Stuart Broad took two wickets for no runs as Australia got off to a nightmare start in response to 238 all out on the second morning of the fourth Investec Test at Chester-le-Street.
After Jackson Bird ended the England innings - with the wicket of James Anderson - for no addition to the overnight total, Australia lost David Warner and then Usman Khawaja on the way to 34 for two.
As the ball moved around under cloudy skies, conspicuously more so than it had early yesterday, Broad made a virtue of a tight and testing line to the left-handers.
A tentative Warner was undone by a delivery he appeared to want to leave. When he jammed down his forward-defence, it was too late as Broad zoned in on the top of off-stump to bowl the left-hander.
Then Khawaja, badly out of form in this series apart from a second-innings 50 at Lord's, also paid for indecision - apparently trying but failing to leave, and getting an involuntary under-edge behind.
Two wickets had therefore fallen on 12. But Chris Rogers and captain Michael Clarke managed to more than double the score in an eventful first hour.
Rogers needed two reviews to go his way against Broad, however. England using up their first when Tony Hill gave the left-hander out lbw, before Hawk-Eye showed the ball had pitched outside leg.
The second, two balls later, demonstrated a new vagary of the Decision Review System.
Rogers called for a rethink on Hill's caught-behind decision, and Hotspot indicated impact with ball on pad only.
When lbw therefore came into the equation, an 'umpire's call' simulated impact with the top of off-stump was no use to England - because the initial verdict was for a different mode of dismissal.
There had been no need for any DRS earlier when England number 11 Anderson was bowled, with the final ball of the second over.
Bird hit him on the helmet, ducking into a bouncer, and followed up two deliveries later by comprehensively beating an attempted drive.
The last-wicket stand had nonetheless accrued a handy 24, Anderson's share four fours in his 16, after England's specialist batsmen fell short of expectations.