The bus has been wrecked in the process of landing, with smoke hissing from its engine and parts of its double-decker roof sheared apart. The bus driver proclaims it unmovable. The Doctor tells the passengers that the bus has passed through a wormhole into a different world, proving this to them by throwing a handful of sand into the space behind the bus.
The sand causes a rippling effect in the air. The same man who eyeballed the rhondium detector points a finger at the Doctor and demands to know if he used it to make the bus end up in the desert. Annoyed for receiving immediate blame from a human on a bus and having dealt with the animosity of the Midnight incident , the Doctor doesn't keep to himself again.
Instead, he comes clean and says he was tracking a hole in reality that suddenly grew big and the bus drove into it. He elaborates that the other end of the wormhole was in the tunnel on Earth. Among the passengers is Carmen , who has been hearing mysterious voices since Christina got on.
The bus driver announces his desire to return to Earth, and promptly runs through the wormhole, accompanied by the Doctor's, "No, don't! The other passengers of the bus witness the driver's skin and tissues incinerating, before he disappears into the wormhole with the same rippling effect as the sand. Meanwhile, on Earth, where the police are watching the wormhole, the driver's blackened skeleton steps out, halts, and then tumbles to the ground.
After watching the bus driver's death, the Doctor sums up that the metal of the bus protected them from the same fate as the driver when they passed through the wormhole like a Faraday cage , as Christina states. Everyone returns to the bus so the group can make sense of the situation. Christina takes charge, introduces herself and the Doctor, then everyone introduces themselves: Nathan , a young adult with slicked up hair, Barclay , about the same age and the one who confronted the Doctor, Angela Whittaker , an older blond woman, Louis , who goes by the nickname "Lou," and his wife, Carmen.
Christina notices the Doctor is the brainpower of the bunch and has him fill the rest of the group in on what has happened. The Doctor explains to the passengers on the bus that they went through the wormhole by accident, but Carmen tells him with some surprising knowledge that it was a doorway put there for a reason. Her husband Lou notes she has had a gift of foresight since she was a girl which has helped them make small wins on the lottery.
The Doctor deems Carmen a low-level psychic and theorises the alien sun has amplified her abilities. He asks her if she can see anything. She foretells, "Something is coming, riding on the wind and shining.
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Death is coming. Her words send Angela into complete hysterics, Nathan panics no one will find them, Barclay begins to get rebellious, and both Christina and Lou are drowned out by the uproar. The Doctor quells the clamouring bus and regains control, but Angela is still sobbing heavily.
He instinctively grips her by the arms to get her attention and asks where she was heading to take her mind off the peril. She replies she was going home to her family, Mike and Suzanne ; thinking about them calms her and abolishes her panicky state. The Doctor moves on to Barclay, who has a love interest named Tina ; Nathan's dealing with unemployment and Carmen and Lou talk about whose turn it is to cook. The Doctor asks Christina where she was going; she is the only person on the bus with something to hide.
She tells him she was going far away, not giving away her thievery. Having defused the tension in the bus, the Doctor reminds the group to focus on those pleasant thoughts so the fear doesn't set in again, then informs them the planet outside is "nothing compared to all those things waiting for you" on Earth. He promises to get them all home. Back on Earth, the highway tunnel has been shut down as Detective McMillan and the police officers wait to intercept Lady Christina.
They find themselves joined by a fleet of UNIT soldiers and weapon-toting armoured vehicles, and have to deal with the troops forcibly interfering with their line of work. The woman in charge, Captain Erisa Magambo , establishes a strategic hold on the highway. The detective tries to remain in control, but a soldier holds him back as a firing squad readies themselves to open fire if anything hostile emerges through the wormhole.
The Doctor is clued in that Christina might not be so innocent below the surface Nathan and Barclay dismantle part of the bus's upholstered seats and bring them to the Doctor, who wants to wedge them beneath the wheels of the bus like duckboards.
This will give the wheels enough traction to throw the bus in reverse and back through the wormhole. Using experience from trips to the Kalahari, Christina has them air out the tyres slightly to improve it further by giving the bus some extra grip, as its weight is more distributed.
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When Barclay is distressed over how deep the wheels will run, Christina produces a fold-up spade from her rucksack to begin digging them out, then a small axe for Nathan to unearth the seats more quickly. This piques the Doctor's curiosity, but he is distracted when Angela asks for a key to get the bus running. The Doctor informs her the bus doesn't use keys, just a master switch and stop and go buttons. She follows his instructions and attempts to start the bus.
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The engine cranks and coughs, but fails to get going. Christina and the Doctor pop open the 's hood to find it gummed up with sand. Christina asks if anyone has experience with mechanics, and Barclay states he does. He is assigned the task of stripping the air filter. The Doctor wanders off, causing Christina to chase after him. Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched from a monitor by a creature with insectoid hands. The Doctor questions Christina about her toting a backpack that she refuses to let out of her sight, which has an axe and spade inside by happenstance.
That along with her fear of sirens has him wondering what she's running from. She initially refuses to answer his questions, instead, calling herself and the Doctor "two equal mysteries. In response to her claim of nobility, the Doctor says he is a Lord of a "big estate". Growing savvy, Christina notices the Doctor seems unusually acclimated to the out of the ordinary. He pulls her attention off the subject and exclaims, "Allons-y! Christina fears it could be a deadly sandstorm, but the Doctor thinks it is something worse.
The Doctor and Christina rush back to the bus as Carmen begins to have distressing visions. He borrows Barclay's cell phone , pulling out his sonic screwdriver and turning it into a superphone. The Doctor then attempts to call someone on Earth. Unsure of the number, he dials Pizza Geronimo by accident.
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Redialling the correct number, he's connected to UNIT's automated phone system. Angela gives him a tip to hold "0"; it overrides the machine, which allows one to speak with a real person. Magambo connects him with UNIT's scientific advisor, Malcolm Taylor , who is beyond elated to know he's speaking to the one person he's always wanted to meet.
Malcolm describes an ingenious process of measuring the wormhole by creating a reflection of its energy readings, which prompts the Doctor to request a capacity scan so he can get a full idea of what the wormhole is like. He deems Malcolm his "new best friend" and hangs up for the time being. The group sets back to digging the bus wheels out from the sand in order to enable them to move it back through the wormhole.
The Doctor and Christina set off to explore the area.
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They find that the storm from earlier has grown closer. The Doctor takes a snapshot of the storm on Barclay's phone to send to Malcolm for further analysis. From what he and Christina can tell, it looks like a massive sandstorm sweeping across the planet towards them, glinting in the sun as if made from metal.
On the bus, Carmen shudders as her visions tell her these things are a storm that devours.