A thousand years ago, the Daleks sent a special Reconnaissance Dalek to Earth, to prepare the way for their invasion. The Reconnaissance Dalek was far more advanced than a normal Dalek, but the tribes of humanity came together to defeat it, disassemble it and spread its components to the four corners of the planet. Jump forward to today (literally, New Year’s Day 2019): two archaeologists unwittingly disinter and reanimate the Dalek, at which point it promptly sets about its former mission.
Fortunately for us, the Doctor’s Earth-alarm is triggered and she comes rushing to the rescue. But she hasn’t anticipated having to deal with a superior Reconnaissance Dalek, and is outwitted time and again by her old enemy. In desperation, the Doctor calls for UNIT (the Earth defence force set up in previous series), only to discover that because of Brexit the force has lost its international funding and been disbanded!
Because of Brexit, the human race is about to be conquered by the Daleks. The Doctor isn’t sure what to do, and fails to prevent the Dalek breaching GCHQ, where it sets about sending an invasion signal to the Dalek home world…
This episode is great fun. It has tempo, genuine jeopardy, humour and some proper scary bits. The Reconnaissance Dalek is a horrific thing indeed. I hesitate to give many more details, because I don’t want to introduce major spoilers. There is some sort of New Year’s message in there too – about sticking together and being big enough to forgive each other – and it’s never too shmaltzy or forced. Highly recommended. Well done, all.