“Is it dead?” asks Ryan quickly and looking at the melted shell of the Dalek.
The Doctor quickly looks around, scanning to check if the Dalek sent the signal and breathing a sigh of relief when she finds it didn’t. “Signal never sent. I think that was my best skid ever. I am so chuffed.” she says, looking at them all, Ryan, Yaz, Mitch, Lin, Aaron, Grah… wait a second. “Where’s Graham?” she asks, trying to find him before a spine-tingling laugh, draws her attention. “No, no, not him.”
“Gramps?” Ryan turns around following the Doctor’s gaze, and his heart drops as he sees a familiar figure stumbling toward them.
Speaking in a voice that is a blend of Dalek and human draws the rest to turn and look, gasping. “You underestimate me, Doctor. Daleks survive,” it says, forcing Graham’s body finally into the light.
“Doctor, do something!” yells Ryan, running forward before being dragged back by Aaron.
The Doctor face turns cold, all traces of amusement gone and replaced by anger. “Let him go. You let him go now!” shouts the Doctor.
“No, Doctor. You will take me to the Dalek fleet. Resist..” it says, hurting Graham before carrying on. “..and this body will be destroyed.”
Ryan is fighting so hard to be free, to run to Graham’s side, but Aaron is refusing to release him. “Let me go! Graham! Doctor, please.” he begs. The Dalek, forces Graham’s head to look at Ryan before laughing again, voice blending between the two of them.
“You are attached to this one, you all are. I will kill him-” To make sure they understand it’s dangerous, it causes more pain to Graham. They watch as he looks at them, the man behind the monster currently in control of his body, in pain and begging them to help. “You will take me where I want to go.”
The Doctor considers everything, she won’t be able to separate it from Graham before it kills him and she’s stuck between it and her TARDIS. She glances at Ryan’s distraught face, his body being held back by Aaron. “Fine.” the Doctor snaps.
“Doctor?” asks Yaz, uncertainty edging in her voice. Knowing that they can’t trust it.
“My decision Yaz.” says the Doctor, leaving no room for an argument. “Whatever you want. Just promise me you’ll let him go.”
The Dalek doesn’t respond and moves to the side, letting them walk past it and into the TARDIS before following, no intention on keeping a promise it never made. It’ll use the one it has now to kill them all for daring to fight against the might of Skaro before taking the Doctor, her ship and handing them over to Dalek command. “The glory of a TARDIS shall be ours,” it says before following them in.
Ryan has freed himself from Aaron and runs straight towards the Doctor. “You have to help him! I can’t lose him, Doctor,” he says quickly. “Please.”
She sees how scared he is and takes a deep breath. “Do you trust me, Ryan?” says the Doctor and sees Ryan nod slightly. “I have a plan,” she whispers and turns to look at the Dalek. “We’ve landed.”
It stares at her before forcing Graham’s face into a wicked smile. “Finally, my mission is complete. The Earth and the Doctor shall submit before The Dalek fleet. You are ours now.” It forces Graham’s body to face them. “After I kill the humans.”
“You shouldn’t brag about your plans, always the issue with you guys.” She flicks the switch that opens the TARDIS doors. Ryan calls out to her. “What are you doing, Doctor?”
She ignores him and entirely turns her attention to the Dalek in control of her friend’s body. “Oh, did I not mention no Dalek fleet, only a squid-sized vacuum corridor, about to pull you off my mate Graham and into space.”
They watch as it stumbles, trying to move further into the console room before being yanked back towards the doors.
“GRANDAD!” yells Ryan, pushing past Aaron and heading towards Graham. “It’s pulling him back, Doctor, it’s not letting him go.”
The Doctor quickly turns her head towards the display screens, reading the information and panic rising. “No, the corridor is expanding, I can’t control it.”
“What do you mean?” shouts Ryan, glancing back at the Doctor.
She looks up to face him. “It’s going to take him with it,” she explains, trying to fight the growth of the corridor. “Everybody hold on!”
They watch in panic as Graham is pulled to the doors, holding on for life and trying to pull himself back in. Ryan is already moving towards Graham; terror marked all over his face. Aaron goes to pull him back, but he shrugs him off and advances towards his Grandad.
“Ryan, don’t, it isn’t safe,” yells Aaron, a thought crossing his mind. Would Ryan risk his life to save him if the roles were reversed? He’s not sure, and it makes him wonder how a man who isn’t even related to his son has managed to make, him risk everything to save him. The sinking feeling is sitting in his stomach like a stone. He makes his decision and goes to help his son save Graham.
“Gramps, hold on. Please, hold on Gramps.” he finally makes his way there, noticing his dad on the other side, mirroring his moves.
“RYAN!” shouts Yaz, terrified she’s going to lose two of her Fam to this creature.
“Gramps, I know you can hear me.” The Dalek looks at Ryan, snarling in hate.
“He is mine now,” it replies.
“No, he’s not, he’s mine. He’s my Grandad, and I won’t lose him,” says Ryan as he reaches a hand out to Graham. “I’m here for you Grandad, I love you. Take my hand,” he begs.
The Dalek senses that it’s going to lose makes a decision. If it can’t have the ship or the Doctor, then it will kill this man anyway. It lets go of Graham and flies out into space, but its job is done, and Graham starts to follow as well, his hand brushing past Ryan’s. Terrified eyes looking back at one another, the realisation that this is it before another arm reaches out and grabs onto Graham’s jacket, pulling him back in so Ryan can grab onto his hand.
The Doctor seeing that they’re safely away from the doors, quickly shuts it. She rests her head on the console and glances back at Graham to make sure he’s okay. He nods at her before Ryan grabs him.
Ryan is refusing to let go, need to convince himself that his Grandad is here. He looks over Graham’s shoulder and sees his dad looking back at him. He gives Graham one last squeeze before letting him go and heading for his dad.
He stands in front of him, the absent father. Proving his worth, helping him save Graham from a Dalek. He takes a deep breath, trying to figure out how to say what he’s thinking. After a moment he looks into Aaron’s eyes. “I forgive you... Dad. I forgive you, and I want to give us a go again. You helped me save Graham.” He leans in and grabs his dad into a hug, they stay there, with his Fam watching on. “That shows me that you’re willing to change.” He holds onto him, Father and Son, reunited again.
Ryan thinks to himself, he might’ve lost his Nan when he first met the Doctor, but he wouldn’t change anything because he’s gained so much more in family. A Grandad that loves him and a dad that is willing to be the dad that he should’ve been from the start.