Doctor Who - The New Series
TX: 30 April 2005
Written by: Robert Shearman
Directed by: Joe Ahearne
Running time: 44' 40"
Location: A hidden base outside Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Date: July, 2012 AD
Monsters and villains: Henry van Statten (a billionaire tyrant with a collection of alien artefacts); a Dalek (a species of mutant engineered only to hate, encased in a robotic body).
Plot Synopsis: Responding to a distress signal sent through time, the Doctor finds himself about to become the star exhibit in a billionaire's museum of alien antiquities. But things become much worse when the origin of the distress signal turns out to be one of the Doctor's oldest and most dangerous enemies.
Bad Wolf Reference: Henry van Statten's helicoper is called "Bad Wolf One".
Trivia: (1) This episode marks the first appearance of temporary assistant Adam Mitchell, played by Bruno Langley (better known for his role in British soap opera Coronation Street).
(2) Prior to writing this episode, Robert Shearman had been a long-term author of Doctor Who audio adventures. This particular story was based on his audioplay "Jubilee" which found the sixth Doctor (played by Colin Baker) trapped in the Tower of London with a Dalek.
(3) Displeased at the way the BBC had licenced out the Daleks for use in comedies such as Looney Tunes: Back in Action, the estate of Terry Nation, original creator of the Daleks, decided to affirm its control over the characters by denying their use in the new series. As a result, this episode was re-written to star a different (undisclosed) monster described as a child-like beast that kills for pleasure. Thankfully, negotiations with the estate worked, and the Daleks were reinstated.
(4) The robotic head that the Doctor examines in the museum is that of a cyberman, an enemy from the original series of Doctor Who.
(5) If you look a little to the left of the TARDIS during the long shots, you will see an egg pod from the movie Alien.
(6) The idea of Daleks being warped by human DNA was used in the second Doctor story The Evil of the Daleks.
(7) This episode went through several title changes, including "Museum Piece", "Creature Of Lies"; and "The Creature Inside".
(8) Prior to the broadcast of this episode, the BBC set up a website at www.geocomtex.net. In the Whoniverse, Geocomtex is the name of Henry van Statten's company.
(9) An explanation for the "time traveller DNA" plot point is given in 2.13, "Doomsday".
Spoiler Synopsis: The Doctor picks up a distress signal sent through time and arrives in a museum of alien artifacts. He makes the mistake of touching a glass case containing a cyberman head, setting off an alarm. He and Rose are quickly arrested.
The massive underground complex is owned by Henry van Statten, billionaire and controller of the worldwide Geocomtex corporation. He is accompanied by Adam, a young British genius with a passion for alien technology, and Diana, his second-in-command. Van Statten asks the Doctor to look over some of the pieces in his museum and, realising that he has an expert on his hands, asks him to look at a living exhibit deep in the cellars of the museum. The Doctor agrees to take a look at this creature, which van Statten has named "metaltron", but soon discovers that it is a Dalek, one of his most terrifying enemies. The Daleks are mutants genetically engineered to feel nothing but hate, encased in a metal bodies. The Doctor pounds fruitlessly on the door to be let out, until he realises that it cannot fire; the Dalek is crippled.
It emerges that the Daleks were the creatures that the Time Lords fought during the Time War. Both sides extinguished each other during the battle, with this Dalek fleeing through time until it landed on Earth and was captured. The Doctor, overcome with rage at the creature that helped kill his people, electrocutes the Dalek until van Statten's men drag him away. He has the Doctor bound whilst he subjects him to terrible tests, proving that the Doctor is an alien and therefore a suitable new exhibit.
Rose, oblivious to all of this, talks with Adam about his past - how he was a child genius picked up by Geocomtex to help van Statten examine his exhibits. She talks him into allowing her to see the "metaltron", which pretends to be sad and suicidal. Pitying it, she touches its side, allowing it to absorb her DNA. It turns out that it needed the DNA of a time traveller to regenerate itself. As it rebuilds its metal body, Adam and Rose flee, and scientists pour in to restrain it. It's no good - soon they are all dead and the Dalek is using Geocomtex's internet connection to learn everything about Earth.
With the base on red alert, van Statten frees the Doctor and demands his help. The Doctor says that there is no stopping the Dalek - and he seems to be right, as soldier after soldier is exterminated by its lasers. Even steps do not faze the legless creature as it uses boosters to fly up the stairwell. Rose and Adam flee the cyborg as it takes its time electrocuting a room full of soldiers; Adam manages to dive through the last remaining bulkhead as it shuts, but Rose is left trapped with the Dalek. It trundles up toward her, aims, and fires.
But Rose lives. The Dalek cannot kill her, for reasons it does not understand. Using Rose as a prisoner it negotiates access to the ground floor of the complex, where it can escape. The Doctor, knowing that everyone in the nearest built up area - Salt Lake City - will die if it flees, takes a gun from Adam's personal stash (he kept them in case he ever had to escape - van Statten is in the habit of wiping the memories of those who leave his employ) and goes up to the roof to kill the Dalek.
But the Dalek is transforming; Rose's DNA is giving it human emotions like guilt, regret, loneliness and self-hatred. Rose talks the Doctor out of killing the Dalek in cold blood, but she needn't have bothered; unable to handle its transformation into the humans that it loathes, it asks Rose to command it to commit suicide. She does, and it vapourises itself.
Diana overthrows van Statten and has the guards take him away to be memory-wiped. Adam runs down to the museum where he finds Rose and the Doctor about to enter the TARDIS. He warns them that Diana is going to flood the basement with concrete, burying the exhibits forever. Rose asks the Doctor if Adam can join them on their travels and, against his better judgement, he acquiesces.
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