So, they have returned to their creator. Like an errant child, they have come home once more, but this time they will not abuse me. This time, I shall take my rightful place as their Supreme Being, and under my control, the Daleks shall once more become triumphant!London, circa 1984. A bum watches several oddly-dressed people attempt to escape from a random warehouse... only to be gunned down by British cops wielding modern (for 1984) submachine guns. The bum is then gunned down himself, and the cops pull out a remote and make the bodies vanish in a glow of red light. However, one man was able to hide...On the TARDIS, the Doctor and our companions are right where we left them, busy shaking around and clinging to the TARDIS as the Doctor exposits that they're being dragged along a time corridor. The TARDIS lands on the exact same street that the massacre just occurred on.One of those cops, named Lytton, transports himself aboard a rather sweet looking spaceship. As it turns out, he's working with people who work of the Daleks, wearing Dalek-themed helmets. Their objective is to invade a space prison that holds Davros, creator of the Daleks, and liberate him.Meandering around the streets of London, the Doctor and companions run into that lone survivor: a terrified, stuttering man named Stien. The Doctor immediately recruits Stien into helping his party search for the right warehouse which has the time corridor in it. However, before they can go much further, the Doctor and crew stumble across an army bomb disposal squad. They've been called in to dispose of several things that are supposedly unexploded bombs, despite looking like naff props from a 1980s science fiction show. Turlough, for his part, stumbles into the time corridor — winding up on the alien ship. (To his credit, he decides to hide rather than be captured in seconds.) The rest of the crew are updated soon enough, as the time corridor activates again... revealing a Dalek! Good golly gosh, it certainly would be fantastic to have a companion who is a robot and probably couldn't die easily, wouldn't it? Keeping his cool, the Doctor orders the (magically fully-armed) bomb squad to shoot wildly at the Dalek before getting miffed at nothing actually happening and... throws the Dalek out a third-story window instead.Tegan, for her part, is hit by a ricochetting bullet and is out of action for almost the rest of this serial.Back at the space prison station, a few of the crew are still alive, and they're planning to re-take the station. By activating the self-destruct system and blowing it all up. Meanwhile, Lytton and Davros have a discussion where Davros bitches about the Doctor for a time before being told why he's needed: the Movellans of the Daleks made an anti-Dalek virus, and Davros is needed to make a cure. One typically loud Davros rant about the Daleks later, the man has vowed to help... with his fingers crossed behind his metaphorical back.Back on Earth, the Doctor and the bomb squad drag in the remains of that fallen Dalek — but are assaulted by the squiggly blobby Dalek that piloted the unit. After nearly shooting a cat, the Doctor grabs a gun and pumps the blobby Dalek full of lead. Repeatedly. Looks like we're not going to be seeing the Technical Pacifist side of the Doctor today. The Doctor takes Stien with him into the TARDIS and they go inspect the other end of the time corridor. Once there, Stien declares that he's an agent for the Daleks! The Doctor is taken into custody. Turlough continues to evade capture as he joins up with the few remaining guards of the space prison and vows to help them blow things up.Back on Earth, more people die as those evil policemen begin to kill off parts of the bomb squad.Dragged into a special room and Strapped to an Operating Table with widgets attached to his head, the Doctor questions the Daleks as to why they need him. It turns out the Daleks want to clone an evil version of the Doctor and his companions, send them off the Gallifrey and then have them wipe out the leadership of the Time Lords. Obviously, the Doctor does not take this well. Stien begins the process of cloning the Doctor's memories while the Doctor tries his best to screw with the Dalek programming on the poor guy. Flashes of all his previous companions and regenerations run through the Doctor's mind. ... Except Leela, due to a production oversight.Turlough and the remaining guards attempt to set off the self-destruction device... only to have most of the guards die. Quickly. And on Earth, the Daleks capture the entire bomb squad and the useless-for-this-episode Tegan.Luckily for everyone, the Doctor's meddling begins to break down Stien's programming and delays the process just long enough for Turlough to pop in to save the Doctor (and Tegan, who is now magically there). Stien is, strangely enough, allowed to tag along as the Doctor and Turlough attempt to stop the Daleks. However, the Doctor has a moral crisis and decides to go kill Davros. So he takes off with the guards and Stien — abandoning Tegan and Turlough in a pre-programmed TARDIS that will whisk them off to the Earth.The Doctor confronts Davros, and the two of them engage in a pohilosophocal debate at gunpoint. The Doctor is fascinated to find out that Davros wants to make Daleks with emotions, because them being purely logical has caused an impossible stalemate in the Movellan war. They tensely discuss the idea until Stien's programming takes control again and almost everyone else in the episode dies, either by Dalek or because they're busy shooting each other. The Doctor and Stien escape again — but Stien runs off, refusing to risk the Doctor's life by staying around him. As it turns out, Davros has been reprogramming Daleks and random humans to obey only him, and the regular Daleks don't like this. As he begins his big escape, Davros drops a vial of the anti-Dalek virus to prevent the regular Daleks from killing him off — destroying several Daleks in seconds, making them spout lots of shaving cream as they die.Back on Earth, however, a massive battle is going on between the Daleks and Davros' Army. The Doctor, back on Earth, figures out that those "bombs" are really giant capsules holding more samples of the virus. And sets them off, killing all the Daleks off instantly. Lytton, for his part, escapes and puts on a cop's uniform — wandering off into the sunset, to... somewhere.Back on the space prison, Davros himself begins to escape until he also begins to spray shaving cream from his wheelchair. He too is vulnerable to the virus, and him screaming that he's not a Dalek doesn't help. Stien activates the self-destruct with a heroic dying belly-flop, taking out the remaining Daleks and pretty much tying up the plot in a neat little bow.Satisfied with the completely happy ending, the Doctor calls for everyone to come back to the TARDIS. Tegan, though, refuses to come back. She says she's tired of the hectic life of the TARDIS and all the death... which is a little odd, as she's seen so damned little of it compared to the Doctor or Turlough. But anyway, she's done. So Tegan runs off as the TARDIS vanishes, and everything's hunky dory... except for the masses of dead people floating out in space, of course, but they're not Time Lords or their companions, and Earth hasn't been invaded, so who cares?Oh, but wait. Somehow the Supreme Dalek appears on the TARDIS scanner, and tells the Doctor that the Dalek conquest of Earth is "imminent", and that Earth is full of Dalek sleeper agents. The Doctor takes the most sensible course of action possible — he goes to inform the authorities. Bet that went over well!
This was Peter Davison's only encounter with the Daleks during his time as the Doctor, and it was specifically brought in so he could have his Dalek story before he left at the end of the season. In fact, Davison had requested it for the previous season, but a strike wound up delaying it until season 21... which also left the original Davros (Michael Wisher) unable to reprise his role. This gave us the Third Davros, Terry Molloy, who would remain in the role for the rest of the classic series as well as the audios.Also, this is Janet Fielding's final episode as Tegan, but her final adventure was actually supposed to be the next serial alongside Turlough. Producer John Nathan-Turner decided that another companion should be introduced to make another cross-Doctor link, thus forcing Tegan out one serial early. It rather shows in the rushed final scene, too, as Tegan really doesn't give a solid reason to leave... but that's fine. At least she got a somewhat happy ending, compared to some companions.Finally, due to the 1984 Olympics, this serial was presented in two parts rather than the typical four — with episodes 1/2 and 3/4 being joined into episodes nearly an hour in length. This format would be reused for Season 22.It's also Bloodier and Gorier than any other Doctor Who episode to date, with a death count of 64 — not even counting Daleks.Watch it here