- You may be looking for Revelation of the Daleks.
Revolution of the Daleks was the 2021 New Year Special of Doctor Who. It featured the return of Jack Harkness, and marked the Thirteenth Doctor's reunion with her companions following the events of TV: The Timeless Children. The episode also saw the departure of Bradley Walsh as Graham O'Brien and Tosin Cole as Ryan Sinclair.
Continuing the Reconnaissance Dalek storyline that began in TV: Resolution, a new line of Daleks were introduced, cloned from a remnant of the original recon scout. It also saw the return of bronze Daleks, last seen on television in 2017's Twice Upon a Time, leading to a battle between both factions.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Crew
- 5 References
- 6 Story notes
- 7 Continuity
- 8 Home video releases
- 9 External links
- 10 Footnotes
367 minutes after the Doctor melted the casing of the Reconnaissance Dalek, a lorry driver takes its empty casing from GCHQ to Depositary 23, stopping off at a kiosk for a cup of tea. Walking back to his vehicle, he starts to breathe heavily, drops his cup, and collapses. The woman who served him drags him inside the lorry with the casing and drives it away.
Jo Patterson, the Technology Secretary of the United Kingdom, drives to a breakfast meeting with Leo Rugazzi and Jack Robertson to see Leo's new Defence Drones. They oversee a fake riot organised by Robertson, where a Defence Drone, taking the shape of a Dalek, effectively disperses the rioters with its water cannon and loud noise. Afterwards, Leo shows the pair how the drones are controlled by AI and are solar powered. Robertson and Patterson talk in private, and Patterson warns him not to tell anyone that she tipped him off about advanced technology being transported from GCHQ. Robertson tells her that the drones will take around a year to develop, in time to help her win the upcoming general election.
In a maximum security facility located inside an asteroid 79 billion light years away, the Thirteenth Doctor wakes up. She scratches a mark on her cell wall, matching numerous other marks covering the two walls. It is clear she has been here for years. A monitor flashes on her wall instructing her to exercise. She does so. Later, she is escorted to an exercise facility, saying hello to the cameras and her fellow inmates as she passes. Back in her cell, a monitor flashes again, instructing her to sleep. She begins to tell herself a bedtime story but is interrupted by knocking from the other side of a wall. Recognising the four knocks, she wonders if she knows the individual.
Back on Earth, Ryan Sinclair and Graham O'Brien walk towards the TARDIS disguised as a house. They go to knock on the door, but it opens for them. Inside the TARDIS control room they find Yasmin Khan surrounded by coloured paper and post it notes covered in writing stuck to almost every surface. She has been sleeping inside the TARDIS and is desperately trying to find the Doctor. Ryan and Graham tell her that she needs to move on because the Doctor has been away for ten months, but she refuses to listen. Graham shows her footage of a prototype Defence Drone leaked from the fake riot Robertson organised. They recognise it as a Dalek and see Robertson overseeing the riot. They believe that he is in league with the Dalek and she agrees to help them investigate because it was what the Doctor would do.
Patterson — now running for the position of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom — summons Robertson to a rainy forest. She tells him that she wants an immediate national roll-out of his drones and with him to pay rather than have her government tax the British people. He nervously laughs, telling her that they had only just started regional beta testing and that it was starting to sound like a "shakedown". She blackmails him by threatening to alert the treasury about how much tax his companies pay in the UK. He agrees to her proposal.
That night, as Robertson gets out of his car, telling Leo that he has arrived, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham approach him. He recognises them from the encounter he had with giant spiders. They confront him about the Defence Drone, believing it to be a Dalek, but he has no idea what they are talking about. Suddenly, people with guns surround them and Robertson tells them that he increased his security because of them, before walking away. After getting free from Jack's bodyguards, they discuss how hard it is to "see what's going on" without the Doctor, psychic paper, or a TARDIS.
At the prison, the Doctor wakes up, scratches another mark on her cell wall, says hello to the cameras and proceeds to the exercise facility again. However, this time she finds Jack Harkness, also imprisoned there, in the fenced square next to her. Jack reveals he has been waiting nineteen years for the cell rotation to finally place him next to the Doctor. He then shows her a temporal-freezing gateway disinhibitor bubble which he activates to freeze time and walk through walls. He joins the Doctor and tells her to run. Against the clock, they arrive at Jack's cell where he opens a little trap containing a vortex manipulator he smuggled. They hug, then activate it to break out the prison just as the alarms sound.
Back on Earth, Patterson has been elected party leader, and therefore Prime Minister. Leo talks to Robertson about the drones; he is worried about the speed of the production, but Robertson reassures him, telling him to "live in the worry". Leo then talks to Robertson about the model casing, he explains that when examining it, he found organic remnants in the machine and cloned them, growing a Dalek mutant, finding it beautiful and intelligent. Robertson, horrified by this discovery, demands that Leo incinerate the creature, and tortures Leo to keep it under wraps before leaving, angrily saying that "this is why people don't like experts". Leo takes the box containing the Dalek mutant to the incinerator, but when he opens it, the creature inside grabs him and possesses him. He makes a final phone call to say goodbye to his family before the Dalek completely takes control.
The Doctor and Jack teleport into her TARDIS, where all the lights have been dimmed. Jack asks if she had listened to his message, and she says that she had to give Ashad what he wanted, but fixed it, "sort of". She also tells him that she was imprisoned for evading the Judoon twice and "7000 other offences". The Doctor then uses the TARDIS to find the others, on Earth.
As Yaz, Ryan and Graham talk about the Dalek they saw on the news, Graham tells the other two that it is impossible that it is the same one they fought at GCHQ, as that one was thrown in a supernova. Ryan suggests that the Daleks may have come to Earth and forced Robertson to work with them. Yaz then tells them to shut up, wanting to listen. The TARDIS then materialises in the living room, and the Doctor and Jack come out. After a brief discussion between Team TARDIS, where the Doctor reveals she thinks she is only two weeks late, Jack asks "What's new on planet Earth?" The trio answers "Dalek", which horrifies the Doctor and Jack.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor scans for Dalek DNA traces, and Jack explains to Team TARDIS that he is immortal. The wall screen beeps, revealing a DNA trace has been found in Osaka, but not an exact match. Jack and Yaz volunteer to investigate, whilst Graham, Ryan, and the Doctor go talk to Robertson. The Doctor materialises the TARDIS in Robertson's office, and she asks him about the Daleks, having blocked his phone lines so he cannot call security. Exasperated, Robertson decides to show them the "production line", where he is 3D printing "security drones", which are all modelled on the Recon Dalek from GCHQ. They fill the whole room, and he shows them how there is nothing inside the drones, and that the machines are run by artificial intelligence. Graham asks about his facility in Osaka, and Robertson replies that he does not have one.
In Osaka, Yaz tells Jack how it was hard for her in the ten months that the Doctor had been away, almost wishing that she had never met her if it had to stop so abruptly. Jack tells her that the Doctor had abandoned him, but that they should "remember the journey while [they were] on it", because "the joy is worth the pain". They explore the building with torches and realise that they are inside a Dalek clone farm.
Meanwhile, Jo Patterson makes an address outside 10 Downing Street, promising that she will make Britain "more secure", so that they can enter an "age of security", and introduces the new "Defence Drones" whilst four of them surround her. She declares they will be placed on streets, as well as at borders and national landmarks.
In the Dalek clone farm, Yaz asks Jack to help her take a sample of a liquid inside the tubes feeding the new Daleks, in the hope that they may find a way to stop them. Jack sets bombs on the walkways and railings, but the creatures surrounding them start to climb out of their buckets. One of them falls onto his face, and another latches on to Yaz as she tries to help him. Yaz manages to rip the mutant from Jack, who proceeds to shoot the two mutants with his blaster, vaporising them.
The TARDIS flies through the time vortex, four minutes away from Osaka. Ryan is sitting on the stairs, putting on his beanie. The Doctor approaches him, remembering the yellow one he was wearing when they met, and apologises for being away for ten months. Ryan says that although he did miss her, he had time to reconnect to his family and friends. He asks about Gallifrey, and stops the Doctor trying to change the subject. The Doctor tells him how her entire life story has been changed, and how she does not know who she is anymore, or how much of her life she does not know. Ryan tells her that, although they are both different to how they were when they met, it is a good thing that they are, and after they have finished with the Daleks, she needs to find out about herself. The Doctor promises that she will.
The TARDIS materialises in the Dalek clone farm, causing Jack to exclaim how much he missed its sound. The Doctor, Robertson, Ryan, and Graham exit the TARDIS. The Doctor asks who built the farm, noting to the Dalek attached to Leo that Dalek consciousness could live within the tiniest fragment of its DNA, and that she came to save him. When she asks how it made the farm, it explains how it used Robertson's companies to pay for it, liquidising the workers once they had finished and feeding them to the new Daleks. The Dalek explains that its species will not leave Earth, wanting to convert the planet into a base from which to conquer Earth's sector of the universe. The Doctor remarks about the fact that Robertson’s casings are not weaponised, but it responds that it modified the designs. The Doctor panics and wants to turn off the gradually changing light; Jack asks why, and she says it is ultraviolet light, the same light that the original Recon Dalek used to reconstitute itself. As she does, the clone orders its new Daleks to activate, teleporting themselves into the Defence Drones, controlling them and beginning to exterminate humanity.
Jo Patterson makes an emergency address outside 10 Downing Street assuring everyone that the drones are under control and are being shut down. Four Daleks then advance on her - as she refuses to surrender, they promptly exterminate her and declare Earth to be the property of the Daleks, adding that "all humanity will be exterminated".
In Osaka, the Doctor questions Robertson on how many drones he built, and he answers that he built thousands. Leo is killed by the Dalek controlling him, and the Doctor rushes everyone back into the TARDIS. She tells them that she has only one option — the nuclear option. Jack tries to stop her, but none of them have any better ideas, so she sends the Recon Scout's signal through the Time Vortex to the Death Squad Daleks, knowing they will want to enforce the purity of the Dalek race. The signal is received by the ship and the Daleks prepare to attack Earth. The Doctor that she has done this anonymously as she and the Daleks have "got previous".
Pedestrians scream and run through the streets as the flying Defence Drones slaughter them all. The Death Squad Daleks have detected mutated DNA and prepare for maximum extermination. The TARDIS lands on the Clifton Suspension Bridge as the Death Squad Daleks and Defence Drones square off. The Death Squad refuses to accept the drones as true Daleks and exterminates them, but Robertson wants to join forces with them, so the Doctor leaves him there as TARDIS dematerialises. Robertson claims to the Daleks that he is the leader of humanity and can help them take over the planet. Although the Daleks are sceptical that he would betray his species, he promises to give some secrets to their leader.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor explains step two of the plan. Once all the Defence Drones are destroyed, Jack will blow up the Death Squad ship. Graham and Ryan choose to come with him, and Jack teleports them on board. As they split up to spread the bombs, Jack overhears Robertson talking to the Dalek leader about the Doctor's involvement. As he does, the final Defence Drone teleports on board, and despite its attempts to explain itself, it is exterminated and Robertson leaves. Jack meets up with Graham and Ryan and explains to the Doctor about Robertson. She enforces a backup plan with Yaz to deal with the final "SAS Daleks" on Earth.
With a timer set to blow up the ship, Robertson meets up with Jack, Graham, and Ryan and they deliberate over whether to save his life as the Daleks round on them. In the air above Earth, the Daleks detect the TARDIS and the Doctor thanks them for running to her. Summoning them in, they all fly inside. Meanwhile, Jack teleports his group off the Dalek ship seconds before they are exterminated, and the ship is destroyed. On Earth, the remaining Daleks find themselves inside the house TARDIS instead of the Doctor's, with a hologram of her explaining she used its chameleon circuit to disguise it as hers then programmed it to fold in on itself then be sent into the Void. She teases them as the TARDIS is destroyed, taking the Daleks with it. Everyone reconvenes on the Doctor's TARDIS, with the Doctor saying that Robertson has a lot of explaining to do.
In Graham's house, Graham and Ryan watch Robertson speaking to Emily Maitlis on Newsnight, with her explaining he may be given an honorary knighthood and revived presidential run. Turning the TV off, they head into the TARDIS parked outside, where Jack is phoning the Doctor, saying he wants to catch up with Gwen Cooper. As the Doctor hangs up, they prepare to leave for the Meringue Galaxy restaurant, but Ryan chooses to stay behind. He explains how his friends need him, and so does his planet, now knowing what he wants to do with his life. They hug as Yaz confirms she wants to stay. Finally, they turn to Graham. Although he was willing to continue, he now admits he does not want to miss out on his grandson growing up, and Ryan jokingly bemoans not having the house to himself. The four have one final group hug as the Doctor bids farewell to her "fam". Before they leave, she gifts them a piece of psychic paper each, and Graham parts ways by reiterating "we do get aliens in Sheffield". Although the Doctor considers going back and changing the timeline, Yaz says it is okay for her to be sad.
Graham and Ryan find themselves back on the hill outside Sheffield, with Ryan practicing cycling just as he did on the day they met the Doctor. He makes some progress, and the two discuss looking up strange occurrences around the world — a troll invasion in Finland and gravel creatures in a quarry in Korea. Knowing they can do whatever they want with their psychic paper, they begin to make plans, but only after they finish the cycling. Ryan explains he will not be scared off by a bike, and as they prepare to try again, they both see a vision of Grace O'Brien smiling at them. Graham promises "a few more tries and we'll go and save the world" as they keep practicing.
- The Doctor - Jodie Whittaker
- Graham O'Brien - Bradley Walsh
- Yasmin Khan - Mandip Gill
- Ryan Sinclair - Tosin Cole
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Jack Robertson - Chris Noth
- Jo Patterson - Harriet Walter
- Leo Rugazzi - Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
- Armen - Nathan Armarkwei-Laryea
- Rachel - Helen Anderson
- Voice of the Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- Dalek Operator 1 - Barnaby Edwards
- Dalek Operator 2 - Nicholas Pegg
- Grace - Sharon D Clarke
- Emily Maitlis - Emily Maitlis
- Stunt Performers - Leon Gabbison, Samuel Stefan, Andrew Burford, Xavier Lake, Sarah Lochlan, Paul Bailey, Lloyd Bass, Mathew Paine, Danielle da Costa, Lukaz Leng, Maria Hippolyte, Karen Teoh, Heather Philips, Tracy Caudle
|Executive Producers Matt Strevens and Chris Chibnall|
|Series Producer Nikki Wilson|
|General production staff
Camera and lighting department
|Make-up and prosthetics
General post-production staff
Special and visual effects
|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.|
- The Doctor's fellow prisoners include: a Weeping Angel, whom the Doctor nicknamed "Angela"; an Ood, whom the Doctor nicknamed "Bonnie", with a Sycorax, whom the Doctor nicknamed "Clyde"; a Pting, whom the Doctor nicknamed "Tiny"; as well as a Silent, a Skithra, a Gathering Coil, a Cyberman, and a Thijarian.
- The Doctor recites the opening line of a "classic" story to herself, mentioning "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of 4 Privet Drive".
- Robertson gives an interview to Emily Maitlis on Newsnight.
- Jack mentions catching up with Gwen Cooper.
- Jack recalls Rose Tyler and her fate.
- Ryan has reconnected with his dad.
- Ryan and Graham both have a vision of Grace O'Brien.
- Jack has his vortex manipulator.
- Jack uses a temporal-freezing gateway disinhibitor bubble to break the Doctor and himself out of prison.
- The Doctor gives Ryan and Graham each some psychic paper as a parting gift.
- Gwen Cooper is said to have used a Moped and her son's boxing gloves to destroy a Dalek.
- Robertson creates his Dalek casings with 3D printers.
- The prison where the Doctor is being held is seventy-nine-billion light-years away from Earth.
- Ryan reads a story online about a village in Finland that is supposedly dealing with a troll invasion.
- Graham mentions having heard a story about a quarry in Korea that has been shut down due to reports of "gravel creatures coming to life".
- The Doctor is given a food cube to eat every morning in prison.
- This was the first episode of Doctor Who to be simultaneously broadcast in 4K UHD with HDR colour grading, and the second episode ever made available in this format, since the BBC doesn't broadcast in 4K UHD on its television channels, it was instead made available on BBC iPlayer, with a red button prompt appearing during its BBC One broadcast. Twice Upon a Time remains the first episode to be released in 4K UHD, as it was remastered in the format after broadcast for its re-release on UHD Blu-ray.
- This was the first televised story of the parent Doctor Who series to be originally released to a streaming service, making its debut on BBC iPlayer around 10 minutes before its BBC One broadcast, rather than shortly afterwards or live and concurrently, as is the norm. However, Series 1 of Class had previously debuted on the same service.
- The opening title card ("A LONG TIME AGO... FAR, FAR AWAY...") is a reference to the famous Star Wars opening title, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...".
- The "Defence Drones" have voices similar to those used by the Imperial Daleks in TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, the last televised instance of a Dalek Civil War.
- Chris Noth (Jack Robertson) is credited as "Robertson" on BBC iPlayer, and erroneously as "Alan Robertson" in Radio Times. Nathan Armarkwei-Laryea (Armen), Helen Anderson (Rachel), Nicholas Briggs (Voice of the Daleks), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek Operator 1), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek Operator 2) and Sharon D Clarke (Grace) are credited on-screen but not in Radio Times or on BBC iPlayer.
- Unlike previous New Year Specials The End of Time Part Two and Resolution, the end credits specified the episode was broadcast in 2021 hence MMXXI.
- This story saw the first time since Journey's End that John Barrowman was credited in the opening title sequence.
to be added
- Davros would return. This was proven false.
- The prison the Doctor was in would be revealed to be Shada. This is unknown as this was neither confirmed nor denied in the episode.
- Graham or Ryan would die at the end of the episode. This theory was incorrect as they would both leave the TARDIS alive at the end of the episode and given an open ending.
- David Tennant would make a cameo as the Tenth Doctor. This was proven false.
- The Special Weapons Dalek was to return. This was proven false.
- This story would be a two-parter. This was proven false.
- This story would continue the war between the Renegade Daleks and the Imperial Daleks. Although not entirely true, it does contain a similar plot element.
- The Doctor would not be broken out of the prison until the halfway point of the episode. This was proven false.
- When the Dalek gives the order for Jo Patterson to be exterminated, it is slightly to the left of the picture but in the next shot, it has now moved to the right.
- The remains of the Reconnaissance scout Dalek are collected from GCHQ. (TV: Resolution)
- The toxic waste scandal that ruined Jack Robertson's political ambitions is mentioned, and he remembers Team TARDIS from that incident. (TV: Arachnids in the UK)
- The Doctor recites the beginning of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone while in prison as a bedtime story, calling it a "classic". The Tenth Doctor had previously expressed an admiration for the Harry Potter series and its author, J. K. Rowling. (TV: The Shakespeare Code)
- Jack gets the Doctor's attention by knocking four times. (TV: Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars, The End of Time, Hell Bent)
- Yaz has been studying the TARDIS the Doctor sent Team TARDIS back to Earth in. (TV: The Timeless Children)
- The Doctor once again comments on how Jack has "had work done", to which Jack replies, "You can talk." (TV: Utopia)
- The Doctor questions how Jack was able to smuggle his vortex manipulator into the prison. Jack responds, "You really want me to answer that?" A similar scenario had previously played out on the Game Station. (TV: Bad Wolf)
- Jack recalls meeting the Doctor's companions and warning them about the Lone Cyberman. (TV: Fugitive of the Judoon) He is unhappy to find out that the Doctor did give him the Cyberium, (TV: The Haunting of Villa Diodati) but she claims that she resolved things. (TV: The Timeless Children)
- The Doctor tells Jack she evaded the Judoon "twice at once". (TV: Fugitive of the Judoon)
- Jack calls Graham "Silver Fox" again. (TV: Fugitive of the Judoon)
- Jack recalls how the Daleks killed him before he became immortal, (TV: The Parting of the Ways) and that one person "partly responsible" for his resurrection, Rose Tyler, (TV: Utopia) is now stranded in a parallel universe. (TV: Doomsday, Journey's End)
- Jack tells Yaz that he is from the 51st century, (TV: The Doctor Dances) lived on the Boeshane Peninsula, (TV: Last of the Time Lords, Adam) and how the Doctor abandoned him. He notes the Doctor was a man then. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)
- Jack uses a sonic blaster. (TV: The Doctor Dances)
- Ryan puts on a grey beanie, with the Doctor remembering the yellow one he was wearing when they met. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
- Ryan has been reconnecting with his estranged father. (TV: Resolution)
- The Doctor tells Ryan that Gallifrey is devoid of life after Ko Sharmus used the death particle. (TV: The Timeless Children)
- Humans previously used Daleks to improve their nation's security without being aware of the dangers. (TV: The Power of the Daleks, Victory of the Daleks)
- The Twelfth Doctor had previously explained that Dalek mutants can harvest organic matter as nutrients. (TV: Into the Dalek)
- The Dalek mutants use Ultraviolet light to teleport into Robertson's Defence drones' casings. (TV: Resolution)
- The Daleks kill the Defence Drone Daleks because they view them as "impure". The Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller previously encountered a set of Daleks who wanted to wipe out the genetically impure Mutant Daleks created by Martez on Red Rocket Rising, (AUDIO: Blood of the Daleks) and the Eleventh Doctor encountered a Supreme Dalek who did the same to the Ironside Daleks for similar reasons. (TV: Victory of the Daleks) The Ninth Doctor also saw how the Metaltron Dalek committed suicide because it mutated and saw itself as "impure". (TV: Dalek)
- Before their demise, the Defence Drone Daleks insist they had to adapt their DNA to survive. This was also Dalek Sec's argument in favour of combining Dalek DNA with human DNA. (TV: Daleks in Manhattan)
- Graham reminds Ryan of their destruction of the Cybercarrier while blowing up the Dalek saucer in a similar manner. (TV: The Timeless Children)
- The Daleks are transported to the Void to die. The Tenth Doctor twice before sent the Daleks and other enemies to the Void to destroy them. (TV: Doomsday, The Next Doctor)
- Jack turns down the Doctor's offer to travel, choosing instead to reconnect with Gwen Cooper, after spending some time apart. (AUDIO: Herald of the Dawn) He had previously refused the Doctor's offer to travel with him so he could rejoin his Torchwood team, which Gwen was in. (TV: Last of the Time Lords)
- The Doctor and Gwen send their love to each other. They had previously met, albeit not in-person, during the 2009 Dalek invasion of Earth. (TV: The Stolen Earth, Journey's End)
- Graham concedes two points the Doctor had previously made; that he and Ryan have left the TARDIS as different people, (TV: Arachnids in the UK) and that Sheffield does get aliens. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
- Ryan once again tries to learn how to ride a bicycle with Graham's help. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
- Ryan reflects on taking on giant spiders, (TV: Arachnids in the UK) a conscious universe, (TV: It Takes You Away) Cybermen, (TV: Ascension of the Cybermen, The Timeless Children) Skithra, (TV: Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror) Morax, (TV: The Witchfinders) and the "mighty Pting". (TV: The Tsuranga Conundrum)
- Ryan and Graham both see a vision of Grace O'Brien. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
Home video releases
DVD and Blu-ray releases
It was made available for a time on AMC+, a premium streaming service.