Terminal of Despair

Roots: Alien (the Desponds’ inner mouth). There is reference to Alice in Wonderland.

Dialogue Triumphs: “It’s bus stops, train stations, ferry terminals. Anywhere that people gather and just… wait. They’re hardly places at all really, are they? They’re the places between places – more interesting places.”

Continuity: The Desponds are the size and shape of a small, fat dog. They are grey and have three legs, one at the front and two at the back. They have bulldog-like faces and aren’t intelligent. They have a smaller mouth that emerges from their main mouth on a green slimy tentacle, which they use to drain hope from people. They feed on hope. There is a psycho-empathic link between the members of the pack. The ones seen here were originally a pack of thirteen: their mother died giving birth to them. When they were puppies, they ate proper, solid food.

The Doctor puts himself into a trance to slow his breathing and hearts-beat to undetectable levels. He finds an old stick of chewing gum from the nineteen-seventies in his pocket, as well as a toothbrush, a ball of string and a clockwork frog. He has a Galactic Express card. The Doctor provides details of an alien animal welfare organisation that can look after the remaining Desponds.

Amy breaks the sonic screwdriver.

Rory briefly wears a spacesuit here.

An alcove in the TARDIS console room is cluttered with chests and trunks, one of which contains an automated safe cracker. The TARDIS handbrake stops the TARDIS travelling more than a mile away in space and with minimal time spillage. The TARDIS has a temporal dislocation combobulator and a thermo buffer.

Links: Amy talks about fish custard and the crack in her bedroom wall (The Eleventh Hour). Rory claims that the Doctor has let him die at least once (The Hungry Earth/ Cold Blood). Amy recalls seeing the Doctor stand up to Daleks (Victory of the Daleks) and Weeping Angels (The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone). She mentions Fezzes (The Pandorica Opens/The Doctor Dances). The Doctor mentions Drahvins (Galaxy 4) and the helmic regulator (The Ark in Space).

Location: Terminal 4000, February 2346.

Future History: Orion Spaceways is one of the companies named here.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor once had to break into a safe on Fortis Major.

The Bottom Line: Definitely aimed at kids, but good fun, with Lyons’ knack for good, solid storytelling making the Desponds seem like a real threat, even when they border on being, well, puppies.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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