During the medieval times a space craft crash lands. When the locals go to visit what they thought was a star falling, they find an armoured soldier. When questioned the soldier finds that the locals have no technology that can aid him, and he must seek those who have.
In the twentieth century U.N.I.T. are called in to investigate a case of disappearing scientists. Also present is an journalist, Sarah Jane Smith, posing as Lavinia Smith, her aunt. Whilst the Doctor is there another scientist disappears, and the Doctor sees the ghostly image of a Sontaran warrior.
The Doctor follows the Sontaran back to the medieval times, with Sarah as a stowaway. There he finds the Sontaran, Lynx, has been helping Irongron by providing breach-loading weapons in return for a place to repair his craft which was damaged in their war with the Rutans.
Lynx has been using a primitive device to kidnap scientists from the twentieth century to repair his craft. with the aid of a local archer Lynx is killed by an arrow jammed in his probic vent during take off. The ship explodes, taking the castle with it. Before this happens the Doctor manages to return the scientists to the twentieth century, and get all of Irongron's people out.
Regular castBrigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Nicholas Courtney; Sarah Jane Smith: Elisabeth Sladen;
Guest castCommander Linx: Kevin Lindsay; Captain Irongron: David Daker; Bloodaxe: John J. Carney; Professor Joseph Rubeish: Donald Pelmear; Sir Edward Fitzroy of Wessex: Alan Rowe; Lady Eleanor Fitzroy: June Brown; Hal: Jeremy Bulloch; Meg: Sheila Fay (1,3,4); Eric: Gordon Pitt (3); Sentry: Steve Brunswick (3);
Uncredited cast: UNIT Soldiers: David Cleeve (1), Steven Ismay (1); Mary: Jacqueline Stanbury; Double for the Doctor: Terry Walsh; Kitchen Hags: Bella Emberg (4), Mary Rennie (4); Irongron's Men: Andrew Abrahams, Tom Atkins, Michael Boone, Brian Bowles, Marc Boyle, David Burswell, Rodney Cardiff, David Carruthers, Douglas Domino, Ray Dunbobbin, Andrew Greenwood, Emmett Hennessy, Bill Herbert, Jon James, Alan Lenoir, Alan Luxton, Jimmy Lyon, Keith Norrish, Michael Ralph, Malcolm Stephens, Alan C. Thomas, Sidney Tomas, Dick Weable, Jim Whelan, Howard Williamson; Scientists: George Ballantine, David Eynon, Eden Fox, Roger Marston, Paul Phillips, Frank Seton; Wessex's Men: Allan Deutrom, Clifford Kershaw, Ronald Nunnery; Robot: John Hughman, Dudley Long, Bill Monks; Extra: Bill Lodge;
|BBC 1||356||Part One||Sat 15 December 1973||5:10 pm - 5:35 pm||8.7M||34th|
|BBC 1||357||Part Two||Sat 22 December 1973||5:10 pm - 5:35 pm||7.0M||75th|
|BBC 1||358||Part Three||Sat 29 December 1973||5:10 pm - 5:35 pm||6.6M||89th|
|BBC 1||359||Part Four||Sat 5 January 1974||5:30 pm - 5:55 pm||10.6M||22nd|
Peckforton Castle, Tarporley, Cheshire;
Television Centre Studio 1; Television Centre Studio 6;
Bloopers and mistakes
Sarah is put to work peeling potatoes in the 12th century. (Potatoes were not introduced to Europe until Elizabethan times.)
Episode 1: When Linx first meets Irongron and plants his flag (claiming Earth for the Sontaran Empire), immediately before the scene change, and for no apparent reason, Irongron and Bloodaxe both turn their heads and look away from Lynx, off stage to their right.
Notes and trivia
This story marks the first use of a new title sequence, designed by Bernard Lodge (who is now credited for the first time); the fourth one used for the series.
Part Two of this story is the first mention of the Doctor's home planet, Gallifrey, by name.
Only sporadic audience appreciation figures are available from now until season twenty.
This programme has no other working titles, or they have not been yet been entered.