The Greatest Show In The Galaxy
The Doctor and Ace head for the Psychic Circus on the planet Segonax, where they meet a disparate group of performers and visitors, including a self-centred explorer named Captain Cook, his companion Mags and a biker known as Nord.
The circus itself is dominated by the sinister chief clown and his deadly troupe of robot clowns, who organise a talent contest in which all visitors take part. The audience consists of just a single strange family — mother, father and daughter — seated at the ringside. Although hindered by the treacherous Cook, the Doctor eventually discovers that the Circus hides a terrible secret: the family are in reality the Gods of Ragnarok, powerful creatures with an insatiable craving for entertainment who invariably destroy those who fail to please them.
With Ace’s help, the Doctor ends the gods’ influence on Segonax and returns the circus to the control of its original owners.
- Sylvester McCoy was coached in magic by Geoffrey Durham, otherwise known as the Great Soprendo, for the sleight-of-hand and other magic trick scenes. This was the first time a magic consultant had been involved in the production of a Doctor Who story since The Talons of Weng-Chiang in 1977.
- The rap song heard during the serial was the first original song commissioned for Doctor Who since “The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon” in The Gunfighters (discounting “The King’s Song” in The King’s Demons). The next original song for the series would be “Song for Ten” in The Christmas Invasion.
- Ace tries on the Fourth Doctor’s scarf and Mel’s blue and white polka dot jacket.
- Captain Cook serves tea to Mags, the Seventh Doctor and Ace at his campsite and at the circus.