Four Daleks transporting the Genesis Ark emerge from the void ship inside the sphere chamber of the Torchwood Institute in the Canary Wharf skyscraper. The Cybermen who have seized control of Torchwood offer an alliance, but the Daleks intend to exterminate every lifeform in the universe except Daleks. A Dalek kills two Cybermen and the Cybermen declare war on the Daleks. A strike team from the parallel universe takes the Doctor (David Tennant) to meet with Pete Tyler (Shaun Dingwell). The parallel Earth has begun to warm since the opening of the breach and the Doctor thinks this will end with both planets falling into the void.
In the sphere chambre, the Doctor realises that the four Daleks are from the Cult of Skaro. He allows the Cybermen to enter and attack the Daleks. Mickey (Noel Clarke) accidentally activates the Ark while escaping with the Doctor, Pete, and Rose (Billie Piper). Dalek Sec (Nicholas Briggs, the voice of all Daleks and all Cybermen) takes the Ark outside. Pete saves Jackie (Camille Caduri) from the Cybermen. The Doctor brings everyone into the control room. The Ark is a prison ship built by the Time Lords to imprison the Daleks. Like the TARDIS, it is bigger on the inside, and when it opens millions of Daleks pour out to exterminate humans and Cybermen.
The Doctor can open the breach and reverse it, but anyone who has travelled between the two worlds will be pulled in, including Rose, Mickey, and Pete. The Doctor takes them, with Jackie, to the parallel universe. Rose jumps back to help the Doctor. They open the breach and hang on to magnetic clamps as the Cybermen and Daleks are pulled into the void, although the Cult of Skaro escapes using a temporal shift. Rose loses her grip and starts to fall into the void, but Pete pops in and transports her to the parallel universe. She can never return.
Later, Rose dreams that she hears the Doctor calling her. The Tyler family follow the voice to Bad Wolf Bay in Norway, where a hologram of the Doctor appears. He tells Rose that he is using a supernova’s energy to create a small breach for her to see his image and hear his voice. Rose breaks down and tearfully tells the Doctor she loves him. Before the Doctor can finish telling her what he wants to say, the breach closes, and he vanishes. When he gets back to the TARDIS, a strange woman in a wedding dress demands to know where she is.
The idea of the Daleks battling the Cybermen had been hanging around the BBC since 1967, but Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks, vetoed it. So, this confrontation is the first in the 57-year history of Doctor Who. Really, it is only since the CGI revolution that it could be done. The screen is filled with terrifying creatures slaughtering each other amid cries of “Exterminate!” and “Delete!” The human race is caught up in the conflict, like the human explorers beneath the feet of battling saurians in a Lost World movie. It is as inevitable as Alien versus Predator.
This is the last appearance of Rose as a companion, though she will appear later on. Her entire family and Mickey are gone with her, exiled to the parallel universe. The episode, set mainly in One Canada Square in London, is one of the most popular of all time. It was nominated for the 2007 Hugo, which was won by The Girl in the Fireplace. Some elements of the story were inspired by Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy. Pullman was flattered. Murray Gold composed a special piece of music for Rose’s farewell. It contains elements of the music accompanying her first glimpse inside the TARDIS. Its popularity led to the release of a Doctor Who soundtrack album.
The destruction of Torchwood headquarters in London opened the way for Torchwood in Cardiff. Sending the Daleks and Cybermen to hell required the co-ordinates 6x6x6. There was a fierce debate over whether Rose should be rescued by Mickey or Pete. The latter won as this meant his acceptance of her as his daughter. The episode aired on the same day as the 2006 World Cup, and the cover of Radio Times depicted a football game between the Daleks and the Cybermen. The four Daleks in the Cult of Skaro have names: Sec, Thay, Jast, and Caan. One of the great moments, among many, is the cyborg-bitch quarrel between the lead Dalek and the lead Cyberman, both of them voiced by Nicholas Briggs.