The Pirate Loop
by Simon Guerrier

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 1 846 0747 2


    The Doctor's been everywhere and every-when in the whole of the universe and seems to know all the answers. But ask him what happened to the Starship Brilliant and he hasn't the first idea. Did it fall into a sun or black hole? Was it shot down in the first moments of the galactic war? And what's this about a secret experimental drive? The Doctor is skittish. But if Martha is so keen to find out he'll land the TARDIS on the Brilliant, a few days before it vanishes. Then they can see for themselves... Soon the Doctor learns the awful truth. And Martha learns that you need to be careful what you wish for. She certainly wasn't hoping for mayhem, death, and badger-faced space pirates.


    Martha Jones.

    Pg 15 The engine room of the Starship Brilliant.

    Pg 184 The engine room of the Starship Brilliant again, some time later.

    Pg 203 The pirate ship, Mandelbrot Sett.


    Pg 8 "She remembered a particularly miserable family holiday at some activity camp outside London, her big sister Tish falling for one of the creepy blokes that worked there." Tish was seen intermittently throughout the 2007 season.

    "My brother hates this song." Leo was seen in Smith and Jones.

    Pg 11 "'It'll bother me if we don't,' he said, busy now with coordinates and the helmic regulator." The Ark in Space.

    Pg 13 "Martha thought she was in her mum's house in London." Seen throughout the 2007 season.

    Pg 15 "She was suddenly eminded of the dark, low-ceilinged basement at the Royal Hope" The hospital where Martha worked, in Smith and Jones.

    Pg 17 "Martha felt guilty; only a couple of days before she'd thrown a gold sovereign away down a wishing well." Wishing Well.

    Pg 18"She reached a hand into the inside pocket of the Doctor's jacket, helping herself to the slim leather wallet that he kept with his sonic screwdriver." The psychic paper was first seen in The End of the World. The sonic screwdriver was first seen in Fury From the Deep.

    Pg 25 "And you know what they did to the Dodo?" The Last Dodo.

    Pg 35 "She had told him all about her family, and Dad and Annalise, and she didn't know one tiny thing about the mouthless man himself." Martha's father and Annalise were seen in Smith and Jones.

    Pg 44 "Martha could have it in a glass, in a bowl or in an 'immature Mim'." The Mim are a recurring race of shapeshifters in the Big Finish Benny novels and audios.

    Pg 46 "Last time she'd been so patronised she'd been washing floors in a school." Human Nature.

    Pg 91 "Treated the Yemayan Ambassador, Mr Sutton." Yemaya was the planet from SLEEPY

    Pg 114 "'When I first met her,' said the Doctor, 'she was training to be a doctor.'" Smith and Jones.

    Pg 138 "She supposed people were always going to be better looking in the future, just as she'd found Shakespeare a bit unwashed and smelly." The Shakespeare Code.

    Pg 159 "You get into space and it's no longer immigrants but Ood and Monoids and Vocs." The Impossible Planet et al, The Ark, The Robots of Death.

    Pg 181 "The gravitic anomaliser protested as he wound it round to eight." The Horns of Nimon.


    Mrs Wingsworth, Jocelyn, Dashiel, Thomas, Captain Florence, Archibald, Kitty rose, Zuzuia, various mouthless men.


    1. Pg 33 "'See?' he said. You just step through sharpish before it hardens again.'" Missing a quote mark.
    2. Pg 195 "'Yeah, but no one owns anyone.' said Dashiel." The full stop should have been a comma.

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

    1. The Doctor started a mental thought but segued into thinking aloud and wasn't sure where the transition occurred.
    2. Dashiel started to say his line thoughtfully, but at the end he decided to be more forceful about it.

    Pg 7 Dancing robots.

    Pg 21 Mouthless men, who can't speak but have a small hole for breathing.

    Pg 37 Robot waiters.

    Pg 43 The Balumin, tubby, egg-shaped aliens, either all orange or all pale blue, with lots of tentacles.

    Pg 48 Pirate badgers.

    Pg 7 Milky-Pink City, time and planet unknown.

    Pg 26 The Starship Brilliant.

    Pg 198 A pirate capsule.

    Pg 200 The pirate ship, Madelbrot Sett.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    At last. After 22 NSAs, they finally knock one out of the park. There have been some decent books before and a few awful ones, but most have just been sort of... meh. Finally, a book they can hang their hat on. The Pirate Loop is clever, touching and funny, and even has some neat twists. The loop itself works really well, especially with all the deaths and resetting, so that even little things like canapes become important. The pirates get actual characterisation and Mrs Wingsworth is awesome as a tentacled society woman. It comes together beautifully and the payoff is great: you don't have to rescue people to save them. All in all, this is smashing stuff, the kind of thing they should have been doing 22 books ago. Still, better late than never.