Doctor Who
Journey to the Center of the TARDIS

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: A- | 23 USERS: D+
Journey to the Center of the TARDIS
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

A salvage vessel trundles through the purplish expanse of deep space. Inside, a photograph is pinned to a locker door, showing an older man with two younger fellows. As a label inside the ship identifies it as belonging to the Van Baalen Brothers, we can assume these are the Van Baalens. The two brothers snooze while a third man - not pictured in the photo - fiddles with a bit of machinery. The computer screens in his eyes suggest he isn't human, or at least not entirely. He has a barcode on the side of his neck. "Incoming salvage," says a computer. "There's no salvage this far out," says the young man with the interesting eyes. "You're a lucky boy, Tricky," says the older brother as he wakes up. "You're an android; you don't get bored." Tricky pouts. He may not get bored, but he does get out of sorts.

Nearby, the TARDIS is whirling along with the Doctor and Clara arguing inside. Clara appears to have borrowed a dress from a 12-year-old girl. She and the Doctor go round and round the console, fussing about how Clara interacts with the TARDIS. "You're not getting me to talk to a ship," Clara says. "That's properly bonkers!" She's talked to the TARDIS before, so why not now? "It's important to me you get along," says the Doctor. He decides he's going to teach Clara how to pilot the TARDIS and does so by taking the settings down to "basic mode." The turns a key...

...and the TARDIS suddenly appears on a computer screen inside the Van Baalens' ship. "There's something tasty in the magno-field," Tricky says, his voice periodically sounding computerized. They engage a giant magnetic grabber and aim it at the TARDIS while The Cult's "Fire Woman" plays in the background.

Inside the TARDIS, Clara's driving seems to be going well until it's suddenly not. Most of the lights go out and a screen on the console cracks. The Doctor realizes he can't get the shields back up. Things go from bad to worse almost instantly as smoke fills the control room and fuses pop and sizzle. "Please tell me there's a big button you can press," Clara shouts above the din. "Oh, yes, big friendly button!" the Doctor shouts back as he furiously works the controls. He's lying to make her feel better. They are, in fact, fairly doomed. Something rolls across the floor that looks like a bit like a grenade. Clara picks it up, then drops it just as quickly when it burns her palm. An explosion smacks us into the opening credits.

After that, the universe's biggest claw machine pulls the TARDIS into the salvage vessel. The brothers try their best to get through the doors, thinking they've happened upon some sort of escape pod. The TARDIS doesn't budge. When they get ready to blast the doors open, Tricky stops them. "It's alive! She's... she's suffering." The older brother looks over the TARDIS and says, "Gregor, he's right. It looks like there's a broken fuel line." They decide to open the bay doors and blow everything back into space, but Tricky stops them again. With his enhanced vision, he can pick out the form of a man lying in the rubble beneath the TARDIS. This would be the Doctor, who pops up to introduce himself and scold them for wrecking his ship with their magno-grab. "Found this remote," he says, holding up the grenade thingy. He says it can disable any vessel without shield oscillators, which the TARDIS normally has but which were disabled while Clara was learning to pilot.

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