UNIT soldiers converge on Bannerman Road bearing bad news: an alien race called the Shansheeth is coming to Earth, with the body of the Doctor, who has recently died. Sarah immediately goes into denial, certain that the Doctor could never meet such a fate, but UNIT and the Shansheeth present a devastatingly convincing case. And more than most of his acquaintances, Sarah is aware that even seeing a body wouldn’t be proof, since she has no idea what the Doctor looks like now.
The Doctor’s memorial is set to be held at UNIT HQ, and Sarah is stunned to find few in attendance. One other former companion of the Doctor does show up, however: Jo Jones, formerly Jo Grant, who traveled with the third Doctor, attends with her grandson, Santiago. Her instincts are the same as Sarah’s: the Doctor can’t have died so easily. In the meantime, Clyde and Rani get to know Santiago, but Clyde is distracted by an unusual energy that keeps arcing across his hand – the same kind of energy that enveloped the TARDIS when he last saw the Doctor. The three then eavesdrop on a conversation among the Shansheeth, confirming what Sarah and Jo have already said: the Doctor is still alive… and, as usual, is in terrible trouble.
written by Russell T. Davies
directed by Ashley Way
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold
Guest Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Jones), Finn Jones (Santiago Jones), Laila Rouass (Colonel Karim), Jimmy Vee (Groske), Paul Kasey (Shansheeth), Ruari Mears (Shansheeth), Ben Ashley (Shansheeth), David Bradley (voice of Shansheeth Blue), Phillip Hurd-Wood (voice of the Groske), Jon Glover (additional Shansheeth voices)
Notes: Luke puts in another webcam appearance in this episode, which also marks writer Russell T. Davies’ return to the Doctor Who universe, for the first time since The End Of Time Part Two. Clips from that episode, The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith, Pyramids Of Mars (referenced twice in as many stories) and Death To The Daleks are shown as Sarah, Clyde and Rani remember the first and last times they met the Doctor; curiously, while Sarah recalls her encounters with the third, fourth and tenth Doctors, her brief meeting with the Doctor’s second and fifth incarnations (The Five Doctors) isn’t shown to be remembered (an omission which has occurred before, as Sarah seems to have forgotten that incident as far back as School Reunion). Jo mentions Metebelis III (The Green Death and Planet Of The Spiders), Peladon and Aggedor (The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon), and Karfel (Timelash – a sixth Doctor episode in which it is revealed that the third Doctor and Jo visited there before), while Sarah recalls a visit to Renaissance Italy (Masque Of Mandragora). Contrary to some print fiction published in the non-TV lean years of Doctor Who, Jo is still married to Cliff Jones, who is still an environmental activist. Though Jo has reappeared in many of the spinoff media (both print and audio), this is the character’s, and Katy Manning’s, first return to the role on TV. Russell T. Davies has said in interviews that, budget permitting, he would have brought back many more former comrades of the Doctor, such as the Brigadier and Romana. Though the music is credited to the usual SJA composing team of Sam and Dan Watts, Murray Gold‘s UNIT theme from Doctor Who accompanies the first appearance of the UNIT soldiers.
LogBook entry by Earl Green