Tardis

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Eve of the Daleks was the 2022 New Year Special of Doctor Who. It continued from the end of The Vanquishers, which saw the Doctor's TARDIS still damaged from the Great Disruption. Attempting to reboot it, the Thirteenth Doctor accidentally traps ELF Storage and everyone inside it within a time loop. It also dealt with the consequences of the Doctor allowing the Dalek War Fleet to be destroyed by the Sontaran Empire in the final Flux event, with Dalek Executioners being sent to exterminate the Doctor in revenge.

Notably, the episode was the first to explicitly establish Yasmin Khan's feelings toward the Doctor as being romantically inclined.

Synopsis[]

Ten minutes until midnight and the dawning of 2022. With the Doctor's TARDIS out of action, the Doctor, Yaz, and Dan are forced to wait in an ordinary self-storage facility with only one customer. However, Dalek Executioners are on the hunt and a time loop forces the trapped allies to keep reliving the dying minutes of 2021. What has gone wrong with time? What do the Daleks want? As New Year's Day ticks ever closer, the Doctor's tactics will be pushed to the limit to break the loop and dodge extermination on a night where auld acquaintance can't be forgot.

Plot[]

At ELF storage, the owner Sarah is leaving a message for her business partner Jeff, who has once again failed to show up to help on New Year's Eve. A regular customer, Nick, arrives asking to access his storage unit, asking Sarah to run through the list of items that cannot be stored. This includes: stolen or illegal goods, food, humans or animals (dead or alive in either case), and anything that could be considered hazardous, toxic or radioactive. When asked to clarify the meaning of hazardous, Sarah says 'if I were to set this on fire, would it potentially have explosive or devastating consequences?'. Nick pulls out a Monopoly board, worried the paper might count as hazardous. Sarah reassures him and he heads off to his unit, joking that he will see her next year. She asks if he has been practising saying that.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor, Yaz and Dan are about to initiate a reboot which will clear out all the Flux debris. Unfortunately, they cannot be inside the ship when it does so, or they would die. Therefore, they plan to take a holiday on an alien beach, where it seems the Doctor has promised to tell Yaz about her past. The Doctor starts the reboot and the trio flee as the console room collapses behind them, emerging into the basement of ELF storage. Yaz asks 'where's the beach?'. They turn to see that the TARDIS is covered in glowing orange cracks. The Doctor performs a scan, finding that they are in Manchester on New Year's Eve. Dan is not too pleased with their location, but the Doctor is hopeful that they will find a good party. However, her face turns when she discovers a time disturbance two floors up. They head to investigate.

On the 1st floor, Nick puts a label in front of the Monopoly box in his storage unit when suddenly the lights go out. He exits to find a Dalek, which promptly exterminates him. His body is soon found by the Doctor and friends.

In the lobby, Sarah receives a phone call from her mother, who is worried the lines will be busy at the bongs. Sarah tells her to call her back later, when she hears movement behind her, thinking it's Nick. The Dalek states that 'I am not Nick', before killing her. The Doctor, Yaz and Dan arrive in the lobby where the Doctor attempts to use her sonic to jam it's weapons systems. This fails, as the Dalek has upgraded to a rapid-fire energy weapon, which exterminates the trio.

Sarah and Nick are discussing the Monopoly board when they both realise something they is odd. They both try to carry on but are shocked when they find themselves remembering Nick joke that he would see her next year. Nevertheless, Nick heads off to his storage unit.

The TARDIS arrives in the basement, and Yaz asks where the beach is. They similarly experience déja vu, and the TARDIS cracks behind them like before. Remembering Nick's dead body, they run to the first floor to avert his death but arrive to find nothing there. Nick has realised what is happening and has run down stairs to save Sarah.

Sarah, meanwhile, discovers a force-field in place around the building, meaning that they cannot escape. She heads to the 5th floor to see if the unreliable Jeff has any weapons hidden in his storage unit.

Nick returns to the lobby, finding it empty save for the painful force-field. The Dalek corners him again and he is exterminated.

On the 5th floor, Sarah is dismayed to find Jeff has stored his stuff across half the floor, rather than one unit as they had agreed. She finds several rooms filled respectively with taxidermy animals, stolen holiday goods and thousands of tins of 'Beef'n'Beans'. Before she can investigate further, the Dalek appears. She attempts to sound authoritative and order it off her property, but it pays her no heed, killing her.

The TARDIS team arrive in the lobby to find Nick's dead body and the forcefield, seeing Sarah's corpse on the security footage of the 5th floor. The Dalek arrives telling them that there was a time malfunction, that resulted in a repeat of the last few minutes. The Doctor mocks it for failing to kill them, but this does not stop it from trying again.

Time resets again to 23:53 and Nick has already gone to his unit. Sarah decides to go after him, as do the Doctor and friends who have once more arrived in the basement, where Dan simply mutters 'Groundhog Day'. They all convene on the 1st floor, where Sarah suspects that the Dalek belongs to the Doctor as she knows it's name. Said Dalek arrives and they flee in to Nick's unit, which is strangely filled with several items belonging to a plethora of exes. The group worry that Nick might be a serial killer, but he assures them that they are all still alive. He is just keeping their stuff in case they ever ask for it back. Sarah seems disgusted by this, calling it extremely weird that he does this every New Year's Eve, saying that she wouldn't even be here without his patronage.

Nick seems upset by this and leaves the unit to sacrifice himself and buy them time, accepting that it is his fault Sarah is here. Sarah's mother phones her again, worried that the lines will be busy later. She hangs up, as the Doctor informs them that there is no way out of the unit. She has also figured out that they are arriving one minute later in each loop. The next loop will probably start at 23:54. They agree to meet on the 5th floor to look for weapons in Jeff's storage collection. The Dalek succeeds in burning its way through the door, and reveals that the time loop has been caused by the TARDIS. The group are exterminated.

23:54. Nick arrives in the lobby where Sarah proposes that they ignore the plan as it is the Doctor's fault they are in this mess anyway. They head to the basement while the TARDIS team head to the 5th floor in the lift. Dan decides to get out at the lobby to hopefully distract the Dalek for a while. He jokes that there better be another loop for him to come back to. He pretends to have some stuff to put in storage and to mistake the Dalek for a robotic employee. The Dalek responds 'Daleks do not store stuff'. Dan eventually gets up close and circles the Dalek as it fires at him. It stops when it realises Dan is trying to delay its extermination of the Doctor. Dan says 'took you long enough', before he is exterminated.

In the basement, Nick confesses that he turns up every New Year's Eve because he knows that Sarah is guaranteed to be there, as Jeff always lets her down. Nick has an 'embarrassing' crush on Sarah. To Sarah's horror, Nick is exterminated by a second Dalek. She flees to a heavy rusted door, which is not blocked by the force-field, but is killed before she can escape.

On the 5th floor, The Doctor and Yaz explore and find a room which appears to be where Jeff lives. They also find a room filled with incredibly dangerous weapons and objects that the Doctor describes as 'if I were to set this on fire, would it potentially have explosive or devastating consequences?'. The Dalek appears and reveals that a squad has been dispatched to kill the Doctor for her crimes in wiping out the Dalek War Fleet using the Flux, something that she states was just her hijacking a Sontaran stratagem. It then kills them both.

23:55. The Doctor, Yaz and Dan head to the lobby and berate Sarah for not sticking to the plan. She attempts to go and rescue Nick, as he usually dies at around 5 to midnight, believing that if he doesn't make it past the starting point of the next loop, he will not be there when it resets. The Doctor decides to go and find Nick herself, who is actually coping perfectly well on his own. He ducks between the two Daleks targeting him, allowing them to destroy each other. The two arrive back in the lobby. The group argue over the futility of the situation, but the Doctor convinces them that they have to make a plan to be outside of the building at midnight, using the door in the basement. She will use the sonic to bounce their life signals around so that the Daleks don't know where they are. When Sarah's mother phones, the Doctor has another flash of inspiration stating that Sarah needs to ask her mother to phone 10 seconds before midnight. Now closer as a group, they face down the three Daleks that materialise, and are exterminated once more.

23:56. A Dalek materialises behind Sarah in the lobby, who runs to the lift. The Dalek destroys the lift controls and she is left powerless as it kills her. Meanwhile the lights go completely black in Nick's storage unit. He leaves with a flashlight but is promptly killed by another Dalek. In the basement, it is also pitch black and the Doctor decides to find the others alone using the sonic as a torch. Dan and Yaz are left by the TARDIS. Dan reveals to Yaz that he knows how she feels about the Doctor, surprising Yaz as she has not even fully admitted it to herself. Unfortunately, more Daleks have crept up behind them and they are killed again. The Doctor finds Sarah's body in the lift and is also killed.

23:57. The Doctor, Yaz and Dan uncover more of Jeff's stuff in the basement, boxes of presumably illegal fireworks. Yaz is sent to the 5th floor to collect Sarah and Nick. Dan reveals to the Doctor that Yaz likes her, and asks the Doctor to stop pretending that she doesn't understand. In Jeff's weapons room, Sarah explains that it's not actually ELF storage, the S fell off, and that before ownership of it passed to her, she had dreams of travelling the world with someone. Yaz calls them back to the basement, as the Daleks realise that the Doctor has misdirected them. With the group assembled in the basement, the Doctor announces that they are going to the use the next and penultimate loop as a decoy, doing the exact opposite of the plan so that the Daleks will not be able to predict their actions. They wait to be killed by the Daleks.

23:58. Sarah takes the lift to the top floor, calling her mother to tell her she loves her, in case she doesn't make it out of the situation. She is killed when she gets to the top floor. Nick tricks the Daleks into destroying his exes' belongings, thanking them for the therapy. He jokes 'ex. Terminated' before he falls to the same fate. The Doctor, Yaz and Dan await the Daleks in Jeff's living space, preparing to eat Beef'n'Beans while they watch the Hootenanny. They are exterminated for what they hope is the last time.

23:59. Sarah calls her mother and asks for her to phone back at 10 seconds to midnight, despite her protestations that the lines will be busy. She gives the phone to the Doctor and Yaz, and flees with Nick. The Doctor and Yaz transport the hazardous material to the basement and set it up around the fireworks. The Doctor uses the sonic to place life signals behind the mass, before fleeing through the basement door with the others. The Daleks arrive in the basement as Sarah's mother calls, the Doctor remotely answering it with the sonic. A simple 'Sarah?' is all it takes for the Daleks to fire on the explosives, taking them out, along with the whole building. Fireworks soar over the wreckage as Dan observes the silent tension between Yaz and the Doctor. The trio find the rejuvenated TARDIS in the wreckage, with the Doctor promising to take them to find some lost treasure while Karl Wright, unaware of the true going-ons, gleefully records the fireworks display.

Sarah and Nick meanwhile are about to embark on their travels around the world, arguing over whether the time loop where they were killed 8 times by alien robots was a first date or just a meet-cute. As they start their new life together, the TARDIS flies through the sky behind them.


Cast[]

Crew[]

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound



Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.


References[]

The TARDIS[]

  • The TARDIS' Cloister Bell tolls when the Doctor initiates the self-reset.

ELF Storage[]

Holidays and celebrations[]

Individuals[]

  • Sarah recieves New Year text messages from Megan, Laura, and others.
  • Nick's ex-girlfriends included Simona, Lucy, and Nicole.
  • Mary claims that she met Sarah's father on New Year's Eve. They actually met on 7 January, which Mary claims to be "the same thing".
  • Sarah inherited ELF Storage from her deceased great-uncle Barry.
  • Sarah utters, "Oh, my giddy aunt", when annoyed by her mother calling her.

Technology[]

Popular culture[]

  • Nick puts a Monopoly game, which belonged to his ex-girlfriend, Simona, into storage.
  • The Doctor claims she and Yaz "would be so good on Supermarket Sweep".
  • Dan compares the time loop to Groundhog Day.

Romance[]

  • Dan notices that Yaz has romantic feelings towards the Doctor, even when both deny it.
  • Mary tells her daughter that New Year's Eve is the best time to meet a man.
  • Nick has "a lot" of ex-girlfriends, including Simona, Lucy, and Nicole. The sheer number of them, coupled with Nick's apparent obsessiveness over their possessions, prompts a worried Yaz to ask him if they're all "still alive", which Nick confirms.
  • Nick admits to Sarah that he's had a crush on her for three years.

Foods and beverages[]

  • One of Jeff's storage units is filled with shelves full of cans of Beef N Beans.

Micsellaneous[]

  • Dan says that he feels "proper deja vu" at the beginning of the second loop.

Story notes[]

  • This episode has the longest cold opening in the franchise, running just over 00:09:10. The previous episode to hold this title was The Return of Doctor Mysterio.
  • Unlike The End of Time: Part Two and Resolution, the endboard for this episode had the letters MMXXII, which is the correct year for the broadcasting date which was 2022. This also happened with Revolution of the Daleks which had the letters MMXXI, which is also the correct year for the broadcasting date of 2021.
  • When Jodie Whittaker first read the script for this episode and saw that the Doctor gets exterminated in the opening minutes, she genuinely believed that she had been written out of the show earlier than she thought she was going to be.[1]
  • At one point, one of the Daleks says, "I am not Nick", an in-joke to them being voiced by Nicholas Briggs.

Ratings[]

  • Overnights: 3.21 million[2]
  • Consolidated: 4.30 million[3]

Filming locations[]

to be added

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

to be added

Continuity[]

Home video releases[]

The story along with the proceeding story Legend of the Sea Devils will be available on Region 2 DVD and Region B Blu-ray 23 May 2022 and on Region 1 DVD and Region A Blu-ray 28 June 2022.

External links[]

Footnotes[]


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