Turlough: We're running out of places to run.
Tegan: It's the story of our lives.After their traumatic encounter with the Silurans and Sea Devils, the TARDIS crew aim to spend a restful time visiting Tegan's grandfather in his little English village. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (Stop sniggering at the back.)Well, something's gone very wrong with the local historical reenactment event. Little Hodcombe's local squirearchy, Sir George Hutchinson and his friends, have come under some malign influence. The reenactment suddenly involves real violence, people staggering about with Mind-Control Eyes, and projections from the 17th Century (including muddy urchin Will). And on top of all that, Tegan's grandfather has gone missing.After initially leading Tegan and Turlough into the village in the manner of a worn-down parent with two squabbling kids, the Doctor gets the picture, and sends the companions back to the TARDIS so that he can conduct a "scientific investigation" while they stay safe. Instead, they find that the Malus is already inside the TARDIS, so they go to tell the Doctor and get in trouble. Tegan finds herself unwillingly crowned as Queen of the May, while Turlough gets locked in with Tegan's grandfather after being snuck up on by a man in a suit of armour whose resemblance to the knight with the rubber chicken out of Monty Python's Flying Circus is bound to be totally accidental.Meanwhile, the Doctor, Will and local plucky schoolteacher Jane Hampden discover the source of the trouble inside the local church: it is, of course, all caused by the Malus, an evil time-travelling alien war machine feeding on psychic energy. Can the Doctor, the schoolteacher, the urchin, and the companions, plus Tegan's granddad, save the day? Will Tegan go quietly? Will there be tea? Yes.
- Alien Blood: The psychic projection of the Malus inside the Tardis has what look like green blood oozing out of its eyes and mouth. (Whether it the Malus actual blood is unknown)
- Big Bad: The Malus
- Big "NO!": The Malus, through Sir George.
- Burn the Witch!: Tegan is nearly burnt at the stake as a sacrifice.
- Continuity Nod: references to the tinclavic mines on Raaga, from Eric Saward's story "The Visitation" from the previous season.
- Deadpan Snarker: Turlough, even more than usual.
- The '80s: Tegan's outfit, when not being kitted out as Queen of the May.
- Emotion Eater: The Malus, which also does a sideline in Mind Rape.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Hutchinson tried to exploit the Malus for his own end, but instead, the creature began to use him by organizing the war games
- A Fête Worse Than Death: The Civil War recreation is supposed to end with the 'Queen of May' (Tegan) being sacrificed.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Will.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Malus.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Used when the trooper is decapitated by the Malus' psychic projections.
- Human Sacrifice: "I know what happens to the Queen of the May at the end of her day!"
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Don't try this on Tegan.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Colonel Woolsey and the Doctor try this on Sir George near the end. It doesn't quite work.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Malus, which is Latin for "evil" and sounds like "malice".
- Plucky Girl: Tegan.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The can in this case being a church.
- Shout-Out: The Civil War-era apparitions are similar to those in the first story on Sapphire and Steel.
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Kamelion, again. Though he does appear in a scene that didn't make it to broadcast. Hurray!
- Spot of Tea:Turlough: I quite miss that brown liquid they drink here.
Turlough: No, tea.
Will: What be tea?
The Doctor: Oh, a noxious infusion of Oriental leaves containing a high percentage of toxic acid.
Will: Sounds an evil brew, don't it?
The Doctor: True. [Beat] Personally, I rather like it.
- Stock Episode Titles: 39 uses
- War Reenactors
- What Year Is This?: The Doctor asks Will this question. Will is quite excited, as he's pretty sure he knows the answer to this one.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Surprisingly little, considering.