On his blog, Ryan Sinclair talks about the greatest woman he ever knew.
Ryan's grandmother Grace tells Ryan to focus on his grandfather Graham, and then shoves her grandson toward Graham on his bicycle. Ryan falls over halfway there, and Graham and Grave run over. Their grandson says that he's tired of coming up there and tired of falling over. Ryan tosses the bike down the hill, and his grandparents sit down with him. Grace assures Ryan that he'll eventually do it if he keeps on trying, and Ryan tells her that he just wants to make her proud. Graham and Grace head to the train, and Ryan goes down to get the bike. He finds it in a tree, and an energy portal opens behind him. Ryan reaches for it and it disappears, and then a large semi-organic pod appears in a burst of light. Ryan touches it and discovers that it's freezing, and then calls the police.
Police officer Yasmin Khan is trying to settle a dispute between two drivers when one parked in the other's spot. She tells them to settle it on their own rather than call the police. Afterward, Yasmin goes to her car and tells Dean over the radio that she's capable of more than parking disputes. Dean tells her to learn how to walk before she runs. Yasmin asks him to ask their superiors to give her something that will test her, and Dean says that something just came in if she wants different.
Yasmin goes to the forest and Ryan tells her that it appeared. He insists that it isn't a prank, but Yasmin isn't convinced. She recognizes him from their neighborhood and Ryan remembers her. They briefly talk about their lives and then Yasmin tells him to take the pod away. Ryan insists that it's no prank and tells her to touch it. When Yasmin does, she discovers that it's freezing.
Grace and Graham take the train back and Graham complains that Ryan still doesn't think of him as his grandfather even though Graham and Grace have been married for three years. The train jerks to a halt as something hits it, and the lights go out. Grace goes forward to take a look and finds the passengers in the next car running off into the nearby woods. The door locks, sealing Grace, Graham and the third passenger, Karl, in. They hear something coming down the train, and Graham orders them all back.
Ryan and Yasmin are walking back when Grace calls him. She tells him what happened and then the signal goes dead. Grace goes to confront what's coming, and the door to the next car bursts open. A mass of tentacles comes through the door, surging with energy. The lights explode and the tentacles withdraw, and the new Doctor crashes through the roof. The tentacles advance again and the Doctor grabs an electrical wire and drives it into the center of the mass. She discovers that her sonic is gone and her pockets are empty, and the tentacles advance forward again. The mass sweeps past the Doctor and advances on Karl, and the Doctor points out that if it wanted them dead they'd already be dead.
Ryan and Yasmin arrive and the mass releases a spike of energy into each of them and then flies out the roof and off into the sky. The Doctor tells them to stay put while she checks out the train. Yasmin goes with her and calls her "madam", and the Doctor realizes that she's a woman. Ryan and Yasmin explain that they got in through the smashed-in driver's window. They find the dead driver and the Doctor turns the power back on. The Doctor figures that the driver died of shock, and she heads back the others. When Yasmin insists that she's in charge, the Doctor asks what she's going to do. Yasmin admits that she doesn't know what's going on, and Ryan suggests that it was an alien. The Doctor suggests that she hold off calling it in until they get more information about what they're facing.
Yasmin takes statements and the Doctor realizes that she's lost her TARDIS. Graham has no idea what she's talking about, and insists that there's no such thing as aliens. Grace refuses to go, and the Doctor says if they stick with her they might get answers. Karl speaks up, saying that he doesn't want answers and just wants to get to work. He walks off after agreeing with Graham that they don't get aliens in Sheffield. The Doctor asks if anyone else has noticed anything odd, and Ryan tells her about the pod.
Yasmin drives everyone to the pod, and Ryan confirms that they all know each other. He shows the Doctor the pictures that he took of the pod. When they reach the forest, Grace tells the Doctor that they were giving Ryan bike-riding lessons because he has dyspraxia. The pod is gone, and the Doctor wonders where it's gone.
The pod is suspended in the back of a van. Two men, Rahul and Andy, take it to an abandoned downtown building and unload it. Andy wonders if they should tell someone about it, but Rahul figures that it wouldn't do any good. He says that he's finally got it and says that he'll see Andy on Monday. Once Andy leaves, Rahul tapes a camera to a support column, sits down, and stares at the pod.
Yasmin drives off to find out if there have been any more strange incidents. Graham offers to check with his friends, bus drivers, Grace checks with her nurses' group, and Ryan goes to check social media. The Doctor says that she feels really tired all of a sudden, sticks her finger in her nose, says that something is going to happen in two minutes nineteen seconds, and passes out.
Yasmin arrives at the police station and Dean tells her to stop pestering her for more interesting jobs. He says that nothing out of the ordinary has happened.
Graham asks bus drivers if they've heard of anything strange. They haven't heard of anything.
Ryan and Grace take the Doctor home, and the Doctor's body glows with regenerative energy. Grace confirms that she has two pulses, and the Doctor breathes out a bit of energy.
The lights in the building flicker and the pod cracks open. Rahul grabs a crowbar and steps back.
The tentacle mass floats on an antenna tower and scans Sheffield.
The Doctor wakes up gasping and says that she's still healing. She checks their collarbones and finds a glowing purple chip beneath each one's skin. The Doctor has one as well, and the Doctor explains that they're DNA bombs coded to their cellular structure. They're outlawed in every civilized galaxy, and the Doctor explains that her brain and body are reformatting. She takes Ryan's phone and realizes that the mass on the train put the bombs in on the train to eliminate any windows. The Doctor reformats the phone and the energy backlash throws her into the wall. She then tells Ryan, Grace, Graham, and Yasmin to come with her and runs out.
Rahul sees an alien in battle armor stand among the ruins of the pod. He asks where his sister is, and the alien tells Rahul to ask him again. Rahul does so, and the alien advances on him, says that Rahul will never know, and grabs him by the head. Energy surges and Rahul screams in agony. Once Rahul is dead, the alien pulls something out of Rahul's head.
The Doctor uses Ryan's phone to trace the implant signal, and says that they can't defuse the bombs without the right equipment. She has Ryan pull over, gets out, and says that they're close. The alien blasts its way out of the building and walks toward the group, and the Doctor tells it not to move. It walks away, and the others run after her. The alien disappears into the fog, and Graham finds Rahul's body in the building. They realize that Rahul's jaw is burst open and the alien took one of his teeth, and Ryan finds the pod shards. The Doctor figures that it's a transport chamber and Ryan says that he might have touched the portal and the pod appeared. Graham snaps at Ryan and Grace tells him to stop, and Ryan wonders how Rahul knew where the pod was or why he moved it. The Doctor realizes that the alien has blocked the implant signal, and Grace wonders why the alien lured them there.
Ryan and Yasmin look around, and Yasmin assures him that it isn't his fault. They agree that the Doctor is an alien, and finds an office with newspaper clippings of UFO sightings. There's also a "missing" poster of a girl, and a video on a computer marked "If I die click here".
Realizing that she needs her sonic to track the alien, the Doctor puts together pieces and tells Grace and Graham about how she regenerated. She says that she'll be fine... eventually, puts on goggles and welding gloves, and goes to work building a sonic. Ryan and Yasmin call them in and show them the video. Rahul says that the alien has come back and he figures that it took his sister seven years ago. He matched the atmosphere disturbances seven years ago to what was happening that day, and asks whoever is watching not to let others go through what he went through.
The Doctor maps how far the pod has traveled and wonders why the alien left when it will have to use the pod to go back to its point of origin. She figures that two species are at war and using Earth as a battleground, and they have to stop the alien and the tentacle mass from meeting each other. Graham worries about the bombs and the Doctor says that she's working on it once she has a bit of quiet. One of Graham's driver friends, Kevin, calls and says that he's heard of something unusual happening.
A man, Ramesh Sunder, is walking down the street when the alien steps out in front of him. Ramesh tosses some of his takeout at the alien, assuming that it's a prank. The alien finally grabs Ramesh by the head and flash-freezes him. It then breaks his jaw and takes a tooth, and spots an energy discharge in the distance from the tentacle mass.
The Doctor and the others arrive at the tower and use the tools the Doctor has manufactured to overload the mass. She confirms that it's half organic and half mechanical, and is composed of dozens of gathering toils. The Doctor explains that it's weaponized alien bio-tech and tries to access the data that it's gathered. An image of Karl appears, and the alien arrives and wonders which of them it should kill first. The Doctor threatens to destroy the probe, and the alien warns that she's interfering in things she doesn't understand. She can't remember who she is and asks the alien who it is. The alien removes its helmet and reveals that its face is covered in the teeth that it took from is victims. It says that its name is Sim'shaa of the Stenza, and the Doctor mistakes his name for "Tim Shaw". "Tim" explains that it's soon to be the leader of his people, and tonight is his challenge: obtain a selected human target selected at random. He was sent there unarmed and unassisted, and must achieve the trophy and return home with it. Yasmin realizes that Rahul's sister was a "trophy" seven years ago. Tim says that access was granted, and Ryan realizes that he gave access by touching the portal.
Tim explains that his race lives in temperatures far below those of Earth, and the Doctor realizes that he's not intended to have the gathering coil. She figures that Tim smuggled it in ahead of him, located Karl for him, and Tim broke the rules. Tim advances on the gathering coil, driving back the others with his cold. He transfers its data to himself, and the Doctor tells him to leave Earth or they'll stop him. Tim teleports away and the Doctor tells the others that Tim has gone to hunt.
Karl is at his job as a crane operator, while in the nearby trailer the security guard, Dennis, is talking to his granddaughter. Dennis sees an energy flare on the monitors and goes to investigate, and Tim kills him and takes a tooth.
As they drive through Sheffield, Ryan picks up Karl's location on the Internet.
Tim climbs up the crane and Karl spots him. He radios for Dennis but gets no response.
The Doctor and the others arrive and find Dennis and his radio. They spot Tim crawling up the crane, and the Doctor tells Grace and Graham to get everyone on the site off the site, and not come back. She then asks Yasmin and Ryan how they are with machinery and heights. They climb up another crane and Ryan hesitates. Yasmin asks if he has a problem with it, and Ryan says that he can do it and climbs after the others.
Grace and Graham get the other workers out, claiming that there's an emergency.
As the Doctor, Yasmin, and Ryan head up the crane, the Doctor yells to Karl to come over. He realizes that he has no choice and goes out on the crane arm. Ryan slips and drops his flashlight, and tells Yasmin that he's okay.
Tim reaches the crane booth and realizes that Karl is gone.
The Doctor, Yasmin, and Ryan reach the top and the Doctor says she'll crawl out onto the arm and they swing her around to Karl. She grabs Karl and then they swing the arm away. The Doctor gives them the keys that she grabbed, assumes that they can figure out how to work a crane, and goes out on the arm.
Grace insists on coming back despite Graham's protests, but Grace realizes that Tim is trying to bring the crane down using the gathering coil and goes to help.
Yasmin finally finds the right key and starts up the crane. They swing the arm the wrong way and swing it back, and the Doctor tells Karl to step across when the arms line up. The gathering coil Tim is using to destroy the crane shorts out the power, stopping the crane arm 10' away from Karl on the other arm. The Doctor tells him to jump and she'll catch him, and Karl warns that he's not good at heights. Tim approaches them, and Karl jumps... and Tim grabs him by the collar and drags him back.
The Doctor makes a running jump across the gap and manages to grab the other crane. She pulls herself up and tells Tim to stop. Tim removes his helmet and the Doctor threatens to destroy the recall device from the pod if he doesn't let Karl go.
Grace and Graham grab the Doctor's equipment and head up the crane.
Tim says that his human trophies are held in stasis between life and death, and dismisses them as unimportant. The Doctor figures that if she doesn't stop Tim, his people will keep sending hunters to Earth. Tim threatens to detonate the DNA bombs if the Doctor doesn't give him the circuit, but the Doctor refuses.
Grace and Graham break into a generator shed, and Grace tells Graham to handle it while she goes up the crane. He doesn't want to leave her, but Grace reminds him that Ryan is in danger. She kisses him, says that she's enjoying herself, and heads up the crane.
The Doctor says that Tim won't detonate because he's a cheater, and talks about how they can choose to be who they want to be in the future. Tim wonders who she is, and the Doctor finally remembers that she's the Doctor. She tells Tim to get off the planet while he still has a choice, and he says that he chooses to win. Tim hits the detonator and screams in pain, and the Doctor says that she removed the implants from her friends and put them back in the gathering coil. When Tim transferred the data from the coil, he got the implants as well. The Doctor tosses him the circuitry and tells him to go home, and Karl kicks Tim off the crane. As he falls, Tim activates the circuitry, teleporting away.
Grace jams the probe into the gathering coil and yells at Graham to turn on the generator. When he does so, the power surge overloads the gathering coil. The power surge hits Grace as well and she falls to the ground with the gathering coil. Graham runs to his dying step wife, and she makes him promise not to be scared without him. Ryan, Yasmin, and the Doctor arrive as Graham and Ryan cry over Grace's body.
Ryan talks about the greatest woman he ever met: Grace. He says that his mother died six years ago and then Grace, and it seems like the best people get taken first. Ryan says that he loves Grace and he's going out there for her.
The next day, Ryan goes to the hill but is still unable to successfully ride the bike. The Doctor watches from a distance. Later, Ryan goes to the church and waits with the Doctor for his father to come. He says that his father isn't the most reliable person and wonders how he can't be there for his own mother. The service begins and Graham gives the eulogy. He talks about the Grace that he met when he didn't think that he had much time left, and showed him that life had more to offer. If Grace was there, Graham figures that she would tell them not to be sad. The Doctor watches from the back as Graham says that Grace was a better person then he ever could be, and he should be dead and Grace should be there.
Afterward, the Doctor asks Graham what he meant when he said he didn't think he had much time left. Graham explains that he had cancer and is in remission for three years. Grace was his chemo-nurse and they met and fell in love. The Doctor says that she lost her family a long time ago but she carries them with her in her memories. She tells her friends that family is never gone as long as they carry them inside, and Yasmin wonders if what happened is normal for her. The Doctor says that she's just a traveler and fixes things. She goes to find her TARDIS, and Yasmin tells her that she needs new clothing.
The Doctor, Yasmin, and Ryan go shopping and the Doctor finally settles on new clothes. She asks if they could help her find her TARDIS, and they go back to Rahul's warehouse with Graham. The Doctor explains that she's tracked the TARDIS's energy trail and has configured Tim's pod to take them to where the TARDIS is. She has them power up the pod and says that she's going to miss them. The Doctor activates the pod and they all teleport away... and appear in deep space, floating in the void.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 8, 2018