Frostfire

Roots: The legend of the Phoenix.

Dialogue Triumphs: Jane Austen ironically notes, "When a marriage is true, all things are shared equally".

Continuity: Captain McClavity found the Phoenix egg in Medina, Tunis. It is the size of a human head, glows with blue-green air, and draws heat from its surroundings. It can possess and control humans, which it uses to protect it. If it hatches out, it would have devoured all of the Earth's heat: it has devoured a thousand worlds during its life cycle. The Phoenix is the only one of its kind. When it hatches, it briefly resembles a small chick with feathers like white-hot flames. It was destroyed in the furnace of the Royal Mint when the door was closed on it, starving it of oxygen, but a single tiny cinder remained in Vicki's body, and escaped in her tears when she remained behind in Troy: Vicki kept the cinder in a vault in a Carthage, keeping it alive with a single torch. When she pays a scribe to write down the story of her encounter with the Phoenix in London, it sets fire to it, briefly feeding on the flames that consume the paper. She often talks to it and tells its stories, because it is the only other being she knows that remembers the Doctor. The Cinder remains in Carthage, growing back into the egg, to be found by Captain McClavity when Carthage becomes Tunis [it is therefore a creature of paradox, with no real origin].

Post-The Myth Makers, Vicki has tried to explain pulleys and stair-lifts to Troilus. She has decided to write down her memories of travelling with the Doctor in a series of scrolls, so that she won't forget them. She and Troilus have two children. After the fall of Troy, the other Trojans thought she was cursed and wouldn't stay with her, so she and Troilus moved to Carthage.

Vicki takes tea with Jane Austen in London. She found Steven "quite dishy" but regarded him as a sort of older brother. She is aware that he can sing and play the harpsichord (see The Gunfighters).

The Doctor produces some rather smelly Russian coats and fur hats from the TARDIS for Steven, Vicki and himself. They eat spicy ginger bread in London, and play skittles on the frozen Thames, Steven beating the Doctor. The Doctor meets Jane Austen in London and has read all of her novels: he and his companions stay at her brother's house in London and borrow some clothes from them. The Doctor dances the gavotte with Jane Austen.

Links: The Myth Makers. Vicki recalls rescuing Steven from the Mechanoids (The Chase).

Location: London, 1814 AD, and Carthage 1164 BC.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor claims to have once seen a real dragon "the size of London bridge" [see The Sorcerer's Apprentice].

The Bottom Line: "The Phoenix must live and blaze". A great start to the Companion Chronicles, Frostfire again sees Platt playing with mythology to lyrical effect. Maureen O'Brien, after a long break from Doctor Who, is great as Vicki.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke
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