The Colour of Darkness

Roots: The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Goofs: Karagula was described as cold and desolate in The Dust of Ages.

Continuity: Karagula is the only planet orbiting the remote binary star of Izjol. Izjol A and Izjol B are both G2 suns, and therefore similar to Earth’s sun. Karagula is usual hot and dry. It was colonised generations ago by humanoid aliens who divided into two factions, the surface-dwellers, and the subterranean Darksmiths, who couldn’t stand the heat of the suns. The Karagulans are humanoid with amber-coloured eyes. They live on the surface and are careful to avoid Sun Fever, caused by the baking glare of the binary star. They use the yellow paste of the Samal flower to protect themselves from sun burn. Stone-lore is central to the Karagulan way of the life. The Karagulans use Obsidian. They use peace leaf as a sedative. Float-stone is made of Axite ore; if enough of it is bolted together, it floats. The Karagulans use it to make their houses float, and live a nomadic existence, moving across the planet’s surface to minimise exposure to the sun. The Doctor hypothesises that float stone is repelled by Karagula’s magnetic core.

The Lithic Oath, or Oath of Stone, is a bond upheld by the Dreadbringers of the Darksmith Collective. The Darksmiths live below ground in a subterranean empire accessible only via the Dark Cathedral. They are hairless and have virtually no skin pigmentation due to generations of living below the ground.

The Menim are large part-insectoid, part-reptilian aliens. They are famed for their visual sense.

The Fijavas were cartographers. Their Survey was the first attempt to map the universe.

Rock spoorls are large, predatory birds that live in the mountains of Karagula. Cave scorpions are also found in the mountains.

The Doctor introduces himself to the Darksmiths as John Smith, Special Envoy of the Spiel Confederation. He carries a clothes peg.

Planets and regions of space mentioned here include Rwwym, Jallo IX, Af Sag, Stegallatan Mex, the Flydon Agglomeration, Chandose, the Matik Spiral, Pa Ja Dimin, and Beta Congress. Flydon Maxima is a planet in the Flydon Agglomeration.

Clause 374 of the Shadow Proclamation states that “theft of an artefact of great cultural value legitimises the use of lethal force to ensure the artefact’s recovery.”

Links: The Graves of Mordane. The ending leads directly into The Depths of Despair. The Doctor mentions the Slitheen (Aliens of London/World War III, Boom Town, The Monsters Inside, Revenge of the Slitheen, The Lost Boy, The Gift) and Sontarans. There is a reference to the Mortal Mirror (Martha in the Mirror).

Location: Karagula, [the twenty-first century].

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has visited the acid-spitting sulphur-fields of Gomrath’s gas moons and the Newt and Noggin juice bar on Alphura III.

The Bottom Line: Lots of world building and interesting monsters, although the lack of attention to detail throughout the series thus far is becoming irritating (Karagula isn’t cold and desolate, the Darksmiths must be able to travel time etc). Still, Dungworth contributes a decent instalment.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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