On his way to Palaran, the Doctor feels the Time Lords take control of the TARDIS and dragged to the High Council chambers. He lands in the Panoptican with the council in session. The Lord President guides him to a seat and tells him that something on Earth threatens to destroy the planet and part of the universe. It is something to do with the manipulation of time and is happening in 1996.
Thus the Doctor and Peri arrive on Earth on 3 September 1996 with no idea what they are looking for. They find themselves in a park just outside Cambridge. The Doctor sits on a bench near a tramp, to whom he gives ten pounds. It seems as if there is nothing untoward happening when two men in brown overalls suddenly appear and then disappear. The Doctor tells Peri that they are members of the Ipsilon Foundation and are time travellers from the future.
The Doctor's response is to sit on the bench for several hours, deep in thought. He overhears a radio broadcast saying that there have been mysterious goings on at the Arthur Jeffries building, home of the National Union of Psychic Investigators.
That night, they go to the Arthur Jeffries building and break in easily, only to be caught by six armed guards. The two Ipsilon men appear briefly and see the guards. They run away, startled, and two of the guards chase them. The guards take them to a laboratory where the Doctor recognises Professor Thomas. After a brief conversation it transpires that the Professor is building a time machine. The Doctor wonders where he got the idea from but all is revealed when the Master steps forward.
The Master, or Professor Masterman as he is known, says that he has been trapped on Earth since the Doctor stole his time-matter adjustor. He is trying to regain his freedom. He makes some final adjustments to the time machine. Suddenly, four Ipsilon men appear. They tell Professor Thomas that his time machine is a success, but greedy people use it to plunder the past and the future and destroy the planet. They point their weapons at the time machine. The Master warns them that they are probably going to wipe themselves out of existence but they say that is a risk they are prepared to take. They fire.
The time machine is destroyed but the Master escapes in the mayhem. The four Ipsilon men fade from existence. The Doctor and Peri return to the TARDIS. He tells her that the mission was a success even if all they did was stand there and watch. He tells Peri they need to go back to Gallifrey to report but he thinks a spell on the beaches of Palaran might be preferable.
- Unusually, the Doctor wears a hat.
- The Doctor "had not been outstandingly brilliant" during his studies at the Academy.
- There are 24 members of the Council of Time Lords.
- The Doctor was intending to travel to Palaran with Peri.
- The Ipsilon Foundation was formed during the 23rd or 24th century.
- The Master uses the alias of "Professor Masterman".
- The Master has been stranded on Earth since the Doctor stole his time-matter adjustment valve from his TARDIS.
- "Panopticon" is misspelt as "Panoptican".
- The Doctor has been officially forgiven for stealing a TARDIS, but it is still a "sore point" for the Lord President. (AUDIO: The Beginning, TV: An Unearthly Child)
- The Lord President states that the Doctor has a strong relationship with Earth. (TV: The War Games, The Deadly Assassin, The Invasion of Time)