"What is it you're really up to, eh? What do you want? You don't want to take over the universe do you? No. You wouldn't know what to do with it beyond shout at it."
— The Doctor
The search for the Key to Time
takes the Doctor and Romana to Calufrax. The coordinates are right, but it's too warm and inviting a world to be Calufrax. In fact, the TARDIS lands them on Zanak, the World of Ham
. But the Tracer is going berserk — it's sensing the second Key to Time segment everywhere
It turns out that the planet Zanak has been hollowed out and fitted with engines, and is now piloted by the demented Captain. This magnificently Large Ham
is a Hollywood Cyborg
, always accompanied by a rather stoic nursemaid. His job is to teleport Zanak into position around other planets, suck them dry and mount the shriveled and supercompressed husks in a trophy room.
The nursemaid turns out to be the real brains behind the operation, a holographic projection of Zanak's Queen Xanxia, using time dams and the forces generated by the trophy room to remain young. The Captain announces that Zanak's next target is Earth, and the Doctor enlists the telekinetic help of La Résistance
— the native Mentiads — to sabotage the engines by simply throwing a spanner into them. The Captain rebels and is killed by Xanxia, who is in turn killed by one of the natives.
The Doctor realises that the segment of the Key to Time he is after is in fact the entire planet Calufrax, now conveniently shrunk to a rather more manageable size.
- Armor-Piercing Question: "Then what's it FOR?"
- Blofeld Ploy: The Captain. "When someone fails me, someone DIES!"
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Captain is very upset by the deaths of his metal death parrot and his favorite Mook, vowing to avenge them.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Failure becomes the only option for the villains in the last episode, when the Captain announces that they intend to consume an Insignificant Little Blue Planet...
- The Doctor tells Xanxia that her ultimate goal is impossible to complete.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Xanxia.
- Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: The Mentiads' stated reason for not deposing the Captain sooner.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: The Doctor vs. the Captain.
- He Knows Too Much: Why it is death to enter the mine shafts.
- Hollywood Cyborg: The Captain.
- Incoming Ham: The very first line, in fact.
- Large Ham: The Captain, gloriously so!
- Life Energy
- The Man Behind the Man: Xanxia.
- Mundane Solution: Hit it with a spanner! (albeit telekinetically)
- Not Now, Kiddo: K-9, over and over again.
- Obfuscating Ham: The Captain.
- Pirate Booty: In a very... creative way.
- Pirate Parrot: Of DEATH!
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Zanak's resources are gained through the wholesale mining and destruction of other planets. Said planets' inhabitants are collateral damage.
- Psychic Powers: The Mentiads, thanks to a shared Hive Mind that uses the Life Energy of the dying worlds Xanax engulfs.
- Servile Snarker: Mr. Fibuli.
- Space Pirates: In glorious type 2 fashion.
- Spanner in the Works: Literally.
- The Starscream: The Captain.
- Too Fast to Stop: The conveyor floor normally stops inertia to avoid this trope. The Doctor turns it off to stop some pursuing guards.
- Two-Headed Coin: The Doctor uses one to settle a disagreement; it's legal tender from a planet ruled by two kings.
- Walk the Plank
- Wicked Witch: Xanxia doesn't have any magical powers, but her method of keeping herself alive, her real body's withered, decrepit appearance, and her mannerisms all hit the right notes.
- Written-In Infirmity: The Doctor bangs his mouth on the console during the TARDIS' landing, to account for Tom Baker's lisp and wound after being attacked by a dog while filming the previous episode.
- You Have Failed Me: The Captain's favorite word seems to be "failure", said in varying degrees of pitch and intensity.