Eater of Wasps
by Trevor Baxendale


Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 53832 5

     

    BASIC PLOT
    The Doctor and his friends discover a rival group of time travellers prowling around in the English countryside in the 1930s... and a disturbingly high number of aggressive wasps.

    DOCTOR
    Eighth.

    COMPANIONS
    Fitz and Anji.

    MATERIALISATION CIRCUIT
    The village of Marpling.

    PREPARATORY READING
    None.

    CONTINUITY REFERENCES
    Pg 10 "On the contrary, he acted more like a man who had been given the chance to start afresh, unencumbered, reborn." Recap of the Earth arc.

    Pg 21 "His own memories seemed a little cloudy these days." Fitz's memories have been gradually disappearing since Escape Velocity.

    Pg 25 "Sometime ago I stayed at Longleat with the Marquis of Bath." Longleat was the site of the twentieth anniversary exhibition. The Marquis of Bath was a Doctor Who fan.

    Pg 40 "I've always preferred butterflies myself." Vampire Science introduced the Butterfly room in the TARDIS.

    Pg 75-76 "An old handwritten letter on real paper from someone signing herself 'Mary Minnett'. It was dated 22 August 1918 and addressed to her doctor." Mary Minnett was in Casualties of War and was attracted to the Doctor and wrote him letters.

    Pg 84 "'I'll explain later,' said Fitz smugly." Curse of the Fatal Death.

    Pg 92 "Blimey, he thought, I'm a citizen of the universe now." Reference to The Dalek Masterplan, where the Doctor describes himself as a citizen of the Universe and a gentleman to boot.

    Pg 162 "On the sort of timescale we're talking about, it's no more than that. She clicked her fingers sharply." This echoes the end of Genesis of the Daleks.

    Pg 237 "You're too late, Doctor..." This might be a reference to Curse of Fenric, given that Millington says exactly the same thing, or it might not.

    Pg 246 "If that nuke goes off Doc, there won't be much point in stepping outside and crouching down behind a car, will there?" Nevertheless, this is exactly what the fourth Doctor and company did in The Hand of Fear.

    OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
    None.

    NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
    A commando team from the future.

    CONTINUITY COCK-UPS

    1. Pg 198 "Flies like a butterfly, stings like a -" Except the quote is "Floats like a butterfly", not "flies".
    2. Pg 268 The Doctor has his sonic screwdriver, but didn't when Jode emptied his pockets on page 75.

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

    1. The Doctor's about to say "wasp" anyway, so he's presumably misquoting for a reason.
    2. Jode recognises a screwdriver and he's from the future, so he might classify the sonic screwdriver as such. Furthermore, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS in the meantime, so he might have picked it up in the interim.

    FEATURED ALIEN RACES
    None (the commado team is from the future and the weapon transforms the wasps, but there are no actual aliens).

    FEATURED LOCATIONS
    Pgs 7/10 The village of Marpling, near Arandale, 27-28th of August 1933.

    Pg 123 Penton, about ten miles from Marpling.

    Pg 181 Marpling Halt Station, about two miles from Marpling.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Surprisingly good. Baxendale plays to his strengths by taking the ultra trad setting and just running with it. The wasps are nicely evocative of Hinchcliffe possession and the time team from the future keep things vibrant. Add in a few clever twists and Baxendale produces a winner.