The Paradise of Death
by Barry Letts

Publisher: Virgin
ISBN: 0 426 20413 1


    After a skirmish with an alien warrior in the Middle Ages, Sarah Jane Smith's life as a journalist in Croydon seems rather tame. She decides to track down the enigmatic character who took her back in time; with the Doctor, a good story is never far away. Her intuition pays off. The Doctor and UNIT are called to investigate a grisly murder at Space World, a futuristic new theme park. Tagging along, Sarah and her new colleague Jeremy soon find themselves facing huge crab-like creatures, mind-controlling devices and vicious flesh-eating beetles. And those are just the attractions...


    Sarah Jane Smith, the Brigadier and introducing Jeremy Fitzoliver (though we wish he hadn't).

    Mike Yates appears in cameo, although he doesn't have any lines (pg 87).

    Pg 93/95 In a warzone on the planet Blestinu. Pg 102 In the centre of a manufacturing complex on the planet Parakon.


    Back cover "After a skirmish with an alien warrior in the Middle Ages" The Time Warrior.

    Pg 4 Reference to The Time Warrior.

    Pg 10 "You're not seriously telling me you travelled to Atlantis in that old Police Box?" The Time Monster (and also The Underwater Menace).

    Pg 11 "That's when there were still people on Venus to have proverbs." Venusian Lullaby.

    Pg 12 "You've travelled in the TARDIS yourself about eight hundred years back to Merrie England." The Time Warrior.

    "The poor old TARDIS was nearly done for. Time Ram." The Time Monster.

    Pg 63 (Okay, this isn't a continuity reference, but...) Barry Letts has the third Doctor lying naked on a table for an entire scene, during which he also converses with the Brigadier (who is later Barry Letts' Mary-Sue in Deadly Reunion). Disturbingly, there's also a description of the third Doctor getting naked in The Ghosts of N-Space. Quite what this is all about, I absolutely do not want to know. And if someone could remove the mental image that's unfortunately now stuck inside my head, that would be helpful too.

    Pg 64 "Much higher and last Sunday's mutton could easily have become next Sunday's lamb. You could be talking to a new version at this very minute." Something almost identical happens the next time the Doctor falls off an enormous tower (see, inevitably, Continuity Cock-ups). Funny how Barry's major continuity blunders all concern season 18 stories, for which he was executive producer (Logopolis here and the E-space trilogy in The Ghosts of N-Space). Incidentally, this sentence is an attempt to retcon the audio, which simply had the Doctor falling from the tower with no question of his regenerating.

    Pg 160 "They're very like the skimmers we used to fly when I was a boy on Gallifrey." Romana said much the same thing about the aircars in The Pirate Planet.

    Pg 174 "'Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, eh Doctor?' said the Brigadier. 'You may mock, Lethbridge-Stewart,' answered the Doctor. 'I know as well as you do that the expression would sound like nonsense to a classical sub-atomic physicist.'" Nevertheless, the Doctor continues to say this, and variants, quite frequently. (This is trademark Barry Letts: have the characters acknowledge that there's a problem and then do nothing about it, hoping that by pointing it out first you'll forestall criticism.)

    Pg 206 "Klokleda partha mennin klatch, Aroon araan aroon." The Curse of Peladon. But see Continuity Cock-ups.

    Pg 208 "Unfortunately, the Gargan didn't seem to have the same ear for music as my old friend Aggedor." The Curse of Peladon.


    Onya Farjen, President Freeth, Tragan, Haban Rance, Ungar, Jenhegger, Kaido.


    1. Pg 10 "Where was the telephone book? Yes, here it was. The United Nations Intelligence Taskforce." Not that much intelligence really, putting your top secret organisation in the phone book.
    2. Pg 31 "'I've found out what we need to know about the Doctor,' he said, anticipating Freeth's next question. 'And how did you manage to do that?' 'I rang UNIT and asked them.' 'A cunning ploy indeed,' said Freeth, sinking onto the sofa, which he neatly filled, designed as it was to accommodate two. 'The fools fell over themselves to give me the information.'" So let me get this straight: not only is UNIT, a top-secret organisation, in the telephone book, allowing for the possibility that the villains could simply ring them up... but when they actually do, UNIT has paid telephone operators ready and willing to give out complete information on their even-more-secret mysterious scientific advisor, the one man who stands between Earth and its destruction, approximately every Saturday at teatime? No wonder all the alien races keep trying to invade. We must be the laughing stock down at the alien overlords' local pub.
    3. Pg 38 "Experienced Reality! The Wonder of the Millenium!" I wonder if it's also the wonder of the millennium?
    4. Pg 65 "Well if you find yourself falling from a great height, bone relaxation can be just the ticket." Might have come in handy during Logopolis, really. For which, you know, Barry was executive producer.
    5. Pg 96 "How could the TARDIS make a mistake like that?" This is even more amusing in the audio, when the Brigadier repeats "How?" as though the TARDIS landing on the wrong planet were the world's biggest clue that something terrible has gone wrong. Rather than, say, the opening of episode 1 of about 60% of all stories ever, including many that Barry himself produced or executive produced.
    6. Pg 99 "This time Sarah stared back at him. Forcing himself to speak coolly, she asked if there were now any reason to keep her tied up." Why does Sarah refer to herself as "himself"? And do we really want to know?
    7. Pg 180 "'When I lost my teacher,' said the Doctor, 'I felt as if my father had died.'" Except that K'ampo isn't dead and will appear shortly in Planet of the Spiders. Barry forgetting about stories he was merely producer or executive producer on is one thing, but this appears to contradict a story he himself wrote!
    8. Pg 189 "The creatures were not exactly the same as the bats he was used to - their faces were more like cats' - but like their Earthly counterparts they were covered with fur, albeit of a golden yellow colour, and had leathery wings spanning some twenty feet." I don't know about you, but if I encountered a golden yellow, cat-faced bat whose wingspan meant it was approximately the width of my house, my first thought would not be "You know, except that their faces are a bit cat-like, they're much the same as bats I'm used to." But then, I'm clearly not made of the stern stuff that the Brigadier is.
    9. Pgs 206-207 "Klokleda partha mennin klatch, Aroon araan aroon. Klokleeda mertha teera natch, Aroon, araan..." Why does the spelling of Klokleda/Klokleeda change? And I bet you can guess the word those ellipses replaced, can't you?
    10. Pg 241 "Like a Moebius strip, the Doctor would have said" Which is presumably distinct from a Mobius strip (with an umlaut over the o).

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

    1. After the Brigadier's marriage broke up in The Scales of Injustice, because he couldn't tell Fiona about where he worked, he lobbied for greater openness, so that his men's marriages wouldn't have to suffer the same fate.
    2. The Brigadier's divorce was so painful that he felt it worth the risk to the entire planet, just so he could live to see the day when Mike Yates took a wife and lived happily ever after.
    3. Kitson is actually referring to a Parakon millenium, which is a similar timescale to our millennium, only slightly shorter.
    4. The fourth Doctor, having seen the premonition of the Watcher, knew that he'd be violating the web of time if he used this magnificent - and never again mentioned - skill to save himself, so like the gallant knight he was, he deliberately tensed his bones in order that the timelines might remain intact. What a guy.
    5. The Brigadier hasn't travelled in the TARDIS much and assumes, despite all the stories of the quest for Metebelis Three, that the TARDIS is infallible. This, incidentally, is also the precise reason why the Doctor considers him his best friend and continues to hang around UNIT long after he doesn't need to. Bless.
    6. There was a brief period in the late sixties Women's Lib movement towards single gender terminology. On the basis that women were just as good as men, it was thought that they should also be referred to using the same pronouns as men. Shortly afterwards it was dropped entirely, on account of being too silly for words. Sarah signed up for this at the time and occasionally lapses in times of stress.
    7. The last time the Doctor saw K'ampo, they were hiking in the woods, but the Doctor had the map and K'ampo was wandering around lost for some hours. The Doctor was really devastated about this. (Alternatively, you could just go with the Lungbarrow explanation, which was that Cousin Innocet fired him.)
    8. Either that, or you absolutely do not want to visit the Brigadier's attic after dark.
    9. Given that the translation is "Close your eyes my pretty darling, well three of them at least", we can surmise that "Klokleda" refers to the three-eyed closing, whereas "Klokleeda" refers to the closing of at least three eyes, but possibly more. It's funnier in the original Venusian.
    10. Let's just be thankful he didn't start talking about the Morbius strip.

    Pg 74 The Parakons, who appear humanoid.

    Pg 83 A dog-like creature, mostly hairless, with leather skin and a facial mixture of demon and dinosaur.

    Pg 92 Tragan is a Naglon (pages 111-112), with purple skin filled with warts and pustules and a face sagged in liquid folds that are continually moving.

    Pg 95 The Blestinu natives, who have leathery faces the colour of mud and bald heads.

    Pg 137 Rasco looks like a wart-hog, has hooves and feathery tentacles.

    Pg 182 A butterfly the size of a handsbreadth.

    Pg 187 A Gargan, a gorilla-like creature who is nearly blind and deaf, but has an amazing sense of smell. It has a long curved neck so it can sniff along the ground like a bloodhound and rows of crocodile teeth. (Hilariously, it leaves you alone entirely unless you cross a small pile of pebbles... in which case it will never rest until it hunts you to your death.)

    Pg 189 Kimonyan bats, with faces like cats. They also have golden yellow fur and are big enough to hold four riders. But see Continuity Cock-ups.

    Pgs 235/243 A bull-sized toad, known as The Great Toad. No, really. He's a badass and lives in a pit and everything! (You get the sense the other evil alien empires probably spend a lot of time laughing at the Parakons behind their backs.)

    Pg 1 A shuttle (perhaps). The dating confused fans at the time, due to the Doctor's reference to Virtual Reality (page 39), suggesting that maybe this was set in the 1990s. However, it's only the Doctor who mentions VR and the Brigadier doesn't know what it is, so it's more likely c 1973. (Not to mention taking place immediately after The Time Warrior.)

    Pg 3 London.

    Pg 82 A spaceship (possibly the same one as page 1, which doesn't specify and could be an aeroplane for all we know).

    Pg 95 Blestinu.

    Pg 102 Parakon.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    I tried to be brave, I really did. But the awful sentences... the tortured, tortured attempts that Sarah goes through to avoid talking in cliches... the endless descriptions of people eating... Sarah's romance that's too painful to be believed... the exclamations! within prose! for no good reason!... Jon Pertwee naked... Sarah liking men with small bums... the parenthetical asides (oh god!)... the climax featuring Jon Pertwee clad only in his underpants fighting in a gladiatorial arena... Jeremy Fitzoliver... Tell my parents I loved them and take care of my gigantic yellow cat-faced bats for me. Goodbye, cruel world...