The Doctor and Izzy materialise on Icarus Falling, a small satellite orbiting Crivello's sun, and witnessed an attack on it by Daleks. While attempting to stop the Daleks' plans, it is revealed that another of the Doctor's deadliest enemies, the megacorp known as the Threshold, was hired to destroy the Daleks, and already had a plan in motion.
This plan fails, and Izzy escapes with the Threshold's payment and a portal-generating Threshold ring. She warps to the Doctor's location, who has been informed of the Threshold's mission, and knows who hired them: After all, the box containing their payment was embossed with the Seal of Rassilon. The Doctor manages to defeat both the Daleks and the Threshold by making Crivello's sun go nova.
However, as the Doctor and Izzy escape in the TARDIS, a Threshold agent appears to remind the Doctor of his hollow victory and their continuing machinations.
Part One: Fire and Brimstone
On board the satelloid Icarus Falling, the communications seer, Ptolemy Muttonchops, looks into the gazing pool at the augury, where he is terrified by visions of fire and brimstone. Unsure of what to do, he visits Sister Chastity, his superior, and tells her all he has seen. However, she soothes his fears and does not report his findings to anyone.
Meanwhile, the TARDIS has landed in another part of Icarus Falling. The Doctor is unsure of where they are and why they have landed somewhere, citing trouble in the vortex as a reason for their early appearance. However, before he can theorise further, he and Izzy are captured by guards and taken to see the leaderene, who asks them to justify their presence. The Doctor has discovered their location: one of the six satellites orbiting Crivello's Cauldron. He wonders aloud how he could have landed in the same place 200 years after his previous landing (in the Keep). However, before they can talk further, a technician spots approaching alien spacecraft, who breach the hull of Icarus Falling. Soldiers arrive to shoot the spacecraft, but are exterminated by the creatures inside... the Daleks.
Part Two: Release the Contagium!
The Doctor introduces the Daleks that have entered the satellite to the leaderene and Izzy. The leaderene states that all of Icarus Falling is reinforced by metres of metal and kevlar, but the Doctor is unable to reassure him, stating that the Daleks will only take 20 Minutes or so to breach it. Suddenly, Ptolemy Muttonchops enters and announces that they are all doomed. He recognises the Doctor as part of the vision he had at the beginning of the story, and hurriedly leads him away to view the vision for himself. Izzy is left with Sister Chastily and the leaderene, who the Doctor says will protect her.
In the bottom half of Icarus Falling, the Daleks state they must act quickly, and release the Contagium, which is an insect-like creature with Dalek roundels covering its body. The Doctor and Ptolemy are at the augury, where the Doctor wonders what makes Ptolemy so special, given that the last person to attempt to commune with the Cauldron aged sixty years in sixty seconds. Suddenly, the Doctor and Ptolemy see the Contagion in the gazing-pool and decide to return to the main control room, where the Contagion as arrived.
The Contagion bursts up through the floor of the control room and impales the leaderene, killing her. Her eyes turn an alien colour, and she suddenly begins spewing out nanites in every direction, which several people inhale, killing and possessing them as well. Izzy and Sister Chastity flee, while the now-possessed leaderene opens the doors to the Daleks.
Izzy and Sister Chastity meet up with the Doctor and Ptolemy, where the Doctor reveals the Contagion as a weapon which attached itself to a Host and then uses it to churn out nanites who burrow their way into people's brains and take control of them. The Doctor decides to speak to the Daleks. Entering the room where they are located, he asks if they know what brought his Tardis here. The Daleks state that he is an enemy, and promptly exterminate him.
Part Three: Process - Analyse - Annihilate!
After the Doctor has been "exterminated", he awakens to discover that the Daleks faked his death and transported him to their spaceship, the Dalek Hive, as a prisoner. The Doctor wonders aloud who they are trying to fool into thinking he is dead. The Doctor is taken to the Dalek Supreme and discovers that Marquez has allied himself with the Daleks. Marquez tells the Doctor that the Contagion was part of a race that massacred a Dalek expedition to a crashed spacecraft, and only one of these creatures was captured alive. Marquez threatens to unleash the creature on the Doctor, and reveals that when the creature was examined, it was revealed that it was an alternative Dalek, which originated from another universe. Determined to destroy this new lifeform, the Daleks wish to travel there. The only way for them to access this universe was through a collapsing star, so they built Marquez to infiltrate Crivello's Cauldron on Earth to harness his artificial sun for their own purposes. To bridge the gap between universes, they needed a time sensitive, so Marquez sent out a distress signal that the Doctor picked up. By bonding with the star, he created the link the Daleks needed. The Daleks reveal they also need the Doctor's brain and plan on introducing a synaptic conduit into his mind, enabling him to pilot their spaceship to infinite realms.
Back on Icarus Falling, Ptolemy reveals to Izzy and Sister Chastity that the Doctor is still alive, but is being held by the Daleks and is afraid. The Contagion then bursts through the floor, attacking Ptolemy. Distracted by him, Izzy and Sister Chastity are able to make their escape. They make their way to the docking bay, where Izzy plans to commandeer a spaceship, fly to the Hive and rescue the Doctor. However, Sister Chastity disagrees with Izzy's plan, and reveals herself as one of the Threshold.
- Eighth Doctor
- Izzy Sinclair
- Brother Ptolemy Muttonchops
- Sister Chastity
- The Leaderene
- The Daleks
- Supreme Dalek
- The Doctor remarks that he hasn't felt as ill since he flew across Old Baghdad on a magic carpet.
- He maintains a link with the heart of Crivello's Cauldron and can sense his connection to it through his symbiotic nuclei.
- The Dalek Hive is a space cruiser.
- The alternate universe Daleks are based upon designs first created for John Leeky's abandoned American reboot of the Doctor Who series devised in the early nineties.
- Izzy's off-the-cuff remark to the Doctor about feeling "like a minor character in an Alien film" is a rather sly reference to Paul McGann's earlier secondary role as mass murderer and outcast Golic in Alien 3. Similarly, Izzy's eager recitation of Terry Pratchett's Discworld with references to a "city called Ankh-Morpork and this hag called Granny Weatherwax," also has its basis in allusion. Jon Pertwee, actor of the Third Doctor, portrayed numerous roles in the point-and-click Discworld video game prior to his passing in 1996.
- Crivello's Cauldron last appeared in COMIC: The Keep.
- The Doctor references the death of Ace in COMIC: Ground Zero.
- While it appears the box comes from the Time Lords, COMIC: The Final Chapter and Wormwood reveal it to be from Rassilon himself.
- The Doctor visited the New Earth System in his fourth incarnation. (COMIC: Doctor Who and the Dogs of Doom)
- The Dalek Contagium used to infect the Leaderene could theoretically be a technological extension of the Mutant Phase that plagued them in the story of the same name. Alternatively, the virus could have its origins based in or is a prototype of the weapon seen and used in PROSE: The Dalek Factor. It may also be related to the nanocloud used to protect the Dalek Asylum in TV: Asylum of the Daleks.
- Endgame graphic novel commentary