Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, Nick (Adjani Salmon) drops by a storage facility in Manchester owned by Sarah (Aisling Bea). He has had a serious crush on her for three years. Meanwhile, the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) is struggling to reset the TARDIS after the damage done by the Flux. She, Yaz (Mandip Gill), and Dan (John Bishop) intend to go to the beach but step out into the same storage facility. The TARDIS reset results in a time-loop.

Nick is killed by an Executioner Dalek and then it kills the Doctor, Yaz, Dan, and Sarah. But time resets. Sarah and Nick keep trying to save each other and the loop will collapse at midnight. The Daleks, in fact, are after the Doctor. They and she keep learning during each loop and keep trying to anticipate the other’s next move. Nick confesses to returning each year to see Sarah. Dan tells the Doctor that Yaz has feelings for her.

Using fireworks found in the facility, they decide to create a trap to bring down the entire building. They keep behaving differently from the earlier loops before dying, to throw the Daleks off stride. At the last minute. They put the explosives in place and escape through the basement, leaving Sarah’s phone behind. Sarah’s mother calls her at midnight and when the phone rings, the Daleks fire at it, trigger the  fireworks, and bring down the building, leaving the TARDIS unharmed at the bottom of a huge hole. The TARDIS crew sets off to find the Lost Treasure of Flor de la Mar. Sarah and Nick decide to travel the world together.

This first of three 2022 Specials was written by Christ Chibnall and directed by Annetta Laufer. It introduced the Executioner Daleks. Reviews were generally positive, but it did not draw a lot of viewers. It was originally supposed to be a larger story connected to previous 13th Doctor Dalek tales, but the upcoming Legend of the Sea-Devils was too expensive. Despite the fact that a Dalek says, “I am not Nick,” the voices were done by Nicholas Briggs. When Jodie Whittaker read the script, she thought the Doctor would actually be killed. The First Doctor, William Hartnell, was also the target of a Dalek execution squad. If Groundhog Day is one of your favorite movies, and there are lots of us, you should like this one.

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