The Stealers of Dreams
by Steve Lyons

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 48638 4


    In the far future, the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack fine a world on which fiction has been outlawed.


    Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness.

    Pg 136 Brief cameo by Jackie Tyler.

    Pgs 21/177 In a jungle, Arkannis Major, 2775.


    Pg 15 "The Doctor had been attacking his food with the same gusto with which he tackled Autons and Slitheen and other alien menaces." Rose, Aliens of London/World War Three, Boom Town (although see Continuity Cock-Ups on that last one).

    Pg 25 "He's also a bit of a Dickens nerd" The Unquiet Dead.

    Pg 51 "Tell Domnic the one about the armoured walking sharks and the tin opener, see if he believes you." Selachians, The Murder Game and The Final Sanction.

    Pg 75 "So this poor guy walks into the refectory all dressed up like the Face of Boe" The End of the World, New Earth, Gridlock.

    Pg 79 "Tell us the one about the armoured sharks!" The Murder Game, The Final Sanction.

    Pg 92 "She remembered how she had felt that first time, when the monsters had come to her workplace, her home." Rose.

    Pg 113 "We've good reason to be afraid of the big bad wolf." Obligatory Bad Wolf reference for stories set during the Eccleston era (but see Continuity Cock-Ups).

    Pg 117 "And yes, our effects are primitive and our sets sometimes wobble. No one really minds. It's the stories they want to see." Ever get the feeling that Steve Lyons comes up with one good continuity joke first and then structures a novel around it? This is basically a reference to the entirety of Classic Who, although the sets didn't actually wobble all that much. The Pirate Planet is the most likely culprit for this urban myth, although there's also that wonderful moment in The Keys of Marinus where someone walks into what is allegedly a solid stone pillar and it wobbles alarmingly.

    Pg 135 "There were these shop-window dummies that were alive and they were going to kill me" Rose.

    Pg 146 "-the police have just brought in the notorious "Armoured Shark Liar"-" The Murder Game, The Final Sanction.

    Pg 147 "Justice may have caught up with the Armoured Shark Liar, but it seems he is still trying to cause as much mayhem as he can." The Murder Game, The Final Sanction.

    Pg 160 "'He's another Mickey,' he had said, 'or an Adam.'" The former appeared regularly throughout the 2005 and 2006 seasons. The latter appeared in Dalek and The Long Game.

    Pg 161 "Like on Satellite Five." The Long Game.

    Pg 162 "All that talk of satellites and jagra fish..." The Long Game.

    Pg 164 "Champion gymnast, remember." Rose.

    Pg 172 "'D'you wanna come with me?' Domnic couldn't describe how he had felt when he heard those words." And neither could we, given they were used in the trailer for the 2005 series.

    Pg 189 "No way did Captain Jack Harkness go out like this. He was fated to die in a blaze of glory" The Parting of the Ways and the subsequent theme of Jack's desperate longing for death throughout the first season of Torchwood.

    Pg 197 "'The Mighty Jagrafess?' Yeah.' 'Of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe?'" We call him Max. The Long Game.


    Domnic Allen, Kimmi Waller, Cal Tyko.


    1. Pg 113 "We've good reason to be afraid of the big bad wolf." Unfortunately, this is said when Rose is nowhere near, rather negating the fact that in The Parting of the Ways Vortex-Rose scatters the words as a message to herself.
    2. Pg 136 "Cardiff, Rose. It's only up the motorway. You could've given me a call. [...] I saw Mickey. What've you done to that poor boy, Rose?" Clearly this is referencing Boom Town, except that between the end of Boom Town and the beginning of Bad Wolf, the TARDIS crew drop off the Slitheen egg on Raxacoricofallapatorious, go to medieval Japan and then get caught in the Gamestation. So where does this adventure fit?
    3. Pg 196 "Tell you what, if I can get you of here, will you believe I'm the genuine article?" Say what?

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

    1. She also scattered them so the Doctor would hear, helping him notice Blaidd Drwg in Boom Town, thus helping her notice the message. She sure was clever, that Vortex-Rose.
    2. The Doctor and Rose must have gone to Cardiff on an earlier adventure, during which they also called Mickey down and traumatised him. Poor lad, he obviously keeps going back for more and with a smile on his face too; love really is blind. Either that, or this takes place between Boom Town and Bad Wolf and they just didn't bother to mention it.
    3. Captain Jack's playing the innuendo game again, albeit not very well.

    Pgs 217-218 Microorganisms in the atmosphere that feed off neuroelectrochemical signals in the human brain.

    Pg 251 Arkannis Major, 2775 (page 16)

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Rather good. Steve Lyons does what he'd best at: taking a simple 'what if?' - what if fiction was illegal? - and running with it. All manner of permutations on this idea are explored and it's a fairly meaty theme. The only real disappointment is that this isn't longer: a fully-fledged exploration would do better justice to the idea. Unfortunately, the action comes to a rather abrupt halt, whereupon there's a Hollywood hostage scene and then everything simply stops. It's a shame the Doctor doesn't get to use this world's fiction phobia against itself in a really clever way, instead simply fulfilling what's expected of him. Nevertheless, this is otherwise a very good novel, with one really excellent twist. If nothing else, you've got to give credit to a New Series Adventure that tries to make you think.