Why We Fight is the fourth episode of the Common Series, and the first of a two-part story.
"Why are we fighting to save a planet that wants us dead? - Amy Pond
The TARDIS lands on the planet Atorva in the far future, where The Doctor uncovers a government plot to sacrifice the population to the god-like Skarkish. Meanwhile, Amy and Rory discover just how devoted the Atorvans are to their religion, and are hunted across the capital by the very people they're trying to save. Can The Doctor unmask the Skarkish plot to re-shape the universe? Will anyone survive the Purge? In the midst of a war where everything is on the line, only one thing is certain: Silence will fall.
A man dressed in regal robes approaches the head of a table surrounded by important looking people. A large crystalline object is floating in the centre of the table. The table resume discussion of something called the purge. A man disagrees with the concept, stating that their faith is more than enough and that The Maker wouldn't approve of such a sacrifice. The regally dressed man thanks him for his opinion, stating they want to get a wide range of views, but orders the Crystal to kill him. The Crystal then shoots a bolt of light at the man and disintegrates him.
The Doctor, piloting the TARDIS as recklessly as ever, misses a throw to Rory, and the hammer smashes straight into the Time Rotor. The TARDIS throws its crew around, even more violently than normally, before halting to a stop. The Doctor casually apologises and checks his monitor before explaining that the landing Co-Ordinates are well outside the universe. He sternly asserts that they should leave immediately, Amy and Rory take this literally, and leave the TARDIS in fits of laughter; The Doctor grins and follows them out.
The three exit into a massive, futuristic metropolis with flying cars, towering skyscrapers and a wide range of races populating the busy streets. The Doctor nonchalantly declares it to be Sureth on Atorva in the year 26281, "September 16th-ish". Amy asks why the TARDIS said they were outside the universe, but he just dismisses the though, and makes the point that "She's quite old". The Doctor notices theres lots of propaganda posters depicting a man with the subtitle "We are returning!" While he shares his suspicions with Amy, she dismisses it as an "election or something dull like that, now take me to a proper planet!"
The Doctor explains more about Atorva, describing how they are largely devout Skarkees, and worship the Skarkish. People generally believe that the Skarkish created Atorva and different avatars maintain different aspects of life. He notes that, while the Skarkish DO indeed exist and work alongside Atorvans, they don't have anywhere near as much power as legend dictates. He also mentions the Atorvan Government, and describes how they know that the Skarkish aren't Gods, but keep it quiet as it keeps the people in check; quite brilliantly. They tell hoardes of lies to their people but they're harmless enough... until about 32231. Before Amy and Rory wonder off, The Doctor warns them not to say anything against the Skarkish no matter how crazy the people sound, as they will probably be killed, before wishing them a happy date. The Doctor looks into the sky and sees a large crystal radiating light, a Skarkish. The Doctor mentions that if it wasn't for that Skarkish, named Helios, Atorva would be uninhabitable... Before noticing Amy and Rory have already gone. The Doctor stares again beyond Helios suspiciously.
Wandering around aimlessly, The Doctor happens to notice a broadcast signal coming from the Sureth Citadel at the heart of the city. It is from the same man who ordered the death of the person who disagreed with him. He announces himself to be Zoah Fevrier, Lord of Skarkism. He announces that a message from the Skarkish themselves will be broadcasting a message later today, one that will change day to day life forever. The Doctor laments that nothing is supposed to happen today, and why he always arrives into trouble.
Amy and Rory, who (for some reason) have The Doctors psychic paper, are eating in a restaurant, having used the psychic paper as a debit card. They're discussing where to ask The Doctor to take them. Rory suggests Ancient Egypt while Amy suggests Rome, but "proper Rome this time." Through the windows, they see a young, red, reptilian woman running down the street, being chased by an angry mob carrying blades, burning poles and other mob-ish weapons. The pair chase after the crowd; Rory comments how his dates always end chasing someone that isn't Amy.
Meanwhile, The Doctor has arrived at Sureth Citadel and requests an audience with Zoah. The wolf-like receptionist asks for an appointment card. The Doctor confidently reaches for the psychic paper, before realizing that Rory has it from their visit to planet Barcelona, which he conveys by making a 'large nose' gesture. The receptionist tells him he's busy in an important meeting at the moment. Looking through a window; The Doctor notices this clearly isn't true. He walks out the building before remembering something, and pulls out the TARDIS key with the perception filter. He hangs it around his neck before sneaking back into the building, grinning that "this is far too easy". Noticing Zoah walking down a corridor (and not noticing a female soldier spying on him), The Doctor takes off the key and confronts him. He declares that he knows he's up to something, that the posters have nothing to do with an election, that Helios is providing something else in the 'sunlight' and that if he doesn't like it, it will stop. Zoah cooly addresses The Doctor, stating that theres nothing he can do to stop him, but not to expect any further details in his plan; He then calls security which escort The Doctor out of the building. With a distinct frown, The Doctor puts the perception filter back on and strolls back inside.
Amy and Rory catch up to the reptilian woman and hide in a nearby alley. She gives her name as Miralka, and Amy asks her why the mob was trying to kill her. She explains that she used to work directly for Zoah (and explains who he is), and that he was acting behind peoples backs, even the other Skarkee bishops, and was the only one to ever meet with the leader of the Skarkish, Opel. One day, she followed him to find that he was meeting with no one, but was receiving messages from an ominous voice. The angry mob suddenly appears around the corner. Rory dramatically tells them that he and Amy were sent by Zoah himself to bring Miralka to him, and flashes the psychic paper to prove it. He orders them to get out of their way, which they immediately obey. Amy makes the mistake of whispering what a great actor Rory is within earshot of one of the mob members, who shouts that they're lying. The trio are then chased through the streets of Sureth.
The Doctor has followed Zoah into a meeting with the other Skarkee bishops, and pulls out a large video camera from his pockets and plugs in a small USB-like flash drive. Zoah tells the group that Opel has contacted him again, and said that they must initiate the purge today, as the galactic forces are in position for the one and only time for the next 6000 years. One female bishop bring up her opinion that it is just plain wrong to crash Eden into Atorva, and questions why all-compassionate beings would want to kill people. Another point’s that it’s going to crash into a nuclear power plant and kill everyone, but acknowledges her point. Zoah warns them what happened last time someone disagreed with the words of Skarkish will happen again and further explains the harvest of souls will summon the Skarkish's full powers and they will re-shape the universe for the better, and revive everyone good who had died. The soldier who previously spied on Zoah and the Doctor, visibly disgusted, gets up and prepares to leave, but not before telling Zoah: "I don't care who you are or what the Skarkish have promised you. This is wrong" Zoah laughs manically and transforms into a crystalline form.
Still running from the mob, Amy, Rory and Miralka hide in a building. Inside they meet a captain of the Skarkist forces, Sven.
Back in the conference room, Zoah reveals that there was no Opel, and that he is the leader of the Skarkish. He will harvest the energy from the crash and have the power to rule all of creation. He tries to kill Kara, but she dodges out of the way and runs out of the door. The Zoah turns his attention to the rest of the Bishops, who are trying to leave. He promptly kills them all.
Zoah proclaims himself to be "All Ruling! All Seeing! All-"
Simply infuriated at this, The Doctor angrily casts off the perception filter, continuing "Powerful? Conquer the galaxy! Power of the Gods! All of The Apprentice on demand! Get over yourself. You might be able to kill some humanoids but that hardly makes you any more than a nice piece of jewellery."
"Do not anger me, Doctor!" Zoah howls back. "I will destroy you and this miserable planet!"
"Good luck with that. Let me know when you're done. We'll throw a party in your honor. Maybe we could have a bouncy castle! That'd be nice."
Zoah begins to charge an attack. Realizing he may have gone a little too far, The Doctor uses the Sonic Screwdriver to cause the fire in the fireplace to erupt and blanket the room in raging flames, and uses the cover of smoke to escape.
Sven acknowledges Amy and Rory as the target of the mob, and declares his own doubts about the Skarkish. They tell him they need to get to Sureth Citadel, and Rory flashes the psychic paper. The group get in Svens ship, the Lyndworm. Sven asks why they need to go there; Miralka explains her story, continuing that an ominous voice ordered Zoah to crash Eden into Zarkos Power Plant, and to tell the people that it is to summon The Maker, which caused Zoah to laugh. At this point, Miralka ran and told as many people as she could, but that just made people try to kill her.
Amy remembers a broadcast saying that the world would change forever today, and that the broadcast came from Sureth Citadel. Rory suggests they find the Doctor, but Amy insists that if Sureth Citadel's where the action, that’s where The Doctor will be.
The Doctor is running down corridors, being chased by soldiers and Zoah, again in humanoid form. Amy and Rory have ran straight into the citadel and past all the guards. The Doctor runs down a flight of stairs and bump into Rory and Amy, who tell him that Zoah is planning to crash Eden into Atorva, and that he knows there’s no such thing as The Maker; The Doctor quips that he knows, and adds that Zoah is actually a "Giant weird crystal thing trying to kill all". Soldiers come from above and below, so the trio enter the floors corridors.
Caught in a dead end, The Doctor suggests jumping out the window, before noticing they're about 30 floors high. Amy drags Rory and the Doctor into a room, straight through into another corridor, where they are cornered by Zoah. Two soldiers rush through to restrain the group. Zoah declares that The Doctor has lost, and that The Skarkish will have control over all of time and space, before ordering his soldiers to fire. The background music suddenly stops, silence is falling...
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
- Zoah Fevrier - Tom Hollander
- Sven Vermonde - Ben Aldridge
- Kara Schwartz - Keri Russell
- Miralka Evrin - Katie McGrath
- Skarkish Voice - Chow Yun-Fat
- Voice of the Zoah - David de Keyser
- The Doctor making a nose gesture when referring to Rory, something which he previously did in The Vampires Of Venice
- Fans and Bluesilver himself have noted similarities in the stories structure between it and The Vampires of Venice.
- When The Doctor examines the propaganda posters at the start of the episode, among them is a 'Vote Saxon' and 'New Mayor, New Cardiff'. Why these posters are on another planet thousands of years in the future, who knows.
- The Doctor makes use of the TARDIS key with a Perception Filter that he made in The Sound of Drums
- The planet Barcelona was previously mentioned by the Ninth and Tenth Doctors in The Parting of the Ways.
- This is a rare (or even unique) example of incidental music produced for another TV series being used in Doctor Who. The Torchood themes "Here Comes Torchwood" and "The Chase" are both featured in the episode, and rather prominently in The Chase's case.