"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..."The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria arrive in Australia in the year 2018 only to discover that the Doctor bears a great resemblance to Ramon 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.
—Griffin the chef
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.
- Absentee Actor: Jamie and Victoria are absent from the fourth episode, as Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling were on holiday.
- Action Girl: Astrid, and how!
- All There in the Manual: In the novelisation, Bruce details his reasons for rebelling.
- An explanation is given for how the Doctor got into the locked records room.
- Anton is named Tony and Curly is named Tibor.
- Fedorin is given the first name of Nicholas.
- Benik is given the first name of Theodore.
- Fariah is given the first name of Neguib.
- Colin has the last name of Redmayne and Mary has the last name of Smith.
- Giles Kent talks more about the World Zone officials that Salamander killed and mentions one of them was Astrid's father.
- Jamie has the rank of lieutenant in Salamander's guards.
- More detail is given into how Fariah found Fedorin's file.
- The underground group do not survive the explosion.
- Salamander and the Doctor both use helicopters to get to the TARDIS.
- The Doctor pours sea water into the fuel tank of Salamander's helicopter to prevent him escaping.
- Ascended Extra: Forester, Bruce's deputy has more lines in the novelisation, as opposed to none in the televised story.
- And I Must Scream: Salamander's fate. He ends up falling into the Time Vortex after trying to hijack the Doctor's TARDIS with the doors open.
- Apologetic Attacker: Astrid apologizes to a guard she met earlier when she has to punch his lights out.
- Bad "Bad Acting": A more layered example, as Salamander and the Doctor take turns impersonating each other. The Doctor's performance starts out slightly wobbly but steadily improves.
- 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.
- Big Bad: Salamander.
- Blackmail: How Salamander keeps a hold on Fedorin. He also blackmails Fariah in to working as his food taster, which is why she hates him so much.
- Brownface: In-universe, because Salamander's darker skin-tone is the only physical difference between him and the Doctor, so the Doctor has to do this to pull off the impersonation. A relatively justifiable real-life use for Salamander himself, because the Doctor's physical double couldn't have been believably played by anyone other than Patrick Troughton.
- Continuity Nod: In a nod to The Abominable Snowmen, the Doctor mishears "disused jetty" as "disused yeti".
- Coordinated Clothes: Victoria wears a variation of Jamie's normal jumper-and-kilt costume.
- Criminal Doppelgänger: Salamander. Mostly played for drama rather than laughs.
- Darker and Edgier: The novelisation was infamous for containing swear words and bloody violence.
- Decontamination Chamber: Salamander's radiation chamber is a major plot point, even though it is completely non-functional.
- Dirty Coward: Benik panicking and begging for a "fair trial" after Salamander is exposed.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Done jokingly by Griffin the Chef, who says the food is so terrible he might get shot. He says he won't have to worry anymore, then miserably says this wouldn't happen and the firing squad would miss him.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Jamie says he got passed the guards at Salamander's headquarters by having Victoria pass by them.
- The Dragon: Benik to Salamander
- 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.
- Engineered Heroics: Twice in one story, no less.
- To infiltrate Salamander's security, Jamie stages an attempt on Salamander's life so that he can save the man at the last minute, earning jobs for both himself and Victoria.
- Salamander's whole plan to sway public opinion in his favor hinges on causing natural disasters so that he can "predict" them and save people by warning them and evacuating affected areas.
- Exty Years from Now: The story was broadcast in 1968 and set in 2018, 50 years in the future.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Floating around, lost in the time vortex, Salamander probably wishes that Kent's explosives really had killed him.
- Foreshadowing: The Doctor mishears Astrid over the phone and asks, "Disused Yeti?" Also a CallBack to The Abominable Snowmen.
- Genre Refugee: The story is a James Bond pastiche, with Astrid and Fariah as "Bond girls", and Salamander who as a Bond-style Diabolical Mastermind. The Doctor is charmed by Astrid but does not seem to enjoy being in the company of this setting at all - he constantly tries to dodge espionage and only agrees to go undercover when absolutely forced. Young, handsome and resourceful Jamie is a bit more at home.
- Heel–Face Turn: Donald Bruce, initially introduced as a sinister heavy, turns out to honestly care about doing the right thing.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Benik straight-out threatens to rape/mutilate/do extremely unpleasant things to Victoria and make Jamie watch.
- Impersonating the Evil Twin: The Doctor impersonates Salamander and vice-versa.
- 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.
- Just a Stupid Accent: Imagine the Doctor sounding like Speedy Gonzales, but with more of an edge to his voice. Patrick Troughton used the same "foreign" voice in other tv series such as The Persuaders!.
- Land Down Under
- Literal Cliffhanger: The TARDIS tilted sideways while Second was fighting against Salamander, with everyone except for him hanging onto the ship. This was resolve at the beginning of the next serial.
- Man Child: When the TARDIS materialises at the seaside the Doctor asks Jamie and Victoria to get buckets and spades.
- Moral Dissonance: The Doctor explains that he was suspicious of Kent from the start because of his open desire to kill Salamander. Which is a bit hypocritical given that Two is one of the most unhesitatingly self-righteous of Doctors when it comes to killing bad guys, and had several speeches in other stories about the need to actively fight the forces of evil.
- No One Could Survive That!: Salamander's fate.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Inverted in a conversation between Astrid and The DoctorAstrid: 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.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Bruce maybe ruthless, but he's willing to listen when presented with evidence that Salamander isn't what he seems to be. The Doctor even notes this: "I think I know what kind of man you are, honest and reasonable"
- Recycled Premise: Both this story and The Ice Warriros the previous adventure have as their premise food shortages caused by overpopulation; in this case, Salamander is exploiting the need for farms to produce multiple crops in a season to amass power.
- 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.
- Stock Footage: The helicopter explosion is taken from From Russia with Love.
- Sweater Girl: Victoria has a few moments.
- Taking You with Me: When Giles is shot by Salamander he sets off the explosives. However Salamander survives.
- 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.
- Vanilla Edition: Because both this and "The Web of Fear" were found recently, the DVD releases contain no bonus features.
- 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.
- Wham Line: At the climax of the last episode; Salamander, having been mistaken for the Doctor by Jamie, is asked by the companions to have the TARDIS take off. Not wanting to give himself away, Salamander silently motions to Jamie to do it for him:Jamie: Me, Doctor? You never let me touch the controls.
The Doctor: (speaking from behind them) You're quite right, Jamie.
- Also, this line at the end of Episode 3:Donald Bruce: It WAS you!...or rather...someone like you.
- Also, this line at the end of Episode 3:
- 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.
- World of Snark: Most of the topside characters are snarky.
- Astrid.Really, as Head of Security, you should have more reliable guards.
- Benik.Bruce: (puzzled about Salamander's apparent unannounced departure) Did you see the rocket take off?
Benik: Do you mean did I stand there waving my handkerchief? Hardly.
- The Doctor, naturally enough, exchanges snark with Salamander when they finally meet.The Doctor: (after the Out-of-Character Alert blows Salamander's cover) Welcome to the TARDIS.
Salamander: Thank you. You're doing so well impersonating me, I thought I might return the compliment.
- Fariah, who even dies with a snark.I can only die once, and someone's beaten you to it.
- Griffin, the pessimistic chef.Well sit down and write out the menus. First course interrupted by bomb explosion. Second course affected by earthquakes. Third course ruined by interference in the kitchen.
- You Have Failed Me: Salamander dispatches Fedorin for not killing Denes as he promised to.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Why Salamander discredited Giles Kent. When Kent offers to work with him at the end Salamander shoots him.