The Doctor lands the TARDIS in 21st century Cardiff to refuel the engines from the Cardiff Rift. The operation only takes twenty seconds, but as they prepare to dematerialize he notices Captain Jack Harkness running toward the ship. It’s too late to stop the dematerialization… but Harkness leaps onto the TARDIS. The ship flies out of control 100 trillion years into the future.
On a distant planet, Professor Yana and his assistant, the insectoid Chantho, are desperately working when they pick up the TARDIS’ presence on their scanners. Yana is disturbed by the odd echoing sound of drumbeats in his head.
The Doctor and Martha emerge to find Jack on the ground, seemingly dead. However, he gasps his way back to life. The reunion is somewhat strained, since Jack is angry the Doctor left him stranded on Satellite 5, while the Doctor seems unconcerned about the fact he abandoned his companion. Jack explains that he used a vortex manipulator to get back to Earth but overshot and ended up in the 19th century, where he then waited a hundred years for the Doctor to arrive.
They take off to explore and spot a human being pursued by mutated humanoids, the Futurekind. They come to his aid and end up at a fortified base where they have to prove they’re unmutated to get in. The guards drive off the Futurekind and show the Doctor and the others to Professor Yana’s laboratory. Yana is happy to have another scientific expert present and explains that he’s working on a spaceship designed to launch the remnants of humanity toward “Utopia,” a mysterious point in space that has been broadcasting its presence for thousands of years. They are all unaware that a Futurekind infiltrator has entered the base.
Martha discovers that Jack has the Doctor’s severed hand (from “The Christmas Invasion”) in a glass tube, which Jack has been using to detect the Doctor when he’s arrived. The Doctor mentions he is a Time Lord, which seems to trigger odd memories in Professor Yana. The Doctor offers to help get the rocket working as the project is at a standstill despite Yana’s best efforts. They go to work while the guards bring in the TARDIS… which triggers off more silent drumbeats in Yana’s mind. The Doctor completes the work on the ship’s engine and uses the TARDIS as a power source. A guard is sent in to hook up the power couplings, which are in a chamber filled with stet radiation. They’re able to drop the radiation to tolerable levels… until the Futurekind saboteur strikes. The radiation kills the guard and Jack is electrocuted trying to break the connection. The Doctor realizes only a man who can’t die can enter the chamber… and Jack comes back to life once more.
The Doctor and Jack head for the radiation chamber and discuss the fact that the Doctor realized all the time that Jack was immortal after Rose brought him back to life during the Daleks’ efforts on Satellite 5. The Doctor, as a Time Lord, instinctively feared Jack’s transformation and has been treating him brusquely. Jack enters the chamber and connects the power coupling. Meanwhile, Martha is talking to Professor Yana and realizes that he is an orphan. Far worse, however, he has a watch similar to the one the Doctor had when he reverted himself to a human. The watch indicates that Yana is in fact a Time Lord who has been transformed/disguised as a human being. She leaves to warn the Doctor while Yana examines the watch as if seeing it for the first time.
The Doctor notes that the watch has a perception filter to keep the owner from truly recognizing it, but now that Yana’s memories have been revived he can see it… and more. The Utopian spaceship launches safely with the rest of the base occupants, and the Doctor thinks back to the words of the Face of Bode: “You are not alone.” He quickly realizes that they form an acronym of… Yana. However, Yana has opened the watch and an energy flow of memories emerges and enters his body.
A panicky Doctor heads toward Yana’s lab but the once-kindly professor is now brutal and angry, furious at Chantho since she never mentioned the watch. He electrocutes her with an electrical cord and leaves her for dead, then proclaims that he is once and always… the Master!
The Master then opens the base defenses for the Futurekind and takes the Doctor’s hand and the datafile on Utopia. He goes into the Doctor’s TARDIS but the dying Chantho fires a shot with her gun, badly wounding the Master. He deadlocks the TARDIS doors, sealing the Doctor out just as he gets to the lab. The Doctor tries to open the TARDIS doors while the Master decides he needs a new and younger body, and regenerates. In his new body, the Master is positively giddy and speaks to the Doctor over the outside scanners. Martha, oddly, recognizes his new voice. The Doctor is forced to admit that his old enemy is alive once more, and notes they are the only two Time Lords left and should work together. The Master refuses to consider the situation and leaves in the TARDIS, as the Futurekind batter down the doors…
(to be continued)