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“It’s important to look the part of a stock market broker. I deal in futures.”

It’s 1987, right before the precipitous stock market crash that defined a generation (and from which we’ve arguably never recovered in practical terms).  Many are riding high on an apparent economic golden age, but large groups of laid off factory workers are having run-ins with an abusive police force over ostensibly peaceful protests.

And The Doctor…has taken up trading?

“Everyone outside…”
“They will become more intolerant of those who do not share our values, who flout our way of life…who are not prepared to do an honest day’s work.”
“Good God, you can’t do this! You’re turning them into fascists!”

IT tech Melanie Bush is working for a reclusive media mogul who is quietly buying out all existing sources of information, from radio to television to newspapers, right under the noses of the SEC and Mergers & Acquisitions…and what is the sinister secret underlying new videogaming craze Warfleet?

“You think they’re being made by aliens?”
“That would explain why they’re not part of the union…”

Financier Alex Zenos’ silent partners are coming out of the shadows, and offering high finance power players an investment opportunity.  They want a cultural exchange: a limitless supply of energy and most favored nation status for financial takeover and ownership of all media outlets…with the UK as the official representative go-between for the whole of planet Earth.

“Daleks invest and return!”
“No unions, that’s the key.  No strikes to hold things up.”
“Clear these animals…these subhumans.  Move them along!”

There’s action on multiple fronts, as the Daleks are brokering deals with the wealthy self-styled “elites”, enacting a sneaky takeover of the media, crushing union and protester opposition, and making use of the children of earth to strategize their real-world battles for them.

But The Doctor always has an ace up his sleeve, and in the end, even the Daleks learn why it’s not wise to break a picket line…

“The Daleks are real. We can’t wish them away.  And they’ve made us an offer.”
“To become another of their slave worlds!”
“No, they are offering a sorely needed investment in our schools, our hospitals, our armed services.  We are being offered the chance to make the UK the financial services center of the whole planet…
You do believe in the free market, don’t you?”

There are betrayals on top of betrayals, and more Gordon Gecko corporate (il)logic and anti-social, anti-societal “business rationale” than Who listeners would ever expect, but it’s peppered with light hearted satire and a wry view askance at all the backstabbing and manipulation of the finance-as-power crowd.

It’s a particularly dry commentary on where (and when) global society went very, very wrong, and therefore a much needed wake up call to those blind to what’s going down in our own day and age, in an equally extreme but parallel manner…substituting “dark money” SuperPACs and Randian multinational corporations for Daleks.

“Deep inside, we’re not so very different from them. We are the Daleks.”

And yet…it’s silly.  It’s fun.  There are some very broad caricatures being worked among the guest cast.  Come on, it’s a Season 24 story with Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford, how dark could it get?

“Sheer pragmatism.  Some of us have to be prepared to make the tough choices.”
“They’re only tough choices if you’re choosing the wrong thing.

“What they are offering you is cheap fuel extorted from other worlds…cheap goods manufactured by slaves.”
“And that is what people want…they don’t care who makes their microwave ovens or video recorders.  They just want them at the cheapest price.”
“I see why the Daleks didn’t bother to brainwash you.  You’re already one of their kind.”

Probably the most fun you’ll have while staring into the mirror.  Whether judged on the level of politicosocial commentary or as comedically inclined sci-fi entertainment, Jonathan Morris bats this one right out of the park.

“Every Dalek now considers itself the only creature worthy to exist.  There’s no longer such a thing as a Dalek society…just individual Daleks.  Too much hate will kill you, every time.”


Now if only the rest of the world will wake up and smell the coffee…