As an alien graffiti artist attacks London, the Doctor discovers that the Sticks and Stones rhyme is wrong. Words can hurt you!
While Amy Pond cooks dinner in the TARDIS, Rory Williams is out grocery shopping. Watching the news on the store's TV, he discovers that a graffiti artist named Monos has been vandalising London landmarks.
Meanwhile, a group of police, acting on a hunch that Monos will tag City Hall next, are staking the building out from across the street when the Eleventh Doctor shows up. Sure enough, the graffiti appears, seemingly out of nowhere. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to render Monos partially visible, and as Monos leaves, the Doctor and the police take off in pursuit.
Back in the supermarket, a young girl named Judy bursts in, claiming that "they" are outside. She convinces Steve, a police officer, to lock the doors.
As the Doctor follows after Monos, the van he and the police officers are in suddenly flies off the ground, bringing it level with Monos, who is levitating high in the air. Climbing onto the roof, the Doctor tells Monos to put the van back on the ground. Monos complies by dropping the van instead of lowering it slowly. As he plummets down to the ground, the Doctor manages to restart the anti-gravity limpet that Monos had attached to the van, and the police officers exit the van safely, except for DI Bill Stringer, who leaves with the Doctor in search of Monos.
While Steve and Brenda, a supermarket checker, try to get Judy to explain who was chasing her, Rory calls Amy and tells her not to leave the TARDIS in case Judy's unseen pursuers cause trouble. Amy then defiantly leaves the TARDIS.
Brenda starts to see and hear the word "Monos" everywhere, then turns into a silhouette with MONOSMONOSMONOS written all over it.
Amy finds a police car with smashed windows in the supermarket parking lot, then turns around to see four more MONOS-people advancing towards her...
The thing that used to be Brenda advances towards Steve. As she touches him, he turns into another MONOS-person. Judy, Rory and the other shoppers flee as the two MONOS-people attack.
As Amy grabs a shopping cart and rams the MONOS-people, Rory calls the Doctor and explains the situation. As the Doctor begins to realise that the MONOS-people have been translated, not transformed, Bill starts to see the word "Monos" everywhere, but the Doctor tells him to say his name out loud over and over, so he won't lose focus. The two then find a cubical spaceship parked at Hampstead Heath and enter it.
We briefly see Rory and Judy realising that they are the last humans left in the supermarket.
The Doctor and Bill walk in on Monos, a red-skinned teenage alien wearing skull jewelry and a metal gauntlet. Monos, not seeing them, talks out loud to himself about how the horror he has created is art, then turns around and spots the Doctor and Bill. The Doctor explains to Bill that Monos is a Necrotist, who, like all members of his artistic movement, believes that death is the highest form of art.
As Monos reveals his master plan, the Doctor figures out that Monos has turned the people into living names, or Leximorphs, but Monos attacks him and then Bill with an electric sphere that he controls with his gauntlet. Bill, however, manages to attach the anti-gravity limpet to Monos's hand, and Monos shoots up into the air and is electrocuted by his own sphere. His gauntlet falls to the ground, and the Doctor attempts to reverse its effect...
In the supermarket, Rory and Judy are surrounded by Leximorphs. Judy, in desperation, pushes one away... but doesn't change. Rory calls the Doctor, who deduces that Judy, who has dyslexia, cannot be affected by the Leximorphs. Amy then crashes through the supermarket doors in a car, and Rory and Judy climb in. The three of them head to the TARDIS, where the Doctor tells them to dissolve some crystals hidden inside the console. He recommends using sulphuric acid, but Rory finds a suitable substitute - Amy's chilli sauce!
As the crystals - revealed to be the TARDIS's translation circuits - dissolve, everyone in the city of London suddenly gets dyslexia, the Leximorphs return to human and the Doctor advises Bill to join UNIT.
Later, the Doctor is putting away Monos's glove when a transmission appears on the monitor. Whoever is sending it has apparently met the Doctor before, and tells the Doctor that "this next bit is going to hurt."
- The Eleventh Doctor
- Amy Pond
- Rory Williams
- BBC Newsreader
- Boris Johnson
- Bill Stringer
- Amy uses the TARDIS kitchen.
- The Doctor claimed to have survived dinner with the Borgias.
- Spinthoz is the universe's biggest onion, which the Doctor mistook for a planet.
to be added
- On the TARDIS scanner, the Doctor sees a future version of his eleventh incarnation destroying the chameleon circuit of the First Doctor's TARDIS. (COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone)