Loving the Alien

Roots: The Quatermass Experiment (the British Rocket Group) Thomas Kneale is probably named after Nigel Kneale. Them! and They Came From Beyond Time! (giant ants). Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (the giant Ace). There are references to The Times, The Daily Mirror, Whitaker's Almanack, HMV, the Beatles, Bovril, Coca-Cola, Question Time, the Elephant Man, Vera Lynn, Humphrey Bogart, Agatha Christie, Flash Gordon, Johnny Morris, Alexander the Great, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, All Things Bright and Beautiful, For He's a Jolly Good Fellow, King Kong, and General Custer.

Goofs: Why does time suddenly start to repair itself once Limb commits suicide? [The Doctor uses the dimensional stabilizer to repair the damage to the time lines].

Continuity: George Limb survived the journey through time at the end of Illegal Alien and found himself in London in 1954. He is unable to travel any further back than his point of departure in 1940, and he can't get further forward than 1962, which he has only managed to reach once. He doesn't understand how to operate the Cybermen's time machine and works on the principle of trial and error. Arriving in 1954, he accidentally activated the lode-circuit, which means that the time machine always brings him back to London 1954 after every journey. The Doctor explains that the Vortex is filled with alternate time lines, branching off from every point in space/time; more are created every time consciousness interacts with the physical world. Limb's interference with history upsets the balance, by creating whole new chains of actualities, and causing the Vortex to become overfilled; the realities become too dense and the walls between them start to break down. Limb has been interfering with history many times, in an attempt to avoid his own death; during his travels, he saves James Dean's life and takes him on as his assistant. He has met Winston Churchill. He has seen his own death many times, in many alternative time lines; he always either dies alone and in pain or falls prey to cyber technology. Finally convinced by the Doctor that he cannot evade death, he commits suicide. The Doctor buries him in Ace's grave.

In one of the alternate realities he creates, George Limb becomes Prime Minister. Cyber technology is exploited to augment the population, ending disease; members of the public recharge themselves via stations built into the walls of public buildings. The Prime Minister Limb in this alternative undergoes almost total cyber conversion, setting humanity along the same path as Mondas. The augmented gorilla controlled by the mainstream George Limb destroys this cybernetic George Limb. The augmented British of this reality invade the mainstream reality through a dimensional rift; Drakefell launches a flotilla of nuclear missiles through the rift, devastating the alternate Britain.

Following their discovery of a sewer full of dormant Cybermen at the end of Illegal Alien, McBride and Mullen dynamited the sewer, but it became obvious that when the sewers were rebuilt following the war the authorities discovered the Cybermen and began experimenting with their technology. They began an augmentation programme codenamed Operation Tinman after The Wizard of Oz. Based at London Zoo, they began experimenting on apes, turning them into crude cyborgs dependent on static electricity.

The Doctor briefly impersonates Dr. Dumont-Smith. He carries a scuffed leather bag of coins, which he gives to Ace (as in Remembrance of the Daleks). He plants a bug on Ace's jacket. He thinks he looks more respectable than he did in his Fourth and Sixth incarnations. He borrows a white linen shirt and a fawn sleeveless pullover with a faint band of pattern around it from Davey O'Brien. The Doctor drives a bubble car borrowed from Rita Hawks around London, and finds it to be a terrifying experience. Human chemical preparations rarely agree with him, and some are extremely dangerous to him (see The Mind of Evil). The Gallifreyan Labyrinth Game involves getting your opponents lost in a maze, and then controlling their movements from then on by getting them accustomed to making certain turns. The Doctor used to play it on Gallifrey, where at one time there were labyrinths on every street corner, even in the Panopticon. The Doctor says that dimension stabilizers were developed to repair damage to the time lines, not inflict it; he used to carry one in the TARDIS. The Doctor drinks alcohol, but claims it has no effect on him [unless he wants it to - see Slipback, Transit, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Year of Intelligent Tigers]. He has a hand-held device that can detect minute traces of Vasser dust. He carries a pair of opera glasses in his pocket.

Ace makes use of the TARDIS swimming pool, which reminds her of a council house bathroom [the Doctor has replaced it since Paradise Towers]. She and her friends once got thrown out of the Ship on Wardour Street for being underage. Ace has sex with James Dean, and gets a tattoo on her shoulder with ACE, JIMMY, LONDON 1959 written in ribbons over a heart. The Doctor discovers when he performs her autopsy that Dean got her pregnant. George Limb murders Ace by shooting her through the head. He dumps her into the Thames off Blackfriar's Bridge; her corpse is washed up at Wapping the next day, taken to a mortuary, and labeled Jane Doe. Limb kills Ace to attract the Doctor's attention and plants clues on the corpse, knowing that the Doctor will find it. He claims that he plans to go back and stop himself from killing Ace later on. The damage to the time lines caused by Limb causes an Ace from a divergent timeline (in which the dimensions are much larger) to appear in London. She gradually shrinks down to normal size. This alternate Ace is from a divergent timeline in which she never got a tattoo [it is implied that this timeline diverged from the main timeline shortly after she and the Doctor arrived in London in 1959. The Doctor claims that to all intents and purposes, she is the only Ace]. The divergent Ace differs slightly from the original Ace in that she dislikes peas and has trouble remembering her correct surname.

The Doctor tells Hark that Gallifrey is 29,000 light-years from Earth.

Vasser dust is a waste bi-product of time travel. It has telepathic qualities and resembles frost. The hull of the space ship from the parallel Earth is made of an intelligent metal that can adapt its physical and chemical properties to suit different situations.

The British Rocket Group is established by the 1950s (see Remembrance of the Daleks).

Links: Cody McBride, Inspector Mullen, George Limb, and the Cybermen left in the sewers of London, first appeared in Illegal Alien. The Doctor last walked down Whitechapel road during Matrix. The Doctor first exhumed Ace's corpse at the end of Prime Time. There are references to the events on Blini-Gaar with Vogel Lukos and Channel 400 (Prime Time), and Mel's death (Heritage). Mel left a menu from the Shangri La Holiday camp in her room when she left the TARDIS (Delta and the Bannermen). Ace pockets the red star that Sorin gave her in The Curse of Fenric, to avoid wearing a Russian Army badge in 1950s London. The Doctor wistfully recalls his sonic screwdriver (The Visitation). There are references to the Brigadier.

The Doctor tells McBride that he has destroyed planets (Remembrance of the Daleks). His first visit to the radiation scarred petrified forests of Skaro has followed him for the rest of his life (The Daleks). He grimly recalls that he was helpless to save the people of Mondas (Spare Parts).

The Doctor's 'There are realities out there where the skies are water, the trees are made of air and the people speak in rhyme, realities where' is a nod to the end of Survival.

Location: London and Winnerton, England, 1959; England in an alternate universe in which George Limb becomes Prime Minister, 1959.

Unrecorded Adventures: After leaving Heritage, the Doctor takes Ace to celebrate New Year at a dozen points in a dozen planets histories, to a royal wedding on a planet populated entirely by giant butterflies [Vortis?], and to the Moon to watch Neil Armstrong take his first steps (the Doctor whistling like a Clanger from behind a rock). They spent a week hiking through the mountains on the planet Kriss, their Sherpas the gentlest, kindest, funniest aliens that Ace has ever met. They visited the Twelve Planet Fair, where the Doctor bought Ace candyfloss whilst he entered the juggling competition. They visited Live Aid, and finally Woodstock, where Ace had slipped away from the Doctor to spend the night in Canadian Hippy Gavins tent, causing the Doctor to realize how powerless he is to protect her. The Doctor also made a furtive trip to the British Library to confirm the date of her death.

The Doctor has met the Beatles. He once spent a summer in Louisiana, on a ranch that bred racehorses, where he met a little girl named Ellie Jane.

The Bottom Line: For the most part, this is one of Tucker and Perry's better novels; lively prose and a complex story makes for a enjoyable read with far less of the gratuitous continuity that marred Prime Time, and it nicely ties up loose ends from their previous Seventh Doctor and Ace novels. The return of George Limb is very welcome. Unfortunately, it is seriously compromised by the treatment of Ace; the resolution to the plot of Ace's death is an enormous cop-out and, as Simon Bucher-Jones has rather vociferously pointed out on various Internet forums, the Doctor's happy acceptance of an alternate Ace alarmingly cheapens the life of the original, since he effectively replaces his dead best friend with a duplicate.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke
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Comments

The Eighth Doctor happily accepted a clone of Fitz Kreiner, and refused to go back and help the original.

Then there's the K-9 thing. Surely the Doctor's best friend was the original K-9, yet he got a Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV....

However, the "New" Ace was written to appease certain people vociferously posting on various internet forums. People like whoever runs this site.

Because, as stated elsewhere on this fine website, Ian Briggs(you know, the chap who actually created Ace) decreed that Ace's real name is 'Dorothy Gale'. And so it was. Ace's mom's married name is given as 'Audrey Gale' in 'Ace of Hearts', 'Ace gives her own name as 'Dorothy Gale' in Matrix, the name 'Dorothy Gale' is used by various people in 'Prime Time'(and is the name on Ace's grave), and here near the beginning of Loving the Alien, the Doctor refers to Ace as 'Miss Gale'. Now, ordinarily that would be enough for any level-headed person to accept that Ace's real name is 'Dorothy Gale', with 'Gale' clearly being her surname.

...BUT our friends at the Virgin New Adventures decided to call her 'Dorothy McShane' instead.
Actually, that's not fair to the New Adventures authors. The name was apparently thought up by continuity-hating Paul Cornell, but first appears in Kate Orman's 'Set Piece''

And then the fine folk over at big Finish created a conundrum. Ace gives her name in the Jonathan Blum-written 'The Fearmonger' as 'Dorothy McShane'. Yet stories like 'The Genocide Machine' and 'Dust breeding' are clearly set in the same continuity as the BBC books. Only for her to resort to being 'McShane' afterwards. And yet Big Finish claim that all THEIR stories(excluding the Unbounds) take place in the same universe. Eh?

So, it falls to Tucker and Perry to 'solve' the problem. Although, really, it may have been better if they'd just given two fingers each to the 'McShane' people. Ace, the original Ace, the one the Doctor met in 'Dragonfire', travelled with through Seasons 25 and 26, as well as the six BBC novels from 'Illegal Alien' through halfway through 'Loving the Alien'(and that would include 'The Hollow Men', 'Ace of Hearts', 'Stop the Pigeon', 'The Genocide Machine' and most likely 'Dust Breeding'), is Dorothy GALE. Thus fulfilling Ian Briggs' wishes.

The alternate Ace, the almost identical in every way, but with a few little differences, the one who comes through the dimensional tear....she is Dorothy MCSHANE. The Doctor even says at the end that this Ace
believes that she's in the same unvierse as she always was, barring her dislike of peas, and her NOT KNOWING WHAT HER SURNAME IS. Except that she does. because in her reality she was 'Dorothy McShane'. And not long after 'Loving the Alien' we can then move onto the New Adventures and Big Finish Seventh Doctor Audios, allowing all three ranges to exist in one continuity. It does of course mean that the New Adventures Ace and the Big Finish Ace(barring a couple of early audios) is not the exact same Ace from the television show, but rather an almost-identical one from a parallel universe. But maybe Cornell, Orman and Blum should have thought of that before they decided to call her by the wrong name of 'McShane'.

I'm pretty sure that, at the time this was written, I wasn't vociferously calling for anything on any internet forums. Relative Dementias (set before this story) had already given a satisfactory answer to the contradiction between the Perry-Tucker books and every other author on the question of Ace's surname.

As for Virgin books, Paul Cornell is anything but a hater of continuity - he was one of the co-authors of The Discontinuity Guide, which is a love-letter to the whole concept. And his novels show him to be the kind of writer who enthusiastically uses continuity to tell a story. When Virgin first used the surname McShane nothing had been established in-universe about Ace's surname, so the writers and editors were perfectly free to either go with or contradict behind the scenes intentions. It's entirely possible that nobody involved in the decision was aware of Brigg's original intention.

When BBC Books stories by Robert Perry and/or Mike Tucker later started to use the surname Gale, despite a number of earlier clear-cut uses of McShane, those of us who hadn't (at the time) heard about Ian Briggs' intentions about her surname assumed that it was Perry & Tucker making the mistake. When Big Finish went with McShane, that simply re-inforced the impression.

I agree that the alternate-universe Ace cheapens the character (it was, at best, a very very weak resolution to the revelations about her tombstone in Prime Time). I'm just not convinced by your claim that the evidence overwhelmingly favours Gale as being her correct surname.

Relative Dementias wasn't 'satisfactory'. because 'Gale' was clearly the family surname, as shown by Ace's mum being 'Audrey Gale' as her married name, the people in Prime Time digging into Ace's history, and unambiguously coming up with her being 'Dorothy Gale', with 'Gale' as the surname etc. Saying 'Oh, that's her MIDDLE name!' clearly doesn't work. Who talks about Mick Philip(lead singer of the Rolling Stones) or David Robert(former Manchester United star, and married to Posh Spice)?

Cornell is well-known for attempting to alter established continuity, as various other people have pointed out. And also well-known for stubbornly sticking to his preferred version, even after other in-universe stories have established otherwise. he wanted 'McShane', and he most likely didn't care what Briggs said, because HE(meaning Cornell) wanted 'McShane', so he forced the issue.

Tucker and Perry went to the horse's mouth(Briggs) for Ace's proper name, and called her 'Dorothy Gale'. It should also be noted that the BBC Books were not written for Virgin fanboys, but rather for Doctor Who fans who would be coming back to the show(or becoming new fans) after The TV Movie, and a hoped-for full series with Paul McGann. They were written for people who had seen The TV Movie, most likely the television series, and wanted more. And 'Gale' was entirely consistent with that. It should also be noted that at the time, even the biggest-selling Big Finish audios still did only a fraction of the sales of the BBC Books. The idea that Big Finish "overtook" or "Replaced" BBC Books as the 'official' Doctor Who is a fan myth.

The overwhelming evidence gives Gale as her correct surname. However, as you say, there is also a huge amount of evidence for 'McShane'. However, here's the thing.....the first use of 'McShane' is in Set Piece. The earliest Big Finish to use 'McShane' is The Fearmonger, set between Nightshade and Love and War. All the Tucker-Perry stories are set either in Season 26, or immediately after Survival. Briggs said that Ace(the one he created for television) is Gale. Due to the nature of the Tucker/Perry books, many 'one continuity' fans were placing them between Survival and the Timewyrm books. Prime Time says that Dorothy Gale will die soon. Many fans felt that the Virgin Books were a bit 'off' in relation to the tv show....

Tucker and Perry could have written a different story that separated the Virgin and BBC Books outright, or they could have tried to appease fans of other ranges. This was made more interesting by the fact that the Big Finish Audios referenced elements from both the Virgin and BBC Books, while Prime Time references both the DWM Comics and Big Finish Audios. And elements from the DWM Comics and Virgin Novels had crossed over. So, the only solution, and a way to tie everything into one continuity, was for Briggs' television Ace(and the Ace of the Tucker-Perry Books, plus some short stories, comics, The Hollow Men, Heritage, and Tucker audios) to be Dorothy Gale. She dies, and the almost-identical Dorothy McShane replaces her, unaware that she's in an almost-identical universe to her own. However, even the universe itself has been altered by the events of Loving the Alien, allowing for the Virgin Novels and Big Finish Audios to follow on. Yes, it does leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth knowing that Ace isn't the one true Ace, but then many people who read the books(especially from Deceit onward) felt that way already.

Relative Dementias had a solution that most of the people who cared seemed to find satisfactory at the time. And there are a number of clear continuity references between Relative Dementias, Heritage, and Prime Time that places Relative Dementias before Loving the Alien, so Dorothy Gale McShane isn't the alternate universe Ace introduced in this novel.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say with your second paragraph here. When Virgin went with McShane for Ace's surname, there was no in-universe evidence for Ace's surname. And whilst it might well have been Paul Cornell's idea to use McShane, it's the kind of thing that would have had to have been approved by the editor (Rebecca Levene). Cornell's approach to continuity as a writer is much more respectful to other writers' work than that is, say, Terrance Dicks' (who goes with what he can remember, and really doesn't care about directly contradicting anything).

As for BBC Books, the initial intent was that they were for new fans brought in by the TV Movie, but in practice they sold to the same people who had been buying the New Adventures. And, from the start, they were seen as a continuation of the Virgin line. The first BBC Eighth Doctor novel that doesn't contain a continuity reference to the Virgin books is Option Lock, the eighth in the series.

I'm not sure why you think that I would say that Big Finish trumps the books. My point was that McShane is used in more stories (published by Virgin, Big Finish and BBC Books), by a much wider variety of writers, than Gale is. That means that the in-universe evidence for her surname being McShane is stronger than the in-universe evidence for her surname being Gale. Before Loving the Alien decided to claim that the non-TV Ace that many fans had come to know and love wasn't the real one, the continuity nerd section of fandom had pretty much settled on the idea that it was the Perry-Tucker stories that had got it wrong, and that the Relative Dementias retcon solved the problem.

Given this, it seems really strange that Perry-Tucker thought that they had to address the discrepancy, and did so by revamping the most hated part of the infamous Spider-Man clone saga. There was no need to actually kill off the "real" Ace in order to resolve the Prime Time cliffhanger. There was no need to replace Ace with a near-identical clone in order to resolve the naming discrepancy (especially as it still leaves at least one story where the "original" Ace uses Dorothy McShane).

Anyone reading stories like Ace of Hearts, Matrix, Prime Time etc. will see that 'Gale' is clearly the surname. In Ace of Hearts, Ace's mother's married name is 'Audrey Gale'.

We can discuss what is "more important", or whether "in-universe" is more significant than "real world", but the fact remains that in those stories Ace's surname is clearly and unambiguously 'Gale'. Not her middle name, her surname.

So there were thus two possible solutions., one the 'Bottled Universes' solution, which many people disliked, or trying, somehow, to reconcile the two sets of stories. Unless Ace was very briefly married to someone whose surname was 'McShane', and chose to keep her married name, something big was needed. So Dorothy Gale dies, and is replaced by the very nearly identical Dorothy McShane. Not ideal certainly, but it works, and it may also explain why the New Adventures Doctor spends so much time "testing" Ace.

Now what of Relative Dementias? Its proferred solution doesn't work, because it was clear that 'Gale' was Ace's surname, not her middle name. However, it does still fit into the continuity.

Because while Relative Dementias claims to take place during Season 26, Ace being 'McShane' must place it after Loving the Alien. This is far from unique in Who history. The novel Mission:Impractical's cover states that it takes place between the DWM comics War-Game and Funhouse. However, it also takes place after The Trial of a Time Lord, and features Glitz, who the Doctor first meets in Trial. While the comics War-Game and Funhouse take place before Trial. Thus, its stated placing has been ignored by just about everyone, and it is instead placed after Trial, before the Big Finish audio The Holy Terror.

Another oddity is the DWM story Future Imperfect, which is supposed to take place between The Mind Robber and The Invasion, and explain the Second Doctor's appearance in The Three Doctors. Except that for the Second Doctor The Three Doctors very clearly takes place after The Invasion.

Jonathan Blum stated that his The Fearmonger takes place between Nightshade and Love and War, yet very few people would place it there if they created a larger continuity.

And so, without listing all such stories, there is nothing that prevents Relative Dementias taking place, along with Atom Bomb Blues, between Loving the Alien and the Timewyrm books.

After all, you've made quite a strong case about 'Authorial intent versus actual in-universe content'. And actual in=universe content unambiguously gives Ace's surname in various stories as 'Gale'. Therefore meaning Relative Dementia's "Dorothy Gale McShane' can't occur when Ace is Dorothy Gale(as a surname).

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