The TARDIS materializes in a snow-covered landscape. A wild-haired Doctor
stagger collapses out and falls to his knees, his hands and face glowing with
A giant colony ship hovers near a black hole. At the end closest to the black hole, the TADIS materializes inside a control room. Missy comes out, declares that she's "Doctor Who", and says that Bill and Nardole are her plucky assistants. She says that they picked up the ship's distress call and are there to help. An alarm goes off and Missy figures someone is watching. The Doctor is watching from the TARDIS control room and tells them over their earbuds to do something useful.
Nardole finds a console and confirms that the ship is 400 miles long and 100 miles wide. It's heading toward a black hole, but Missy realizes that the ship is trying to back away from the black hole. A man, Jorj, calls and tells them to report status, He says that he's coming through and signs off, and the Doctor reminds them that it's a test. She points out that the screens are directed to a single point of view, meaning that it wasn't designed for one pilot but was rigged to do so. Missy figures that something has happened to the rest of the crew, and the Doctor tells her that she has to figure out what.
The trio realizes that someone is watching them on the surveillance cameras, and Missy insists that the Doctor's real name is Doctor Who. The Doctor tells Bill that Missy is just trying to wind her up, and Jorj comes in, gun drawn. He asks if any of them are human, and asks if the TARDIS is their boarding capsule. Jorj checks the monitors and says that they're coming in 30 minutes, and they only come up if they detect human life signs. "They" take the humans away, and come out of the lift doors.
The Doctor comes out and Bill tells Jorj that she's the human. He apologizes and says that she's the reason that they're coming, and they won't come if Bill is dead. The Doctor says that in time Jorj will trust him with his life, and he'll save everyone on the ship. Jorj shoots bill in the chest as the lift arrives.
Earlier at the university, Bill warns the Doctor that it's a bad idea. He insists that taking Missy on a "test run" is a good idea, and says that he'll pick a scenario and they'll see how Missy does with it. He'll monitor Bill and Nardole to make sure Missy doesn't slaughter everyone, The Doctor explains that Missy is his oldest friend in the universe, and she's the only person he's met who is remotely like her. He insists that he can help her, and Nardole realizes that the Doctor is having an emotion.
That night, the Doctor tells Bill that Missy was his first friend. They had a pact that they would see every star in the universe together, but then Missy was too busy burning them. The Doctor insists that Missy can change, and Bill admits that Missy can change them. She asks what happens if Missy gets her killed. The Doctor admits that he can't promise Bill won't be killed, and says that humans are so mortal. All he'll promise is that he'll try to keep Bill alive within reason.
Bill collapses to the floor, and the lift doors open. Figures with silver metal-covered faces stagger out and tell the Doctor via their voice synthes to stand away. They say that Bill will be repaired and take Bill's body away. The Doctor asks when they'll bring Bill back, and they say that they won't. He plants a message in her subconscious to wait for him as they take her away, and the Doctor tries to open the doors. Jorj orders him to step away, and Missy demands an explanation. He says that the colony ship is brand new and the colonists haven't arrived yet, and he doesn't know who the invaders are. There was only a skeleton crew of 50 aboard. Nardole confirms that there are thousands of life readings aboard, and Jorj says that two days ago there was nothing. The Doctor realizes that they bumped into the black hole two days ago, and sent a crew to the rear of the ship to reverse the thrusters. There were 20 people in the team, and Jorj never heard back from them. Then the creatures arrived and took the remaining humans away, and they were too strong for Jorj to fight. The Doctor tells Jorj that nothing boarded the ship, and he'll never see his crewmates again.
Bill wakes up in a medical bay on Floor 1056 and sees a surgeon looking down at her. He tells her that full conversion wasn't necessary, but it will be in time. The surgeon tells Bill to sleep and she passes out. Later, Bill wakes up again when a man Razor enters the room. He runs off, and Bill discovers that a large metal unit is on her chest. She hallucinates the Doctor based on his subconscious message, telling her to wait for him. A voice in the next room says "pain" over and over again. Bill goes to investigate, taking her stand with her. She passes two clocks, showing the time at either end of the ship. The one for the rear of the ship is passing much quicker than the one at the front.
Following the voice, Bill comes to a room labeled "Conversion Theatre." Continuing on, Bill finds a ward with the sign "In," and people in beds. Across the hall is a room labeled "Out." Bill goes in and finds people in chairs: each modified like her and each with a similar -stand-like device. One of them is saying "Pain" over and over on his voice synthe. Someone asks who is making all the noise, and Bill ducks into the next room while a nurse and Razor come in. Razor sees Bill's stand and motions at her to stay out of sight, while the nurse adjusts a dial on the patient's stand and tells Razor that it's time to do the rounds. Once they leave, Bill checks the patient's stand and discovers that the nurse merely turned down the volume on the speaker. He's still saying "Pain." Bill turns down the volume and turns up the volume on another patient's stand. The patient is repeatedly begging to die, and Bill turns the volume back down.
The nurse and Razor come back toward the ward. Bill goes to the window and sees a vast urban landscape outside. Behind her, the patient begging to die gets up and reaches for her... and Razor knocks him out. He asks if she would like some tea, then leads her out into the hallway. Razor says that the patients are people and they're curing them, and takes her to his workshop. A monitor in the room is showing the Doctor and the others in the control room, not moving. Razor explains that he's in a hospital at the bottom of the ship. Her heart was broken, and they gave her a new one. He says that she's been there for weeks, maybe months, Bill wonders about her friends, and Razor says that it's now and the picture isn't frozen. He explains that the top of the ship is very slow, and they're at the bottom where it's much faster.
On the bridge, the Doctor explains that because of the black hole, time is moving slower at the closer end of the ship than the further end.
Bill asks Razor how she can get back to the bridge, and he says that she can't. The nurse comes in and Razor tells her that they agreed that Bill works for him now. She insists that everyone there works for her and taps the metal unit on Bill's chest. She warns that outside of the hospital, Bill's new heart will stop working.
Jorj says that he's basically the janitor and they didn't teach him astrophysics.
Bill returns to Razor's workshop and they watch the Doctor very slowly move as he explains. Later, Bill mops the floors and then goes to the open window. All of the patients turn to watch her, and look away when Bill closes the window. Bill glances at the landscape and "sees" the Doctor telling her to wait for him. He disappears, and Bill wonders how much longer she'll have to wait.
The Doctor explains that the lifeforms are the descendants of Jorj's crewmates. As Jorj stares at the monitor, the Doctor flips him to the floor.
Bill wonders what kind of treatment is going on in the Conversion Theatre. Razor merely says that they're the special patients, and the bags on their heads are part of the permanent conversion. He says that they are all dying. The Nurse comes out of the Theatre with more patients, and Razor says that they're the cure. To survive, the patients are what they must all become. Razor tells Bill that he's taking her outside. Bill has another hallucination of the Doctor telling her to wait for him, but she goes with Razor.
Razor leads Bill through the streets and says that it was originally a good place when the settlers came there hundreds of years ago. The ship is old and everything is dying, so they must evolve to survive. Since evolution isn't fast enough, they will all be upgraded like the special patients. The pain will be cured and Operation Exodus will begin. When Bill says that they could go up immediately, Razor insists that they must be strong and there are many dangers. Years ago there was an expedition to the largest of the solar farms on Floor 507, and they never came back. Bill's heart starts failing, and Razor tells her that she must go back to the hospital.
The Doctor apologizes to the unconscious Jorj, saying that he's pressed for time, and summons the lift.
Bill enters Razor's workshop and discovers that the Doctor, Missy, and Nardole are at the lift doors.
Nardole realizes that Bill must have been on Floor 1056 for years. He suggests that they take the TARDIS back in time, but the Doctor warns that they'll never be able to pilot it accurately that close to a black hole. They enter the lift and descend.
Bill wonders when they'll arrive, and Razor tells Bill that she's very dear to him. He says that she must not ask the question because he might answer. Bill asks him away, and Razor leads Bill out. He has a key to the operating theater, and takes Bill inside. There are several patients "under construction," and the surgeon and the nurse come in. The patients come to life and grab Bill, and the surgeon says that it's Bill's turn. She realizes that Razor betrayed her, and Razor says that it's for her own good. The surgeon tells Bill that she needs the full upgrade, and they've created a device to fit over the head to stop the pain of the conversion.
The Doctor and the others arrive and he tells Missy to check the computers to find out more about the ship while Nardole goes with him. Once they leave, Razor steps out and greets Missy. He laughs and says that he's been looking forward to meeting her, and explains that it took him a while to work out who she was.
The Doctor and Nardole find the Conversion Theatre and turn on the lights.
Missy discovers that the ship isn't from Earth but a planet that look much like it, and Razor figures that Missy doesn't remember being before there before. She insists that she hasn't been, but Razor assures her that she has.
Nardole checks the Theatre's computers and finds references to Exodus. The Doctor finds a fully converted patient in the next room. It activates and steps out.
Missy discovers that the ship's planet of origin is Mondas.
The patient steps out and the Doctor realizes that it's a Mondasian Cyberman.
As Missy gets up to find the Doctor, Razor draws a gun. He says that the Doctor will never set her free when he discovers what she did to Bill. Missy points out that she doesn't anything to Bill, and Razor says that she did... a long time ago.
The Doctor realizes that the Cyberman is brand new, and he asks where Bill is. The Cyberman identifies the Doctor by name.
Missy asks if it would help Razor focus if she extracted some of his vital organs. He tells her that she'd never be so self-destructive, and tosses away his gun. Razor says that he loves disguises, and removes his mask to reveal that he's the Master.
The Cyberman accesses its neural network to determine Bill's location, and says that it is Bill.
The Master tells Missy that he's very worried about his future.
Missy enters the Conversion Theatre and tells the Doctor that it's not an exodus but a beginning. The Cyberman insists that it waited, and the Master comes in and says that it's a genesis: the genesis of the Cybermen. Inside the Cyberman helmet, Bill sheds a tear.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 25, 2017