The episode opens on London at 5:02 PM on April 22, 2011. That things are pretty wonky is evidenced by a scaffolding of train tracks running through the big glass "Gherkin" and hot air balloons carrying hatchback cars across the sky. Also, pterodactyls chase after children for food scraps. A man on the radio says there's been lots of sunspot activity today. Charles Dickens tells a TV morning show that his next Christmas special will involve "ghosts in the past, the present and the future, all at the same time." On another program, Meredith Vieira says, "The Holy Roman Emperer Winston Churchill returned to Buckingham Senate on his personal mammoth today."
Inside, Churchill is being tended to his Silurian physician. Seems Winston is a bit flustered after his meeting in Gaul with Cleopatra. He thought she said "kiss my asp" and thinks went downhill quickly. He's also frustrated because every day, day or night, it is always exactly 5:02 and April 22. Nobody else seems bothered by this, but Winston calls for his "soothsayer." His guards fetch the Doctor from the Tower of London. The Doctor, wearing bedraggled robes and a scruffy beard, looks like he's ready to chisel out some commandments in the mountain. "All of history is happening at once," he's been saying, as Winston reminds him. "What happened to time?" Winston asks. The Doctor looks up, a bit older about the eyes, and answers: "A woman."
After the opening credits, we venture back to an earlier time. The Doctor's wearing his cowboy hat from "Closing Time" but instead of heading straight off to Utah, he's dropped in on some broken and dying Dalek. He pops its head off and sonics out some information about the Silence. The information sends him next to Calisto B, looking for a Father Gideon Vandaleur, former Envoy of the Silence. He's a man in monk's robes, with a terrible bowl cut and an eyepatch like Madame Kovarian. It's not really Gideon at all, but one of those shape-changing Tesselecta robots with miniaturized people inside. The captain from "Let's Kill Hitler" is still in charge, so hopefully they've worked out that crappy design flaw with the electric jellyfish. Robotic Gideon has been investigating the Silence, too. The Doctor wants to know their weakest link.
Whatever answer robotic Gideon gives him has him jetting off to play chess with an eyepatch-wearing sort of space viking. The match has drawn a big, rowdy crowd. It's a special kind of chess where pieces cumulatively gain electrical charge each time they're moved. The viking's queen is packing a lot of juice. If he moves it again, he'll be zapped to death. His only hope is for the Doctor to concede the game, which the Doctor agrees to do if the viking tells him why the Silence want him dead. The viking tells him to see Dorium Maldovar, but the Doctor points out Dorium was beheaded on Demon's Run. Couldn't he just go to a point earlier in Dorium's life? Guess not. "Concede the game and I'll take you to him," the viking says. The Doctor concedes.