The TARDIS takes the Doctor and Rose to a brutal deep-space prison colony. Can they stay out of gaol long enough to discover who - or what - is behind the sinister scientific plot that threatens billions of human lives?
Pg 7 Justice Alpha (confirmed on page 249).
A basic familiarity with Aliens of London and World War Three would help.
Pg 7 "We've done space stations... space-ships..." The End of the World.
Pg 8 "That had been back on Earth in the middle of an alien invasion. They'd beaten it together; he'd shown her she could make a difference to things." Rose.
Pg 32 "Mum always said it would be Mickey who'd end up inside, not me." Jackie and Mickey first appeared in Rose and then throughout the 2005-2006 seasons.
Pg 39 "The Doctor had met creatures like this before. He had fought them to the death." Aliens of London/World War Three.
Pg 40 "You're from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorious, right?" The Slitheen homeworld. It's mentioned a lot throughout this book; I haven't noted the others.
Pg 51 "Impersonating all kinds of creatures from Meeps to Kraals" The comics, The Android Invasion.
Pg 52 "Impersonating aliens, nuking their planets and selling off the radioactive chunks as cheap fuel for every bargain-bucket spaceship in the galaxy?" Aliens of London/World War Three.
Pg 53 "The Slitheen almost blew up Earth, you know. In the end they only blew up themselves." Aliens of London/World War Three.
"We've been finding out all we can about the industrious Jocrassa Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen and his compatriots." Aliens of London/World War Three.
Pg 79 "In one of the pictures there was a creature who looked the living spit of Ecktosa Fel Fotch, wriggling with a grin out of a Martian's body armour." Martians first appeared in The Ice Warriors.
Pg 126 "The big bad wolf's ready to blow our house down." Is anyone else surprised that the least subtle "bad wolf" reference, the only one ever to simply go for the source material and throw allegory or cleverness to the wind, should come from the pen of Steve Cole? Thought not.
Pg 197 "Got you as their scientific advisor?" The Doctor was also a scientific advisor to UNIT, back in the seventies.
Pg 214 "Only I know how you humans love your domestic stuff." This is especially true of Rose in the new series.
Pg 219 "Do you mind not interrupting when I'm trying to save the world?" The ninth Doctor says something very similar at the end of Aliens of London. Fenric also says something similar about eulogising in The Curse of Fenric.
Pg 252 "'Perhaps,' said the Doctor. 'Or perhaps he just wanted to be sure nothing was left of the creatures who killed his family.' He nodded. 'I can understand that.'" We see this in Dalek.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
Pg 39 The Slitheen return, although none that we've met before.
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Flowers, Robsen, Dennel, Riz, Katska.
Dram, Eckstosa and Callis Fel Foth Slitheen.
- Pg 182 "Your team are progressing so very nicely" I wonder if the team is progressing nicely, too?
- Pg 188 "A Blathereen face was glaring down at her, filling her vision." Except that Ecktosca is a Slitheen, not a Blathereen.
- Pg 249 "The overseers had never managed to get inside, or to shift it an inch." While it's true that few people can get inside, many people have managed to shift the TARDIS, with the aid of only moderate lifting equipment.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- The Blathereen haven't quite mastered the subtleties of English. Not unlike the author, one suspects.
- Flowers was disoriented.
- The overseers weren't actually trying all that hard.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Pg 37 Globs, floating grey globules that stick over you if you act aggressively or try to escape.
Pg 39 The Slitheen and other members of their race.
Pg 63 An enormous three-legged person with an orange eye.
A parade of odd-looking creatures who seem to be half-formouse, half-armadillo.
A creature that looks like an orange woolly mammoth with four trunks.
A green, skinny reptile-thing with a domed forehead, big webbed feet and black glistening nodules.
A large blob whose skin is the consistency of stick toffee pudding with three blue eyes on marzipan stalks. (She's a Sucrosian, according to page 69.)
Pg 25 A shuttle. It's 2501 (page 32).
Pg 54 Justicia Prime.
Pg 78 Justice Beta.
Pg 135 A shuttle.
Pg 149 Justice Delta.
Pg 249 Justice Alpha.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
The prison setup isn't bad and the Slitheen are great fun to have hanging around, although the last third gets a bit boring. Rose is fairly generic, as are all the human supporting cast. However, the ninth Doctor, talking in Fitz-ish bovver boy dialogue, might be more suited to Steve Cole than just about any other author. The Doctor's dialogue is rough, common and has all the edges filed off... and it's utterly perfect. This is a light, throwaway novel, make no mistake, but given the exceedingly short run of ninth Doctor books, it's great to find one that actually gets him right. As a result, this is much more of a success than it has any right to be.