[[caption-width-right:350:"Steven, my boy, relax; [[TemptingFate I sincerely doubt this story will get]] ''[[TemptingFate any]]'' [[TemptingFate more depressing]]!"]]
-> ''At dawn tomorrow this city will weep tears of blood.''
-->-- '''Marshal Tavannes'''

The TARDIS materialises in Paris, 1572, and the Doctor wanders off to visit a famous apothecary while Steven falls in with a group of Huguenots (French Protestants) from the household of Admiral de Coligny.

Steven and his new friends rescue Anne Chaplet, a serving-girl, from some guards and hear of a plan by the Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici, to massacre all French Protestants.

Meanwhile, the Abbot of Amboise - a {{Doppelganger}} of the Doctor - is executed by the authorities for failing to have de Coligny assassinated, giving Steven quite a shock when he finds the body in a gutter.

Steven heads back to the TARDIS at the apothecary's shop and the two depart just as the massacre begins. Steven is furious that the Doctor refuses to save Anne from the massacre and storms off once the TARDIS lands again on Wimbledon Common. While he's gone, a girl enters the TARDIS looking for help from the Police. When Steven returns to warn of the approach of two policemen, the newcomer tells him and the Doctor that her name is Dodo Chaplet - a descendent of Anne? The Doctor hits the "dematerialise" button, once again kidnapping a companion. Steven is outraged but Dodo doesn't seem to mind.


* ADayInTheLimelight: Not only is this the first serial to feature a single companion, Steven is the central character throughout as, while Creator/WilliamHartnell is present as the Abbot, the ''Doctor'' only appears in the first and last episodes.
* AlanSmithee: This story was originally written by John Lucarotti, but script editor Donald Tosh rewrote almost the whole story. Lucarotti demanded his name be taken off the credits, but since the episodes are missing, it's unknown whether his request was granted.
* TheBadGuyWins / KarmaHoudini: Sadly, all too much TruthInTelevision.
* BloodKnight: Gaston loves a fight. He's constantly trying to provoke fights with Catholics.
--> '''Gaston''': ''There now. I thought he might be roused, what a pity.''
--> '''Steven''': ''What about the girl? Where is she?''
--> '''Gaston''': ''She's just a servant. A chance to bait a Catholic. Forget her.''
* ContinuityCavalcade: After Steven leaves, the Doctor mentions Susan, Ian Barbara and Vicki and how they left him. And then Dodo appears.
* ContinuityNod: [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E4TheDaleksMasterPlan Steven says that he's been to Egypt]].
* CriminalDoppelganger: The Abbot. Does result in being-confused-for-each-other shenanigans, but played for drama instead of for laughs.
* DarkerAndEdgier: One of the darkest ''Who'' serials ever.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: Yup.
* DownerEnding: If it weren't for Dodo's arrival, this would be one of the most depressing stories ever.
* EntertaininglyWrong: Given his track record, it's not unreasonable for Steven to assume the Abbot is in fact the Doctor in disguise. However in this case the Abbot really is another person who happens to resemble the Doctor.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: Steven, very much so. He knows next to nothing about the year he's in. The political and religious climate is very volatile, and it leads to a lot of trouble for Steven, particularly when he's separated from the Doctor.
** Just being English in sixteenth century France puts him on the wrong side of the Catholic faction.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Charles IX, Catherine de Medici, Admiral de Coligny, ...
* IdenticalStranger: The Doctor and the Abbot of Amboise.
* KillEmAll: Most of Steven's allies in the story are historical victims of the massacre.
* OopNorth: Dodo has a Manchester accent.
* PinballProtagonist: Steven spends the story as main protagonist, but he completely fails to change events in the slightest, and has no real idea what is going on. He only just finds the Doctor in time to escape Paris and avoid the impending atrocity.
* SpotTheImposter: Used in the novelisation (which John Lucarotti based on his original scripts and is close to being InNameOnly). Simon Duvall manages to get The Doctor and The Abbot in the same room, but can't tell which is the real Abbot. The Doctor manages to persuade him to guess wrong, with fatal consequences for the Abbot.
* TheGoodOldBritishComp: Dodo is in school uniform when she enters the TARDIS.
* WhatASenselessWasteOfHumanLife: The actual massacre weighs heavily on the Doctor and Steven.
* [[WhatTheHellHero What The Hell, Doctor?]]: Steven after they escape the Massacre.