The Lords of Terror was the first story in the audio anthology The Eighth Doctor: Time War: Volume Two, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Jonathan Morris and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Rakhee Thakrar as Bliss and introduced Nikki Amuka-Bird as Major Tamasan.
A full draft of the story, set to feature John Hurt as the War Doctor, was written by Morris but could not be recorded due to Hurt's passing. This led him to "redraft it from scratch" with the Eighth Doctor.
No dissent is allowed. The Daleks are coming. The planet must be ready to fight them.
Not wanting her mother and grandfather to believe that she is dead, Bliss has asked the Doctor to take her home to Capital City on Derilobia. They arrive one month after the Theseus and find a concrete dome over the city, black and red banners hanging from buildings and large screens, none of which Bliss is familiar with and makes her think that they are in the future. On the screens, Protector Lendek broadcasts a message about how the Daleks laid waste to Derilobia and that a rocket is being built which will destroy Skaro. The people chant "Death to the Daleks!"
The woman claims that nobody is to be trusted as there are Dalek spies and saboteurs on the planet, showing them Castriol confessing to being one such agent. Bliss is surprised at how hysterical the crowd are, worrying that her mother and grandfather could be amongst them, and the Doctor explains that they are witnessing indoctrination.
Workers in Munitions Factory 7 are evacuated as they begin ageing to death at incredible speeds. Pollia and Shaler use the opportunity to escape whilst everybody else assemble in the supply yard and are told that the factory has been attacked by enemy agents. Pollia and Shaler know, however, that it was Dekken who caused the time storm and that he was not an enemy agent.
The Doctor and Bliss find where her house should be, but it was destroyed some time ago in an explosion and never rebuilt. Bliss worries that her mother and grandfather are dead, but the Doctor cannot be sure that they ever lived in this timeline and says that Bliss could be an orphan of the Time War. She believes that that might be preferable to her family having to live in what this world has become.
Lendek is informed that the explosion was caused by a cluster shell and that twenty people are dead with a further thirty suffering from time exposure. She is unconcerned, however, and orders the people to work double shifts to make up for the time that will be lost and for the two who have gone missing to be recaptured at once.
The Doctor and Bliss see the massive rocket and meet Pollia and Shaler, who are fleeing from the Enforcers and need a hiding place. With Bliss' local knowledge, the four of them slip away down an alleyway to an autotram where they discuss the war; it has been going on for twenty years and nobody is able to leave the dome due to the poisoned atmosphere outside. The Doctor is suspicious, wondering why the Daleks would destroy all cities but this one and how unlikely it would be for the poisoned atmosphere to stop them. Pollia and Shaler are on their way to District 17 to join a rumoured resistance whom they believe is behind the sabotage.
Arriving in District 17, the usual nightly bombardment on the dome by Daleks in orbit begins. The Doctor and Shaler are caught by Enforcers whilst Bliss and Pollia are able to escape; Shaler is shot trying to run and the Doctor denies that there was anybody else with them, also realising that the rumours of resistance were spread to draw out rebels. Bliss and Pollia hide, but are cornered by guards whom they manage to overpower. They take their uniforms and head to the Fulcrum, the home of Lendek and where all traitors are taken to be executed.
The Doctor is interrogated and tortured by Chief Enforcer Rendo, who knows that he is not really a Dalek agent and learns that he is a Time Lord. Lendek watches and says to herself that Rendo is ruining everything. She takes the Doctor into her custody and apologises for his treatment; he asks if she wants him to help her fight the Daleks, to use him as a bargaining chip to force the Time Lords to help or to hand him over to the Daleks in return for an end to their attack. None of these are correct, however, and she takes him to Major Tamasan.
Bliss and Pollia claim to be performing a safety inspection at the Fulcrum and have everybody assemble in the reception hall. In the Communications Control Room, Pollia uses a a device similar to a radio telescope which shows her that there are no Dalek ships in orbit of Derilobia and that the regular bombardments have been faked in order to control the people. After hearing a message for them to be shot on sight, Bliss and Pollia head upwards.
Tamasan, who regenerated in the Battle of Tenacity, introduces the Doctor to Ancillary Commander Carvil. He explains to the Doctor that he protected Derilobia from a Dalek attack twenty years ago and placed the planet within a camouflage shield to protect it; since then, he has allowed the people to believe that they are under constant Dalek attack to get them to build weapons.
Bliss and Pollia reach the roof of the dome and find that the air is not poisonous and that there are dozens of other city domes. They go to broadcast the truth.
With each city having built a rocket with a chronodite warhead, Derilobia is capable of destroying the entire Dalek Empire. The Doctor is disgusted by what Carvil has done and challenges Lendek to tell her people the truth, knowing that they too would be unhappy with the situation. Informed that a matter requires their urgent attention, Carvil and Tamasan leave for the Operations Room and the Doctor says that it is time for him and Lendek to talk.
Pollia kills a number of Enforcers in cold blood, prompting Bliss to refuse to continue helping her. However, Pollia threatens her.
Lendek is thankful to the Time Lords and says that she was an officer in the Defence Corps during the Dalek attack, but the Doctor is able to determine that she has never encountered a Dalek when she claims that they smell of petrol and engine fumes. He realises why she agreed to become a stooge of the Time Lords.
Pollia prepares to broadcast the truth to her masters and Bliss realises that she is a Dalek sleeper agent with a fake personality which has now been deleted. She was sent here to evaluate Derilobia as a Dalek target as, in truth, the Daleks have never been here. The Enforcers are able to get in and render Bliss and Pollia unconscious, taking them away.
Carvil informs the Doctor that Bliss has been found with a Dalek agent and confesses that there has never been a Dalek attack on Derilobia, something that surprises Tamasan. The planet was actually attacked by Carvil and his group in order to initiate this scheme; the reason that Lendek is acting as the Time Lords' puppet is to protect her people from them.
Lendek orders Rendo to allow her to question Pollia. From speaking with her, Lendek sees her suspicion that she was on the wrong side of the war confirmed and, unbeknownst to her, has been watched by Rendo who informs Carvil and Tamasan that she has switched sides. Rendo has deadlocked the cells, but Carvil orders him to return and arrest Lendek for treason.
The Doctor takes Bliss back to the Communications Control Room and tells Carvil that he is going to send a message to the Daleks if he does not restore Derilobia's true history. Carvil refuses as he sees this as the only way to destroy the Daleks, whose existence he blames the Doctor for given his failure to destroy them at their creation on Skaro, and Tamasan does not believe that the Doctor will condemn Derilobia. They refuse to restore the timeline, but Bliss tells the Doctor that he will be able to find another way to save the planet as she too knows that he will not contact the Daleks.
Pollia tells Lendek that, if summoned, the Daleks would kill the Time Lords and liberate the people from their tyranny, allowing Lendek to remain as Protector and, with her permission, to use the rockets against Gallifrey. Lendek decides to free Pollia and help her send the signal, but she finds that Rendo has deadlocked them in. Pollia, however, is able to break them out with her enhanced strength.
Bliss confronts Carvil about what he has done to her planet and her family and says that the Daleks are nothing compared to him. Carvil deems the sacrifice necessary and says that the Daleks killed his wife and children twenty years ago on the science colony of Miniaturis after he was recalled to Gallifrey, but it is not revenge that he is after; he wants to keep anybody else from feeling the same pain. When Carvil is informed that Lendek and Pollia are free, the Doctor asks to be able to speak to the Protector but is unsuccessful at persuading her to stop.
Rendo enters the Communications Control Room and shoots Lendek and Pollia. However, they managed to send a message before they died and he is unable to shut it down.
Tamasan detects that the Daleks are on their way and Carvil says that there are not enough completed rockets to defend the planet. The Doctor suggests that they could boost the camouflage shield to buy time, but the fleet is already materialising in orbit. Carvil orders the completed rockets to be fired in addition to the City Dome 1 rocket, which does not have the fuel to reach the Daleks but will create a time storm, and destroys the controls to keep the Doctor from stopping the launch. Tamasan takes command and orders the Time Lords to commence an immediate evacuation and is left with Bliss whilst the Doctor leaves.
The Daleks tell the people of Derilobia to cancel their rocket launches and to surrender under pain of extermination. All Time Lords but the Doctor and Carvil have been evacuated and Tamasan hurries with Bliss towards her TARDIS, where she watches Rendo get killed by a Dalek. They manage to enter the ship.
The Doctor confronts Carvil as he prepares to leave in his TARDIS and says that he is a good Dalek. Carvil dematerialises, leaving the Doctor with the Daleks, but Tamasan saves the Doctor per Cardinal Ollistra's orders by materialising her TARDIS around him. The time storms will soon sweep across the planet, ageing everybody and everything to death, and the Daleks decide to retreat into orbit to avoid them and activate a temporal interference field to keep the TARDISes from entering the Time Vortex. They manage to immobilise one TARDIS.
Carvil asks Tamasan for help, his TARDIS being the one that was caught, but she tells him that he was a necessary sacrifice for the other TARDISes to escape. A Dalek materialises aboard and kills Carvil, whose death causes his TARDIS to self-destruct.
The Doctor is sceptical of Tamasan's motives for sacrificing Carvil and believes that she and Ollistra were involved. She gives him his TARDIS and he enters it with Bliss, who is angry at having lost her planet and her life because of the Time Lords. The Doctor believes that there could be a way to fix the planet and restore her mother and father once the Time War has ended, until which they will have to look after each other and help out away from the battlefields. If there are other planets enslaved by the Time Lords, he will find them.
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Bliss - Rakhee Thakrar
- Major Tamasan - Nikki Amuka-Bird
- Lendek / Scientist - Amanda Root
- Pollia / Countdown - Rakie Ayola
- Rendo / Guard 1 - Guy Adams
- Carvil / Shaler - Simon Slater
- Guard - Christopher Naylor
- The Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- Bliss mentions Jupiter Spaceport.
- The Doctor mentions George Orwell.
- Shaler mentions Dekken.
- Bliss mentions her mother, father and grandfather.
- Lendek mentions the chronodite mines.
- Pollia belongs to Tenement 56 and was born in Year 4. Her parents were killed in the alleged Dalek attack.
- Shaler belongs to Tenement 54 and was born in Year 7.
- Gamut, Beltan Hock and Jems are Enforcers.
- The Fifth Tamasan has a TARDIS.
- The Doctor quotes the ending of Animal Farm.
- The original selling point for the story, back when it was supposed to star the War Doctor, was that John Hurt would "find himself back in Nineteen Eighty-Four — the role of Winston Smith in the 1984 film adaptation of the novel being one of Hurt's best-known theatrical performances.
- The Doctor asks Bliss how she'll explain to her family how she survived the destruction of the Theseus. (AUDIO: The Starship of Theseus)
- Tamasan has regenerated and achieved the rank of Major since the battle of Tenacity. (AUDIO: The Conscript)
- The Doctor was once sent on a mission to avert the creation of the Daleks. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)
- The Doctor calls Carvil "a good Dalek." (TV: Into the Dalek)