Invasion of the Cat-People

Roots: The Arabian scenes in Episode 4 draws heavily on the Arabian Nights interpretation of Baghdad. 'And with the Dark cometh the Cold.' Is a quote from somewhere. The comment that RTCs work 'very well, thank you.' is stolen from Star Trek designer Michael Okuda, who said it about part of the technology of Star Trek. The Lion Men of Mongo are from Flash Gordon and the Kzinti are a felinoid race from Larry Niven's Known Space series. The cat-race called the "mercenaries of Gin-Seng" are taken from "The Killer Cats of Ginseng" - a Doctor Who script that was abandoned in favour of The Invasion of Time due to budget constraints. Tim misquotes Macbeth "Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble".

Goofs: On page 48, the Doctor recognises the ex-room as a tool in ghost-hunting but on page 58, he's completely unaware of what it is.

Where did the sheep on page 134 come from?

The prologue dates the Euterpians' arrival at 3978 BC, but later it is claimed to be 40,000 years ago. Either way, the time scale seems to be too short to allow continental drift on the required scale. Lotuss and Thorgarsunella wrongly estimate that the Baghdad setting is 2,000 years ago, though on page 152 it's said to be 20,000 years ago. However, the clearly Islamic culture means it has to be at least the late 7th Century.

Tim claims that the magnetic strip on a credit card works like a computer - when it's really just the same technology as a cassette or video.

On page 207, Sydney claims that there were two Thorgarsunellas for just a minute when there have actually been two ever since she was left behind in Baghdad.

The TARDIS moves from the Ex-Room to the gatehouse between pages 256 and 257. However, the Doctor is unable to pilot it. [Maybe the HADS moved it automatically.]

Technobabble: The explanation for the freezing of time given on page 86 is that Earth's rotation has been stopped. However, This doesn't explain why the humans are frozen in time.

On RTC's: 'How do they work?' 'Very well. Thank you.'

Atimkos describes an ex-area as a transcendental field.

Chrono-chaos theory is the [Time Lord] term for making the slightest slip in interfering with your own past, which can cause you to not exist. This would irrevocably damage the web of time.

Dialogue Disasters: A great set-up followed by a rather disappointing put-down about the beacons: 'Sort of find-your-way-home-again things?'
'No. Sort of when-viewed-from-space-there's-a-nice-ring-to-cut-through-and-release-the-planet's-energies thing actually.'
'Oh. Like join the dots?'

Dialogue Triumphs: Ben on McDonalds: 'Food tastes like cardboard. Nothing changes.'

The Doctor: I'm not mad. Just alien.'
Carfrae: 'Alien?'
'Yes, Carfrae, alien. Like your Ms Thorsuun. Not from the same planet, of course, but nevertheless we're both not from around here.'
'Like not English?'
'Like not human.'

'One more prattle and I'll drill your heart out.'

'The "old Doctor what?" Ben? Hmm? Wouldn't be callous? Wouldn't dump Polly? Rubbish Ben, you know nothing about "the old Doctor". The old me! If you ever get home, look up Ian and Barbara, my old friends. Ask them about the caveman. Or should we ever return to find poor Steven, just mention the name Anne Chaplette and see what effect that has on him. Even Dodo - she'd have some stories to tell. Don't presume to place your pathetic human morals, ideology and nuances upon me, Benjamin Jackson.'

'That's the problem with world conquerors. You get paranoid so easily.'

Continuity: The Euterpians in 3978 detected traces of a matter/antimatter explosion in the last million years (suggested by a heavy particle flux over the far northwest). They also detected trace elements of warp-drive radiation suggesting visitation five hundred million years previously. This name was given them in the time of the Federation, when their widespread influence is known of. No-one knows why, how or where they died out. They had a warlike culture and wrote in musical notation. Their beacons split planets in two, releasing massive amounts of energy. Their path can be lit up by resonance and harmonics. They are placed every few kilometres. When illuminated, they expend the power of a thermonuclear warhead. The recon team are responsible for the aborigine dreamtime and songline myths. Atimkos and Thorgarasuunela spread this to many cultures, but only the Australian aborigines kept it. They, like the Time Lords, cross all the dimensional barriers of time, space and transcendentalism. They do it naturally and the Time Lords mechanically. They measure time in Spans. 11 Spans is one Earth Day. Ship time has an artificial day of 15 spans - 8 of which are used for sleep. Their world has, according to the Doctor, been gone for 10,000 years. They once investigated transcendental engineering (as with the TARDIS interior). Their RTC's often found their way to Gallifrey, often as books.

It is 3 weeks (subjectively) since Power of the Daleks. The TARDIS has shrunk 15cm (6 inches) since the regeneration. At that rate, by the 4th Doctor, the console room wouldn't be big enough to swing a cat in. Polly was unable to find the normal bathroom and found the swimming pool labelled Bathroom instead. Removing the time vector generator tucks the interior in an alternate dimension, leaving just the exo-shell. It also removes the field generator, making it easy to get in. It can't be kept out for long, or there will be irreparable damage. This also enables the exo-shell to become an anechoic chamber, reflecting sound back rather than absorbing and spreading it. There is a tin mine in the TARDIS, which Ben and Polly don't know about.

The Doctor has three screwdrivers in his pockets, one of which is too long to comfortably fit in any pocket. Amongst his junk, he also has a fob watch in his pocket, given to him at his academy graduation by an old friend reputedly selling illegal fake TARDISes to the Andromedans. Their bulkhead, as with most battle-cruisers, contains a certain amount of dwarf star alloy. He also mentions his academy chum Magnus (No Future, Goth Opera. Divided Loyalties). He also has a cricket ball in his hand. [He probably hasn't learnt to play yet, but picked up some details of the game during The Daleks' Master Plan.]

Ben went to sea aged 14 in 1956, sneaking aboard his late father's cargo ship. When his first captain found out and was told of Ben's home situation, offered him a proper job at 15 (which was 4 months away). He didn't get on with his stepfather Alfred. He's hardly had a drop of beer since being in the TARDIS. He was involved in radar operations.

Polly got separated from her mum in Fortnum and Mason's when she was 6. When she was 10, her uncle Charles took her into a fortune-teller's tent at a fairground. Her friends Paul and Penny from University were heavily into CND. The Doctor believes that her only real fault is trusting everyone until she's learned otherwise. She and her cousin Bette used to go to Carnaby Street every Saturday. Two other friends were Kitty and Brenda. When she was almost 21, she split up with her boyfriend Roger. The next week, she saw him with another girl (Lucy Miller) in Carnaby Street. She then decided to take the job that Uncle Charles had fixed for her. [Part of] the reason she wanted to travel with the Doctor and Ben was to get away from these associations of Carnaby Street. [But this is about three years later?!]. Her youngest brother Miles, aged 12, can read maps, whilst she can't.

Cat People, or Felinetta, are a widespread race of galactic scavengers, originally from the Lynx constellation. Some of their races include: the Lion-men of Mongo, the Felinoids of Cait & the Mercenaries of Gin-Seng. The Aegis have been known to use metamorphic cats in their undercover missions. They come from worlds like Vedela & Capella. They include Kzinti warriors.

This particular group of Cat-People eradicated an entire race of Reptiles on Kalidon and skirmished with Gargar rebels on the frontier world of the Maskill system. Lotuss lost her eye in that conflict thanks to a land mine which killed her first litter-mate Ramuth. [They think] that their ships are the most powerful in the galaxy. [But surely Tzun Stormblades claim that title - see First Frontier and Lords of the Storm.] They have created a "fear-barrier" around their ship in Baghdad, it's some kind of deflector shield. Gingers are genetic throwbacks and thus rarely have little fighting instinct. Chief engineer is an executive post with no military rank, merely a command base. Their queen refers to the twelve galaxies in an emergency broadcast.

George Smithers lived near Windscale/Sellafield for the last 20 years of his working life and in Cumbria all his life. His son died of Leukemia in 1987 and his wife of Lung Cancer in 1991. His holiday to Majorca was the first time he had been further south than Duckenfield in 47 years. Nate Simms went to Australia 24 months ago.

Nicholas Bridgeman was born a couple of years after the end of World War 2. His dad, Alexander K. Bridgeman was invalided out of the RAF after 10 year as a flight lieutenant on Air/Sea rescue craft. They moved to Newcastle's shipyards. Five days after Nicholas' 9th birthday, his dad was injured in a bus crash. He was declared a vegetable and lived in a wheelchair at home. Nicholas went to Manchester Uni, studying science and on his first visit home, his Mum killed his dad and herself to give Nicholas a freed up life. He went on to become a professor at UMIST and Greenwich.

RTCs (Reverse Tachyon Chronons) are known only to 2 races, one [the Euterpians] being only a legend. The Time Lords banned them as they were dangerous. Put under an X-ray, it would heat up. Put under a spectrograph, the feedback would destroy the machine. People can't even bend the pages of a book coated in them. They can make things younger/newer. When placed in an ex-area, they can create an almost impenetrable barrier. [At least, it keeps the Cat-People out and Atimkos can't physically get in, though he can project himself.]

The Doctor says that ghosts are after images etched into fixtures. They are activated by the correct resonance or electricity in the atmosphere. Thus you can only get ghosts from the future in new buildings, and they're quite different.

Simon Griffiths is from Castle Hill, New South Wales. He's 23 & 4 months & is 5 foot 9 & 10 stone 8. His (still living) parents are Daniel Adam and Denise Janice.

Humanoid brains are very susceptible to ultrasonics. In the mid-80's, secret government experiments tried out sonics as a weapon. The slightest out of resonance harmonic can temporarily make a human very susceptible to subliminal or coercive suggestions.

Karen Kuykendall created the Tarot of the Cat People in 1985

Links: Atimkos found posing as a goth risky earlier in the year in Manchester (Goth Opera). Mention is made of the Doctor's regeneration (The Tenth Planet/Power of the Daleks). Polly recalls meeting Daleks (Power of the Daleks) and Cybermen (The Tenth Planet) but not monsters. The Doctor's list of Cat-People includes the Cheetah People and their genetically-engineered Kitlings (Survival).

The Doctor says that 'Homer got [the Iliad] wrong. I was there.' (The Myth Makers.) He also says that he's intending to buy a house either here or Kent (the house on Allen Road is in Kent). Descriptions of the RTCs are reminiscent of The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey (Shada (TV)).

Adoon says 'She is an evil sand-demon, an evil since the dawn of time.' Doctor: 'Put like that, yes. Nice turn of phrase by the way.' (The Curse of Fenric).

A random woman says that Polly looked exactly like a friend called Michelle [Leuppi] did 28 years ago (1966) (The Faceless Ones). The Doctor mentions events from An Unearthly Child and The Massacre.

The galaxy is called Mutter's Spiral (The Deadly Assassin, The Invasion of Time). An Even Briefer History of Time is by Lord Rhukk (Theatre of War, Legacy), and there's a mention of the Braxiatel Collection (City of Death, Theatre of War). The cat people see signs of a lost civilization on Mars (Ice Warriors or the Osirian pyramid?) and mention that Venus once had life (Venusian Lullaby) Ben and Polly recall the events of The War Machines at several points. There's a brief mention of Smugglers in Cornwall (The Smugglers).

The Doctor mentions Barbara, Susan, Vicki, Steven, and Dodo. Ben and Polly mention their trip to the South Pole in 1986 (The Tenth Planet. Tim claims that silicon-based lifeforms do cellular regeneration all the time (The Hand of Fear). Thorsunn explains the Mawdryn Undead version of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect - though it isn't named. Polly mentions her trip to Vulcan (Power of the Daleks). The Doctor mentions that the Cat People's ships use dwarf star alloy (Warrior's Gate). The Doctor temporarily removes the time vector generator (The Wheel in Space, Birthright, Iceberg). Earth being an attractive invasion target due to its magnetic core was last seen in The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The Euterpians make use of the principle that singing the right notes can be used to manipulate the physical world (Theatre of War).

Location: The Euterpians arrive in 3978 BC (page 1), though this is later dated 38,000 BC. It's 1994 (page 9). The main story seems to start on 8th July 1994 in a mansion right next to the Irish Sea coast in Cumbria. There is a brief trip to the same location last century, referred to as 1874 by Atimkos (page 134), but Tarwildbining mentions the date 1875 (page 127). The trip to Baghdad is the same time period as The Arabian Nights. Also Australia July 1994.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor claims to have borrowed the plans for the Bathroom (swimming pool) from Claudius Caesar (nice old chap, but had a dreadful stammer).

The Bottom Line: Gary Russell has captured the second Doctor, Ben, and Polly very well simply by contrasting the first and second Doctors and the 1960s and the 1990s. The other characters are well realised and the plot works quite well, despite inconsistencies.

Discontinuity Guide by Stephen Gray
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