[[caption-width-right:350:See [[Creator/ElisabethSladen the person]] on the far right? [[BlatantLies One-off character for sure.]]]]
-> ''A longshanked rascal with a mighty nose!''
-->-- '''Irongron''' describes the Doctor

An [[IntrepidReporter intrepid investigative journalist]], Sarah Jane Smith, [[GoingForTheBigScoop infiltrates a secret research centre]] where a number of top scientists are being held in protective custody while UNIT investigates the disappearance of some of their colleagues.

The Doctor follows the trail back to TheMiddleAges in the TARDIS; unbeknownst to him, Sarah Jane has stowed away on board. It seems that a robber baron called Irongron has made a deal with Linx, a Sontaran of the Sontaran Army Space Corps. Linx gives Irongron advanced weapons in exchange for time and shelter while repairing his damaged spacecraft. The kidnapped scientists are working under hypnosis to help.

The Doctor helps local lord Sir Edward of Wessex to repel an attack by Irongron's men, then drugs the food in Irongron's castle in order to remove the advanced weapons while they sleep. With the help of one of the scientists, the Doctor then sends the scientists back to the 20th century.

Linx kills Irongron and is about to leave when he is shot in the back of the neck with an arrow by Hal, one of Wessex's archers. Turns out that's the only weak spot on a Sontaran's armour - the "probic vent" - and he dies. The Doctor, Sarah and Hal escape before the ship can explode and destroy Irongron's castle.


An official BBC radio play by Barry Letts, [[Radio/ThirdDoctorRadioDramas "The Paradise Of Death"]], takes place between this episode and the next and stars Three, Sarah Jane and the Brigadier.


* AchillesHeel: The probic vent.
* AnachronismStew: It's implied that the action may be taking place pre-1066 ("Wessex," as a place name, was quickly dispensed with after the Norman Conquest), but the armor and weapons look to be anywhere between the 13 to 15th Centuries.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Once by Linx with his hand laser, and more impressively, Hal shooting a sword out of Irongron's hand [[ImprobableAimingSkills with a bow]].
* BlindWithoutEm: Prof. Rubeish. He fashions himself a monocle using Linx's equipment.
* BulletProofFashionPlate: After spending days in the middle ages, exercising (and presumably sweating) and rolling around in the dirt and straw, the Doctor's clothing is still immaculate.
* CallForward/ CallBack: The Doctor remembers [[Recap/DoctorWhoS22E4TheTwoDoctors the last time]] he met a Sontaran, but the actual events behind the meeting wouldn't be shown on TV for another 20 years.
* ChandelierSwing: The Doctor does one during a fight with Irongron's men.
* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon:
-->'''Irongron:''' I'll chop him up so fine, not even a sparrow will fill its beak!
* EvolvingCredits: This episode debuts the opening sequence used until Three's finale, when it was modified to become TomBaker's intro for all but his final season.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Sarah Jane.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: When the Doctor says he has to go find a young girl (Sarah Jane), Prof. Rubeish says to himself: "Young girl? Should have thought he was a bit old for that sort of thing."
* GoingForTheBigScoop: Sarah Jane.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The knaves of Irongrad, and Irongrad himself, can't hit anything with their new 'star weapons'. Doesn't really discourage them from having fun with them, if a bit frustrating when actually in battle. Justified as older rifles weren't very accurate and the men firing them had normally fought with medieval weapons and had never seen a gun before. They decide to kill the Doctor via firing squad as aiming practice.
-->'''Irongrad:''' ''[amused]'' These knaves of mine aim so ill, Doctor, you are mayhap safer to stand still.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Hal the archer can put an arrow through a probic vent from quite a ways away.
* InformedAbility: The Doctor's 'skilled' swordplay.
* InstantSedation: {{Inverted}}. The drugged food takes a minute or so to knock out the people who ate it, but they are awakened with just a shake and a warning the castle is going to blow up.
* IntrepidReporter: Sarah Jane.
* LaughablyEvil: Irongron and Bloodaxe are a damn goofy couple of guys.
* MagicFromTechnology: Both Linx and the Doctor are seen as wizards by the locals.
* TheMiddleAges: Sarah Jane seems to think it's TheDungAges.
* MindControl: Linx does this to the scientists.
* PeopleInRubberSuits: Linx.
* PullTheThread: The Doctor, when he sees through Sarah Jane's cover story
* SculleryMaid: Sarah Jane poses as one to infiltrate Irongron's castle and drug the food.
* SlippingAMickey: Sarah Jane drugs Irongron's men's food and drink.
* WaybackTrip, with elements of GivingRadioToTheRomans: keeping firearms from developing centuries too early.
* [[WhamEpisode Wham Serial]]: This serial names the Doctor's home planet, introduces one of the most popular companions of the series, Sarah Jane Smith, and also introduces recurring enemy race The Sontarans ([[TimeyWimeyBall although]] The Second Doctor has [[Recap/DoctorWhoS22E4TheTwoDoctors previously battled them]])
* WheresTheFunInThat:
--->'''The Doctor''': A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.
** The Doctor pretty much states his MO when Sarah Jane Smith asks "[[YouHaveGOTToBeKiddingMe Are you serious?]]"
-->"About what I do, yes. Not necessarily about the way I do it."
* WrongGenreSavvy: See TheMiddleAges above.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: When Sarah Jane starts speaking like this, Irongron's maid thinks she's nobility.