The world ended on October the twelfth 1970. Only one person lived to tell the tale of the last days of Earth. This is the story of murder, love, deals and galactic events that changed the universe forever.
A brief cameo by the seventh in flashback.
Chris Cwej, although there's a cameo by Father Kreiner and Benny is mentioned a few times.
The Also People, Down, Where Angels Fear, Interference.
(None of these are essential, though. Dead Romance is a sequel of sorts to Interference, but it was published some months before, so you certainly don't need it.)
(Thanks to Iain Truskett and Anthony Wilson for significant contributions to this entry.)
Pg 23 "What else? Oh... a little gold earring, just a stud." Cwej got his earring in Damaged Goods (although he got it in the wrong ear, so one character thought he was gay there). We don't know which ear he wears it in here, but Christine says he wears it to look young.
Pg 28 Lady Diamond lives on Henrietta Street, revealed to be in the same location as Scarlette's house in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.
Pgs 63-64 In Christine's dream Cwej is on Gallifrey. The Time Lords are all below the surface, with Chris their only defender out in the open.
Pgs 69-70 The treaty with the People is being altered. In The Also People, the Time Lords had a non-aggression treaty with the People. Here the Time Lords are asking the People not to side against them in the upcoming war and in return they'll let them develop time travel. We later see them beginning to in Tears of the Oracle.
Pg 71 Cwej decorates the room with wooden objects in bottles to remind himself he's in a bottle. This is the bottle from Interference/The Ancestor Cell.
Pgs 77-78 Chris's story of how he was "abducted" is a distortion of the truth. He even admits that he can't remember much of it - the Time Lords have altered his memories so he'll work for them. The Evil Renegade is the seventh Doctor. Chris details Roz's death in So Vile A Sin.
Pg 79 "Either they could put me back in my own time, and blank out all the memories of what he'd done, or I could stay with them." Chris says that eventually the Time Lords caught up with the Evil Renegade and brought him back to the homeworld, where he joined up with them - a somewhat distorted version of the ending of Lungbarrow, where the Doctor left Chris on Gallifrey. The "blanking out of all the memories" bit is a reference to what happened to Jamie and Zoe in The War Games.
Pg 80 "The aliens were so advanced they'd even made machines they could sew into the cells of their bodies." Nanites were mentioned in lots of NAs as being the basis of regeneration (the theory originated in John Peel's Gallifrey Chronicles book). Ace wondered if she'd be able to get pregnant because of them in her system in Set Piece.
Pg 81 The creatures are described as being "like gods". The assumption here is that they're the Gods of Dellah, or similar to them, and they seem to change cognomen on a book by book basis at the moment, before finally changing to the Ferutu in Twilight of the Gods, which doesn't quite square with what we have here. Chris says the Time Lords assumed they'd never wake up. The fact that said awakening has now happened (first in Down, then in Where Angels Fear) was the catalyst for all the higher powers of the universe (the Time Lords and the People are the specific examples, but there may be more) to run scared in Where Angels Fear.
Pg 82 The Gods were made by superior beings whose ideas were dangerous and had who had since left without records (Uncertain reference - possibly the Time Lords, maybe not). The rumour that the Gods might be a figment of someone's imagination ties in to the running theme in the Benny NAs about questioning the division between fiction and reality. Dead Romance has this theme in spades.
Pg 83 There's a potted history of the Gods taking over Tyler's Folly (Down) and Dellah (Where Angels Fear).
Pg 89 "'The thing is, the Gods aren't all the same,' he went on. 'They fight with each other.'" We witnessed this kind of fighting, albeit on a much smaller scale, in The Mary-Sue Extrusion.
Pgs 92-93 The Evil Renegade fights a one-man war against the Gods, in possibly the most heroic scene featuring the Doctor in existence. Eventually he steals the bottle from the rogue Gods. It's not clear exactly when the Doctor gets hold of the bottle. In Interference I.M. Foreman has it (although she says she made it herself) and the eighth Doctor appears to steal it at the end. However, in The Ancestor Cell it seems that the Time Lords stole it directly from I.M. Foreman. On the other hand, there are a few hints that the events in Interference take place outside the bottle in which the NAs are occurring. Imagine this: Christine's world is in a bottle. Outside that bottle is the NA universe. Outside that bottle is the EDA universe. Outside that bottle is the BBC Urtext. Outside that bottle is anyone's guess, frankly.
Pgs 95-96 First mention of the war between the Time Lords and the Gods, though Chris says it's not going to happen.
Pg 97 "No time travellers". In Interference the Doctor notes that they're having trouble with time travel in the bottle. "Our people spent years trying to work out how to get in and out without the two universes leaking" In The Ancestor Cell, this is the fundamental problem - the bottle is leaking.
Pg 102 In the universe where Chris comes from, "The pyramids had been built by aliens" (the Osirans, Pyramids of Mars), "There was life on Mars "(the Ice Warriors). "There were 'lost' planets inside Earth's solar system covered with the ruins of old Inca-style civilizations" (The Tenth Planet? Planet 14 from The Invasion? Vulcan in Power of the Daleks? Voga from Revenge of the Cybermen?). "Humans were meant to start taking over other planets by the end of the 20th century" (Ambassadors of Death?)
Pg 107 "The Inside Out World" Chris and Christine visit the Dyson Sphere, from The Also People and various Benny adventures.
Pg 108 "'How long d'you think it'll be before you build your first timeship?' 'We've only got a population of about two trillion,' said a voice. 'I shouldn't think we'll have a working model in operation until, oh, about tomorrow luchtime" God expects the People will invent time travel quickly, but we discover in Tears of the Oracle that it isn't that simple.
Cwej says that the sphinxes sound like "Grel on morphine". The Grel lived on Dellah and were in Oh No It Isn't! and Where Angels Fear.
Pgs 111-112 Cwej goes to Skaro to make a deal with the Daleks. The Time Lords had made a deal with them to let them build time machines (the time corridors, the machine in The Chase), but then the Time Lords had reneged and tried to wipe them out - hence the Doctor's mission in Genesis of the Daleks. Christine dedicates her notebook to the Daleks, wherever they are.
Pg 113 "After all, this dream house was occupied. Owned by one family, who'd been intermarrying and interbreeding for so long that now they were just the house's caretakers, a whole race specially bred to see to whatever needs the house had." This is a version of the Doctor's home from Lungbarrow.
Pg 114 "His people were supposed to be able to bring themselves back from the dead, and rebuild their bodies from scratch if they had any kind of nasty accident, so if that had ever happened to Cwej, and he'd ended up with a new body built by his employers..." The "accidents" line sounds like a deliberate reference to the Doctor's description of regeneration in The War Games. Chris will go on to regenerate in the very next book, Tears of the Oracle.
Pg 118 "How do you know your universe isn't inside some other kind of bottle?" In Interference, I.M. Foreman speculates that the bottles go all the way down. There's a theory that the NA universe bottle is inside the BBC universe one.
Pg 122 "When the pilots rebuilt themselves, their new bodies would fill up the cracks in the clockwork, until the spheres were perfect combinations of skin and metal." The pilots of the Time Lord war machines filling up the cracks in the clockwork fits in with the Time Lords as clockmakers, from Christmas on a Rational Planet.
Pg 125 We get a timeline from Gods emerging, including "sea serpents spotted on Tyler's Folly", 18 November 2593, to "Earth finally admits that Dellah is a no-go area", 30 March 2596. (Down and Where Angels Fear)
Pg 126 "All the stripes moved, the same way clouds move, but this one moved with a purpose. And with wings." The sphinx attack feels a lot like the Fall of Arcadia as seen in The Last Day. That might sound like we're reaching, but see below.
Pg 127 "Cwej told me that the reproductive system is supposed to be the first to go, after your body rebuilt itself." This ties in with the nanites and Ace wondering if she'd be able to get pregnant (Set Piece).
Pg 129-130 "Our... travel machines... they work by taking you out of normal space-time, then putting you back somewhere else. Right? We... um, how can I put this? We have to kind of cut throught the different layers of space to get anywhere. [...] The sphinxes can mess up space. That meas they can shift around the layers. Tie us in knots. Basically, what I'm saying is that if we try to get out of here they could just lock our machines in a loop." In Alien Bodies it was said that one of the first things done in the war was the blocking of time travel.
Pg 130 "The 'rules' of time travel were complicated, and you couldn't get them in a handy little paperback, not like the Highway Code. Most of it was in the blood, apparently. It wasn't what you knew, exactly: it was what was in you." This suggest the Rassilon Imprimature from The Two Doctors.
Pgs 133-134 "And their statues look weird, compared with the ones on Earth. Like there are patterns in them we poor humans can't see properly. It's only when you remember what Cwej said about thinking in four dimensions that you start to figure out why. The statues are made so that when they get old and fall apart they still look artistic. Decay's all part of the design." There are significant Time Lord statues in The Infinity Doctors and The Ancestor Cell.
Pgs 137-138 "It's like a cat's cradle of beams and arcs, all solid gold, woven together so tightly that there's no way you could untie the knots even if you had pincer-hands like Khiste's. You get even closer, so you can see right into the black spaces between the slats - and they are black, completely black, no way of seeing through the spire to the other side. You're looking at the big, black heart of the ship, that's why. [...] You can see blurry little figures moving about inside the framework, figures in robes that make them look like monks [...] And if the heart breaks? Then all its power's going to be let out at once." The Time Lord warship is described in a way that includes an allusion to Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible. The Time Lords also send a huge warship (to destroy Earth) in Interference part II. The heart of the ships here, with its awful destructive power if released, is very similar to the Doctor's concern about the power source of the TARDIS being released in Inside The Spaceship or whatever we call it these days. The monks may be reminiscent of the get-up worn by the Meddling Monk in The Time Meddler or K'Anpo Rinpoche in Planet of the Spiders or the guy who will turn up to help Chris with his regeneration in Tears of the Oracle. Christine also notes that there are no women on the ship, which squares with the portrayal of Gallifrey in the old series as being predominantly male.
Pg 138 "There was a bust set into the wall above the arch, a carving of a man's head and shoulders, glaring down like one of those gargoyles I remember throwing stones at on the school French trip to Notre Dame. The man was wearing a crown on his head, and there was a huge collar behind his neck, with shoulder pads so big they looked like armour. It was my first sight of one of Cwej's employers, I suppose, although [...] you couldn't make out the details of the face. At the time I wondered if Cwej's employers actually looked like that, or whether they just wanted people to think they were faceless, the same way they wanted people to think they were nameless." The setting of this statue is a bit like the statue Borusa becomes in The Five Doctors, though it may be Omega, given the lack of face. The huge collar is the collar the Time Lords wear in The Deadly Assassin onwards.
Pg 140 "But all the stories say that one of these ultra-sphinxes is black [...] and one of them is white" The two super sphinxes, the Kings of Space, are black and white, making them the equivalent of the Black and White Guardians (or possibly they are the Black and White Guardian from a higher bottle).
Pg 141 "I told you, didn't I, about the morning he came back from the planet of the machine people? I can't forget the way he looked then, the shock on his face, the horror of knowing who he'd been talking to. [...] When we had sex, it felt like he was doing it because he had to, not because it made him happy. " Chris's reaction to having talked to the Daleks is appropriately horrific.
Pg 142 " Chris told me about the deal his employers had made with the machines, thousands of years earlier. About how his people had let the machines invent time travel, but only a simple kind. About how they'd promised not to scoop any of the machines out of time for their own entertainment, like they did with so many other races in the days before they knew better." In The Five Doctors it's said that the Daleks weren't time-scooped into the Death Zone because they played the game too well.
Pg 149 "Cwej's employers, who were supposed to be the good guys in this face-off, were ready to let their warships wipe out everything on the planet, us included. They've apparently done this before, sterilized [...] whole satellites if they think there's some kind of threat to the grand order of things." In Interference they attempt to do exactly this to Earth.
Page 156 "Where Cwej comes from. Jack the Ripper was probably a renegade time traveller from a parallel universe" He's actually a possessed seventh Doctor who comes via a parallel universe in Matrix.
Pgs 156-157 "Never mind the fact that Victorian gentlemen were nothing but misogyny and VD, never mind the fact that they spent most of their time beating up their wives and hanging round male brothels. You get the same shit told to you over and over, the same old stabs at rewriting history, whether the stories are set in the French Revolution or ancient Babylon." The latter is a reference to Walking to Babylon, which features Victorian gentleman John Lafeyette in ancient Babylon. The Doctor has visited the French Revolution in The Reign of Terror; in a pre-Unearthly Child visit as detailed in Christmas on a Rational Planet as well as in Set Piece. If this is, indeed, a reference to any of those, we would lean to the first two, as the Doctor was his closest to appearing like a Victorian gentleman in that body. To be honest, we doubt that it's any of them and more a case of Miles liking the French Revolution.
Pg 158 "You can't care about genocide. That's what I think, anyway, now I've seen a fair amount of life in the outside universe. Is that how the Gods get away with so much, do you think? By doing things so big, by wiping out so many whole populations, that nobody can really care about all the victims? It was the same on Earth, I suppose. Nixon must have sent thousands to die in Vietnam, but if he'd gone on TV and tortured some kittens in front of a live studio audience the revolution would have started in a second." The same point about only being able to understand the immediacy of a small-scale suffering is also made in Interference part II, including a reference to kittens to emphasise said point.
Pg 161 "And it was a ship, not in the way that one of his employers' space-corkscrews was a ship, but in the way that the way pirates and Vikings used to use were ships." This sounds like the ships of the ancient Time Lords in Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible.
Pg 164 "He had had friends on Dellah, anyway, before the Gods had come. One of them was called Bernice. Bernice Summerfield." Christine also asks if Bernice is a descendent of her, but realises this isn't possible. She also asks if whoever made the bottle used inspiration from real people and that maybe Bernice inspired her. Chris says no and that they're nothing alike, but this is in fact very close to the truth.
Pg 166 "The statue was at least twice as tall as a normal human, although Cwej seemed to think the subject really had been that tall while he'd been alive. The man had a face that could probably have been called 'ageless'. He had a bushy beard and a wiser-than-thou moustache, but the sculptor had done everything a sculptor could to make him appear strong and virile [...] two of his eight hands on his hips, the others holding on to a collection of rods, orbs, keys and sashes." The statue of Rassilon is on Symia KK98, holding the "objects of Rassilon" from The Deadly Assassin, The Invasion of Time etc. His description matches his appearance in The Five Doctors, although the reference to the sculptor altering his appearance to make him appear strong and virile is a reference to The Five Doctors Special Edition, where the restoration team altered Rassilon's voice to make it deeper and less pantomime-like. All that said, Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible and Lungbarrow both make clear that Rassilon was very short. Cwej thinks he was tall, though. Turns out - as we probably already knew - that propaganda is everything.
Pg 167 "The founder of time-traveller society was a great thinker, a great scientist, a great philosopher, and a great politician. That's what the stories say, although whenever Cwej told me the stories he always got distracted and started talking about space fights with giant vampire-beasts." The Time Lord-Vampire war is from State of Decay.
"But the statue in the fortress? Just a great warrior. Because warriors were what Cwej's employers needed, I suppose. Warriors were what they wanted their agents to be. I wondered if Cwej's employers had potions to change their history, like they had potions to change their bodies." These couple of sentences feel so much like the basis of The Night of the Doctor that it becomes hard to believe that it's just a coincidence.
"And Warrior Cwej, who did whatever his employers told him to do, right up until the end. The Cwej of Holy War. The Cwej of Destruction." This has to be the worst - and therefore one of the best - puns in the entire Doctor Who oeuvre. Just in case you didn't spot it, the twelfth ever episode of the programme, back in 1964, was called The Edge of Destruction. But see Continuity Cock-Ups
Pg 180 "The 'policemen' are the sphere-shaped machine people we can see floating between the buildings., keeping track of all the insect people down on the ground. Thinking, breathing cameras. Watching everything." The capital of Symia KK98 is very similar to The Village from The Prisoner, complete with floating spherical guards and populated by former Time Lord agents.
Pg 186 "They won't tell me. They've found something out about the Gods. That's all I know." It's never made clear what this is, but it's possible that it's the revelation that the Enemy was originally from Earth, as made clear in Interference II and retconned away in The Ancestor Cell. It's also possible, as suggested later, that they've learned the true nature of the Gods.
Pg 188 Khiste tortures one of the Gods' followers by injecting her with the same drugs his employers use to rebuild themselves, making her immortal. He then kills her in a variety of ways, but each time her body is rebuilt out of proportion and with pain as a feedback loop. However, all this takes place in Christine's imagination, so it might not happen like that. The idea of aborted regenerations, or at least regenerations that simply went wrong, was first introduced in The Deadly Assassin, although the first confirmed aborted regeneration was the War Chief's in Timewyrm: Exodus.
Pg 189 "Which is how we ended up climbing into the car Cwej had rented for a week, and tearing along the A-roads to a quarry somewhere between Gloucester and Cardiff." Which is what the Doctor Who production team would do on a regular basis when filming. Kudos for getting Cardiff in there about a decade earlier than it actually happened.
Pg 194 The Ouija board message contains the words "Makes things out of Dust" "Interference", "Christine on a Rational Planet" and "The Watchmakers are the men who will not be blamed for nothing". Dust was the planet where the third Doctor regenerated in Interference II and was later remade as Foreman's World. Christine on a rational planet is a play on words of Christmas on a Rational Planet, the novel that unleashed Lawrence Miles upon the world stage. The Watchmakers are the Time Lords, as mentioned in Christmas on a Rational Planet, Cold Fusion and Ghost Devices.
Pgs 195-196 Christine has another dream about a Time Lord house, with an in-bred line of Summerfields and Cwej being referred to as "Cousin Cwej"which is a clear and direct reference to Lungbarrow.
Pgs 199, 201,202-203,205-206, 207, 208-209, 210 The Summerfield family tree. Benny has ancestors Bene(dict) and Jason. The early records may be forgeries, though, due to Benedict Summerfield II, who was a criminal and altered his personal history. There's no mention of the Summerfield in Damaged Goods, but this only mentions direct ancestors of Bernice. Admiral Isaac Summerfield was in Return of the Living Dad and is reported dead in combat (fighting the Daleks) in 2543, but also in active service in 2595, so presumably he gets back at some later point in Benny's time. The dates for Benny cleverly don't add up. She lost 20 years because of travelling with the Doctor and the Benny NAs have been subtly consistent about this. Also, on page 206 Marshall Summerfield I is head of Caprisi Military Academy. Benny was born on Beta Caprisis (except in Sanctuary, where she said she was born on Vandor Prime).
Pg 202 "'Contraceptive,' I told him. 'You know?' 'Er,' Cwej looked down, maybe because he was embarrassed [...] 'That's... not a problem, OK? I don't... I mean, I can't...'" Cwej has obviously lost the ability to reproduce between travelling with the Doctor and now. He fathered at least two children while travelling with the Doctor, although he didn't know about either (The Also People, Happy Endings).
Pg 205 "Why do we think names are so important, anyway? According to the rules of sphinx magic, knowing the real name of something is the first step towards having power over it, which is maybe why Cwej's employers never let anyone call them by their names." This resonates with the prologue of Return of the Living Dad, where the Doctor has hidden his name away with his companions, so that no one could ever learn it.
Pg 215 "Some of the rumours said the computer would have existed even without Cwej's employers, and that the machine had invented the time travellers itself, just so it could be sure that it's be built - in which case, the computer must have been a lot like the Gods" The Matrix on Gallifrey gets a long description, but this is the cleverest part. Also the nature of the Enemy in The Ancestor Cell is very similar to this in its paradoxical way.
"This computer had things programmed into it, special defences, which would be set off whenever it spotted anything going wrong with the universe." The Doctor's premonition in The Deadly Assassin.
"Halfway across the galaxy, there was a whole planet that Cwej's employers used as a prison" That's Drornid, mentioned in Shada and (as Dronid) in Alien Bodies.
Pg 216 "It's not possible for a human being to keep his dignity while he's eating a banana. Nothing reminds you of your monkey genes faster than that." This is very reminiscent of the Reverend Matthews eating a banana and being turned into an ape in Ghost Light.
Pg 218 "It's one of those old SF fairy tales. Clocks don't melt or start going backward if you go through a time warp" This pokes fun at The Edge of Destruction... although the next line is "at least, not unless the timepiece has been specially built by Cwej's employers". This is spectacular. In one fell swoop, Lawrence Miles deconstructs the story and in the next he provides an extremely plausible way in which it just might make sense.
Pg 225 "One of Shakespeare's arms dropped off" The Horror-sphinx is one-armed, just like Father Kreiner (Interference I, Interference II) and Grandfather Paradox, first mentioned in Christmas on a Rational Planet and finally seen in The Ancestor Cell.
Pg 227 "The same way you can tell the difference between a film made by the BBC and a film made in Hollywood, just by the difference in the film stock." Probably a reference to the Telemovie.
Pg 228 "'I can't let you do this,' Cwej told the Horror in Leicester Square." Cwej stands up to the Horror exactly the way the Doctor would.
Pg 232 "The middle of the floor was kept clear, and decorated with only a mosaic - one of the time travellers' holy symbols, I think." Probably the Seal of Rassilon, seen multiple times in Telemove and introduced in The Deadly Assassin.
Pg 235 "Basically, the professor's idea is that the Gods are just a side effect of being alive. They have to exist, to fill up the big black spaces in the universe that our imaginations keep focusing on." Background on where the Gods came from.
Pg 236 "No, no, not the rectal probe" is very definitely a deliberate mis-quoting of The Five Doctors.
Pgs 240, 285 "It's a picture of a city, stretching off into the distance, all spiky pyramids and shiny domes" "I'm looking at that photograph again, the one of the dragon boats over London, with the sphinx wrapping itself around one of the spires that Cwej's employers had planed there." The cover illustration is London after the Time Lord invasion.
Pgs 243-244 "Some of the shapes I could make out in the night sky, which [...] ended up as part of the Horror. [...] Some of the humans in the constellations recognised me as one of their own, and started swearing at me in funny accents. [...] One machine looked especially important, because it had tentacles everywhere, squeezing between the outlines of all the other shapes. I was told later on that in the twenty-fifth century some supercomputer or other had been dropped into the vortex during a duel with Cwej's Evil Renegade. [...] I got the feeling that this was the thing that had brought the Horror together." The first, with a funny accent, is Salamander from The Enemy of the World. The latter is Pool, from Deceit, which absolutely did have the purpose of bringing minds together, so this makes perfect sense.
Pg 244 "And the armour wasn't exactly the same style as, say, Khiste's. It was jet-black for a start, and his head actually looked like a helmet rather than a face that had grown new parts. Like an old Pharoah's death mask [...] One of his arms was all twisted and gungy, crippled by the accident. My first impression? That he was one of Cwej's people, but some kind of renegade. Not the Evil Renegade himself, but maybe one of his followers, a soldier from an enemy faction." This is Father Kreiner, who ended up in the vortex at the end of Interference II. He is Fitz Kreiner after hundred of years, from Interference. The description is pointedly different from the Time Lord agents, which clearly says that Cwej's employers aren't Faction Paradox (as some have suggested).
Pg 246 "All your principles, all your beliefs." The first Doctor said this to Susan when he brutally threw her out of the TARDIS in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, was then quoted in the opening of The Five Doctors and was later used again in An Adventure in Time and Space.
Pg 250 "In Cwej's world, everything always gets sorted out, see? Things always end up in a big face-off." Cwej's universe is both more real than Christine's and also less real, since it follows the structure of fiction, with tidy plot and character resolutions. This fits in with the general reality vs fiction theme of the Benny NAs.
Pg 255 "Do you know how to play stone-scissors-paper?" The fate of things being decided by rock-scissors-paper might be a reference to Destiny of the Daleks, but it probably isn't.
Pg 257 "We play the round again" sounds suspiciously like the line "We play the contest again, Time Lord" from The Curse of Fenric. In fact, solving the problem of an evil alien monster by playing stone-scissors-paper with it sounds like it's sending up the entire chess game metaphor from that story.
Pg 271 "I might as well say it now, seeing as you'll be working it out for yourselves soon anyway. A lot of this book is, strictly speaking, lies. The parts about Cwej are all true, of course, and so are all the bits about the Horror, the sphinxes, and Cwej's employers." Despite much of the book being an unreliable account from a fictional (in more than one sense) narrator, we're told that all the background information is the truth, such as it is. It's even the first entry in the section "Notes on the Truth".
Pg 277 "Cwej used to be a policeman. Mr Good Cop." Chris and Roz played the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine in Original Sin et al.
Pg 284 "You could hear a kind of muttering from some parts of the column, like songs that had been translated into computer talk" As the Time Lords invade the Bottle Earth, they're muttering like Logopolitans to change the structure of the world to suit their needs (Logopolis).
Pg 287 "Cwej told me they were planning on turning the sun into some sort of black hole" Presumably this a new Eye of Harmony, as first mentioned in The Deadly Assassin.
Pgs 287-288 "Why had Cwej's employers picked Earth as their new home anyway? [...] it was the same size as their homeworld and and had the same length of day" There are constant hints that Gallifrey and Earth are similar in the series (The Sensorites is the earliest, where Susan says it is quite like Earth).
Pg 288 "The invaders decided to turn the sky orange" This fits in with Susan's description of Gallifrey in The Sensorites.
Pg 290 "Whether he was going to regenerate into something like Khiste, or into a new version of himself - or into something specially designed for life inside the redecorated bottle - I didn't ask" We'll see Cwej's regeneration back in the 'real' universe in Tears of the Oracle, after Braxiatel requests his help from the Time Lords.
Pg 291 "Khiste dropped me off on Ordifica" Ordifica has been mentioned in Ghost Devices, Down and appears in Interference.
Pgs 291-292 As Christine travels through the universe, she visits a world called Shatner's Climax (!) before going to Ultra Caprisis, which is presumably near Beta Caprisis, where Benny was born.
Pg 292 "I'm sitting in the ruins as I write this" Christine is on the ruins of Gallifrey, as seen in Alien Bodies and Crystal Bucephalus. Goth Opera showed a future where there was just empty space where Gallifrey used to be (i.e., the planet itself is now gone), so this may be from a more distant future or may have been during the time that Gallifrey didn't exist between The Ancestor Cell and The Gallifrey Chronicles or in the wake of the Time War, when it had been destroyed or moved, depending on when you ask the question.
Pg 292 "Cwej's employers never told us what it was they'd found out about the Gods, what it was that had scared them out of their own universe. But I think I know. After all, when the time travellers arrived in the bottle, didn't they look like Gods to the humans?" The theory presented here is that the Gods are actually Time Lords from outside another bottle (tying in with the bottle in Interference I and Interference II). The theory (to tie in with Where Angels Fear) is that the outside Time Lords arrived, slept beneath Dellah and in other places for aeons, but have now woken up. See also Continuity Cock-Ups.
Pg 293 "None of us are 'real', not even the people who weren't grown in a cloning machine or built inside a bottle" This is quite ironic, because the Time Lords were grown in cloning machines - the Looms - in Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, Lungbarrow etc. Strictly speaking, the Looms aren't cloning devices. Somewhere it was mentioned that they intentionally introduce irregularities.
Pg 294 "After I leave this planet, I'll start drifting again. Towards Dellah, I think. [...] I want to know what happened to Professor Bernice Summerfield" Christine actually sends Benny a message when she takes a post at a university on Vremnya, in Twilight of the Gods.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
The Daleks, the Time Lords, Faction Paradox, the People, God.
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Christine Summerfield (first person narrator).
Khiste, a genetically altered Time Lord agent.
The Horror, a creation of the tortured souls in the Vortex.
The Kings of Space, the name of the Gods from the Sphinx world (which is specifically stated as not being Dellah).
- Pg 103 "I wondered if they had cigarettes where he came from. He didn't look used to the air pollution." Except that Roz smoked over a long period of time, so he would be used to it.
- Pg 167 "And Warrior Cwej, who did whatever his employers told him to do, right up until the end. The Cwej of Holy War. The Cwej of Destruction." The pun is funny, but the last time we saw Chris, he had decided that he wanted his surname pronounced 'Shvay', as it should have been (The Room With No Doors). As such, The Shvay of Destruction lacks the punnish element that Miles was going for.
- "After the crisis, BB2 had pretty much become a round-the-clock news channel, clearing most of its schedule to report on any findings about the Horror." (Page 261). "I got bored of the play after that, and turned over to the news on BBC1. It was a full minute before I got sick of it. I couldn't listen to any more theories about the Horror without shouting 'Isn't it fucking obvious?' at the screen." (Page 264). The news channel mysteriously changes from BBC2 to BBC1 within the space of three pages.
- Pg 292 "Cwej's employers never told us what it was they'd found out about the Gods, what it was that had scared them out of their own universe. But I think I know. After all, when the time travellers arrived in the bottle, didn't they look like Gods to the humans?" The idea that these are Time Lords from outside yet another bottle will be nixed by Twilight of the Gods, where they are revealed to be the Ferutu from Cold Fusion.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- This is either Christine being an unreliable narrator or reading Chris wrongly.
- Presumably, as Chris was 'corrupted' by the Time Lords, he recognised this and went back to the incorrect pronunciation.
- BBC1 might be covering the Horror as well.
- Christine freely admits that this was only her theory, so she was presumably wrong. A pity though, as the Ferutu turning up in Twilight of the Gods makes a mess of all of this and, for that matter, the conclusion of Cold Fusion as well.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Time Lords, Daleks, The Horror, the People.
Sphinxes. Which poo reality.
Bottle Universe Earth, Space station orbiting Earth, The Worldsphere, Asteroid Symia KK98, the Vortex, the ruins of Gallifrey. At the end, Christine travels to Ordificia, Criptostophen, Gardener's World, Hai Dow Seven, Lubellin, Shatner's Climax, Ultra Caprisis, Cygni 8.6.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
Without doubt, one of the greatest, most complicated Doctor Who stories ever told. Dead Romance used its position as an outsider to the Doctor Who universe to tell us a magnificent universe-spanning tale of pain and death and the search for what's real. It's important to the overall arc of the Time Lord war, is a sequel to Interference, despite being published before it and has some of the most vivid evocations of the series mythology ever seen. Christine is fabulous, the ultimate unreliable narrator and the fall of Cwej is heartbreakingly plausible. Easily Lawrence Miles's best book, which is really saying something. There really aren't enough superlatives to praise this book. A must-read for Doctor Who fans everywhere.