Doctor: Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor)
Companion: Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)
Simon Day – Steward
Yasmin Bannerman – Jabe
Jimmy Vee – Moxx of Balhoon
Zoë Wanamaker – Cassandra
Camille Coduri – Jackie Tyler
Beccy Armory – Raffalo
Sara Stewart – Computer voice
Silas Carson – Alien voice
Nicholas Briggs – Alien voice
Directed by Euros Lyn
Written by Russell T Davies
Script editor Helen Raynor
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Production code 1.2
Series Series 1
Length 44 minutes
Originally broadcast 2 April 2005
The Doctor takes Rose to the year 5.5/apple/26, five billion years into her future. They land on Platform One, a space station in orbit around Earth. They have arrived in time for a party celebrating the final destruction of Earth by the expansion of the Sun. The Earth has long since been abandoned, but has been kept up by a historical trust. The Doctor uses his psychic paper to pass as their invitation to the party, and he and Rose find many elite alien beings there. The guests include Lady Cassandra O'Brien, billed as "the last human" but actually a face on a large piece of skin that must be continually moisturised. Also present are the Face of Boe, the Moxx of Balhoon, the Adherents of the Repeated Meme, and sentient and mobile trees from the Forest of Cheem. Rose is overwhelmed by the strange beings and customs as well as how distant she is from home, and leaves to an observation room to collect her thoughts. The Doctor follows her, and tries to cheer her up by allowing her to call her mum Jackie by altering her mobile phone to be able to work over the distance in time.
A tree from the Forest of Cheem, as shown at the Doctor Who Experience.
Meanwhile, the gifts brought by the Adherents of the Repeated Meme are revealed to contain robotic spiders that immediately work at disabling functions on Platform One. The Steward of Platform One recognises something is wrong, but is killed when the spiders cause the solar filter of his room to lower and expose him directly to the powerful solar radiation. The Doctor goes to investigate with the help of Jabe, of the Forest of Cheem, and discover the Steward's death and the spiders. Rose attempts to learn more from Lady Cassandra but only gets more upset over Cassandra's arrogance and insults her before storming off. The Meme follows her and knocks her unconscious. She regains consciousness in an observation room where the solar filter is about to drop. She tries to escape but is locked in, but the Doctor learns of the lowering sun filter and manages to get the filter back up but cannot get her out.
Using a captured spider, the Doctor determines that the Meme are responsible. The Meme turn out to be empty shells, and the real controller is revealed to be Lady Cassandra. Cassandra admits to being the saboteur, her original plan was to hold the assembled elite for ransom, but now intends to use their deaths to generate profit from their companies to finance her operations. Cassandra teleports to her ship as the spiders bring down the shielding on the entire station and the gravity satellites are turned off. The direct radiation causes the solar filters to strain and crack, killing several of the guests from the intense radiation exposure and once again threatening Rose. The Doctor and Jabe travel to the bowels of Platform One to restore the automated shields, but it requires one of them to travel through several spinning fans. Jabe recognises the Doctor as the last Time Lord and sacrifices herself to hold down a switch to slow down the fan blades. This allows the Doctor to reactivate the system just before the expanding Sun hits the station and destroys Earth.
The Doctor returns to the remaining guests and Rose, who is now free of the observation room. Using a device he finds in the room, the Doctor reverses Cassandra's teleport and brings her back onto the station. In the elevated temperature and without moisturising, Cassandra begins to dry out and crack. She begs for mercy from the Doctor, but he refuses to listen and Cassandra ruptures. Rose notes that with all the events that occurred no one had witnessed the actual destruction of Earth. The Doctor returns Rose to her present time, and explains to her that he is the last of the Time Lords, and that his planet of Gallifrey was destroyed in the wake of a great war. The episode closes with Rose and the Doctor going off to get chips on a sunny London afternoon.