By the end of episode one of this serial, both the Doctor and Sarah Jane faced execution. Because both of they have different groups trying to kill them, it’s a bit more complicated than usual.
Don’t worry. The Doctor is still unflappable.
Yes, the Doctor can get away, and rather easily at that. Before the executioner can behind him, he says he wants to look his best. As such, he removes his scarf, then uses it to trip the executioner. After that, he makes a run for it, first on a stolen horse, then through a marketplace. He only really gets away when he escapes into some tunnels.
Why through there? The guards know there’s a cult down there. Cults are dangerous. People go in and don’t come out. Better forget the Doctor then.
Wait, Sarah Jane is down there, about to become a human sacrifice. Lots of black robed figures, and one leader guy in purple. The Doctor slips Sarah Jane away, and off they go again. There’s just one problem. That Mandragoran energy shows up and engulfs the cult leader. The Doctor doesn’t quite know what that means, but he knows it can’t be good.
It isn’t. The energy made a deal with the cult leader. Basically, the cult leader can go on to rule the world. Oh, and the leader is Hieronymous, the Ducal astrologer. It seems he’s kinda mad. The old, dead Duke tolerated him. The new, younger Duke thinks he’s a fraud. The Count, the dead Duke’s dick brother, disrespects him while demanding predictions he can use to ascend to power.
So, basically, all these people angered the wrong bearded loony.
But then the young Duke’s people capture the Doctor and Sarah Jane. However, this is a good thing. The young Duke likes science. The Doctor is a man he can get behind. He’s already invited all the leading thinkers to his coronation. That would mean, hey, we have a Renaissance. And while the Duke doesn’t quite understand the Doctor’s worries, he is willing to help. So, he takes the Doctor and Sarah Jane back to the tunnels to deal with the Mandragoran stuff. Clearly, the Mandragoran power sees Hieronymous and his cult, the Brethern, as a good way to build a powerbase at a very opportune time in human history. Time to deal with this stuff.
That’s where things get bad. The Count sends some people down to deal with his nephew because the Count is a dick. The Doctor gets a splitting headache from a psychic attack in the catacombs. And when Sarah Jane goes down to help the Doctor, the cult recaptures her.
Man, these people can’t all be caught together, can they?