the 1960s Batman TV series].

Technobabble: Time warp synch capsule. Daleks have a magnetrap which overrides the saucer controls.

Fluffs: During their debate over the use of the Doomsday Bomb, Sheridan Smith seems to talk of destroying "the Daleks' war pension"

Goofs: Susan says the Doctor's final plan "breaks so many laws of time I'm not even prepared to list them" We can think of only two (crossing one's own timestream and changing the course of history. Of course they are rather large ones)

Dialogue Triumphs: The Time Controller versus the Doctor: "When you have an eternity to observe the entire universe and the totality of its history its patterns are imprinted in your mind. There is nothing I do not know." "-Well then, you must have seen the beginning and end of- well, everything?" "I did." "And did it make you feel insignificant? That nothing you could do could ever matter? Didn't it teach you some humility? Actually I don't know why I'm bothering to even ask."

The Doctor versus the Time Controller: "Did you know I once had a chance to avert your creation. I hesitated. I thought I could claim the moral high ground and I let the Daleks live, but you listen to me. You'd better hope you don't give me one single chance to escape, because I will take it, no matter what, I will go back in time and I will wipe the Daleks from the face of history!"

Dialogue Disasters: "Of course it'll be flippin' difficult, but it's for the Doctor, isn't it? Of course it's flamin' worth it."

"Well, would you Adam and Eve it. Tamsin Drew and the flippin' Monk"

Continuity: The Dalek Time Controller doesn't exist at this point in history and is described as a strategist for time wars. After the Amethyst explosion the Dalek Time Controller was blasted back through time, drifting through eternity and witnessing the beginning and ending of all things, and discovering a point in the future where all of the Amethyst viruses would converge in a cloud. Decayed due to exposure to temporal energy, upon its recovery by the Daleks and the Monk it employed the Monk to stem its destruction, whereupon it quickly recovered and took over the Daleks' plans. The Daleks plan to turn Earth into a plague planet, using their Time Warp engine to pilot it through time and space and through the viral cloud, destroying all other worlds with it. The Monk fed false time spoor into the vortex to draw the Doctor away from Earth, and planet the Amethyst virus on Earth through a simple vial. The Dalek plague lasted three years on Earth before it burned itself out.

The Daleks continued to stay in touch with the Monk "from time to time" [presumably after the events of The Daleks Masterplan] The Monk's plans with Earth's artefacts was to plunder them, adding to as a "cultural repository" those of all worlds (during the Dalek conquests?) so he could rightfully call himself "the richest man in all creation", all the while assuming that the Daleks would be defeated.

Susan is identified as a Time Lord. She knows how to operate a Dalek saucer, having (with David) overseen the dismantling of many of them. She says she was angry with her Grandfather when he left her on Earth and never returned, even when he said he would. Her key glows in the presence of another (see: Links). She doesn't recognise the Monk and has not heard of the Dalek Time Controller. Susan recognises a Dalek Doomsday bomb. It was inspired by mankind's paranoia and is a nuclear device.

Susan knows that the TARDIS has equipment that can heal the Doctor (it appears to be connected to the TARDIS console.)

Lucie actually refers to the Monk as a "Meddling Monk". She says she half-expected "heavenly choirs, bright lights, thunder and lightning" when the Doctor recovered (has he told her about regeneration?)

The Doctor manages to escape the exploding saucer (Lucie Miller) through an escape hatch, falling into the sea from a great height, leaving him unconscious but smiling.

Future History: The Doomsday Bomb ("big, bad, and nuclear") is of Earth origin

Links: Patient Zero, 100,000 BC, Genesis of the Daleks. Lucie's imagined description of the Doctor returning to life (or regenerating) is very similar to the effects shown in the TV Movie and new TV series. The Resurrection of Mars, Aliens in London (the TARDIS key glowing in the presence of the Ship)

The Bottom Line: "Is there ever going to be any bleedin' good news?"

Utter carnage. Presumably Susan is protected by a BBC heritage order, or we'd have had no end to the wholesale slaughter within. After a build-up like this (and points off for the Patient Zero tie-in!) there's only one place the Doctor can go, and only one place Big Finish can take him, surely?


In all of its guises the TARDIS key, despite appearances, is a sophisticated and complicated piece of technology - "too complicated" for Axos to duplicate it, in fact (The Feast of Axos.) Far and above being a mechanism of access to the Ship's interior, the key has several other essential properties, and the Doctor - at least as far as the classic series and audio stories, is careful about the number of copies he loans to his friends. Nyssa is the only one of the Fifth Doctor's companions to have her own, and after hers is pick-pocketed by Brewster, we assume that she never gets a replacement (none of the TARDIS companions have one when she re-joins them after her initial departure on Terminus). Charley is the only audio companion known to have her own copy, and it's as well for her that she does, given that its properties allow her to summon the TARDIS and the Doctor to her rescue after being marooned in time after The Girl Who Never Was.

Perhaps as a result of its contact with the Ship (or as a demonstration of its sophisticated makeup) the TARDIS key has a residual energy of its own. The Doctor is able to summon the TARDIS remotely in The Angel of Scutari, creating a "reactive compass" to locate Ace and materialise near her. Far from being as innocuous as its appearance would suggest, the key is therefore an invaluable item in the Doctor's possession, and its increased powers continue to be evident in the new TV series, particularly as a means of summoning the TARDIS (again) in Father's Day and even as a form of remote control for the Ship (The End of Time).

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