The Doctor and Romana
When the fourth segment of The Key to Time is traced to the lush planet of Tara, The Doctor opts for a spot of fishing leaving Romana to find it on her own.
Using the tracer Romana finds the fourth segment easily and discovers it is disguised as part of a statue. But before she can return to the TARDIS with the segment she is attacked by a Taran wood beast and then rescued by Count Grendel of Gracht who sees off the beast and confiscates the segment as an unregistered mineral.
As she tries to leave she twists her ankle and Count Grendel insists on taking her to his castle for treatment. When they arrive, Count Grendel and Madame Lamia, a surgeon-engineer, are all set to disassemble Romana but are astonished when her ankle is seen to be swollen. She is a creature of flesh and blood and not an android as they had thought.
The Doctor, meanwhile, is captured by Swordsman Farrah and Swordmaster Zadek, two men loyal to Prince Reynart, rightful heir to the throne of Tara. They are interested in his knowledge of science and enquire if he can repair androids. They lead him off to meet Prince Reynart who explains that his coronation as King is due to take place the following day and that Count Grendel will do anything to stop the ceremony as if it does not go ahead as planned then Count Grendel will become King by default. An android of the Prince is intended as bait to safeguard Prince Reynart, and The Doctor is forced at swordpoint to help repair it.
Count Grendel though manages to kidnap the Prince Reynart and The Doctor is forced to modify the android so that it may be crowned in place of the genuine article. The Doctor summons K9 from the TARDIS and sends it off to Castle Gracht to check on Romana. Meanwhile he arranges to get the android version of Prince Reynart to the throne room in time for the coronation.
Romana finds herself placed in a cell with the injured Prince Reynart. She learns that Count Grendel is also holding the Princess Strella captive and that she is the exact double of Romana - hence his and Madame Lamia’s astonishment that Romana was not an android. - but she will not cooperate in any of his plans. Count Grendel devises a plan to arrange for the real Prince Reynart to marry Romana after he has persuaded her to pose as Princess Strella and then kill him, following which he will then marry Romana before also killing her - thus ensuring that he becomes the ruler of Tara.
Prince Reynart’s coronation goes ahead but Princess Strella arrives towards the conclusion. The Doctor realises that this is an android copy sent to destroy the android version of Prince Reynart, and disables it. The ceremony is put on hold until the following day and Count Grendel begins plotting another way of achieving his plan. He constructs another android copy of Romana - this time equipped with a lethal ray operated by The Doctor’s voice - and arranges for The Doctor to come and get her at the Pavilion of the Summer Winds.
K9 though recognises the trap and so saves The Doctor. Meanwhile the real Romana manages to escape from the castle and in turn she rescues The Doctor and K9, who have been trapped by Count Grendel’s men.
|Grendel, Romana and Madame Lamia
Count Grendel turns the tables when he destroys the Prince Reynart android with a spear and re-captures Romana. He arranges for his twin marriage ceremonies to be conducted by the Archimandrite while The Doctor, K9 and the Prince Reynart’s men prepare to attack his castle.
The Doctor enters the castle via the moat and manages to disrupt the ceremony, having first found and pocketed the fourth segment that he discovers in Madame Lamia’s workshop, and battle is joined as the Prince Reynart’s men attack.
In the confusion, Romana saves Princess Strella from being killed and The Doctor fights with Count Grendel on the castle battlements. Just as The Doctor manages to gain the upper hand Count Grendel, realising that he has been defeated, dives into the moat and swims to safety leaving The Doctor and Romana to work out a way of rescuing K9 who is still on a raft on the moat.