Narvin and Romana reach the distant, rural world of Njagilheim. But even here the Time War follows – and there are more things to fear in the Vortex than warships and weapons. The Orrovix have caught a scent and they are hunting...
Romana and Narvin follow Leela's biodata stream to a place where it suddenly stops. Believing that it could be due to a problem with the TARDIS, Narvin locks onto the nearest planet, Njagilheim, to run a diagnostic but the ship does not seem to like the destination. The readings remain the same once they land, saying that she is and is not here, which reminds Narvin of a test at the Academy known as the Nevernor.
Upon leaving the TARDIS, Romana feels like she is bitten by something on her leg despite there being no animals in the immediate vicinity. She and Narvin meet Agata, a pregnant woman who has been searching for her goat for some time. Agata offers to clean and bind Romana's bite and to give them both shelter for the night, which Romana agrees to as she believes that Leela would have gone to the nearest village.
In the village, Narvin can hear children and a blacksmith, but Romana can hear no such thing and Agata says that there has been no forge here for a number of winters. They meet Agata's husband, Ivar, and learn that Leela has not visited the village but may be at the trading post. Romana joins an old woman in the house and is told that she is being watched by hungry ghosts in the wind and must stay away from "the green place".
Romana hears screams in the night and wakes up Narvin, who cannot hear them but thinks he can hear men talking. They agree that they can hear scratching at the door and open it to find nobody outside. They then see that Romana's bedding has been torn apart as if by an animal, but Narvin's is untouched. Early in the morning, they leave without speaking to Agata or Ivar and Romana feels like somebody is right behind them as they travel to the trading post.
A temporal storm begins and Romana says that they have to get back to the village and leave, believing that she was marked as prey when they arrived and that she is now being stalked. When they get to the village, they find that it has been abandoned for years with the exception of Agata and Ivar's house. There seems to be some form of time loop; in the house, they watch Agata and Ivar re-enacting the conversation that they had when they first arrived. The old woman watches Romana and Narvin, unnoticed by Agata and Ivar.
Romana approaches the old woman, who is outside of the loop and tells her that men from the coast came long ago and killed the villagers. Some were able to escape, but Ivar and Sigurd, her son, died; this makes Romana realise that she is Agata and that time has broken because of the Time War. The beasts, the old woman says, were brought by a female traveller. By interacting with both the young and old Agatas, Romana and Narvin have made her a paradox and made the situation here far worse.
The old woman says that Leela showed up after the battle and tears up Romana's bedding. Romana and Narvin realise that they are being drawn into the time loop and that there is a group of Orrovix here, having followed Leela from the Time Vortex; they are drawn to temporal energy and, since Romana and Leela have travelled through the Vortex, they have been hunting them and not Narvin. The old woman opens the door and an Orrovix manages to get in the house.
Romana tells the old woman that she is the only person who can break the time loop and keep the Orrovix from breaking in by going to where she met Leela and sacrificing herself. Romana lures the Orrovix away by running to the TARDIS with Narvin. They enter and confirm that the time loop has been broken and the paradox resolved, but the timeline will collapse within a lifetime or two. They dematerialise and continue their search for Leela.
Agata tells Ivar that the baby is coming and has him fetch a pot and clean blankets. All that is important to her is her husband, her son and their future together.
- Romana - Lalla Ward
- Narvin - Seán Carlsen
- Agata - Lucy Reynolds
- Ivar - Wilf Scolding
- Aldis - Suzanne Bertish
- The Nevernor is a test at the Academy said to be used to recruit spies. It postulates that there are two doors opening to two linked moments in time. Upon opening one door, the other changes. Romana says that the only way to pass is not to care about what could be behind either door.
- Njagilheim is a primitive planet with a few farming settlements and fishing villages. It is largely made up of water.
- Eckle was a blacksmith.
- Agata's lost goat is called Heathrun.
- Temporal storms build up over the Meridian Mountains on Gallifrey.
- Sigurd was nineteen summers old when he died.
- Narvin thought the Orrovix had been extinct for thousands of years.
- Nevernor was recorded at the Moat Studios.