Folk watching ‘Victory of the Daleks‘ have questioned how the British could have got Spitfires into space in a matter of minutes. Admittedly, a story conceit makes for a more exciting episode; but, with the right frame of mind you could find the means to get close to an explanation within the context of the story.
Edwin Bracewell, inventor of the Ironsides and pawn of the Daleks, has a schizoid existence, believing himself to be from a small village in Scotland and yet really being an android and devastatingly dangerous bomb. He showed an amazement to The Doctor that these ideas he had just seemed to pop into his head – forcefields, propulsion systems, and the Ironsides themselves.
For some reason, I have this weird need to associate him with Data (or B-4 from Nemesis) in one of those situations where he’s been stripped of his memories – whether because of damage or an insidious override. He has all the abilities of an android, without any real recollection of the situation. I can envisage Bracewell overcome by his ideas and visions, hands and mind racing beyond normal human limits, creating incredible devices without really understanding the process. The Dalek programming kicks in and Bracewell phases out for a moment, technology streaming from his subconscious bypassing the conscious personality imprinted into his android mind.
Bracewell showed The Doctor his blueprints for the forcefield and propulsion systems, and already had Ironside parts – like the weapon-systems – lying around his lab. It’s easy to imagine that he also had half-developed versions of those blueprint technologies – and that when pushed to complete them the same android speed could kick in without Bracewell being overtly aware of it. Before you know it, they have the jury-rigged bolt-on devices they need – and it seriously was a case of jury-rigging. Just as The Doctor creates tech from household devices at the drop of a hat, so Bracewell could undoubtedly do the same – except, he had some genuine pieces of technology already half-completed sitting around his lab.
At least, that’s how I suspend my disbelief…