...and the Doctor appears in the doorway: "Oh now, hold on, wait a minute." Sek goes mad: "Alert! Alert! You are the Doctor!" Fuck yeah. Rose smiles, and the Doctor walks in, wearing those 3-D glasses again. "Sensors report he is unarmed," says one, and the Doctor nods: "That's me. Always." You think he's covering? He's not covering. "Then you are powerless," reasons Sek. "Not me. Never," says the Doctor. He swipes off the glasses and gives Rose a how do you do. "Same old, you know," she giggles. The Doctor daps Mickey, and they are happy to see each other as well. With Daleks just standing there! "Social interaction will cease!" screams one of the Daleks. Which is just...so awesome.
Sek asks how the Doctor survived the Time War, which is what Nine asked the previous Dalek cult. "By fighting," the Doctor says darkly. "On the front line." Mickey stares. "I was there at the fall of Arcadia," the Doctor goes on. "Someday I might even come to terms with that." Arcadia is a twenty-fifth-century human colony, in the non-canon, but I'm thinking of Paradise. "Take Arcadia apart if you have to." I've gotten suspicious about things clicking together too easily, this season. Power over the narrative and all that. But: he brings down the Great and Bountiful, and on the day he's talking about, I think, he ended two races, including his own. The fall of Arcadia. And everything since then has been a fight to protect what's left: once you remove Heaven from the equation, all you've got is here and now. The Doctor needles the Daleks for running away, and Sek protests that they had to survive. "The last four Daleks in existence," muses the Doctor. "So what's so special about you?" Rose murmurs to the Doctor that they have names, which she knows is off-message. They count off their names proudly: Thay, Sek, Jast, Caan. The Doctor is delighted finally to meet them, the Cult of Skaro: "I thought you were just a legend!" (Even I know this, but just in case: Skaro, which hasn't been mentioned in the New Series except by reference, is the Dalek homeworld.) "A secret order, above and beyond the Emperor himself." Of course. "Their job was to imagine, think as the enemy thinks. Even dared to have names. All to find new ways of killing." Just like the Cybermen, linking psychically to history, coming through as ghosts. Just like Torchwood, giving up the essential in order to concentrate on the temporal. (This concept, the "think as the enemy" thing, dates back to the '60s, and it's come up in lots of Dalek stories. We've also seen Daleks with names; the Second Doctor gave the "human factor" to three of them -- Alpha, Beta, Omega -- and they got nicer.) Mickey says what Rose was trying to say earlier -- that the Ark is a Time Lord product -- and the Doctor shrugs: "Never seen it before." Rose is surprised, but the Doctor's not, sadly: "Both sides had secrets."