The Doctor is chosen for a very special mission - to retrieve and assemble the Key to Time - by none other than the White Guardian. The Doctor is also provided with a new companion, the Time Lady Romana, and warned that there is also a Black Guardian who will do all in his power to obtain the Key to Time.
The Doctor is also provided with a Tracer which will locate each of the segments, and it leads the TARDIS to the planet of Ribos, where two con-men are attempting to sell the planet to the Graff Vynda-K. To make the planet look more valuable the leader, Garron, plants a lump of Jethryk as bait, whilst Unstoffe pretends to be a local talking of a Jethryk mine.
The Graff Vynda-K discovers that Garron and Unstoffe are con-men, and pursue them into the catacombs, where the natives fear to tread. Several fights break out, and the Graff Vynda-K's men are all destroyed. The Doctor disguises himself as one, and the Vynda-K tries to use him to deliver a bomb, but the Doctor switches it back, and the Vynda-K is destroyed.
Romana uses the tracer and the Jethryk transforms into the first segment of the Key to Time.
Regular castVoice of K-9: John Leeson; Romana: Mary Tamm;
Guest castGarron: Iain Cuthbertson; Unstoffe: Nigel Plaskitt; Graff Vynda-K: Paul Seed; Sholakh: Robert Keegan; Captain: Prentis Hancock; Shrieves: Oliver Maguire, John Hamill (1-2); The White Guardian: Cyril Luckham (1); Binro the Heretic: Timothy Bateson (3-4); The Seeker: Ann Tirard (3-4);
Uncredited cast: Walk-On Shrieves: Roy Brent, Yuri Gridneff, Barry Summerford, David Young; Shrivenzale: Stuart Fell (1-2), Nick Wilkinson (1-2); Krole: Pat Gorman; Leviathans: ony Bell, Derek Chafer, Harry Fielder, Steven Ismay;
|BBC 1||480||Part One||Sat 2 September 1978||5:45 pm - 6:10 pm||8.3M||42nd|
|BBC 1||481||Part Two||Sat 9 September 1978||6:20 pm - 6:45 pm||8.1M||36th|
|BBC 1||482||Part Three||Sat 16 September 1978||6:30 pm - 6:55 pm||7.9M||38th|
|BBC 1||483||Part Four||Sat 23 September 1978||6:20 pm - 6:45 pm||8.2M||36th|
This programme does not have any outside filming
Television Centre Studio 4;
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 introduces the Key to Time quest that is continued through the season.
John Leeson's K-9 voice is not heard in Part Two.
The organ music heard in the story was played by Leslie Pearson.
The Galactic Con Man; The Ribos File; Operation;