Roots: Alien (Johan's death). There is a reference to Botticelli's Venus.
Dialogue Triumphs: "When you've travelled as far and as wide as I have, Fitz, then you'll begin to appreciate the beauty and delicate sadness of the interconnectedness of all things."
Continuity: The Dominion is an extradimensional anomaly, composed entirely of rock, with entire ecosystems in the vast caverns, which different coloured seas for "skies" and much lower gravity than Earth. Professor Nagle's experiments with the Telecongruency Warp Generator result in the Zeta Node ending up in the Dominion, creating an Einstein-Rosen bridge between Earth and the Dominion, allowing life forms from the Dominion through and creating a dimensional anomaly that could destroy Earth. The Dominion is eventually destroyed by the energy drain into our universe via a CVE - it is one of the pocket universes that sustains our universe past the point of collapse (Logopolis). The manifestation of the destructive entropic effect is a phenomenon that the T'hiili describe as the Blight.
The Bane have rows of needle-like teeth in a chomping, circular mouth, nine black eyes, and two thickly muscled frog-like legs ending in claws. They have greenish flesh bristling with cactus-like spines. Their blood is green. A Bane's powerful body is almost spherical tapering to the mouth at the front. They are larger than a Labrador. The Ruin have a bright orange body shaped like an hourglass with an opening at each end from which fleshy tentacles emerge. They have six long, jointed black legs splayed out from the waist. They grow so large that their bodies are the size of a van. They are parasitic and can lay their eggs in a human's gut, but usually parasitize the T'hiili. Both the Bane and the Ruin are unintelligent. The T'hiili are intelligent humanoids with pale green skin, thin, stick-like limbs, webbed feet, and elongated heads with small red mouths and long tongues. They have feathery yellow hair, perfectly round green eyes, and dress in pale blue leaf-like garments. They live in nests and are effectively "workers", whilst the T'vorha are a warrior offshoot of the T'hiili; both types are produced by the T'hiili Queen. She is fertilised by T'hiili secretions. Their salivary glands secrete enzymes, which they can tailor to their needs: Itharquell secrets one that allows Sam to communicate telepathically with him. The T'hiili grow living dirigibles from seeds and use them as a means of transport. They haven't discovered fire until Fitz introduces them to it. The various life forms in the Dominion can't survive for long on Earth, since the gravity is too high and destroys their internal organs. Another species in the Dominion has a black, bottle-shaped body, with four thin, tapering wings, and a round hole at the "head" end surrounded by a ring of bright-blue button-like eyes. Other creatures resemble giant preying mantises with blue skin.
The Doctor can smell pollutants in Earth's atmosphere and recognises Sweden from the architecture. He again uses his UNIT credentials to try and impress, claiming that Fitz's his assistant and that Sam is another UNIT operative. He still carries a UNIT pass bearing a photograph of his Third incarnation. He prefers tea to coffee. The Doctor carries a tiny cybernetic mosquito originally designed in the thirtieth century to surreptitiously take blood samples from potential plague victims on colony worlds and so that they can be tagged, traced and if necessary eliminated: the Doctor uses it to take a blood sample from Johan. He puts Johan into a simple hypnotic trance. He sometimes gets flashes of people's futures (see The TV Movie). Lindgard shoots him with a tranquiliser gun. He hates being locked up (see Seeing I). He loathes pastel colour schemes. He manages to create a mental bond with a T'vorha.
Sam is transported out of the TARDIS and into the Dominion when the wormhole penetrates it. The books, CDs and chessboard from Sam's room get transported along with her. She wears a Mansun t-shirt. She eats a brown, fungus-like food in the Dominion. She eats an enzymatic infusion in the form of a yellowish liquid to allow telepathic communication with the T'hiili.
Fitz dumps his long heavy coat here. He later dons a lumberjack shirt and T'vorha armour. He still smokes and apparently restocked on Camels during the events of Revolution Man. He carries a silver lighter. His hair is still short, following his haircut in Revolution Man.
An offshoot of the wormhole created between Earth and the Dominion penetrates the TARDIS interior, rupturing the dimensional interface: theoretically even a vortex infarction (The Crystal Bucephalus) nor a time scoop (The Five Doctors) can do that. The Cloister Bell rings in response (Logopolis, Castrovalva, Enlightenment). The damage to the TARDIS is so bad that the telepathic circuits stop working, thus meaning that it can't translate Swedish for Fitz and Sam. It reverts to its original shape (a grey cube three metres across) whilst diverting energy from the outer shell to repair the damage, locking the Doctor out in the process. When the Doctor manages to regain entry to it, the console is a plinth in the middle of a grassy, butterfly-filled meadow: the usual architecture snaps back into place when he telepathically links to the TARDIS, helping it to heal. He uses the dimensional inhibitors to stop the damage caused by the wormhole from spreading. He adjusts the gravity in the butterfly room to suit the T'hiili so that he can save them from the Dominion. He puts the TARDIS in hover mode outside of space and time again (Logopolis). He uses the TARDIS to repair the dimensional rift between the Dominion and our universe, and uses the dimensional stabiliser to contain the energy of the collapsing wormhole so that it only destroys the TC Warp Generator and UNIT base. There is a copy of the memoirs of Field Marshall Douglas Haig in the TARDIS library.
Professor Jennifer Nagle has been a UNIT scientist for twenty years, having tried to find about the organisation after finishing her PhD, until they eventually recruited her. She and several other UNIT personnel have recently been requisitioned by C19 and are working on a captured Telecongruency Warp Generator. She is killed during the destruction of the UNIT base, when she tries to rescue her research. According to C19 Captain Rogers, the Eighth Doctor has been spotted on and off since 1997 (The Dying Days). Lindgard works for C19 (Time-Flight, Who Killed Kennedy, The Scales of Injustice). C19 uses the guise of the State Biohazard Protection Unit as a cover for their operations. They still fund UNIT, taking possession of any captured alien technology in return. Major Gareth Wolstencroft has served in UNIT for years, and fought monsters in the deserts of Keberia (Dancing the Code) and the Welsh valleys (The Green Death). He first joined UNIT just before the first Auton invasion (Spearhead from Space). He blames the Doctor for the deaths of many UNIT soldiers.
Links: Fitz recalls the events of the last two years of his life (Revolution Man) and Charles Roley (The Taint). The Doctor mentions, Rassilon, Telos and Skaro. He namechecks Brigadier Bambera (Battlefield). Sam recalls Janus Prime (The Janus Conjunction). At the end of the novel he promises to drop off the T'hiili on a suitable planet before heading to San Francisco to investigate a dimensional anomaly, which leads into Unnatural History. He notes that San Francisco is where he regenerated (The TV Movie).
Location: In and around Strängnäs, Sweden, over several days from 31st July 1999; the Dominion.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor claims to have studied under Hippocrates.
The Bottom Line: An impressive debut from Walters, with some great world-building, excellent characterisation, and a plot that starts quietly and gradually snowballs towards Armageddon. Sidelining Sam for the first part of the novel allows Walters to focus on the growing relationship between the Doctor and Fitz, to great effect.