In the serial, the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) agrees to go on one closing mission in his position as UNIT’s scientific advisor to research a mysterious pod found in the Antarctic. However, the crazed millionaire and plant collector Harrison Chase (Tony Beckley) can be fascinated, and has sent his violent henchman Scorby (John Challis) and the botanist Arnold Keeler (Mark Jones) to accumulate the malignant alien plant for his private assortment. In Antarctica, British scientists Charles Winlett and Derek Moberley discover a pod buried in the permafrost and take it back to their camp. John Stevenson, the base botanist, identifies it as vegetable-primarily based and estimates it has been buried in the ice for twenty thousand years. In London, Richard Dunbar of the World Ecology Bureau shows the Fourth Doctor photographs of the pod on the urging of his superior, Sir Colin Thackeray. The Doctor believes it to be extraterrestrial. He tells Dunbar to tell the expedition to not touch it until he arrives.