The Depths of Despair
Roots: Global warming, The Drowned World, Peter Blenchley’s The Beast, the Star Trek episode Devil in the Dark.
Continuity: Flydon Maxima is part of the Flydon Agglomeration. It has a weak yellow sun. It is nicknamed “Despair”, because the inhabitants realised that their carbon emissions had caused global warming, which melted the planet’s ice caps and flooded it. Before the ice caps melted, eighty-eight percent of the planet’s surface was water; afterwards, the planet was entirely covered by water. The oceans are tidal due to the pull of the planet’s single moon and affect the climate. The inhabitants either survived by living in floating cities and living on fish and seaweed, or fled to the smaller neighbouring planet Flydon Minima.
The inhabitants of Flydon Maxima are humanoid.
The Blaska live in the oceans of Flydon Maxima and resemble a giant cross between an octopus and a jellyfish. Their eggs resemble small lumps of coral. They are named after Theodore Blaska, who first catalogued them.
The Dreadbringers are the Military and Law Enforcement arm of the Darksmith Collective. They wear armour [assuming that they are actually Karagulans and Darksmiths, this may be partly to protect them from sunlight].
Varlos fled the Darksmiths and hid the Eternity Crystal because he was horrified by what he had created, especially when he discovered the identity of the Darksmiths’ clients. He was considered the greatest of the Darksmiths and had a reputation for being able to manipulate time and space. Gisella is Varlos’ daughter. He brought her to Flydon Maxima years earlier to hide her from the Darksmiths and then left.
The Doctor again adopts the alias Doctor Smith.
Links: The Colour of Darkness, The Vampire of Paris. The Doctor mentions Pyroviles (The Fires of Pompeii).
Location: Flydon Maxima [the twenty-first century].
The Bottom Line: A functional runaround, with some memorable monsters. The Dreadbringers’ arrival ups the pace, and with the revelation that Gisella is Varlos’ daughter, the larger story arc continues to leap forwards.