The Doctor tries to take Tegan back to Heathrow in 1981. Although the location is right, the year is in fact 1666 - the time of the Great Plague.
The Doctor and his companions meet an out of work actor, Richard Mace, who tells the Doctor of a recently fallen comet. The Doctor begins to suspect alien intervention, and his suspicions are confirmed when he is confronted by an Android who is terrifying the locals by impersonating Death.
The Doctor finds a group of Terileptils who have crashed on Earth. They plan to depopulate Earth by releasing a plague, using the black rat as a carrier. The Doctor and his companions follow the Terileptils to London where a struggle sets fire to a bale of hay. The Terileptils are destroyed, and the Doctor throws the remaining vials of black plague into the furnace.
The Doctor's companions wonder why the Doctor does not attempt to stop the fire, but he suggests it should be allowed to run its course.
Regular castAdric: Matthew Waterhouse; Nyssa: Sarah Sutton; Tegan Jovanka: Janet Fielding;
Guest castRichard Mace: Michael Robbins; Android: Peter Van Diesel; Miller: James Charlton; Villager: Richard Hampton (1-3); The Squire (Sir John): John Savident (1); Charles: Anthony Calf (1); Ralph: John Baker (1); Elizabeth: Valerie Fyfer (1); Chief Terileptil: Michael Melia (2-4); Poacher: Niel West (2-3); Headman: Eric Dodson (3);
Uncredited cast: Stuntmen: Alan Chuntz (1), Stuart Fell (1); Scythemen: Jeff Wayne (2-3); Terileptils: Michael Leader (3-4), David Summer (3-4); Nightwatchman: Don Paul (4); Villagers: Victor Cruxford, Tom Gandl, Charles Adey Gray, Keith Guest, Tom Knox, James Tye, Bill Whitehead;
|BBC 1||566||Part One||Mon 15 February 1982||6:55 pm - 7:20 pm||9.3M||54th|
|BBC 1||567||Part Two||Tue 16 February 1982||7:05 pm - 7:30 pm||9.5M||48th|
|BBC 1||568||Part Three||Mon 22 February 1982||6:55 pm - 7:20 pm||10.1M||41st|
|BBC 1||569||Part Four||Tue 23 February 1982||7:05 pm - 7:30 pm||10.2M||40th|
Repeats (on the BBC)
Black Park, nr. Iver, Slough; Tithe Barn, Hurley;
Ealing Television Film Studios; Television Centre Studio 3;
Bloopers and mistakes
When Nyssa is pushing the Terileptils' android into her room you can see that her pants have fallen down a bit too far. She hurriedly pulls them up, making a big show of it in the process.
Watch for Peter Davison's hat trick in this story? One scene he's wearing it, next scene it's gone.
Notes and trivia
The Doctor's sonic screwdriver is destroyed in Part Three.
The Invasion of the Plague Men; The Plague Rats;