by Chad Denton
Well, we’ve made it to the second season, so let’s get started with a serial whose premise also became a level in “Super Mario Bros. 3?…
As the TARDIS lands in what the Doctor assures Barbara and Ian is their native time, something malfunctions and the Doctor panics. When they try to view what’s outside, the scanner breaks. Outside they’re puzzled by what seems to be a stone monument shaped like a massive pebble. Splitting up to investigate further, Susan and Ian find a dead ant the size of a cat while the Doctor and Barbara find a gigantic earthworm that’s also dead. Soon Ian and Susan also find a large box of stock (that is, the broth kind, not the finance kind) that was manufactured in Norwich. Simultaneously the Doctor and Susan realize that the TARDIS and they as well have become smaller than an inch.
Unfortunately, the revelation comes a bit too late for Ian, who happens to be standing on a giant matchbox that gets picked up. The man who inadvertently carried off Ian is a government scientist named Dr. Farrow, who is there to analyze a new insecticide, DN6, about to be released into the market by a company owned by Mr. Forrester. Farrow tells Forrester that he’s concluded that DN6 works too well, completely wiping out even beneficial insect life, and must advise the authorities not to allow the formula to be released. Desperately Forrester, whose company is on the verge of ruin, tries to bribe Farrow, but he insists, “This isn’t business, this is science.” Forrester shoots Farrow before he can call and make his report.