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Vardan Leader: Congratulations, Doctor. You show great promise in the application of power. You could be a first grade dictator.
The Doctor: Thank you. You're very kind. That's very kind of you.
The Doctor is acting strangely. He runs the TARDIS back to Gallifrey, claims the Presidency, banishes Leela to the wilderness outside the Capitol, and lets the Vardan conquerors in. Why is he Not Himself? Is he truly their servant? Is he looking out for Number One nowadays? What's with his sudden new taste in decor?
Naturally, there are wheels within wheels, and the Vardan menace is defeated -- with two episodes left in the season. Wait... the cheers have stopped. What the... Uh oh, Sontarans! Cue a wild goose chase inside the TARDIS, which gives us quite an extensive view of the interior as well as its fabled swimming pool.
Leela, meanwhile, has managed to befriend some of the savage Gallifreyans; and, with her makeshift army, infiltrates the Capitol to help out the Doctor, who uses forbidden technology to destroy the Sontarans, wiping his memory of events in the process. Leela suddenly decides she's fallen in love with Chancellery Guard Andred whom she's just met, and remains on Gallifrey with K-9.
- Big Damn Heroes: Leela & co.
- Big Electric Switch: There are several in the Time Lord citadel's security control room (which, despite being technically advanced, is whimsically designed to look old-fashioned nearly to the point of steampunk).
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Doctor breaks it two times in the story, saying 'Even the sonic screwdriver won't get me out of this one.' in one scene, and then grinning at the camera at the end.
- Deflector Shields: Gallifrey is protected by a sort of force field, and
- Evil Chancellor: Castellan Kelner. (Chancellor Borusa is not evil, though he has moments of ruthless pragmatism.)
- Fascists' Bed Time: A blanket curfew is instituted within scenes of the Vardans taking over.
- Gambit Pileup
- Going in Circles: Inside the TARDIS.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The Key of Rassilon, which every President since time immemorial has been charged to seek, as been in the office of the Chancellor all along; the Chancellor has a secret trust to keep it hidden so that no President has all Rassilon's powerful artifacts at once. Needle in a Stack of Needles is hinted at -- the Chancellor has an enormous collection of keys needed to do his job -- then subverted: the true Key is the one stuck in the keyhole of his desk drawer.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: When Rodan suggests that the TARDIS interior could do with some sprucing up, the Doctor complains that he's a Time Lord, not a painter & decorator.
- I Will Only Slow You Down
- Karma Houdini: The Castellan.
- La Résistance: Leela, Rodan, and the outsiders.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Sontarans are the real invaders, not the Vardans.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Leela refuses to believe the Doctor has really gone to the side of evil.
- Oh Crap
- Playing Possum
- President Evil: Subverted; the Doctor is playing the Vardans.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Sontarans.
- Put on a Bus: Leela
- The Quisling: The Castellan.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs
- Troubled Production: Oh boy, where to begin? Well, firstly the original writer gave the production team a set of scripts that would have been impossible to realize on a film budget, resulting in the producer and script editor having to come up with a totally new storyline in just a few days. Then the UK's economy imploded due to the Winter of Discontent, rendering the British Pound nearly worthless and leaving No Budget for the serial. On top of all that, virtually every department of the BBC went on strike at the same time, resulting in a hasty studio session filmed with sets left over from "The Deadly Assassin," followed by location filming at anywhere which would let them shoot, just so that they could get everything in the can.
- Not to mention the producers didn't believe that the actress playing Leela really wanted to leave, so they delayed writing in her exit and had to add a hastily written romance with Andred.
- Vichy Gallifrey: Especially the Castellan; who, for one, welcomes his new Sontaran overlords.
- Victory-Guided Amnesia
- Why Didn't You Just Say So?: The Sontarans attempt to locate the Doctor; the Castellan attempts to tell their Commander where he is, but each time the Commander reacts angrily to being interrupted, and doesn't let him speak. When he finally succeeds in conveying the information, the Commander of course demands to know why he didn't say so sooner.
- With Due Respect
- Xanatos Speed Chess
- The X of Y
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The Part 4 cliffhanger.
- Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb
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