Dinner tonight's going to be a national disaster! First course interrupted by bomb explosion. Second course affected by earthquakes. Third course ruined by interference in the kitchen. I'm going out for a walk. It'll probably rain...
—Griffin the chef.
The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria arrive in Australia in the year 2018 only to discover that the Doctor bears a great resemblance to Salamander, would-be world dictator. Salamander is a scientist turned politician who has perfected a technique for storing and distributing solar energy, feeding a world ravaged by storms, volcanoes and earthquakes.
The Doctor ends up in the company of Astrid Ferrier and her employer Giles Kent, a dissident who is one of the few who knows that Salamander is busy setting himself up as a dictator rather than the world-saving hero everyone else believes. He convinces the Doctor to investigate. Jamie and Victoria head to Hungary with Astrid, while the Doctor and Kent go to Salamander's research station. Jamie and Victoria are initially successful in infiltrating Salamander's inner circle, but are soon discovered and arrested.
Salamander himself is responsible for the natural disasters. He creates them with the help of a group of humans living in a bunker underneath his research station. This group were selected for an endurance test five years ago, and believe that there is a war going on above and they have been striking back at the enemy by engineering the natural disasters. When the leader of the group insists on accompanying Salamander back to the surface, Salamander attempts to kill him, but the man survives long enough to be found by Astrid, who in turn discovers the bunker. Between her discovery and the Doctor tricking Kent into confessing his part in the whole scheme, Salamander's crimes are finally made public. Kent originally worked with Salamander on the project, but now returns to destroy the base.
Salamander attempts to escape in the TARDIS by impersonating the Doctor, but the Doctor catches up with him before he can trick Jamie into operating the controls. In the ensuing right, Salamander activates the dematerialization control, but he doesn't know that the door must be closed first and is dragged screaming into the time vortex.
With the exception of the existing episode 3, this story was missing from the BBC archives until all six parts were recovered from a tv relay station in Jos, Nigeria, along with most of The Web Of Fear
. The discoveries were made public in October of 2013.
- Acting for Two: As implied in the summary above, Patrick Troughton plays both Salamander and the Doctor for this adventure. Considering the only difference between them is a hair style and costume, Patrick Troughton puts his heart into making those two completely different.
- Action Girl: Astrid, and how!
- Beneath the Earth: Salamander has essentially imprisoned a group of people in an underground bunker by leading them to believe that the world above has suffered from a nuclear war.
- Blackmail: How Salamander keeps a hold on Fedorin.
- Coordinated Clothes: Victoria wears a variation of Jamie's normal jumper-and-kilt costume.
- Criminal Doppelgänger: Salamander. Mostly played for drama rather than laughs.
- Defictionalization: Someone arrested for not predicting a natural disaster? That could never possibly happen!
- Dirty Coward: Benik panicking and begging for a "fair trial" after Salamander is exposed.
- The Eeyore: Griffin the chef, as seen in the above quote. Some fans have wished he could have been given a Spin-Off series, only half-jokingly.
- Exty Years from Now: The story was broadcast in 1968 and set in 2018, 50 years in the future.
- Foreshadowing: The Doctor mishears Astrid over the phone and asks, "Disused Yeti?" Also a CallBack to The Abominable Snowmen.
- Heel-Face Turn: Donald Bruce, initially introduced as a sinister heavy, turns out to honestly care about doing the right thing.
- Just a Stupid Accent: Imagine the Doctor sounding like Speedy Gonzales, but with more of an edge to his voice. Troughton used the same "foreign" voice in other tv series such as The Persuaders.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Benik straight-out threatens to rape Victoria and make Jamie watch.
- The Infiltration: Jamie does this by staging a rescue on Salamander's life. And who can complain about being a guard for the bad guy when he gets to wear that leather uniform?
- Insult Backfire: When Benik, Salamander's deputy, threatens Jamie and Victoria with torture, Jamie shows his contempt:
Jamie: You must have been a nasty little boy.
Benik: Oh, I was. But I had a very enjoyable childhood.
- Land Down Under
- No One Could Survive That: Salamander's fate.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Inverted in a conversation between Astrid and The Doctor
Astrid: Doctor of law? Philosophy?
Doctor: Which law? Whose philosophies, eh?
- Oh Crap: Kent, when he reminds Salamander of an aspect of their old plot - oops, that's actually the Doctor.
- Softspoken Sadist: Benik.
- The Starscream: At first, Giles Kent says he wants the Doctor to expose Salamander's actions to the world, but in truth he wants to kill Salamander and run his operation for himself.
- Sweater Girl: Victoria has her moments.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: What Fedorin is a victim of.
- Trailers Always Spoil: An interesting case: the trailer announcing that the story, having been found, will be released on iTunes ends by showing the last scene: the TARDIS taking off with the doors opened, and Salamander being sucked out into the Time Vortex. Oops.
- The X of Y
- Undercover as Lovers: During his infiltration, Jamie introduces Victoria as his girlfriend. Or perhaps she really is his girlfriend.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Salamanders's invention, the Sun Store, is helping to feed the world. Three or four crops can be grown in a single growing season, and formerly arid areas have become productive areas when it comes to producing food. This has resulted in enormous popularity for Salamander.
- Vindicated by DVD: When the episode was first released, it was considered the odd one out of a season dominated by "Monsters of the Week" and the "Base Under Siege" plots. Now, with all episodes recovered, it's considered fresh for its time in integrating political intrigue with Doctor Who.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: One of the reasons that the Doctor thinks that Salamander might be evil (though he wasn't yet totally convinced) is because one of his flunkies breaks Kent's crockery.
The Doctor: Sad, really, isn't it? People spend all their time making nice things, and other people come along and break them.
- You Have Failed Me: Salamander dispatches Fedorin for not killing Denes as he promised to.
- You Look Familiar: Both Christopher Burgess (Swann) and Milton Johns (Benik) have appeared in several other Doctor Who serials.
- Both Milton Johns and George Pravda played Time Lord Castellans during Tom Baker's time as the Doctor.