Peri is reading in her room when the Doctor barges in and brings her back to the console room. He has detected something following them, and there is energy leaking from it, but Peri is the one who realises that the leaks are artificial, some kind of signal that they can use to trace its origin.
Lotu, working at his console, notes the Doctor's tracking of the signals and notifies Monitor Kall. Kall storms through a hallway filled with alcoves, many of which contain a client connected to a console. To his dismay, he is accosted by the Doctor.
Kall takes the Doctor and Peri to Penser, one of the Overseers, who takes him to their library. The size and activity of the library is overwhelming, so Penser and the other Overseers take the Doctor and Peri to a quieter room.
Laurence remembers the time Ellen took him to see his old workmates at the factory. While they were there, the factory was attacked by "things", and the Doctor appeared with his companion and defeated the aliens. Two weeks after waiting for his new caretaker, Laurence gives up calling.
The Overseers tell the Doctor that this planet exists out of the universe and therefore allows them easy access to all other points of the universe. Their species became so rich that they were bored. They started watching stories of other worlds, and eventually hit upon the idea of selling stories to other worlds. They sell experiences to very rich people, and as a result they themselves have become even richer. After some time, they decided to alter the realities of some of their subjects, in order to make their stories more interesting. They have been interfering with the Doctor's reality for some time.
The Doctor finds this an outrage, and threatens to stop them. They are not afraid of him; their machine is too advanced for him to be able to destroy. They make him an offer: they will stop using their reality machine if he promises to take over the machine when the current operator, Shen, dies. The Doctor, faced with no other choice, agrees.
The Doctor visits Laurence, and explains to him that what happened in the factory that day wasn't supposed to happen. The aliens were tampering with the Doctor's reality in order to make a more interesting story. In addition, when they learned the Doctor was tracking them, they shut down the machine while Laurence's story was still happening, and that's why time has seemed to stop for him. The Doctor promises Laurence that he will find a solution and fix Laurence's life.
- Peri considers the Fifth Doctor her Doctor.
- Ellen's fiancé is a UNIT corporal.
- Peri is reading Jeffrey Archer.
- Laurence first met the Doctor in his fourth incarnation and his companion whose name was the same as a girl on Blue Peter (implicitly Romana).
- The stories in Short Trips: Seven Deadly Sins are based on the Christian concept of seven deadly sins. This story's theme is avarice.
- This story is finished in Seven Deadly Sins.
to be added