Conflict of Interests

Goofs: The Sontarans are depicted here as being over six feet tall, which is rather inconsistent with their television appearances, even The Two Doctors.

Continuity: The Sontarans are on Aleph 777 to protect what they consider to be sites of extreme archeological importance; they are, in effect, a Sontaran FHD Detail [they might be trying to find the ultimate weapon - see The Final Quest]. Refreshingly, they don't speak English here, forcing Spaight to translate their language rather badly.

The Foreign Hazard Duty Command depot is on Rigel. The FHD have a saying about Sontarans, which goes "Can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em". The galactic survey manual recommends attempts at communication with alien species.

Aleph 777 is covered in mud and steam vents [or at least the region seen here is] and does not appear to be inhabited (c.f. The Final Quest). The Galactic Survey rates its ruins as sites of extreme archeological importance, which is why the FHD are sent to deal with the Sontarans.

Radio Free Antares is broadcast at whatever point in the future this story is set.

Links: The Sontarans appeared on television in The Time Warrior, The Sontaran Experiment, The Invasion of Time, and The Two Doctors. They've appeared in numerous books and comic strips since, and first appeared in Marvel's Doctor Who comic strip in the back-up strip The Final Quest, which was also partially set on Aleph 777. The FHD have appeared in several of Dan Abnett's Marvel Doctor Who comic strips, beginning with Echoes of the Mogor!.

Location: Aleph 777, date unknown [presumably thousands of years after the events of The Final Quest].

The Bottom Line: Hurriedly written to fill the first of several gaps left in the Doctor Who Magazine schedule when Evening's Empire Part Two failed to materialize, 'Conflict of Interests' boasts the sort of macho posturing that usually stems from Dan Abnett's pen. Nevertheless, it's quite amusing and although blatant filler is far from the worst thing that he's written. Richard Whitaker's artwork is the main highlight however, his stylized pencils recalling something of Mike McMahon and Adrian Salmon.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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