The First Doctor, Barbara, Ian and Vicki arrive in China in 1865, a land torn apart by rebellion, foreign oppression and banditry. Struggling to maintain order are the British Empire and the Ten Tigers of Canton, the most respected martial arts masters in the world. But why do people seem to recognise Ian, and can it be that Barbara has seen a ghost...?
Ian, Barbara and Vicki.
Pg 25 Inside an old temple, Guangdang province, China, 1865.
A passing familiarity with The Romans would be helpful.
Pg 18 "'Hell's teeth,' he whispered." This was an expression invented for the show to allow Tegan to have convincingly Australian-sounding swearwords in Logopolis. David McIntee is fond of transplanting it to other cultures: it also appears in Tzarist Russia in The Wages of Sin. No one's entirely sure why.
Pg 30 "Well, I didn't tell you, because I didn't want to disappoint you if it didn't work, but as we left Rome I tried to make the shortest increment - that is to say, the shortest journey that I could." The Romans.
Pgs 38-39 "She looked back at the dark pagoda and tried to remember what China had been like when the TARDIS had brought them there before." Marco Polo.
Pg 39 "And it's not like this city is likely tobe full of Daleks or radiation." The Daleks.
Pg 43 "The food machine in the TARDIS seemed to ba able to supply any amount of nutrition, and could even manage the taste of real food, but it wasn't really real." First seen in The Daleks.
Pg 44 "On the ship to Astra - and even on Earth in her own time - everything was engineered and processed to be nutritious and healthy, but it all tasted much the same." The Rescue.
Pg 66 "In it are some antibiotics and a machine that looks rather like a solid, wide paintbrush with lights and buttons. This is a kind of bone regenerator." Uncertain reference.
Pg 68 "Susan hadn't exactly left home; rather her home, the TARDIS, had lkeft her." The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Pg 78 "Then she remembered the crash, and the deaths, and she didn't want to laugh or skip any more." The Rescue.
Pg 81 "Dido, the planet where she had first joined the TARDIS crew, was a desert, and there had been uniformly good weather in Turkey and Italy." The Rescue, The Crusade, The Romans.
Pg 83 "Barbara was in tow minds, thinking back to another desperate night and seeking shelter in another lonely house." The Reign of Terror.
Pg 130 "He realised he knew what was going to happen, just a heartbeat before Barbara kissed him. 'What are you doing?' Seizing the day.' 'I thought we'd siezed this day before.' Eighteen hundred years before, he added mentally. 'But I didn't say I love you." The Romans. This ties in to fan theories that Ian and Barbara were post-coital in the opening scene of that story. The last line ties into David McIntee's story Romans Cutaway in More Short Trips, where Ian starts to say this but doesn't quite finish it.
Pg 155 "There were only two survivors. Myself and one man. I found out, when he died, that he had caused the accident deliberately." The Rescue.
Pg 160 "She had visited Nero's Rome and there she had watched ian fight in the Colosseum as a gladiator, under threat of death." The Romans.
Pg 161 "She had been with him when he had fought off an assassin in Nero's palace in Rome." The Romans.
Pg 176 Reference to Susan.
Pg 204 "The abbott's insane, worse than Bennett." The Rescue.
Pg 215 "She had heard stories from her father, and other people on the ship to Astra, about creatures that could do that." The Rescue.
Pg 235 "He had killed duringhis time travelling with the Doctor and Barbara" Ixta in The Aztecs. (With thanks to Tim Snelling.)
Pg 251 "I was thinking about my granddaughter. She left me recently." The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
The alien presence is probably the Mandragora Helix (The Masque of Mandragora).
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Major William Chesterton, Logan, Wang Kei Yung, Wang Fei Hung, Miss Law, Abbott Wu, Anderson.
- At the end of The Masque of Mandragora the Doctor clearly stated the Mandragora Helix would return to Earth at the end of the twentieth century. This is a century out.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- It might not be the Mandragora Helix at all in this novel.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Beings of light who can possess people. They can also inhabit statues (page 263). Probably the Mandragora Helix, or something very like it (but see Continuity Cock-Ups).
Pg 13 Guangdong province, China, 1863 (this is later dated to two years before the rest of the action).
Pg 106 Guangdong province, China, 1865.
Pg 197 Shaanxi province.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
Once again, the Hartnell historical proves a winning formula in the books. There's some great stuff here, with McIntee playing to his strengths. The stuff with the other Chesterton is quite brilliant, with some clever and subtle clues scattered about. And having the first Doctor in a martial arts contest is worth the price of admission alone. There's also some decent stuff with Ian and Barbara's relationship that manages to walk a fine line between adding to what we know without overdoing it. The aliens are a bit underdone, although that feels intentional, possibly because they're a continuity reference in heavy disguise, but without any actual character or indeed interest. The title and the back cover blurb are quite odd: There may well be ten tigers, but we only see three of them and there doesn't appear to be an eleventh. Or if there is, it's so underexplained to be nonexistent. There are worse sins than not answering the question that your book's title poses, but not many. A shame, as the rest of the novel is quite good indeed.