The Time War rages. A Dalek fleet is massing to take Gallifrey once and for all. Cardinal Ollistra is putting together a plan that will grant the Time Lords final victory, and then the news reaches her: The Doctor is dead.
Meanwhile, on the planet Keska, a parochial war has returned to plague a peaceful civilization after decades of tranquillity. But how can such a war have any connection with the great Time War which, at any one moment in the whole of eternity, could threaten to tear the universe apart?
That's a question the Doctor could answer...if only the Doctor were still alive.
- The Daleks recognise the Time Destructor tech from when they used it on Kembel.
- The Doctor tells Rejoice about how he was once sent back to stop the Daleks being created.
- Cold Equation: Kill thousands of innocent hostages to save billions more from the Dalek fleet holding them.
- Death Seeker: The Doctor flippantly tells the two Time Lords he saves that maybe he does want to die.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": He is not the Doctor, thank you very much, and he'll insist you don't call him that. Not that he ever offers any alternative, mind.
- Establishing Character Moment: Cardinal Ollistra is introduced being snippy with the guy sent to tell her something, her snapping over his attempts to actually tell her what happened. She gets worse from there.
- Fantastic Racism: Ollistra boots Rejoice out of the TARDIS because she, "a creature", doesn't belong on Gallifrey.
- Foregone Conclusion: The story begins with Daleks talking about how they're going to take Gallifrey. But since this isn't Day of the Doctor, they don't get that chance. Also, the Doctor isn't dead.
- Got Volunteered: The two Time Lord soldiers sent to man the Time Destructor. As they explain to the Doctor, there was a special screening, done completely at random. The Doctor quickly figures out this is crap.
- Heroic RRoD: Being right next to a Time Destructor going off would be fatal to most people. The Doctor just gets knocked out of action for a long time (Rejoice says it's over "a hundred sunrises").
- He Who Fights Monsters: The Time Lords are using Time Destructors to fight Daleks. And the most chilling part is that even the Doctor no longer raises any objections, or even comments on it.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Or in the case of the Keskans, If You Make Him Stay Somewhere Against His Will, You'll Be Just As Bad As Those Aliens Who Tried To Genocide You. They take their pacifism to ludicrous levels.
- It's All My Fault: The Doctor blames himself for the Time War, since he could've wiped out the Daleks when they began back on Skaro and didn't.
- Just Following Orders: Discussed by the Doctor, when Rejoice brings the idea up that this is what he was doing in "Genesis of the Daleks". He disagrees.
- Meaningful Echo: "Are you still here?" First said by Ollistra's smug henchwoman to Rejoice, and then by the Doctor a few minutes later when he brushes her off to hang out with Rejoice.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: When they think the Doctor's really snuffed it, the Time Lords mourn and sing his praises. Ollistra furiously mutters under her breath how they thought he was an embarrassment.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: While slipping in and out of his coma, the Doctor keeps flashing back to battles he's fought and some of the horrible choices he's made.
- Shoot the Dog: The event the Doctor keeps flashing back to. At some point, Daleks had a whole fleet of people hosting, gambling that whoever came to fight them wouldn't shoot the hostages. And if this were any other Doctor, they would've been right. Unfortunately, this is the War Doctor, and he fires anyway.
- Skewed Priorities: Rejoice's dad objects to the Doctor hijacking his people's communications satellites because they won't be able to communicate. The Doctor is trying to stop them being blown to tiny bits.
- Suicidal Pacifism: Rejoice's dad has two options dealing with his people's attackers; 1: Surrender and hope they'll be nice (which, given they'd already tried to commit genocide on Rejoice's people, is kinda dubious), 2: Run and hide.