The Doctor, Ryan, Yasmin, and Graham float in space, and a spaceship appears out of warp. It pulls the two men aboard and they're treated for exposure to vacuum. When Ryan wonders where they are, the captain, Angstrom, says that it's her spaceship. Ryan asks Graham how they ended up in space, and Graham admits that he doesn't know. Angstrom says that it was a sneaky trick of "his", and Ryan and the others could have been killed. Graham reminds her that he's already told her that they have no idea what she's talking about, but Angstrom doesn't believe him and goes back to the cockpit.
Angstrom says that they're just off of the Final Planet and it's not where it should be, but she can still find it. She just laughs when Ryan asks what she's talking about. Graham says that he doesn't know where Yasmin and the Doctor are, and Angstrom says that she only saw Graham and Ryan. She says that they're going in for a landing, and Graham says that they're not doing anything until she looks for their friends. Angstrom tells him that if they were still in space then they'd be dead.
Yasmin wakes up in a healing capsule and hears the Doctor arguing with the captain of their ship, Epzo. The Doctor warns that the ship is on the verge of shutdown, and Epzo wonders how a planet can be in the wrong place. They spot the planet ahead and Epzo says that it doesn't have a name, only a symbol: "Desolation". He says that he won't be beaten and manually activates the shield, but says that he can't there because of the fuel he wasted scooping them up. The Doctor tells Epzo that she can get them into the atmosphere if they jettison the rear section, but Epzo refuses, saying that the ship is famous. She shouts that they're going to die and then assures Yasmin that they'll be fine. There's six minutes left on life support, and Epzo reluctantly gives in. Working together, the Doctor and Epzo jettison the rear of the ship.
Angstrom's ship lands on the planet and she walks off to survey the atmospheric data. Ryan wonders what they should do, and Graham figures that they should follow Angstrom.
The Doctor tells Yasmin that they're not going to die there and has her run the manual stabilizers. She then take over the controls and they head into the planet's gravity belt.
Angstrom, Ryan, and Graham walk across the desert and they see the spaceship coming in for a crash landing... on top of them. They run and when Ryan trips, Angstrom and Graham go back for him. The ship grinds to a halt, knocking them over. The Doctor and Yasmin come out, and the Doctor says that she'll get them back to Earth. Angstrom complains to Epzo that he nearly killed them, but Epzo isn't impressed. She says that they're the only two left and Epzo tells her that she's nothing but it makes the next bit easy. Angstrom laughs and says that she has two, same as him.
An alarm goes off in the distance, and Angstrom and Epzo walk toward the source. They come to a tent and step over some cloth strips, and Epzo goes in first. Graham asks the Doctor how they can understand the two pilots, and the Doctor confirms that there are translators automatically imbedded in their necks from when they were revived.
The group finds a man, Ilin, sitting on a couch. The Doctor introduces herself and her friends, and realizes that Ilin is a hologram. She explains how they came there, and asks what's going on. Ilin says that they're intruding on the last-ever Rally of the Twelve Galaxies, and Angstrom and Epzo are the last two racers. The prize for the winner is 3.2 trillion krin. Ilin tells them that the final challenge is to cross the terrain, survive the planet, and the first one who gets to the Ghost Monument is the winner. The loser will be stranded on the planet. When Angstrom objects, Ilin tells her not to tell him what he can and can't do with his own race.
Graham wonders what happens to them, but Angstrom and Epzo don't care. Ilin says that it's a test of survival, and the Doctor points out that he's not there. and Ilin says that he started the Rally, completed it, and won, and he's going to end it. Ilin warns that any sabotage or murder will result in instant disqualification for the offending party, and says that the entire planet has been made cruel. he explains that they have one planetary rotation to complete the final lap and the water will provide transport. The Doctor asks what the Ghost Monument is, and Ilin says that the site was named by the ancient settlers and it appears in the same site every thousand rotations.
Angstrom and Epzo take the trackers provided and leave. The Doctor asks what the Monument looks like, and Ilin finally shows her an image... of the TARDIS. Ilin and the tent disappear, and the Doctor explains that the Ghost Monument is her ship. They arrived where the planet should have been and the TARDIS engines are stuck in a loop, phasing in and out of time and space. The Doctor can stabilize it when they get there and take them back home. She asks them to trust her and they go after Epzo and Angstrom.
As they walk, Ryan wonders if the Doctor is sincere. Graham points out that the Doctor is their best hope, and Ryan sarcastically questions his wisdom. They come to a dock at the edge of the boat. Epzo is training a blaster on Angstrom, and the Doctor says that they all know he's not going to use it because of Ilin's edicts. She paralyzes Epzo with Venusian aikido, shifts the gun, and lets Epzo go. The boat engines don't work, and Graham volunteers himself and Ryan to look at it. Epzo says that it's just him and Angstrom, but the others point out that they're going to the same place and boat is big enough for all of them. He figures that the Doctor is a saboteur working for Ilin, and the Doctor determines that there are millions of flesh-eating microbes in the water. Pieces of cloth dangle from the nearby pier pieces.
Graham examines the engine and admits to Ryan that he doesn't understand it. He asks if they're going to talk about Grace, and says that he copes by asking what Grace would say. Graham figures that she'd say that it was cool, and tells Ryan that he'll look after him. Ryan objects and Graham admits that he'd hope Ryan would say that he would look after him, and Ryan tells him that he talks too much about his stuff. Graham says that he doesn't talk about it enough, and Ryan realizes that the "engine" is a battery. The Doctor comes in and figures that it's a solar battery and checks the panels.
Yasmin sits with Angstrom, who says that she comes from Albar and everyone wants to leave. She refuses to say why they want to leave. The Doctor gets the boat working and they leave. The Doctor confirms that there is no other life on the planet and wonders what happened there. Epzo says that no one cares and he doesn't need anyone else. He talks about how when he was 4, his mother made him climb a tree, jump into her arms, and then let him hit the ground. His mother said that now he learned that he can't trust anyone. Epzo figure that it's the best thing she ever did for him. The Doctor tells him that she was wrong and they're stronger together.
Once Epzo dozes off, Angstrom says that her planet is being systematically cleansed. Half her family are in hiding and the other half on the run, and the award money is the only way she can ensure their safety. Angstrom's family asked her to run the rally, and Yasmin says that it makes her miss her family. The contestant tells Yasmin to never take her family for granted. The Doctor tells them to get some sleep and she'll wake them when they get there.
Later, Graham wakes Ryan and they disembark. Epzo talks about his self-igniting cigar that he's saving for when he wins. They approach the ruins and the Doctor wonders what happened to the people. Epzo and Angstrom go their separate ways, and the Doctor checks her readings and warns that they're all over the place and she doesn't know why.
As Epzo climbs a flight of stairs, he unwittingly breaks an eyebeam.
The suns start to set, and the Doctor and her group turn to find android sniperbots training guns on them. The Doctor wonders who would need sniperbots on a deserted planet.
More sniperbots confront Epzo.
The Doctor says that they need to move slowly out of the area because the sniperbots aren't fully active yet.
Epzo and a sniperbot exchange fire, and Epzo is wounded.
The sniperbots fully activate and open fire on the group. They run off, dodging blaster fire, and duck into a building. There's a destroyed sniper bot on the ground, and the Doctor realizes that they're in the middle of a firing range, and Ryan grabs a discarded rifle. She tells him to put the gun down but he refuses, charges out, and shoots down the sniperbots. They get back up and Ryan runs inside, and the Doctor tells him that he just made things worse. The sniperbots come in and fire, and the group takes cover. The Doctor discharges the battery pack from the sniperbot, knocking out all of the surrounding sniperbots.
Angstrom finds Epzo moaning in pain from his injury. He refuses to accept help from her, and the others arrive. The Doctor takes Angstrom's tracker and uses it to learn where the sniperbots' central command is. She gets a map of the area which leads them to a hatch. The group descends into the tunnels and the Doctor wonders where the people who built them are. Graham finds scorch marks on the wall and the Doctor leads them on.
The group comes to locked door and the Doctor opens it. Inside is a lab with overturned furniture and vials of sand. Epzo and Angstrom want to move on, but the Doctor points out that there was a catastrophic event there and some people feel a duty to those in trouble. She tells him to go fix his wounds and take a nap, and maybe they'll wake him before they leave. Epzo goes off on his own and lies down, and the nearby cloths move toward him.
The Doctor finds a map to the tunnel network and figures they can avoid whatever's on the surface at night. Graham suggests that Angstrom leave before Epzo wakes up. They spot something moving on the sensors and go to investigate.
Yasmin and Ryan find the surveillance cameras, which show the sniperbots finding the hatch.
The Doctor, Graham, and Angstrom find inscriptions on the floor and the Doctor reads it. The scientists who left it say that they were abducted, tortured, and made to work while their families were held hostage. They were forced to find new ways of destruction.
The cloths cover over the sleeping Epzo.
The inscription says that the planet has been rendered barren by their work, and killing machines inhabit every corner. The Stenza captured the scientists and brought them there. There are two last words: "They're coming". Angstrom explains that the Stenza destroyed her planet and sent the survivors into hiding.
A cloth wraps itself around Epzo's face and he wakes up, choking. The Doctor, Graham, and Angstrom hear him and run to investigate, and Angstrom cuts the cloth off. As the cloth and its companion move around, the Doctor realizes that they clear up the wounded. Ryan and Jasmin arrive and says that the sniperbots are coming down the ladder. The Doctor seals the door before the sniperbots can get to them, and the group runs down a tunnel.
The sniperbots shut down the life support systems and Angstrom finds an exit tunnel taking them up to the surface. There's an acetylene field up above, but they have no choice but to get out before the air runs out. Ryan admits to the Doctor that climbing ladders under pressure isn't his favorite thing, She assures Ryan that he's amazing and he starts climbing.
On the surface, the cloths--the Remnants--move toward the group. They talk, saying that the Doctor can't save them and they can smell the Doctor's fear. Ryan remembers from science class that acetylene is lighter than air, and tells everyone to dig. The Remnants say that they can see the Timeless Child in the Doctor's mind, hidden even from the Doctor. They move in to crush the fears from her, and the Doctor snaps her fingers, igniting Epzo's cigar which ignites the acetylene. Everyone hits the ground and the acetylene burns above them, destroying the Remnants.
The group crawl clear of the flames and, come morning, they reach a waiting tent. The TARDIS isn't there, and Angstrom says that she's going to claim her prize. She reminds Epzo that he'd be dead without her, and Epzo says that it was his cigar that saved them. The Doctor makes a suggestion, and then Epzo and Angstrom go into the tent and confront Ilin. They declare themselves joint winners, but Ilin says that he'll declare the race null and void. Epzo promises that he'll get off the planet and if they don't get the prize then he'll hunt Ilin down and make him suffer. Ilin declares a joint victory and leaves with the two contestants... leaving the Doctor and the others behind.
The Doctor admits that they're stuck there and apologizes for failing them, and says that they'll be dead within one rotation. Graham insists that they're not giving up, and Ryan and Yasmine agree. The Doctor hears the TARDIS engines, takes out her sonic, and signals to it. The TARDIS appears and finally stabilizes, and the doors open for the Doctor when she says that she's lost her key.
The Doctor and the others go inside and discover that the TARDIS has redecorated its interior again. As the others look around, the Doctor says that it's her TARDIS and tells Ryan not to touch any controls. The Doctor offers to take them home, and dematerializes the TARDIS.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 15, 2018