Relative Dementias
by Mark Michalowski

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 53844 9


    The Doctor and Ace find themselves at an Alzheimer's clinic where the patients seem to be gaining a new lease on life, but animals are disappearing... and a shadowy figure is stalking the Doctor and Ace.



    London, August 2012.

    Muirbridge, Scotland, April 1982 (twice, on pages 39 and 265).

    Kelsay Island, Scotland, April 1982 (we see the same materialisation from two points of view, on pages 22 and 261).

    The galley of John's boat (page 268).


    Pg 43 Ace identifies herself as Dorothy McShane, her surname from the NAs.

    Pg 71 There's a joke about "Mrs, er Gale" referencing Ace's surname in Illegal Alien, Matrix and Prime Time.

    "I remember when Puccini had that terrible cold" In the telemovie, the eighth Doctor remembers being with Puccini when he died.

    Pg 72 "I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a granddaughter." Susan.

    Pg 88 Reference to Liz Shaw.

    Pg 91 "Could there be Fleshsmiths around here?" Fleshsmiths appeared in Prime Time.

    Pg 119 Reference to the Brigadier and the third Doctor working concurrently at UNIT HQ (page 145 confirms that it's the third Doctor).

    Pg 126 "I wonder if I'm now qualified for my 'exiting an alien spaceship underwater' Girl Guide badge" Ace also exited an alien spaceship underwater in Battlefield.

    Pg 133 "He suddenly saw Leela's face, framed with a fur-trimmed hoodThick flurries of snow sleeted across his vision as the smell of scotch came to him." This is Drift, the next PDA.

    The other flashback on this page is definitely not a memory, as the Doctor confirms later. Its purpose is unclear, presumably to be resolved in a future book.

    Pg 145 We get a description of the third Doctor.

    "my head-my arms-my-" Possible reference to the fourth Doctor's line in Nightmare of Eden (the Doctor is having flashbacks and random memories at this point).

    "Comfy leather Chesterton." A reference to the first Doctor calling Ian "Chesterfield".

    Pg 146 Reference to Tegan.

    Pg 151 Reference to Sarah.

    Pg 160 "The lid lifted like she was opening a chest freezer down at Iceland - or Iceworld, come to that." Dragonfire.

    Pg 182 "The police box [...] It's part of UNIT folklore. [...] When it makes an appearance, you know there's trouble round the corner." We see similar UNIT folklore regarding the Doctor in Battlefield.

    Pg 184 "The kind Ace remembered nan Dudman having" The Curse of Fenric.

    Pg 198 "A memory of Leela in the snow." Drift.

    Pg 203 It's not clear if we're meant to recognise General Terrance Ashworth or not.

    "From the Yeti to the Cyberman; Daleks, Autons, Talichre, the Waro, the Brotherhood of Beltrane." The Web of Fear, The Invasion, Day of the Daleks, Spearhead from Space/Terror of the Autons, new reference (elaborated upon on page 204), The Devil Goblins from Neptune, uncertain reference.

    Pg 206 Reference to Ogrons holed up in a warehouse in Birmingham (this is unrelated to Day of the Daleks).

    Pg 261 "You can probably guess what my middle name is too, can't you?" This places Ace's middle name as "Gale" (see pages 43 and 71), reconciling the discrepancy between the NAs and Illegal Alien et al.

    Pg 274 "The one with Leela in the snow was fine" Drift again.

    UNIT are mentioned throughout, although we don't actually meet any old friends, only new ones.

    The Countess Gallowglass, an alien who minds the Doctor's mail.

    Joyce Brunner and Michael Ashworth, mother and son members of UNIT who knew the third Doctor.

    John and Alexander, brothers.

    Norma, Connie, Jessie, elderly members of Graystairs.

    Dr Menzies.


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

    Tulks, true form unknown. They were mostly wiped out by the Annarenes.

    Annarenes, big, skinny, orange mobile twiglets (see pages 222 and 234). They have a mostly peaceful protectorate.

    Landines, small, scrabbling, chitinous things with oily black tendrils (see page 240)

    Caarians, albino like humanoids.

    London, August 2012.

    Muirbridge, Scotland, April 1982.

    A spaceship on the sea floor, near Kelsay Island, Scotland, April 1982.

    John's boat, near Kelsay Island, April 1982.

    Kelsay Island, Scotland, April 1982.

    Just off Mile End Road, London, November 4th 1976.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Relative Dementias is an excellent novel, with a neat little plot that's given a couple of really nice twists. A couple of things sit a bit oddly - the UNIT stuff feels a bit tacked on and one or two characters get a bit lost towards the end - but these are all minor nitpicks. This is a very maturely written first novel that's very satisfying indeed.