'Life is cheap in Byzantium. Life is cheap everywhere that the Romans are.'

Byzantium. The imperial city. It rises, dramatically, as if by a trick of the light from the peninsular of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. Its domes and towers and minarets overlooking a place of intrigue, lust, power, oppression, resistance and murder.

Romans, Greeks, Zealots and Pharisee all mix in the market squares of the town, but mutual loathing and suspicion are rife.

Into this cauldron, the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki arrive expecting to view the splendor of the Roman empire. But events cast them into a deadly maelstrom of social and political upheaval. In the eye of the hurricane they must individually face the possibility of being stranded, alone, in a culture bunker in which they do not belong.