Season nine opened with the return of everyone's favourite monster. (We last saw the Daleks - being destroyed - in Evil of the Daleks from season four.)
Sir Reginald is attacked by a man; the man disappears though into thin air. The Doctor is still trying to get the TARDIS working again; he and Jo see themselves shortly, from another time stream. The Brig asks for the Doctor's help. Sir Reginald is a key figure in a peace conference to prevent WWIII. (A rehash of a plotline from Mind of Evil.) A figure appears in a field where it is soon knocked out by ape like creatures. The Doctor, Jo and the Brig see Styles, whilst UNIT search the grounds of the country house where the peace meeting is to be held. Benton finds a black box which contains a sophisticated machine; the injured man is taken to hospital . A black clad figure receives a report from the apelike creatures. The Doctor examines the weapon found by the man; it is an advanced weapon from the earth's future. He also examines the black box, which is a primitive time machine. It starts working and the man in the ambulance vanishes. The black clad figure is informed of a time transference; he looks at a monitor and a Dalek orders a report. The Doctor and Jo spend the night at the country house. In the morning, a group of humans materialise in a tunnel. At UNIT, the Brig learns that the international situation has grown worse and war looks inevitable. A human enters the house and fights the Doctor; he pleads to the Doctor to turn the time machine switched off. The black clad figure has located the time-space coordinates and reports to the Daleks. They chant that all enemies of the Daleks must be exterminated.
The Doctor talks to the humans. They believe him to be Styles and a criminal. They want to execute him. He explains that Styles in Beijing, that he isn't Styles and that he wants to know who they are and when they are from. The humans bind him and Jo in the celler. The Doctor surmises the humans are from the 22nd Century and killing Styles is vital to them because they want to change history. The Daleks tell their human servant that they have a machine that will trace the humans. One of the humans, Shura, tries to get contact with his future fellows but is injured by the ape creatures (Ogrons). The Brig calls the house and the Doctor, with a gun at his head, says everything is fine; enough to alert UNIT something is up. Jo threatens to smash the time machine in order to rescue the Doctor, but she is moved into the future. There she meets the black clad figure - the Controller. He tells her that the humans are criminals; Jo tells the controller the exact place and time she came from and where the humans materialised. Ogrons attack the house. The two humans run, the Brig turns up and the Doctor makes for the tunnel, where he sees a Dalek.
The Doctor runs and is brought forward to the 22nd Century with the humans (Anat and Boaz). He explains he knows of time travel, the Daleks and wants to find Jo. They are split up though when they run from Ogrons. The Controller reports and mentions that Jo's friend is the Doctor; the Daleks say he is a known enemy and must be found The Doctor observes that humans have been reduced to the status of slaves. The controller continues to treat Jo as a privileged guest, in order to gain her trust. The Doctor is captured and interrogated; the controller interupts and sends the Doctor to join Jo and orders he be treated well. A rebel reports this to Anat and co. but is killed by an Ogron before he can finish. The Doctor explains to Jo that the Daleks are in control of Earth. The Doctor is taken for processing because the Daleks wish to confirm his identity. They chant he is the Doctor and will be exterminated.
The controller stops them because he believes the Doctor can help him crush the rebels. The rebels plan an attack and to rescue the Doctor. The controller and the Doctor talk. The Doctor learns how the Daleks gained control of Earth: the end of the 20th Century saw war and the next hundred years were abject misery, with 7/8ths of the world population wiped out. The Controller says he has been saving lives by aiding the Daleks because nothing can be done to fight the daleks.The rebels raid the base and set Jo and the Doctor free; the Doctor persuades them to spare the Controller's life. Styles is set to return to the house. The Doctor learns from the rebels that Styles lured leaders to a peace conference where he killed everyone in an explosion, which started the war; so the rebels went back in time to try to kill Styles before the explosion and alter history. The rebels want the Doctor to kill Styles. Shura, the stranded human in the 20th Century, makes for the house, armed with Dalekanium explosives. The Doctor realises that Shura is the cause of the war; the rebels have created a time paradox: they went back in time to stop the war but they in fact caused the war by killing Styles themselves in an explosion. The Doctor and Jo head for the 2oth Century; before they depart, they meet the Controller in the tunnel - he thanks the Doctor. The Controller is shortly afterwards exterminated. The Daleks and Ogrons go back to the 20th Century; the Doctor finds Shura, whilst the Brig and co. evacuate Styles and the delegates. Shura lets everyone go and explodes the bomb, destroying the Dalek force and saving the future. The Doctor tells Styles that his work is vital as they have seen what could happen if he were to fail.
The Dalek voices are rubbish and it is obvious that the BBC budget didn't extend to more than three Dalek "costumes". The human rebels are generally a bland bunch. Only Aubrey Woods as the Controller sticks out from the supporting cast - he is rather good. The classic sci-fi time paradox is used and given a twist here because the Daleks invaded Earth in the 22nd Century before, in the Hartnell era. It isn't adequately examined, thus makes no sense. It needs us fans to use our Whovian knowledge and fantasy. My explanation - the Daleks invaded Earth and a group went back in time (before the Doctor, Susan and co arrived) and killed Styles, thus altering that future but not changing its overall shape as the daleks still invaded, only with better circumstances for them. The future humans involvement was stopped by the Doctor, thus the time stream returned back to the Daleks invading but being defeated by Hartnell's Doctor. Hmmmm... something along those lines.
One cannot help but feel a bit disappointed by this story though.
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