1×09 December 20, 1996
THE TWIN PLANET (Serial 7, Episode 1)
Setting: Kennedy Space Center, Florida, 2003
Regular Cast: Hugh Laurie (The Doctor), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Lizzie Thompson)
Guest Starring: Ed Begley, Jr. (Director Slate), Don S. Davis (General Cutler), Peter Cullen (voice of the Cyb Leader)
Plot: The Doctor brings Lizzie to the Kennedy Space Center, several years in the future, to watch the first VentureStar launch. He gets the date and place slightly wrong, and materializes a day late and in the middle of the launch pad. They are apprehended by security and brought to the director, but their interrogation is interrupted when the orbiting spaceplane reports detecting a large body approaching Earth. The space center detects nothing, but when the Doctor points out a glitch in their video feed, Lizzie is able to reprogram their computers to reveal that a new planet has appeared in orbit near Earth. The Doctor points out that the planet’s arrival must have been intelligently controlled since it exploited advanced knowledge of Earth’s technology to hide in the “blind spots” of NASA’s space telescopes. Director Slate admits that conspiracy theorists have been making wild claims about sighting a phantom planet for months, but he believes it to be some kind of technological hoax, especially when space telescopes show the planet’s continents as a mirror-image of Earth’s. The spaceplane Constitution is pulled out of orbit by the gravitational effect and NASA loses contact due to a global telecommunications blackout. While they scramble to prepare the second spaceplane for a rescue mission, the Constitution reappears without explanation and lands on its own. Ignoring the Doctor’s warnings, NASA officials approach the craft and are killed by armored cyborgs which emerge. They identify themselves as Cybs, short for “Cybermen”, and quickly take over mission control. Their planet, Mondas, had once been like Earth, but had been pushed out of orbit during the Time War, forcing the once-human inhabitants to adapt using their technology. The military attempts to liberate the space center, but their technology fails. The Cybs explain that, to save their dying planet, they are siphoning off Earth’s electromagnetic and geothermal energy and Earth will soon become a dead planet. The Cybs round up NASA experts, including Director Slate, to be taken to Mondas and converted into Cybs themselves. The Doctor demonstrates his advanced intelligence and is also selected, but he prompts Lizzie to pretend to be a secretary so that the Cybs ignore her, claiming that she “Doesn’t even appreciate the gravity of the situation.” More Cybs arrive across the world via Verne gun and begin transporting more selected humans to Florida. The Doctor and Slate are forced aboard the spaceplane Constellation and taken to Mondas.