Night of the Humans

Roots: The 8:10 to El Paso, The Time Machine (degenerate, primitive descendants of humanity); the Blake’s 7 episode ‘Trial’ (the reference to a living continent). There are references to Charlie Parker, Django Reinhardt, and Sleeping Beauty.

Continuity: The Gyre, a.k.a. Object 556/C, is a massive floating agglomeration of 250,000 years worth of space junk orbiting Battani 045. As it has grown in size over time it has begun to have gravitational effects on the orbit of the nearest planet, as well as affecting spacecraft. The asteroid Schuler-Khan is on a collision course with it. Schuler-Khan takes eighty five years to orbit Battani 045 and has previously missed the Gyre. Planets in the system include Jahi Minor. The humans on the Gyre are the descendents of a Gobocorp Freight Company ship that crashed on it thousands of years earlier and have forgotten their origins.

The Mymon Key is a limitless energy source forged on Mercutio 14 by the Hexion Geldmongers. It drew its power from gravitational force and could be used to do virtually anything. Endless wars were fought over it before Mercutio 14 was attacked and destroyed and the casket containing the key found its way to a museum of antiquities in the thirty-first century. The casket was sold to a private buyer in Andromeda, but the ship carrying it, the GFS Herald of Nanking crashed on the Gyre. The Mymon Key resembles a small, gold pebble.

The Sittuun have smooth bald heads a dolphin-like shade of grey with small black eyes and thin lipless mouths. The name Sittuun is the Arabic word for “sixty”, since their first contact with humans was when a Syrian deep-space crew encountered a town with sixty inhabitants. They adopt human names when dealing with humans as their language is too complicated for human vocal chords to pronounce and includes frequencies which human ears cannot hear.

The Sollogs live on the Gyre. They have metre-long slug-like bodies, eyes on slimy stalks, and eight long spindly legs. They are carnivorous and have circular rows of sharp teeth. Flying fish that feed on rust live inside the wreck of the Herald of Nanking.

Dirk Slipstream spent six years on Volag-Noc (The Infinite Quest).

The Sittuun award the Doctor and Amy the Civilian Cross in absentia. Drama was one of Amy’s best subjects at school.

The TARDIS cannot translate the Sittuun’s language.

Proamoniums only ever built their ships out of proamonium, which was only found on Proamon (Dragonfire) and is the rarest mineral in the universe. Like Voga (Revenge of the Cybermen), Midas Superior was composed almost entirely of gold before it was mined almost to nothing. There are manure oceans on Caranexos. The planet Hellion D is home of the living continent Mrag. A nanobomb destroyed an entire mountain range in the Straits of Copernicus.

Links: Amy mentions intergalactic felons (The Eleventh Hour) and Space Whales (The Beast Below). Slipstream mentions the Battle of Krontep (The Trial of a Time Lord episodes 5 to 8). The Doctor recalls losing a hand (The Christmas Invasion).

Location: The Gyre, in the Battani 045 system, 14th March 250,339.

Future History: There is a Lux Academy in the Solar System.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has met Astronomer Royal John Pond. He has been to El Paso. He once played recorder during a jam with Ella Fitzgerald at the Roseland Ballroom. Several regenerations earlier, he encountered Dirk Slipstream, whom he had put behind bars on Volag-Noc, after Slipstream crashed a passenger ship into a diamond depository on Belaform 9.

The Bottom Line: Witty and entertaining, with lots of background detail and some interesting aliens in shape of the Sittuun. Slipstream, despite the silly name, makes a decent enough villain.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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