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First things first, but not necessarily in that order.—The Doctor
On the planet Tigella, life revolves around the Dodecahedron, a mysterious alien artifact which powers Tigellan civilization. Some Tigellans worship it as a gift from their god, while others consider it just an object to be scientifically studied. With tensions between the two groups running high, the Tigellan leader sends a message to the Doctor, who has visited Tigella once before, inviting him to come and arbitrate between them.
The message is intercepted by Meglos, the last survivor of the neighbouring planet Zolfa-Thura; the scientifically-advanced Zolfa-Thurans created the Dodecahedron shortly before wiping themselves out in a massive war. Meglos uses his technology to trap the TARDIS in a time loop and then to disguise himself as a double of the Doctor, and travels to Tigella himself. He manages to steal the Dodecahedron and is about to leave when the real Doctor, having escaped the time loop, arrives and is promptly accused of the theft. There is much confusion, and although it becomes clear that there are two Doctors roaming about, the fake Doctor manages to get away with the Dodecahedron. Meglos returns to Zolfa-Thura, where he plans to use the Dodecahedron to power a superweapon capable of destroying entire planets.
The Doctor and Romana follow, and the Doctor attempts to turn his trick against him by telling Meglos's hired henchmen that he is Meglos and that any other Doctor they see about the place is the real Doctor and should be locked up. This works long enough for him to mess around with Meglos's superweapon, and when it is fired it explodes, taking Meglos, his henchmen, and the planet of Zolfa-Thura with it.
Oh, and the Dodecahedron, leaving Tigellans of all ideological persuasions to work together to rebuild their civilization using some other power source.
- Acting for Two: Tom Baker as both the Doctor and Meglos. Creates a fascinating contrast when they get locked in a cell together.
- Bad Bad Acting
- Chekhov's Gun: Romana is attacked by killer plants. Not only does this separate her from the Doctor for most of the story, she leads Meglos' henchmen back to the plants, and uses them attacking as a distration to escape.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Meglos anticipates his allies betrayal, and establishes the ground rules straight off.
- Fighting From the Inside: Meglos kidnaps a mild-mannered, terrified human from 20th century Earth and possesses his body. Unfortunately for Meglos he proves to be tougher than he looks.
- Human Sacrifice
- I Am He as You Are He
- Kick the Dog
- Man-Eating Plant: The plants that attack Romana and later, Meglos' henchmen.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Meglos
- Plant Aliens
- Playing Possum: One of the pirates
- Single Biome Planet: Tigella is a jungle planet. Zolfa-Thura is a desert planet (although it has the excuse of having suffered a life-extinguishing catastrophe).
- Groundhog Day Loop: Subverted. The two Time Lords solve a time loop within 5 minutes before starting the adventure proper. But then, they are Time Lords, it should be easy for them.
- Terminally Dependent Society
- You Look Familiar: Lexa is played by Jacqueline Hill, who had played the Doctor's companion Barbara 15 years earlier.