The merciless Bannermen, led by Gavrok (Don Henderson) have nearly completed the genocide of the Chimeron people. Chimeron Queen Delta escapes with her egg, the future of her species. She finds herself in a Tollport where shape-changing tourists called the Navarinos are planning to visit Earth in 1959 in a spaceship like a tour bus. She climbs aboard, where she meets Mel (Bonnie Langford) while the Doctor intends to follow in the TARDIS, having won the trip as a prize for being the ten millionth customers at the Navarino Spaceport. The Bannermen track the Queen and kill the Toll master.
The Nostalgia Tour collides with an Earth satellite and goes off course to land at a South Wales holiday camp instead of Disneyland. The Shangri-La Holiday Camp is run by Burton (Richard Davies). Delta’s egg hatches into a bright green baby that proceeds to grow rapidly on a diet of Royal Jelly. The camp’s mechanic, Billy (David Kinder), falls for Delta, but Ray (Sara Griffiths) is in love with Billy. Ray confides in the Doctor and a bounty hunter looking for the Bannermen to tell them where Delta can be found. Gavrok and his troops arrive, Delta and Billy go off for a picnic, while the Doctor watches the camp. The Bannermen destroy the Navarino bus and all its passengers.
Two CIA agents, Hawk (Morgan Deare) and Weismuller (Stubby Kaye), played for laughs of course, appear after tracking the missing satellite. Gavrok booby-traps the TARDIS. A battle begins with Gavrok and his Bannermen against the Doctor and his friends in camp. The Bannermen are foiled by some honey, some bees, and the amplified scream of the Chimeron child. Billy consumes the honey that Delta has been feeding the baby, in hopes of becoming a Chimeron. The Bannermen are driven off by the child’s piercing screams. Gavrok falls into the booby-trap he placed on the TARDIS and dies. Delta and Billy leave with the child as the CIA watches. The Doctor and Mel go their own way.
We are realizing at this point that this Doctor’s stories are going to be lightweight and, hopefully, humorous. The first story had the frenetic pace of a French farce, the second was slapstick dark humour, and this one is like Carry on Up the TARDIS. It was filmed in Butlin’s Barry Island in Wales. The songs are all vintage rock songs covered by a band called the Lorells, which were created by composer Keff McCulloch. Sylvester McCoy rides a motorcycle and has a Squier Stratocaster by Fender.
The story was actually well-received, called “fun nonsense” and “an enjoyable romp” and “mad as cheese,” but it was also called the worst of all time. It aired in three parts, which became standard in the McCoy era. This was the first appearance of the Doctor’s question-mark umbrella. The CIA agents drive a Morris Minor. The Doctor gives a pretty good speech at the end. The girl Ray (Sarah Griffiths) was supposed to be the next companion, as Bonnie Langford was leaving, but Langford stayed on for one more story and the character Ray became Ace (Sophie Aldred), one of the most interesting Doctor’s companions.