Beyond the Sun
by Matthew Jones

Publisher: Virgin
ISBN: 0 426 20511 1


    On an archaeological dig with a couple of inexperienced students, Bernice's ex-husband Jason turns up out of the blue. After that, things begin to go even more horribly wrong. Bernice and her students wind up on a prohibited planet, where the indigenous population is being enslaved by the cruel Sunless, in search of a weapon with powers "beyond the sun".

    Bernice Summerfield.

    Jason Kane, Emile Mars-Smith.


    Pg 13 "Like Emile, she had been awarded a Krytell scholarship." Krytell was first mentioned in Oh No It Isn't! and turns up in Ship of Fools.

    "Emile had even heard someone whisper that she was the Cat's Paw, the intergalactic thief who was terrorizing the art world." The Cat's Paw was mentioned in Oh No It isn't! and Dragons' Wrath and turns up in Ship of Fools.

    "A well thumbed hardback called Down Among the Dead Men." This is Benny's bestseller, mentioned quite frequently throughout the NAs.

    Pg 15 "Franz Kryptosa was an explorer who had vanished about a hundred years ago." Kryptosa's fate is revealed in Down.

    Pg 17 "Urnst didn't find Sakkrat in a day." The Highest Science.

    Pg 18 "When she'd read about the Chelonians in Bernice's book, the giant warlike turtles had caught her imagination." The Chelonians were first seen in The Highest Science and then featured in a number of books in the NAs and MAs.

    Pg 38 "It's not as if it hasn't happened before. Twice, if memory serves." Uncertain exactly when these two kidnappings were.

    Pg 46 "Have you heard of the Butler Project?" This corporate indexing project is almost certainly named after the Butler Institute, from Cat's Cradle: Warhead.

    Pg 117 Reference to Cat's Paw (Ship of Fools).

    Pg 136 "He'd been so obliging, agreeing to exchange their luxurious hotel room for a tent on the forgotten planet of Youkali where she had begun her field work again." Return of the Living Dad.

    Pg 149 "You wouldn't believe I spent the seventies in a punk-rock band, would you?" No Future.

    Pg 157 "She was reminded of her own wedding." Happy Endings.

    Pg 161 "She was reminded of her rather unethical flirtations with Doran." Oh No It Isn't!

    "But she hadn't done the deed, and by the sounds of things Jason had." This confirms that Benny didn't sleep with the eighth Doctor at the end of The Dying Days.

    Pg 217 "However cool she tried to be, she was a human being, not invulnerable like Mr Misnomer - the Man of Chrome" Mr Misnomer shows up in Down.

    Pg 220 "I was reminded of pantomime and cute students" Oh No It Isn't!

    Pg 232 "Ah, yes, Doran, the student with the floppy fringe." Oh No It Isn't!

    Pg 256 "And because you'd follow the Grel into Psychos "R" Us if they promised you a ten percent discount and free bumper stickers." The Grel first appeared in Oh No It Isn't!

    Pg 295 "Bernice Summerfield is a human being. As such she is all too capable of being cruel and cowardly. And yet, while she is often caught up in violent events, she endeavours to remain a woman of peace." This is a rephrasing of Terrence Dicks' description of the Doctor, first given in the NAs on page 36 of Timewyrm: Revelation.

    Jason Kane returns to the NAs, although there's no explanation of how he got to this timezone.

    Emile Mars-Smith, who would go on to appear in a number of Benny NAs.

    Tameko Vito, who reappears in Deadfall.

    Scott, Michael, Kitzinger, the Sunless.


    • There's no explanation whatsoever of how Jason gets to Benny's timezone. He doesn't use his time ring, as he gave it back to Benny at the end of Eternity Weeps.

    PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]

    • The Doctor gave him a lift, knowing that he'd be useful in saving Benny's life.

    Usulans, who are made up of the mixed heritage of a number of other races, including human, Oolian (who have been seen elsewhere in the NAs), Jellio and Sauran. They are born in groups of eight, via the Blooms.

    Vilmurians, upright crocodiles, who wear black suits (page 8).

    The Sunless, humanoids with crew-cut haircuts, white triangles for teeth, skeletal heads and striking features.

    Ursu, a year ago

    A passenger transport ship, present day to the Benny NAs.

    An archaeological dig on Apollox 4.

    Errol's ship.

    An Usulan dirigible.

    A Sunless ship.

    The Sunless homeworld.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Beyond the Sun is surprisingly bleak for much of it, but there's still a great deal here to enjoy. The Sunless are more metaphor than anything else, but it's still a metaphor that works. Emile and Tameka are great characters and the focus on Bernice is very welcome, especially her realisation at the end, about just what 'beyond the sun' really means. And the final paragraph is incredibly emotional.