The Eye of the Giant

Roots: 30s Pulp Fiction and Land of the Giants (the giant animals). 1984. Boy's Own. Nancy Grover's role in the alternate universe is reminiscent of the beast in Revelation. Mike is reminded of a quote from HG Wells' The Time Machine. Benton compares the ghosts to blithe spirits by Noël Coward. Fritz Lang's Metropolis (the alternate London design). Mysterious Island. There are references to King Kong, Boy's Own, Orwell's 1984, and Heath Robinson.

Goofs: Something is 'not my idea of early morning viewing' - according to the Brigadier on page 122, when it's not early morning.

The bridge keeps functioning even when the generator room is absorbed into the other reality. How does the time bridge stay focused on the ship after the destruction of the spaceship? Surely it should stay centred on the fragment that UNIT recovered.

The Time Space Visualiser is referred to throughout as the Space-Time Visualizer.

On page 252, the Doctor defers to Brokk by name, despite never having been told it.

Technobabble: The time phase oscillator, photon accelerator coils and tachyon beam collimator are all parts of the TARDIS console. Omicron radiation. A retro-active temporal re-adjustment would occur if a trip to the past significantly altered recorded events.

Dialogue Disasters: 'Lummy!' is the best oath that Benton, a professional soldier, can come up with.

Dialogue Triumphs: The Brigadier: 'Terrible at taking orders, these scientific types, but engage their curiosity and there's no stopping them.'

The Doctor to Liz: 'You've no idea how it feels to be confined to just one planet and time... Well, I suppose you do.'

Continuity: The Grold are flourosilicone life forms, meaning that their bodies more closely resemble stone than flesh. They need temperatures of several hundred degrees in order to function properly. The Grold home planet has much lower gravity than does Earth and a thin-trace atmosphere, as a result of which they have no sense of hearing, although they are sensitive to vibrations. In their exo-suits they look like eighteen-foot tall humanoids with crude features, six fingers, a humped back, and overlarge flattened feet. They have stick-like ribs running up the sides of their legs, which are actually a powered exo-skeleton. Their heads are smooth domes with a severe down-turned slash for a mouth, widespread v-shaped slits where a human's cheekbones would be for nostrils, a single huge ruby-red eye the size of a football. This eye-brain contains the Grold's consciousness. Grold can use hypnosis to dominate the minds of humans [possibly only when the humans are looking into the Grold's eye], but not the Doctor. They can fire energy beams from their eyes. Grold ships resemble dull black eggs and fire plasma bolts. A dex is a Grold unit of time. Brokk crash-landed on Salutua 20,000 days ago [c1884], and drove the indigenous population away. His distortion field emitter hid the island from the outside world, so that it effectively vanished; legends.

The Semquess are aquatic and evolved on a largely water-covered world. They resemble a cross between an octopus and a jellyfish. They evolved near volcanic fissures in deep ocean trenches and developed a special form of biochemistry using the extremes of heat, cold and pressure in which they lived. They are renowned as the most skilled bio-engineers in the galaxy and sell specially tailored drugs and genetic adjusters to other races - being willing to make anything for the right price. They have a language based on tentacle movements and waterbourne sounds. Semquess ships resemble large silver grey globes. and are equipped with tractor beams and retribution missiles. If the ship is destroyed, a missile will disable the enemy ship's hyperdrive. This missile carries a tracer, which will allow them to trace the enemy ship. Ampules of their genetic drugs are tough and difficult to open unless you know how. One of their ampules causes gigantism in animals such as those on Earth. Another contains a genetic catalyser, allowing beings of differing types to fuse into a single being, including merging a person with a ship. Their most powerful potion allows a mind to completely reshape its body. (Psychic regenerative transformation), but only if the mind is totally free first. This [usually] means death. It requires great strength of will to survive this. Amelia became an angel when using it and the energy to support such abilities does exist naturally. They use amphibious tanks with caterpillar tracks whilst on Earth. Various animals grown to vast proportions by the Semquess genetic drugs on Salutua include ants, snakes, crabs, beetles, spiders, and bats. The island, and its enormous fauna, is destroyed in the volcanic eruption triggered by the destruction of Brokk's ship.

UNIT HQ (in London) is designed to look like a less prestigious civil service department, so it isn't given a second look. Currently Benton and Yates are UNIT's only sergeants. [What happened to Walters from The Invasion?]. There aren't enough funds for UNIT to have a captain. UNIT Australia think that UNIT UK are more likely to figure out unusual objects than they themselves are. UNIT US have similar views about UNIT UK's scientists. Corporal Tom Osgood (The Daemons) is the most technically proficient UNIT soldier. He can fix anything normal, including radios, radars and computer mainframes. The headquarters contains two photocopiers. They have an anti-tank launcher in their armoury as well as machine guns and grenades. The old-style artillery that UNIT uses is confined to museums.

Mike Yates is still a Sergeant here (Terror of the Autons). He has seen the Doctor in passing but hasn't really met him before this story. His role in UNIT up to this point has been to lead the clean-up squad. He sees inside the TARDIS here, although he has already heard of its vast interior in rumours from other UNIT soldiers.

Benton had an Aunt who used to read tea leaves and considered herself to be something of a medium. She made very good cheery cake. She died five years ago.

Sir John Sudbury of C19 acts as financial liaison between UNIT and the British Government. He turns down the Brigadier's request for enough money to promote a Sergeant to Captain.

Michael Montgomery killed a shark with his bare hands in director Lawrence de Veer's film Master of the Spanish Main. Montgomery seems to be under the delusion that he can do things real life that he did on screen.

With an Omicron trace for stability and at a high power setting, a time-space visualiser can create a time-space bridge. At ten percent the bridge can be kept open for several hours.

Amelia Grover was trapped in a car for two hours after an accident. Her father (Marshal) went for help, but her mother died.

The TARDIS has a small backpack with respirator mask and goggles which includes a radiation detector, torch, survival rations and a first aid box. The Doctor happens to have an artron energy detector in the lab. The TARDIS databanks are not currently working properly. The console is still set up outside the TARDIS in the UNIT lab. The Doctor still has the Space-Time Visualizer (The Chase). He is able to use it to trace the origin of specific objects. He transforms it into a space-time bridge in the hope of using it to escape from his exile, and uses it to travel to Salutua in 1934. The Doctor knows of the Semquess.

The alternative timeline is created when Nancy Grover uses the Semquess drug ampules stolen by Sternberg to bond with a fragment of Brokk's eyebrain, becoming a self-styled Goddess who rules the world as a "benevolent dictator", having gained the ability to make people love her.

It has tinted blue lighting in the curbs rather than normal street lighting. British traffic flows the other way. Luminous road markings include red dashes in the middle of the road and red arrows pointing which way the lane goes. Its London is like the 20's film Metropolis. It has skyscrapers massively higher than anything in the real London. It has 6 and 8 wheeled vehicles with heavily moulded streamlined forms. There are police or military (or both) called the Peace Corps, who wear dark blue uniforms. These people have energy weapons. The Semquess figured out what must have happened. They attacked in 1941, but were defeated at a cost. In the meantime, Nancy had taken over the world and made herself a goddess. Amelia escaped. Nancy by death. Thanks to Brokk, they have developed moon travel and are soon to develop the hyperdrive. This timeline is averted when the Doctor, the Brigadier and UNIT travel back to 1934 and reflect Nancy's energy beams back upon her, killing her in the process. She is then bonded with Brokk, creating a rapaciously growing hybrid, and creating a second alternate timeline until Amelia Grover, transformed into an angel, takes them away from Earth with her.

You can open up short-lived transdimensional wormholes between timelines, but not a consistent link like a building put in it. When two timelines are attempting to occupy the same space, there may be an interface between the two. Certain types of energy beam can be dissipated in the interface. Thus light becomes distorted and paler. Physical matter lasts longer, especially if it's been coated in Artron Energy such as that from an unshielded time bridge.

The structure of time usually resists and absorbs minor changes - thus allowing time travel without massive consequences. Some points, called temporal probability nexuses, are points where multiple strands of causality are exposed and weak. The smallest alteration to events can produce aberrant loops of existence or even new alternate timelines. Usually changes would occur instantly, but an active time bridge could cause an interactive parallel causality feedback loop. This meant that the new alternate timeline exists as a shadow until events parallel with the changes in the timestream. A time bridge can create a time shear effect, causing severe damage.

Links: Mike mentions cleaning up after the Autons (Spearhead from Space, also mentioned in Terror of the Autons) and the Cave Monsters (The Silurians). The Brigadier has been talking to Sir John Sudbury of C-19 (Time Flight). There is a mention of the Doctor's trip to a parallel dimension in Inferno. The Space-Time Visualizer was given to the Doctor at the end of The Space Museum and he used it in The Chase. The Brigadier recalls the Yeti (The Web of Fear), the Cybermen (The Invasion) and the Nestene Consciousness (Spearhead from Space). Major General Scobie (Spearhead from Space) phones UNIT HQ. Osgood first appeared in The Daemons. Corporal Bell first appeared in The Mind of Evil.

Location: UNIT HQ, England, probably quite soon after Inferno, as the Doctor and Liz are trying to work out what is still wrong with the console and in an alternate timeline; Salutua, French Polynesia, 8th to 9th June 1934.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor recalls knowing Douglas Fairbanks Senior, who never made the transition to talkies. He recently installed a superdrive in Bessie.

The Bottom Line: An interminably tedious collection of B-movie clichés, with a incredibly dull cast of characters and a bloated, overlong plot. Dreadful.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke and Stephen Gray
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