On the planet Ranskoor Av Kolos, a man and women look around. The woman, Andinio, says that it's where their journey stops. Her companion, Delph, is surprised that she's making the planet their place. Andinio tells Delph that he's ready after 17 years, and that's what he's trained her for. `Delph complains that she built up doubt in him, and Andinio says that was the point to teach him that they more they know, the less they understand. He worries wonders happens if he fails, and Andinio tells him to trust in himself. Andinio tells him to do what only they can do, and Delph claps his hands and concentrates. His eyes glow and the planet's rocks floating to the air and start forming a shape.
Energy discharges nearby, and Andinio tells Delph to stop. He does so, and a figure teleports onto the planet.
3,407 Years Later
In the TARDIS, the crew detect nine distress calls coming from the same area of the same planet, Ranskoor Av Kolos. The Doctor explains that the name means "disintegrator of the soul" and determines that the planet is projecting psychotropic waves throughout its atmosphere. She gives them neural balancers to keep them immune from the waves, which can distort emotions. The Doctor locks onto a crash on the planet's surface and materializes the TARDIS inside of the ship. They determine that the signal has been in service for a long time, but there's no sign of the crew. Greston Paltraki emerges from the shadows, training a gun on them. He demands to know who they are, and the Doctor introduces the group. He wonders if "they" sent them, and the Doctor points out that they just arrived so they can't be associated with anyone else.
Paltraki says that he doesn't know if any other crew or there and wonders what happened to him. The man says that he should have left, and used to know his name before he went outside. The Doctor asks what happened, and Paltraki says that the battle happened and then aims the gun at her, forgetting that they just talked. She offers him a neural balancer, and Paltraki puts it on his temple.
The others finds a crew manifest and discover that there were four total. Paltraki is the commander, and they wonder if he killed the others. The Doctor comes over and says that Paltraki is wearing the neural balancer, and discovers that the ship is fine. Paltraki comes over and remembers his name, and an alarm goes off. Andinio appears on the viewscreen and tells Paltraki that he must return to them by order of "the Creator". Another figure—the alien Tim Shaw--appears on the screen and says that he wants what is his. Paltraki asks why he would do so, and Tim Shaw tells him to do it for the sake of his crew's lives. One woman, Umsang, appears on the screen and tells Paltraki not to do it. Tim Shaw kills her and says that there are two crew left. Andinio repeats her request and the viewscreen shuts off.
The Doctor and others wonder if it's Tim Shaw or another of his kind, and Paltraki tells them that he and Umsang fought alongside each other. He explains that they recovered something and looks over at a glowing crystal. The Doctor scans it but gets no useful data, other than that there's a stasis lock embedded in the crystal's biostructure created by the Stenza. Paltraki insists that he can't return it, and Ryan finds a data pad with targeting information. Paltraki doesn't remember if it's his, and the Doctor says that they'll help him get his crew back. Graham speaks up, saying that they have unfinished business with Tim Shaw.
Much to her surprise, the Doctor is able to lift the crystal despite its high density. They leave and the Doctor notes that the planet isn't the homeworld of the Stenza. Ryan fills ill, and Paltraki says that it's how the mental effects started. Graham talks to the Doctor privately and tells her that if he will kill Tim Shaw if he can for what he did to Grace. The Doctor orders him to go back to the TARDIS, but Graham refuses saying that she doesn't have a say in it. She warns that he can't travel with her if he kills Tim Shaw, but Graham doesn't kill and says that he's serious.
Paltraki tells Ryan that he doesn't remember what happened to him before he found himself on the ship. They come to the ruins of the other ships, and Paltraki says that they're the ships of the ones who came and failed. He points out the Edifice through the mists, hovering in mid-air, and they continue to it. The Doctor has no idea what it is, and gives them the equipment she got from Paltraki's ship: commdots, grenades, and codebreakers. The trackers are connected to Paltraki's original mission, and she has Yasmin and Paltraki follow the trackers once they get inside. Graham and Ryan will rescue the two remaining crew members, while the Doctor looks for Tim Shaw. Graham wants to come with her and she refuses, and attaches grenades to the crystal as an insurance policy.
The group goes to the Edifice's entry and the Doctor manages to teleport them inside. The group splits up and goes its separate ways. Ryan asks Graham if Grace would want him to kill Tim Shaw, and Graham figures that she would. His grandson tells him not to wreck what they've got because of his anger, and Graham says that they didn't end Tim Shaw properly. Sniperbots surround them on both sides, and the men duck. The Sniperbots open fire and destroy each other, and Graham and Ryan run off.
The Doctor finds Andinio, who is holding a gun and demands to see the object. When Andinio refuses, the Doctor explains that she's rigged the grenades to the object. She asks what it is, and Andinio asks where Paltraki is. Andinio says that the other two crew members are alive, and the Doctor asks her why she didn't stop Umsang from being killed. When Andinio says that she's a member of the Ux, the Doctor recognizes the race as a duo-species with a lifespan of millennia. She asks what happened there, and Andinio says that they came for the Creator and they defended him. The Doctor remembers that the Ux are faith-driven dimensional engineers, and Andinio says that it's their shrine. She tells the Doctor to hand over the object or die, and the Doctor advises Andinio to let her Creator see her face. Tim Shaw speaks over a communicator, telling Andinio to bring the Doctor to him.
Paltraki and Yasmin proceed through the Edifice and he remembers that he's from Stebble. He talks about his beautiful home, and remembers that they were the last fleet and The Congress of the Nine Planets sent for them in response to the atrocities. Sniperbots arrive and Paltraki guns them down. He warns Yasmin that they have an army of Sniperbots.
Andinio takes the Doctor to Tim Shaw and explains that the Creator is the cornerstone of their faith. The Doctor asks where the other member of the Ux is. She figures that Andinio's eyes are full of doubt, and Andinio asks how the Doctor can know Tim Shaw.
Yasmin and Paltraki come to a door, and it slides open to reveal a chamber. They go in and find five mineral samples like the object. Paltraki remembers that they landed and fought their way there. Yasmin wonders what is inside of the samples.
The life sign signals lead Ryan and Graham to a chamber, and they find one of the crewmembers in a container. Graham manages to turn on the lights, revealing dozens of containers: each one has a person inside of it. Ryan wonders how they're going to get them all out.
The Doctor and Andinio come to a central chamber where Tim Shaw is sitting, badly injured. Tim Shaw tells Andinio to ready 'Him" for a new target, and she agrees to the Creator's will. He orders Andinio out, and she reluctantly goes. Tim Shaw confirms that it's been 3,407 years since they last met, and he removes his mask to reveal that the Doctor corrupted her recall device and banished her to the planet. He can't leave without dying. The Doctor realizes that he wanted to be a leader and now he's worshipped as a false god, and Tim Shaw says that he contains the entire hive knowledge of the Stenza civilization within him. Paired with the Ux's abilities, he was able to carry out his plan: revenge.
As they try to work out how to open the chambers, Graham wonders if the cylinders are rigged to kill their occupants if they try to free them. Ryan points out that they were trained soldiers and couldn't kill Tim Shaw, and wonders if Graham could. He admits that he loves Graham and tells him to be the better man. The motion detector goes off as the Sniperbots approach.
Tim Shaw says that he wants revenge on the Doctor for stopping him from becoming First of the Stenza. However, he thanks her for making him a god. The Doctor demands to know what the object is. Yasmin calls and says that they've found four more of the objects. She and Paltraki are forced to hide as Andinio comes in. Delphin is fastened to the wall, and begs her not to make him do it again. She insists that their faith is all that they have, and Delphin warns that it will destroy both of them. Power flows through both of them.
Tim Shaw says that the Doctor will see what he is doing. The Doctor figures that the Ux built Tim Shaw a weapon, and he says that the Edifice is the weapon. The Ux worked to keep him alive, and he is unstoppable. The Doctor runs out , and Tim Shaw says that it will make no difference because the weapon is activated. The Stenza ultimately planned to hold civilizations in stasis, and he has found a way.
Graham uses a gun to seal the door.
The Doctor finds Paltraki and Yasmin, and Paltraki says that they stole five planets. The Doctor realizes that each sample holds a planet, and she calls Tim Shaw and says that he's breaking the laws of the universe. She warns that every action has consequences, and he says that the consequences are hers. The Doctor realizes that the Ux are creating a rip in space-time using the Ux's powers, and she warns Tim Shaw that if he brings another planet through then the technology won't hold it and it will destroy everything. Tim Shaw says that he's targeting Earth, and every world that defied the Stenza is now his target.
Ryan manages to use the codebreaker to open one of the cylinders. The Sniperbots start burning their way in as Ryan gets the prisoner out of the cell. Graham gets the codebreaker and works on the next cell.
Tim Shaw reviews video of his defeat on Earth, then detaches his life support equipment and goes to find the Doctor.
When Graham calls for help, Paltraki says that he's on his way. The Doctor tells Yasmin to go with him, but Yasmin insists on staying with the Doctor.
The beam passes through the dimensional rift, hitting Earth.
The Sniperbots break into the chamber and open fire. Paltraki arrives and shoots them down from behind, and thanks Graham and Ryan for rescuing his crew. They tell him to get his people back to his ship while they rescue the others. Paltraki gives them a grenade as more Sniperbots burn through another door.
The Doctor tells Yasmin that he can't disconnect the Ux from the machinery because it will kill them. Yasmin wonders if their deaths are worth the population of Earth. The Doctor tries to work out another way and realizes that she can use the neural balancers as neural blockers. Yasmin is willing to take the risk once they remove the neural blockers. The Doctor agrees but doesn't know of a way to return the five stolen planets. She comes up with a plan, but first they remove the neural blockers.
Graham tells Ryan to go on while he stays behind to time the detonator on the grenade. Ryan leaves with the remaining prisoners.
The Doctor and Yasmin put the neural blockers on the Ux, and when the two Ux wake up the beam to Earth cuts off. Andinio objects, saying that they're interrupting the great work. The Doctor tells her that Tim Shaw is a warrior who is wiping out the planet where he was defeated. Tim Shaw took their powers and made them destroyers. The samples start to shake as the planets with them rip free.
Graham triggers the detonators as the other Sniperbots cut their way in.
The Doctor is unable to lift the sample because its mass is returning. She confirms that the Ux can return the planets, but they warn that it will take time. The Doctor and Yasmin start to feel the effects of the psychotropic waves, and the Doctor summons the TARDIS using her sonic.
Tim Shaw confronts Graham, who aims his weapon at the alien.
Ryan tells Paltraki and the others to head for the ship, and then turns hoping that Graham is coming. He then goes back for his grandfather.
Graham says that his wife died because of Tim Shaw, and he swore to kill him. Tim Shaw points out that he's faltering.
The TARDIS finishes materializing and the Doctor takes the neural balancers back. She and Yasmin put them on and go in, and the Doctor works to extend the dematerialization field and then split it into three parts. She orders the Ux in and explains that she'll have Delph access the TARDIS' telepathic circuits to send the planets back.
Tim Shaw tells Graham that he's no warrior. Graham admits that he isn't and lowers the gun, saying that he's the better man. The alien prepares to blast him, and Ryan arrives and tells him to stop. Graham shoots the floor at Tim Shaw's feet. They aim their guns at his head, and fist bump.
Delph assures the Doctor that it's okay. Andinio hooks herself into the machinery, and the Doctor extends the dematerialization field. The Ux prays to her true creator and with Delph sends the five stolen planets back. Yasmin runs into the TARDIS as the machinery explodes around her, and Andinio passes out. Inside the TARDIS, Delph collapses from the effort.
Graham puts Tim Shaw in one of the containers and says that he's not worth killing but they're sentencing him to life. Together, Graham and Ryan tells him to keep one name in mind: Grace. Satisfied, the two men walk off.
The Doctor emerges from the TARDIS with Delph and tells Andinio that they did it. Ryan and Graham arrive and tells the Doctor what happened. Graham says that he was too weak to kill Tim Shaw, and the Doctor assures him that he's one of the strongest people that he knows.
Later at the ship, the group tells Paltraki and the others that Tim Shaw is imprisoned. Paltraki says that he'll complete his mission and take everyone home, and Delph asks him to take them. When Andinio says that the planet is their home, he tells her that they need to find another floor. The Doctor admits that she doesn't know where she'll go next, and tells the "fam" to get into the TARDIS with her. She tells the Ux to keep traveling, gets into the TARDIS, and leaves.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 10, 2018