The Sixth Doctor and Evelyn arrive on one of the ships of "The Clutch", a fleet of interstellar craft that are constantly on the move, never settling on any planet. The Doctor is there to pay a visit to the resident Galyari merchant clan, a race of lizard-like Space Jews that were, in their past, very warlike. They are held in check by fear of The Sandman, a terrible legend from their past. The Sandman steals the skins of Galyari children and weaves them into his coat, and it is blinding pain, or even death, to look at him.
To Evelyn's great surprise, the Doctor is the Sandman of Galyari legend, come to strike fear into them once more.
In the end, it turns out that the Doctor is indeed the one who helped win the war against the Galyari, and destroyed the racial memory artifact that made them so warlike in the first place. Without their racial memory to cling to, and with a crippling fear of the Doctor's wrath implanted into their collective consciousness, they instead became merchants, incapable of even understanding evil. As for their other legends about him: it turns out that the Galyari were once able to camouflage themselves, and able to recognise camouflaged members of their own race due to hypersensitive vision. Although they've evolved past nigh-invisibility, the enhanced vision stayed part of their biology, and they're literally allergic to the Sixth Doctor's fashion sense.
In the end, the Doctor defeats the real murderer-slash-skin-thief, and the Galyari find out that they can now live without fear.
- Alien Invasion: Though it was the Galyari that got invaded by aliens, though seeing as their adversary was the Doctor this might just be their POV.
- Always Chaotic Evil: To the point where the Doctor had to play Evilutionary Biologist and dive into eugenics.
- Battle Trophy: The Sandman takes Galyari skins, according to the Galyari legends.
- Big "NO!"
- Bizarre Alien Senses: The Galyari can see more colours than humans.
- Call-Back: The Doctor called himself the Sandman in a feverish inspired dream in the previous adventure put out, The Rapture.
- Cowardly Sidekick: Nintaro sounds like a very paranoid Sloosh-Koob're.
- Cycle of Revenge: Eye for an eye!
- Decapitated Army: Voshkov hoped to invoke this by slaying "The Sandman".
- Devolution Device
- Eaten Alive: Voshkar
- Evil Is Hammy: The Doctor hams it up even more as The Sandman.
- Evolutionary Levels: The reptilian Galyari are descended from birds, not the other way around.
- Faking the Dead: General Voshkar
- Fantastic Slurs: Calling the Galyari Lizards
- Flashback: The Legend of the Sandman, aside from some bits of narration, is flashbacked to.
- Horrifying the Horror: The Doctor's motivation for terrorizing the Galyari. They were a ruthless conquering race until he put the fear of "The Sandman" into them.
- It's All Upstairs from Here: Long enough for Evelyn to get completely winded.
- Kneel Before The Sandman
- Legacy Character: The Sandman
- Not So Different: General Voshkar accuses the Doctor of this when he's revealed himself to the killer on the space station.
- Not So Harmless: Songbirds.
- Self-Serving Memory: Chol recounts the Galyari's first encounter with the Doctor from the Galyari point of view. Said story paints the Doctor as a monster who skins the dead and is death to look upon. Needless to say, the story is heavily slanted and leaves out certain key facts.
- This could very well be a form of Gossip Evolution
- Space Jews: The Galyari, with all the Unfortunate Implications it entails. The only way to stop them from conquering planets across the galaxy was by radical eugenics. The Doctor tells them they can't go back to their "promised land", which makes the whole thing sound especially iffy. Evelyn settles on space "Gypsies" in her description of them — itself a slur with Unfortunate Implications.
- Space Pirates: Mordican is a smuggler.
- Space "X": Space Gypsies.
- Stuff Blowing Up
- The Swarm: Of songbirds. They hassle Nintaro, who seems deathly afraid of everything.
- Swivel-Chair Antics: The Doctor. No. Seriously.
- Accompanied by a "wheeeeee!!"
- Walk and Talk:The Doctor: "You can keep up with the explenation if you can keep up with meee!"
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: As soon as Narosha discovers the Doctor is on the station, she actually endeavours to do JUST THIS.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: The Doctor's plan to control the Galyari.