Roots: The title is taken from David Bowie’s album and title track “Diamond Dogs”. There are references to Good Food magazine, Rice Krispies, Netflix, Frankenstein, Rail Enthusiast, Smarties, Star Trek, PC World, the Beatles, . The penal colony Cygnus-A is presumably a reference to the Blake’s 7 episode ‘Cygnus Alpha’.
Goofs: Tucker refers to there being three gas giants in the Solar System, apparently forgetting the existence of Uranus.
Continuity: The Ba-El Cratt are from a system many light years from Earth. They are an aqueous life form evolved to survive in the very high pressure environments of gas giants. In their natural form they are fluid and black gelatinous creatures. They lack individual names. Their spaceship is made from the bone of a giant creature and uses biomechanical technology. The Ba-El Cratt Collective is at war with the Cancri.
The Cancri are small humanoids from beyond Cygnus-A. They formed a deal with the Federation, and agreed to provide the pressure and gravity technology required to mine diamonds from the atmosphere of Saturn in exchange for a percentage. They use the diamonds in the weapons they deploy against the Be-El Cratt.
Security Orbs are flying robotic spheres used to enforce security on Kollo-Zarnista Mining Facility 27.
The Doctor visits Kollo-Zarnista Mining Facility 27 to steal a single diamond in order to pay for housekeeping expenses. He carries a jeweller’s eyeglass and a paisley handkerchief. The orange spacesuits in the TARDIS have gravity inverters. The Doctor claims that the TARDIS started out as a coral outgrowth.
Bill likes hot chocolate.
Derek is one of the students at the University who attended the Doctor’s lectures. Graham is Moira’s neighbour.
Links: This story takes place between Thin Ice and Knock Knock. Bill recalls the Emojibots (Smile). The Doctor notes that he shot a friend on Gallifrey who “got better” (Heaven Sent/Hell Bent).
There are references to Ogrons (Day of the Daleks, Frontier in Space), Zzinbriizi (Prime Time), Rhom-Dutt (The Power of Kroll), Sharaz Jek (The Caves of Androzani), the TARDIS’ gravitic anomaliser (The Horns of Nimon, Smith and Jones), the Bi-Al Foundation, Professor Marius and the Nucleus of the Swarm (The Invisible Enemy), Trenzalore (The Time of the Doctor), Shireen (Knock Knock), cutting down trees on Androzani Major (The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe), Axons (The Claws of Axos), Zygon ships (Terror of the Zygons), Varos (Vengeance on Varos), and the Shadow Proclamation.
Location: New York City; Kollo-Zarnista Mining Facility 27, Saturn; Titan; and Mimas, the fifty-first century.
Future History: Kollo-Zarnista Mining Facility 27 is located in the upper atmosphere of Saturn. It has been in almost constant operation for fifteen years. It uses Cancri technology in the form of gravity inverters to maintain its position in the atmosphere. There is also a diamond mining facility in the atmosphere of Jupiter and plans for one in the atmosphere of Neptune. The diamonds are used to fund the Human Empire’s expansion into space.
The Federation Security mainframe is located in Manhattan. There are Federation barracks on Ganymede. The COM-RADE (COMmunication Relay And Data Examination) arrays are part of the Federation’s subspace communications network.
Davy Crockett is a colony in the Sirius-B system. The Titan refuelling platform was rebuilt after the great fire of 5012.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has visited Kollo-Zarnista Mining Facility 27 to obtain diamonds before.
The Bottom Line: A typical Mike Tucker novel, i.e. nothing ground-breaking and featuring obvious villains and a couple of predictable twists, but generally rather entertaining. Tucker writes both the Twelfth Doctor and Bill well, and the plot rattles along at a merry old pace.