The Doctor, Romana, and K-9 visit the planet Banto, home of the Doctor's friend Alix. While the Doctor remembers it as a peaceful world, he finds that the main entertainment is now an ongoing televised war between the Yemite and Thrall tribes. "The last time I was here violence was virtually unknown, and now it seems that death is just another form of entertainment. I wonder who#s behind it all?" When they find Alix, he answers that question - Leondin, a mentally unstable politician who won election on promises of more leisure and shorter working hours. Leondin has transformed Banto into a world where most of the inhabitants think only of pleasure - and the main source of entertainment is the all too real war between the Yemites and the Thralls, a war Leondin has created using his latest fiendish toy - the ray of wrath! Created to soothe the mentally disturbed, it has been horribly repurposed to create mental anguish and aggression.
Leondin's secret police arrest Alix, Romana, and the Doctor. While Leondin keeps Romana in his palace, he sends Alix and the Doctor to fight in the war - on opposite sides! Romana and the Doctor must fight against time to destroy the fearsome ray of wrath before either the Doctor or Alix is killed - or kills!
- The Fourth Doctor uses the phrase "you can't teach an old dog new tricks."
- The Doctor says that he grew out of games at a very early age.
- An audiobook version was released as part of the anthology K9 Audio Annual.