Production Code: 6A
1 - 01/03/1982 1855
2 - 02/03/1982 1905
The TARDIS arrives on Earth in 1925 where, due to a case of mistaken identity, the Doctor ends up playing in a local cricket match. The travellers then accept an invitation to a masked fancy dress ball, but events take on a more sinister tone as a number of murders are perpetrated at the country home of their host Lord Cranleigh.
The Doctor comes under suspicion but the murderer is eventually revealed to be Cranleigh's brother George, who has been kept locked up in the house ever since returning in a deranged and disfigured state from an expedition up the Amazon to find the legendary black orchid. George mistakes Nyssa for his former fiance Ann Talbot, who looks identical, and takes her up to the roof of the house. He is persuaded by the Doctor to let her go, but then falls from the roof to his death.
The unknown figure wearing the Doctor's harlequin fancy dress costume grabs Ann - or is it Nyssa? - by the wrists. A passing servant comes to the girl's aid, but the harlequin grasps him about the throat and throws him violently to the floor. The girl faints, and the harlequin crosses to her and reaches out to put his hands around her neck...
On returning from George's funeral, Lord Cranleigh, his mother Lady Cranleigh and Ann bid farewell to the time travellers outside the TARDIS. Tegan is carrying a large box containing their fancy dress costumes, which they have been allowed to keep, and Lady Cranleigh gives the Doctor a further gift: a leather-bound book. The Doctor thanks her and opens the first page. Opposite a photograph of the author is the legend: 'Black Orchid by George Cranleigh'.
The Oblong Box (a brother horribly deformed in the tropics).
Lovecraft's The Shuttered Room.
The Cat and the Canary.
The Elephant Man.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Charley's Aunt ('From Brazil, where the nuts come from!').
Raiders of the Lost Ark (opening sequence).
The works of Agatha Christie.
Margery Allingham and Dorothy Sayers in general.
H.G. Wells is mentioned in passing ('I'm afraid, like Mr Wells, the Doctor has a vivid imagination!').
The Doctor sings I Want to Be Happy from No, No, Nanette.
Adric : "So what is a railway station?"
The Doctor : "Well, a place where one embarks and disembarks from compartments on wheels drawn along these tracks by a steam engine - rarely on time."
Nyssa : "What a very silly activity."
The Doctor : "You think so? As a boy, I always wanted to drive one."
Tegan : "It's fancy dress, isn't it?"
Lord Cranleigh : "Yes."
Tegan : "Well, we haven't got any costumes."
Sir Robert Muir : "Oh. I was just thinking how charming yours was."
The Doctor reveals that, as a boy, he always wanted to drive a steam engine. [It is possible that Gallifrey once had trains (as seen in the Matrix sequence in The Deadly Assassin). Alternatively, this is an example of the Doctor's long standing fascination with Earth.]
Tegan asks for a screwdriver (orange juice and vodka) at the Cranleigh's cocktail party, enjoys cricket and can Charleston. The Doctor and his companions stay for George's funeral and are given his book Black Orchid as a parting gift by Lady Cranleigh.
[Cranleigh,] 11 June 1925.
Actress Vanessa Paine doubles for Sarah Sutton in certain shots where Nyssa and Ann are seen together.
Police boxes did not exist in the 1920s, so how do the policemen recognise the TARDIS?
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Peter Davison
Adric - Matthew Waterhouse
Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
Tegan - Janet Fielding
Ann - Sarah Sutton Sarah Sutton was credited on both episodes as playing 'Nyssa/Ann'.
Brewster - Brian Hawkley
Constable Cummings - Andrew Tourell
Lady Cranleigh - Barbara Murray
Latoni - Achmed Khalil
Lord Cranleigh - Michael Cochrane
Sergeant Markham - Ivor Salter
Sir Robert Muir - Moray Watson
Tanner - Timothy Block
The Unknown/George Cranleigh - Gareth Milne Gareth Milne was credited as 'The Unknown' on Part One in order to conceal the murderer's identity, which would not be revealed until Part Two.
Director - Ron Jones