In a farm Jane Hampden is looking for Ben Wolsey as three men on horseback charge in to the farmyard, dressed as soldiers from the English Civil war. She hides from them in a barn, where Colonel Ben Wolsey finds her. She urges another of the soldiers - Sir George Hutchinson - to stop the war games. Sir George is trying to get Jane to be involved in the war games. Everyone in the village is involved in the war games, and Sir George has isolated the village from the outside world; no-one can enter or leave.
In the TARDIS the Doctor and Turlough are checking the TARDIS console as it heads to Earth. Tegan has asked the Doctor if she can visit her grandfather, historian Andrew Verney. During the flight the TARDIS hits an energy field, and materialises inside an old church. On the scanner the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough can see a figure trying to escape from a collapsing wall. The Doctor and Tegan rush outside to help, and see a figure in old clothes running away. Tegan is concerned that they have landed in the wrong century, but Turlough insists it is 1984.
Looking for the figure the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough look around the church. The church looks like a bomb has hit it, and one wall has a large crack in it. As they leave smoke pours from the crack.
Outside the church the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are met by three men on horse back. They tell the Doctor he is trespassing, and that the village is in the middle of a war game. Tegan says they are there to visit her grandfather, and they are taken to see Sir George. At Colonel Wolsey's house Tegan learns that Verney has disappeared, and she runs out of the house, and Turlough goes after her. Stopping by a door a hand reaches out an grabs her handbag. She follows the thief into a barn.
Sir George tells the Doctor that they are in the middle of a celebration. On the 13th July 1643 the English Civil War came to Little Hodcombe. Jane does not agree with the celebration. Sir George tells the Doctor he ought to avoid the church as it is liable to fall down. The Doctor, sensing something is wrong, runs out of the house. At first Sir George is not concerned - until he learns that Tegan is Verney's granddaughter.
Inside the barn Tegan sees strange lights and a ghost appears. She screams to get out, and Turlough barges in. The ghost has gone, and Tegan is anxious to get away.
In Little Hodcome the figure from the church runs into the Doctor, carrying Tegan's handbag. The figure runs down a lane. The Doctor follows him, but the figure has managed to get a long way ahead in a short time. He follows the figure back to the church. The Doctor hears shouting in his mind, and this is followed by a person breaking through a wall. Will Chandler has been hiding from the fighting in a priest hole. When the Doctor asks the year Will replies with 1643. Tegan and Turlough make it back to the church, and the Doctor introduces them to Will Chandler.
The Doctor explains to Tegan and Turlough that somehow the church in 1984 has become linked with the church in 1643. The ghost that Tegan saw, and the figure they had been chasing, were psychic projections. Projections on that scale would require a huge, alien, power source. Will is also a projection. The Doctor takes Will to the village and tells Tegan and Turlough to stay in the TARDIS. Inside the TARDiS there are more of the flickering lights, and Tegan goes back to tell the Doctor.
Outside the church the Doctor and Will are almost caught by a solider on horseback. They duck into a room that has carvings on the floor. Will is terrified, and tells the Doctor that in 1643 the Malus, a god of war, came to Little Hodcombe. The Malus made people fight and hate even more. The Doctor pushes down on the carving and a secret passage opens up.
In the village Tegan and Turlough are looking for the Doctor. They hear horses and split up. Turlough escapes but Tegan is caught. She is taken back to the house and given a dress to change into. Sergeant Willow returns a short time later and takes away Tegan's clothes, telling Tegan she is now the Queen of the May.
In Colonel Wolsey's house Jane is locked in a room, but she finds a secret door, and escapes into a tunnel. She meets the Doctor, and together they hide from Wolsey and his men. The tunnel is one of the ones that Verney had previously discovered. On the ground there are pieces of Tinclavic metal from the planet Raaga. The Doctor, Will and Jane return back to the church. Jane has a hard time accepting that a spaceship from the planet Harkol once visited Little Hodcombe. The Doctor asks Jane if Verney was researching the Malus. Jane tells the Doctor that the Malus is just a myth. The Doctor tells Jane that the Malus was on board the Harkol probe.
Jane notices the huge crack in the wall - a crack that wasn't there a few days earlier. As the Doctor opens the crack more smoke escapes and engulfs him. As the Doctor clutches his head Jane helps him to a pew. As the smoke clears they
can clearly see the Malus hidden in the wall. Another psychic projection appears - a soldier with a sword. The Doctor and Jane quickly make their way back to the underground passage.
In the village Turlough makes his way to the village green where he can see a may-pole being set up, before being caught by one of Sit George's men and locked in an out building, along with a stranger: Andrew Verney. Andrew starts to
tell Turlough about the Malus. He had spoken to Sir George about the Malus, and it was his deranged mind that caused it to awaken.
In the underground passage the Doctor gives Jane a quick lesson about psychic energy. The energy being used requires a focus point - like a medium. The Malus is creating the projections, and the medium is collecting psychic energy from the war games. The Doctor and Jane head back to the house to stop Sir George. Jane realises that the last battle in the war games will be for real. Sir George is under the influence of the Malus, and orders Colonel Wolsey to kill the Doctor, Tegan and Jane. In the corner of the room another psychic projection appears.
Wolsey is worried about Sir George, and helps Tegan and Jane whilst the Doctor goes off to look for Will. However, there will be more trouble if Tegan does not turn up to the may-pole as planned. The Doctor learns from Will that the Queen of the May was burned alive. Colonel Wolsey arrives at the village green with a Queen of the May, but it is made of straw. The Doctor jumps on to the cart and he, Will and Sir George head back to the church.
Tegan and Jane are already at the church and are met by the Doctor, Will and Sir George. They make their way inside the TARDIS. The doors had been left open and a psychic projection is attached to one of the interior walls. Sir George's men appear and try to break into the TARDIS.
Back at the out-building Turlough and Andrew manage to break out and head towards the church. They hear the men trying to break into the TARDIS and sneak up behind them.
On the village green Sir George can hear the Malus calling him, and he rushes back to the church. The Doctor is able to use the TARDIS to block the Malus so it can no longer feed off the energy of the villagers. The Malus is quickly drained without energy from the village, but when Sir George bursts into the church the Malus gets more energy. The Doctor tries to talk to Sir George, but the Malus's hold is too strong. Will pushes Sir George into the Malus where is killed.
The Doctor gets everyone inside the TARDIS as the church starts to collapse after the Malus starts to destroy itself. After the Malus has been destroyed Will still remains - meaning he was not a psychic projection after all.
Regular castTegan Jovanka: Janet Fielding; Vislor Turlough: Mark Strickson;
Guest castJane Hampden: Polly James; Sir George Hutchinson: Dennis Lill; Colonel Ben Wolsey: Glyn Houston; Sergeant Joseph Willow: Jack Galloway; Will Chandler: Keith Jayne; Trooper: Christopher Saul; Andrew Verney: Frederick Hall (2);
Uncredited cast: Walk-Ons: David Cole, Brian Coshall, Robert Craze, Peter Dukes, Scott Free, Harold Gasnier, John Kearns, Rod Keyes, Jimmy Mac, Roy MacDonald, Ron Martin, Sean McCabe, David Medina, Bob Tarff, Nigel Tisdall, Christopher Wenner, Gordon Williams;
|BBC 1||607||Part One||Thu 19 January 1984||6:40 pm - 7:05 pm||7.9M||61st|
|BBC 1||608||Part Two||Fri 20 January 1984||6:40 pm - 7:05 pm||6.6M||84th|
Repeats (on the BBC)
Bishop's Court Forum, Shapwick, Dorest; Ford at Tarrant Monkton, nr. Blandford Forum, Dorset; Martin Down, nr. Martin, Hants; St Bartholomew's Church, Shapwick, Dorest; Stable at rear of Damers Cottage, Martin, Hants; Village Cross and street, Shapwick, Dorset; Village of Martin, nr. Fordingbridge, Hants;
Television Centre Studio 6;
Bloopers and mistakes
This programme has no bloopers or mistakes. It's probably not perfect, just that they haven't been found or pointed out yet.
Notes and trivia
This programme has no additional notes.