Genes is the second episode in series 1.5 staring the ninth doctor.It is notable as it is the only episode in the series which does not feature the Celestial intervention agency agent known as Hotline.The episode takes place in a fictional country estate somewhere in the Yorkshire dales.
Before the opening credits we see a shot tracking a large metal cylinder speeding towards earth,a subtitle informs us "earth 1463".The cylinder continues its fall and heads towards England.we cut to a man who looks a bit like an upbeat tramp winding his way through the English countryside in a horse and cart,from the mound of objects such as pots and tools hanging off it we get the impression that he is a travelling man.His bland cart is stuffed to the brim with obscure potions and herbs,as he rides along he rehearses a showman's speech to himself as he fills a bottle with water and berry juice.His patter is something along the lines of "and so you see ladies and gentlemen Jimmy Potter's patented ointments will cure any and all ailments step right up step right up!.As he speaks we cut back to the cylinder hurtling towards him.He is shocked as the horse is spooked and the cylinder lands in a nearby ditch,he runs over to examine it and as his hands open a flap on it to see what might be inside the opening credits start...
The tardis materialises on the outside of a country field and the doctor steps out.in a nearby farming village he sees a large concentration of tents with music and laughter ushering from them.He runs off across the field to investigate scaring several sheep.He finds himself in the middle of a huge medieval fayre,the scale of it is immense;there are market stalls,jugglers,people roasting pork and hundreds of people taking it all in.The doctor wanders around several stalls and sees a young girl named Eva struggling with a fire under a spit roast,the doctor asks her if she is enjoying the fayre and she replies that she'd like to but her master wont let her until she has lit the fire for his spit but is finding it impossible due to the wet wood she has been given to use.The doctor feels for her as the conversation gives the impression that she will be beaten by her master and he gives the fire a quick pass with the sonic screwdriver the logs dry and burst into flames,Eva is eternally grateful to the doctor and she decides to accompany him around the fayre.
They arrive at a showman who is surrounded in large sheets of strange looking canvas and is explaining to the crowd that he is a magician and can use his powers to draw people's portraits without using paints.The doctor is intrigued and volunteers,he sits on the chair and the man concentrates very hard on the paper;after a few seconds right in front of the crowd's eyes a perfect black and white picture of the doctor appears.The doctor looks stern and as the showman adds the doctor's picture to the pile explaining all portraits are for sale he says "it can't be".The doctor reaches for a sheet of the man's paper and stares at it,a picture of the Mona Lisa with the doctor smiling absurdly in the background appears on the paper as he says "It is,its photopsychic paper".Eva asks the doctor what photopsychic paper is and he explains that it is like regular psychic paper only coated with a light sensitive substance which makes what you are thinking of appear on the paper,being a mediaeval girl she understands nothing of this.Now that interest in the show has died down the doctor approaches the showman and asks where he came across this amazing paper,the man explains that a man over the other side of the fayre sold him it;he adds that he has many other strange objects for sale.
The doctor and Eva find the stall covered in strange metal objects and the doctor begins marveling over it "Fantastic,"he mutters to himself "Particle destablisers,thermoformed diamond jewellery,omnistatic generators,its a treasure trove of alien goods".He asks this man where he obtained these items and the man tells the doctor that they were sold to him by Jimmy Potter the snake oil peddler after he spread some crazy story about a fallen star.The doctor and eve cross over to this stall where Jimmy has just begun his show.