The Cabinet of Light
by Daniel O'Mahoney

Publisher: Telos
ISBN: 1 903889 18 9 (standard)
1 903889 19 7 (deluxe)


    Everyone is hunting the Doctor. Honore Lechasseur, a time sensitive 'fixer', is hired by mystery woman Emily Blandish to find him. But Lechasseur is about to discover that following in the Doctor's footsteps can be a difficult task.

    Uncertain, but almost certainly a future Doctor. We get a description on page 86: "His features were large but not thick, quite the opposite, very graceful and aquiline. His hairline was receding, revealing an expansive dome over a face given to sly frowns and flashes of confusion. He wasn't a tall man and without the distinguishing bulk of his coat, he was gangly."


    Pg 79 There's an attempt to psychically transport the TARDIS to the Inferno club, which almost succeeds.


    Pg 11 "His great-uncle had hunted the Ripper and the Limehouse Phantom" The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

    Pg 24 "He was a ship's cook" This might not be a continuity reference, but the Doctor is mistaken for the ship's cook in Enlightenment. There's also a mention that the Doctor could have been 'a fabled mobster from Chicago'. This sounds like Blood Harvest [contribution by Anthony Wilson].

    Pg 26 "The old-man messenger brings fire and also reason." We get a feminine reworking of An Unearthly Child.

    Pg 27 "Who burned London in 1666? Who kidnapped the crew of the Mary Celeste?" The Visitation, The Chase.

    Pg 30 The Inferno club probably isn't a reference to The War Machines.

    Pg 44 'A card in her window said NO IRISH. NO DOGS, but she'd left room for more.' Presumably 'NO COLOUREDS' after this encounter. It is reminiscent of Remembrance of the Daleks [contribution by Anthony Wilson].

    Pg 53 'He told her about the canny head-shrinker they'd put onto him, who'd persuaded him to go into exile in Londond, on the run from his own people.' This has got to be a deliberately styled misquote [contribution by Anthony Wilson].

    Pg 66 'It read. simply: Down these mean streets a man musy go who is not himself mean' Blood Harvest, Mean Streets, although probably not deliberately [contribution by Anthony Wilson].

    Pg 75 "My godfather met you in Dublin during the Rising. You were a white man then and older." Uncertain reference.

    Pgs 75-76 "You wrote Poor Tom's dialogue in King Lear, I've seen your handwriting in the first draft." Likely a reference to City of Death.

    Pg 76 "You are Tom O'Bedlam, you are the king-in-patchwork, you are the flickering unman who never was." The patchwork reference might be a reference to the sixth Doctor's coat.

    Pg 78 "Lechasseur realised she was intoning Mary Had a Little Lamb, syllable by syllable." Possible reference to the novelisation of The Daemons.

    Pg 84 "The Doctor moved familiarly through the dark to his candles, lighting them with a match that he'd pinch out, then reignite, without it ever burning down." The Doctor had everlasting matches in the novelisation of The Daleks.

    Pgs 86-87 "He saw the Doctor, both much older and much younger, handing a burning briar to the naked hairy heavy-browed cavewoman" An Unearthly Child, although interesting Honore's vision is of the feminine reworking from page 26, not the televised version.

    Pg 87 "To tell the truth, the last time I smoked I was a whole other man." An Unearthly Child.

    "I remember visiting the city by the bay, meeting s woman in black, a beautiful lady with no pity. Then someone shot me and that's what made me the man I am today." This isn't a million miles away from the way in which the seventh Doctor regenerated into the eighth in the telemovie.

    Pg 90 'One day you'll look at a woman and think she's going to die in 1926 and 1951' I've no idea, but this sounds like it might be a foreward reference to The Winning Side [contribution by Anthony Wilson].

    Pg 93 "vermilion sands a grey tower toppling a girl who is yet to be born alien birdsong" The tower might be a reference to Logopolis. Alien birdsong might be a reference to An Unearthly Child.

    Pgs 99-100 'There will be a time when the Earth is drowned and humanity will be ruled by men like these, bloated supermen who've learned to breathe underwater.' This sounds vaguely like a description of the Haemovores from The Curse of Fenric [contribution by Anthony Wilson].

    Pg 100 "I can still... regenerate. [...] It's the end..." Logopolis.

    Pg 102 "There were three of them, each one different, each was being helped into patterned yellow robes with high collars and hoods." These robes might be intended to invoke the Time Lords' robes.

    Pg 113 'Bells mean death. Bells always mean death.' thinks Emily. As a former companion of the Doctor, even lacking her memory, this suggests that she knows what the Cloister Bell means [contribution by Anthony Wilson].

    Pg 120 "No, it was birdsong, the shrieks of seagulls wheeling in an alien sky." Probably reference to An Unearthly Child.

    Pg 121 "Out there in London, the future was waiting for them." This is a paraphrase of the last line of the novelisation of An Unearthly Child.


    Honore Lechasseur, Emily Blandish, Mrs Beardsley, G. Syme.


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

    Pg 102 A seven foot tall, spindly monster with a lizard head on a tapering neck a squat, solid body and yellow cat-like eyes.

    A human-ish male with hard black obsidian skin and red eyes smouldering like coals in the hollows of its face.

    A female with a pasty face and narrow trunk, who makes an ululating shriek and has a sweet voice of clicks and hums.

    Pg 116 Abraxas is a cybernetic human, who wears a suit riddled with pins, layers of armour and has orange fluid running through his veins.

    London, 1949.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Utterly brilliant. I'm not sure I entirely understood it, but that doesn't matter. The Cabinet of Light is sumptuously written, with every sentence like a piece of music. Honore is instantly likeable and keeping the Doctor offstage and mythic really helps and for once the future Doctor idea actually works. I'm not entirely sure why opening the TARDIS doors produces a light so intense that it devours a mansion, but I suspect we're not meant to question such things, just enjoy the ride. The first novella that left me wishing it were longer.