The Well-Mannered War
Roots: Christmas Day during World War I. The 1997 General Election. UFO. Sim City. Civilisation. The Socialist Workers party. Monty Python's The Life of Brian. Lassie.
Goofs: In Chapter One, it states that Dolne's military career lasted 30 years, and that he'd never get used to the uniform of the top job - implying that he had other jobs before. In Chapter Two, it states that he has been in the top job for that long.
In Chapter Three, it is stated that the Chelonians arrived 126 years ago. However, in Chapter Two, it is stated that the Phibbs Committee have been discussing the conflict between humans and Chelonians for 129 years and 8 months.
In Chapter Four, a spacecraft makes a fastspace jump and in Chapter Six, there are Fastspace flights. However, everywhere else we encounter it, fastspace is a communications technology.
When the flies use Viddeas's head to communicate, where do they get the lungs from? Speech requires a source of air to go through the vocal cords.
Admiral Dolne considers himself 45 in chapter 2, but is 52 in chapter 10.
Why does smashing the console mean the deaths of all the femdroids? Surely they're not all dependant upon the console.
Stokes' previous life (before going into suspended animation) is said to have ended in 2386 (chapter 11) - which is 39 years before he met the Doctor, Romana, and K9 in The Romance of Crime!
Fashion Victims: The Black Guardian is still wearing that hat.
Technobabble: Trinitrotuluene is an explosive. Extispicion is foreboding based on illogical fears. The leap to warp engineering is a natural progression from vecificated disassemblers. Psychotronic imaging. Most of Fritchoff's Marxist dialogue. Rationic synference.
Dialogue Disasters: Seskwa: 'The General will turn your clacking tongue to sense.'
Dialogue Triumphs: On the TARDIS crew: 'Their way of life consisted mainly of arriving at various far-flung points in the universe's history and involving themselves in things that didn't concern them.'
The Doctor: 'Life's overrated anyway. The majority of places get along without it very well.'
Admiral Dolne: 'Strike? As in, er, missile strike? With proper missiles, big ones?'
The Doctor: 'I do so detest people who talk to themselves, don't you, Doctor?'
Romana: 'Stokes, you are a pompous, self-inflated fool with no talent whatever.'
Stokes: 'Politeness is for mediocrities'
Stokes: 'Friends again?'
Romana: 'I don't recall that we ever were.'
Dolne: 'I'm looking for sensible input, not militaristic nonsense.'
Doctor: 'I'm going to put my foot down about this one, K9, and you know I don't often do that.'
K9: 'When in perambulatory mode you put a foot down three times per second, Master.'
Romana on the Doctor: 'He's an incredibly resourceful and intelligent person. Don't ever tell him I said that.'
K9: 'Agreed, Mistress. Flattery of the Doctor Master most inadvisable.'
K9: 'Pessimism is also a form of naivety.'
The Doctor: 'You saw it through the mist of your own anxieties.'
The Doctor: 'You know what your problem is?'
K9: 'Please tell me, Master.'
The Doctor: 'You're becoming too useful.'
K9: 'Query this tautology Master.'
Stokes: 'For a deity of all that is evil, you're not actually very famous, are you?'
Continuity: Romana has a new outfit -a red velvet smoking jacket and a frilled shirt with a bow tie,sharp-creased checked trousers, a pair of shiny-buckled shoes and a cape thrown over her shoulders. She has no intention of returning to Gallifrey. She uses her sonic screwdriver. There's a Gallifreyan phrase 'like trying to close the eye with a finklegruber.'
A tap in the 14th TARDIS bathroom has been leaking for 300 years (so since the second Doctor's era. c.f. The Left-Handed Hummingbird). The Doctor set up a temporal containment field because he couldn't find his washers to actually repair it.
The Doctor's pockets contain a copy of Finnickan's Planets, So You're Caught in a Rocket Attack, a handkerchief, a box of kitchen matches, a bag of gold dust, a yo-yo, an apple core, a magnifying glass, and some chocolate coins - though he's run out of jelly babies. He claims that, biologically, he's closer to the Chelonians than the humans. He claims to have been "in the business" for 525 years [so since he was a bit over 225].
K9 is programmed to converse in 57 languages.
If you ever arrive on Hangorius, you need to swing a Hangorian Spore-Catcher around to be able to talk to the spores.
A type F invasion is aesthetically motivated.
Metralubit has some level five technology items, but are mostly on level three. Amongst their technology is a fastspace communication link, but no transmat technology - which goes against all recognised rungs of development theory.
Chelonian architecture relies on small blocks that can be used for any purpose. They have a talent for construction and camouflage. Kyaz jarrii guya-chell is a Chelonian greeting in the ancient dialect of the Imperial warriors. They measure temperature in zinoids, 400 being a steam bath. They use atrizum and amytol as part of their fuel - and both are volatile.
The Darkness/Onemind of flies has had hundreds of its hives destroyed by Gallifreyan interventionists with the Time Fleets [possibly during the Time Wars or the War against the Enemy]. They are [or at least believe themselves to be] descended from Earth flies.
Links: The Doctor recalls Romana's regeneration (Destiny of the Daleks), and mentions the randomiser (The Armageddon Factor). Stokes is from The Romance of Crime. The Black Guardian (The Armageddon Factor) mentions The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Twilight of the Gods (MA), Goth Opera, and Timewyrm: Revelation. The Chelonians' history may be a reference to The Highest Science.
Location: Metralrubit and Barclow, in the Fostrix Galaxy, the 58th segment of time, after the destruction of Earth.
Future History: In 2045, Professor Ottobrand of the Dubrovnik Institute of New Sciences hypothesises Psychotronic conditioning.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has encountered the Oraapi - parasitic carrion feeders whose advance parties use a special chemical to preserve food until a full hatching. He has seen a small Chelonian city made out of sections of small spacecraft. The Darkness remembers encountering the Doctor [probably in his future] many, many "void times" before, when he set their feeding grounds in the Zirbollis sector aflame.
The Bottom Line: 'No more games, Admiral. This is war.' Incredibly funny, with a strong plot. The return of Stokes is well done, and the gradually unfolding layers of plot work really well. The surprise ending is especially good.