This was the first of many stories to depict the 1605 Gunpowder Plot against the British Houses of Parliament. Different accounts of the plot would be portrayed in the video game The Gunpowder Plot, the audio story Treason and Plot and the short story Black Powder.
- "If anyone tries to interrupt this opening of Parliament, there'll be fireworks!"
London, November 1605. The TARDIS materialises at a crucial moment in British history. While Ian and Barbara set off for the Globe Theatre, Vicki accompanies the First Doctor on a mysterious mission to the court of King James.
What connects the King's advisor Robert Cecil with the sinister hooded figure known only as "the Spaniard"? Why is the Doctor so anxious to observe the translation of the Bible? And could there be some dastardly plot brewing in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament?
to be added
- First Doctor
- Ian Chesterton
- Barbara Wright
- Vicki Pallister
- King James I
- Robert Hay
- Lord Chamberlain
- Sir Robert Cecil
- John Firking
- Ralph Hodge
- Marge Bunch
- Robert Catesby
- Guy Fawkes
- Henry Haldann
- Roger Otley
- Sir Thomas Percy
- Lord Mayor
- The Doctor claims to have aided in the design of the Privy Gardens.
- The Doctor learned to carve fowl in the kitchens of the Tetrach of Phibbli, where sparrows are the size of a house.
- King James I jokingly threatens to throw Vicki into the Tower of London.
- Before becoming embroiled in the Gunpowder Plot, Ian and Barbara intend to visit the Globe Theatre.
Foods and beverages
- The Doctor and Vicki eat pheasant.
- Vicki is under the mistaken impression that Trafalgar Square existed in 1605. When the Doctor mentioned the Battle of Trafalgar would not be fought until 1805, she assumed that the battle had taken place in Trafalgar Square itself.
- Barbara mentions the Great Fire of London on 2 September 1666.
- Barbara reveals to Guy Fawkes that she is from the 20th century.
- Barbara attended Hampstead High School in the summer of 1952.
- Vicki has never heard of darts.
- Vicki had a pony named Saracen when she was younger.
- The Doctor no longer has a spare TARDIS key since his granddaughter Susan Foreman's departure.
- The TARDIS is resistant to both fire and axes.
- According to the inner cover, this adventure takes place between The Space Museum and The Chase.
- Despite being a "pure historical", meaning the TARDIS crew encounter no alien activity, the story features a completely fictional secret society with its own apocalyptic interests in the outcome of the Gunpowder Plot. Gareth Roberts states in the Author's Note that recreating the feel of a Doctor Who serial took priority over historical accuracy, and that The Plotters "is as faithful a portrait of the final days of Robert Catesby’s plot as, for example, Dennis Spooner’s TV script The Romans was of the burning of Rome." Amusingly, The Gunpowder Plot in The Adventure Games, which features the Sontarans and the Rutans, is more accurate to the real-world events.
- Ian mentions several earlier occasions on which the Doctor claimed to have returned Barbara and himself to Earth in the 1960s. (TV: The Reign of Terror, Planet of Giants, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger)
- The Doctor refers to the Menoptera (TV: The Web Planet) and the Venusians. (PROSE: Venusian Lullaby)
- The Order of the Rectangle was the result of a Faction Paradox plot. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two)
- Vicki disguises herself as a boy named Victor, as she did in Palestine during the Crusades. (TV: The Crusade)
- Vicki must fight off the amorous advances of King James I, as Barbara had to fight off those of the Roman Emperor Nero in July 64. (TV: The Romans)
- The First Doctor and Vicki would meet James I for a second time in 1609, though Vicki failed to recognise him on that occasion. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)
- The Doctor remarks that the 17th century was not a good place to be a witch. (PROSE: The Witch Hunters)
- Considerably later in his personal timeline, the Eleventh Doctor and his companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams would likewise become embroiled in the events surrounding the Gunpowder Plot in November 1605. (GAME: The Gunpowder Plot) The same team briefly revisited the event a second time. (COMIC: Gunpowder, Time Lord and Plot)
- Barbara refers to the Great Fire of London on 2 September 1666. The fire was started when a Terileptil weapon overloaded in a bakery on Pudding Lane. The Doctor's fifth incarnation played a major role in causing the fire. (TV: The Visitation)
- Vicki believes that the TARDIS' previous owner filled the wardrobe with clothing from all over Earth's history for cultural and historical analysis. The Time Lord Marnal, a contemporary of Ulysses and a fellow explorer, would later be revealed as the TARDIS' original pilot. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)
- Includes two illustrations by Paul Vyse.