The Doctor stood in the doorway of the conference room for a moment, surveying his companions with a slightly smug look on his face. Then he hobbled briskly to the whiteboard, hung his cane on the edge of it, drew the cap from a marker with a flourish, and started writing and speaking at the same time.
"So! This planet, at this point in its history, is supposed to be a pastoral garden spot with an open, tolerant, vibrant society. Instead - " (and here he wrote down each of the points as he said them) " - it's a stinking, polluted hellhole, paranoid, dystopian, violent, and xenophobic." Capping the marker, he turned and cocked his head inquisitively at his companions. "So tell me, children: How can this be?"
Foreman looked unimpressed. "You screwed up," he said flatly. "Landed the TARDIS in the wrong place and/or time. Again."
"No," Chase cut in. "I double-checked the coordinates myself when we arrived. We're in the right place. It's the planet that's wrong."
The Doctor smiled slyly. "Very good, Dr. Chase! I was right, you can teach a monkey to operate one of these things. Navigational error is off the board this time, and don't think I didn't notice your tone, either, Foreman. I still don't believe you're descended from my granddaughter."
"Dalek invasion?" Cameron suggested, frowning thoughtfully.
"If so, where are the Daleks?" Chase wondered. "I mean, they're usually not exactly subtle."
"No Robomen, either," Foreman noted. "Or partially cybernized flunkies, which means it's probably not the Cybermen either."
"'Probably' isn't going to be much consolation when you're having your arms replaced by mechanical claws," the Doctor noted. "We'll need to rule them out conclusively. What else?"
"There are a million things that could cause a society to go off the rails like this," Chase complained. "Where do we even start?"
"Under normal circumstances you'd be right," Cameron said, "except that we were expecting this civilization to be different in this era. It's in the gazetteer that way. That means its history's been tampered with. Narrows the list of suspects a lot." She gave the Doctor a quizzical look. "Could it be rogue Time Lords?"
"Well, it wasn't me," the Doctor replied. "Might be one of those other pesky rogue Time Lords, I suppose, but you have to wonder what anyone in that position would have to gain by turning a garden planet into a slag heap."
"Resources," Foreman said. "All this pollution could come from overmining and rampant industrialization. The kind of thing you see in a planet that's been used as a staging point for a galactic war."
Chase put his forehead in his hand. "You're not going to suggest it's the Master again. It's never the Master."
"We won't know unless we check," Foreman said.
"Okay!" said the Doctor, looking upbeat despite the complete lack of a conclusion in the air. "So far we've got Cybermen, the Master, and 'a million other things'. Tell you what, why don't you check for the first two first. It's probably a little more efficient that way. Foreman, scan for underground suspension chambers. Chase, talk to some locals (if you can find any) and see if any of them mention any local power figure whose name is an anagram of 'Master'. Cameron... I don't know, go with Chase, be cute at the locals. Oppressed, xenophobic dystopians usually like that kind of thing. When you find any trouble, run as fast as you can and scream. When you guys get captured, Foreman and I will have a better idea of what's going on around here."
When they all sat and just stared at him for a moment, the Doctor looked exaggeratedly around, then said, "Yes? You're all still here because... ?"
"What are you going to do?" Chase asked.
"I have some important Arkanoid to catch up on," the Doctor replied. "What, did you think I was going to go hike around looking for Cybertombs? I'm a cripple! Now go on! Get to work! Why do you think I brought you three on this grand adventure in space and time free of charge?"
The Doctor - Hugh Laurie
Dr. Foreman - Omar Epps
Dr. Chase - Jesse Spencer
Dr. Cameron - Jennifer Morrison