Never seen this one, no idea what it’s about, presumably a circus. Let do this!

Episode 1:

We open with The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. A man in the center of a circus ring welcomes everyone with a bit of a rap.

We switch to the TARDIS, with The Doctor juggling while Ace looks for her rucksack of Nitro-9.

Outside the Greatest Show in the Galaxy a three-wheeled motorbike appears out of nowhere, with a bat-helmeted rider on it. They ride a bit and then stop to eat a sandwich.

In the TARDIS, a little robot appears. The Doctor says it’s “just the sort of thing you’d expect to see in this part of the galaxy.”

The robot connects to the TARDIS console and an advert for TGSitG comes up on the scanner viewscreen. Ace calls it junk mail.

Yeah, junk mail gets everywhere,” The Doctor replies.

Ace shuts the scanner off, saying the circus is kids’ stuff. She admits to being creeped out by the clowns. The Doctor seems interested in going.

The robot calls Ace scared, but she says she’s not. Ace ends up saying she’s not scared of anything and says the “junkbox” wins.

On some planet, two people, Bellboy and a girl, run through a blasted terrain. They’re escapees from the circus, apparently. A black car moves through the terrain, a passenger is a man in clown makeup. The car stops and he gets out, watching two kites in the sky, then gets back in. The vehicle drives off.

Bellboy and his lady friend keep running. They crest a sand dune and see Flowerchild (that’s her name)’s kites.

The TARDIS appears in the blasted terrain. The planet is Segnoax. The Doctor complains that the land isn’t as green and pleasant as they’ve been led to believe, but The Doctor says the inhabitants are supposed to be pleasant enough. Seeing one, they head over.

The bat-helmeted man drives his three-wheeled bike.

They meet a woman who calls them “weirdos”, saying they’re not welcome there.

Bellboy and Flowerchild stop to rest. She says there’s no choice. He says the kites will track them forever. They share a kiss after she says one of them must make it. She gives him an earring.

He says he’ll wait to draw the kites after him. He urges her to go on.

The clown keeps tracking the kites.

Bellboy wanders, trying to be obvious.

Ace and The Doctor try to win over the woman by eating some fruit…thing she made (and sells, I gather?) He says by eating (and paying their way), they’ll show her that they’re nice people and not weirdos.

Ace complains.

Bellboy calls out to the kites, trying to get them to track him. He doesn’t seem to be too lucky.

Flowerchild finds a bus covered in graffiti. A pic of Bellboy is on the bus. She enters the bus.

The Doctor talks to the woman, hoping to get info from her. Bat-helmeted dude arrives. Mags complains that he’s “another of your lot”. Ace is impressed by his bike but he’s a total ass to her.

The woman says all the riffraff and extra-terrestrials go to the Circus. “Anyone who is up to no good goes there,” she says.

The woman complains about the circus and the vagabonds. The Doctor prevaricates when she asks if he intends to go there. The Doctor asks if they can get a ride with him, but Nord (the Vandal of the Roads) says nobody rides with him.

He’s a right tosser. I’d have punched him in the nards.

Flowerchild leaves the bus but is caught by someone we don’t see very well.

The Doctor and Ace are walking down the road and almost run over the black car (the one with the clown.)

Nord is seen driving down the road.

The Doctor and Ace wander; The Doctor says something evil is going on, he can feel it. Ace asks if he thinks it’s the circus, but he’s unsure.

They see a man in explorer gear (pith helmet and all) and his goth/punk companion. Wonder if they’re a parallel of sorts for The Doctor and Ace? They go over and make introductions, meeting Captain Cook and Mags.

Nord approaches a clown/mime doing a balancing act, asking where to apply for a gig with the psychic circus. The “whiteface” points him in the right direction.

Cook and The Doctor sip tea while the girls play with a robot that was buried and Mags is uncovering. Captain Cook explains that his curiousity was picqued about the circus, but apparently Mags wanted to come as well. He says he met her on the planet Vulpana and says she’s a “rather unusual specimen”.

Of what,” The Doctor asks, but Cook says that would be telling.

The robot sits up, grabbing Mags, and begins firing wildly. The Doctor asks Cook to help, but he’s too busy drinking his tea. Ace hits the robot on the head and it goes inert.

Well, well. More tea, perhaps,” Cook asks.

At the place where Nord first appeared, a geeky kid on a bicycle appears and rides off.

The clown in the car follow the kites.

Flowerchild is dragged off by her attacker.

Bellboy approaches the woman fruit-seller and collapses. The black car pulls up and the clowns get out, demanding where the girl is. He says she’ll have reached there by now.

If she has,” the clown replies, “she’ll regret it.”

The Doctor and company have found the bus. Cook mocks The Doctor for being cautious, wary. They enter the bus and poke around. A robot appears from the back, asking for fares and saying no standing inside. It fires a blast from it’s ticket machine at Cook, who tells the robot that The Doctor is paying.

The Doctor demands a multi/senior/etc pass, which seems to confuse the robot, and it becomes subservient to him. He demands to see the ticket machine and uses it to blast the robot.

Just the ticket,” The Doctor quips. Groan.

Bellboy is dragged to the circus. A gypsy-looking woman named Morgana asks what they have done, but they say he needs to be punished. Bellboy calls out for Flowerchild as he’s dragged off.

The Doctor and Ace talk about their new friends. Ace finds Flowerchild’s badge/earring that fell off when she was grabbed. Ace asks if this was the source of evil and he thinks so.

The Doctor says they’re still going to the circus; Ace is reluctant but doesn’t argue.

Cook and Mags arrive at the circus.

The geek on the bike arrives at the fruit-seller’s. She’s pleased to see a “nice, clean, respectable young man”. When he asks the way to the circus, she’s disappointed.

Cook and Mags meet Morgana, but she says they cannot go in just now, but the head clown invites them in anyways.

The Doctor and Ace arrive shortly thereafter.

Bellboy is held by three clowns as the ringmaster cracks his whip.

Outside, The Doctor beckons Ace to follow.

Cook and Mags enter the circus proper, where they see Bellboy subjected to some high light/sonic attack. Mags screams.

Hearing Mags’ scream, Ace is worried. The Doctor doesn’t hear any screaming, and he thinks she’s making excuses. They argue.

Mags screams and clutches her ears.

The Doctor asks, “Are we going in or aren’t we,” and Ace seems trepidatious… and the credits roll.

That’s a lousy cliffhanger.

spoiler warning

Episode 2:

The head clown comes and waves to The Doctor and Ace, inviting them in.

As they enter, Ace insists she heard screaming but doesn’t know. They are greeted by Morgana. Ace is standoffish to her. The clown watches through the curtain as Morgana goes on about why the founded the circus.

She offers to read The Doctor’s future, but he declines, saying “Not just yet.” They talk about how the circus used to travel from planet to planet, but they settled in, ever since… but Morgana declines to explain.

When the call for everyone to be seated is made, Ace and The Doctor get ready to go in; Morgana seems to be about to try to talk him out of it, but then the clown shows up and she changes her tune.

The clown sees Ace’s found badge/brooch as she passes by him. They enter and it’s dark and the sound of the crowd is gone. They climb, blindly, into the seats. There are others in the darkness, a little girl and her parents, the former complaining about wanting ice cream.

Ace complains that it’s a con, that the place isn’t full. The Doctor goes over to talk to them, but they ignore his attempts to talk, only offering him a crisp.

Lights come up and clowns juggle and dance and cavort. The ringmaster comes out and busts out another rap. The Doctor remarks on some memorial stones.

It seems that at least some of the clowns are robotic.

The ringmaster introduces their new act, and the spotlight hits The Doctor. He’s invited into the ring, but Ace is worried, telling him not to do it. He ignores her and goes in.

The ringmaster takes The Doctor to his dressing room, while the head clown tries to find out where Ace found the earring. She runs off.

The Doctor is taken to where Nord, Cook and Mags are seated. Cook is drinking tea and talking, which he seems to do both quite well and frequently. The ringmaster locks them into a cage and The Doctor gets all melodramatic about falling into a trap.

(I was under the impression he was playing along, suspecting a trap all the while. Now I’m not so sure.)

The clowns chase Ace. She cuts a hole in a tent wall and hides from them.

The Doctor asks why they let him fall into the trap, but Cook says he doesn’t think so. Mags agrees with The Doctor but Cook tells her to shut up.

A man sweeps up outside the cage, but Cook says his mind is “completely gone”. The man starts singing about being gone down the road.

Ace makes her way back to Morgana, but has to hide as the ringmaster shows up. He tells Morgana they have to talk.

Nord yells at the sweeper, trying to grab him through the cage. The Doctor laments not listening to Ace, and Cook agrees. Mags point out they didn’t do any better. He’s rather blasé about it.

The Doctor asks about the talent contest, and Cook says it’s “something pretty nasty”.

They call for the next and Cook and Mags struggle with Nord, who doesn’t want to go. The head clown and his robots come in to take Nord away.

The Doctor is handed three juggling pins.

The nerd on the bike shows up at the circus.

Morgana complains they used to have fun, before things changed, before they came there. The Ringmaster argues, saying they’re a success there. He says the others, bringing up Bellboy and Flowerchild and someone called Deadbeat, saying they couldn’t handle it.

The head clown shows up, saying the new pair worries him. He says Ace had one of Flowerchild’s earrings. The head clown seems a bit intimidated by the Ringmaster. The Ringmaster tells him that he’d better find Ace.

When he walks off, the clown and Morgana talk about Bellboy, the former saying he hopes he learned his lesson, as they need him to repair the clown robots.

Ace is discovered in her hiding spot and runs off, pursued by the clowns.

The nerd shows up, asking Morgana about the talent contest. He says he’s the circus’ greatest fan.

Ace comes across Bellboy, who is tied up.

Nord leaves the cage. The Doctor asks Mags why she’s frightened, but she refuses. Cook asks him not to bother her, saying “You have to be careful with these… rare specimens.” When The Doctor asks what he means, he says he’ll find out soon enough.

The head clown arrives where Bellboy is tied up; Ace hides before they enter. The clown says he has work for Bellboy, who doesn’t seem verbally respsonsive.

Nord does a strongman lift, getting ratings of 9. The Ringmaster says he has to tell a joke, but Nord stammers and gets 0s.

From the cage, watching through a part in the tent, The Doctor asks if that’s what Mags saw before, but she says not exactly, but it was just as bad. There’s a flash and smoke pours through the crack.

In the ring, all that left of Nord is a scrap of his outfit.

The nerd flatters Morgana, talking about her finest efforts. She grows tired of it, and tells him to go in. He does so.

Ace is still on the run, peeking through tent flaps.

The Doctor practices juggling. Cook tells them it’s not going to work. He begins to relate a story, but she cuts him off, “I don’t care.”

The Doctor and Mags start a staged argument about who’s going first (each claiming they will.)

In the ring, the Ringmaster makes his return to applause. Another rap is begun, another “Great new act”, this time highlighting the nerd who is in the stand.

The Doctor and Mags argue. When the robot clowns enter, they attack them with the juggling pins. They leave, but Cook says he’ll sit this one out and bids Mags goodbye.

Ace watches as the clowns take a body way, the head clown ordering them to take it back to the bus (maybe the robot from the bus, then? Couldn’t see it well.) The simpleton sweeper comes up behind her, but when she turns about to get away from him, the head clown grabs her.

The Ringmaster brings the nerd back to the cage, where he finds Cook sitting and the clown robots ‘knocked out’. (Maybe they were real clowns, I dunno.)

Over the PA, they call for The Doctor, telling him there’s no escape. Mags and The Doctor find some stones like the one(s) he saw in the ring. One of the stones has a moon carved into it and it upsets Mags. She won’t explain when he asks why it upsets her.

The head clown throws Ace in a room full of broken down robot clowns, saying some time in there will get her to tell him what he wants to know.

The Doctor and Mags make their way through the rocky tunnel. Mags almost falls into a chasm. The Doctor drops his juggling pin into it. It falls a great way and then at the bottom, there’s a large glowing eye.

He says that the answer they seek is down there, recognising the eye from the kites that were in the entrance hall.

Cook, accompanied by the clowns, shows up. He apologises for butting in, saying The Doctor is the next one for the ring… and the credits roll.

A somewhat better cliffhanger than the first one.

I’ll be honest, I’m not super excited about this story. It’s not horrible, but it’s weak. It’s the worst one since TIME AND THE RANI…

See you Friday.  

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