Downtime

Roots: There are references to Sleeping Beauty, Harold Wilson, War of the Worlds, Frank Sinatra, Queen Victoria, John Lennon, Che Guevara, McDonalds, Cadbury's Dairy Milk, CNN, the BBC, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Robert Maxwell, Malcolm Bradbury, BAFTAs, the Standard, The Times, The Antiques Roadshow, and Attila the Hun. A baby Yeti Traversii bites Margaret Thatcher at London Zoo. Sarah threatens K9 with Pets Win Prizes.

Goofs: Sarah claims that she is a rotten shot, which contradicts Pyramids of Mars [she's being very modest].

Dialogue Triumphs: 'Resistance is obviously... what's the word?'

Continuity: Following the events of The Web of Fear, the Great Intelligence was partially trapped on Earth and maintained a hold in the body of Edward Travers. Its power was bound to Earth by one last Locus, one of the Yeti models originally from Tibet, kept as a souvenir by the Brigadier and given to his daughter Kate when she was a child. Professor Travers was officially declared dead on 25th December 1980, but the Great Intelligence animated his corpse after his death to further aid its plan, guiding Victoria to him when she searches for her father. The Intelligence can possess animals. It uses New World University to consolidate its strength, planning to invade Earth via the Internet; it has been slowly infiltrating Earth's power systems ever since the Doctor defeated it. It uses the Internet to invade computer systems all over the world, taking control of computer systems, weapons, transport, and nuclear reactors. Despite its claims, the result of all of this is that it is trapped in machines, based in the computer mainframe at New World; the destruction of the mainframe breaks its hold on Earth, banishing it. The Intelligence's new breed of Yeti are based on nanotechnology; the Control Spheres physically transform human victims into organic Yeti with massive yellow fangs; because they are organic, they are more vulnerable to projectile weapons than their robotic predecessors.

Victoria's middle name is Maud. As a child, Victoria disliked tea. Victoria lived with the Harrises for ten years before making a break in 1984 at the age of twenty-eight (Fury from the Deep). Her father's full name was Edward Joseph Waterfield; solicitors Byle and Leviticcus are executors of his estate, Victoria claiming her inheritance in 1984 whilst lodging with Mrs Cywynski. The original Mr Byle originally drew up Edward's will in July 1865; Waterfield died in July 1865, dating The Evil of the Daleks to that year. A new will, in Waterfield's hand, was drawn up in May 1966, as part of the Great Intelligence's plan to manipulate Victoria into aiding it. Victoria reads Karl Marx's Das Kapital in 1984. By the nineteen-nineties, she has established the New World University, which she runs as Vice Chancellor with Professor Travers serving as the Chancellor. Following the defeat of the Great Intelligence, the Third and Fourth Doctors visit her and offer to take her away with them; she declines [presumably, it is after this that she rejoins the Second Doctor and Jamie between The War Games and Spearhead from Space - see The Two Doctors].

Sarah Jane once interviewed Professor Travers for Metropolitan. She and Victoria meet here, when Sarah investigates New World. Sarah drives a Spitfire. She claims that the Doctor has owed her ten pounds for about twenty years.

K9 Mark III has stored one hundred and ninety-six thousand, seven hundred and thirty-nine telephone numbers.

Shortly after the events of The Web of Fear, the newly promoted Brigadier was a member of the Alexander Club on Great Portland Street, as was Air Vice-Marshal Gilmore. Gilmore tells the Brigadier about the Shoreditch incident (Remembrance of the Daleks). By the nineteen-nineties, the Brigadier's daughter Kate has a nearly five-year old son, Gordon James, or Gordy for short, named after his grandfather. They live on the houseboat Mananda. She hasn't spoken to her father for six years. He is unaware that he has a grandson until he is reunited with Kate here. She has a teddy bear called Aloysius that Alistair won for her in a shilling raffle; she has passed it on to Gordy. During the nineteen-nineties, the Brigadier is till teaching mathematics at Brendon School (Mawdryn Undead). He taught New World student Daniel Hinton before the boy was expelled. The Brigadier drives a Range Rover. He still carries his Browning automatic.

Captain Douglas Cavendish is a member of UNIT's Virtual Ordnance Group. The Brigadier's era is known as the Blunder days, a contraction of "Blood and Thunder". Brigadier Crichton (The Five Doctors) has now replaced Lethbridge-Stewart. Bambera (Battlefield) is currently a Captain .

By 1984, three species of Yeti have been formally identified and classified; Mih-teh and Dzu-teh are related to apes, whilst Yeti Traversii is more bear like and notoriously timid; there are examples of the latter in London Zoo. Thonmi is now Abbot at Det-sen. Det-sen is located on the Tingri plains; it is destroyed in an explosion caused by the Intelligence. Harold Chorley hosted a television programme called Yours Chorley at some point prior to the nineteen-nineties (The Web of Fear) and has met Sarah Jane before. Following the events of The Daemons there was a public outcry at the destruction of the church at Devil's End, resulting in questions in the Houses of Parliament, and a near riot at the General Synod; only the secret capture of the Master swayed the committee of enquiry's verdict in UNIT's favour.

Links: The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear, The Evil of the Daleks. Gilmore mentions archive files on alien incursions throughout history, including evidence in Peru (Death to the Daleks, The Left-Handed Hummingbird), and the times of the Pharaohs (Pyramids of Mars, City of Death). There are references to Cybermen (The Invasion) and Dæmons (The Daemons). Following her meeting with Victoria, Sarah remembers trying on her old dress in the TARDIS (Pyramids of Mars).

Location: Oxford, 1957; Highgate, 1984; Det-sen Monastery, Tibet, 1984; London 1994.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has met Lewis Carroll and Leos Janácek.

The Bottom Line: With Yetis, the Great Intelligence, Sarah Jane, the Brigadier, and Victoria, Downtime is unashamedly fannish. However, Platt's writing, both for the script of the video release and for the expanded novel, means that is hugely rewarding and manages to avoid feeling indulgent. Highly recommended.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke
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