To lighten Hector's mood after their previous adventure, the Doctor takes him to Athens in 421 BC. But things aren't what they seem, with talk of a plague making the dead walk and a mysterious flying beast with knives instead of wings.
This audioplay provides examples of the following tropes:
- Becoming the Mask: With a literal mask, as Hector begins becoming more like Dionysus, unable to control the Mask's influence, though he eventually breaks free.
- Been There, Shaped History: The Doctor has been sponsoring Aristophanes' plays.
- Changed My Jumper: For once, the Doctor actually tries to blend in and wears a toga. Ace and Hector aren't so inconspicuous.
- Courtroom Antic: When Cleon puts Aristophanes on trial the court are angry with him for "The Wasps" portraying the Athenian law courts as full of corrupt old men. The Doctor claims that Aristophanes' play actually helped to root out the corrupt old men in courts, so he is found innocent.
- I Lied: Adonia tells Ace that when she said Spartans never lied she lied.
- Insectoid Alien: Tyrgius is really a giant beetle with knives for wings.
- Mask of Power: Tyrgius wears a mask that effects people's minds, making him appear human. The Mask can control minds, Hector uses it to become Dionysus and control a mass of people, while Cleon tries using it to rule the Athenians minds.
- Right in Front of Me: When Tyrgius comes to the Theater Aristophanes claims to be Euripides. Tyrgius then starts insulting Aristophanes Comedies, at which Aristophanes reveals who he is.
- Slave Liberation: Ace tries this, but is quickly stopped.
- The Unmasqued World: Athenian society is apparently fully aware of all the aliens and time travellers who pay visits all the time.
- Whole Plot Reference: It begins turning into one for "The Bacchae", which Cleon lampshades as it moves towards the stage where he is about to get killed. It doesn't happen.