The Infinity Race
by Simon Messingham

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 53863 5




    Fitz and Anji.

    Pg 29 On the deck of a racing yacht, Selonart.

    Pg 269 A gusty, barren mountainside, Demigest.


    Pg 1 "What I got, was Siberia and the Doctor." Time Zero.

    Pg 3 "How can he get into the TARDIS?" The Doctor prevented Sabbath from entering the TARDIS in Camera Obscura.

    Pg 5 "They had met, at last, in orbit around Proxima II" The Face-Eater. Although see, bizarrely, Continuity Cock-Ups.

    Pg 11 "They were verite pictures of seven different men: an old white-haired one, a boyish imp, a velvet-jacketed dandy, a wide-eyed madman, a sad gentle dreamer, a chubby arrogant clown and a sly little schemer." The first seven Doctors.

    Pgs 31-32 "After all, we were after Sabbath and after my brief but pertinent run-in with him in Siberia it wasn't likely that this was going to be a pleasure cruise, was it?" Time Zero.

    Pg 38 "I was going to need a ton of aspirin though and that is, unfortunately, one commodity that the Doctor never carries in the TARDIS." In The Left-Handed Hummingbird, it's made clear that aspirin could kill the Doctor. (There's a similar scene in The Mind of Evil, but isn't stated what the substance is.)

    Pg 40 "'Blum,' he said." Posible reference to fellow EDA author Jon Blum - although Jon's surname rhymes with "plum" and doesn't sound like "Bloom", so possibly not.

    Pg 63 "The native blockhead barman, for all his clumsiness, fixed a mean Proximan Ice Tea cocktail." The Proximan colony was seen in The Face-Eater.

    Pg 91 "I didn't want to think about the dream I'd had, but it kept coming back to me. Reality, splitting apart, dividing." That'll be the next few books, then (The Domino Effect through Sometime Never...).

    Pg 118 "The starship was found two months later registered to a company office on Proxima Centauri." The Face-Eater.

    Pg 123 Reference to Dave (Escape Velocity).

    Pg 179 "They were more powerful than even his masters had suspected." We'll meet his masters in Sometime Never....

    Pg 184 "Is it a Knights Templar thing? [...] A remnant of his original organisation perhaps?" The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

    Pg 193 "He remembered his first inklings, centuries back. Staring into the muddied Thames." The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

    Pg 196 "This man who had taken more from him than any other. The Doctor rubbed his chest, perhaps feeling a twinge of pain. The heart of the matter." The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

    Pgs 203-204 "I'd be interested to know how you got it into the TARDIS." It was Trix, in Time Zero, with the model boat.

    Pg 224 "The Doctor was thinking about the brief previous visit he had made to this vessel." The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

    Pg 237 "I had left the TARDIS of my own free will. Eighteen months ago, to me at least." Time Zero.

    Pg 246 "Didn't you learn anything in Siberia?" Time Zero.

    Sabbath, the apes.

    Bloom, Valeria, the Warlocks.


    1. Pg 5 "They had met, at last, in orbit around Proxima II" Strangely, in The Face-Eater, Messingham called the planet Proxima 2, not Proxima II.
    2. Pg 34 "I looked back just to check Fitz was there and then it all becomes a bit of blur." Say what? "A bit of a blur", surely?
    3. Pg 38 "Oddly, Fitz was winning. He'd never won a fight in his life." This isn't true, he beat the Masked Weasel easily in The Crooked World (pg 70).
    4. Pg 64 There's a giant sea monster, despite there being no native life on Selonart (pg 14). It's never explained where it came from.
    5. Pg 70 "It wasn't working out quite as he had anticipated. he hadn't realised this Doctor could be the most annoying person in the galaxy." Huh? "He hadn't", surely?
    6. Pg 81 "And that's who he reminded me of all of a sudden. Gene Wilder. As Willie Wonka in the film." Except that the film (and book) involved "Willy Wonka", so who's this mysterious Willie?
    7. Pg 101 "I thought about leaping into the sea but had to admit I was too tired to be bothered. Where could I go then?" Only down, since you can't swim, Fitz. This is mentioned in both EarthWorld (pg 194) and Reckless Engineering (pg 114).
    8. Pg 130 "The Governer hoped he would n ever have to see them ever again." Pardon? "Would never", surely?
    9. Pg 134 "What makes you think its in one piece anyway?" Or that "it's" in one piece?

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

    1. During the early days of the colony it was "Proxima 2", but since then it's grown more confident and austere and retitled itself using Roman numerals to reflect this.
    2. It's such a blur that Anji starts forgetting her words.
    3. Anji didn't witness that one and refuses to believe any bragging Fitz may have done about it.
    4. It's from an alternate universe and it breaking through via the timebergs.
    5. Peck is so annoyed by the Doctor that he's forgetting to capitalise the first letter of his sentences.
    6. Anji's Freudian subconscious is telling us more than we want to know about her interest in the Doctor.
    7. Fitz is really desperate to escape and hoping that the Selonart water might help him out, like swimming in the Dead Sea.
    8. The Governer is so hopeful that it's giving him a weird stutter.
    9. Warner is so convinced it's not in one piece that he's using the possessive, not the contraction. He's very eccentric.

    Pg 44 Warlocks, former colonists altered by the primeval forces on Demigest. They are almost dead, with wispy hair, skeletal bodies and dead eyes.

    The Selonarts, while descendents of humans, have rapidly evolved into the original inhabitants. They have blocky heads and an affinity with water (pg 13).

    Pg 64 A giant sea monster with a shark-like head and black lifeless eyes.

    Pg 3 Demigest, the future.

    Pg 8 Kent, England.

    Pg 9 An atmosphere craft.


    Pg 13 Selonart, eight months later (p118).

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    The first three quarters of The Infinity Race is great. Not perfect -- the sea monster is never explained, Sabbath's disguise is so obvious that you expect the twist to be that it isn't actually him and a lot more could have been done with the idea of an alternate universe where Sabbath was public enemy number 1 -- but it rolls along nicely. There's some nice writing, a convincing setup and the title turns out to be really clever. But then the last quarter is abysmally poor. Sabbath becomes a ranting villain, there's technobabble everywhere and the whole thing slows to a crawl (although the time loop rewriting is fun). In the end, this leaves an extremely bitter taste in the mouth, which it probably doesn't fully deserve. A shame.