In a reminiscent mood are you, Doctor? Poor Miss Grant, you have my deepest sympathies.
— The Master
The TARDIS arrives in the year 2540 on board an Earth freighter which comes under attack. The crew seem to think that the Doctor and Jo, along with the other attackers, are Draconians - a reptilian race who are the major rivals to Earth's empire. The Doctor and Jo, however, can see that the attackers are really Ogrons - the ape-like heavies employed by the Daleks in "Day of the Daleks
The Ogrons overwhelm the shop and steal the cargo, including the TARDIS. The Doctor and Jo are accused of being Draconian spies. The Doctor is sent to a penal colony, while Jo is placed in the care of "the Commissioner from Sirius 4" - actually the Master. The Master rescues the Doctor from the penal colony and imprisons him and Jo aboard his stolen spacecraft, revealing he plans to spark a war between Earth and Draconia using Ogron mercenaries and a hypnotic device that makes the spaceship crews perceive them as whatever they most fear.
However, the ship is intercepted by Draconians and the Doctor is able to convince the Draconian Emperor of the Master's plans before being recaptured by the renegade Time Lord and taken off to the Ogron planet, where the TARDIS is waiting for them. An Earth ambassador and a Draconian prince arrive for peace talks, and it is revealed that the real force behind the plot is not the Master, but the Daleks, who wish to conquer Earth in the aftermath of the planned war.
The Doctor escapes and manages to get the two ambassadors away before being injured in the confusion. Jo helps him to the TARDIS as he sends a telepathic message to the Time Lords.
- Call Back: The Master, after capturing the Doctor, mentions the Doctor visiting him when he was imprisoned by UNIT. A bit later in this same scene, the Doctor masks his attempt to escape by droning on about everything that happened to him since his exile.
- Cliffhanger Copout: Played With. The ending of Part 5 has the Master (after failing to the normal way) turn on the hypnosound as a means of taking over Jo's mind (again). Episode 6 has Jo struggling not to succumb, and ultimately holds out long enough for the Master to just turn it off and order her taken away.
- Character Outlives Actor: Roger Delgado was to make one last appearance after this serial as The Master in a story where he ultimately gives his life to save the Doctor and the universe. However, after completing this serial, Delgado was killed in a car crash in Turkey. The last we see of the Master is his dastardly escape after shooting the Doctor. The character would not be seen again until "The Deadly Assassin", when he would be a dessicated, nearly-unrecognizable husk some four years later.
- Continuity Cavalcade: When the Master subjects Jo to the fear inducing machine, she sees him as a Drashig, a Solonian and a Sea Devil.
- Could Say It But: The Draconians get around ordering anything illegal like this.
Aide: Prisoners have been known to escape, your Highness.
Prince: Not without help. And that would be a grave act of hostility. I could not possibly countenance such a plan.
Aide: But should two escaping prisoners seek sanctuary in this Embassy, it would be uncivilised to turn them away.
Prince: (pause) I must not detain you longer. No doubt you have duties demanding your attention?
- False Flag Operation
- Feudal Future: The Draconians feature an emperor and nobles.
- General Ripper: The crazy and paranoid General Williams is one of these, as contrasted to the more reasonable Earth President. Subverted later on in the story however, as it turns out that the incident that led to his hatred of the Draconians actually came about from a misunderstanding, and from then on he acts far more reasonably towards them.
- Hijacked by Ganon: The final episode reveals the Master was working for the Daleks all along.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Unfortunately for the Master, Jo has learnt how to resist this, by filling her mind with nursery rhymes — the Master gives up out of sheer annoyance.
- I Know What You Fear: The Master's hypnosound causes this. Humans and Draconians see each other. Jo sees a creature from a past adventure.
- Letting the Air out of the Band: What happens to the Master's BGM, in conjuncture with the above trope.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Master is revealed as the Ogrons' employer. He is, in turn, working for the Daleks.
- The Master
- Mind Probe
- Oh Crap: The Doctor and Jo immediately know something is wrong when the Master becomes agreeable during their meeting with the Draconian Emperor.
- Psychic Static: How Jo resists the Master's initial mind control attempt.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Both the president and the emperor.
- Right Makes Might: The Master claims that he's not afraid at one point due to this trope. Since he's very much in the wrong, it's really the tracking signal on him that his minions are following that reassures him.
- Space Cold War
- War for Fun and Profit: A classic example of the trope, as the Master uses a whole bunch of False Flag Operations to try to provoke war between Earth and Draconia.
- Whip It Good: The Doctor chasing the Master around a spaceship with a belt. Yes.
- Wutai: Draconia is basically feudal Japan in space with reptile people.