by Trevor Baxendale

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 55595 5


    Beneath the burning surface of Eskon lies vast frozen lakes and a civilised community. The Doctor and Compassion must lead a danger-frought subterranean expedition to prevent a disaster that could destroy the very essence of Eskon.


    Fitz and Compassion



    Pg 2 "Even a random materialisation could be detected from Gallifrey" Reference to events of The Shadows of Avalon.

    Pg 3 "Only relatively recently had the once human Compassion completed her unnatural evolution into a TARDIS." The Shadows of Avalon.

    "I get my bearings from Galactic Zero centre." Which is the same place that Gallifrey gets its bearings from in Pyramids of Mars.

    Pg 6 "Used to belong to Sam's personal CD player. Or was it Mel's?"

    "You think someone would've invented an everlasting torch, wouldn't you?" The first Doctor carried everlasting matches and the seventh had an everlasting cigarette in Blood Harvest.

    Pg 12 "Ever read Down Among The Dead Men by Professor B-" This is the title of Professor Bernice Summerfield's best-selling book.

    Pg 21 "The Daleks were always pretty good with static electricity." There's also a reference to Dalek parties being terrible.

    Pg 28 "Er, one of the mercury links blew in the interstitial phase magnetron Artron hoover booster." Fitz's desperate explanation as to how his 'ship' came down manages to quote The Daleks, The Time Monster, The Trial of a Time Lord and The Deadly Assassin. Not bad for a guy who has no idea what he's talking about.

    Pg 25 "I'm worried about the Time Lords." Reference to the ongoing arc of Compassion being on the run.

    Pg 52 "I've seen some pretty dry planets, yes. Aridius. Sarn. A terrible world called Dust." The Chase, Planet of Fire, Interference.

    "I've been to worlds that are entirely covered by water, though - Ockora. Coralee. Lethe." The Final Sanction, Storm Harvest. Lethe is the name of the river in the underworld in Greek mythology. If you drink from its waters, you forget everything, which is kind of relevant about now. And did you notice that, in the second progression of planets, the end of one word sounds like the beginning of the next - almost as if Baxendale was playing a word association game!

    Pg 66 "'It's not just science,' the Doctor said. 'It's magic.'" The underlying theme in ,a href=vamp.htm>Vampire Science.

    Pg 68 "'Time-worms, right?' suggested Fitz. He caught the Doctor's look and pulled a face. 'Joke.'" The Timewyrm series, although the conversation that leads up to this is hideously contrived to allow a joke to appear that, after careful consideration, fails to be in any way funny.

    Pg 76 "Compassion was different from anything or anyone else anywhere, and that difference had been forced upon her." The Shadows of Avalon. There are also reference to Compassion's background.

    Pg 77 "And a randomiser [...] The Doctor had insisted upon it, though, had forced it on her." The Fall of Yquatine.

    Pg 81 "I had a teacher like that once" Almost certainly a reference to Borusa.

    Pgs 87-88 "There had been that business on Yquatine only recently" The Fall of Yquatine.

    Pg 88 "The Time Lords and their plans to mate her with bull-TARDISes" The Shadows of Avalon, although bull-TARDISes were first mentioned in The Taking of Planet 5.

    Pg 89 "Humming a rather garbled version of a tune from Madame Butterfly" The Doctor also does this in the telemovie.

    Pg 90 "Otherwise she'd get all grumpy and probably trigger my next regeneration when I stub my toe." This is a reference to Head Games, which stated that Time needed a champion to arise and so was responsible for the sixth Doctor regenerating when he bumped his head on the console in Time and the Rani.

    "What he wouldn't do now to see that rackety old police box again!" Quoting Tegan from the end of The Five Doctors.

    Pg 96 Fitz waking up and saying 'Hell' as he dashes to do things is clearly cribbed from the opening sequence of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

    Pg 126 The chapter title is 'Fear of the Dark', which Baxendale must have noted down at the time as a title that he liked.

    Pg 142 "Come on, we've got work to do." This may just be a deliberate quoting of the last line in Survival.

    Pg 157 "It's a Kursaal slot-machine token." Kursaal.

    Pg 186 "He'd been changed at the hands of the Remote, and then the TARDIS, of course" Interference.

    Pg 187 "Once she had lived only be receiving signals and information through a specially designed earpiece." Interference. There's also a reference to Anathema, the planet of the Remote, from Interference.

    "A moment's analysis told her it was duralinium-based alloy." Duralinium comes from Colony in Space originally, but is also mentioned in The Monster of Peladon and Synthespians™.

    Pg 218 "'Who can save us now?' 'Good evening!' announced the Doctor, barging through the doors." This was either lifted from or gifted to (depending which way around they came) the Doctor's first entrance in Death Comes to Time.

    Pg 223 "Could it be conceivable that the Doctor was trying to distract himself - his own formidable mind - from the sudden loss of his TARDIS?" The Shadows of Avalon.

    Pg 224 "A glow of pleasure enveloped Fitz, mixed with some relief that the Doctor hadn't kissed him." Because the Doctor did kiss him in a similar situation in Dominion.

    Pg 254 "I used to sell a military variant." The Doctor initially met Compassion when she was selling arms, in Interference.

    "I used to carry a pair of jump leads for K9."

    Pg 257 "'Haven't you got it yet, Compassion? I'm indestructible too!' He turned and ducked into the crevice that led into the Spulver worm's cavern, leaving her to follow, shaking her head. 'No you're not,' she said quietly." A piece of really contrived foreshadowing for The Ancestor Cell, which requires the Doctor to act stupidly beforehand just to justify its existence.

    Pg 262 "I've done nothing but get into fights since I arrived on this planet, thought the Doctor. There was a time when he might have enjoyed it, almost relished the violent exercise." Probably a reference to The Romans, in which the Doctor describes to Vicki his delight at the art of fisticuffs. Less likely, it might refer to The Seeds of Death which, violence-wise from the Doctor's point of view, Coldheart resembles.

    Pg 268 "Indestructable [...] Reminds me too much of 'unsinkable'." The Doctor uses a similar line in Terror of the Zygons.

    Pg 273 Surfacing in the first lake on Eskon for decades: "'I was just wondering,' [the Doctor] called up to the people gathered by the shore: 'could we possibly borrow a glass of water?'" This is almost a direct quote from the sequence in The Brain of Morbius when the door to Castle Morbius is opened and the Doctor, standing in pouring rain, says much the same thing. Tom Baker described the line as 'killingly funny' in The Tom Baker Years video, presumably because he'd made it up.



    Old Krumm


    Spulver Worms




    1. Pg 3 "Every time Compassion dematerialises, we increase the chance of the Time Lords getting a definite trace on her." Someone really should have told Nick Walters this as, in The Fall of Yquatine, he has Compassion continually dematerisalising and rematerialising constantly for quite literally decades. Wonder why the Time Lords didn't spot what must have been an unbelievable build-up of Artron Energy then.
    2. Pg 160 "His cry could be heard diminishing into the fathomless depths below, an awful wail of fear that gradually dwindled to total silence as the distance grew too great."...doesn't quite square with: Pgs 160-161 "Compassion twisted in the air, got a better grip on the Eskoni [...] and then clamped a hand over his mouth to stop the man screaming."
    3. Pg 190 "'We meet again, Doctor.' Revan gestured to two more slimers who were positioned on either side of the Doctor and Brevus. They were armed with Eskoni handbows. 'Kill them,' he said." Cue cliffhanger ending, zoom camera at Paul McGann's face, whirling starfield patterns, hideous orchestral rearrangement of the theme tune and closing credits. Then, when we tune in to find out what happens next week, we discover thatÉ Revan's mates simply don't kill them. There's no countermand to the order, but the next thing that happens is that the Doctor speaks and Revan hits him, presumably out of frustration that his two compatriots are so incredibly stupid. At no point in the subsequent scene do either of them try to follow Revan's order.
    4. Pg 220 "'Arrogant nonsense,' stormed Tor Grymna." The phrase, I am almost sure, is 'Arrant nonsense.'
    5. Pg 239 "Some of the younger cubs clung to their parents." Odd, because, earlier in the novel, children were referred to as 'calves' (Pg 63).

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

    1. Presumably, whoever was watching out for it dropped off.
    2. Compassion might not grab his mouth until he's out of earshot of the others.
    3. As part of their further development in their Slimer condition, both of Revan's cohorts, at astronomical odds, suddenly and simultaneously have a massive rusher of Spulver mucus to the ears, rendering them both temporarily deaf.
    4. Tor Grymna doesn't know the phrase properly.
    5. The terms are either interchangeable, or they are cubs when younger and calves when slightly older children.

    The Eskoni, humanoid but with wide-apart eyes and tan fur from the crown of their heads to the small of their backs.

    Spulver Worms, tentacled creatures that hunt by temperature.

    Knivors, a cross between a dog and a bat. They hunt in packs of a hundred or so.

    Slimers, Eskoni children mutated with Spulver worm DNA


    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    It's traditional as all get-out and it's a poor follow-up to The Shadows of Avalon and The Fall of Yquatine's one-two sucker punch, with regards to doing nothing interesting at all with Compassion, but aside from those admittedly large strikes against it, it's quite pleasant. Baxendale knows his Doctor Who, so he lovingly recreates a four part television story, using a few sets, a quarry, a small cast and a straightforward plot. It's a bit strange that this takes place in novel form, but for what it is it's done well.