The Slitheen Excursion
Roots: Greek mythology (several of the aliens are obviously intended to have inspired various legends, one of them resembling a Griffin). There are references to Clash of the Titans, and Sherlock Holmes. The Slitheen have a replica of the Cutty Sark. Cecrops sings David Bowie’s “Starman”.
The Wurlitzer-like component of the Slitheen time machine might be a nod to the TV Comic strip Operation Wurlitzer.
Goofs: The Raxacoricofallapatorians are referred to as being silicon, rather than calcium, based. The Doctor seems to forget that Slitheen is the name of a family, not a species.
Continuity: Slitheen family members seen here include Cosmato Fel Fotch Hangle-Wang Slitheen (Cosmo for short), Mamps, Hisk and Leeb. Mamps recognises psychic paper and isn’t fooled by it. Hisk is killed by a bull here. They are running tourists trips from their own time (c34,600AD) to Athens in 1500BC and are making humans fight to death for their customers’ entertainment. Their temporal drive is cobbled together from the time travel technology of other species, including a Navarino time-jump (Delta and the Bannermen) and a Sundayan stabilister. They ate the Navarinos who built the system for them. Wallagula is a Raxacoricofallapatorian drink that dissolves human stomachs. The explosion of their temporal drive destroys the island of Thera.
Raxacoricofallapatorians suffer from hardening of the soft tissues as they get older. Mamps, Cosmo and Leeb calcify and turn into stalagmites beneath the Acropolis over two and half thousand years; the Doctor uses a device taken from the space police to reverse the process. The trio is arrested by the space police for tax evasion. A baaraddelskelliumfatrexius is an extinct animal native to Raxacoricofallapatorius, which resembled a giant squirrel with pustules.
The space police seen here are blobby grey aliens no more than a metre and a half tall, with flesh that glistens with rainbow patterns. Slitheen customers include Balumin (The Pirate Loop), plus aliens with long scarlet tentacles, aliens with dark spikes, a fat creature that belches clouds of dark blue gas, one eyed aliens, horse-like aliens and aliens with faces like lions and enormous wings. Cecrops, from the Collective of Mulch, resembles a merman, but is apparently comfortable on dry land. Aru have mandibles and are “a bit touchy-feely”.
The Doctor throws a lioness over his shoulder. He eats stew with Kin Actaeus and his daughters. He uses the psychic paper to convince Cosmo that he is a travel critic for the Mutter’s Spiral Herald. Journeys by localised transmat always leave a taste in his mouth like liquorice. Deukalion gives him a large amphora painted with a somersaulting stick man.
Oxygen masks drop down in the TARDIS console room when it is damaged by passing through the temporal mismatch caused by the Slitheen time machine. Temporal mismatch is measured by the Kodicek scale.
Links: The Slitheen previously appeared in Aliens of London/World War III, Boom Town, Revenge of the Slitheen, The Lost Boy, and The Monsters Inside. Cosmo mentions the Osirians (Pyramids of Mars).
Location: Athens, [c2009] and 1500BC.
Future History: The Platonic War takes place shortly before the year 34,600AD and sees the human race pitted against various alien species, possibly including the Raxacoricofallapatorians. Humans conquer the worlds of Pif during the war. During the war, a peace conference at Anselm failed. The Lord Predator Haralto Wong Bopz Wim-Waldon Arlene dies c34,578.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor saw the first performance of Agamemnon at the Acropolis. He describes Edward Lear as a mate. He claims to have once rescued a ram from a crocodile using only a wooden spoon. The Doctor has visited the planetoid Gris [possibly the home of the Embodiment of Gris – see The Daleks’ Master Plan]. He had an ice cream on the Jubilee line on 24th June 2006.
The Doctor visits the year Arlene-plus-22 (c34,600AD) to tie up some loose ends. He takes June back to Birmingham in the TARDIS at the end.
The Bottom Line: A bit sloppy and unfocused, with a failure to really capture the feel of Ancient Greece. The bits of historical detail thrown in feel like a blatant attempt to educate the kids. On the other hand, June makes a likeable surrogate companion and the Slitheen work reasonably well.