The Fall of Yquatine
by Nick Walters

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 55594 7


    Yquatine falls. The Doctor, Fitz and Compassion are there to see it, but quickly get separated. While the Doctor tries to save the aggressors from certain death at the hands of the ridiculously inept President of the system, Fitz is trapped in the past, moving forward inexorably to the fall all over again. And Compassion is trapped all over everywhere, but not where she needs to be. Has the Doctor finally met his match in the ludicrous President Vargeld? Will we ever see Compassion again? Can we possibly take Fitz seriously when he utters phrases like 'In the name of all that's funky' (Pg 39)? Read it and find out in another thrilling adventure for the most useless time travellers in the universe. But, trust us, you may come to regret it.

    A sad excuse for the Eighth. No, really, it turns out that that is possible.

    Someone masquerading as Fitz Kreiner, as played by Del Trotter from the BBC's Only Fools and Horses, who cries a lot.

    Compassion, who's great, but only appears in about a quarter of the book.

    More than you'd care to shake a hatstand at:

    Pg 25 Compassion has materialised on Yquatine, on Treaty Day, 2993

    Pg 61 Much the same place, precisely 58 days earlier - the 1st of Jaquaia.

    Pg 85 Beatrix City, the planet Beatrix.

    Pg 135 It becomes clear that Compassion has arrived on New Anthaur.

    Pg 184 A smoke-choked trench in the middle of a warzone

    Pg 184 A jagged, airless asteroid

    Pg 184 The middle of a board meeting

    Pg 184 Somewhere hot, with flower-headed lions

    Pg 184 A damp grassy hillside with butterflies

    Pg 184 Loads more, unrecorded

    Pg 185 A child's bedroom

    Pg 185 At least seven more materialisations.

    Pg 212 Finally, after decades in the Vortex, Compassion arrives on the moon of Muath.


    Pg 13 "'A bottle of Admiral's Old Antisocial, please.' [...] it was the favourite drink of a heroine of hers." The heroine in question is Benny Summerfield, and it's mentioned in the prologue of Human Nature.

    Pg 20 "Chateau Yquatine, famed export of the Yquatine vineyards" and first mentioned in Dry Pilgrimage.

    Pg 17 "Heading for a tiny place sandwiched between a Fizzade stall and a body-beppling clinic" Paradise Towers and Original Sin.

    Pg 28 "We're safe for now. But I know the Time Lords. They're horribly devious." The fallout from The Shadows of Avalon. It gets quite a few mentions, but I haven't recorded them all.

    Pg 33 "The Kukutsi, as leaders of the insect-dominated world of Chitin." Great name for a planet, chaps. Pure Terry Nation. Incidentally, Jon Pertwee couldn't pronounce 'chitinous' in The Green Death.

    Pg 34 "Krukon, the Adamantean, simply stared at President Vargeld, his entourage of two Ogri glowing with golden light behind him." The Stones of Blood.

    Pg 35 "We signed up to independence from the Earth Empire." From various Pertwee stories, especially The Mutants.

    Pg 38 "A Randomiser is a simple circuit that can be linked into TARDIS guidance systems." The Armageddon Factor. As the Doctor comments, "I made one once."

    Pg 46 Brief mention of Draconians, from Frontier in Space.

    Pg 47 "A costume even his sixth incarnation would have balked at." Gosh, it must be bad.

    Pg 57 "No giant rats on Yquatine, are there?" The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

    "I'm the Doctor and this is my friend Lou Lombardo." It's the 'and this is my friend Ace" from loads of the NAs.

    Pg 70 "So, if Fitz did approach him now, he'd be seeding a mighty fine time paradox which could cause much more damage than any alien attack." Fitz is aware of the dangers of paradox since his encounters with Faction Paradox in Unnatural History and Interference.

    Pg 81 "Oh yes - an Ixtricite. Combined crystalline gestalt of the Krotons, the Rhotons and the something-else-ons." From The Krotons. What could the other one have been? The photons? The Dote-ons? We may never care.

    Pg 87 "Then an exotic dancer who wanted her middle breast enlarged." This might be a reference to Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6 from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but it might not.

    Pg 101 Brief reference to Daleks.

    Pg 104 "[The Doctor] walked off casually, humming a song about a man who often dreamed of trains." Could this be dramatic foreshadowing? Because in a very few books' time, the Doctor's going to be put on a train carriage and it's going to have quite an effect. See The Ancestor Cell. (The song in question is probably 'I Often Dream of Trains' by Robyn Hitchcock. It includes the line 'I wait till Eternity or Basingstoke or Reading'. So there you go.)

    Pg 121 "Not now, so soon after Filippa." Parallel 59.

    Pg 137 "She won't be too pleased if one of you kills me." We'd all have loved it if Compassion (oh, yes, it is her; did you not spot the cunning name change to M'Pash?) had followed this with 'I'm a genius' in the style of The Seeds of Death.

    Pg 143 Mention of Filippa again, still from Parallel 59.

    Pg 144 "She remembered the Doctor's old TARDIS. That was meant to be indestructible. And it had been totally destroyed." The Shadows of Avalon, but actually, as The Ancestor Cell will show, it wasn't actually totally destroyed after all.

    Pg 145 The chapter title, 'Cloudbusting', is the name of a Kate Bush song. Actually a really rather good one.

    Pg 152 "Turns out his coma was self-induced." The Invisible Enemy et al.

    Pg 169 "'The Omnethoth were developed millennia ago by a race they call the Masters.' He frowned. 'Terrible choice of name.'" Subtle reference to the Master.

    Pg 171 "His biodata could be and had been extensively rewritten so he wasn't even sure of the past, let alone the future." Unnatural History et al.

    Pg 176 Another brief mention of Draconians (Frontier in Space et al).

    Pg 184 "Surely the Doctor didn't intend an endless, crazy flight through Time and Space with no idea where he was going next. That was madness." Oh, you'd be surprised. See The Five Doctors, in particular.

    Pg 191 "If I throw a stone into a pond, that's a random act, but the ripples are a direct, logical consequence." Any discussion of stones, ripples and ponds has some sort of root in the now-altogether-too-famous sequence in Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Pg 196 "I tried to tell them there was another way." Warriors of the Deep.

    Pg 203 "Would he end up like his mother?" The Taint.

    Pg 208 "One rainy afternoon during his exile on Earth." The Pertwee era.

    Pg 209 "The Omnethoth have the potential for good." It's suddenly got all very Genesis of the Daleks.

    "Out of the roots of evil could come great good, et cetera." See?

    Pg 226 "Why couldn't it have been him? At least he was used to being taken over by alien entities." At last, a fairly good line! The Taint and onwards.

    "Was it because he was tainted by Faction Paradox?" Interference part II.

    Pg 231 "He'd helped save the creatures of the Dominion, but he had lost Kerstin." Gosh, it's always about girls when it comes to Fitz, isn't it? Dominion. And the way this is written, it sounds like she died whereas, in fact, the Doctor and Fitz just dropped her off in Sweden.

    Pg 259 Mention of Sam.

    Pg 276 Fitz gets to do the 'I'll explain later' 'joke' from The Curse of Fatal Death.

    Pg 282 "How would you feel if your home planet was destroyed?" Hmmm, that'll be dramatic foreshadowing, that will. The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 285 It says a lot about the fact that I've read too many of these books that when I read Fitz's description of Compassion as a 'Goth wet dream', I thought of the eponymous Chancellor from The Deadly Assassin.

    Repeatedly, and with no warning. He's supposed to be writer-proof. This shouldn't have been possible (although, that said, you should read most of his dialogue).

    Pg 181 "He laughed, he shouted, he cried."

    Pg 203 "Fitz couldn't wipe the tears away."

    Pg 212 "His voice was thick with sobs of anger."

    Pg 222 "Fitz was babbling, about Arielle, about the Doctor, his face streaked with tears."

    Pg 223 "Fitz's pale blue eyes were pleading, his lips trembling."

    Pg 225 "'That's a damn lie,' said Fitz, wiping the tears from his eyes."

    Pg 232 "Fitz stared at it for a while, feeling too numb for tears." At last. It won't, though. Last, that is.

    Pg 250 See: "Despite his chirpy manner, there were dark rings around his eyes. He'd been crying a lot over Arielle."


    Lou Lombardo (apparently an old friend of the Doctor's, but we've never heard of him, and we never will again).

    Lorena, Naomi Vohner, Jalbert, Guvin, Trooper Lindsey Jones.

    President Stefan Vargeld.

    The Senate: Krukon, Tibis, Okotile, Juvingeld, Rhombus-Alpha.

    Zizeenia and Zuklor, of the Anthaurk.


    1. Pg 10 "She had no choice but to half-walk, half-stumble down the street, past rows of biscuit-coloured stone dwellings." But, given that we don't know what colour biscuits are on Yquatine (and Fitz is later served devilled mud-maggot in gruntgoat cheese sauce (Pg 25), so food is hardly normal here), this sentence is pretty much meaningless.
    2. Pg 66 "'What's your name?' 'Lorena.' So it was a girl." Sorry, but, given that Fitz knows nothing about Yquatine culture at all, why on Earth would he assume that a child of indeterminate gender in appearance is a girl simply because her name ends in an 'a'?
    3. Pg 117 The girl who's been dating the President of the system for almost a year, who also happens to be drop-dead gorgeous and has complained about the paparazzi-filled lifestyle (Pg 120) walks into a bar and... no one recognises her. Admittedly, she says that, in Il-Eruk's, nobody cares who she is, but wouldn't Val at least lean over to Fitz and say 'That's the President's girlfriend, that is; I'd be a bit careful if I were you'?
    4. Pg 132 "The Grand Gynarch, oldest of the Anthaurk and bearer of some three thousand children..." Seriously? Now, she might have been especially fertile, but we're told a page earlier that there are 2 million Anthaurk on New Anthaur and that was the result of a rigorous and intensive breeding programme over a hundred years. If the Grand Gynarch's fairly average in this way, you only needed about 700 Anthaurk to arrive there a century ago and you've got your two million now and then some. But when they arrived a century ago, instead of panicking about being practically extinct, they spent two years at war, having invaded an already inhabited planet. It's all badly thought-through nonsense, nonsense, nonsense.
    5. Pg 134 "We must be cunning. We must be seen to be the injured party in this. We must use the treaty as a weapon against the Senate. We will start by attacking the trade routes." What? How can practically consecutive sentences say 'we must be seen to be the injured party' and 'we'll start by blowing up trade ships'. Oh, very good, Grand Gynarch. Everyone will see you as the injured party then. She must be very stupid.
    6. Pg 152 "Arielle had been up here a few times, mapping the constellations of the System." Erm, had these not been done? Our constellations have been mapped on Earth, here and now, and this is nearly a thousand years in the future. Had no one thought to do it before? Well, of course, they had; this is another example of the author writing something so that he can put people into a situation without actually thinking through the meaning of what he had written. (Note that this only happens so that Walters can perpetrate the dreadful prose that is: 'What choice did they have in such a situation? They'd made love -')
    7. Pg 172 "'Let's take a vote on it, shall we? Shall we do what the Doctor says or shall we destroy these abominations?' Every arm and forelimb shot up towards the ceiling. Rhombus-Alpha glowed its consent." What? Vargeld asks an either-or question and gets the answer 'Yes'. And no one in the room, including the Doctor, seems to notice.
    8. Pg 176 "He couldn't read anything other than Yquatine English, which was weird enough. Every sentence contained a word that was new to him and the grammar seemed overelaborate." So why does no one from Yquatine actually speak with a new word every sentence and using over-elaborate grammar? Another damned stupid thing that the author says because it suits him on this page to do so.
    9. Pg 177 "He'd also tried the literature of the System and developed a taste for Adamantean poetry." Weird because just one page earlier Fitz couldn't read anything but Yquatine English.
    10. Pg 178 "But, when he realised what the man had said, he all but dropped the book to the red-and-blue-tiled floor." Except that, when he gets the man in question to repeat the question, it turns out to be 'Are you going to volunteer?' and Fitz shows pretty much no interest in doing so. So why did he nearly drop the book in shock? Careless, careless.
    11. Pg 223 "Fitz's pale blue eyes were pleading." Funny, because he had grey eyes on Pg 147.
    12. Pg 263 "'You must,' hissed the Grand Gynarch. 'Our ships are poised to destroy this station.'" What, this station? Station Aloysius? The one that the Grand Gynarch is currently standing on? How does that work? And surely she can't think that a treaty obtained under duress will hold? As the combined forces of the rest of the system wipe out her miserable race, what's she going to do? Stand there waving a bit of paper saying 'But you signed?'

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

    1. It doesn't matter. Whatever colour Arielle thinks biscuits are, then these buildings are clearly exactly the same shade. What? Facetious? Us?
    2. It's not the words that she says, but the fact that she has a really high-pitched voice.
    3. Members of staff at Il-Eruk's sign a waiver that states that they must not openly acknowledge the levels of fame of anyone who walks through the door on pain of pain. Doesn't explain why the pesky fly-cameras don't just follow her in there, though, does it?
    4. The Grand Gynarch is startlingly fertile. Most Anthaurk have a more reasonable number of children. Let's say four. Why, oh why, oh why do authors not think through their grand all-encompassing statements? Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense.
    5. The Grand Gynarch is very stupid.
    6. Arielle was doing it as an exercise as part of her studies. (The mapping, that is.)
    7. Vargeld raises his hand in the second part of his sentence, to show people what to do if they agreed with that bit, but Walters decided not to tell us that. Really, though; this is what proof-reading or an editor is for.
    8. Compassion's telepathic translation circuits are really very good indeed when it comes to spoken translation. Hey, maybe most people don't hear Fitz come out with all his dreadful quasi-Cockney 'yeah, baby, you're totally shagadelic' nonsense (Pg30). That said, it doesn't explain how she's doing it now she's trapped in the Vortex and nowhere near Fitz, does it?
    9. He's reading them in translation, of course. Although what to, given that he can't get his head round Yquatine English is another question entirely.
    10. Fitz wasn't startled by the nature of the question; he just didn't expect the noise at all.
    11. There's no excuse for this at all. Maybe Compassion's colour filters are playing up.
    12. The Grand Gynarch really is very stupid. No wonder her daughter strangles her.

    Adamanteans, Eldrig, Saraani, Ikapi, Izrecht, Kukutsi, Ixtricite, Rorclaavix. There are also some bipedal dolphin creatures, a lightbulb creature with 20 arms and legs and a palace official with shiny orange skin and yellow hair [which could, feasibly, be a human with a suntan].

    Pg 10 The City of Yendip, on Yquatine, Treaty Day (16th Lannasirn, 2262AD)

    Pg 25 The same place, precisely one year later.

    Pg 61 The same place, precisely fifty-eight days earlier.

    Pg 74 On an Anthaurk ship.

    Pg 77 Aloysius Station, orbiting (Pg 100) New Anthaur.

    Pg 85 Level 39, Beatrix City, the planet Beatrix.

    Pg 126 The Space Cruiser St Julian.

    Pg 131 New Anthaur, 8 days in the future from the last time we saw Compassion.

    Pg 156 The Yendip Internment Centre.

    Pg 184 Various places throughout time and space as Compassion struggles to take control of the Randomiser.

    Pg 200 Muath, the moon of Yquatine.

    Pg 208 On the Anthaurk battle cruiser Argusia.

    IN SUMMARY - Anthony Wilson
    Oh, Gods, it's dreadful. Everyone but everyone is out of character and the dialogue and narrative read like Enid Blyton on a bad day. The only reason people do anything is in subservience of the plot, which might have worked had the plot actually been any good. You will, by now, have worked out that it's not, even slightly. There is a moment that might have redeemed an average, mediocre novel on page 221, but other than that one paragraph of inspiration, I'd rather die than have to read this again. It is, without doubt, one of the worst of the EDAs (and it's up against some pretty stiff competition, I can tell you). It might even be worse than Divided Loyalties. Utterly, inconceivably awful. Avoid like the plague.