Briarwood House. As a jazz party preoccupies the English upper-crust, the Doctor and Josie discover a terrifying secret below stairs — the servants are beginning to sprout branches! When the forests of Briarwood besiege the house, the Doctor must uncover an ancient ritual and the truth behind an interdimensional sacrifice!
At an auction, the auctioneer opens the bidding on an art collection of a recently deceased noblewoman from Palahaxis II. Opening with a portrait of the deceased, the item is quickly to sold to bidder #12 for two million credits. His companion asks how they intend to pay for their lot who simply tells her to run when he tells her to.
As the Doctor and Josie discuss their findings, or lack thereof, Julian Bingham bursts in proclaiming that the trees have come alive and have killed Peggy. As his father starts to scold him, vegetation bursts into the room, growing through everything.
As Harris begins to be consumed, he hands Bertie Bingham off to the Doctor and Josie. The three run back to the TARDIS only to find the plants covering it, Bertie naming them as the Nixi before he leads the two to the ice house and explains what he knows. His whole life, he's been told the story that when his family built their home, they were attacked by the Nixi, a race of forest spirits before his great-great-great-great-grandmother defeated them, trapping the Nixi king in eternal sleep.
Finishing his tale, Bertie believes it his fault for misbehaving, a notion that both Josie and the Doctor dissuade, before the Nixi break into the shed. Running off to the site where the Nixi were first defeated, the Doctor recognises the stone slabs as circuit boards. The Nixi are not supernatural spirits, they're colonising aliens.
As the three run off to find the talisman to reboot the colony ship, the Doctor is enthralled by the vines. As Josie and Bertie try and find the talisman, they run across Harris who directs them to the key which the two seize from the vines before Harris passes. As the two run outside, Josie is trapped by the vines but Bertie manages to reach the circuits and reset the ship, sending the Nixi back into stasis.
As the cleanup begins, Bertie's father admits that Harris' ancestor was the one who defeated, the Binghams having appropriated the story. Bitterly reflecting on the attitudes of the aristocracy, the Doctor leads Josie away so they can head to the last stop on their list, coordinates in deep space where the Doctor hopes to find answers.
- Eighth Doctor
- Josie Day
- Mr Harris
- Bertie Bingham
- Julian Bingham
- Sir Bingham
- Mrs Tillsley
- The Nixi King
- Twelfth Doctor
- Clara Oswald
- Josie compares the party to an Agatha Christie novel, after which the Doctor keeps calling her Miss Marple.
- Josie compares the circuit boards to Stonehenge.
- The backmatter of this issue features an interview with Paul J. Salamoff, who owns the restored TARDIS console from the TV movie.
- Briarwood House was one of the locations on the Doctor's list. (COMIC: The Pictures of Josephine Day)
- The Doctor tells Clara to run. (TV: The Power of the Daleks et al.)
- The Doctor says he is excellent at inveigling himself into parties. (AUDIO: The Rulers of the Universe)