Jo Grant finds herself on a UNIT mission in the middle of "The Scorchie Show", a tremendously popular television show hosted by a bunch of puppets. She's welcomed by Grizz Fizzle, Cool Cat, the Magic Mice and dear old Professor Baffle (who's just... just... baffled!) and introduced to the audience. As a guest star on "The Scorchies", she'll tell a story, make a thing, sing a song and be killed dead!
She sets about making a thing, together with a very ugly little dolly, and makes a very nice pretend ray-gun out of cardboard with a big pretend death crystal on one end. The ugly dolly reassures the rest of the Scorchies that it really hasn't been telepathically taken over by someone else, "old chap", but it gets ray-gunned to death as soon as its pals see what they've made. Secondly, it's time for Jo to tell a story, so she tells about that time she and the Doctor saw "The Scorchies" on television, and when a bunch of people started dying from watching it, the Doctor and the nice Brigadier decided to storm the studio. However, that was the last time she saw the Doctor, and Professor Baffle kindly explains that they blew him and Bessie to pieces with a rocket launcher.
Jo begins to cry, so dear old Professor Baffle tells a nice story as well. Long ago, a very clever old man (Dr. Cleverman) on a planet far away invented something called television. And soon, everyone was watching television, and talking about television, and going on television to complain about television, to the point that they were all caught unaware when the planet was attacked by an alien invasion, raining fire from above, so they wanted to see if they could save themselves using television. Even though Dr. Cleverman explained that his invention wasn't really ready yet to save planets, the people tried it anyway, and they were broadcast out as body-less minds... also lacking any love or kindness. Without bodies, the scorched Scorchies were forced to roam about searching for things like puppets to possess, and they got very angry because of that, so they decided to destroy other planets to until either the entire universe was sorry or everyone was dead. Whichever came first. And they took Dr. Cleverman with them, who soon enough also became a Scorchie. And he was just baffled! So baffled, in fact, that he became Professor Baffle.
While Jo tries to resist the Mind Virus, UNIT begins to invade the studio, so Jo and Professor Baffle are forced to quickly set about making another thing. It's a thing to reverse the polarity of the polarity reversal that the Third Doctor had set up, because Professor Baffle has to admit that he couldn't quite bring himself to kill the Doctor with that rocket launcher. In fact, Professor Baffle is so scared of being a Scorchie, he's decided to kill himself and let the Doctor telepathically invade his puppet body. The thing he and Jo make doesn't reverse the polarity of the polarity reversal, it reverses the reversal of the reversal. The Scorchies are blown up and banished from their puppet bodies again, the Mind Virus will wear off in a few days, and the Doctor and Jo go back to UNIT base to fix Bessie.
- Amusing Injuries
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: From the blurb for the show - "The Scorchies want to take over the world. They want to kill the Doctor. And they want to perform some outstanding showtunes."
- Breakout Character: The Scorchies. Originally one-shot monsters, they've gone on to menace Jago & Litefoot, as well as Iris Wildthyme with their malevolent musical stylings.
- Crapsaccharine World
- Continuity Cavalcade: "The Killing the Doctor Song" is rapid-fire with its references, including the Ogrons, the Daemons, the Ice Lords, the Daleks, the Master, and "the blasted Gell Guards" as enemies who failed to off the Doctor.
- Depraved Kids' Show Host: In-universe, and of the evil alien variety. As the leader of the Scorchies, Mr. Grizzfizzle gets this in particular.
- Fluffy the Terrible
- Made of Evil: Quite literally so. Cleverman's process unintentionally obliterated all of the positive, loving, tender, compassionate emotions and memories of the Scorchies' mortal lives, leaving them with nothing but fiery violence and cruel amusement.
- Mind Virus: Jo does a pretty good job resisting the Scorchies' hypnotic songs, but after a while, she's dragged into copying their speech pattern.
- Musical Episode!
- Noodle Incident: Apparently, Jo and Three like to go out ballroom dancing on Saturday nights with Benton.
- Reverse Polarity: "The Reversed Polarity Polarity Reverser was actually reversing the unreversed polarities"
- Shout-Out: To The Muppet Show, right down to gloriously chaotic production numbers.
- Also the descriptions of the various puppets (including the chorus of singing mice) bear some resemblance to the toys in Bagpuss. At the end, Professor Yaffle - er I mean Baffle - is described as "Just a soggy old cloth bat - but Jo loved him anyway".
- Jo is Making a Thing - from a toilet roll, a pipe-cleaner and some sticky backed plastic
- Take That!: "If you're watching at home - Wake up ! You must change the channel. Even if it's Space1999, just this once it's worth it."
- Totally Radical: Cooooooool Cat.
- Villain Song: The only villains in the history of Doctor Who to get a proper one, appropriately titled "The Killing the Doctor Song".We killed him dead! Oh yes so dead!
Yes we killed that pesky Doctor dead!