Another two parter, I have no recollection what this one is about. Let’s find out!
Horses are racing. A woman is looking for Ben, calling out his name. The three horses, and their riders arrive where the woman is. They’re dressed in armour, but her clothing isn’t quite as historical. One of the men charges at her with his spear and she runs into one of the buildings.
Inside, she sits down, shaken up. One of the men grabs her, but it turns out to be Ben. She’s mad, but he says it’s just a bit of fun. The other two men enter, and she demands that Sir George “stop these war games”.
They argue; he says she, as a school teacher, should appreciate the merit of what they do. She says not when people can get hurt or things damaged. Sir George says no harm is meant.
In the TARDIS, Turlough is under the console, working on something. The Doctor says it’s not any better – apparently there is a time distortion. Tegan asks if there is any problem, but The Doctor says they’re right on track to the time and place she asked for, so she could see her grandfather.
They materialise, apparently in a building or tunnels. There’s a rockfall/collapse, and they see a man moving about. The Doctor rushes out to see if he’s okay, the companions follow. The man rushes by, but Tegan sees his dress and says they’re in the wrong time, but Turlough assures her it’s 1984.
The three head off to “have a look”. When they leave, the man in archaic clothing watches them from near the TARDIS.
Sir George demands to know why the teacher is the only person in the village not involved in the war games. Her concern is that some stranger or visitor might arrive and be put in danger as she was. Sir George says that the village has been cut off from the outside world, something that suprises/upsets Ben and the teacher.
Tegan gets bored with The Doctor and Turlough inspecting the church they’re in and demands to find her grandfather. As they leave, there’s a creaking sound. The Doctor makes a crack about a ghost, but behind him in the wall, there’s a new crack with gas or steam spewing out. As they leave, they encounter a large group of men in armour and on horseback and are quickly surrounded.
They are led off to see Sir George.
Again the man from the tunnel is seen following; his face is partially disfigured.
The prisoners are brought into the room where Ben and the school teacher are; Ben questions if the men should be arresting people, but the lead jerkwad says Sir George is aware. Ben apologises, saying some of the men get carried away with the game, but they’ll soon have it all sorted out.
The Doctor compliments the room, noting it’s 17th century. Ben preens, as it is his pride and joy (his words.) Tegan looks irate. Turlough uncomfortable, and the school teacher baffled. Tegah demands to see her grandfather, but when she brings up his name, she learns he disappeared several days ago.
Upset, she rushes off. Turlough gives chase, but jerkwad pulls a gun on The Doctor.
Outside, the man following them snatches Tegan’s purse and runs off.
Sir George arrives and admonishes jerkwad. He explains the war games is a celebration of a historical battle. Miss Hampden (the teacher) says it’s madness. They talk and The Doctor says he’s come through the woods from the church. Sir George says he should stay away from the church, as it could fall at any minute.
Changing tack, Sir George invites The Doctor to join in their reenactment, but the Time Lord says he needs to find his friends and Tegan’s grandfather. He slides jerkwad’s gun away (it’s lying on the table) and dashes out the door. Sir George says it’s no big until he learns that Tegan is Andrew’s granddaughter, then he orders for the perimeter guards to be doubled, and to capture Tegan, as he has something special in store for her.
Miss Hampden reminds Sir George that detaining people against their will is illegal. He tells her that since he’s the local magistrate, he will find himself quite innocent.
In the building she finds herself, there’s some flashing lights and an old man appears in the upper part – he looks almost like the old man from SNAKEDANCE, but I’m not sure.
Outside, the man who stole Tegan’s purse runs into The Doctor, knocking him down. When the Time Lord gets up, he wonders how the man got so far away so quickly.
Jerkwad and Ben argue about searching for Tegan with only four men, as all the rest were added to the perimeter. They split up – jerkwad and Ben together, the other two men to Andrew’s cottage.
The Doctor follows the thief back to the church. Suddenly there’s a loud noise, sounds of a battle. The Doctor covers his ears, collapsing, when suddenly a young man breaks through a wall. The Doctor tries to greet him, but he’s wary. The Doctor asks him what year it is, and he answers 1643.
The young man asks if the battle is done and The Doctor says it is; just then Tegan and Turlough burst in to say something strange is going on. The Doctor introduces them to Will, the peasant who was hiding in the priest hole.
Ben and jerkwad report to Sir George, who wants Tegan to be the May Queen. Hampden says she knows about the old tradition and is well aware of what happens to the Queen at the end of her reign. Ben says they won’t harm her, but Hampden isn’t sure.
Sir George leaves with some mysterious talk about something coming to the village – something wonderful and strange.
Hampden tells Joseph (jerkwad) she’s going to the police (you know, that’s just the dumbest thing you can do – if someone is doing something wrong JUST GO TO THE POLICE, DON’T ANNOUNCE IT.) He rushes to cut her off from leaving, threatening that she could just as easily be the Queen of the May. She slaps jerkwad, who locks her in the room.
The Doctor tells his companions that there has been a “confusion in time”, and 1984 and 1643 have become linked in this village. Turlough asks about the apparitions, but The Doctor says they’re psychic projections. Even the man who stole Tegan’s purse, and Will, are ones, just ones with physical form.
Turlough asserts that this would take great power, and The Doctor agrees.
Turlough points out that the crack in the wall has gotten wider. The Doctor agrees, saying it is ominous, as is Tegan’s grandfather’s disappearance. The Doctor takes Will and heads to the village, instructing his companions to wait in the TARDIS.
En route, Will and The Doctor have to hide from guards.
In the TARDIS, the pixelated form of a psychic projection starts to manifest. Tegan and Turlough leave to find The Doctor.
The Doctor asks Will what happens in 1643. Will says something, someone called “Malus” (sounds like he’s saying Malice to me) came and made the fighting worse.
Tegan and Turlough pause outside the place The Doctor and Will are hiding, but move on.
Will says that amidst the fighting, there was a terrible wind and Malus appeared. The Doctor indicates a carving of something (we don’t get a good look at it) on the floor of where they’re hiding and asks if that’s what Malus looks like. Horrified, Will says it is.
The Doctor presses on the visage of the Malus, opening a secret door in the floor.
Tegan and Turlough wander the village, looking for everyone; strange, since they’re aware they have to hide from the horsemen. Sure enough, Tegan is captured by Ben.
Hampden finds a secret door in the office and slips in just before Sir George and his guards arrive. He sends them after her.
The Doctor and Will move through a passageway. Hearing others, they hide – as I’m sure you guessed, it’s Hampden, but we can hear the others behind her. The Doctor pulls her into their hiding spot just before Sir George and his cronies pass by.
Jerkwad Joseph puts Tegan in a room and orders her to put on a gown.
Sir George and his men return, giving up the chase. Hampden tells The Doctor the stairs lead back to Sir George’s office. (I thought it was Ben’s.) The Doctor finds some soft metal, saying it is called tinclavic and is from the planet Raaga.
After she’s changed, Jerkwad tells Tegan she’s beginning to annoy him; he’s already annoyed me. He takes her modern clothing, saying she is now Queen of the May.
Hampden questions what The Doctor said about the metal from another world; he says the Terileptils (remember them?) mine it for another planet in another star system, Rifta. She says he’s mad.
She questions how it got there (accepting what he’s claiming out of sake of argument.) He tells her that it came in a ship, likely a computer-controlled recon vehicle. He asks if Andrew was involved in research about the Malus, which she confirms.
Hampden says it’s a legend, a myth. The Doctor says the Malus is from the alien probe ship.
The crack in the wall is even bigger. The Doctor pulls away at the wall, revealing something behind it. There is what appears to be a green glowing eye as smoke pours out. The Time Lord puts his hands over his ears and Hampden screams a ridiculously long, “Doctorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,”… and the credits roll.
So far, not very impressed.
Will and Hampden pull The Doctor away from the crack. The glowing evil face of the Malus peers at them from within. Suddenly, they see the thief has arrived, but then he gets pixelated. Will hears sounds of battle and runs off.
The thief changes from a thief to a poncey looking fellow.
Turlough skulks about, spying on the village, but is captured by a guard, who drags him over to Sir George, who orders he be locked up.
As the poncey dude approaches them, there’s a bit of a wind. He draws his sword and they run off.
Turlough is thrown in a building, where Andrew Verney greets him, telling him not to be afraid.
The Doctor says he has to talk to Sir George; when she questions this, he explains that the war games are the focus for the Malus’ energies, and since Sir George is in charge, he’s the man to talk to.
Will runs through the fields.
Tegan is staring out the window; Ben tells her she can’t escape. He assures her that her grandfather is safe. Sir George arrives to compliment how charming she is. She says she is in no mood to play a silly game, but George gets serious saying this is no game, but will change the future of mankind.
Andrew says Sir George’s “deranged mind” awakened the Malus. Turlough says they need to escape and find The Doctor. Turlough calls for a guard, but gets no response and asks what they can use as a battering ram.
Hampden questions why the Malus has been dormant – especially if it was in the village long before the English Civil War broke out. The Doctor says it takes massive psychic energy to awaken in, to empower it. The war did in 1643 and the reenactment is doing so in 1984.
Hampden realises that the final battle of the war games won’t be play, but for real – will be a real slaughter. They enter the office, as Tegan argues with Sir George. The Doctor asks Sir George to stop the war games and there’s a great line here:
Sir George: You speak treason!
The Doctor: Fluently. Stop the war games!
Sir George gives his gun to Ben, ordering him to kill them, and then departs. Ben asks The Doctor to explain what’s going on.
Suddenly, a psychic projection of a stone face appears in the air. Ben asks if he can shoot it, but The Doctor says it’s not physical. The Doctor tells Ben to take the girls back through the tunnel, then he departs to find Turlough.
Ben tells Tegan she’ll have to show up on the cart awaiting to take her, or they’ll have guards scouring for her and The Doctor will have no hope of succeeding.
Will scurries about the village.
Turlough and Andrew are exhausted from their attempts to break down the door.
The cart bears Tegan through the town, Hempden sitting on the back, as Ben steers it.
More of the wall obscuring the Malus breaks down.
The Doctor finds Will, who says things are just like before. They see the cart with Tegan passing by; Will tells him they’ll burn the Queen of the May.
The Doctor tries to casually walk by the May Pole, but Sir George orders his men to grab him.
More of the wall breaks down in the church, revealing more of the Malus’ grinning face.
The cart arrives at the May Pole, but Sir George realises something is wrong – the figure in a dress in the cart is an effigy. Sir George orders his men to kill Ben.
Will rushes in to help The Doctor escape and they leap on the back of the cart. Ben takes them to the church. Sir George, enraged, sends his men after them.
Finally, Turlough and Andrew break out. Andrew says they have to rush to the church to destroy the Malus, saying they don’t have time to look for The Doctor.
At the church, everyone but Turlough and Andrew reunite. They head to the TARDIS, where The Doctor chastises Tegan for not closing the door. There’s a pixelated manifestation inside the TARDIS, looks like a lizard-Malus.
Jerkwad and a guard try to enter the TARDIS. They try to break it open.
Inside, the Malus-lizard is getting stronger, more physical.
Andrew and Turlough arrive in the church, see the Malus. They hear the pounding on the TARDIS echoing from below.
The Malus senses that The Doctor is up to something and this makes it mad.
In the village, Sir George clutches his head and cries out, saying he must get to the church.
Andrew and Turlough knock out Jerkwad and the guard.
The Doctor manages to cut off the Malus from the emotional energy from the village. The Malus-lizard in the TARDIS begins to die. The Doctor leads everyone out of the TARDIS and Tegan is happy to see her grandfather. They head up to the church, but the Malus has generated three guards to attack the heroes.
The guard with jerkwad wakes and staggers up to the church; the psychic projections turn and kill him. The Malus has grown silent. The Doctor says it used a lot of energy and must be resting.
Before they can leave, Sir George arrives, raving that he is there, calling out to his master. This wakes the Malus again. Ben says Sir George used to be a man of honour, and tries to talk to him.
The Doctor tells Ben that Sir George is now under the control of the Malus. (C’mon, like he has to tell him this? The man is VISIBLY bonkers. Not to mention the mad shit he’s been doing all episode long.)
Ben asserts he has to try, since he is partially responsible for what has happened. Sir George doesn’t seem to know his friend, Ben. Everyone tries to reinforce that George listen to Colonel Woosley.
The Malus roars. Down below, Jerkwad wakes up.
Sir George argues that the Malus is not using him, that they are working together. The Doctor argues with logic, pointing out the influence of the Malus has him pointing a gun at a friend.
Just as Sir George drops his guns, Jerkwad attacks Ben. They struggle. Will shows up and shoves Sir George into the Malus, saying he’d be better off dead. George dies and the Malus begins bringing down the church.
Everyone rushes into the TARDIS as the church collapses about the Malus.
There’s a big boom.
The Doctor announces that the Malus has destroyed itself. Hempden asks if it was a machine or beast; The Doctor says it was a living being reengineered for war, sent as an advance scout/attack on the planet.
Turlough asks why they never invaded, but The Doctor isn’t sure and says he’ll have to check the records.
When Turlough asks why Will is still there, The Doctor admits he was wrong about Will being a projection, but actually someone who slipped between times.
Ben and Hempden shake hands with Jerkwad, who I guess was under the Malus’ influence, too. They promise no recriminations on their behalf if he helps them work to rebuild the village.
There’s a bit of silly banter at the end that just falls flat for me.
All in all, this serial wasn’t anything special. Not horrible, by any stretch, but very meh.