[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/decay_3898.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Vampires. No joke.[[note]]And they ''still'' are [[TakeThat more believable]] that Literature/{{Twilight}}...[[/note]]]]
->'''The Doctor:''' ''Do you know, it just occurs to me. There are vampire legends on almost every inhabited planet.''
->'''Romana:''' ''Really?''
->'''The Doctor:''' ''Yes. Creatures that stalk in the night and feast on the blood of the living. Creatures that fear sunlight and running water and certain herbs. Creatures that are so strong they can only be killed by beheading, or a stake through the heart.''

The TARDIS (still in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS18E3FullCircle E-Space]]) lands on a planet that seems to be inhabited only by a single small village full of peasants and a castle occupied by three sinister rulers. This turns out to be because the planet's inhabitants come from a crashed spaceship from Earth; the castle is built from the remains of the spaceship. The captain and his executive officers became the rulers, and the peasants are descended from everybody else.

That's not the interesting bit, though: the interesting bit is that the [[RuleOfThree Three Who Rule]] are {{vampire}}s. And they're working to revive their master, a Giant Vampire who fought (and nearly defeated) the Time Lords themselves aeons ago.

The Doctor must answer the question: Just how ''do'' you deal with a Giant Vampire? A bit of wood with a point at one end really isn't going to do the job...

----

Creator/TerranceDicks had originally proposed this story several years earlier, for the slot that ended up going to "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS15E1HorrorOfFangRock Horror of Fang Rock]]"; it was turned down at the time because the BBC was about to air a big-budget adaptation of ''{{Dracula}}'', and they didn't want anybody to think ''Series/DoctorWho'' was taking the mickey.

----
!!Tropes

* AlienBlood: The Doctor's blood is blue, though in all other episodes before and since it's been red. The shot was supposed to be replaced, but time ran out and the shot remains in.
* AristocratsAreEvil
* ExpositionOfImmortality: Photos of the Three Who Rule are found by the Doctor in the databanks of the rebel's computer, confirming his suspicions that there's something not quite right and that they've been around for millenia.
* FakeDefector: After spending a couple episodes under mind control, Adric pretends to side with the Three Who Rule so he can safely wait for an opening to save Romana. This plan does not work, but at least he apologizes.
* FeudalFuture
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: The Doctor stabs the Giant Vampire through the heart with a rocketship.
* LooksLikeCesare: The Three.
* MeaningfulEcho: That delightful ShipTease moment between our two Time Lords.
-->"Psst. You're wonderful."
-->"I suppose I am. I never really thought about it, really."
* MedievalStasis: Enforced by the Three Who Rule
* TheNecrocracy
* NoImmortalInertia
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: "And certain 'erbs". Baker slips out of his BBC English accent for a second.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: The Three Who Rule are pretty standard HammerHorror vampires, but the gigantic ur-Vampire certainly qualifies as Different.
* PercussiveMaintenance
** Twice. That's Earth craftsmanship for you...
* LaResistance
* SnarkBait: The title was changed from the Wasting to State of Decay to avoid this trope.
* SupernaturalElite: The Three Who Rule are vampires, feeding off the peasants whom they rule.
* TakeAThirdOption:
-->'''Aukon:''' You will all serve the Great One, Doctor, one way or another. If you do not join us you will feed him with your blood.\\
'''Doctor:''' No. There is a third choice.\\
'''Aukon:''' What is that?\\
'''Doctor:''' [[BadassBoast I can]] ''[[BadassBoast destroy]]'' [[BadassBoast the Great One.]]
* TitleDrop
* TorchesAndPitchforks
* {{Uberwald}}
* VampireMonarch: The head vampire is an EldritchAbomination. Once the doctor stakes it with a rocket ship, the other (human) vampires crumble to dust.
* WeHaveReserves: Aukon's attitute to his guards.
--> '''Aukon:''' The guards must hold the tower to the last man.
--> '''Guard:''' We are outnumbered. Unless you aid us we shall all be killed!
--> '''Aukon:''' Then die. That is the ''purpose'' of guards.
----