Sick Building

Roots: There are references to Dr Doolittle, Lost in Space, Frankenstein, and Tigger. The Doctor sings "Bohemian Rhapsody".

Goofs: The Voracious Craw has teeth on the cover.

Why did Tiermann build an override for the Domovoi that only lasts a mere ten or twenty minutes? He also claims at one point that using the override would be tantamount to murder, despite the fact that its effects are temporary.

The Craw is described as being a pale, putrid grey-green colour at one point and silvery-purple at another [it changes colour].

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor on the need to stop the Craw: "What about the creatures, hmm? They were here before the Tiermann family arrived. What about the trees and all that? And what about that sabre-tooth we saw right at the start? Her and her cubs? What about them? It's the likes of her I'm doing this for."

Continuity: Sabre-toothed tigers are native to Tiermann's World: the Doctor notes that they are found on many planets. Muscular ox-like animals that walk on their hind legs are also found on the planet, as well as bear-like creatures with an ivory horn, and giant albino bats.

The Voracious Craw are the size of giant spaceships and travel through space. Their brains are about the size of a Volkswagen, which as the Doctor notes is proportionately quite small. They resemble giant tapeworms with toothless, vortex-like mouths the size of Wales. They have a ring of eyes around their mouths. They land on planets to feed, hovering across the surface devouring everything in their path until the planet is left lifeless. They are now quite rare. They create waves of interference that interfere with any circuitry close by. Tiermann's weapons are useless against it. The Doctor persuades it to leave by amplifying belches so that the Craw thinks another, larger Craw has already claimed Tiermann's World. A Voracious Craw has never left a meal unfinished before.

The Doctor keeps a toffee hammer in the TARDIS control room. He knows of the Voracious Craw, but has never seen one up close. He drinks sherry in the Dreamhome. The Servo-furnishings rip his coat pocket. He carries various coins. He eats crisps and pop dispensed by Barbara.

Martha dresses in a tight-fitting T-shirt, slim-cut jeans, and boots. She changes into a pale cream gown in the Dreamhome. She eats orange soup and fish in a creamy sauce in the Dreamhome, and later drinks hot chocolate and coffee. She drinks orange pop dispensed by Barbara.

The interference field generated by the Voracious Craw affects the TARDIS. The TARDIS would be destroyed if the Craw consumed it. The sonic screwdriver draws its energy from the TARDIS.

The Origami Empire of a Draxos-Eleven-and-Twelve uses technology based on computers. The Doctor also mentions a Decoupage Queen.

Links: This story takes place between Human Nature (TV)/The Family of Blood and Blink. The Doctor recalls taming Aggedor by singing lullabies (The Curse of Peladon, The Monster of Peladon). Martha refers to the Judoon (Smith and Jones), being stuck in a traffic jam in the year five billion and fifty-three (Gridlock), and encountering a living sun (42).

Location: Tiermann's World.

Future History: Ernest Tiermann is an inventor who made his fortune inventing Servo-furnishings and bought Tiermann's World to retire to. Servo-furnishings are robotic household furnishings, including drinks dispensers, sunbeds, and lawnmowers. He built the Dreamhome on Tiermann's World for himself and his family to live in: the Domovoi is an artificial intelligence that controls the house and manifests as a fireplace filled with green flames.

Tiermann's World is a few parsecs from Station Antelope Slash Nitelite (also known as Spaceport Antelope Slash Nitelite). Board games have been forgotten in the future.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor may have visited Station Antelope Slash Nitelite.

The Bottom Line: "We saved the world again!" Paul Magrs crosses the line from surreal to wacky, with irritating results. The characterisation of the Tenth Doctor is rather off-key, making him seem like a prat. Still, it would be interesting to know what the kids think of it...

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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