The Fourth Doctor finds himself investigating a murder in Oxford
in 1278... aided by Nyssa of Traken, who fondly remembers the
young man she last saw on Terminus.
Nyssa's Home, 3488 (location uncertain).
Pgs 19-20 "She had conquered Lazar's Disease, and had helped to
administer the distribution of the vaccine she had developed." We see
the post-Terminus career of Nyssa and her eventual acceptance
of a university post.
Pg 46 "Doctor, [...] what language have I been speaking today?" The
TARDIS translation circuits perform an unusual function in thirteenth
century Oxford - they translate the Doctor's speech into English or
Latin, yet Nyssa's into courtly French (although both can switch at
will). This is justified in the essay at the back of the book, where
it explains that most people of the time were able to speak these
languages to various degrees and would often switch back and forth,
depending who they were talking to.
"She was, after all, the daughter of Consul Tremas, who had been
Keeper-designate of all Traken." The Keeper of Traken,
obviously. Nyssa decides that the TARDIS translates her speech into
French, since she is the equivalent of a noblewoman.
Pg 65 "I am a member of a contemplative house. The Prydonian order.
You won't have heard of it. We're terribly reclusive. I'm one of the
very few peripatetic, mendicant members." The Doctor passes himself
off loosely as a monk, which isn't that far from the Time Lords.
Pg 67 "I swear it by the Sash of Rassilon. [...] The Sash is the
holiest of the relics of my order." The Deadly Assassin.
Pg 147 "He doesn't know I've killed Cybermen." Earthshock.
Pg 148 "For a second Nyssa was reminded of the Cyberman she had
killed, and she winced at the memory." Earthshock again.
Pg 172 "I feel as though I've been running ever since my father
died." The Keeper of Traken (although also Logopolis,
Pg 217 "I don't have regeneration or an afterlife to look forward
to." Another comparison between religion and the Time Lords.
"To exist or not to exist. [...] That is the question. I gave
Shakespeare that line, you know. but he changed it. ungrateful
fellow." The Doctor also mentions helping Shakespeare in City of
Pg 219 "I don't make a habit of letting my companions die." Implied
reference to Adric's death in Earthshock. This explains much of
the book's raison d'etre; a post-Adric Doctor would not have been so
blase about leaving Nyssa in potential danger, but she spends a great
deal of the book reflecting on safety and the danger she finds herself
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Non-corporeal aliens, Roger Bacon.
None. Nyssa appears out of continuity, but this is dealt with in
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Unnamed non-corporeal aliens, who can inhabit the minds and bodies
of corporeal beings.
Nyssa's Home, 3488.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
Quite charming. The murder mystery is a little obvious and Nyssa
doesn't actually get to do very much for most of the book, but the
book excels in evoking the details of the time and place it's set in.
The odd pairing of the pre-Traken Fourth Doctor and post-Terminus
Nyssa raises this above the ordinary to do some decent character
exploration, in contrast to almost every other Past Doctor Adventure.
This book also knows exactly when to stop, rather than padding out its
page count and the 22 page essay at the end is fascinating and
extremely well-written. Surprisingly delightful.