First part of the 1963 thematic trilogy. The Fifth Doctor takes Nyssa to 1963 to hear The Beatles
but instead finds that the Common Men are the most famous band. Surely enough, it turns out someone has been tampering with the timeline...
- Abbey Road Crossing: The cover◊.
- Continuity Nod: John Smith and the Common Men are the group Susan was listening to at the start of "An Unearthly Child" (John Smith actually being the Hon Aubery Waites). When the timeline is restored, the Doctor suggests to the now less-famous Common Men that Waites is looking for a Merseybeat backup band. One of the Common Men's songs is even based on "Guitar Moods 2", the stock music Susan was actually listening to.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Lenny keeps doing this to others.
- Loony Fan: When the Doctor is misquoted as saying the Common Men are rubbish he almost gets killed by a crowd of fans. They are stopped when paper that is claimed to be a backstage pass is thrown out and they go after it.
- Metaphor Is My Middle Name. According to Mark and James, "Chivalry" is Korky's middle name. And "Generosity" is his first name. That's why they call him Korky.
- Promoted Fanboy: Noted Whovian and Beatles fan Mitch Benn, writer of such songs as "Be My Doctor Who Girl" and "Call Me During Doctor Who And I'll Kill You", gets to be in Doctor Who. As Not-Quite-John Lennon.
- Titled After the Song: Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Invoked; the Common Men are as close to the Beatles (without George) as possible because the Big Bad knows that's what worked.
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: As a result of her TARDIS trip Rita has one; when she's interviewing Mark, she notices that his story changes as the Doctor alters time further.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Lenny ties Nyssa up and tries to throw her downstairs so it looks like she slipped and broke her neck.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: So much.