The debut story of the Eighth Doctor's second companion C'rizz, played by Conrad Westmaas.
After escaping from the endless nightmare that was "Scherzo", the Eighth Doctor and Charley stumble around the unknown wasteland in search of the TARDIS. The air is breathable, the sky has two suns. They're questioned by a guard inside their heads — the Kro'ka, which will become important in later episodes — and encounter a runaway reptilian slave named C'rizz.
C'rizz had been captured by a race of corporate, bureaucratic, religious, slave-driving, insectoid potions masters called the Kromon. His betrothed, L'da, has been morphed into a maggot queen and impregnated with Kromon children. C'rizz first tries to kill himself, and when the Doctor and Charley stop him, he resorts to killing L'da to put her out of her misery. Everyone's captured and tortured a few times over, and Charley takes L'da's place as the new maggot queen and mother of the new Kromon babies. Although C'rizz insists on giving her a Mercy Killing too, the Doctor rather effortlessly finds a cure and Charley turns back to normal without even remembering anything. C'rizz now has to live with having killed the love of his life for no reason whatsoever.
The Doctor wonders what the planet's second, artificial sun is for, and why no one in this universe knows the word "time" despite understanding the concept of its passing. The Kro'ka reveals that C'rizz is a monk, but doesn't reveal how this is significant.
- Arc Words: "Mother", for the Divergent arc. C'rizz being strapped to the water wheel also continues the "spinning in circles" theme, and may even represent death and rebirth.
- Alien Invasion: The Kromon aren't native to the world, though they were subject to one first, forcing them to seek habitats elsewhere.
- Bee People: The Kromon.The Doctor: Termites to be more specific.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Charley outright just beats up a guard when the Doctor suggests stealth.
- Body Horror: You wouldn't think it's possible in a non-visual medium, but Big Finish manages to pull it off handsomely.
- Bond One-Liner:The Doctor: "The Kromon have just been introduced to the Big Bang theory!!"
- Chekhov's Gunman
- Continuity Nod: The Doctor says he once met Charles Darwin and managed to put him off of reptiles for life. This happened in the audio adventure "Bloodtide", in his sixth regeneration.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: C'rizz is condemned to one for his execution.
- Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Charley's fate at the hands of the Kromon is treated as sort of just too weird and unfathomable for the narrative to properly deal with.
- Easy Amnesia
- Explosive Breeder: See also Body Horror.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong
- Foreshadowing: C'rizz was first mentioned in "He Jests At Scars..."
- Fungus Humongous
- Gentle Giant: The Oroog. A sort of giant, soft-spoken mole-like creature.
- God Save Us from the Queen!
- Half-Human Hybrid
- Hive Mind: The Queen. Every Queen.
- Humanoid Aliens: Despite being in the Divergent universe which was supposedly not inhabited by bipedal lifeforms due to Rassilon, but the first corporeal being they meet is one. Explained in "The Next Life", when it's revealed that the Doctor and Charley were added to the morphic field of the Divergent universe during "Scherzo".
- Hybrid Monster
- Insectoid Aliens: The Kromon.
- Jabba Table Manners: The Doctor and C'rizz are not thrilled when the Kromon Scientist begins eating.
- Kangaroo Court
- LEGO Genetics
- Lizard Folk: C'rizz and L'da.
- Mercy Killing: C'rizz to L'da.
- Mole Men
- More Expendable Than You
- Public Execution
- Sdrawkcab Name: Though not a Significant Anagram. One of the Doctor and Charley's allies gets his name changed from C'rizz to Z'rric for disguise purposes.
- Sequel Episode: This one directly follows Scherzo (and by extension Zagreus and Neverland.)
- The Social Darwinist: The Kromon are a species of this.
- Survivor Guilt
- Torture Porn
- Vast Bureaucracy
- Water Source Tampering: How the Kromon subjugate a species.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: With Kr'oka.