Twilight of the Gods

Roots: 1984 (near identical totalitarian power blocks negating each other), Animal Farm (some are more equal...)

Technobabble: The integral analyser uses a focused multifrequency subnuclear particle projector, wide-band detector array coils connected to a transducing amplifier, a pattern recognition filter, memory bank and solid-state display screens.

Dextrobrocation, differential trialphid transformation, Piezoelectric bracing. A para-optical signal can bounce off the ionosphere and be seen afterwards.

Dialogue Triumphs: Victoria: 'l was really terrified underneath.'
The Doctor: 'Which is just what being brave is all about.'

Continuity: The Rhumon discovered Vortis over a year ago. Their system has 11 planets (Vortis is planet 12 in the Republican numbering system). They are tall, slender, smooth-skinned. They are a copper colour. They have straight angular noses, prominent cheekbones directly connected. They have long jaws and pointed chins. Their heads have three spiny crests. Their weapons are species-specific and can be fine-tuned to hurt only those with specific nutrient mixes. Thrinkt is a board game played by both sides. It is possible to have major arguments about the rules. Gold blocks their communication devices.

The Imperial Rhumon worship Omnimon, an all-powerful deity identified with the sun. Their name for Vortis is Mallaveria. The Imperium is socially stratified. Certain houses of aristocracy provide the ruling classes. Certain Clans are the middle classes. Families and those of no family provide the rank and file of Imperium society. Their god Omnimon traditionally lives in the sun. Their higher classes don't believe that this is literally true.

The Republican Rhumon have microdrivers in the straps of their watches to adjust them. There is an annual commemoration in City Number One of the death of the first co-ordinator of New Rhumos. It involves a million people in the great square. The Mausoleum of the People has repeatedly been extended and contains the bodies of former Coordinators

The Menoptra worship the "Gods of Light", seen as lights in the skies which they have an urge to fly towards. They cremate their dead.

Vortis has very few metal ores. It is heated from below ground. There are some crystalline rock spars on the surface with pointed ends. Somlos Berries send humans, Rhumon, Gallifreyans and Menoptra to sleep. A myriped is a waist high 15 foot long millipede. Larvae grubs' long snouts spit something out as a weapon. Vortis has at least one acidic sea.

The TARDIS wardrobe has everything from cavemen fur through to at least the 20th century. It contains several 'mirror islands', which allow you to see yourself any way you want.

Victoria has been on the TARDIS for several months. The Doctor has a penknife and some short lengths of hollow reed in his pockets. He has a sonic emitter [the sonic screwdriver] in the TARDIS which he must remember to carry. He has a pen in his pocket.

The Animus can create a seed of itself which retains the original's memory up to the moment of death. He can control people or reinforce their delusions through gold. Without gold, his mind control powers are much reduced.

Isocryte is only created under conditions of extreme atomic stress (e.g. 2 stars colliding). It enables the Menoptra to fly and the Animus to project gravity beams. It does this because its unique sub-atomic structures means that electrical or magnetic stimulation allows it to generate counter-gravity waves. The Menoptra use its crystalline form to power their spacecraft. Large quantities can create hyperspace distortions, causing a TARDIS to land roughly.

Links: The book is a sequel to The Web Planet. Victoria recalls her father before and after meeting Theodore Maxtible (The Evil of the Daleks). The Doctor reminds Jamie about moving on the moon (The Moonbase).

Location: Vortis. The Imperial year is 2306. The Republican year is 153. The story begins 287 days into the Republican year. It is hundreds of years since The Web Planet and Vortis has had time to regrow its vegetation.

The Bottom Line: 'I don't know if this is what we've become... or were all along.' This is a story that nearly works. It's repetitive, though this is probably a deliberate attempt to look like 60s Doctor Who. A lot of the characters barely escape being stereotypes (though this is probably a deliberate attempt to show how the two Rhumon factions are more alike than they are different). The Doctor comes across as a generic Doctor rather than specifically the second Doctor (but that's a fault of several second Doctor books). Jamie and Victoria, however, are very well realised. You can see that there's a good story waiting to come out here, but it just doesn't.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke
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