The Domino Effect
by David Bishop

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 53868 4


    Within hours of arriving back on Earth, one of the Doctor's friends is caught in a deadly explosion, while another appears on television confessing to the murder of twelve people. The TARDIS is stolen by forces intent on learning its secrets. When the Doctor tries to investigate, his efforts are hampered by crippling chest pains. The Doctor must choose between saving his friends or saving Earth in the past, present and future. But the closer he gets to the truth, the worse his condition becomes...


    Fitz and Anji.

    Dee is very likely an alternate Ace. She makes bombs, calls people "Toerag" (Page 254), is described similarly (Page 160) and "D" is probably short for "Dorothy".

    The Pentarch is very likely an alternate Brigadier. He carries a swagger stick, has a moustache and comes from the military (Page 149).

    Pg 4 In front of The Assembley Rooms, Edinburgh, April 17 2003 (alternate Earth).

    Pg 276 The bottom of the Thames, England 1732.

    The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, The Turing Test.

    Pg 1 Reference to Dave.

    Pg 4 "First meeting him in 2001, the ice cold of Siberia" Escape Velocity, Time Zero.

    Pg 5 "Just a flutter of the hearts, I expect. These things take time to settle in." Camera Obscura.

    Pg 10 "Mitch had been positively gleeful when he told Anji about the posh corner office he would be occupying at his new company" Mitch's move to Edinburgh was mentioned in Time Zero (page 68)

    Pg 126 "Was this a side-effect of his body adjusting to having two hearts again?" Camera Obscura.

    Pg 155 "'You were friends?' 'More than friends.'" Thus confirming the Doctor's sexual relationship with Alan Turing in The Turing Test.

    Pg 181 "At some point I suffered a terrible trauma." The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 189 "He had seen so much in his travels with the Doctor. Places where it seemed every death had a meaning" Vanishing Point.

    "He had watched his own mother die a slow death of the mind." The Taint.

    Pgs 208-209 "A heart condition - it almost killed him. But he got better." The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, Camera Obscura.

    Pg 212 "Fitz claimed his own memories were a little haphazard" Escape Velocity; this will be resolved in Halflife.

    Pg 222 "It wasn't just the TARDIS, I could feel another voice intermingled with it [...] it sounded like a woman." This is Trix, who's inside the TARDIS at the moment.

    Pg 224 "When we first met, you said you'd had some sort of accident, a trauma." Escape Velocity/The Ancestor Cell.

    "That didn't seem to be your priority on Hope, did it?" Hope.

    Pg 245 "England, 1732 Saturday morning was a curious time to die, the drowning man thought to himself." We see Sabbath's initiation into the Service, as mentoned in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street. But see Continuity Cock-Ups.

    Pg 258 "You think of yourself as Time's Champion, Doctor." This was a staple of the New Adventures, first mentioned in Love and War.

    Pg 264 "'Silence!' the Oracle said. 'Speak nor move no more.'" The Five Doctors.

    Pg 267 "The places beyond the Vortex have been invaded." The Slow Empire.

    "Now the Vortex is coming apart, fraying at the edges - nobody knows why. Whatever once sustained it has been removed from eternity." The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 273 "The shrapnel from that blast is now flying forwards, backwards and sideways through time" Battlefield.

    Pg 274 "Like the Absolutes of the System." History 101.

    An alternate Alan Turing (although this version never met the Doctor in The Turing Test).

    An alternate Sabbath (who remained with the service and has never left Earth).

    The Jonah and some apes also appear.

    The Oracle might be a Chronovore.

    None surviving.


    1. Pg 1 "He wanted to re-enact some 1980s brat-pack film, but with events relocated from Chicago to London." By the description, this is almost certainly Ferris Beuller's Day Off, except that it's actually not a brat-pack film.
    2. Okay, so you're Anji Kapoor. You've recently encountered alternate universes in both your previous adventures. You're keenly aware of the concept, as illustrated in History 101 (pg 20), Time Zero (pg 274) and The Infinity Race (pages 28, 80, 92 and 112). Indeed, at the end of the previous book, although the Doctor thinks things might be back to normal and the various realities have settled down, you're the one who's still sceptical (pg 268). Not least of which is the fact that no one has yet returned Fitz's journal to the bookstore in the correct reality, an act which Time Zero made abundantly clear was utterly crucial. You now return to what looks a bit like the United Kingdom, 2003, except that there are no people of colour (pg 11), no credit cards (pg 23), no aeroplanes (pg 13), no automated ticket machines (pg 19), where hospitals have never heard of life-support machines (pg 68) and where your UK money isn't accepted (pg 20). What's your natural assumption? Do you a) assume, quite reasonably given your immediate prior experiences, that you're in yet another alternate universe? b) stick with the Doctor for a little while, just until you're absolutely sure or c) leave the Doctor at the first opportunity, wonder why they're so backward in Scotland and blindly refuse to even consider that this might not be the correct reality.
    3. Pg 157 "It was nearly nine o'clock in the morning when the Doctor, Anji and Hannah bid farewell to Alf." This should be "bade farewell".
    4. Pg 164 "It's when you put those principals into practice that innocent people get hurt" This should be "principles".
    5. Pg 215 "It always made his nauseous." It did what?
    6. Pg 245 "1732" Except that Sabbath was initiated into the Service in 1762, at the age of 21. (See The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, page 64.) How on Earth was he being initiated nine years before he was born?
    7. Pg 246 "You realise your death was inevitable and you let go of life." This should be "realised", given that everything else in this paragraph is in the past tense.
    8. Pg 253 "They're all empty There's just broken fragments." Usually one would put a full stop at the end of a sentence.

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

    1. Anji's wrong in assuming that it is, but then so are a lot of people.
    2. If you answered a) or b) you're an intelligent career woman with a sense of reality about you. If you answered c), congratulations, you're Anji Kapoor in The Domino Effect.
    3. The travellers are tired and thus not using tenses correctly.
    4. The rebels are putting school headmasters to work. And people are getting caned, as a result.
    5. Judd is so nauseous that he can't get his thoughts straight.
    6. This is an alternate Sabbath and, contrary to what the Doctor thinks, in this alternate Earth he was born earlier and the divergent point wasn't his initiation after all. Despite the fact that this is the central lynchpin around which the book spins.
    7. Sabbath's in the process of drowning and thus not using tenses correctly. Much like the author, one suspects.
    8. Fitz is a rebel He doesn't

    Pgs 270-271 The Oracle, a half-human creature from beyond the Vortex. It can take human form, but in its true form has razor-sharp teeth and talon-like arms.

    Pg 4 Edinburgh, April 17-18 2003 (alternate Earth)

    Pg 14 London, April 17-20 2003.

    Pg 92 France, 1819.

    Pg 134 A train going to London.

    Pg 138 A lorry going to Manchester.

    Pg 144 America, 1884.

    Pg 150 Roadside cafe on the outskirts of Manchester.

    Pg 151 A truck going to London.

    Pg 175 Germany 1941.

    Pg 245 England, 1732 (but see Continuity Cock-Ups).

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    For one of the goofiest novels in the Doctor Who range, The Domino Effect is surprisingly entertaining. It commits a multitude of sins, from Anji's refusal to even consider that this is an alternate reality, despite the evidence around her, to the wildly technobabble-filled ending. (Why does the death of one individual create an infinite number of worlds? How do Fitz and Anji count as anachronism, but the Doctor doesn't?) The setup is hackneyed, and the subsequent plotting retreads ground so well worn over the years that "cliche" doesn't even begin to describe it. It's full of lifeless, stupid characters doing stupid things to further the plot (that policeman with the conveniently faulty memory has got to win some sort of award for the most brazen attempt to avoid dealing with consequences ever to appear in Doctor Who)... but despite all that it's got big, friendly print and a wannabe televisual style that means it breezes along nonetheless. A book that isn't great, but it still far better than it has any right to be.