When 400-year-old tribal mummies inexplicably return to life and begin murdering tourists on an exotic alien island, the Doctor's initial urge to investigate lands himself, Jamie and Victoria right in the middle of a jungle holocaust. It could well be the end of the river for the TARDIS companions as they find themselves involved in a horrific jungle conflict between desperate guerrilla tribesmen and merciless colonial forces. Cannibalism could be the least of their worries as evil stirs the pot and the dead reach for the living...
Jamie and Victoria.
Pg 10 An Indoni beach, on the planet Jenggel (the future).
Pg 106 "I fought against the English at Culloden." The Highlanders.
Pg 163 "For a moment he was back on Culloden." The Highlanders.
Pg 238 "This man was worse than the Daleks." Evil of the Daleks.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Santi, Clown (although he never met any of the principal cast), Kepennis (although he's about to die as the book ends).
- Pg 23 The TARDIS crew can understand the local languages, except for the Papul language. This contradicts just about every story, ever.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- The TARDIS translator circuits are playing up.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
The people of Jenggel include the Indoni, who have military and an expansionist regime, and the Papul, who are former cannibals, living under Indoni rule. Jenggel natives are brown-skinned.
Pg 5 A Kassowark, a three-toed flightless bird with purple eyes and a coxcomb.
Pg 7 A yellow bird with a long crimson beak.
Pg 8 A fat snake with migraine colours.
Pg 18 Aliens with white skin, yellow skin and some with scales.
Pg 56 A Horrakbill bird (spelled 'Horrakbil' on page 88).
Pg 84 A garishly coloured snake with a head that is wide and flat and eyeless.
Pg 119 'Babi' is a pig (see page 51).
Pg 128 The Snatcher, a creature with a moss-green head and fleshy rope-like arms and lonmg green fingers that grab from the water.
Pg 133 The Indoni torturer is partially cybernetic, with a metallic probe for an eye and a torture instrument for a hand.
Pg 188 A purple, plated creature with an armoured snout, no eyes and massive jaws and sharp teeth.
Pg 195 A transparent leech.
Pg 209 A thin orange water snake.
Tree-dwelling coils of reptiles with rainbow markings.
Pg 214 Kechouak, cockroaches the size of carpet slippers.
Pg 224 A bulbous-headed fish.
Pg 245 The Krallik is made up of stitched-together body parts.
Pg 256 The Slinker, a massive grey beast with thick forearms and a flat, blunt head.
Pg 259 The purple fungus is a sentient organism that feeds on the brain's cortex.
Various locations on the planet Jenggel, the future (page 12).
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
Combat Rock is a thinly disguised Boys Own Adventure in the deep dark Jenggel, er jungle, except that that sort of thing isn't politically correct any more. It's a reasonable tale of cannibals and the politics of oppression, although the mercenaries get appallingly short shrift and a couple of things are just thrown in randomly (eg the Indoni torturer). There's a frenetic pace at the end, where the revelation is piled upon revelation, but it can't quite disguise the thinness of the plot. It's fair enough that the regulars are so out of place among penis gourds and prositutes, but it's a shame that they still have extremely little to do. Reasonable, but a bit middle of the road.