The Deadstone Memorial
Roots: The Exorcist (Cal's behaviour whilst possessed); Sapphire and Steel 'Adventure Two' (Cal's eyes turn black when he's possessed). There are references to Scooby-Doo, Nokia, Eminem, The Tweenies, Action Man, Treasure Island (and Long John Silver specifically), Star Trek (Trix mentions a mind-meld), Pop Idol, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, John Milton, Holby City, Jane Austen, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Helsing, the Famous Five, Mary Poppins, M. R. James, Gordon's gin, Benoit Mandelbrot, Monopoly, Newsround, and Hobnobs.
Dialogue Disasters: A groan please, for that hoary old chestnut, "I don't even know your name. Doctor who?"
Dialogue Triumphs: "There's no such thing as a sceptic - only disappointed dreamers."
Continuity: The alien originates from another dimension and is telepathic. It crash-materialized in England c1800, during which it split into two wholly separate organisms, the psychic energy and the ectoplasm; confused and in pain, the psychic energy encountered Henry Deadstone, who agreed to feed and nurture it in exchange for which it gave him enough of its psychic energy to make him invulnerable and slow down the ageing process. The ectoplasm is roughly humanoid, but is transparent, allowing its internal organs to be visible. Its other half became trapped below the ground, and formed the soil creature out of soil, roots and worms animated by its psychic energy. Recombined in its own dimension, the creature resembles a cross between a vast jellyfish and a blossoming flower.
The Doctor carries his Gladstone bag again (Timeless), which contains Gobstoppers, Fizz Bombs, Jelly Babies, an Eagle comic from the 1950s, and a psionic beam locator. He gives Cal an everlasting felt-tip pen that can produce any colour. He has always had a liking for hot, sweet tea "like the army makes" [presumably a hangover to his forgotten days with UNIT] and usually starts the day with a cup of lapsang souchong with a dab of honey. He also likes Assam and China Yunnan. He snaps his Stradivarius violin in half in the TARDIS during a fit of pique (see The Year of Intelligent Tigers). He claims to be a scientist, inventor, explorer, expert swordsman, violinist and poet. He cooks baked salmon with a classic English parsley sauce for the McKeown family, and later makes a full English breakfast and a Lancashire hotpot. He isn't overly keen on garlic. He carries Custard Creams, which are his favourite biscuits. The TARDIS contains a chess set made of ebony and ivory, given to the Doctor by Winston Churchill as a thank you gift; he set the game up to play against himself because nobody else could provide a good enough game, but the pieces keep moving, leading him to believe that the TARDIS is haunted [the mysterious phantom that moves the pieces is an old man with white hair and the face of a skull, possibly a reference to Faction Paradox (The Ancestor Cell)]. The Doctor speaks to an image of the Master in a mirror in the TARDIS, and demands to know who he is (see Sometime Never...). The Doctor builds a device to create a physic interference field around Cal's head, consisting of a metal colander with a large pack of AA batteries taped to the top, and a cannibalized transceiver, made from a personal CD player, connected to a telepathic circuit from the TARDIS, all connected by coiled telephone cables, with a torch bulb. The Doctor uses an old Red Indian hypnosis trick to stop Fitz feeling the pain from his broken wrist, which involves grabbing Fitz's wrist with one hand, whilst placing the other on his head and shouting "youwillnotfeelanypain". The Doctor gets two broken ribs when he runs out in front of a car.
Wine makes Fitz morose. He takes his tea with two sugars. He smokes Gauloise cigarettes. On the Doctor's orders, he almost never smokes in the TARDIS. His next-door neighbour used to be a rat catcher for the local council. The creature breaks Fitz's wrist. Following his experiences here, Fitz's develops a fear of rats. He finds an old reefer jacket in the TARDIS.
Trix dons a pair of well-cut trousers, a brand new puffer jacket and a baseball cap. She later changes into bootleg jeans, heeled boots, and a long Afghan-style suede coat, and then suede bootlegs and a sweater. She owns a mobile phone. She introduces herself as Nurse MacAlister and later telephones her mother, confirming that MacAlister is her real surname. She telephones Anji, having posted a copy of one of the following year's Financial Times "to the usual address" (see Timeless).
The TARDIS library contains a Venusian translation of Beatrix Potter, Another Brief History of Time, Quantum Tachyonics in Time Travel, A Princess of Mars signed "To my good friend the Doctor, many thanks" by the author, and the Blue Peter Thirteenth Book. The TARDIS contains an art gallery, a room containing a huge collection of clocks, and a greenhouse in the which the Doctor grows his own tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn and something that looks like a plant but turns around and watches anyone walking past. The TARDIS also contains a huge spiral staircase, and a lift with a large number of buttons. The Doctor has labelled various buttons on the console by writing next to them on the console; these include the "emergency flip-flop" switch and the fast return switch (The Edge of Destruction). There is an infirmary with a fully equipped operating theatre.
The Doctor claims that a hyper-modulated visio-graph net is used on the planet Mongo, although he's possibly joking.
Links: There are references to the Alpha Centaurans (The Curse of Peladon), Professor X (Return of the Living Dad), and Eskon (Coldheart). The Doctor recalls his century spent trapped on Earth (The Burning to Escape Velocity). There is an allusion to Miranda (Father Time, Sometime Never...).
Location: England, during a November in the early twenty-first century.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has witnessed psychic possession on the planet Kufan. He knew Edgar Allen Poe. He may have been at the Battle of the Alamo
The Bottom Line: After the atrocious Fear of the Dark, Baxendale produces a rather enjoyable horror story, with a great villain in the form of Old Man Crawley. The story moves along a cracking pace, and the novel takes time to strengthen the bonds between the Doctor and Fitz in a way that suggests the final two EDAs are going to finally see Fitz's departure, one way or another.