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Nyssa: "What would the Doctor do?"
Adric: "He'd probably get angry."
The Doctor lands the TARDIS at exactly the right spot to drop Tegan off at her job, and even has her there a bit early... 315 years early to be exact.
It's 1666, and they're in a rather deserted bit of English countryside. There they meet lovable rogue Richard Mace, an actor-turned-highwayman with an interesting grasp of situational ethics (breaking and entering: bad; stealing: fine), but fortunately the Doctor and company are around to teach him their own superior ethics (breaking and entering: fine; stealing: bad).
In walks the glammest android ever seen in Doctor Who, and laser blasts start firing. Tegan and Adric are taken away for interrogation. The Doctor, Nyssa, and--reluctantly--Richard explore the woods and discover... a shipping container. That is, it looks like a shipping container, but the soundtrack has a synthgasm when Richard points it out, so it's probably something important. Like a spaceship!
Which it is. Doctor, Nyssa, and Richard investigate, and hole up inside to fend off a hilariously futile attack by guys with axes and arrows. They blow the escape hatch and... escape. Nyssa is sent back to the TARDIS to build a remote android jamming device out of spare parts. Which she does. Because she is awesome. Not that she gets any thanks--or even acknowledgment--from the Doctor for her MacGyvering, because the Doctor's a bit of a dick in this story.
Tegan snarks her way through her interrogation, but ends up mind-controlled by the Terileptil anyway, and the Doctor shows up just in time to watch her very nearly release some rats infected with an extra-extra-deadly variant of Yersinia pestis, the Black Plague. Eventually Tegan backs off, but the crew is powerless to prevent it from being picked up by a henchperson and delivered to a certain bakery on Pudding Lane.
So the Doctor sets it all on fire.
This serial marks the final appearance and the destruction of the sonic screwdriver in the classic series, as producer John Nathan-Turner thought it was too much of a convenience for the Doctor, much like K9 was when he was around. The screwdriver wouldn't return onscreen until the TV Movie in 1996.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Nyssa is upset by the Terileptil android's destruction because it was a slave.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Adric's usually insufferable behavior is revealed to be due to intense insecurity.
- Brown Note: The Terileptil android is destroyed by sound.
- Canon Immigrant: Writer Eric Saward had created the character Richard Mace years before, in some of his plays.
- Can't Argue with Elves: The Doctor rolls his eyes at the silly humans and their foibles. Twice. In fact, the Doctor's kind of a dick in this story, which is such a change from Five's usual befuddled niceness that it is wonderful to behold.
- Comet of Doom
- Distressed Dude: Man, this is the third time the Doctor's been captured this season--he gets handcuffed too!
- Historical In-Joke: The final shot of the serial is a flaming sign reading "Pudding Lane". Pudding Lane is the site where the Great Fire of London began in 1666.
- I Know You Are in There Somewhere Fight: Part 3 cliffhanger
- Kill It with Fire
- Kneel Before Zod
- Lovable Highwayman: Richard Mace.
- Mark of Shame: The Terileptil leader has face markings that mean if he goes back to his home planet he'll be killed.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The Terileptil hides himself under a Black Cloak that completely fails to cover his reptilian snout.
- Percussive Maintenance: How Adric gets the TARDIS working properly.
- The Plague
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Terileptils.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Terileptils. At least their leader is well-spoken.
- Shut Up, Kirk: The Terileptil gets a pretty nice retort to the Doctor's request for diplomacy.
Doctor: All this carnage isn't necessary.
Terileptil: It's survival, Doctor. Just as these primates kill lesser species to protect themselves, so I kill them. [turns to leave]
Doctor: That's hardly an argument!
Terileptil: [angrily] It's not supposed to be argument! It's a statement!