The Doctor, Jack, and Martha arrive in 21st century London. The Doctor was able to repair Jack’s time manipulator and get them out just as the Futurekind overran the Utopia base. Martha realizes they’ve missed the election, and then recognizes the voice of England’s new prime minister Howard Saxon as he’s broadcast nationwide: it’s the Master.
The Master has not only taken the name Howard Saxon but a human wife, Lucy Saxon. He also has Tish Jones working for him, supposedly as a press secretary although he doesn’t seem to need her to do anything. He goes to his first cabinet meeting and promptly calls all of them idiots and traitors for having switched sides once it was clear he was winning. He then dons an oxygen mask and pumps poison gas into the room, killing them all.
Martha takes the two guys back to her apartment where they check Saxon’s Internet web site for his background. Meanwhile, a newspaper reporter, Vivien Rook, arrives to meet with Lucy Saxon. She explains that Saxon’s background is a complete forgery and he only seems to have existed since eighteen months ago, after Harriet Jones was removed from office. Rook explains Saxon’s only claim to fame is having created the Archangel mobile phone network, but Lucy is unimpressed. She announces that she’s made her choice, and the Master comes into the room. When Vivien tries to bluff her way out, metal spheres materialize out of nowhere and the Master announces them as his friends. He then has them kill Vivien.
When Jack wonders how the Master could have accomplished so much, and if it’s possible he’s done more, the Doctor explains that he sabotaged the TARDIS as the Master stole it. It can only travel to the far future of Utopia, or the 21st century. When the Doctor questions Martha and Jack about why they liked Saxon, they can’t really explain but Martha starts tapping her fingers in a four-beat pattern. Saxon then broadcasts nationwide, announcing that he has made contact with peaceful aliens, the Toclafane, and that he plans to bring humanity forward into its place in the universe… including medical students. Realizing the Master knows about Martha, the Doctor finds a bomb on the back of her TV. They get out just ahead of the explosion, and Martha calls her mother. The elder Jones asks suspicious and tries to get Martha to come over. She puts her ex-husband Clive on the phone but he blurts out that it’s a trap, as Saxon’s operatives arrest him. Martha insists on driving there but Martha’s family is being hauled away. Tish has also been arrested, and they have no choice but to turn and drive away.
After ditching the car, Martha calls her brother Leo but he’s out of the city. She warns him to hide but the Master, who has been listening in, breaks into the line and informs her there’s nowhere she can hide. The Doctor takes the phone and the two of them spar back and forth. The Doctor tries to get the Master to give up his plan, since they’re the only two Time Lords left in the universe. The Master reveals the Time Lords resurrected him to serve as a soldier in the Time War, but he encountered the Dalek Cruciform and was so scared he took human form, erasing his memories. The Master boasts that he has labeled all three of them as terrorists and sent Torchwood to the Himalayas, leaving them with nowhere to turn. The Doctor picks up on the Master talking about drum beats, and notices people around them unconsciously tapping out the same four-note beat that Martha was earlier. Realizing the Master is watching them through closed camera security, the three of them take off.
One of the Toclafane visits the Master and asks if the Machine is ready. He says it will be ready the next morning and appears unconcerned about its warnings of a great Darkness that is coming.
The Doctor, Jack, and Martha have taken refuge in a warehouse. The Doctor explains the Master’s background, saying that young Time Lords are forced to look directly into the Time Vortex. Some like himself run away, while others like the Master seemingly go mad. Jack is still in contact with the “new” Torchwood, which he reorganized after the Canary Pier massacre, and gets an e-mail from Vivien Rook, an operative. She explains Saxon’s fake background and the fact he created Archangel. The Doctor examines Martha’s Archangel cell phone and realizes it’s sending out a subconscious four-beat pulse that makes the listeners favor Saxon. He then rigs three TARDIS keys so they allow the wearer to blend into their surroundings. As long as they don’t’ draw any attention to themselves, they’re subliminally invisible to anyone around them.
President Winters arrives from the U.S. and expresses the world’s concerns that the Master is mishandling the situation. The Master seems unconcerned, even when Winters announces that he’ll be taking over the first contact with the Toclafane. The Doctor, Jack, and Martha watch from the tarmac as the Master then has the Jones family transferred. Jack wants to break his neck while they can but the Doctor says that he has to deal with the Master... and he plans to save him, not kill him.
The meeting is to take place on the UNIT aircraft carrier Valiant
, a huge flying base. They teleport there via Jack’s time manipulator, but end up there 12 hours in the future, shortly before the first contact is to take place. The Doctor finds the TARDIS but discovers the central console has been cannibalized and made over into a Paradox Machine.
Winters begins contact with the Toclafane while the Doctor and the others slip unnoticed into the room. The Toclafane demand to see the Master and he shows himself, then has them kill Winters. As a Time Lord he’s immune to the TARDIS keys and has his men capture the Doctor, Jack, and Martha. The Master “kills” Jack, using his laser screwdriver, then reveals he was financing the Lazarus Project, and has the Doctor’s genetic data from the hand he stole from Jack in the future. He uses the screwdriver to age the Doctor a hundred years in seconds, then activates the Paradox Machine. A huge rift opens in the sky and six billion Toclafane fly out. The Master orders them to destroy one-tenth of Earth’s population, then has Martha’s family brought in. Martha has no choice but to abandon them, taking Jack’s time manipulator and teleporting down to the surface.
On the surface, Martha looks on as the Toclafane spread death and destruction. The Master and Lucy Saxon hold the elderly Doctor between them and force him to look down upon the destruction of Earth’s population.
(to be continued)