First time we hear TARDIS and it’s a horsebox arriving at the circus, but wait, it’s not The Doctor, it’s the Master inside. Great into to The Master showing exactly what he was about and showing the use of hypnosis to get Rossini help him steal a Nestene meteorite
Jo Grant similarly well introduced and The Doctor is non too happy. She mucks up his experiment damaging his dematerialisation circuit and he doesn’t have the courage to sack her from her role as assistant.
We see The Master has plans for the Nestene, overpowering Goodge and connecting the meteorite to the telescope and transmits a signal.
While investigating this, a Time Lord arrives, fitting in by being dressed in a dark suit and bowler hat but while hovering in mid-air. He warns the Doctor of the Master’s arrival on Earth. He’s got a higher degree than The Doctor. After disarming the attack, we spot a miniaturised Gooch in a lunchbox.
At the plastics factory, the head is not too happy of the control this Colonel Master is getting. We see McDermott’s body enveloped by a Polynestene plastic chair
The retired owner is very upset over Mr McDermott’s death. After his attempt at hypnotising fails, the Master sneaks into his car and turns his air conditioner to its hottest setting. He gives a new sample product, a demonic-looking plastic doll that is activated by heat. This troll in the back of car is a bit laughable, it fails to kill him when he turns the heater off but leaves it by a radiator at home. The doll comes to life a second time and kills Mr Farrel, lunging at his throat with its fangs
This story was debated in parliament for being scary.
The Doctor nicks the Master’s dematerialisation circuit only to find it is incompatible with the TARDIS, at least it means the Master is stuck here. Delgado has been excellent in this first story.
Nestine life can be put into anything and we see the phone line strangle The Doctor under control by the Master. It’s discovered they are triggered by short wave radio. With hundreds of daffodils been handed out, Jo investigates and a daffodil covers mouth with plastic, nearly gets Jo. This could explain the mystery deaths if they can work out where this plastic disappears too. Carbon dioxide expelled from the victim’s lungs acted to rub out the evidence of murder
Vicious, complicated and inefficient The Doctor calls the Master’s plans. The Master arrives at the Doctor’s lab, armed with his shrinking weapon. The Doctor shows that he is holding the Master’s dematerialisation circuit, which would be destroyed if he fired. As is typical with the Master hearing that an airstrike might stop his plan, he changes plans to try and kill the Doctor and Jo in the airstrike.
The Doctor convinces the Master that he’ll be expendable once the Nestenes arrive and together they reverse the radio signal.
The Doctor communicates to UNIT by tapping a Morse Code message on the bus brake pedal and UNIT calls off the airstrike.
The Master escapes from the control room, but is cornered inside the bus by UNIT troops. He pulls a Master stoke and sticks his hands up to surrender but he put a mask on someone else’s face.
Now that both he and the Master are stranded on Earth, the Doctor admits that he will rather be looking forward to their next meeting.
Really good introduction to The Master and seeing three time lords in an episode sets us up nicely for the season. The Master is menacing and thinks nothing of finding ingenious ways of killing the inferior humans. Great to see the Master and The Doctor relishing meeting each other, an equal to each other.