Rain of Terror

Roots: The Doctor mentions Jammie Dodgers. There is a reference to Florence Nightingale.

Goofs: If the Ulla could build a machine to destroy the swarm, why did they launch it into space?

Continuity: Xirrinda is an Earth colony. The planet appears brown and yellow from space. Regions include the canopy forest of Brinti and the city of Ortagon. The Xirrinda Wildlife Reserve is a popular safari destination. Native animals include Trinto, which resemble six-legged horses, house-sized insects called Beslons, and Sharkwolves, thin, vicious predators with slick black fur and small sharp teeth. The biomechanoids are pebble-shaped, with mouths filled with razor-sharp teeth and multiple legs. They generate massive gravitational interference. They devour organic matter and excrete metal. The Ulla have a legend about them, the so-called Rain of Terror. The creatures can cover the entire surface of a planet in their metal excretions, trapping its heat until the planet’s core explodes, launching them into space. They are destroyed when the machine left by the Ulla’s ancestors is activated.

The Ulla are native to Xirrinda. They are stick-thin humanoids with large, cat-like eyes, teak-coloured skin and a second joint halfway down their forearms. They once had a mighty civilisation, but developed too quickly and brought their world to the ecological and economic disaster. They created the biomechanical creatures as a last-ditch attempt to save their civilisation, as a self-replicating machine creature capable of converting any form of matter into an all-purpose mineral element: they couldn’t control it and launched it into space in an unmanned spacecraft. They destroyed their entire civilisation to ensure that such a threat could never be created again, their population reduced to a few scattered communities. They left a machine capable of destroying the creatures should they ever return, as a failsafe.

The Doctor has a fishing net in the TARDIS. He carries currency that is valid on Xirrinda, which consists of large, octagonal coins. He hypnotises Attar.

Rory buys a clean t-shirt on Xirrinda.

Location: Brighton and Xirrinda, the future.

Future History: There is a National Museum of Mars and an alien zoo on the far side of the Moon. Willard works for the Outer Planet’s School’s Association. Xirrinda has a population of eight million colonists. The Off-Planet Railroad Company builds monorails. A Cyber War has been fought in Willard’s lifetime.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor, Amy and Rory have just visited Aridius and encountered super-evolved Mire-Beasts (The Chase). The Doctor mentions that blue crystals are good for hypnotising people (The Green Death, Planet of the Spiders) and notes that he had a friend who was keen on explosives, a reference to Ace.

The Bottom Line: A typical Tucker romp, with swarms of genetically engineered monsters and some horror. It works rather well, largely due to the constant adrenaline ride, although the characters are all very one note.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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