|Main setting:||London, 1933|
|Playback||The Duke of Dominoes|
- You may be looking for Fallen Angels (audio story).
Constable Sharpless is on patrol one night when he encounters a man carrying a large rectangular package. The man is singing, and Sharpless warns him to behave himself. Before the man walks off, he shows the painting he is carrying to Sharpless, and claims it is a Reubens.
Sharpless hears a commotion as Sergeant Amies heads for him. There has been a robbery. Amies tells Sharpless that someone stole a painting. Sharpless worries for a moment, but is relieved when Amies describes the stolen painting as something different.
As the man, whose name is Lucas Seyton, walks down the street, he hears a noise. In an alley, a small man is being attacked by three larger men. Seyton decides to help out, and notices that the men appear to be made of metal. The little man tries to warn him off, saying the robots can fly. One shoots at Seyton but he evades it. When the two policemen arrive on the scene, the robots kill them in an explosion. After a scuffle, during which Seyton incapacitates the robots, he and the man, who is called the Doctor, leave the scene, with Seyton retrieving the painting he had stashed away earlier.
Seyton takes the Doctor home and feeds him. He explains that he steals items from people who have committed some crime but can't be punished. He shows the Doctor a mechanical duck that he stole. The Doctor explains the robots to him: they have been programmed to guard the inhabitants of a house, but their programming didn't recognise when the inhabitants died. The Doctor and his friends ended up in the house; the Doctor was able to get away but his two friends are trapped inside.
Seyton offers to help the Doctor rescue his friends. He takes the Doctor to an airfield where his friend Paul Kettering has a two-seater aeroplane. Kettering flies the plane while Seyton mans the gun. As they fly towards the house, they are once again attacked by the robots. Seyton destroys one, then another, but the third is in his blind spot. It reaches into the plane and throws Seyton out.
Seyton activates his parachute and notes that someone else parachuted out of the plane; however, the plane crashes before the third man can escape. Seyton loses consciousness.
He awakens to see the Doctor's face. Seyton spends little time mourning his friend; Seyton suggests they examine one of the robot's bodies to see if there is a security activation device that will allow them to get into the house. When they find it, Seyton has the Doctor ride on his shoulders as a precaution.
Inside the house, the Doctor explains that there is a kind of blind spot around the house: people can see it, but they forget about it soon after. The Doctor is overjoyed to find his TARDIS. Jamie and Zoe poke their heads out the door; they are safe as long as they stay in the TARDIS. The Doctor climbs down from Seyton's shoulders, and to their horror they see hundreds of metallic spiders approaching. Jamie and Zoe retreat into the TARDIS, while Seyton and the Doctor run.
They find the room where the dead bodies of three Crustacoids are located. The Doctor admits that he programmed the robots, and he didn't think to program them for the eventuality of their captives' deaths.
As the spiders make their way into the room, Seyton and the Doctor jump out a window. A spider grabs Seyton, and he expects to die, but suddenly the spider explodes. It's Kettering, who survived the plane crash and took the gun from the plane. He proceeds to destroy the metal spiders.
The Doctor explains to Jamie, Zoe, Seyton and Kettering that the Crustacoids were criminals who had been imprisoned here by his people. He promises that the house will be cleared up.
Seyton gives the Doctor the mechanical duck as a parting gift. As the Doctor and his friends leave, Seyton and Kettering start to forget the adventure they've just had.
- Second Doctor
- Jamie McCrimmon
- Zoe Heriot
- Lucas Seyton
- Constable Sharpless
- Sergeant Amies
- Paul Kettering
- Seyton claims his painting is a Reubens.
- Seyton and the Doctor have bacon and eggs and marmalade.
- Seyton's ancestor was William Seyton, King John's right-hand man.
- The Doctor compares Seyton to Robin Hood.
- Seyton quotes from Winnie the Pooh.
- Seyton drives a Lagonda.
- The stories in Decalog are linked by the story Playback, in which psychic Silverman examines various items in the stranger's pockets. For this story, he examines the model duck.
- The Doctor "couldn't remember breakfasting so well since that time with Nero." (TV: The Romans)
- Vorg once worked with a Crustacoid. (TV: Carnival of Monsters)
- Lucas Seyton later steals a painting from the Palace Theatre museum. (PROSE: The Shadow of Weng-Chiang)