Burning Heart

Roots: Judge Dredd (Author Dave Stone contributes to Judge Dredd Megazine, and had already written three novels for Virgin's shortlived Judge Dredd series of novels before this book. One of these also mentions Mimsey). The novel opens with quotations from C.S. Lewis' A Reply to Professor Haldane and the Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eleven. MimseyTM is an obvious pastiche of Disney. There are references to Hitler, Anne Frank, the Knights Templar, and Harpies.

Goofs: TARDIS is said to stand for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, rather than Dimension. (But is this really a goof anymore? - Ed.)

Double Entendres: 'You may kiss my ring' is met with the response 'Don't be filthy.'

Dialogue Disasters: 'Oh those stupid fragging cruks.'

Dialogue Triumphs: Depending on personal taste, Queegvogel's dialogue could be described as Dialogue Disasters or Dialogue Triumphs, but personally I love lines like 'Most profound enquiries as to the express purpose of your most welcome felicitation.'

'What an inconvenientualizational funt.'

The Sixth Doctor explains to Peri that he doesn't really blame her for the sacrifice he made on Androzani Minor: 'You always have a choice. You can't even make the excuse that events pushed you along. Its precisely how you act when events don't give you time to think, that's the ultimate test. When a light goes out it leaves us all just a little closer to the dark. And the simple fact is that a universe with your brightness in it is infinitely preferable to a universe without.'

Continuity: Dramos orbits the gas giant Titania, which in turn orbits the sun K7A-00741-417b-16, which is located between the second and third spiral arms of the Milky Way. It has no atmosphere, no fossil water reserves, no carbon reserves and no assimilable silicates. Titania is a hot giant. The Node is a darker, reddish vortex that exists on the surface of Titania, similar in appearance to Jupiter's Red Spot. The Node is actually a unique energy/matter creature with no name; the shock of the arrival of other beings on Dramos shocked it into dormancy, and the harvesting of energy from Titania started to destabilize it, threatening its existence. It reached out with its consciousness to try and communicate with the people on Dramos but couldn't communicate with them; it eventually made contact with OBERON and tried to transfer itself into the computer, where it could survive. In order to try and facilitate the transference, it used its influence to change the people on Dramos in an attempt to create an interface, unintentionally causing mass hysteria and psychosis in the process, resulting in widespread riots and violence. Kane's accidental destruction of OBERON's inhibitors allows the computer to become sentient and bond with the Node, allowing the creature to transfer its consciousness and survive. Bonding with OBERON allows the Node to learn about humans other species and realize what it has done; it uses a large portion of its energy to resurrect the dead around it in an attempt to make amends.

The Doctor has been suffering from trauma following his recent regeneration (The Caves of Androzani), on some level blaming Peri for the sacrifice he made to save her but ultimately forgiving her. The Doctor's skin has extra subdural and subcutaneous layers, giving him a very high level of damage resistance. His physiognomy tends to dispose of foreign objects very quickly, including subcutaneous tags. The Doctor's pockets contains burnt out radio valves, a yo-yo, and a neatly packet of Cheddar cheese and chutney sandwiches on wholemeal brown bread with the crusts cut off. Whilst held captive in the Holding Complex he dons the brightly coloured overalls of a prisoner, which are made from a mishmash of recycled cloth.

Peri often expects to see the Fifth Doctor again and consequently feels a mixture of disappointment and annoyance at the Sixth, which is exaggerated by the influence of the Node. She loathes his sneer, but knows deep down that he is essentially the same person. She did her degree at Boston University. At the age of seventeen, in a moment of paranoia, she bought a handgun; she has never held a gun since. She had a friend called Sara at Boston University, who was five-foot tall and weighed less than ninety-six pounds. Peri went on a field trip to Madagascar a year before she met the Doctor. She watched Mimsey cartoons as a child. She accidentally adopts the name Ms. Purblack whilst trying to gabble an alias to Jelks.

The TARDIS databanks are very specific about the history of Dramos, except for the three-month period in which the Doctor and Peri arrive.

It is strongly hinted that Kane is a descendent of Bernice Summerfield and Jason Kane; he has never actually met the Doctor, but knows who he is and recalls tales of small man in some way bigger on the inside than out and who could change his appearance being part of his family history. His first name is unrevealed but is a unisex name that has become a family tradition and is therefore probably Benny.

The Adjudicators use Multi-Function Guns (MGFs), which amongst other things can fire biological weapons in the form of tiny gastropoidal artificial life-forms with digestive processes microcustomised and force-accelerated so that they can eat through the living tissue of their targets in seconds. The Adjudicators also use Micro-Antipersonnel Vehicles (MAVs). Shok-TACs are exosuited Adjudicators normally kept in reserve for emergencies. They use sleep machines to obviate the need for sleep, for which they require implants.

Species found in the Habitat include the Fnarok, Drobovians, Silurians (The Silurians, Warriors of the Deep), Ice Warriors, Gastropods (The Twin Dilemma), Chelonians (The Highest Science, Zamper, The Well-Mannered War), Tzun (First Frontier), Squaxis, Ursines from Straglon Beta, Medusoids from Minos VII, Darbokian polyp-toad people, and Varlonians. The Holding Cells contain Sontarans bred as part of a failed experiment to create units equipped for a degree of diversification that became too individual and were expelled from the Sontaran horde. There are also Cybermen offshoots whose technology has evolved to the sophistication of organics so that they became more individualized. Drobovians are basically humanoid, but with concentrated muscle mass and segmented, insectoid eyes. Deathmatch is a Varloon game that utilizes balls. Oogli fruit are mentioned. Planets mentioned here include Mitor, Jaadris IV, and Jaros.

Amongst the grandiose follies produced by dying cultures are the hanging paramarmoset apiaries of Squaxis IV. There is a club named the City of Unending Delights on Jaros. By 3174 many humans have converted to alien religions, including Ice Warrior Sklacki rituals, Oolonian toe-worship, and the Rite of Exterminating Everything That Isn't a Dalek. Members of various alien species have attempted to adopt human religions too, but usually get them wrong; the Fnarok sect the Twenty-Fourth Day Adventists believe that every year their young should tied up in sacks and left up chimneys, and an entire race of quasi-arachnids from Praxis XIV obliterated themselves over a centuries-long argument about whether Roline had really scratched Joey's surfboard in episode 2487 of Bondi Blues. A fundamentalist sect of Darian septilateral gestalt entities believe that the universe was created in seven minutes and that everything in it is descended from Adam, Adam, Adam, Adam, Adam, Adam and Jeremy. The Piglet People of Glomi IV latched onto the Hebrew idea of a scapegoat but confused it with the fact that Jesus was born in a stable surrounded by animals and further confused it with Guy Fawkes Night; as a result, once a year at a date and time calculated to be eight thirty PM on November 5th, they stuff animals with explosives and catapult them one hundred feet into the air. Their ceremonial garb consists of garish Hawaiian shirts. Queegvogel Duck Duck Duck Duck Duck Duck Seven is a segmented multipedal creature some five feet in length resembling a centipede walking on its back nine rows of legs. Its five-frontmost sets of legs are adapted into different kinds of manipulatory appendages. Its real name is literally unpronounceable by the hominid palate. Fnaroks eat Piglet People. There are references to Morkodian pogo-lemmings, Arcturians, and Darbokian pigmy-flies.

Links: There are several references to the Doctor's regeneration in The Caves of Androzani. The Adjudicators first appeared in Colony in Space and also feature heavily in Lucifer Rising and Original Sin. There are references to the mass psychosis on Earth during Original Sin. Ragho ak Areghi is a Mentor (Vengeance on Varos, Mindwarp). Peri bitterly recalls the TARDIS stalling and the Doctor's resigned attitude towards it in Vengeance on Varos and later remembers the Governor. There are references to Daleks, Cybermen, and Rassilon. Oolian luck-possets are mentioned (see Ship of Fools). The Braxiatel Institute of Fine Arts (Applied) rejected Avron Jelks (see Theatre of War).

Location: Dramos, 3174.

Future History: At this point in time, the Earth Empire is collapsing (So Vile a Sin), resulting in the abandonment of numerous colonies, mass starvation, and catastrophic civil unrest, often in the form of food riots and cannibalism. K7A-00741-417b-16 is a vital staging point for intergalactic travel, due to its spatial location. A port was established on Dramos, around which the Habitat grew, housing members of the millions of species who use the port. Geostationary, automated energy-mining rigs that orbit Titania provide power for the Dramos port and visiting ships. The Temple of the Church of Adjudication is the largest free-standing building in the Habitat.

The Curia is the control/dispatch arm of the Church of Adjudication. OBERON is a semi-AI processing network that coordinates the forces of Adjudication. The METATRON is an internal communications system slaved to OBERON. The Adjudicators evolved from the Masonic elements in twentieth century police forces. They lost their blanket jurisdiction on Earth following the collapse of the Overcities, and briefly had a stronghold on the Uranian satellite of Oberon until the Neo-Reformation forced them out of the solar system. There are vestigial sub-sects of the Adjudicators scattered throughout the galaxy by 3174.

Trafficking in Earth Reptile pituitary-analogue extract is illegal on Dramos. Janies are an illegal narcotic, as are adreno-acs, which can be cut with locally mutated willowfine. Joods is a derogatory slang term for Adjudicators. Human First is a terrorist organisation devoted to the supremacy of humans over other species; White Fire is the upper echelon of the Human First organisation.

Strikeout XIV assault pilots fought in the Earth/Draconian war. Catastrophic seismic activity destroyed the city of Nova Santa Cruz on Rensec IX. The survivors were evacuated to Puerto Lumina, the satellite of Rensec IX that caused the seismic activity in the first place. Some Earth Reptiles use the name Silurian, believing those members of their species to have adopted the term Earth Reptile to be pathetic assimilationists.

The MimseyTM Incorporation is an Earth conglomerate dating back to the twentieth century, which grew out of the animation studios of Ralph Waldo Mimsey. MimseyworldTM and MimseylandTM were tourist attractions on Earth; the MimseydomeTM on Dramos was built as a last ditch attempt by the corporation to turn around its flagging fortunes. MimseyTM cartoon characters include Barnabas the Magic Ocelot, Mickey Monkey, Percival the Penguin, and MacHeath, the villain from Mimsey's reworking of The Threepenny Opera. Mister MeatyTM is another corporate entity, which makes burgers. Following Mimsey's death, his head was cryogenically preserved, but was used by the Techno-Magi of 2476 as an Oracle and went mad.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has a philosopher friend in Hellenic Greece.

The Bottom Line: As usual with Stone's work, appreciation of Burning Heart depends on whether or not you like his prose style and sense of humour. Stone proves adept in capturing the volatile relationship between the Sixth Doctor and Peri whilst showing the genuine affection underneath, and the attempt to combine Doctor Who and a thinly disguised parody of Judge Dredd works extremely well. Despite all the violence throughout, the ending is also rather heart-warming.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke
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