The Many Hands
by Dale Smith

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 1 846 07422 6


    The Nor' Loch is being filled in. If you ask the soldiers there, they'll tell you it's a stinking cesspool that the city can do without. But that doesn't explain why the workers won't go near the place without an armed guard. That doesn't explain why they whisper stories about the loch giving up its dead, about the minister who walked into his church twelve years after he died. It doesn't explain why, as they work, they whisper about a man called the Doctor. And about the many hands of Alexander Monro.


    Martha Jones.

    Pg 216 The TARDIS is parked by the walls of Castle Rock, Edinburgh 1759 (page 13) before the story begins.

    Pg 229 Edinburgh, 1997, although we don't see it.


    Pg 24 The sonic screwdrive rappears (Fury From the Deep et al).

    Pg 30 "If she was back at the Royal Hope, oit would be simple to reset the bones." Smith and Jones.

    Pg 32 "'Hello,' he grinned, slipping easily into a gentle Scot's burr." Part of the reason he slips so easily is because his seventh incarnation had a Scottish accent (oh and because David Tennant is Scottish).

    Pg 35 The psychic paper appears (The End of the World et al).

    Pg 38 "Right, OK - so she was actually going to be arrested for crimes against fashion. Tish was right, after all." Tish first appeared in Smith and Jones.

    Pg 68 "I did know a man who fought at Culloden" Jamie McCrimmon, in The Highlanders.

    Pg 71 Reference to Leo (Smith and Jones et al).

    Pg 75 "Martha sighed and held up her hand. 'Distal,' she said, pointing at her other hand." The Family of Blood.

    Pg 80 Reference to Martha's mother (Smith and Jones et al).

    Pg 81 "Crabs brought back decidedly mixed emotions." Gridlock.

    Pg 82 "Everyone who worked in the place was a dolphin, walking around with the aid of sleek mechanical legs and talking with a calm, Stephen Hawking-style electronic voice." We saw one of these in Heritage.

    Pg 121 "'I did read once of a man named Lazarus,' he answered. The Doctor smiled." The Lazarus Experiment.

    Pg 129 Reference to Annalise (Smith and Jones).

    Pg135 "'Are you Gelth?' the Doctor tried." The Unquiet Dead.

    Pg 163 "A lord in his finery who could have been a member of the Slitheen family in disguise." Aliens of London/World War Three.

    Pg 205 Reference to Rose (Rose et al).

    Pg 216 "Even though she knew there was no way in the world her father would see reason if somebody threatened to hurt her." This prefigures Clive's actions in The Sound of Drums.


    Alexander Monro (junior and senior), McAllister, Hawkins, Benjamin Franklin, the Reverend Yarwood.


    • Pg 200 "He felt McAllister shift beside him, and glanced the glint of a metal dirk hidden in his hand." Say what?

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

    • It was only a glance, so the Doctor didn't have time for definite articles.

    Pg 82 Animated hands.

    Pg 138 Zombies, with a hand attached to their chest.

    Pgs 199-200 Onk Ndell Kith, a creature formed from many coalesced hands.

    Pg 7 Edinburgh, 1773.

    Pg 13 Edinburgh, 1759.

    Pg 229 Edinburgh, 1997.

    Pg 237 Edinburgh, 1771.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    You've got to feel sorry for Dale Smith. After the brilliant Heritage, back in 2002, he finally produces a second Doctor Who novel and it turns out to be... very mediocre indeed. The central wheeze is pretty good - disembodied hands are rather creepy - but the plot that surrounds them is fairly perfunctory. There's some decent tension between the Doctor and McAllister and it's good to see that they never really get along, despite McAllister being the pseudo-companion of the story, but everything just plods along. The revelation about Monro is good, but the ending just sort of fizzes out. Oh, and the back cover discusses details that don't appear until Page 232 (12 before the novel's end). This has to be some sort of record.