Roots: There are references to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and Marilyn Monroe.
Goofs: If Bernice has been at St Oscar's for sixth months and Tameka got pregnant in Beyond the Sun how has she apparently given birth to a healthy baby, or indeed, at all? [His Ursulan heritage?].
Dialogue Disasters: "Do you know what that arse-brained, git-headed, pillock-brained toss-pot has done?"
Continuity: Ardethe is located on the outer rim. It is the seventh planet in a ten planet system and is entirely covered in blue rocks.
The Knights of Jeneve have spent three centuries searching for Baygent's heir (Dragon's Wrath).
The Jithii are gaseous parasites that enter a host's body via the nervous system and solidify once attached to the cerebellum, feeding of the personality and controlling the host.
Bernice plays poker with her students in the Witch and the Whirlwind. She has now been at St Oscar's for six months and is starting to feel settled. Her room contains a bicycle and a life-sized cardboard cutout of a mid-twentieth century television character that Benny rescued from a closed-down video shop in 2006. According to Jason, she's very good at Twister. She drinks Jack Daniels here. She has a Professor Nightshade figure in her rooms (see Nightshade).
Jason is just over six feet tall and typically wears a brown leather jacket with furry collar. He drinks a double Scotch here. He won the Mother Fist in a game of Twister. He still has a TARDIS homing device, plus a spare, which he gives to Emile at the end. He gets engaged to Charlene Connor here.
Chris Cwej was found on one of the outer colony planets six months earlier by the Knights of Jeneve and transmatted to Ardethe, where he has since remained in suspended animation. After being revived, he suffers from amnesia to the extent that he can't remember his own name due to being possessed by a Jithii. He still has a TARDIS homing device. When Jason finds him, he's wearing a loose baggy white judogui, baggy leggings, sandals and socks. He regains his memory after expelling the Jithii.
Emile Mars-Smith returns to St Oscar's, having returned home to visit his father. His mother is buried on a small moon where lots of Natural Path followers are buried.
Tameka is still at St Oscar's and has now given birth to Scott's son, Jock.
Joseph implies that the previous rector of Garland's College was "accidentally" electrocuted after being rude to him [he's probably joking].
Charlie X is the robarman at the Witch and the Whirlwind. Professor Shingbourne is on the staff of Garland College. The Earth Literature department is housed in the D. H. Lawrence Building. Professor Dok is a silicon-based life form and once spent the night on Benny's sofa. DNN is the Dellahan News Network.
The Grutcha are a canine species.
Kastor Major is ruled by a totalitarian regime that sentences criminals for life to penal colonies such as Kamp Konkordia on a tiny asteroid orbiting Rimulus. Some of the Kamps use mind-wipes, a technique derived from the Keller Principle (The Mind of Evil). The planet Sha 4 has twin suns. Safaris take place on Llandros. Other planets mentioned here include Analyas V, Solaados, Frijor III, Ashleigh's World, and Dersius. A Braggaht is a sacred beast on a world colonised by the Earth Empire and its indigenous population subjugated.
Links: Chris last appeared in Lungbarrow. Emile Mars-Smith and Tameka previously appeared in Beyond the Sun. Professor Warrinder last appeared in Oh No It Isn't!. Archduke last appeared in Dragon's Wrath. There are references to the Hyperion and Empress spaceliner lines (Terror of the Vervoids, Nightmare of Eden), Cantryans (Return of the Living Dad), and the Krytell Science Foundation (Beyond the Sun, Ship of Fools). The last line is a nod to Death and Diplomacy.
Location: Ardethe, Dellah, and on board the AMS Trigan, the KayBee 2, and the Mother Fist, c2594.
Future History: AMS Administration is part of the Earthspace Administration. By 2594, Emmanuel College is one of the last remaining parts of Cambridge University on Earth. The Cam has been turned into a monorail track.
The Bottom Line: Largely quite tedious, with some dreadful dialogue, poor characterisation, and a plot that suffers from one hundred pages of needless padding. Still, it's nice to see Chris again.