Decalog 2: Lost Property

Decalog 2: Lost Property is the second anthology released by virgin books. In each story, the Doctor has or acquires a home (although in the first story, the home is the time vortex). The collection contains ten stories which, between them, feature the first seven Doctors.

Vortex of Fear

Vortex of Fear
Author(s): Gareth Roberts
Doctor(s): Second Doctor
Companion(s): Jamie McCrimmon, Zoe Heriot
Season(s): Season 6
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Roots: Groundhog day. Zoe's vision of the Doctor's face forming in the swirling pattern of the vortex is an allusion to the Troughton-era title sequence.

Dialogue Triumphs: Ferrix 'I can almost see him now, sitting behind my desk, giving orders to my secretary. Flirting with my wife, damn him'

Continuity: [The TARDIS controls switch places occasionally] as the time-space orientation controls were where the guidance regulators now are. The anti-collision control isn't working [possibly because Zoe flicks off a switch on the console] and the lever controlling it is stuck, as it hasn't been used in centuries. A materialisation flip-flop allows the TARDIS to materialise inside an object in the vortex. Zoe can always retrace the route through corridors. Boiled sweets are very good for the effects of time spillage.

Some of Zoe's peers on W3 (The Wheel in Space) had disapproved of the school of parapsychology's methods, including brain electro-stimulation. When she was 4, her memory began to be tightened up by a series of rigorous mental tests. Her ability to memorize scrolls of data at incredible speed is a legacy of her training at the Earth school of parapsychology, as is her excellent sense of direction. Jamie is not more than 20.

Dephys 49 is an Earth Colony with a legal code allowing tax exemption only for those spending 12 months outside legal jurisdiction, which means suspension in the time-space vortex. The Agency has a 7-star auto hotel suspension capsule, which has been abandoned because its shielding against the time winds broke down. The Agency have worked out how to enter the Vortex, but not navigate it. The hotel has shields to protect it from the Time Winds. Once the device controlling the shields is sabotaged, the inhabitants of the hotel are eaten away by the Time Winds, becoming temporal shadows doomed to exist in the Vortex for eternity. As a result of becoming involved with events on board the hotel, shadows of the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe become part of the eternal paradox of the hotel.

The TARDIS gives some protection against the effects of the time winds and some people are naturally time-sensitive and sense the shifts in time that occur when exposed to the time winds. Jamie and Zoe are able to sense the effects of the Time Winds because they are frequent travellers in the Vortex; the Doctor explains that in a sense they exist outside of time.

Visiting a beach on Earth after leaving the hotel in the Vortex, the Doctor gets stung by a jellyfish.

[The Doctor's home in this story is the Vortex, although he tells Zoe that it would be very foolish to make your home out there].

Location: A suspension capsule (the Agency hotel) in the vortex. Also, a beach on Earth.

Future History: The Second Empire was a great civilisation that flourished from a small Earth colony located at the far edge of the galaxy in the far future. It includes Dephys 49

The Bottom Line (Prosecution): 'It's time we got away from this awful place.' Gareth Roberts has written some superb Doctor Who short stories, but this isn't one of them. The temporal paradox feels like old hat, and the overall result is a rather uninspiring start to the anthology.

The Bottom Line (Defence): Something of an intriguing story with solid concepts and plot.. The biggest weakness is that the subplot about what is happening back on Dephys 49 is not developed as much as it should be. The ending is poignant and the characterisation of the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe is spot on.

The Crimson Dawn

The Crimson Dawn
Author(s): Tim Robins
Doctor(s): Fourth Doctor
Companion(s): Leela, K-9 Mark I
Season(s): Season 15
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Roots: Jurassic Park (recreating ancient creatures from DNA). Bad puns on Mars, Waterworld & Jurassic Park, Greenpeace. The Ares corporation is straight out of the Cyberpunk genre. War of the Worlds. Mass marketing of toys. There are references to Damien Hirst, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Henry Ford, Georgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Happy Shopper, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Tango, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Longhi, Bauhaus, Cecil B. de Mille, Lichtenstein, H. G. Wells, George Pal's War of the Worlds, Tintin, the Hindenberg, and the Titanic. There is a reference to "Biblical tales of rivers of blood" (Exodus 7 and Revelation 16.4).

Goofs: The Doctor has a villa overlooking the Lake of Mutations on Skaro, which cannot possibly fit in with The Daleks and Planet of the Daleks.

This story is set around 2450AD Corvette was a member of the class of 2420. This poses some continuity problems; the Federation referred to here must be an Earth Federation rather than the Galactic Federation of The Curse of Peladon, and is presumably a precursor of the Empire. However, Peladon trades with the outside universe, which contradicts The Curse of Peladon and Legacy [Peladon had prior contact with the rest of the galaxy before the reign of King Peladon's father, but this was short-lived and largely forgotten].

In addition, the Ice Warriors are said to be well known in the 25th Century. This conflicts with many references in the New Adventures that suggest they aren't well known in the 26th Century.

Corvette mentions her encounters with "Greenies" - which include Venusians. However, Venusian Lullaby establishes that the Venusians became extinct billions of years ago.

Technobabble: Gymnodinium Veneficum is a dinoflagellate (this is actually scientifically correct, though it should be in italics with a lower case v).

Dialogue Triumphs: Leela: 'Bring me food and drink now or I will feast upon your flesh'
Ginger 'And I've been teaching my students that cannibalism is a myth.'

Leela: 'The Doctor is a wise man but he lives in his thoughts.'
Ginger: 'An ivory Tower.'
Leela: 'No, the TARDIS.'

Leela (on the Doctor's activities): 'He confronts a race known as the small minded bureaucrats. He challenges them to answer the riddle of the fish. Should they fail, he will defeat them by the wisdom of science and the magic art of paperwork.'

The Doctor: 'Why don't we talk before Leela does something I will regret.'

Dialogue Disasters: 'I hear Waterworld went Jurassic'

The diner is called 'The Mars Bar' and there's a host of other equally horrendous lines including puns on Mars Attacks, Ray Bradbury, and Apocalypse Now.

Continuity: The Doctor has a houseboat, the Dejah Thoris, which has hydrofoil jet engines. It is built in the style of British narrowboat and has oak sides, an elm keel, and iron ribs. The words I.M. Foreman (London) (An Unearthly Child) are painted on the side of the cabin. He also owns a villa over looking the Lake of Mutations on Skaro, where he once caught a three-eyed fish. He claims that Sarah Jane Smith broke his hearts. The Doctor has inspired myths and legends on various worlds, referred to variously as the Zonewalker, the Shadow-thief, and the Trickster of Time.

K9 can't properly recalibrate himself to handle being on a boat under Martian gravity, but can perform an external autopsy on a fish. He can generate an electrical current of 900 megawatts, but cannot sustain this for longer than a second without completely draining his power supply and potentially causing irreparable damage to his neural nets.

Equoth are a genetic splicing of shire horse and giant sloth. They are shaggy, six-legged creatures used on Mars for towing houseboats.

Phobos (one of Mars' moons) was the craft that brought the Ice Warriors' prehistoric ancestors to Mars. One million Ice Warriors were trapped there after Mars began to die, but a systems failure left them trapped in suspended animation. Following the return of Mars (apparently at the end of this story) to the Ice Warriors, these Warriors were revived; this day became known as Resurrection Day and is celebrated annually. The Martian Sphinx has the head of an Ice Warrior [and has been recreated by the Ice Warriors following the events of Godengine]. Other archaeological sites on Mars include the Valley of the Warriors and the Great Pyramid (Pyramids of Mars).

Leela has a jagged scar from a Horda bite beneath her left breast (The Face of Evil).

The Last Martian is the Federation's most eccentric and wealthy recluse. It is a cephalopod, burnt umber in colour. It owns the Ares Corporation. It believes that it is a survivor of a race that was native to Mars prior to the Ice Warriors, but is actually a product of the Ares Corporations biotechnology division, which they created in an attempt to invalidate the Ice Warriors claims to the planet.

[The Doctor's home in this story is houseboat on Mars, named the Dejah Thoris].

Location: Mars in the 25th Century (but see goofs)

Future History: Narrowboats provided slum dwellings for home-counties' refugees waiting for the nation to be transformed into a post-apocalyptic pastoral idyll at some point after the 1960's.

The Ares Corporation terraformed Mars, helped by the 2350 Clean Earth Act. Under this act, Mars was designated a landfill site for waste products too dangerous to be left on Earth. Aerosols and fridges were dumped across Utopia Planitia, where leaking fluorocarbons produced a greenhouse effect that released hydrogen, oxygen and carbon from the permafrost. It took them less than a decade to turn the canals spotted by Schiaparelli and Lowell into real canals.

The Inter-World Web is well established and micro-organisms used in terraforming have been patented. Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt is a new comic.

The Class Three Warpskip Orion VI was sent to Aridius to assess its suitability for entry into the Federation but was destroyed. The ship crashed in the Northern Mire, the only person who survived the Mire Beasts' attacks was Ginger Corvette, who was rescued after four days.. The class of 2420 all died.

The capital city of Mars is built on the southernmost foothills of Olympus Mons. New Xanadu is a city on the Martian moon Phobos.

The Tsunami terraforming conglomerate is a rival corporation to Ares that uses the ironclad surfer robot Ultratetsuozoid as its company logo. It has recently been responsible for the pleasure planet Waterworld.

The Crimson Dawn is a supposedly a terrorist organisation operating on Mars, but is actually a group of mercenaries hired by the Ares Corporation to harm the Ice Warriors' legitimate claim to the planet. Redpeace is an organisation campaigning to return Martian land rights to the Ice Warriors.

The Bottom Line (Prosecution): Whilst Leela's scenes in the Mars Bar are very well written, everything else needs a total rewrite. The story is heavily reliant on continuity, so its failure to get the details right undermines everything. This might be an acceptable first draft, but it still needs a lot of work to get it up to scratch.

The Bottom Line (Defence): A strange mix of attempted humour, fanwank, and pulp science fiction, The Crimson Dawn falls between stools. Unusually, the numerous continuity references are juxtaposed with a total disregard for Virgin's usually consistent future history, which is strangely distracting.

Where the Heart Is

Where the Heart Is
Author(s): Andy Lane
Doctor(s): Third Doctor
Companion(s): Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sergeant Benton, Mike Yates, Jo Grant
Season(s): Season 9
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Roots: Jo mentions You Only Live Twice.

Goofs: On page 81, Dantallion refers to "the genus Homo sapiens". Given his knowledge and training in medicine and biology, he should know that the genus is "Homo" and the species is "Homo sapiens".

Dialogue Disasters: 'How'd you get such an amazing house for free? Who owns it?'
'You know, I rather suspect that he does.'

Continuity: The UK government funding for UNIT is decided by the secret vote finance committee. The UNIT protocols were ratified by the [then] home secretary five years ago in Geneva and there is no withdrawal mechanism. The Brigadier has been seconded from his regiment to UNIT. During this story. UNIT obtains a new headquarters in a manor house and leaves the old central London one (The Mind of Evil). The UK is considering withdrawing from the UNIT protocols due to cost, and letting the Navy take over UNIT's role. The UK puts less funding into UNIT than Luxembourg does. The major cost of UNIT is their London HQ. The Doctor rescues Dantalion from the Navy, requesting that he legally transfers ownership of his estate to the Doctor in return; the sixteenth century mansion becomes UNIT's new HQ (The Three Doctors). With new free premises for UNIT and the Navy's loss of Dantalion (thanks to the Doctor), Jo's uncle Bill is able to put pressure on the Ministry of Armed Services, persuading them not to have the UK withdraw from UNIT.

The Doctor has been in the employ of UNIT for three years, but has received no salary during that time. He flippantly gives his occupation as eccentric inventor and again uses the alias Doctor John Smith. He drinks juke, not realizing that it causes instantaneous immobility in any species other than Birastrops.

Jo has spent fifteen hours on a firing range learning how to use an automatic pistol it took her fourteen hours to actually hit the target. Her uncle Bill, the man who got Jo her job in UNIT, is being put forward for a knighthood.

The Brigadier was seconded to UNIT from his regiment without being asked. It is implied that his father and grandfather both served in the military (see Deadly Reunion).

Corporal Bell is still a member of UNIT [which seems unlikely following the events of the subsequently published The Face of the Enemy, which is set earlier].

The Brigadier occasionally sends alien tissue samples to Liz Shaw for analysis.

Birastrops (such as Doc Dantalion) can shed their skin at will and can obtain implants giving holographic images. Birastrop morality allows killing for medical research purposes. Juke is a drink causing instantaneous paralysis in all [known] non-Birastrop lifeforms. They were mentioned in The Brain of Morbius, and are small aliens with a face like an apricot pit and six spindly arms poking through a chitinous breastplate. One of Dantalion's eyes is artificial. They can shed their skin and grow a new carapace. He has been on Earth for some time, long enough to learn English, establish two human disguises, and buy a late sixteenth century manor house. He has been posing as a Doctor in order to obtain wealthy clients with no families whom it has been dissecting in order to learn about human biology. He is certified to operate on most major galactic species and is working his way through the minor ones. Birastrops acquire their medical qualifications by killing the criminal, the old, or the sick, so that they can study how their bodies work. On their own planet, they cut them up whilst they are still alive. Out of deference to the human race's moral system (which he describes as odd) he only chooses terminally ill patients with no families for his studies. The Doctor rescues him from the Navy and advises him to leave Earth for a thousand years or so (c.f. Original Sin).

[The Doctor's home in this story is the sixteenth century mansion that Dantalion signs over to him and which becomes UNIT HQ].

Location: UNIT HQ, Dantillion's house, the secret vote finance committee meetings. The motorway between London & Portsmouth. [one of us thinks late summer 1971, the other thinks 1972/3]

Future History: In 1000 years, Human and Birastrop morality will coincide more nearly.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Brigadier mentions to the committee that there have been three attempted Nestene invasions (not just the two we know about). The Doctor tells Benton of an encounter with aliens named Medusoids. (possibly the same one mentioned in Frontier in Space)

The Bottom Line: 'How'd you get such an amazing house for free? Who owns it? You know, I rather suspect that he does.' I have a sneaking suspicion that Where the Heart Is was written purely to explain why UNIT HQ kept changing location during the Pertwee era, but Lane takes the opportunity for more world-building by linking the story in to Original Sin. The exploration of Dantalion's alien morality is highly effective. The conflicts between UNIT and Zecca could have been better explored, but sadly the story doesn't have enough space to develop the plot, characters and concepts.

The Trials of Tara

The Trials of Tara
Author(s): Paul Cornell
Doctor(s): Seventh Doctor
Companion(s): Bernice Summerfield
Season(s): Unknown
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Roots: Shakespeare (A play in Iambic Pentameter in Shakespeare style presentation). Especially Macbeth (the first scene and the Witches), The Merchant of Venice (tests to determine who would marry the queen), A Midsummer Nights Dream (Oberon & Titania - the Fairy king and queen) & Romeo and Juliet ('Robot! Robot! Where art thou Robot?'). The Odyssey (Long lost husband hasn't come back for years so his wife, the queen, sets tests to find a husband). Uses many tropes of pantomime. The dialogue in the scene where everyone meets everyone else is reminiscent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Fashion Victims: 'Is the Archimandrite's hat not silly?'

Dialogue Triumphs: 'You are now engaged in a game of fast engagements.'
'As in chess? Is that your meaning?'
'In that both are concerned with mating.'

'We now are stealing sweets from babies?
why this is proverbially easy.'

Act 4 Scene 3 has a lovely sequence where everyone meets everyone else.

There are plenty of other points where the script sparkles

Dialogue Disasters: 'Sharp is right, just stick to cutting words'.
There are lots of similar bad puns throughout.

Benny: 'They think an android's just for Christmas'

Continuity: Following the events of The Happiness Patrol, somebody placed the Kandyman's remains in a capsule and launched him into space, with plans for his reconstruction concealed in his skeleton. He lands on Tara and is rebuilt. He immediately seeks a master to serve as executioner, suggesting that he prefers working for someone else, allowing him to dedicate himself to his experiments. He bemoans the absence of Gilbert, so perhaps he is most concerned with having someone to maintain him. Grendel dubs him Sir Kandyman, of Terra Alpha. He actually is (at least partly) made of sweets and can be dissolved in Taran Wine. [But this may just be dramatic licence on the part of the playwright.]

The Doctor has warned Benny to watch out for Count Grendel. She poses as a man, Bertrand. For his service to the King during The Androids of Tara, the Doctor was granted a field or two of land. He can still best Grendel with a sword, despite his change of incarnation. He offers to take Grendel to another planet in the TARDIS, but the Count refuses.

Since the Doctor's last visit to Tara, King Reynart is missing presumed dead after a visit to the farther settlements some years earlier Queen Strella now rules Tara. He was actually caught in a temporal trap by three witches [possibly using the same knowledge as Lady Peinforte in Silver Nemesis], but eventually managed to escape and slew the vile trinity. Grendel is again seeking the throne, and is described as being bitter over the death of Madame Lamia. After his defeat by the Doctor, he jumps from a cliff, but whether he dies or not is unclear [i.e. the height of the cliff is not specified!] Oberon and Titania rule the faeries - dispossessed androids abandoned by their owners. Reynart eventually gives them kingdom over all androids, free or in service. Thorvald is a province of Tara.

[The Doctor's home in this story is the land on Tara he was apparently granted following The Androids of Tara].

Location: Tara, 10 years after The Androids of Tara and a long time after The Happiness Patrol. [c.2388?]

The Bottom Line: 'The Kandyman on Tara in a verse play in iambic pentameters.' This is very, very good. Cornell opts for pure whimsy, bringing us a sequel to The Androids of Tara and The Happiness Patrol written in iambic pentameter, and the result is what is still one of my ten favourite ever Doctor Who short stories. The Shakespearean style is used to great effect and the play scene has a lovely self reference.

Housewarming

Housewarming
Author(s): David A. McIntee
Doctor(s): None
Companion(s): Mike Yates, Sarah Jane Smith
Season(s): None
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Roots: "Ghostbusting" groups, haunted houses and horror films. There are references to Randall and Hopkirk, Deceased, Beadles About, Vincent Price, Strauss, and The Stone Tape. The Master quotes Dirty Harry (make my day) and Robert Burns (the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglee). There's also an X-Files reference. The Junior Woodchuck Guide is the handbook of a fictional Boy-Scout-like organisation joined by cartoon characters Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The reference to "Vincent Price ... with a red-hooded stranger close behind" is specifically to the film The Masque of the Red Death. The sword-fighting homages The Princess Bride ("I'm not really left-handed." "I'm not left-handed either!")

Technobabble: Psionic Science. K9 is powered by an electron-fusion nuclear battery. Minkowski's theorem of four-dimensional vectors uses the Bocca scale (The Two Doctors).

Dialogue Triumphs: 'You'd have had the Brigadier calling for armour-piercing biscuits.'

Asked why he is dog shaped, K9 replies: 'The human ego requires a familiar reference point to aid in adjusting to new concepts. Animal forms are comforting to the majority of humans.'

Peter: 'You scared me half to death there.'
The Master: 'I never do things by halves.'

There are several brilliant K9 and Master scenes.

Continuity: K9 can climb stairs (see also The Shadow of Weng-Chiang). He also has heat detectors than can visualize the thermal image generated by humanoids. He is powered by an electron-fusion nuclear battery. His sensors tell him that the Master is both similar to and different from the Doctor, so that he thinks that he might be the Doctor.

A TARDIS leaks Artron energy before it arrives, potentially creating a time-fissure. This helps the scanners but can also lead to its presence being detected before it arrives and it's precise location being found. A Time Ram will only destroy everything within about a mile and a half. Artron energy can be conducted backwards in time through metal and water; water pipes are therefore ideal. The Master intends to stimulate the time fissure at the exact point at which the Doctors TARDIS arrives; the resulting release of energy from the fissure will try to coexist with the TARDIS, resulting in time ram.

The Master appears following his regeneration in First Frontier. He wears a Vandyke beard, a dark Italian-designed suit, a silk shirt, and a cravat with a silver bird-of-prey tiepin. He adopts the alias Count Marius Castillo. He disguises his TARDIS as a black Mercedes. The Master is right-handed, although he can use a sword with his left hand fairly impressively too. He fences with both Mike and Sarah; with his plans compromised, he flees before the fight is over [although he seems to be enjoying himself so much that he is probably prolonging the fight deliberately].

Mike Yates now investigates psychic phenomenon, as a member of the organisation SPR. Jo Grant told Mike about time ram (The Time Monster).

Sarah fenced for her school team.

Location: A country house in England, owned by the Doctor. The date is either in the 1980s or 1990s. Brendan is at Cambridge doing exams [so anywhere from 1985 to 1989] and there's an X-files reference. It must be after The Five Doctors from both Sarah's and the Master's perspectives.

The Bottom Line: A welcome sequel to McIntee's First Frontier, and another exemplary use of the Master. The decision to make this a Doctor-less story with Mike Yates, Sarah Jane and K9 facing off against the Doctor's arch-enemy is surprising, but rather novel.

The Nine-Day Queen

The Nine-Day Queen
Author(s): Matthew Jones
Doctor(s): First Doctor
Companion(s): Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright
Season(s): Season 2
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Roots: The story of Lady Jane Grey. Lady Jane Grey reads Plato's Phaedo. Jane quotes Jesus "into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46)

Goofs: At the wedding, it is implied that everyone in the building is seated in pews, but in this era pews were a modern innovation, available only to those wealthy families who paid for their own pews.

The Doctor appears to stay a whole extra year to visit Jane's execution but sends Ian and Barbara back to the TARDIS before he stays around to do that. [It might have been someone else in the final scene, despite the implication that it's the Doctor. Alternatively, it could have been a trip similar to that seen in the epilogue to The Witch Hunters]

Dialogue Triumphs: An overconfident Doctor: 'Nothing is impossible, my dear boy.'

Ian: 'Traitor's Gate.'
Barbara: 'No. At least, not yet.'

Continuity: In 1985, Barbara (by now married to Ian) writes a GCSE textbook (Journeys Through History: A Sourcebook for GCSE for the Associated Exam Board) with Ian Martin covering Jane Grey. She becomes proficient at horse riding by the end of the story. Barbara went straight into teaching after her degree and never did a doctorate. She also knows a lot of detail about this period of history [It's probably a major part of the history syllabus]. She knows how to perform artificial resuscitation. During one of the first times that Ian saw Barbara outside of school, he had helped her with a history trip to London that she had organized at the end of the summer term. He used to coach the boys five-a-side football on Fridays after school.

The Vrij live in the Vortex where they were banished [by the Time Lords], having been stripped of their physical form. The Doctor knows of it from legend. It once roamed the universe creating chaos and disorder wherever it went, until it was finally captured, stripped of its physical body, and banished to the Vortex. It penetrates the TARDIS defences and possesses Barbara, dragging the TARDIS to Earth, where it possesses the body of a wolf and then the Duke of Northumberland. Without a physical body, it resembles a huge ethereal shadow.

The [First] Doctor is long-sighted. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation could kill a Time Lord [or at least the first Doctor] The Doctor adopts the alias of Doctor Samuel Smythe, for whom he is mistaken. He builds a dimensional trap that creates a space-time field like a miniature version of the Vortex to trap the Vrij.

[The Doctor's home in this story is the townhouse he is given in Islington by the Duke of Northumberland].

Location: Bradgate and environs. Islington. London. Several months in 1553.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor says that he spent a few pleasant weeks in Plato's company.

The Bottom Line: As with Jones' full length novels, The Nine-Day Queen is designed to elicit an emotional response from the reader, and it's certainly hard not to feel sorrow at the fate of Lady Jane Grey. My only real problem with this story is the Vrij, since I can't help feeling that it would have worked better as a purely historical story, although it does fit neatly into the plot. The central moral dilemma of the story is handled just as well as the one in The Aztecs.

Lonely Days

Lonely Days
Author(s): Daniel Blythe
Doctor(s): Fifth Doctor
Companion(s): Nyssa
Season(s): Season 19
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Roots: Marvel Comics' Ego the living Planet, I'm told that the description sounds similar to Stanislaw Lem's Solaris. Macbeth (Lead on McDrone). The Doctor quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ("we've done six impossible things before breakfast.")

Technobabble: Linear tendancy gauge

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: 'I did once win a small planet. But it was an awful place'

The Doctor: 'And where there's civilisation, Nyssa, there's tea.'

The Doctor: 'Don't be silly. I took a nap ... Well, definitely within the past week!'

Dialogue Disasters: 'It would upset the delicate gambling balance of the continuum!'

Continuity: Using time travel to cheat at the lottery is the same as rescuing Adric [impossible or immoral?]. The Doctor carries a long strip of identity cards including ones with photos of at least 2 previous incarnations. He wears his half-frame spectacles (Frontios). He again uses the alias Dr. John Smith. He and Nyssa enter the Intergalactic Lottery, but lose.

The Pzorswihr are electro-silicon based lifeforms and their last survivor, Telxzana, will die about a year after the story. It is implied that this death will destroy the planetoid where it is the single continent. The planetoid has blue sand dunes, spindly plants, and small pools of water. The dull, overcast sky is a metallic green colour.

[The Doctor's home in this story is the unnamed planetoid that he won in a game of poker].

Location: Monitoring Base XL-7 on the Doctor's planetoid on the edge of the Magellanis system. [At least as late as the 25th century and, as Tarla was killed by Daleks, it must be at a time when they are active.]

Future History: There are galactic vid-channels and photocards are still acceptable as ID. Tenos Alpha is an Earth colony.

Unrecorded Adventures: The fourth Doctor won a game of poker against a 25th Century Draconian winning this "planet". He gave it to the Earth Colonies to develop, but retained nominal ownership allowing him to make an inspection visit whenever he wishes.

The Bottom Line: An interesting science fiction idea, but the execution is rather dull. Whilst the Doctor and Nyssa are well-written, the ending is anti-climatic.

People of the Trees

People of the Trees
Author(s): Pam Baddeley
Doctor(s): Fourth Doctor
Companion(s): Leela
Season(s): Season 15
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Roots: The people of the trees have an appearance and culture similar to the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. The plural of urbarg is urbargalim, similar to the Hebrew plurals Seraphim and Cherubim.

Dialogue Triumphs: 'With the Great Ones, we are a whole branch, Without them, we are splinters.'

Dialogue Disasters: 'It's the people, they need me.'

Continuity: Leela is learning to read. K9 remains in the TARDIS library during this story. The Doctor has told Leela about regeneration.

The Dascarians have a Verevan test, which measures desire for the land and is the determining factor in ownership. Land-seller is the greatest insult known to the Dascarians. Caejel are big cats. The People of the Trees' Gods (the Great ones - actually wooden idols) are catalysts for an empathic or telepathic link between their people. The land of the People of the Trees extends from the lakes of Dolomal to the Thorolis estate. The Doctor bought the land to protect the People, known to the Dascarians as primitives. The People are short, grey-furred bipeds with large dark eyes. They are arboreal. They refer to the Dascarians as urbargalim. Ziajad bushes grow in the land.

[The Doctor's home in this story is the Land of the People].

Location: Dascaris, [an Earth colony] that has been [abandoned for] centuries.

Unrecorded Adventures: The first Doctor's visit to Dascaris, when he saved the People of the Trees from the humans by buying their land. This was a century before this story and he had 3 companions. [Almost certainly Ian, Barbara & Susan.]

The Bottom Line: 'The first Doctor gave his word to the People of the Trees, to ensure the safety of their homeland.' There's a worthy attempt to depict the Peoples' culture, but its all a bit dull really.

Timeshare

Timeshare
Author(s): Vanessa Bishop
Doctor(s): Sixth Doctor
Companion(s): Peri Brown
Season(s): Season 22
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Roots: Timeshare holidays. There are references to Dr. Foster, Rembrandt, the Sphinx, Wuthering Heights, Flanders and Swann, George Bernard Shaw, Freud, Harley-Davidson, Gladstone, Jack Horner, Chopsticks, and Steamboat Wille.

Goofs: The description of the timeshare mechanism doesn't seem to make any sense.

Dialogue Triumphs: The Time Lord moaning about the Doctor is a classic scene.

[Earth] was simply teeming with exiles. They were particularly numerous in Radstock, and made up almost the entire population of Luxembourg.

Dialogue Disasters: 'We are talking about readjusting the timeline here, not changing a lightbulb!'

Continuity: The Doctor's coats contain a mouldy sandwich, a spoon, a piece of paper, a teddy, a bicycle clip and a big pile of other items but no pen. The Doctor has three other coats on the hatstand in the console room, including a green velvet jacket. He claims to be slightly myopic in his left eye. He also has 800 pairs of shoes and keeps his keys in them. The keys include a golf ball-sized crystal that he claims is the most important key on the planet Zircona, and a key shaped like a rubber duck. He has a top-secret pasta recipe, which relies largely on Tabasco sauce. His favourite sandwich flavour is peanut butter, lettuce and potato chip. He owns a H.O.P. timeshare on Earth in 1929, bequeathed to him in 1920 by a Mr. Woodruff. The Time Lords organized this, so that the Doctor can shut down the timeshare, and left a note with coordinates in his coat pocket; he misreads them and gets the date wrong.

H.O.P., Holiday Opportunity Promotions operated illegal timeshare schemes which were closed down by the Time Lords. These timeshares exist in several different time periods simultaneously. They don't just sell weeks and keep them booked each year but sell all weeks in all years but all at the same time. They had a reputation as racketeers, since they would bank the money earned in the appropriate time period and then collect it a week later with accumulated interest, three hundred years down the time line. When a tenant enters their timeshare, they are required to put enough money in the meter for their allotted week; if payment is accidentally doubled, it forces fourteen days into the space of a week causing temporal disruption. The Doctor undoes the problem by adjusting the meter to use up the extra money in half the time.

Peri's aunt had an apartment in Corfu.

The Time Lord sent to deal with the timeshare knows of the Doctor. He is in his twelfth incarnation and close to retirement. He considers the Sixth Doctor to be a troublemaker and much prefers the Fifth.

Woodruff was a member of a vampiric race, exiled to Earth by his own people; he used to timeshare to obtain humans to feed on. In his natural form, he is humanoid with rough, wart-like skin that glistens like oil.

[The Doctor's home in this story is the H.O.P. timeshare that the Time Lords arrange for Woodruff to bequeath to him]

Location: North Devon, the first week of November 1929.

The Bottom Line: 'Where are all the custard creams? Daft, but entertaining. Bishop captures the Sixth Doctor and Peri perfectly.

Question Mark Pyjamas

Question Mark Pyjamas
Author(s): Robert Perry and Mike Tucker
Doctor(s): Seventh Doctor
Companion(s): Ace, Bernice Summerfield
Season(s): Unknown
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Roots: Jurassic Park (exhibits from the past taken to make a theme park), Papa Was a Rolling Stone (Where ever I lay my house, that's my home), traditional proverbs (Home is where the house is). The story opens with a quotation from Joseph Beaumont. There are references to Blind Date, Bill Grundy and the Sex Pistols, the 1966 World Cup Final, and Mickey Mouse.. The Doctor quotes Alice in Wonderland ("Curiouser and curiouser").

Dialogue Triumphs: The Garpol/Blint interplay: 'there's been a slight problem with the grass.'

The Doctor:'The house likes to keep a good larder. It never knows who might drop by.'

Garpol: 'May I call you Bernice?'
Benny: 'Certainly. Only my friends call me Benny'

The Doctor/Benny/Ace family dynamic is hilarious.

Dialogue Disasters: Garpol: 'Take them to Exhibit Nineteen'

Garpol: 'We can still use replicants, you know. And you know what that means...'

Continuity: The Doctor's house normally resides in Kent and was built in the 19th century. There is a vintage Harley-Davidson in the shed, which the Doctor brought in his [third] incarnation, and a space hopper which Ace accidentally destroys. The wine cellars contain wine from every different period. The house isn't a TARDIS (TARDISes get terribly jealous so you couldn't possibly have more than one) but it is possible to link the wine cellars with the TARDIS. The Doctor states that it has been brought to Ararax XIV against its will. The house contains a nursery. There is a Baby grand piano in the living room.

Ace has never liked mornings, but mornings in the TARDIS always seem like lie-ins. The TARDIS has sonic showers that Ace thinks are inferior to water ones. She once went on a school trip to Wales. She read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe whilst at school.

The [Seventh] Doctor snores. The [Seventh] Doctor doesn't drink. The Braxatiel Heritage Trust, (of which the Doctor is on the board of Governors), can prosecute for theft of historical buildings and suchlike from around the cosmos and timestream. It can return all the buildings to their original locations [so Irving Braxatiel is definitely a Time Lord].

Benny knows the area containing the asteroid as little-explored quarter of the galaxy that has yielded some astonishing archaeological finds. To Benny's fury, Garpol assumes that she is Ace's mother.

A snowstorm kept on the mantelpiece of the Doctor's house fits into an indentation on the TARDIS console; it creates a dimensionally transcendental corridor between the wine cellars of the house and the TARDIS. The Doctor materialises the TARDIS around the house, so that he can return it to its proper location.

The Martians never reached the area of the galaxy containing the planetoid.

[The Doctor's home in this story is his house from Allen Road in Kent].

Location: The Ararax XIV Heritage Centre, an asteroid in another quadrant of the galaxy.

The Bottom Line: 'This is my house!' Set in the midst of the most angst-ridden era of the New Adventures, Question Mark Pyjamas feels decidedly unusual. The excessive fanwank on display hints at things to come from Perry and Tucker, specifically Prime Time. That said, the story is extremely funny.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke and Stephen Gray

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