Horror of the Space Snakes

Roots: The Galactic Federation is mentioned, which may be a nod to The Tomorrow People. There are references to Jammie Dodgers, Batman, James Bond, Lego, eBay, Big Brother, and Harry Potter.

Continuity: The Snakes resemble Earth cobras, but wear silver spacesuits. They are intelligent and have been on the Moon for millions of years. They can control the minds of humans that they have bitten. They are from a planet that broke up in the solar system seventy million years earlier [Planet 5? See Image of the Fendahl and The Taking of Planet 5]. They agree to remain on the Moon and work with the humans on the Moonbase.

The Doctor has a new long green overcoat. He has an old record player in the TARDIS control room, which he restored after somebody threw a spear into it. He adopts the alias Bob Moss (for whom he is mistaken) and claims to be from the Ministry of Architects and Cartographers. He later claims to be from the Ministry of Moons and Moonbases. He has heard Hsui's album, which hasn't yet been released when he meets her here. He claims he was locked in a cupboard under the stairs by his uncle when he was a child, after he had been naughty. He can speak the Snakes' language.

The psychic paper occasionally picks up messages not intended for the Doctor. The sonic screwdriver doesn't work on wood, water and deadlock seals.

UNIT stored alien artefacts in various locations including some of the Torchwood bases, but eventually built Moonbase One to store objects including space viruses, plastic eating nanites from Phophov IV (which the Doctor helped them stop), a Hopkiss Diamond, and the RavnoPortal Beast of Birodonne.

Links: Amy and Rory are currently in their new home in twenty-first century Leadworth, setting this story at some point between The Wedding of River Song and Asylum of the Daleks. The randomiser is mentioned (The Armageddon Factor). The Doctor recalls Moonbase One being used as a weather control system (The Moonbase) and a prison (Frontier in Space). The Shadow Architect is mentioned (The Stolen Earth/Journey's End). The Doctor notes that he tried arguing with his wife once and it changed the entire history of the universe (The Wedding of River Song).

Location: Moonbase One, the Moon, 26th June 2017 and 8th April 2025.

Future History: Moonbase One was set up by UNIT in 2006 as a scientific research station. In 2023 it was given to World State and renamed Moonbase Laika. UNIT has museums in Georgia. According to the Doctor, 2025 is a few years away from the Oil Apocalypse, and the intellectual copyright battle between T-Mat (The Seeds of Death) and iTeleport.

Unrecorded Adventures: Whilst River has been imprisoned in the Stormcage facility her night-time trips out with the Doctor have included visits to Paris, New York, Amsterdam, and Cersis Major, and to the planet Talusia, where they helped the Weavers and their web-sky-cities stay afloat.

In three hundred years time, the Doctor accidentally adds the word "zooping" to the Galactic Humanish Dictionary, without giving it a definition. He once had blueberry muffins with Neil Armstrong.

The Doctor (with River Song present) won a game of draughts against the ruler of North Korea during the nineteen fifties, as a result of which in seventy years the two Koreas amicably become one and get real estate on the Moon.

The Doctor helped UNIT defeat the plastic eating nanites from Phophov IV and the RavnoPortal Beast of Birodonne. He vibrated the Hopkiss Diamond to communicate with its owners on Jool.

An older Sam helps the Doctor during the Oil Apocalypse.

The Bottom Line: Fairly forgettable, with a bland plot, although the fact that the Snakes turn out not to be hostile is a nice touch. Russell writes the Doctor well, but the rest of the characters are his usual two-dimensional fare.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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