Something has drained the power of the TARDIS. This isn't a major problem; the TARDIS can simply absorb Artron energy from the rest of the universe. It does, however, mean that the Doctor and Sam are stuck while it recharges.
Fortunately, the TARDIS has made an emergency landing on Earth in 1998 (apparently it has a thing for emergency landings in the late '90s). The Doctor and Sam step out into a ruin, and as usual, the Doctor manages to enmesh them in a mystery by pretending to be an expert/researcher interested in the ruin, the grounds surrounding it, and the nearby house.
There are several mysterious things about the house and ruin: there are some paintings that give whoever looks at them the creeps, there are horned gargoyles everywhere, and the devil apparently visited the grounds a while back. Add to that the fact that the owner of the house is a hypnotist, and this is shaping up to be a great mystery to fill the time that Sam and the Doctor have to wait.
As the Doctor and Sam investigate, plans are being laid across the world for a nuclear weapons launch, and the mysterious Station Nine is about to be revealed to the world. The only question now is, what connects it all?
Tropes present in Option Lock include:
- Big Fancy House: The house where Silver and his wife live
- Cold War: Averted. The nuclear tensions have a very "Cold War" feel, but the book is set in 1998 and the nuclear conflict is with a country that used to be part of the Soviet Union
- Defcon Five: As the missiles are ready to launch in Krejikistan, the U.S. slowly goes from Defcon Five to Defcon One.
- Fictional Country: Krejikstan
- Ominous Multiple Screens: Silver has this in his candlelit room.