Mission to Magnus
by Philip Martin

Publisher: Target
ISBN: 0 426 20347 X


    Sil sells woolly blankets to the Ice Warriors, who try to invade a planet ruled by women. The Doctor's old bully turns up for a while, too.



    Pg 18 Inside a cave on the planet Magnus.

    Pgs 75-77 The TARDIS jumps a few hours ahead in time.

    Pg 105 In the cave on Magnus again.

    A passing acquaintance with Vengeance on Varos.

    Pg 15 "It's been ages. Thoros Beta, wasn't it?" Seen in Mindwarp (which is set after this adventure). There are a number of references to Sil being a native of Thoros Beta. I haven't noted them all.

    "You look upon a mere castaway, a humble agent of Amorb." Mentioned in Vengeance on Varos.

    Pg 16 "I must remain simmering here until I can create a fortune that will reinstate me in the respect of Lord Kiv, the ruler of my home planet." Seen in Mindwarp.

    Pg 51 "He used to travel with a cheeky young miss" Vengeance on Varos.

    Pg 52 "Because I am now a subordinate, thanks to you and your interference in my moneymaking plans for Varos." Vengeance on Varos.

    Pg 69 "His right fist was clenched across to his left shoulder in respectful salute to the speckled head that filled the screen before him." The Grand Marshal's helmet was similarly speckled (with glitter, we suspect) in The Seeds of Death.

    Pg 71 "Why bring a human here? Destroy her at once!" The second sentence was the cliffhanger to Attack of the Cybermen.

    Pg 13 Sil.

    Pg 65 The Ice Warriors.

    Rana Zandusia, Vion, Ishka, Ulema, Jarmaya, Dabasir.


    1. Pg 17 "Not the last decade of the twentieth century?" Except that Peri is from the penultimate decade of the twentieth century, not the nineties (when this book was published).
    2. Pg 87 "You have thwarted the Grand Marshal's plans more than once before, haven't you?" When would this be, precisely, given that no Grand Marshal ever survived an encounter with the Doctor?
    3. Pg 99 "Holding the kicking and scratching girl at arms length he spoke with loathing, 'Are they all like this down here?'" Shouldn't that be "arms' length"? To say nothing of the missing comma, of course.
    4. Pg 104 "When my I descend?" Say what?
    5. Pg 106 "'I believe the nuclear explosion has forced Magnus into a new orbit of maximum ellipse, maybe doubling its distance from your sun.' 'So out summer would be, what, shorter?' Jarmaya asked the Doctor. 'Very. Hardly time for the winter snows to thaw.'" Ummm.... First of all, the seasons aren't caused by elliptical orbits, but rather by a planet's tilt. This is why Christmas in Australia is in the summertime: it's not because the Earth is further away from the sun at that point. Second, doubling the distance from the sun would undoubtedly kill everyone in an instant. If we relocated Earth to the orbit of Jupiter, we wouldn't be suffering a slightly longer winter, we'd be frozen to death. And third, that's one hell of a nuclear explosion. Indeed, a nuclear explosion that strong would probably vaporise the entire planet, not leave a significant percentage of people alive and a little bit chilly.

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

    1. The Doctor promised to show Peri Earth in the nineties and she was really looking forward to it.
    2. This occurred during a number of unrecorded adventures, where the Grand Marshal always lived to tell the tale, no doubt twirling his green moustache along the way.
    3. This happens during the period when the TARDIS isn't around, so the translator circuits aren't correcting Magnusian punctuation which is, sadly, appalling.
    4. The Grand Marshal is getting ahead of himself and thinks he already owns the planet, so he's speaking in the possessive.
    5. The Doctor's dead wrong. The nuclear explosion did no such thing and maybe just shifted the tilt a little. But he feels the need to exaggerate wildly so that the warring factions will unite in a common cause. What a guy.

    Pg 13 Sil's a Mentor, of course.

    Pg 65 The Ice Warriors.

    Pg 22 The Magnusians.

    Pg 105 The Salvakians.

    Pg 20 Magnus Epsilon, midway through the twenty-third century (pg 17).

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Dear god. This is a story whose entire existence is predicated upon the "joke" that Sil is selling woolly jumpers and blankets to the Ice Warriors. Oh, my sides! And yet, this line appears once and is buried so deep you'd be forgiven for missing it. For some reason, every time a Doctor Who story attempted to do the "planet of the women", the story got cancelled. Does this tell you anything? It's appallingly done too, with the story ending with implied rape, to guffaws of laughter, as the Doctor and Peri slip away quietly. Sil's dialogue is almost entirely normal, demonstrating that almost all the strengths of the character lay in the design and Nabil Shaban's delivery. The Ice Warriors are incredibly underused, only showing up for the last third of the plot. But the story's biggest crime is Anzor. There's actually a bit of mileage in the idea of the Doctor having a Time Lord bully that he's terrified of. And the sixth Doctor is the perfect one to embody this fear. But the result here is the Doctor cowering on the floor while Anzor, a complete idiot, manages to be an entirely unthreatening villain. And then, he's tricked into leaving the story about a quarter of the way in... never to return. Huh? There's no dramatic payoff, no surprise twist and no satisfying conclusion. So, erm, the point of this was what, precisely?