The Doctor is feeling confident: this time the TARDIS has landed on Earth; in England; in 1963. But when he and his companions Susan, Ian and Barbara venture outside, they are soon lost in a maze of ravines and menaced by gigantic insects. However, the insects are dying - every living thing is dying.... Meanwhile, in a cottage garden on a perfect summer's day, the man from the Ministry arrives to put a stop to the production of DN6, a pesticide with the power to destroy all life-forms.
'Farewell, Great Macedon': The TARDIS materialises in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, in the year 323 BC. The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan meet Alexander the Great - but their excitement is tempered by the realization that these are the final days of Alexander's life. As the travellers become embroiled in the tragic events, the inevitability of history unfolds around them. But can they - and should they - change it?
Michael Nostradamus is regarded as the most accurate prophet of all time. His prophesies were collected and published in a book called The Centuries, which was the 14th Century's best-seller after the Bible. Nostradamus predicted the German inflation of the 1930s, the war against Hitler, and aspects of General Franco's life. The most terrifying of his declarations, revealed here, has thankfully not materialized.
Materialising in a forest, the Doctor and friends find themselves 12 kilometres from Paris. It is the 18th century, and France is the scene of an ongoing battle between royalists and revolutionaries. Following a blaze at a farmhouse, Ian, Barbara, and Susan are separated from the Doctor and arrested as traitors. Ian receives information about James Stirling, an English spy vital to the revolution. No one seems to know where Stirling is, and locating him becomes Ian's priority.
The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara land on the planet Hydra, where Admiral Jonas Kaan leads a vast flotilla of ships trying to elude the vicious race that has invaded and occupied their world. But his ships are being picked off one by one, vessels and crews dragged underwater by an unseen foe. The time travellers find themselves pitched into battle against the Voord, the ruthless enemy they last encountered on the planet Marinus.
Amy Johnson's greatest achievement was her solo flight to Australia, made within a year of her obtaining a full pilot's licence. (At the time she was the only woman in the world to hold a full ground-engineer's licence.) In the remote jungles and islands of south-east Asia, her flying ability and engineering knowledge enabled her to complete the flight.
Borley Rectory in rural Suffolk seems to have been plagued with ghosts, particularly that of a young French nun believed to have been murdered on the site. Dark and malevolent shapes, poltergeist activity, and voices from disused cellars and stairways haunt this recording. Borley Rectory burned down in the 1950s - and so did the studio where this eerie reconstruction was recorded.
"Too over the top"
The distant future. The TARDIS, with the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara aboard, is drawn out of the Vortex and lands aboard the Earth Benchmarking Vessel Nevermore, where Captain Rostrum is navigating by punching holes in the very fabric of space. The Doctor is appalled by this act of vandalism and fearful that it could unleash monsters from the dark dimensions. As the benchmarking holes begin to fray, the fate of the universe is at stake.
Shoreditch, London, 1963. The Beatles have beaten John Smith and the Common Men to number one, and satellites are being launched in outer space. Back down on Earth, strange goings-on are occurring: the normally placid teenagers of Coal Hill are running riot, and a master thief is stealing highly specialised equipment. Schoolgirl Susan Foreman just wants an easy life for herself and her grandfather, the mysterious Doctor.
Ten miles west of Cairo is the plateau of Giza. Here, starkly dominating the skyline stands the largest stone construction on the planet. Its structure shows a highly developed understanding of mathematics, astronomy, precision engineering, navigational theory, and geography. The Pyramid of Cheops is an almost total enigma.
Francis Drake he was more than a mere buccaneer. He was also an explorer, the first captain to circumnavigate the globe - which resulted in the establishment of the British Empire in the Orient. But it was for his part in defeating Spain's "invincible" Armada that Drake assured his place in English history.
The earth teems with strange creatures. Most we know about. But there are others that seem to flit like ghosts in the background of our experience. Large footprints in the Himalayan snows start speculation about the yeti or abominable snowman. A harsh cry in the African jungle sparks fears of the dreaded chemosit. A dark shape rears up from the waters of a Scottish loch. Could it be Nessie, the Loch Ness monster? What about the sea serpents so feared by ancient mariners?