When NASA has a problem they can't quite understand, they quickly turn to the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith to investigate. Their Mariner 10 probe disappeared for 30 minutes, with no apparent explanation. What starts out as quick investigation ends up having catastrophic consequences for the time travellers.
But the reason for the probe's disappearance sounds a little too familiar for the Doctor...
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- The Doctor quotes The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, saying that he likes to share a meal with him when he can. He also describes Coleridge as a man who "certainly knows how to turn a phrase", and plans to go back to the 1970s to tell Coleridge the tale of this adventure.
- The Doctor jokes that Sarah "expects 1974 to be a time of equality".
- While the Third Doctor is depicted wearing a scarlet smoking jacket on this story's cover, it is explicitly said to be a green one in the story itself.
- The TARDIS appears in this story in a created personification of Marilyn Monroe. The TARDIS has subsequently appeared housed in human form. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)