OK, so, the Master has escaped again, so that means the Doctor is hot on his trail looking for him, right?
Instead, he’s sent on another mission by the Time Lords. Do they ask if he’s busy? No. They just sent him some weird sphere that, he tells Jo, is a container that can only be opened by a very specific person, namely the intended person it is to be delivered to. So, maybe it wasn’t the Doctor’s fault he couldn’t go looking for the Master.
Not really. He was working on new parts for Bessie.
But the TARDIS is temporarily working again, and Jo doesn’t stay behind as she’s told to do, and instead they go off to the 30th century where the collapsing Earth Empire is in the act of pulling off from the planet Solos. Solos is, it seems, uninhabitable due to…something that may have been done by a security guy called the Marshall on a space-based Skybase One. But it does seem there is a problem among the natives considering the episode opened with a ragged-looking old man stumbling away in a manner that is very reminiscent of classic British TV comedy.That guy is killed by the Marshall, but the two guards following think it could have been something else.
What’s the problem for the Marshall, besides the fact he’s obviously the villain of this serial? Simple. Mutants.
Sadly, these mutants are just ugly and deformed.
But since humans are pulling away from Solos, that means giving power back to the locals. That doesn’t work for the Marshall, or for a local guy who looks like a long-haired Roman centurion named Varan. A rival, less friendly-to-humans leader named Ky wants freedom now. And since the Marshall is worried about going back to Earth since he did some Very Bad Things, well, he and Varan make a deal to maybe let the Marshall stick around a little longer, or at least make sure Ky doesn’t become the new leader of Solos. There’s only one thing to do: kill the Overlord and frame Ky for it.
But then the TARDIS appears in a broom closet, and once the Doctor and Jo get out and escape a mutant bodyguard. they’re arrested by the Marshall. And that dinkus tried to blast the container open (that doesn’t work). So, as the Doctor continues to try and deliver the package, we learn in short order it’s for Ky.
But he’s running away by then, Jo follows, and then when the guards catch up, they open fire while Ky holds Jo in front of him.
They could probably use more X-Men right about now.