Gunfights, violence, and now a car chase - am I sure I'm not watching the 1996 FOX TV movie here? After the car chase scene (a first of its kind in Doctor Who), there's a harrowing fight sequence on top of a dam between Liz (or, at the very least, a stuntman determined to look the least unlike Caroline John) and her two pursuers. Each episode of this story serves to further separate the 1970s era from its staid 1960s counterpart. Viewing this story on its own is entertaining enough, but to watch it in sequence, following on from the six years of history, it is particularly jarring. In a good way.
Reegan, who is introduced in this episode, is the first of at least three mid-level thugs appearing in the show over the next few years (off the top of my head) that are not only great, believable characters, but receive equally great and believable performances by the actors portraying them. William Dysart plays Reegan, and his is perhaps my favourite performance in this story.
Back to the violence aspect of this, though. There is a rather brutal sequence of events that see two of Reegan's thugs shoot two scientists who have been studying the aliens, followed by the thugs themselves dying of radiation poisoning due to exposure to those same aliens. Three or four years previous to this, numerous complaints would have been raised by the viewing public. Fifteen years from this, and the show would likely be cancelled as a result. If the past is, indeed, just another country, then the early 1970s is a country that no longer exists.