The recently settled Earth colony of Yemaya 4 is in serious danger when an outbreak of psi-powers starts affecting everyone. While the Doctor tries to contain both the virus and a malicious military force, Chris realises he may have become affected too and Roz and Benny must journey back in time to discover how it all started.
Benny Summerfield, Chris Cwej, Roz Forrester.
The TARDIS lands on Yemaya 4 prior to the beginning of the novel, and takes a trip to the basement of a hotel on Io so Benny and Roz can visit Dione.
None really. Although there is the odd reference to other stories, there's nothing that should be confusing.
p.8 The Doctor imagines seeing coffee cups purloined from the UNIT cafeteria.
p.10 The Hoothi were the villains from Benny's first adventure, Love and War.
p.19 A Dalek gets a mention.
p.21 A device called the 'bluminator' is possibly an in-joke concerning Orman's future paramour Jon Blum.
p.40 Chris's dreams of being caught in a crashing flitter come from him experience in Original Sin.
p.47 "'There's probably some Exxilon or Osiran influence.'" Death to the Daleks and Pyramids of Mars.
p.51 "'We know Benny has some latent ability.'" Umm, Warlock?
p.60 The dear old Terrible Zodin gets another mention (The Five Doctors etc.)
p.78 Tegan gets mentioned.
p.91 "And there was nothing she could say to him, because she had done precisely the same thing on a British beach." Benny's experiences in Just War.
p.102 Another of Benny's yet-to-be-published books: An Eye for Wisdom: Repetitive Poems of the Early Ikkaban Period
. Later seen in Walking to Babylon.
p.120 In the children's toybox is a plastic model Dalek. A shocked Benny wonders if there might also be a fluffy Hoothi.
p.126 Mention is made of the Doctor once playing the cello (badly) for J.S. Bach in Leipzig. His musical skills improve in time for Orman's Year of Intelligent Tigers.
p.131 More unpleasant flashbacks for Benny to events of Just War.
p.132 Roz guesses that the previous regular user of the TARDIS gym was Ace. There is also, rather shockingly, a TARDIS weapons room.
p.158 Benny's awful Sontaran joke.
p.159 FLORANCE, the AI from Transit, makes a brief reappearance, and gives a brief resume of its career on p.160.
p.168 The Foamasi have a unique language that can't be translated by telepathy, explaining why the Doctor and Romana couldn't understand them in The Leisure Hive.
p.177 La Fraternite - French for the Brotherhood - will feature more and more as the psi-powers arc goes on (particularly The Death of Art).
p.193 "'Like Vaughn did right?'" Tobias Vaughn from The Invasion. Read Original Sin and wince.
p.204 A short burst of fanwank: the Doctor's name had thirty-eight syllables; the Doctor once destroyed a fleet of Chelonian ships to kill an entire species (Zamper); he also once caught a fish with the Venerable Bede (The Talons of Weng-Chiang); he nearly got caught in the "universe's birth trauma" (Castrovalva).
p.205 A quote from Destiny of the Daleks kicks off Part Three.
p.215 "'Do you remember when Ship exploded?'" From Set Piece, as are the memories of the cafes. The reference to Ace losing her combat suit 'again' in Set Piece is Orman acknowledging a small piece of continuity slippage from that and other books.
p.217 "'It was an argument I had once. With a madman." Zebulon Pryce from Original Sin.
p.221 The Hostile Action Displacement System (HADS), from The Krotons.
p.251 Regarding Madhanagopal: "It's a loose end. I'll have to tie it off eventually.'" [?]
p.252 More guilty memories for Benny from Just War.
p.254 "'Roz got engaged.'" In Just War.
p.257 The final picture of Benny catching the bouquet presages Death and Diplomacy and Happy Endings.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
FLORANCE from Transit.
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
The Dione-Kisumi Corporation and Madhanagopal the psychic scientist. The colony's AIs: BAR B, CONNECTICUT and WATCH OUT!.
p.54 Benny explains the Doctor:
"'He travels round in time and space.'
'Why does he do that then?'
'He gets bored easily. And he wants to save the universe.'"
p.60 A wonderful little scene displaying the Doctor and Benny's relationship:
"Someone put their hands over the Doctor's eyes. 'Guess who.'
He sat back from the medical computer. 'Ah... the Terrible Zodin?'
'The Priestess Enheduanna.'
'Bernice Summerfield in a silly mood?'
She gave him a hug. 'How'd you guess?'
p.75 The Doctor having a dream and making a bet with himself to keep everyone alive:
"'All right,' said the Doctor, 'it's a bet.'
'What do I get if I win?'
'All the angst you can eat. And me?'
'All the angst I can eat.'
'You're on,' said the Doctor."
p.97 Benny and the Doctor:
"'Don't tell me we're facing a mysterious, powerful, ancient entity.'
'That doesn't bother me,' he deadpanned. 'I am a mysterious, powerful, ancient entity.'
p.132 "Needs must as the Doctor drives."
p.139 "'If you come knocking on poetry's door, with the Muse's madness in your soul, and you think that art will make you fit to be called a poet - then you'll find that the poetry you write when sober is beaten hollow by the poetry of madmen,' pronounced the Doctor. 'Do you think I'm crazy?'"
The Doctor's wonderful stream-of-consciousness speech regarding, er, stream-of-consciousness on pp.167-168.
Not disasters really, but Orman has a line in excruciating puns:
p.47 "'Yemaya well ask', said Benny".
Chapter titles: 'Thin End of the Cwej' and 'Can't See the Forrester for the Trees'
There are also plenty of examples of that standard early NA writing ugliness, constantly referring to the Doctor as 'the Time Lord' to avoid overuse of the word 'Doctor'. It was all
but eliminated not long after.
It's debatable whether putting the then-ongoing Frock and Gun debate (named after a phrase coined by Gareth Roberts) into the novel was wise. See pp. 236 and 250 "'I guess
sometimes it's hard to go from guns to frocks so quickly, you know?' Benny grinned at her. 'My dear Roslyn, frocks are the purpose of life.'"
I couldn't see any.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
We're strictly within the human sphere of influence here, although plenty of aliens are mentioned.
The human colony on Yemaya 4, 2257. The home of the Dione-Kisumu Corporation on Dione, orbiting Saturn, 2227.
IN SUMMARY - Klaus Pumpkin
The definitive New Adventure. It isn't quite up there with Human Nature or The Also People in terms of all-round wonderfulness, but it's a jolly ripping romp all the same, and it contains just about everything the NAs became loved for (and, in some cases, reviled for). From the patented angst (see p.75), to some great lines for Benny; from the future history setting that the NAs tried so hard to define, to the themes of frocks and guns; from the nods to cyberpunk (the Doctor even mentions Neuromancer) to the examination of the Doctor's motives ("I can't be everywhere. I can't prevent every death"). And as with most NAs, the Doctor has reason to keep his plans secret and eventually is forced to rely on a back-up (so much for the Doctor being manipulative and 'knowing everything'). There's lots to like about this book, but for some of us it's like pure concentrated nostalgia.