While in flight the TARDIS is boarded by a strange figure in a chair. The figure announces himself as the Keeper of the Traken Union. The peace of the Union has been invaded by an alien entity, and the Keeper believes the Union is in trouble, and asks the Doctor and Adric to help him.
The Keeper is nearing the end of his reign and he needs help to ensure that evil does not take his place. The TARDIS materialises in a grove, and the Doctor and Adric are taken in front of the consul. The Doctor claims he is there at the request of the Keeper, but when the Keeper his summoned, but the Melkur is present and the Keeper announces that there is evil in the room.
Everyone assumes he is referring to the Doctor and Adric.and Consul Tremas takes them into his care. Along with Tremas's daughter Nyssa the Doctor and Adric discover a plan by the Master to gain the Keeper ship. He has taken over one of the Consul, who is chosen to the be the next Keeper. This paves the way for the Master to gain control.
The Doctor manages to expel the Master, and a new Keeper quickly takes position. The Master is thought to be dead, but some of the powers of the Keeper remain, and the Master takes over the body of Nyssa's father, Tremas.
Regular castAdric: Matthew Waterhouse; Nyssa: Sarah Sutton;
Guest castTremas: Anthony Ainley; Kassia: Sheila Ruskin; Katura: Margot Van Der Burgh; Luvic: Robin Soans; Proctor Neman: Roland Oliver; Melkur/The Master: Geoffrey Beevers (credited as Melkur); The Keeper: Denis Carey (1-2); Seron: John Woodnutt (1-2); Fosters: Liam Prendergast (3), Philip Bloomfield (4);
Uncredited cast: Foster Extras: Maurice Connor, Michael Gordon-Browne, Pat Gorman, Donald Groves, Pat Judge, Barney Lawrence, Mark Midler, Jim Morris, Ralph Morse, Stuart Myers, Fred Redford, Doug Roe, Tony Snell, Barry Summerford, Colin Thomas; The Master: Anthony Ainley (4);
|BBC 1||546||Part One||Sat 31 January 1981||5:10 pm - 5:35 pm||7.6M||72nd|
|BBC 1||547||Part Two||Sat 7 February 1981||5:10 pm - 5:35 pm||6.1M||106th|
|BBC 1||548||Part Three||Sat 14 February 1981||5:10 pm - 5:35 pm||5.2M||112th|
|BBC 1||549||Part Four||Sat 21 February 1981||5:10 pm - 5:35 pm||6.1M||103rd|
Repeats (on the BBC)
This programme does not have any outside filming
Television Centre Studio 6; Television Centre Studio 8;
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 story saw the surprise return of the Master starting a trilogy of linked stories to reintroduce the character.
This programme has no other working titles, or they have not been yet been entered.