by Justin Richards

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 804 14088 1


    The Doctor and his friends find themselves thrust into a world where nothing and no one are what they seem. Can they unravel the truth before the most dangerous weapon ever developed is unleashed on London?


    Pgs 164-168 Echoes of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eleventh Doctors appear. (Though these are really Affinity.)

    Clara Oswald, Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, Strax.

    Pg 26 In a street close to the Thames. It's some time in the 1890s.


    Pg 7 It's not a continuity reference, but the Frost Fair featured here is reminiscent of the one that would later appear prominently in Thin Ice, also featuring the twelfth Doctor.

    Pg 18 "'I have fought against the Headless Monks,' Strax told him" A Good Man Goes to War.

    Pg 32 "I'm a Smith myself. Doctor John Smith, well sort of." Spearhead from Space et al.

    Pg 43 "So, you been busy since we last visited?" Deep Breath.

    Pgs 119-120 "'One must remain in a constant state of battle-readiness,' he explained. 'In case of attack.' 'By what?' Jenny demanded. 'Snowflakes?' 'It has been known,' Strax told her." The Snowmen.

    Pg 163 "'I could throttle you sometimes, you know that, don't you.' The Doctor sniffed, unimpressed. 'Respiratory bypass system,' he told her. 'Wouldn't do you any good.'" Pyramids of Mars. Also, the Doctor is apparently immune to strangulation, which you'd think might have come up before now.

    Pg 169 "'Buy some matches?' the girl said nervously. 'Love to,' the Doctor told her. 'I'm a big fan of matches. Even the sort that burn for a bit then go out.'" Everlasting matches (The Daleks et al).

    Pg 184 "'I ended that war,' the Doctor said, his voice low and tense with emotion. 'It was the ending of it, by all accounts, which cost the most lives,' Milton countered." The Time War (Day of the Doctor et al).

    Pg 230 "Once I'm well clear I shall be launching distronic missiles to destroy this whole area." Genesis of the Daleks.

    The Shadow Proclamation appear briefly (and are mentioned quite a lot). They've been mentioned in the New Series since Rose and appeared in The Stolen Earth and The Magician's Apprentice.

    Pg 44 The sympathetic pathologist is likely a cameo appearance by Professor Litefoot (The Talons of Weng-Chiang).

    Silhouette, Affinity, Empath (David Rutherford).


    1. Pg 67 "Clara looked round. 'But where too? It's not on the floor.'" Say what?
    2. Pg 71 "And now what? We don't even know where he's gone?" Why is there a question mark at the end of this? And, more importantly, why is it here now, given that it wasn't in the original on Page 66 (which this is quoting)?
    3. Pg 72 "Pale luminescence crept slowly along and casting a glow as far as the Frost Fair." Huh?
    4. Pg 91 "There was a smell of oil a well as dust and damp." Sorry?
    5. Pg 98 "Many human sounds, Strax found it hard to interpret." Um...

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

    1. Clara is asking where it also went.
    2. It's a clue that the paper is alien.
    3. The luminescence crept in the past but suddenly caught up to the present and is casting a shadow. It's a clue that there's a time-active fugitive nearby.
    4. The smell of oil reminds Clara of a dusty well (for some reason).
    5. Many human words, Strax also found it hard to interpret. Much like the author, one suspects.

    Pg 145 Affinity's natural state is a blank oval face with no hair, no texture and no expression. He's an enhanced human (Page 156).

    Pgs 183/187 A cloud of pure anger.

    London, January, sometime in the 1890s (the date is never specified). The Frost Fair of Thin Ice took place in 1814, but this one takes place much later, due to the presence of Vastra, Jenny and Strax. The 1814 one was the last historical Frost Fair, so this one is fictional.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Justin Richards has written the opening novel for each Doctor dating back to The Clockwise Man. Yet Wikipedia lists The Blood Cell as the opening twelfth Doctor novel, with this one second. It's not hard to see why. As a generic adventure, this is perfectly serviceable. As part of the exciting new line of thrilling and inventive books that The Blood Cell kicked off, it's highly disappointing and appallingly copy edited. Clara, Vastra and Jenny are fine. The twelfth Doctor, so magnificently captured last time, is disappointing and vastly out of character (on Page 56, he smiles and says "It's good to see you again, Vastra" without irony, in a way Peter Capaldi would never do). However, Strax is magnificent, and every word out of his mouth is hilarious. There's a great twist at the end and a few decent moments, such as the Doctor using language to identify a time traveller. But it's very uneven.