Instruments of Darkness
Roots: David Iyke's ludicrous conspiracy theories about a shadowy world government (The Magnate) the Doctor even mentions him in passing and the nine-foot tall orange lizards that he claims rule the world. James Bond, The X-Files, The Tomorrow People. There are mentions of Disneyland, Jeffrey Archer, Perry Mason, Wagner, Marie Antoinette, Today, Good Morning America, The Yorkshire Post, Napoleon, the French Revolution, Superman, Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke, The Eurovision Song Contest, Ikea, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat, Laurel and Hardy, New Scientist, EastEnders, Princess Diana, late Labour leader John Smith, Delia Smith, Neighbours, Where Eagles Dare, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars), Spycatcher, Richard and Judy, Ian Botham, Kahless the Klingon (Star Trek: The Next Generation), The Observer Book of Aircraft, Lord Sandwich, Dashwood, Ted Heath, Tony Benn, The Beatles, Larry King, Barbara Walters, and America's Funniest Hoaxes. Damien quotes Macbeth (Lead on, MacDuff). The Doctor listens to Evelyn's cassette of The Supremes Twenty Golden Greats.
Dialogue Disasters: Ms de Meanour.
Dialogue Triumphs: 'Too often events happen on a planet, any planet, and I walk away. The wrongs righted, the oppressed arisen, the evil thwarted. But what of the people I leave behind? What of the scars on that society? I want to turn my back, to say It's your problem now, I've done my bit, but I can't. As the years have gone by, as experiences have piled upon experiences, I'm left caring more, worrying more.'
Evelyn on the Doctor can be taken as a comment on fandom: 'We see him as a roguish charmer, a hero, someone who defies his Time Lord nature. So we overcompensate, see him as romantic, dashing, passionate, a direct opposite to the rest of his people. But he's not. Not really. He's just a slight sideways step from them, not the chasm-leaper we want him to be. He is still an alien, Mel. His emotions, his feelings they're alien, too. He's too big, too complex a person to be weighed down with human characteristics. The moment we drag the Doctor down to our level he ceases to be who he really is and we blind ourselves to that, we want more.'
The Doctor's touching account of his deep friendship with Evelyn on page 145.
Continuity: The Doctor stole a green Volkswagen beetle that he and Mel hired in Australia, and fitted it with a collapsible roof in the same colours as his coat. His pockets contain a ball of string, a commemorative mug from the wedding of Euan and Eugenie, a pair of sunglasses, a stick of Blackpool rock [probably picked up during the events of The Nightmare Fair], a bunch of keys, a copy of Toghill Sheepfarming in the Eighteenth Century, a newspaper, a box of paperclips, and an unopened box of liquorice allsorts that is actually filled with rose petals. He keeps a cheque book inside a jam jar in his inner coat pocket. He has a Coutts Bank account based in London. Despite still claiming to be a vegetarian, he clearly isn't and keeps trying to eat meat when Mel isn't looking (The Two Doctors). He occasionally provides his friends with signal devices to allow them to contact him [similar to the space-time telegraph given to the Brigadier in Terror of the Zygons] these friends include Bob Lines (Business Unusual). The Doctor also gives Sebastian Malvern one of these signalling devices before he departs. He has met Lines in several different incarnations. The Doctor is nearing his one-thousandth birthday (see Revelation of the Daleks). He owns a pair of silvery silk pyjamas covered in pictures of different species of cat, all of them wearing the Doctor's multicoloured coat. He claims that his coat is the height of fashion on Kolpasha. He (unsuccessfully) poses as a journalist whilst looking for the twins.
The Doctor, who asked her to remain there for a while and keep an eye out any old enemies, left Evelyn Smythe on Earth in 1988. During the events of Business Unusual, he visited her in Norfolk and asked her to keep an eye out for news of the twins, because he feels responsible for their crimes and also for the plight of Ashley, Joe and Janine. He promised to return her home after this loose end was tied up. Because her younger self is still in Nottingham at this time, she has no official existence and is forced to use her knowledge of the future to survive financially by making occasional bets, much to the Doctor's chagrin. She also patented DVDs, but with a get-out clause that allows her to sell the patent in a few years time (see Goofs). She moved into Mog Cottage in Great Rokeby, Norfolk, bought at least two cats, and also acquired an old Riley. She ostensibly runs Mog Cottage as a cattery. She uses her married name, Evelyn Richmond. Her ex-husband is called Lawrence, and although they are now divorced, she still loves him. She orders her belongings at home alphabetically, thus creating an impression of ordered chaos. She used to smoke cigarettes, but managed to quit them by weaning herself off. The Doctor always promised to take Evelyn to see the Eye of Orion, but never succeeded. The dean of her department at Nottingham University was trying to force her into retirement, so she takes the chance to dig up dirt on his past whilst in Sheffield. She has published several papers on religious persecution in the sixteenth century. Lawrence has published papers on genome research. Following the defeat of the Cylox, Evelyn leaves 1994 in the TARDIS with the Doctor, ostensibly to return home; however, she asks him to take her home via the Eye of Orion, opening the way for adventures with the Doctor, Evelyn and Mel.
Mel's full name is Melanie Jane Bush. She has a phobia of bats and does not drink coffee (she makes an exception in order to cope with the Doctor and Evelyn's bickering). She has been travelling with the Doctor for almost a year of her subjective time and whenever she is on Earth during the right time period, she takes the opportunity to send her parents a postcard or message. Mel still has nightmares about the Irish twins threatening her life in Business Unusual. An older Mel returned home to her parents from her travels with the Doctor in 1991 [dropped off in 1991 by Ace following the events of Head Games]. She carries a Swiss army knife containing a picklock.
The TARDIS has at least eighteen Master Bedrooms. It has laundry circuits, responsible for cleaning its occupants' clothes and returning them neatly ironed.
The Doctor's chequebook is made of paper from the trees of Arborius these trees are sentient, and as a consequence, so is their paper.
The Cylox are a powerful extra-dimensional race that destroys planets and galaxies for fun, as part of their games. On their own plane of existence, they appear as large humanoids with massive distended skulls, long necks, and thin eyes like slits. Circa 1490, two young Cylox brothers were imprisoned in an extra-dimensional prison on Earth, having been altered to limit their psychic abilities. One of them, Lai-Ma, escaped and was reborn on Earth in the form of an albino, and set about trying to find his Ini-Man, a human who could release him properly from his imprisonment. The other Cylox, Tko-Ma, psychically contacted a human, his Kyto-Ma, to help him trap his brother, so that he could seize his power and escape to Earth in his place. Tko-Ma established the Magnate on Earth, which many Governments believe to be a shadowy Earth government but which is actually just a cover established by Tko-Ma for him to track Lai-Ma. As the Magnate, he also used the Network to assemble a team of psychics to stop his brother. Even with their powers reduced, the Cylox are level 1000 ESPnets. Lai-Ma can project temporal projections of himself across the planet to make it harder for Tko-Ma to find him. Trey and his fellow ESPnets manage to drain off the plane of reality on which Tko-Ma is trapped, and Tko-Ma is talked into entering a different imprisonment inside a fragment of this dimension in order to survive. The woman who becomes his Ini-Ma may have been left on Earth as their jailer. Following the destruction of their prison, Lai-Ma, who was using its drained power to create his time shadows, was weakened, allowing Ini-Ma to trap him in the same prison in which the Doctor trapped Tko-Ma, which she then destroys, killing them.
Following the events of Business Unusual, Ciara and Cellian, seeking redemption, took Ashley, Joe and Janine to Scotland to look after them and help to remove the blocks on their memories. They moved to Halcham in 1992 after being contacted by Sebastian Malvern. They are so closely linked that when Ciara dies protecting their charges, Cellian dies at the same time. Prior to this, the Doctor was planning to take the twins off the Earth, feeling responsible in part for the pair's past actions. Ashley, Joe and Janine can download information from the internet through jack plugs in their heads, allowing them to learn how to repair things instantaneously, this information breaks down after about half-an-hour. Following the twins' death, they become wards of Sebastian Malvern and remain in Halcham to continue building their lives.
Trey used his psychic abilities to work for C-19, who offered to let him stay in the country and help him find Joe in return they kept the first part of their promise, but not the second.
Sir John Sudbury, who was a member of C19 and who vouched for the Doctor in Time-Flight after Concorde disappeared, was trying to expose the Network when he died of a heart-attack; given that his health was excellent and his death sudden, he was probably murdered.
Following World War II, the British Government established the Bunker, a top-secret research facility known as the Forge (Project: Twilight). During the 1960s, it became home to C19 (The Scales of Injustice). By 1989, it was used to stockpile equipment or artefacts recovered during UNIT operations. By 1993, C19 has been disbanded.
The Hirudon Conglomerate is a small and relatively new part of the tri-planet alliance of Calfedoria. They are a race of pseudomorphs. As part of their cloning project, they set up a front organisation called CalMed 1, to allow them to obtain human body parts. They plan to use these several hundred years in the future, to provide disease-free human body parts to the humans in order to sell their technology to them. Once their leader meets Trey and realises that he has been compromised, he genially agrees to cut his losses and leave the planet.
John Doe was made amnesiac by tampering with the Doctors IRIS machine and had a crush on Sarah-Jane (Planet of the Spiders). He carries a picture of the Third Doctor, whom he blames for his condition.
Links: The whole story is a sequel to Business Unusual, with Trey, Joe, and the Irish twins all making return appearances. The Doctor mentions departed companions Peri (last seen in Mindwarp), Grant Markham (last seen in Killing Ground), and Evelyn. There are references to Vervoids (Terror of the Vervoids, after which this story is set) and Chronovores (The Quantum Archangel). Various UNIT operations are mentioned, with references to the Master, the Keller method (The Mind of Evil), the Parakon Corporation (The Paradise of Death), TOMTIT (The Time Monster), big lizards in London (Invasion of the Dinosaurs) and the Peace Conference (Day of the Daleks). The Doctor's first meeting with Evelyn in The Marian Conspiracy is mentioned. Evelyn also mentions Romana (The Apocalypse Element) and Darwin (Bloodtide), and tells Mel that she visited the Kurgon Wonder with the Doctor, but was trapped inside the TARDIS by a freak effect of that phenomenon (The Sirens of Time). The Shoreditch incident in 1963 is mentioned (Remembrance of the Daleks), as is the Henlow Downs incident (The Invasion). The Doctor notes that he often doesn't chose his companions, and cites Tegan and Peri as examples (Logopolis and Planet of Fire respectively).
Location: Los Angeles, 22nd July 1857; Los Angeles, 22nd July 1972; Oxford, 5th April 1978; Madagascar, 4th May 1988; Gohnn, Great Rokeby, Halcham, York, Sheffield, Auckland, Wembley, Paris and Los Angeles, 29th December 1993 9th January 1994.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor and Mel have recently faced Bovinites, the bat-like eighteen-foot tall Chiropterons, and pan-dimensional terrorists. They recently visited 1920s London, where the Doctor made Mel a cosignatory on his Coutts Bank account, and Australia in 1969, where the Doctor bought a beach house, which he let to a couple of hippies who agreed to decorate it. It is also implied that they have encountered Daleks, Chelonians (Maybe a reference to [DEC]Fegovy (Decalog 3: Consequences)[/DEC]) and the Marmossan Horde. It is implied that Evelyn has met the Master. She and the Doctor met Captain Tonka Travers; the unseen meeting between the Doctor and Travers referred to in Terror of the Vervoids. There is another reference to the Doctor and Mel's encounter with the Stalagtrons (see The Quantum Archangel). The Doctor was given a pair of binoculars by a famous ornithologist who lived in Jamaica during the 1950s, and who he took to see a real live Dodo in the 1800s. He introduced his friend to a former military man who intended write fiction, and requested that a signed first edition of any books they write is left for him at the Coutts Bank. The Fourth Doctor and Romana once walked the Pennine Way, Romana carrying K9 for the entire journey.
The Bottom Line: Something of a return to form for Gary, Instruments of Darkness is as usual continuity-laden, but not annoyingly so, partly due to the presence of new enemies in the form of the Cylox. The novel neatly ties up loose ends from The Scales of Injustice and Business Unusual, and it's great to see Evelyn, particularly as the ending paves the way for future Big Finish audios featuring the Doctor, Evelyn and Mel.