The Eighth Doctor is shocked that Charley has never heard of William Shakespeare
, something that should be quite, quite impossible. When he remembers that Orson Welles suffered from the same problem
, he gets just a bit scared. He travels to Britain in the near future and discovers a general obsessed with Shakespeare, and more disturbingly, Daleks who quote Shakespeare and profess an appreciation for Earth's greatest playwright.
The general's up against a rebellion, who are clinging to what's left of their Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory
in order to protect Shakepeare's heritage. She's also working together with the Daleks to create a time machine. The Daleks, for their part, need a time machine for their own purposes, and claim that they've already been to Gallifrey and (after a bit of a failed invasion) made their own Eye of Harmony. The last bit of work can be done by the Doctor. They take Charley along in order to secure the Doctor's help. The Doctor isn't exactly up for it, but he's intrigued by the general's time portals, which also happen to lead back to all the eras of "Seasons Of Fear"
. (Well, that explains a thing or two. Probably
As it turns out, the general made a pact with the Daleks because she's the world's biggest Shakespeare fan, and the Daleks promised her that she'd be the only one to remember Shakespeare, therefore making the man her own private intellectual property. True to Dalek form, of course, they meant that they'd turn her into a Dalek and give her a nice complimentary Shakespeare data disc. An alternate timeline in which the Daleks have always been the masters of Earth is slowly becoming reality. Also, the Doctor realises that La Résistance
has used the time machine to take Shakespeare out of his own time in order to prevent him being taken out of his own time. And the bookish, terrified kitchen boy in the base happens to be named Will.
However, that still isn't what's causing all the paradoxes. And even as the Daleks are trapped in a time bubble and little Will is returned to Stratford-upon-Avon, time continues to unravel. Charley's paradoxical nature itself
is the key, and her being captured by the Daleks has enabled them coming to Earth in the first place and conquering humanity in the divergent timeline.An ominous narrator confirms that time itself is in a dire state.
- Apocalypse How: Class 3B, with an explosion going through the portals, which can potentially 'cause the end of history itself and sets up the Daleks as the Masters of Earth.
- Big "NO!": Major Ferdinand!! Noooooo!!!"
- Body Horror: General Learman gets converted into a Dalek.
- Call Back: The Dalek that ends up in ancient Rome is the one that was destroyed in "Seasons Of Fear". Lucillius gets to kill him.
- Continuity Nod: The Doctor mentions when the Daleks invaded Gallifrey. Considering the nature of the series (And when it was made), this is most likely a reference to The Apocalypse Element with the Sixth Doctor.
- Conqueror From The Future: The Daleks plan to become this.
- Creative Sterility: General Learman fears the future is turning into this.
- Delayed Ripple Effect
- Exact Time to Failure: The Nuclear Reactor.
- Exact Words: The Daleks promise that General Learman will remember the words of Shakespeare.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: The kitchen-boy, William Shakespeare, though it's not played for laughs.
- Fluffy the Terrible:
- Gadgeteer Genius: The Doctor can tap into the Hall of Mirrors with a random mirror and stuff from his pocket.
- Go for the Eye: The eye stalk weakness is brought up for fighting them.
- Ground Hog Day Loop: The Daleks are stuck in this at the end of the story. Forever forced to re-enact this adventure.
- Hall of Mirrors: The Time Machine is in one.
- Handy Remote Control: The Master Clock
- Heroic Sacrifice: Major Ferdinand
- Hidden in Plain Sight: William Shakespeare is the 10 year old boy wandering around.
- Hoist By Their Own Petard: Namedropped By the Bard himself.
- Insistent Terminology: "You mean TED?"
- It's All About Me: General Learman rips time and space apart so everybody forgets Shakespeare so SHE can remember him with her Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory. Because no one else is entitled to.
- Klingons Love Shakespeare: Daleks love him, actually. Or at least that's what they'll tell you.
- La Résistance
- Meanwhile, in the Future: Inverted. The more a certain probability is likely to happen, the more tangible and present it becomes in the present (The Doctor is in at that point), which is the future,
- Mirror Universe: Namedropped but not literally. The Mirror Universe in this adventure is an image of the past, which technobabbles the past into existence.
- Narrator: The play opens with an unidentified narrator who quotes a number of Shakespeare lines that have to do with time. He's also the same person the Doctor was talking to in "Seasons Of Fear". We find out his identity in "Neverland"
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: Mentioned that when they would, the older would be consumed by time energy, due to the energy released by the portals.
- Nice Job Breaking It General
Daleks: " We are the Masters of Time!! We are the Masters of Time!!"
- No Honor Among Thieves
- Non-Answer: "Doctor of what?"
The Doctor: "Everything, really."
- People's Republic of Tyranny: Learman was planning to reintroduce Democracy in order to become an elected Tyrant so the people have an impression of having a say.
- Percussive Maintenance: The Doctor bangs a make shift portal a few times, and it works.
- Phlebotinum Analogy: "Like frost cracking!"
- Portal Network
- Portal Mirror
- Portal to the Past
- Pragmatic Villainy: By radiation contaminated Daleks won't approach human workforce and will be locked away. Forever.
- Pun: The Doctor makes another doozy.
"If you know so much about it, then you fix the clock. I'm on strike! Eh? Strike? Clock?"
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: General Learman.
- Robo Speak:
"Voices... Sort of metallic."
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong
- To Shakespeare: Of Course.
- Something Only They Would Say: Ill met by moonlight.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Hell yeah, grenades!!
- Taking You with Me: See Heroic Sacrifice
- Temporal Paradox
- Time Crash
- Time Machine: And not the TARDIS.
- Timey-Wimey Ball
- Twenty Minutes into the Future: Mid-21st century. New Britain after the Euro Wars, during General Mariah Leahman's benevolent dictatorship.
- Villain Opening Scene
- You Have Failed Me: The Dalek that fails to uphold security has to give up its casing for the Body Horror trope listed above.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: "All non-essential humans are to be exterminated."