Byzantium!
by Keith Topping


Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 53836 8

     

    BASIC PLOT
    The TARDIS crew arrive to take in the splendour of the Roman Empire, amid intrigue, lust, power, oppression, resistance and murder.

    DOCTOR
    First

    COMPANIONS
    Ian, Barbara and Vicki

    MATERIALISATION CIRCUIT
    The city of Byzantium.

    PREPARATORY READING
    None, although this book is set immediately between the cliffhanger to The rescue and the opening scenes of The Romans.

    CONTINUITY REFERENCES
    Pg 7 "I'm John Alydon Ganatus Chesterton."Johnny Chess was first mentioned in Timewyrm: Revelation and appears in The King of Terror, with hints that he later marries Tegan. His middle names are the names of two Thals from The Daleks. But see Continuity Cock-Ups.

    Pg 8 "She held out her black gloved hand. 'Julia,' she said brightly." Dr Julia Franklin and Sgt Robert Franklin were first introduced in The Devil Goblins from Neptune (pg 128) and appeared in The Hollow Men and The King of Terror.

    Pg 24 "The bottomless chasm of time and space did, seemingly, have a bottom after all." This follows on from the cliffhanger ending to The Rescue.

    Pg 27 Reference to Susan.

    Pg 29 "You said that about the Aztecs once, remember?" The Aztecs.

    Pg 30 "I mean, since Mexico I've..." The Aztecs.

    Pg 31 "Her destiny was mapped for her thousands of years before she was born." The Myth Makers.

    Pg 32 Reference to Susan.

    Pg 78 "Or Skaro, for that matter." The Daleks.

    Pg 96 "I was eleven when my mother died [...] She was going to call me Tanni" The original character outline for The Rescue called the new companion Tanni, but this was later changed to Vicki.

    Pg 114 "She was grateful that the TARDIS crew had saved her life on Dido from the madman Bennett and his deranged schemes." The Rescue.

    Pg 128 "A man being regenerated... Whatever next?" This is just a joke on the Doctor's behalf, because a later reference shows that he knows all about regeneration.

    Pg 134 Reference to Daleks and Thals.

    Pg 136 Reference to The Aztecs.

    Pg 149 "In France and Mexico. On Skaro and Mondas and Cassuragi." The Reign of Terror, The Aztecs, The Daleks and two unknown references (although Mondas was first seen in The Tenth Planet).

    "A tavern on Rigel during the Draconian purges." Unknown adventure, although the Draconians were first introduced in Frontier in Space.

    Pg 150 References to Venusian Opera (Venusian Lullaby) and Susan.

    Pg 154 Her mother dying shortly before she and her father left Earth for a new life in 1493. Dido and Koquillion." The Rescue.

    Pg 160 "He would live and regenerate and live and regenerate and live and regenerate and,maybe, in two thousand years he would be in the right place at the right time to find an escape route from this alluring, yet primitive, world." The Doctor does know of regeneration.

    Pg 179 "Forget the Aztecs, the French Revolution, or Marco Polo." The Aztecs, The Reign of Terror, Marco Polo.

    "Because he had collaborated with Shakespeare between draft one and draft two of Hamlet." City of Death.

    Pg 193 Reference to the food machine, seen in the early stories.

    Pg 196 "Cursing the dark November evening in London that she and Ian Chesterton had decided to investigate their mysterious and unearthly child." An Unearthly Child.

    Pg 202 "Rust Never Sleeps" This chapter title also appears in City of the Dead (for good reason), although its appearance here is a mystery.

    Pg 238 "She befriended a Greek woman named Cressida" Is this supposed to be an older Vicki, post-The Myth Makers? If so, see continuity cock-ups.

    Pg 255 Reference to Dido.

    OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
    Julia Franklin (The Devil Goblins From Neptune).

    Johnny Chesterton, although technically this is his one and only appearance. He's been mentioned a lot under the name "Johnny Chess", starting from Love and War.

    NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
    James, Daniel, Dorcas and Tobias, Christians in Byzantium.

    Gemellus, Thalius and General Gaius Calaphilus.

    CONTINUITY COCK-UPS

    1. Pg 1 "I'm six and a half" Johnny Chesterton was a toddler in 1976 in Face of the Enemy, yet he's six here, in 1973.
    2. Pg 31 "Her destiny was mapped for her thousands of years before she was born." How does the Doctor know about events of The Myth Makers, which haven't occurred for him yet?
    3. Pgs 56-57 "I still don't fully understand how we're able to converse with everyone so fluently." In The Masque of Mandragora, it's clearly stated that companions drawing attention to their ability to speak other languages is a sign that they've been possessed.
    4. Pg 238 "She befriended a Greek woman named Cressida" If this is supposed to be Vicki (which seems to be the only explanation, since this scene serves no other purpose), then she must be about 1200 years old, since the Fall of Troy took place around 1184 B.C. and Byzantium takes place in AD64.

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

    1. This one is more consistent with the earlier Timewyrm: Revelation dating, which had Johnny Chess as a rock star in 1985 (and The Also People cites one of his 1987 LPs). So the mistake is Face of the Enemy's
    2. Perhaps the Doctor had already visited Troy and upon meeting Vicki recognised Cressida.
    3. The TARDIS's telepathic circuits may be momentarily malfunctioning.
    4. Cressida here may be a descendent of Vicki, rather than Vicki herself.

    FEATURED ALIEN RACES
    None

    FEATURED LOCATIONS
    London, England 1973

    Byzantium, AD 64

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Despite Ian suddenly Mary-Sueing his characterisation into that of a cockney bovver boy, and the highly disturbing appearance of the exclamation mark in the novel's title, Byzantium! flows quite well. It's not the deepest of novels and the characters even admit that they didn't actually do anything, but it's a quick read that plays to the strengths of the Hartnell historical. Not too shabby.