|Series:||Doctor Who -
|Series Number:||Series 2|
|Setting:||Deffry Vale High School, London; January, 2007|
|Broadcast:||29th April 2006|
|Previous Story:||Tooth and Claw|
|Following Story:||The Girl in the Fireplace|
At the Deffry Vale High School, the headmaster, Mr Finch, notices a student waiting outside his office. She says she has a headache, and has not simply gone home because she lives in an orphanage. Mr Finch offers sympathies that there is no-one to miss her, and invites her into his office; it is nearly time for lunch. The door closes, there is a flap of wings, and the girl screams.
Together with Rose, the Doctor, under the alias "John Smith", has gone undercover in the school. He teaches a physics class, asking a few simple questions about physics, which none can answer except a student called Milo. After asking a few more questions, the Doctor advances onwards through higher levels of knowledge, finally asking how to travel faster than the speed of light. Milo answers every question without missing a beat.
Meanwhile, Rose is working undercover in the cafeteria. At lunch, she goes over and talks to the Doctor, complaining about the last two days. The Doctor mentions that it was Mickey who alerted them to something odd going on, and he was right. Everyone at the school seems too well-behaved, and there is something odd about the chips. Rose eats a few, saying she likes them. The school menu has been designed by Mr Finch himself to improve concentration and performance. Another teacher, Mr Wagner, approaches one of the students, Melissa. He tells her that Milo has failed him, so she is being moved up to the top class. He also summons another student, Luke, but not Kenny, who for some reason is not allowed to eat the chips. The Doctor observes all this quietly, then looks up and sees Mr Finch gazing down on the cafeteria floor, watching everything.
In the kitchen, Rose watches the other kitchen staff, all wearing gloves and face in masks, bringing in a large barrel. Mrs Jackson, the head Dinner Lady, warns them not to spill a drop. Mickey calls Rose on her mobile phone, telling her about the massive UFO activity he has discovered around the area. However, his investigations are being blocked by something called Torchwood. Rose, in turn, tells him that the kitchen staff were all replaced three months ago with a new set. As they speak, the barrel slips, spilling something over one of the staff who starts to burn. The rest usher her into a side room. As Rose starts to phone for an ambulance, Mrs Jackson tells her not to worry — the woman is all right, even as Rose hears screams and sees lots of smoke appear. Rose glances down at the barrel, which is leaking a golden, oily substance.
In the Maths classroom, Mr Wagner tells the children at their computers to put their headphones on. The screens flicker on, and the monitors begin to display a green rotating cube with rapidly scrolling, alien-looking symbols, and seemingly random text on the right. The children start to type on their keyboards with incredible speed.
Mr Finch escorts a journalist, Sarah Jane Smith, around the school. Sarah has been assigned to a profile on him, and Finch explains that one of the policy changes he has made are free — but compulsory — school dinners. In the staff room, the Doctor is speaking to Mr Parsons, head of History, who tells him of the extraordinary knowledge of his students since Finch became Headmaster. Also, since his arrival, seven teachers came down with flu, and were replaced by strange new ones. The teacher the Doctor is replacing resigned when she won the lottery, which she did not even enter. Mr Finch brings Sarah into the staff room, and when the Doctor sees her, he begins to smile. When he introduces himself as John Smith, Sarah remarks that she once knew a man who went by that name. When she finds out that "Smith" is a new teacher, she starts asking him if he has noticed anything odd. Her questions show that she has lost none of her inquisitive nature, and the Doctor is delighted, although he does not reveal his real identity to her.
As the Doctor wanders the halls in a slight nostalgic haze, Kenny goes into the Maths room. He sees, to his shock, a bat-like creature beneath one of the desks, which transforms rapidly into Mr Wagner. Wagner tells Kenny to leave, and the boy beats a hasty retreat. School ends for the day, and night falls. Sarah Jane Smith breaks into the school to explore, even as the Doctor, Rose and Mickey do the same. The Doctor sends Mickey to the Maths room and Rose to get a sample of the oil while he checks out the headmaster's office. All through this there are the sounds of flapping, the occasional shriek and winged shadows flitting across walls.
Sarah Jane Smith, trying to break into Mr Finch's office, notices she is being watched. She enters a store room and to her shock sees the TARDIS standing there. Backing out, she sees "John Smith", who calls her "Sarah Jane", and she realises it really is the Doctor. After a brief exchange, they hear a piercing scream and they run towards the sound, meeting Rose along the way. The Doctor introduces the two women, and Rose is immediately jealous. The scream turns out to be Mickey, who opened a cupboard only to be covered in shrink wrapped rats. Sarah surmises that the rats are for dissection, but Rose retorts that rat dissection hasn't been used in schools for years, making a snide dig at Sarah's age. As they head for Finch's office, Mickey welcomes the Doctor to "the missus and the ex" — every man's worst nightmare. The Doctor suggests that the rats may be food for something, and when the enter Finch's office, they find out what it is: thirteen large, bat-like creatures hanging from the ceiling, asleep. They back out hurriedly, but as they shut the door, one of the creatures wakes up and shrieks. Outside, the Doctor tells them they have to go back in so that he can use the TARDIS to analyse the oil sample Rose procured. Sarah tells the Doctor that she may have something that can help him, and takes him to her car, revealing an inactive and rusty K-9 MK III, with one of his side panels missing. Sarah explains that one day it had just stopped working, and she could not repair the advanced technology inside it.
Not knowing that they are being trailed by Mr Finch and another bat-creature, they go in Sarah's car to a nearby café, where the Doctor works on repairing K-9. Mickey teases Rose about her jealousy, while Sarah asks the Doctor why he never came back for her. The Doctor tries to brush it off, saying that she was getting on with her life. Sarah replies that he was her life. The hardest thing was adjusting back to mundane life after all she had seen. She asks him why he could not have come back, and the Doctor turns serious and does not reply.
K-9 comes back to life, and recognises the Doctor as its master. He smears some of the oil sample on its eye sensor, and K-9 determines it is Krillitane oil. The creatures are Krillitanes, a composite species which take the best physical parts of other species they conquer. The Doctor did not recognise them because they looked different back then. He realises that they are doing something to the children.
As they leave the café, Rose asks the Doctor if Sarah is her future; that she will be left behind like all his other companions. The Doctor tells her he did not go back for Sarah because it would have been too hard; "I don't age. I regenerate. But humans decay, you wither and you die. You can spend the rest of your life with me. But I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on, alone. Thats the curse of the Time Lords" (-The Doctor) Mr Finch hears the phrase "Time Lords" and sends the other Krillitane down to swoop over them, although it does not harm anyone.
The next day all of them return to the school. The Doctor sends Rose and Sarah to discover what is inside the computers, and tells Mickey to stay in the car with K-9 as surveillance — a task Mickey compares to being "sent to the back of the class with the safety scissors and glitter". The Doctor himself is going to have a word with Mr Finch. The two confront each other at the swimming pool. Finch confirms that he is a Krillitane named Brother Lassar; the wings being a recent addition to their form, having been obtained from the invasion of Bessan ten generations ago. What the Doctor sees as Human is just a morphic illusion. Surprised to see a Time Lord, Finch refers to them as a race of pompous, dusty senators, afraid of change and chaos, and now all but extinct. He can sense, however, that the Doctor is different, but still refuses to reveal his plans, challenging the Doctor to work it out. Finch says that they are not enemies, and asks if the Doctor would declare war on them. The Doctor quietly replies that he had much more mercy when he was younger, and this is their only warning. Finch promises, however, that the next time they meet; the Doctor will join with him.
Working on the computers, Sarah and Rose begin to argue about who has had more experience time travelling, yelling the names of the different monsters they have met. Both of them soon realise the argument is pointless and bond by comparing notes on the Doctor, bursting into laughter when he enters, much to his consternation.
Mr Finch tells the other Krillitanes that they are moving to the final phase. The school will be sealed, and they will become gods. Even though it is break time, intercom calls all pupils to class and the staff to the staff room. All the pupils appear strangely happy that the break has ended early, except Kenny, who hesitates, but eventually follows the others inside. Meanwhile, the Krillitanes begin by devouring the rest of the staff.
In the Maths room, the Doctor finds the computers fixed with a deadlock seal, something which even the sonic screwdriver cannot breach. Mr Finch seals all of the school's exits while Mr Wagner activates the computer programme which the children begin working again. Kenny finds himself unable to get out of the school, but attracts Mickey's attention. Mickey reactivates K-9, asking it if it has some way to get in the school, but K-9 reminds Mickey that he is in a car. Meanwhile, Rose, Sarah and the Doctor watch the symbols flash on a large screen, and the Doctor works out what it is. The Krillitanes are trying to solve the Skasis Paradigm. The Doctor explains that the Paradigm is the God-Maker, the Universal Theory; whoever solves it will be able to control the building blocks of the universe — all of time and space. The Krillitanes are boosting the children's intelligence with the oil, using them and their imaginations as a giant processing device. Finch appears at this point, asking the Doctor to join them, tempting the Doctor with the ability to change the universe, to save everyone, even restore the Time Lords. He also offers Sarah and Rose the chance to travel with the Doctor forever, never growing old. For a moment the Doctor does appear tempted, but Sarah tells him that pain and loss define them as much as happiness or love. Everything has its time, and everything ends, whether a world or a relationship. The Doctor picks up a chair and hurls it at the screen, smashing it. He tells Rose and Sarah to get out.
Mickey crashes the car through the front doors of the school and he and Kenny rush towards the pupils. Mr Finch shrieks, summoning the other Krillitanes, who transform into their bat-forms. Mickey and Kenny meet up with the others and run into the cafeteria, pursued by the bat creatures. Finch tells them he wants the Doctor alive, but to eat the others. As the Krillitanes attack, a laser bolt shoots one of them down. K-9 appears in the doorway, blaster at the ready. The Doctor tells K-9 to hold them off while they retreat. However, K-9's battery is failing, and Finch tells the others to ignore "the shooty dog thing" and get the others. In the physics lab, the Doctor realises that the solution is the oil. The Krillitanes have changed their physiology so often that even their own oil is toxic to them now. The Krillitanes start bashing down the door. The Doctor tells Mickey to get the children unplugged and evacuated. Kenny triggers the fire alarm, the high pitched sound hurting the bat-like ears of the Krillitanes and stunning them long enough to get past to the kitchens.
Mickey unplugs the computers and gets the children out of the school. In the kitchens, the Doctor discovers the barrels of oil are deadlock sealed. The Doctor gets the others out while he and K-9 stay behind. K-9 tells the Doctor that the barrels will not withstand a direct hit from its laser, but as its batteries are weak, it has to remain nearby. The Doctor protests, knowing that K-9 will be caught in the explosion, but the dog replies there is no alternative. Sadly, the Doctor bids his old friend good-bye, and calls it a good dog. The Doctor takes Sarah's hand and while she asks about K-9, drags her away from the school. Mr Finch and his brethren enter the kitchen in human form, searching for the Doctor. Finch mocks K-9 when he sees it, but K-9 shoots a barrel, spilling the toxic oil over the aliens. Finch snarls to K-9 "you bad dog"; the dog replies, "Affirmative." The explosion takes out a large chunk of the school. The pupils cheer the school's destruction, and hail Kenny as the hero who did it. Sarah weeps over K-9's sacrifice as the Doctor comforts her.
Later, Sarah enters the TARDIS, which is standing in a park. Rose suggests that Sarah join them, but Sarah declines, saying it is time she found a life of her own. Mickey asks if he could join them in the TARDIS. Sarah says they need a Smith aboard the TARDIS, and the Doctor agrees, although Rose does not look as pleased. Before she goes, Sarah admits that she wants to stay, but tells Rose that some things are worth getting a heart broken for. She adds that someday, if Rose needs to, to find her. Outside, Sarah thanks the Doctor for her time with him. The Doctor asks if there had been anyone special, and Sarah tells him that there was this one man, who she travelled with for a while, but he was a tough act to follow. She asks him to say good-bye this time, and he does, hugging her tightly. Sarah watches the TARDIS disappears, and as it does so, a brand new K-9 is revealed. K-9 explains that the Doctor rebuilt and improved it. Happily, Sarah orders K-9 home. They have work to do.
To be added.
School Reunion - 7.6m viewers (39.8%)
to be added
For the Tenth Doctor:
For Sarah Jane Smith:
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