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Jodie Whittaker
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The Dalek Reconnaissance Scout
The Dalek Reconnaissance Scout
 As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring, from across the centuries of Earth’s history.

 As The Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?

Source: BBC Website

General Information

Season: Thirty Seven (New Series 11)
Production Code: 11-X
Story Number: 287 (New Series: 131)
Episode Number:851 (New Series: 155)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates:
Broadcast Date: 01 January 2019
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff)
Location: Newton Beach, Porthcawl; 36 Shrewsbury Road, Sheffield; Cathays Llywodraeth Cymru offices, Cardiff
Writer:Chris Chibnall
Director:Wayne Yip
Series Producer:Nikki Wilson
Producer:Alex Mercer
Executive Producers:Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens
Co-Executive Producer:Sam Hoyle
Executive Producer for the BBC:Ben Irving
Assistant Directors:Lauren Pate and Sion Eirug
Script Supervisor:Nicki Coles
Script Editors:Fiona McAllister and Hannah Mason (Assistant)
Series Script Editor:Sheena Bucktowonsing
Editors:Edel McDonnell, David S J Davies (Assistant), Hayley Williams (Assistant) and Martyn Western (VFX)
Colourist:Gareth Spensley
Head of Production:Radford Neville
Production Executive:Tracie Simpson
Production Manager:James DeHaviland
Production Assistant:Ellie Simmons
Post Production Supervisor:Ceres Doyle
Production Designer:Arwel Wyn Jones
Director of Photography:Stuart Biddlecombe
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Steffan Morris
Costume Designer:Ray Holman
Make-Up Designer:Claire Pritchard-Jones
Cameramen:Dan Patounas (Assistant), Scott Waller (Assistant), Sophie Hardcastle (Assistant) and Mark McQuoid (Operator)
Visual Effects:DNEG
Special Effects:Real SFX
Special Creature Effects:Robert Allsopp & Associates
Stunt Co-ordinators:Belinda McGinley, Crispin Layfield and Stephanie Carey
Stunt Performers:Andrew Burford, Chris Morrison, Claire Lawrence, Dan Griffiths, Dani Biernat, Derek Lea, Matt Crook, Matthew Paine, Paul Bailey, Rob Pavey and Sofian Francis
Incidental Music:Segun Akinola
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Harry Barnes
Sound Recordist:Deian Llyr Humphreys
Dubbing Mixer:Howard Bargroff
Music Orchestrated By:Alec Roberts
Music Conducted By:Alec Roberts
Music Recorded By:Olga Fitzroy
Music Mixed By:Olga Fitzroy
Title Sequence:Ben Pickles
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Segun Akinola
Daleks Originally Created By: Terry Nation
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker (The Thirteenth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 3The Companions: Bradley Walsh (Graham O'Brien), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair) and Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan) Additional Cast: Charlotte Ritchie (Lin), Nikesh Patel (Mitch), Daniel Adegboyega (Aaron), Darryl Clark (Police Officer Will), Connor Calland (Security Guard Richard), James Lewis (Farmer Dinkle), Sophie Duval (Mum), Callum McDonald (Teen 1), Harry Vallance (Teen 2), Laura Evelyn (Call Centre Polly), Michael Ballard (Sergeant), Nick Briggs (Voice of the Dalek)Setting: UK (1st January 2019) Villain:Dalek Reconnaissance Scout

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
Duration Viewers
In Archive
851Resolution01 January 201959'58"7.0Yes

Total Duration 60 Minutes

Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.0
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2023) Position = 9 out of 24


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.

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This is the final story of Season Thirty Seven (New Series 11). It was written by showrunner and Executive Producer Chris Chibnall and was directed by Wayne Yip.

This story sees the return of the Daleks and the first story where the Thirteenth Doctor encounters a previous foe.

Behind the camera, this story marked the return of director Wayne Yip, who had previously worked on Doctor Who and Class during the Steven Moffat era. He was the first returning director, since Chris Chibnall took over as showrunner.

This is the first television story in which Nicholas Briggs is credited as ‘Nick Briggs’. It is also his first credit since Chris Chibnall took over as showrunner.

On the 6th December 2018, the BBC announced the guest stars for this story. This included Charlotte Ritchie, Nikesh Patel and Daniel Adegboyega, as the characters Lin, Mitch and Aaron respectively.

The title of this story was announced on the 8th December 2018.

Chris Chibnall stated during filming for Season Thirty Seven (New Series 11), which included this story, that the Daleks would not be featured. However, on the 25th December 2018, the BBC announced that the New Year's Day special would feature the return of the Daleks.

The Daleks were the first returning enemies since Chris Chibnall took over as showrunner at the start of this season. The Dalek in this story notably underwent the first major redesign since the new Paradigm Daleks that were introduced in the 2010 Eleventh Doctor story "Victory of the Daleks".

This story is also notable for introducing a new form of Dalek weaponry. Besides the gunstick and manipulator arm (here in the form of a claw, rather than a ‘plunger’ design), this Dalek also demonstrated possession and use of multiple short-range missiles behind each of its orbs. It also marked the introduction of a new subspecies of Dalek - the Reconnaissance Scout.

Similar to "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", this story featured neither opening titles or credits. The title of this story, along with credits for the Writer Director and Series Producer, were shown at the beginning of the end credits.

According to Darren Fereday, the concept artist, the Dalek in this story was fully robotic and thus radio-operated, requiring no Dalek operator inside the casing. Three separate systems controlled the eyestalk, the gunstick and manipulator arm, and the lights. He also noted that the melted Dalek made use of practical LED lighting.

The Daleks' gunfire sound from the 1988 Seventh Doctor story "Remembrance of the Daleks" are reused in this story.

The Doctor again refers to her travelling companions as her ‘extended fam’ (see "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", "Arachnids in the UK", "The Witchfinders" and "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos").

Lin, controlled by the Dalek, retrieves its Dalek gunstick from the MDZ Research facility - a weapons research company. She is then seen constructing a new Dalek casing, welding it out of remnants of its old shell, as well as metals found at Dinkle's farm.

The Doctor calls Aaron Sinclair ‘Ryan's dad’. Similarly in "Arachnids in the UK" she called Najia Khan ‘Yaz's mum’.

It is revealed that the Dalek buried on Earth is a Reconnaissance Scout. It is brought back to life accidentally through ultraviolet light.

Removed from their casing, Kaled mutants can control humans, and use them as vehicles instead. This is demonstrated when the Dalek commands Lin to open her laptop, which it then uses to access the Black Archive so as to assess Earth's military capabilities. Lin, still controlled by the Dalek, is seen shooting out CCTV cameras with a Dalek gunstick.

Lin thinks the Dalek mutant looks like a massive squid.

The Doctor has previously encountered Dalek mutants outside of their casing (see "The Daleks", "Resurrection of the Daleks" and "Twice Upon a Time").

The newly designed Dalek casing has short-range missiles behind its sense globes. The Army tries to destroy the Dalek with a tank, which it promptly blows it up with one of its missiles.

The Army sergeant thinks the Dalek is a drone.

The Dalek accesses the internet to research the planet's capabilities (see "Dalek"). It accesses the Black Archive (see "The Day of The Doctor").

The Doctor mentions she has faced the Daleks before and that she learned to be like them. The Ninth Doctor and the Twelfth Doctor were also compared to Daleks, albeit by other people (see "Dalek" and "Into the Dalek").

The Dalek predicts conquest in 9376 Rels. Rels are a Dalek measurement of time. The Doctor is heard stating that she can't remember how long a Rel is.

In order to contact the Dalek fleet, the Dalek takes control of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)'s relay dishes, and siphons off power from the rest of the UK to aid in the transmission. In doing so, the Dalek shuts down the Wi-Fi across the UK, as well as disrupting all telephone signals.

The Doctor is seen giving a final warning to the Dalek, allowing it one last chance to back down as the Tenth Doctor did in the 2006 story "New Earth").

New abilities for the TARDIS are revealed. It is capable of bio-tracking as well as holo-projection. It can also triangulate mobile phone signals, track CCTV cameras, monitor satellite footage, and follow GPS and number plate tracking.

When the TARDIS is locked down, The Doctor is heard asking Graham O'Brien to get some peanut butter to grease the geo-feudal locks with.

The TARDIS detects the Dalek mutant's attempt at a spatial shift.

The Doctor opens the TARDIS doors to a vacuum corridor produced by a star going supernova, in order to flush the Dalek out of her time machine.

The Doctor mentions that short hops in the TARDIS are difficult (see "State of Decay", "Logopolis" and "The Bells of Saint John").

The TARDIS has shielding which can keep the Doctor and her allies in a protective bubble, safe from Dalek weaponry (see "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways" and "Rosa").

It is revealed that The Doctor has taken her three travelling companions to 19 New Year's Eves in a row. Graham O'Brien is heard to state that his favourite was Mesopotamia, in modern-day Iraq, which The Doctor says was the original. Ryan Sinclair's favourite was Sydney in 2000, where they watched the fireworks from the Harbour Bridge, while Yasmin Khan's favourite was in 1801, when they discovered a dwarf planet with Giuseppe Piazzi. The Doctor wants to take her friends to Quantifer, a settlement on the edge of the known universe, for their twentieth New Year's Eve.

The Three Custodians intend to bury the three pieces of the Dalek on Anuta Island on the South Pacific, in Siberia, Russia, and in Yorkshire, England. The third Custodian is killed by an arrow on his way to the Yorkshire burial site.

Sheffield Town Hall is later built over the site of the third Custodian's remains. The site itself is in the sewers.

The offspring of The Three Custodians become the Order of the Custodians.

The Doctor has been on Earth for the start of New Year 2000 before (see the Fourth Doctor comic strip "The Forgotten"; the Sixth Doctor Virgin Books' The Missing Adventures novel "Millennial Rites", written by Craig Hinton, and in the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie").

A man in the café is seen reading a copy of the Sheffield Advertiser. The front page features the headline ‘Local bus route may change’.

The Doctor uses Yasmin’s phone to call the UK Security Helpline and asks to be transferred to Kate Stewart at UNIT. However, she is informed that UNIT operations have been suspended, pending a review following financial disputes and subsequent funding withdrawals.

When the Dalek shuts down the Wi-Fi, two teenagers lament that they cannot access Netflix.

Broadcast on the 1st January 2019 this story is a New Year's Day special, instead of the traditional annual Christmas special. It is the only story planed to be shown in 2019, as the next season, Season Thirty Eight (New Series 12) is not due to start until early 2020.

Since the show’s revival, in 2005, the Christmas Specials have been broadcast every year until 2017. "Twice Upon a Time" marked the final Christmas Special, after this story was moved to New Year's Day in 2019.

This story is the first New Year Special since the second episode of "The End of Time" in 2010.

The first trailer for this story was released after the broadcast of the previous story, "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos".

Before the broadcast of this story was announced it was rumoured that the 2018 Christmas Special was going to be skipped.

Like the first part of the 2010 Eleventh Doctor stories "The End of Time" and "The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang", this story takes place on the day it was broadcast.

First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story that is a New Year Special since the second episode of "The End of Time" in 2010.

 The first television story in which Nicholas Briggs is credited as ‘Nick Briggs’.

 The first appearance of a Dalek Reconnaissance Scout.

 The first story where the Thirteenth Doctor encounters a Dalek.

 The first story where the Thirteenth Doctor encounters a previous foe.

The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 The last story of Season Thirty Seven (New Series 11).

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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Celebrating The New Year
Celebrating The New Year

In the 9th century, three opposing factions narrowly succeeded in defeating a seemingly unbeatable enemy and hack its body into three pieces so that it can be hidden away in the farthest corners of the Earth.

However, the holder of one of the pieces is killed by an arrow before he can bury the piece; which is subsequently discovered by Lin and Mitch, two archaeologists, in Sheffield on New Year's Day in 2019. Not realising what they have discovered the last piece is unintentionally revived. It then remotely summons the other two fragments of itself to become whole again.

Meanwhile in the TARDIS, whilst watching New Year's Day fireworks from different time periods, The Doctor, and her three travelling companions, Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, are alerted to this alien presence on Earth. The TARDIS arrives at an underground archaeological site where they meet the two archaeologists. Lin reveals that just before they had arrived she saw a large squid-like creature on a nearby wall. The Doctor goes to investigate but only finds a blob of slime. Unbeknown to everyone, the creature has attached itself to Lin's back and has taken control of her mind and body.

The Doctor
The Doctor

Returning to Graham's home, the crew discover that Ryan's hitherto absent father, Aaron, has returned, and wishes to make amends with his son for not being there, especially since Grace’s death. Graham is sceptical but supports Ryan when he decides to go with Aaron to a local cafe so the two can talk.

Meanwhile, The Doctor and Yasmin try to follow the creature, which has made Lin steal a police car and uniform. After examining the slime, The Doctor discovers that they are dealing with a Dalek - and in particular a Dalek Reconnaissance Scout

The Dalek Reconnaissance Scout
The Dalek Reconnaissance Scout

The Dalek, still controlling Lin, arrives at an archive base, killing its guard and using his fingerprints to access the archives. Recovering a Dalek ray gun from the archive, Lin is forced to travel to a remote warehouse and after killing the owner she is made to construct a makeshift Dalek casing out of scrap metal.

Eventually, The Doctor and her companions find Lin freed from the now-rebuilt Dalek's control. After killing a military patrol, the Dalek flies to the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters, massacring the staff. There it attempts to summon a Dalek fleet in order to conquer Earth.

On realising what the Dalek is up to The Doctor, Graham, Ryan, Yasmin, Aaron and the two archaeologists head for GCHQ. They arrive just in time to scupper the fleet-summoning signal, destroying the Dalek's casing in the process - making them think they have also killed the Dalek.


However, the mutant survives and possesses Aaron, threatening to kill him unless The Doctor takes it to Skaro to rally the Dalek fleet. The Doctor is forced to agree, but instead she tricks the Dalek mutant by taking it to a supernova instead. With the TARDIS doors open Aaron and the Dalek mutant are nearly sucked out of the TARDIS but Ryan manages to save Aaron at the last moment as the Dalek mutant is cast into space and is sucked into the supernova.

Back in Sheffield, Ryan offers Aaron the chance to travel in the TARDIS, but Aaron declines. The TARDIS crew bid farewell to Aaron and the archaeologists and depart.

Dalek Takeover
Dalek Takeover
Communication With The Dalek
Communication With The Dalek
Dalek Attack
Dalek Attack
Dalek Casing
Dalek Casing
The Doctor and Her Team
The Doctor and Her Team
Killing the Dalek
Killing the Dalek

Quote of the Story

 'Listen. Here's what you find out when you get older. There's things you done in your life... to others. The decisions you've made... maybe when... things were difficult... you get it wrong. But by the time you realize you got it wrong,... it's too late. You can't fix it because the damage is done. So you run. 'Cause you're too ashamed... to make it right. That's what I did.'


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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
ResolutionFebruary 2019BBCDVD 4373Photo-montage
ResolutionFebruary 2019BBCBD 0460Photo-montage
The Complete Twelfth Series Box SetApril 2020BBCDVD 4418Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 8 stories from New Series 12 along with the 2019 New Year Special "Resolution" which originally had a separate release from New Series 11
The Complete Twelfth Series Box SetApril 2020BBCBD 0495Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 8 stories from New Series 12 along with the 2019 New Year Special "Resolution" which originally had a separate release from New Series 11
The Complete Twelfth Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)April 2020BBCBD 0498Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 8 stories from New Series 12 along with the 2019 New Year Special "Resolution" which originally had a separate release from New Series 11

In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 533 (Released: January 2019)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 534 (Released: February 2019)

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Photo Gallery

The Doctor and Companions

Jodie Whittaker
The Thirteenth Doctor


Bradley Walsh
Graham O'Brien
Tosin Cole
Ryan Sinclair
Mandip Gill
Yasmin Khan

On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

Blu-Ray Cover
Blu-Ray Cover

Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook



Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 533
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 533

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 534
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 534

Marvel Comics

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