The Blue Angel
Roots: Star Trek (the Nepotist). There are references to Tupperware, Bette Davis, Morris Minors, the Bible, Michael Moorcock, Brian Aldiss, J. G. Ballard, Edmund Cooper, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Cilla Black, the Rolling Stones' "Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday", The Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, Earthquake, The Wizard of Oz, the Blake's 7 episode 'The City on the Edge of Forever', Marks and Spencer's, Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne, Abba's "I Believe in Angels", Oedipus, Planet of the Apes, James Bond and Goldfinger, and Merlin.
There is a reference to the Doctor Who Weekly comic strip City of the Damned.
Goofs: It would be nice to have answers to some of the questions raised at the end.
Double Entendres: Chapter Thirty-Five is entitled "Iris Made Fitz Come..."
Dialogue Triumphs: "What do you want with us?"
"Simply to provoke you, Captain."
"When I say "people like this", you realise of course I really mean "villainous scum"."
Continuity: The Glass Men of Valcea ride in wheelchairs powered by static electricity. They are giant humanoids and are indeed made of glass. Their hearts, which have malign faces, are visible in their chests. Their ruler is King Daedalus, a green humanoid with the head of an elephant. He is infested with mouse-like parasites. He was turned into a green elephant by mystics on Hyspero, who considered him to be troublesome and wanted to teach him a lesson. He fled to the pocket universe known as the Obverse, which is connected to the universe by the Enclave, from where the Glass Men of Valcea hail. Daedalus wants to rule the Enclave. He previously attacked the Federation planet Nova-Kain Six, wiping out much of its civilisation, and meeting Iris in the process. Daedalus wants the Glass Men to become the Enclave's equivalent of the Daleks. He apparently knows that the Doctor had the opportunity to avert the Daleks' creation (Genesis of the Daleks).
The Ghillighast are four feet tall, covered with glossy black fur, and have wings. There are rumours about them on many worlds and they have been the Glass Men's sworn enemies for centuries. They have apparently mastered various arcane arts, reputedly involving the control of lice. They live on a moon in the Enclave. Other species native to the Enclave include Sahmbekarts (which are lizard-like and have massively disproportionate jaws brimming with small teeth), Steigertrudes (which have grey fur and tusks - see The Scarlet Empress), giant Owls, and some stringy horse-like creatures with purple scales. The Steigertrudes are pledged to burn artworks wherever they find them.
If Daedalus is to be believed, Canonicity and Likelihood are the names of two towers to the north of the Capitol on Gallifrey. Daedalus extends the transdimensional Corridors of the Glass City to Skaro, Telosa, Wertherkind and Sonturak.
Icarus is an angel-like winged humanoid hatched from an egg stolen from the Owls by Daedalus. The owls claim that their god, a great white bird [the White Guardian?] gave them the egg, of which there is another.
Belinda transforms into a giant mauve squid. It isn't made clear how or why this happens.
Iris Wildthyme is currently in her "Jane Fonda" incarnation and has masses of honey-blonde hair. She mentions Sam. She dresses in knee-high yellow plastic boots and an extremely tight-fitting purple and pink catsuit. She recalls meeting seven of her other incarnations in the Death Zone. She has decided that Cilla Black's "Love's Just a Broken heart" is hers and the Doctor's song. Her third body was based on Shirley Bassett. The stairwell of her TARDIS contains a phone in a cupboard, which utilises biotechnology. She helped Jacqueline Susann write The Love Machine, in return for which Susann gave her a gold and cream embroidered kaftan and a cigarette holder. She also has a pair of red patent-leather boots: she changes into the boots and kaftan here. She had a companion named David for a while, and another named Nigel. She used to have a harpoon gun but was forced to abandon it on Skaro whilst making a hurried escape from the Daleks. She telepathically links with the Doctor (see The Three Doctors). She claims that the Obverse is her home, and that she is not who she claims [which may mean that she is not, in fact, a Time Lady, or that she's a Time Lady from the Obverse - if the Obverse does indeed have parallels with the universe, this might also explain why she seems to have had so many similar adventures to the Doctor]. The questions at the end of the novel raise the possibility that she lives backwards through time.
The Doctor spends some time living in a Georgian house with his lodgers Fitz and Compassion, taking green pills prescribed by his doctor, who resembles his Third incarnation [he's either been tricked and is being drugged, or he actually lives there and all of his adventures in time and space are dreams, or this is an Obverse version of the Doctor] He once had a dog name "canine". His mother, a mermaid, calls him Jonny. Whilst living in the house, Fitz reads the Doctor's Aja'ib (The Scarlet Empress).
The Doctor may have a fat future incarnation who dresses in a Napoleon hat, waistcoat and eye patch, and has a large moustache.
Fitz pretends to be the Doctor when he first meets Iris. Iris later kisses him.
It is confirmed that Compassion has joined the TARDIS crew (see Interference: Book Two). Assuming the sequences set in the Georgian house have any bearing on anything, she has a perfect photographic memory. She manages to operate the TARDIS, but has no idea how...
Links: The Scarlet Empress. The Doctor recalls spending three years in prison on Ha'olam (Seeing I. There are Alpha Centaurans on board the Nepotist (The Curse of Peladon, The Monster of Peladon, Legacy). There are references to the Keys of Marinus (The Keys of Marinus), Zolpha Thura (Meglos), the Doctor kissing Grace in San Francisco (The TV Movie), Daleks, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Zygons (Terror of the Zygons, The Bodysnatcher), Draconians (Frontier in Space), Ice Warriors, Sontarans, and Cybermen. There are also references to the Doctor's role as Time's Champion. The Doctor thinks he's fought giant spiders, but suddenly seems uncertain (Planet of the Spiders, Interference: Book Two).
Location: Newton Aycliffe and Gateshead, December ; the Nepotist and the Glass City of Valcea, [c3639 according to Lance Parkin's AHistory].
Future History: The Nepotist is a Galactic Federation ship en route to Peladon. As a result of events here, war breaks out between the Obverse and the universe, with both the Galactic Federation and the Daleks involved.
Unrecorded Adventures: The [Obverse?] Doctor has visited Florence, Italy, where he bought some blue kitchen utensils.
The Third Doctor met Dusty Springfield in the 1970s, when she was hired by UNIT to go undercover in Memphis.
The Bottom Line: "It's wasteful and ostentatious." The prose is quite splendid and its nice to see Iris again, but this is a massive disappointment after The Scarlet Empress. Whereas that was magical, this is merely obtuse, deliberately raising unanswered questions in a way that irritates rather than intrigues. There's no explanation for much of what's going on, which might be intended to make Magrs and Hoad look clever, but actually creates the impression that they were making things up as they went along with little thought given to form or structure.