The Doctor's old enemies have created paradise - and the Doctor needs to figure out why. In his time and space ship, the TARDIS, the Eleventh Doctor travels to a planet called Gethria, where he sees people gathered around a massive stone monolith and a small gravestone. Set into the gravestone is a small spaceship toy. One of the people, an old woman, turns to the Doctor, and for a moment it seems as if they recognize each other. Blasting back into the Time Vortex, the Doctor receives a distress signal from a spaceship. As he goes to rescue the man and woman on the ship, his old enemy, the Dalek Time Controller, blasts the TARDIS and knocks it off course. The Doctor arrives at the ship too late to save the man and woman, who committed suicide by walking out of the ships's airlock in order to keep the secret of the monolith away from the Daleks. As the Doctor returns to his TARDIS and prepares to leave, he stumbles upon the ship's escape pod, and is startled to find three children inside. The oldest girl, Sabel, sits with her sister, Jenibeth, and their younger brother, Ollus. Ollus has a small spaceship toy that he is playing with. The Doctor realizes that these are the children of the two people who died, and sets out to return them to their home. As they travel back in the spaceship, the Doctor learns from Jenibeth that the Daleks have created a series of worlds, called the Sunlight Worlds, where everyone lives in peace with one another - virtual paradises. The Doctor is confused, of course, since he only knows the Daleks as aggressive butchers who have no interest in human life. Once the Doctor and the children get to the planet, they are taken into a building where they are interrogated, since everyone believed the children and their parents were all killed on the ship. The Doctor and the children are released, where they walk right into a massive group of reporters. The Doctor, wanting to spread the word of the Daleks, warns the assembled reporters that the Daleks are evil and they most certainly have a nefarious plan of some sort. The reporters drift away, believing the Doctor is crazy, but a police car soon arrives and takes the Doctor into custody. Defaming the Daleks is a crime, and the Doctor is put on trial. The prosecuting attorney is a Dalek, but the Doctor manages to get one last visit with the children before he is taken to prison. He uses his sonic screwdriver to destroy the wall of the children's cell and escapes in a police car, eventually making his way back to the TARDIS, which has been placed on a spaceport landing pad next to a Dalek ship. With the Daleks nearby, the Doctor amplifies the effects of Ollus' spaceship toy and broadcasts visions of comets streaking toward the planet and massive moons appearing in the sky in order to confuse the Daleks. The Doctor uses the time to get the kids into the TARDIS. In the TARDIS, the Doctor decides to go back and try to rescue the children's parents - something he is not supposed to do, but he realizes that someone is already messing with time, so his efforts shouldn't hurt all that much. The Dalek Time Controller is ready, however, and blasts the TARDIS again. The Doctor and the kids end up back on Gethria, where they meet Hogoosta, the alien in charge of excavating the monolith. The Doctor, Hogoosta, and the kids enter the monolith in the TARDIS, and the monolith begins to glow with a mysterious energy. The Daleks arrive, killing Hogoosta, but the Doctor escapes - but loses Jenibeth in the process. Unable to go back for her, the Doctor takes Ollus and Sabel to one of the Sunlight worlds, where he meets a journalist named Lillian Belle, who harbors her own doubts about the Daleks. Lillian helps the Doctor meet up with a small group of resistance fighters, all of whom are killed by the Daleks. The Doctor uses Lillian's television channel to broadcast an appeal to the population, telling about the Daleks and the murder of the resistance fighters. The Daleks show up with the "resistance fighters," very much alive, and completely discredit the Doctor, even turning Sabel and Ollus against him. The Daleks let the Doctor go, and he launches the TARDIS toward Gethria, where he tries to get Ollus' spaceship toy out of the gravestone, only to face the old woman, who claims to be Sabel. As the two talk, a Dalek eyestalk and blaster emerge from her body, and the Doctor realizes that it is not Sabel, but Jenibeth, captured by the Daleks as a child and converted into a Dalek roboman. The Daleks arrive with the real Sabel and Ollus, who is alive, meaning the gravestone and the toy were placed there by the Daleks in order to draw the Doctor out. Ollus touches the toy, which activates the monolith. The Daleks reveal that the monolith, which has the power either to create or destroy entire planets, will act on their wish to transform all of the Sunlight Worlds into Dalek home worlds, and all of the people on the Sunlight Worlds into Daleks. Jenibeth fights against the Dalek programming and uses her will to tap into the monolith and use it to transform Gethria into a paradise of its own, defeating the Dalek plan. Not only did Jenibeth defeat the Daleks, but she also used the power of the monolith to transform herself and her siblings back into children. Soon after, a familiar spaceship arrives and deposits their parents, also returned to life by Jenibeth. The Doctor leaves, knowing that the Daleks are defeated - but also still out somewhere in time and space.
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Best part of story, including ending:
The story places the Doctor in an unfamiliar position - father figure. Most of his companions have been adults or people in their late teens, so dealing with a trio of small children was something completely alien to him.
Best scene in story:
I enjoyed the scene where the Doctor used Ollus' toy spaceship to confuse and distract the Daleks so he and the children could make their escape in the TARDIS. His actions really spoke to the wealth of experience and intelligence that comes with being a centuries-old Time Lord.
Opinion about the main character:
The Doctor was a little slow on the uptake when it came to the population of the Sunlight Worlds and their relationship to the Daleks. He continued to butt his head against the prevailing opinion that the Daleks were a force for good, considering he knew better. In the end, of course, he turned out to be right.