The Doctor and Romana
The third segment of The Key to Time is traced to present-day Earth, but The Doctor, Romana and K9 find that while the tracer has led them to present-day England and the Nine Travellers, a circle of standing stones on Boscombe Moor in Damnonium, the third segment is nowhere to be found.
Instead they meet up with elderly archaeologist Professor Amelia Rumford and her assistant Vivien Fay, who are surveying the site, and learn that the circle appears to have had a variable number of stones through the years.
Alerted to the activities of a local druidic sect, The Doctor encounters the group who are led by a man named Leonard de Vries who is supposedly the leader of the British Institute for Druidic Studies (BIDS) which worships at the circle. The Doctor decides to visit Leonard de Vries, but whilst at his, Boscombe Hall, he is knocked unconscious and narrowly avoids becoming the Druids’ next sacrifice when he is subsequently saved by Professor Rumford.
|Romana and K9
Strange things are occurring at the stone circle which Romana is about to find out when led by the sound of The Doctor's voice calling her, arrives at the edge of a nearby cliff. Realising the danger she has placed herself in she backs away as an unseen presence, apparently The Doctor, advances menacingly towards her forcing her to fall over the edge of the cliff. When the real Doctor saves her she is somewhat confused, but the newly arrived K9 calms her by assuring Romana it is indeed The Doctor. They deduce that what Romana witnessed was a projected doppelganger conjured up by Leonard de Vries. The Doctor decides to speak again with Leonard de Vries only to find that he has been killed by one of the stones from the circle, in truth a life form from the planet Ogros in Tau Ceti called an Ogri, a life form that lives on blood.
Vivien Fay turns out to be The Cailleach, an ancient being worshipped by the Druids, who has been on Earth for four thousand years. On discovering Romana at the stone circle Vivien Fay challenges Romana and aims a long staff at her. The staff emits pulses of energy and Romana vanishes. Romana discovers that she has not been shot but has been transported to a spaceship suspended in hyperspace at the same spatial coordinates as the stone circle.
|Inside the Nine Travellers Stone Circle
After destroying one of the stones which is pursuing them, The Doctor and Professor Rumford reach the stone circle and, before disappearing, Vivien Fay tells them that Romana will be safe providing The Doctor stops interfering.
The Doctor calculates Romana and her captor must be in hyperspace, and builds a projecting device which he uses to transmit himself there. He arrives on the spaceship which he soon deduces to be a prison vessel. On searching the vessel he unwittingly releases two floating globes which have been trapped for centuries. They are Megara, justice machines - dispensing Galactic Law as judge, jury and executioner. They contend that as The Doctor broke the seals on their compartment he has transgressed the law and should be put him on trial.
During his trial The Doctor discovers that the Megara’s mission was to recapture and try Cessair of Diplos for murder and the theft of the Seal of Diplos. The Doctor’s trial does not go very well and the Megara, sentence him to death. However, when they attempt to carry out the sentence Vivien Fay, now with silver skin and wearing long, flowing robes, arrives on the spaceship accompanied by two Ogri to gloat. She triumphantly tells The Doctor and Romana that they are trapped in hyperspace forever as the spaceship hovers in the void of hyperspace.
|Professor Amelia Rumford
The Doctor though tricks the Megara into knocking Miss Vivien Fay unconscious and when they read her mind to determine if she is injured, they discover that she is Cessair of Diplos - the alien criminal they were originally sent to put on trial.
She is charged with her crimes and the Megara sentence her to confinement for 1500 years and perpetual imprisonment by turning her into an additional stone in the circle on Earth. But before the sentence is carried out The Doctor manages to snatch her necklace - the Seal of Diplos – when he realises that it must be the third segment.
Evading further questioning by the Megara on the matter of his delayed execution, The Doctor, K9 and Romana return to the TARDIS. Back in the TARDIS, as Romana looks on, The Doctor uses the tracer to convert the Seal of Diplos into the third segment.