Lt Doyle radios the other police officers, telling them the two suspects have been spotted in St Anne’s Graveyard and they are to proceed to the area immediately. They are to be considered highly dangerous and can be taken dead or alive.
The Doctor warns Kathy and Nate to keep away from the Cyberman as he’s not their father any more. The Doctor asks the Chambers/Cyberman whether he recognises anyone in the group, but he seems confused as he hasn’t been fully converted. He does recognise the Doctor and Peri as enemies, but everyone else is irrelevant and will be converted. The Doctor tells Peri to take the others home quickly while he searches Chambers’ old office - but then the police arrive and surround them. Janine believes they’ve been saved, but the police open fire and everyone races back into the cemetery. They take refuge in the undertaker’s office, but the police headlights are blinding them and they’ve lost sight of the Chambers/Cyberman. Doyle reports to the Cybermen that the group is trapped inside the building.
The Doctor checks that everyone is alright and Janine orders the youngsters away from the windows. She demands explanations from the Doctor and she particularly wants to know why he seems to be endangering her daughter. Daniel intervenes and tells them that if they don’t join forces to help, then what happened to Chambers and the police is going to happen to them too. The Doctor wonders why the Cybermen chose Chambers and Peri theorises that it has something to do with his job. For some reason, the Cybermen seem to have chosen a different mode of operation and instead of converting the living, they seem to be concentrating on making the dead walk! Chambers had only been working here for three months and it was just after he started that people noticed he had changed, becoming quiet and distant. The Doctor deduces that the Cybermen made him install a conversion unit into the coffins. In the last three months there have been at least twenty burials, so there may be another twenty Cybermen underground, waiting to be activated. Daniel suddenly realises this will include his wife, Maureen! Janine wants to know why the Cybermen recognised her daughter, which reminds Peri that her last meeting with them was in 1985 - next year! That means these Cybermen are from the future.
Janine agrees that they can’t wait around to be killed or converted and the Doctor suggests they search for the unit controlling the police officers. If it’s here in the building, then unfortunately there’s likely to be a Cybermen operating it. Behind the main office is the area where the bodies are kept and upstairs is the home where the Chambers family lived for a while, so the Doctor asks Peri to take the others upstairs while he looks around. Peri insists on staying with the Doctor, and then Janine insists on staying with Peri, so Daniel is asked to look after the two youngsters.
Lt Doyle encounters the Chambers/Cyberman and discovers he is starting to remember his past life. The police officer explains that he can hear the voice of their leader, who assures Chambers his feelings of fear will soon pass. In the meantime, he is to seek out his old family and make them like him. He is guided to a window on the first floor of the undertaker’s office… Meanwhile, Kathy and Nate creep slowly up the stairs to their old home. They’re worried the Cybermen will be waiting for them, but convince themselves that the conversions were being conducted downstairs, so they should be safe.
The Doctor and Peri search the office and mortuary and tell Janine to look out for alien technology. Peri’s mother is amazed to discover that she’s been travelling in time and space, so Peri takes the opportunity to explain exactly what happened to her after she said goodbye in the Lanzarote hotel room. Janine warns her that if this all turns out to be a big practical joke, she’s going to slap her into next week! The Doctor finds a radio and decides to find out what’s being reported on the news. He listens to Natalie Hamilton warning residents in the area to stay indoors and it’s immediately obvious that she’s being controlled too. He believes people are being deliberately encouraged to remain in their homes so they’ll be trapped when the Cybermen come for them. Peri argues that it takes ages to convert someone into a Cyberman, but the Doctor reminds her that these Cybermen are from the future. He shows her a coffin containing some of the most advanced Cyber-technology he’s ever seen. It appears that a tiny needle that injects the subject with a virus is all that’s needed to complete the conversion. If twenty Cybermen can be resurrected in the graveyard, they can march through the streets of Fells Point, safe in the knowledge that every resident is locked up in their own homes in fear for their lives. A quick injection and a new Cyber-race will be born!
Kathy and Nate check the upstairs section of the house while Daniel keeps an eye on both of them. For Kathy in particular, this is an upsetting experience as they keep getting seeing everyday things that remind them of their father. Kathy is now studying medicine at Boston University and plans to be a doctor, so she can understand what Daniel has gone through in recent years with his wife’s battle against cancer. That was why he slept in the graveyard, to be as close to her as he could. Suddenly the window smashes and the Chambers/Cyberman leans in and grabs Daniel, killing him instantly.
Downstairs, Peri thinks she heard something, but no one else noticed anything over the torrential rain so she goes off to explore alone. The Doctor is curious to discover that Chambers had covered the outside yard with tarpaulin and wants to investigate further. Peri returns to the house and goes upstairs, calling for her friends. The Doctor finds what appears to be a huge white egg, some kind of pod which undoubtedly contains a Cyberman. Janine wants to destroy it, but the Doctor insists they open it. Before they can do anything, a hatch on the pod starts to open of its own accord…
Peri reaches the upper floor she finds her friends cowering from the Chambers/Cyberman as it stands over Daniel’s dead body. Peri encourages her friends to follow her out, but Kathy explains that every time they move, the Cyberman just comes closer, repeatedly stating that “the dead will walk”. Peri grabs the video cassette from her bag and switches on the family TV set. The Chambers/Cyberman watches the recording of his 40th birthday celebrations and Nate tries to engage him in conversation while Peri and Kathy slip out unnoticed…
The hatch on the pod finishes opening and the Doctor and Janine are about to look inside when Kathy and Peri race out and tells them Daniel is dead. Janine is concerned at the way the Doctor appears to dismiss his death while he concentrates on more important things. Janine wants to go back for Nate, but the Doctor is sure he’ll be OK as long as the Chambers/Cyberman is being distracted by the video. He sends the three women back into the house and tells them to collect Nate and lock themselves in the bathroom, then as soon as the police leave Peri is to take them all to the safety of the TARDIS. She insists on staying with the Doctor, but Janine refuses to let her. The Doctor enters the pod and is surprised to find that it’s bigger on the inside than the outside. The hatch closes behind him and the pod dematerialises!
At home alone, Mrs Van Gysegham telephones the hospital and asks to speak to her husband. She wants to apologise to him for everything that’s happened and to tell him she loves him…
Peri is distraught, but there’s nothing anyone can do for the Doctor now. Janine and Kathy are worried by her obsession with him, but she explains that he once died for her and she regards him as her best friend. They learn about his sacrifice on Androzani Minor and how he gave up his life for her, regenerating into a new person. Janine thinks Peri stays with him out of guilt, but she assures her mother that the she loves him. They agree that the only thing they can do now is go back to the TARDIS and wait for him to return. They go to collect Nate, but Kathy is upset when Peri reminds her that they can’t take her father with them.
Inside the pod, the Doctor hears the voice of the Cyberleader weakly summoning him closer. The pod is enormous and he walks through the darkness until he comes across the dying form of the leader. The Cyberleader repeats the number ‘8687’ and the Doctor wonders why people keep saying that. The leader, who is evidently close to termination, explains they are currently waiting in the Vortex. He is one of the last few Cybermen as most of the race has been destroyed in the Wars. The Doctor isn’t surprised to learn that this ship is based on Time Lord technology. He finds the equipment which controls the police back on Earth and tries to switch it off, but the Cyberleader grabs him and threatens to kill one of his friends is he doesn’t assist them. He shows the Doctor an image being transmitted through Chambers’ eyes and as a demonstration of his intent, he orders the Chambers/Cyberman to attack Nate. The Doctor is horrified and swears vengeance against the Cyberleader!
The Cyberleader wants the Doctor to help him change the past. The Doctor refuses - and then realises the whole thing has been one big trap. Everything from Baltimore, Anthony Chambers, the corpses, all of it had been set up with one intention - to lure him here! The Cyberleader knew he would not be able to resist investigating and even the attempt to poison him with the coffee was just to distract him and he knew the Doctor would never drink it. The leader says he’s been on Earth for 630 days. He found the pod abandoned on a planet destroyed by fire and used it to travel into the past to create a new Cyber-race, but he was unaware that Time Lord technology is based on a link between the pod and its user and therefore wasn’t protected against the energies of the Vortex.
The Doctor checks further and discovers the Cyberleader didn’t pilot the ship at all, it simply crash landed back in 1982 with him aboard. Anthony Chambers stumbled upon the injured Cyberleader and it took control of him using the ear-disc and then killed him to attract the Doctor’s attention. The leader has access to the entire Cyber-history and knew of his relationship with Peri, so it engineered the whole situation just to lure him here. But the Doctor is curious - why didn’t the leader just use the virus, the coffins and the brainwashed policeman to take over the Earth? The Cyberleader reveals that there is no virus. Anthony Chambers was converted before he was buried - he is the only Cyberman on Earth. The climate of fear they created was not directed at the people of Fells Point at all, but at the Doctor! He needs the Doctor to take him back to the beginning to ensure that the human race becomes the Cybermen…
Peri urges Janine and Kathy to show more caution as they approach the room where Nate is watching the video with the Chambers/Cyberman. They need to stay calm so as not to get themselves killed. Peri and Janine start to argue about who’s actually in charge, and in the end it’s Kathy who leads the group into the upstairs living room. The sight that awaits them is greeted with a scream!
The Cyberleader wants the Doctor to pilot him back to the beginning of life on Earth. He refuses and the leader threatens to have Peri, Janine and Kathy killed, so reluctantly the Doctor sets the co-ordinates. He’s ordered to pick up a Cyber-conversion device that looks like an egg that can be split into two pieces. By placing one half on each side of a person’s head, their flesh is transformed into Cyber-technology. The Doctor’s task is to convert the first human beings so they’ll have the knowledge and ability to develop further Cyber-technology in the future. From their birth, the human race will be Cybermen. As the Doctor was responsible for destroying the Cybermen in the future, it is fitting that he be responsible for creating the new Cyber-race in the past. After that, he is to pilot the pod to the future and see the results of their work.
Kathy discovers Nate is still alive but the Chambers/Cyberman is standing over him as if awaiting further orders. Nate is seriously ill and they need to get some medical attention to him urgently, but he can’t be moved as his back is broken. Peri becomes inconsolable and turns to her mother for help. Janine orders the two girls to lock themselves in the bathroom while she tries to lure the Cyberman away. If anything should go wrong, they’re to go to the TARDIS and try to summon help from the Doctor’s alien friends.
The ship has arrived at its destination and the Doctor tries one last attempt to convince the Cyberleader that humans are not meant to be logical. Chaos and emotion is what life is all about. The Cyberleader rejects that argument - it has studied time and has observed patterns that suggest every aspect of life is part of something greater. It orders him to leave the ship…
Janine talks to the Chambers/Cyberman and tries to get him to remember his previous life, including his kids and his late wife. It dismisses such thoughts as irrelevant, but Janine refuses to accept this. The Cyberman appears to want to sleep, which she encourages - but when Peri tries to leave, the creature reawakens and grabs her.
The Doctor returns to the ship and tells the Cyberleader that he’s converted eight of the prehistoric humans and they’ve already started converting the others. He left the device with them, and now it’s time to go to the future and see the results of his handiwork. He sets the temporal co-ordinates for 1984, ironically the year that everyone is supposed to conform. No emotion and no chaos - the Orwellian nightmare come true! The Doctor has created a new history and the Cyberleader believes he should feel pride. They arrive at their destination and the Time Lord invites him to use the last bit of his energy to go outside…and when he sees the new world he describes it as perfect. The Doctor tries to leave, but the Cyberleader demands he stay to look at the future. Suddenly the leader realises the Cybermen around him are inferior, and while he’s distracted, the Doctor manages to get back inside the pod which dematerialises. The sick Cyberleader is approached by an early Mondas-type Cyberman who believes the new arrival is in need of repair. The year is indeed 1984, but instead of arriving on Earth, he’s been taken to Mondas itself! Commander Zheng is ordered to take the leader away for reprocessing.
At that moment, the Chambers/Cyberman aborts his termination of Peri and goes into standby mode, awaiting further instructions. The Doctor arrives and is relieved to find his friend is safe. He shows her the police officers outside are now looking very confused, wondering why they’re standing in a graveyard. He explains that he took the Cyberleader back to Mondas, which will be destroyed in two years’ time. He gives Peri the Cyber-conversion egg from the future while he examines the injured Nate.
Much later, Peri asks the Doctor if she can keep the conversion egg as a king of memento. The hospital staff help Nate settle into his room, but unfortunately there’s nothing they can do about his broken back - he’ll be paralysed for life. Peri tells the Doctor that she’s decided to remain here on Earth and move back in with her mother. She makes a tearful goodbye and asks him to promise he’ll look her up sometime. Saddened, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS alone.
The Doctor returns to the Gogglebox where the Alan clones offer to help him find his missing book, but somehow it just doesn’t seem so important anymore. Instead, he asks to be shown to one of the booths so he can check up on how Peri got on without him. Moments later, he bursts out in distress and races back to the TARDIS.
Back on Earth in 1984, Mrs Van Gysegham makes an unexpected visit to the Foster household. Peri is enrolling at the University and Kathy is visiting Nate, so she goes upstairs and joins Janine who is tidying up one of the girl’s bedrooms. She finds half of the alien conversion egg which she thought had been stored in the basement, but as she picks it up they hear a warning about an unauthorised use and the device sets to self-destruct. Seconds later, the house explodes… The police and fire-fighters race to the scene, but it’s too late. Later, Natalie Hamilton reports on the news that there’s been a massive explosion in the Fells Point area which the police are treating as suspicious. The two dead women have been named as Janine Foster and Dominique Van Gysegham.
The Doctor catches up with Peri at her mother’s grave. She still can’t believe what’s happened and breaks down in tears. There’s nothing the Doctor can say to make things any easier. Kathy seems to have disappeared and Nate has been transferred somewhere, but Peri doesn’t know where. Now she’s all alone. The Doctor reminds her that the Universe is meant to be chaotic and can be a mystery and Peri wonders whether the Cybermen actually have the right idea - at least they don’t have to go through this suffering. There’s nothing here for Peri any more. Later, the TARDIS dematerialises…
Travelling with the Doctor is the strangest, maddest experience. One minute your life is small, nine to five, the next you’re seeing - well, everything. And it’s terrifying, but brilliant. Then one day, like all things, it ends. You leave him, you go home, and everything’s small again. But you get used to it. The last thing you ever, ever expect is for him to come back…