The Eleventh Tiger
Roots: Martial arts movies (there is also a specific reference to Drunken Master). The Stone Tape (buildings recording events as an explanation for ghosts). The novel opens with a quotation from The Dream of the Red Chamber. Barbara quotes Macbeth ('By the pricking of my thumbs'). There are references to Hitler, the Boxer rebellion, Gene Kelly, Queen Victoria, Charles Addams, Miyamoto Musashi, Carl Weather's Kung-fu Fighting, Edgar Allen Poe, the Alamo, Julius Caesar, King Arthur, Jesus, Genghis Khan, Orwell's 1984, Stalin, Rasputin, Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Kirlian photographs, Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, and Howard Carter.
Dialogue Disasters: The Kung-fu Fighting joke.
Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: 'Brains will win over brawn every time, and there I have the distinct advantage, don't you think?'
'If you don't belong in one place perhaps its because you belong everywhere. Did you ever consider that?'
Continuity: The alien intelligence that controls Qin Shi Huang is not named, but is clearly the Mandragora Helix (it is a plasma based helix with the same powers exhibited by the Helix in The Masque of Mandragora and refers to the Doctor defeating it four hundred years earlier). It exploits a stellar conjunction that occurs every two thousand years to transmit its intelligence on Earth. It last visited Earth two thousand years earlier and persuaded Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor, to imprint his mind into an executable application engram recorded as a stone tape recording, along with his two generals. Qin's memories are incomplete, presumably having been edited by the Helix to make him easier to control. The Mandragora Helix refers to itself in the plural. It allows the memory engrams of Qin and his generals to occupy human hosts, and can take control when it desires. Its human hosts can fire energy beams from their hands and eyes. The Mandragora Helix also recreates the former glory of the stonework of Qin's mausoleum (see The Masque of Mandragora) and animates legions of terracotta warriors to provide an army. It calls the Doctor 'Traveller' and is aware of his influence throughout Earth's history; it wants to absorb him into itself.
The Doctor dons a double-breasted frock coat similar to his usual one and wears his panama hat. He claims to speak all the Chinese dialects (see The Mind of Evil, The Talons of Weng-Chiang). Master Wong leaves him in charge of Po Chi Lam whilst he is under arrest, forcing the Doctor to adopt the role of a doctor of medicine. Major Chesterton hands the Doctor a glass of brandy, although it isn't clear whether he drinks it or not. He carries at least two pairs of pince-nez. The Doctor wins a duel against martial arts master Jiang, partly by using simple techniques that allow him to divert Jiang's attacks without exerting himself, and finally by tricking Jiang into aiming a kick at his head whilst he has his back to a wooden pillar with the sunlight behind him so that Jiang cannot see him; the kick hits the pillar, shattering Jiang's foot. He claims that he has son or daughters, or both.
Ian and Barbara have been travelling with the Doctor for two years by this point. Barbara tells Ian that she loves him (see More Short Trips: Romans Cutaway) and he proposes that they marry if they ever get home (see The Face of the Enemy and Who Killed Kennedy). Prior to meeting the Doctor, Ian lived in a small flat in Shoreditch. He knows of an evening judo class held near to his flat and considers taking up martial arts when he gets home, something he has toyed with before. Mistaken for his great-grandfather, Ian is beaten up and sustains a cracked jaw, a broken tooth, several broken ribs and a fractured shin. He drinks soup and tea whilst recuperating. He isn't superstitious. He boxed during his national service days, which he served in Wales. He used to fly kites in his youth. He was taught the Ten Commandments at Sunday School and despite not being religious has tried to follow those core values. Believing his great-grandfather to be his future self, he tries to kill him in order to save Barbara, reasoning that he will understand. Ian's interest in science stemmed from his imagination as a child, which encouraged him to read Jules Verne and HG Wells.
Barbara's father built steamboats, which she occasionally went aboard. He taught her about naval superstitions regarding women. She is able to unlock the TARDIS, suggesting that the Doctor has either modified it or told her the correct sequence (see The Daleks). Whilst held prisoner by Qin Shi Huang, she and Vicki are fed steamed dumplings and vegetables with rice wine.
Vicki's father was Lieutenant Commander Pallister. He had basic paramedic training for the job he was intended to do on Astra. The ship was a civilian vessel. There were no boys of Vicki's age on board the ship to Astra. She has seen people practising their kata in zero gravity and has witnessed beings with more than two arms or legs competing in judo tournaments. She knows the basics of self-defence. Neural technology wasn't on her syllabus. She heard stories from her father and other passengers on the ship to Astra about parasitic aliens that can possess humans.
The TARDIS console room contains an ornate ormolu clock, a Louis XIV chair and a gramophone. There is a navigational panel on the console that states which planet the TARDIS is on but doesn't specify the exact geographical location [unless the Doctor doesn't know how to use it properly]. The TARDIS has a galley. There is a first aid cabinet located next to the food machine, which contains antibiotics and a machine resembling a solid wide paintbrush with lights and buttons that regenerates bones within minutes. The background hum of the TARDIS seems to change appreciatively when Barbara pats the console.
Ian is the spitting image of his great-grandfather, Major William Bill Chesterton. The Major was a member of a Hussar company at Jaipur, India, in 1860. Major Chesterton's father (Ian's great-great-grandfather) was a drunkard and a gambler who frequently slept with prostitutes. Bill once made love in Italy. He has an Aunt Mary, who has several sons, none of whom he has met. By 1890 he had retired and translated Mountains and Sunsets by Ho Lin Chung into English.
Links: The Mandragora Helix first appeared in The Masque of Mandragora. Ian and Barbara recall the Doctor kidnapping them (An Unearthly Child). There are numerous references to the events of The Rescue. Vicki recalls Turkey and Italy (Byzantium!, The Romans). Her surname Pallister was established in Byzantium!. There are references to The Daleks and Marco Polo. The food machine is mentioned (The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction). Susan's departure is mentioned, as is the cottage in which she and Barbara last sought shelter (The Dalek Invasion of Earth). The Doctor warns about the consequences of Ian coming into contact with his future self (Mawdryn Undead).
Location: Guangzhou, Zhenhailou and surrounding countryside, China, 1865.
Future History: During Vicki's time, food is engineered to be nutritious and healthy, but has a fairly uniform taste. Most superstitions have disappeared by Vicki's time. It is implied that pandas are extinct by then. Museums in this era have holographic displays.
The Bottom Line: A thoroughly enjoyable romp from McIntee, which perfectly captures the TARDIS crew and develops the relationship between Ian and Barbara in a manner consistent with some of the author's other work with the pair without it seeming forced or intrusive. The identity of the villain is left deliberately vague, but it works perfectly well as a malevolent alien intelligence even if the reader doesn't spot the clues.