On the previous Doctor Who, the Daleks wanted to shove an engine into Earth’s core, because reasons. Everyone pretends it’s World War II again, including the Daleks. Barbara runs over some of them with a lorry. The Slyther auditions for the role of Nagini, and Susan marries a man she just met.
In this serial, the TARDIS crew (minus one) land on the planet Dido, where an Earth ship has crashed, leaving a paralyzed man and a replacement granddaughter for the Doctor.
Vicki struggles to care for Bennett while being terrorized by a creature called the Koquillion. Barbara panics and shoots her pet monster, which greatly distresses her. (For a couple minutes; she gets better.) The Doctor can’t figure out why Koquillion is behaving this way; the natives of Dido are generally friendly.
In the end, the Doctor naturally discovers wacky hijinks have been ensuing. (Leaving one wondering the motives of a grown man who pretends to be a monster in order to terrorize a young girl into becoming emotionally dependent on him…actually, let’s not wonder that, let’s just skip that part, okay? We’re skipping that part.)
Overall, one of the blander serials, but at least it gave us a look at what Vicki is like. (Namely, things that disturb other people just don’t disturb her. She has a pet monster!)
In the next serial, Nero is, well…Nero.
The crew has arrived in ancient Rome, where they settle down to a nice, relaxing holiday. But the Doctor can’t relax, he wants to go on more adventures, so he and Vicki set off for the city while Ian and Barbara sit around and drink wine. Well, until slave-traders arrive to kidnap them. (Barbara tried to hit them, but just wound up hitting Ian. She never admits to it.)
While Ian is sent to a galley, Barbara is bought and taken to Nero’s palace-where the Doctor has been mistaken for a famous lyre player. Nero chases Barbara around comically, the Doctor pretends to play music so beautiful that no one can hear it, and Vicki watches the hijinks ensue with evident satisfaction.
It all ends when Ian and Barbara are rescued by one of Nero’s advisers, who turns out to be a secret Christian, and the Doctor accidentally inspires Nero to burn down Rome, which leads to him cackling with glee, because the Doctor has always been a bit strange.
All in all, this serial was quite funny and entertaining, with plenty of historical in-jokes.