Engines of War
by George Mann


Publisher: BBC Books
ISBN: 0 55344 766 8

     

    BASIC PLOT
    A weary, angry Doctor leads a flotilla of Battle TARDISes against a Dalek stronghold, as part of the last great time war.

    DOCTOR
    The warrior.

    COMPANIONS
    Cinder (real name unknown).

    MATERIALISATION CIRCUIT
    Pg 19 Above the planet Moldox.

    Pg 33 The TARDIS crashes on Moldox.

    Pg 119 In the Panopticon on Gallifrey.

    Pg 218 Near the Tantalus Spiral.

    Pg 225 Inside Karlax's TARDIS.

    Pg 232 Inside Partheus's TARDIS.

    Pg 243 In the Death Zone on Gallifrey.

    Pg 271 In front of the Tantalus Spiral.

    Pg 294 On the Dalek command station.

    Pg 308 In orbit around Moldox.

    Pg 309 Back on Moldox (offscreen).

    PREPARATORY READING
    Genesis of the Daleks, The Five Doctors, The End of Time, The Name of the Doctor, The Day of the Doctor.

    CONTINUITY REFERENCES
    Pg 14 "These were the Skaro Degradations, the result of Time Lord efforts to re-engineer Dalek history, to toy with the evolution of their origin species, probably in an attempt to sidestep the development of the Dalek race altogether." The End of Time, Genesis of the Daleks.

    "A humanoid torso in a reinforced glass chamber, suspended beneath a normal Dalek had and eyestalk." Revelation of the Daleks.

    Pg 15 "One of them was egg-shaped and mounted on a set of three spider-like limbs" Spider Daleks, mooted for the various nineties films.

    "The final mutant appeared to be almost identical to a normal Dalek, except that its middle section - which typically housed the manipulator arm and gun - had been replaced by a revolving turret, upon which was mounted a single, massive energy weapon." The Special Weapons Dalek, Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Pg 20 "All that the Doctor knew was that it predated the Time Lords, and that Omega, the great engineer, in those first, halcyon days of the Time Lord Diaspora, had written of the Eye and its many obtuse secrets" Omega appeared in The Three Doctors and Arc of Infinity.

    Pg 23 "Like the pilot of a stunt aeroplane - which he'd made a point of watching with the Brigadier, back in his UNIT days on Earth - the Doctor ducked and weaved the TARDIS, left, right, up, down" Speahead from Space et al.

    Pg 39 "The box was on its side, and now I'm the right way up." The TARDIS reorients the interior, just as it did in Time-Flight.

    Pg 42 "'What is that thing? A weapon?' she said. He offered her an impatient look. 'No. It's a screwdriver.'" The sonic screwdriver first appeared in Fury from the Deep. The reference to it not being a weapon is from Day of the Doctor.

    Pg 45 "Are they sinking shafts into the ground? Digging out mines?" The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

    Pg 55 "It was a name that stood for something. I'm no longer worthy of it." The Name of the Doctor, The Day of the Doctor.

    Pg 58 "'John Smith,' said the Doctor, extending his hand." Spearhead from Space et al.

    Pg 68 "Seek. Locate. Exterminate!" Destiny of the Daleks.

    Pg 99 "'What are you doing?' she said. 'Something I should have done a long time ago,' he replied." Genesis of the Daleks.

    Pg 100 "I've faced this in the past, and I didn't act in time. If I'd only had the guts to do what was necessary back then, things might be very different now." Genesis of the Daleks.

    Pg 102 "A bolt of white energy lanced through the Dalek's sensor mesh, cracking its armour plating and bursting out through the back of its head, showering the corridor in fragments of Dalekanium and biological matter." Dalekanium was mention in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

    Pgs 109-110 "The template for the new paradigm can be disseminated." New Paradigm Daleks appeared in Victory of the Daleks.

    "Transmission from the base indicate the presence of the Predator on Moldox. We have confirmed the energy signature of his TARDIS." The Daleks called the Doctor the Predator in Asylum of the Daleks.

    Pg 115 "How have they managed to bypass the sky trenches and the transduction barriers?" The Last Day, The Invasion of Time.

    "If this intruder manages to gain entry, only Omega himself knows what might happen." The Three Doctors, Arc of Infinity.

    Pg 116 "Karlax and the guard marhced across the large, railless gantry" The End of Time.

    Pg 126 "His fingers gleamed in the reflected light, and Cinder realised he was wearing a metal gauntlet on his left hand." The End of Time.

    "Our bowships burn, our TARDISes bloom, our children die at the hands of the Daleks." Bowships were mentioned in State of Decay.

    Pg 127 "'Have you located the Master?' The Doctor shook his head. Cinder had no idea who or what they were talking about. 'He's abandoned you, Rassilon. He's abandoned all of us. He's run for cover, and I doubt we'll see him again. Not until the War is over, at least.'" Utopia, The Last of the Time Lords.

    "They've created a demat weapon." The Invasion of Time.

    Pg 129 "Aside from this, the only other objects in the room were a large golden harp, a painting of a decrepit-looking Time Lord playing the harp, and a platform containing two spurs and a computer interface." The Five Doctors.

    Pg 132 "They are mining the temporal radiation that seeps from the Tantalus Eye, using it to create dematerialisation guns such as this." The Invasion of Time.

    "This is taken from one of their new paradigms." Victory of the Daleks.

    Pg 134 "You can't seriously be referring to the Moment?" The Day of the Doctor.

    Pg 140 "They argued that the Time Lords' power had gone to their heads and corrupted them, and that they had started the war with the Daleks in the first instance, all those many centuries ago." Genesis of the Daleks.

    Pg 144 "I am a former President of Gallifrey" The Invasion of Time.

    Pg 152 "The Doctor had played those games once, a long time ago, when a madman had torn five of the Doctor's incarnations from their own time streams and tried to deposit them here, in the hope that he might lead them to the tomb and the secret of Rassilon's longevity." The Five Doctors. In fact, there's a fairly lengthy summary of it on this page.

    "Rassilon himself had been resurrected in the early days of the War" The End of Time.

    Pg 153 "He'd emerged from the teleport at the foot of the Tower - a tall, impising structure that sat at the heart of the Death Zone." The Five Doctors. "Inside the Tower was the former tomb of Rassilon." The Five Doctors.

    Pg 155 "Was Borusa still here, his essence trapped inside the carved relief on the side of Rassilon's granite coffin?" The Five Doctors.

    Pg 166 "the Castellan has a machine, you see, known as a mind probe..." No. Not the mind. Probe. (The Five Doctors.)

    Pg 176 "His fingers plucked clumsily at the strings, hishands trembling. He was reading the notes detailed in the painting on the wall, recreating them on the real harp." The Five Doctors.

    Pg 198 "This isn't the first time I've had to steal away with her from Gallifrey." The Name of the Doctor.

    Pg 208 "Engage the assistance of the Celestial Intervention Agency." The Deadly Assassin.

    Pg 217 "Upon waking, she'd found a pair of skinny black jeans and a Greenpeace T-shirt inthe wardrobe, although she had no idea what the slogan meant." These are the property of Sam Jones, The Eight Doctors through Interference.

    Pg 226 "'Where are we taking him? A medical room?' 'No,' said the Doctor. 'The Zero Room.'" Castrovalva.

    Pg 234 "That little trick of yours might have resulted in a Time Ram, annihilating us both." The Time Monster.

    Pg 244 "The Death Zine used to be the place where unlucky participants were co-opted to play the Game of Rassilon" The Five Doctors.

    Pgs 244-245 "In ancient times he gave up corporeal form, and for millennia resided here in his tomb, worshipped as a once-and-future king. He was resurrected back in the early days of the War, however, when the Time Lords realised they needed a different sort of leader." The Five Doctors, The End of Time.

    Pg 253 "He's in a constant state of metacrisis between faces" Journey's End.

    Pg 257 "In it, a figure that was clearly intended to be the Doctor, with a shock of grey hair and dark leather jacket, was standing beside a blonde woman in rags. A tall, red flower stood between them." The Moment (The Day of the Doctor).

    "There were others too: a thin figure with long, curly hair; a lanky man in a blue suit; a third with bouffant white hair and a cape being chased by a silver robot" The eighth Doctor; the tenth Doctor; the third Doctor in The Five Doctors.

    Pg 264 "Sever my ties to the Matrix." The Deadly Assassin et al.

    Pg 272 "Somewhere deep inthe bowels of the ship, a bell behan to clang repeatedly, echoing through the warren of ever-shifting corridors and rooms." The Cloister Bell, Logopolis.

    Pg 274 "'Predator.' The metallic scrape of a Dalek voice resonated throughout the console room." Asylum of the Daleks.

    Pg 276 "Yet we would look upon you, Predator, before you are ex-ter-min-ated" Asylum of the Daleks.

    Pg 278 "Domed structures nestled amongst clusters of bristling spines and transmitters, and whatever substance it was constructed from - Dalekanium, she supposed - gleamed like burnished bronze in the reflected light of the Eye." The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

    Pg 289 "I made that mistake once before, back on Skaro, when I failed to put an end to the work of your creator." Genesis of the Daleks.

    Pg 304 "Deep in the bowels of the ship the Cloister Bell began to toll again." Logopolis.

    Pg 312 "Then, alone at last, he quietly uttered his promise. Just two simple words, but leaden with the weight of his resolve: 'No more.'"

    OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
    Pg 50 The Emperor Dalek (very likely the same one who appears in The Parting of the Ways).

    Pg 125 Rassilon, first seen in The Five Doctors. Here he's in the Timothy Dalton incarnation seen in The End of Time.

    Pg 155 Borusa, seen in The Deadly Assassin, The Invasion of Time, Arc of Infinity and The Five Doctors.

    NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
    The only surviving one is Coyne.

    CONTINUITY COCK-UPS

    1. Pg 21 "freshly reborn in an endless cycle of death of and resurrection" Say what?
    2. Pg 88 Cinder recoils at the idea of a human with a face inside a glass Dalek, calling it the most disgusting thing she'd ever seen. Yet on page 14, she saw a human torso inside a glass Dalek and didn't seem overly bothered. Was it just the face that perturbed her so?

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

    1. The cycle really is endless.
    2. I don't know about you, but I find the idea of a headless torso slightly more upsetting.

    FEATURED ALIEN RACES
    Pg 13 Daleks. Lots of Daleks.

    Pg 14 The Skaro Degredations, mutated Daleks. One is a humanoid torso in a glass chamber. Another is egg-shaped, mounted on a set of three spider-like legs (page 15). Another is a special weapons Dalek with a massive cannon at its midriff (page 15).

    Pg 245 A twenty-metre-long lizard-like creature.

    Pg 248 A sort of Tyrannosaurus Rex but with wings instead of front legs and four eyes.

    Pg 252 Time Lords experiments, locked in perpetual regeneration.

    Pg 291 The Predator Dalek, twice the size of a usual Dalek, with black sensor globes and grilles.

    FEATURED LOCATIONS
    Pg 13 Moldox, time unknown.

    Pg 113 The Capitol on Gallifrey.

    Pg 151 The Death Zone on Gallifrey.

    Pg 278 The Dalek command station.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    It's a great novel, gripping, exciting and full of incident. The Daleks are a fearsome as you'd hope, with lots and lots of them, as well as variations. The Time Lords are also well done, being conniving and petty. The one-off companion, Cinder, is a good viewpoint character and the fact that we deliberately don't find out her name is great. The only downside - although it's pretty major - is the Doctor. There's a moderate attempt to capture Hurt's voice, but the bigger problem is that he's almost entirely toothless. We were told explicitly that this was a Doctor who spent hundreds of years doing things unworthy of the name of Doctor, yet the book pulls its punches here, dropping the two most fundamental things about the warrior. Yes, there are a few moments where both his name and his character are called into question, but they go nowhere, making him basically indistinguishable from the same character we know from a million other stories. Here was the chance to do something interesting, but the book drops the ball. It's a shame, because it's otherwise a great novel, but this leaves a bitter taste of regret in the mouth.