Ruby Watkins is the over-worked and unappreciated maid of the Gledhill family. Answering the door midway through serving dinner, she finds Mr Gledhill’s junior at the War Office, Mr Taylor, is here to see him on urgent business. For some unknown reason, he’s brought a doctor with him…
The Doctor and Steven interrupted the Gledhill family at dinner, seeking to inform Mr Gledhill of the Admiralty that the plans for the new Dreadnought warship have gone missing. The issue is casually dismissed but the Gledhills' behaviour concerns their maid, Ruby Watkins, who seeks out the Doctor's help.
Observing the Gledhills' daughter, Miss Elizabeth, the trio discover the family are in fact alien beings capable of time travel. When they confront Elizabeth, they learn the Gledhills plan to pass the plans to the Germans. By removing the impetus for Britain and Germany to outclass each other in weapons development, this would prevent the arms race and, in the longer term, the invention of the bomb, the Cold War, and Earth's proliferation, leaving the planet vulnerable and ripe for invasion and colonisation.
Mr Gledhill arranges to meet with German agents under the cover of a suffragette march in London. However, Ruby trips him up and retrieves the plans, sending the agents into retreat. The time rift keeping the Gledhills in the period then closes and they vanish. Ruby finds herself without a job or references but a woman at the suffragette march who noticed her confrontation with Gledhill approaches her. The Doctor commends Ruby's efforts and the woman takes her away to work out how to help her.
- The Dreadnought warship launched in February 1906.
- Ruby mentions listening to stories by H. G. Wells.
- The story derives its title from the infamous phrase commonly associated with Neville Chamberlain prior to the Second World War. The plot, however, concerns itself with the arms race prior to the First World War.
- This story was recorded on 28 May 2019 at WiseBuddah.
- The Doctor and Steven previously encountered the suffragette movement in 1912. (AUDIO: The Suffering)