Deadly Choice was a full-colour Third Doctor comic strip story which appeared in the pages of TV Action. It was one of the few stories to depict any incarnation of the Doctor taking an international flight in a standard 20th century commercial jet aeroplane.
The Third Doctor receives a mysterious invitation to a conference of the world's top scientists. Earth's best minds gather for what turns out to be a massive video conference. The Doctor is suspicious of the whole setup, but his colleagues can't find anything wrong with the event. Once the conference begins, the person controlling the conference, the Abbot of Mai' Sung releases a nerve gas at the sites.
He demands of the authorities that the victims be placed on a plane that he provides. Because of his different Time Lord physiology, the Doctor was less susceptible to the nerve gas; he's the only one awake on the flight to a secret Asian location. He's been given the controls to a bomb hidden on the plane. He scrambles up to the cockpit only to discover there are no pilots.
Panicked that the Abbot is going to fly them all into a mountain, the Doctor is relieved when the cliff face opens at the last moment to reveal a runway. The plane sets down at the Abbot's base, a monastery. The Doctor is greeted by the Abbot, who says he intends to "build a new world" by enslaving the world's top scientists and making them the architects of that new reality. The Doctor pretends to be flattered by the Abbot's offer to join him. He agrees on condition he be made co-leader. The Abbot balks at such a preposterous notion. The Doctor reveals he has a bomb that will destroy the entire base. He takes it as read that the Abbot agrees to his terms. He addresses the assembled monks. They flee after being told that a judgment day is coming to punish them. The Doctor triggers the bomb, giving the Abbot and him mere minutes to board the plane and fly away. As they do, the Abbot's base is destroyed.
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- It's unclear what the titular "deadly choice" is. The Doctor certainly doesn't give his opponent, the Abbot, anything like a choice. There is no moment in the episode comparable to that in, say, TV: The Christmas Invasion or TV: The Poison Sky, where the Doctor gives his enemy a choice.
- The first instalment features a subtle in-joke where the Doctor is seen to receive a copy of TV Action along with his mail.
- The fact that there are supposed to be conferences taking place all over the world is overlooked after the first instalment, as only one airliner — presumably from England — arrives at the Abbot's base.
- The basic idea of a villain gathering together all of the world's top scientists so as to incapacitate them would later be tried by the Slitheen family in TV: Aliens of London/World War Three.