Roots: Murder mysteries. Super-hero comics, especially Batman (the White Knight and Doctor Nemesis). The Bible. Vampire stories. The Famous Five (Chapter 3 is entitled "Five Go Adventuring Again", and the Adventure Kids are a cross between The Famous Five and The Secret Seven). Games in Mel's collection include Baker Street, Ker-Plunk, Game of Life, Mouse Trap, and Champions. There are references to Blackadder, Laser Quest, Care Bears, The Hobbit, Star Trek, Dan Dare, Spider-Man, Dennis the Menace, Cluedo ("Colonel Mustard. In the kitchen. With the lead piping"), The Wizard of Oz ("Follow the yellow brick road"), Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor", PG Tips, and The Magic Roundabout. The Master's reference to "the Discworld series" is presumably a reference to Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels.
Whilst in the Land of Fiction, the Doctor meets his grandchildren John and Gillian, who call him Dr Who; John and Gillian first appeared in the TV Comic Dr Who comic strip The Klepton Parasites, as did the Kleptons, whom they mention. They also mention the Trods, which first appeared in The Trodos Tyranny.
Goofs: TARDIS is again said to stand for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, rather than Time And Relative Dimension In Space. [I'm sure this has happened so many times that it's no longer a goof - Ed.]
On page 258, McAllerson's radiation becomes McAllister's during the Doctor's conversation with Bernice.
Dialogue Disasters: "You can't just do nothing. You're Dr Who!" Intentional, I know, but it still makes me cringe.
Dialogue Triumphs: "It's only the same as your TARDIS."
"How do you know about that?"
"Sorry, continuity error."
Memorable Moments: The TARDIS becomes a gingerbread cottage. The life-sized game of Mousetrap. The Doctor's conversation with the Master of the Land via a scrabble board. And many more.
Continuity: The Monk uses Artemis to restore the Land of Fiction and transport a new writer there (The Mind Robber) (see No Future).
The Gods of Ragnarok (The Greatest Show in the Galaxy) originally built the Land of Fiction to provide them with entertainment, but grew bored with it and abandoned it. The new Master of the Land of Fiction continues using the White Robots. The new Master is a youth from late twentieth century Earth who wears a KISS T-shirt and is directly linked to the Master Computer by a cable plugged into his skull. He creates John and Gillian, grandchildren for the Doctor, whom they call "Dr Who". The Land's influence extends beyond its own dimensions, allowing it to ensnare passers-by. McAllerson's Radiation interferes with the energies that make up the Land of Fiction. Once the Doctor escapes, he sends a message to the Time Lords requesting that they put up warning beacons around the Land of Fiction and possibly even try and nullify it completely.
Ace and Bernice bond over several pints of fictional cider.
The TARDIS has an intercom. Bernice finds a cathedral sized bathroom, with a gilt-trim bath. Ace tries out a few defensive formations for the TARDIS, briefly removing the door in the process. The TARDIS transforms into a fairy-tale house, before reverting to a police box. It later transforms into a smooth sphere.
Cult science fiction series Professor X is mentioned here for the first time, as is singer Danny Pain.
Links: The Mind Robber. The Master of the Land of Fiction mentions an invasion of Earth in 1976, setting the scene for No Future. There are references to Katarina and Sara Kingdom (The Daleks' Master Plan), Adric (Earthshock), the Valeyard (Trial of a Time Lord), Iceworld (Dragonfire), Daleks (Remembrance of the Daleks), Fenric (The Curse of Fenric), the Timewyrm (Timewyrm: Genesys, Timewyrm: Exodus, Timewyrm: Apocalypse, Timewyrm: Revelation), Chad Boyle (Timewyrm: Revelation), Robin and Nightshade (Nightshade), Jan (Love and War), IMC (Lucifer Rising), the Althosian System (The Pit), the Silurian Earth (Blood Heat), Oxford (The Dimension Riders), and the Titanic (The Left-Handed Hummingbird). Ace notes that has had experience with vampires (The Curse of Fenric).
Location: The Land of Fiction.
Future History: Captain Millennium is a character from the fiction of Earth's future. Professor Bernadette McAllerson at the New Scientific Central Trust on Earth discovers McAllerson's Radiation in 2542. Axmeister tanks are used by the military during the twenty-fifth century.
The Bottom Line: 'It's only a story!' Witty and entertaining, although the conceit of fiction within fiction is more blatant than in The Mind Robber and occasionally makes Lyons seem like a bit of a smart-arse!