by Craig Hinton

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 48617 1


    In the 101st century, television signals from twentieth century Earth are all the rage. And to save money, actors are increasingly being replaced by Synthespians. But who could possibly be behind this plot to introduce a plastic menace into society?



    Pg 12 In a dimly-lit street in a replica of London, Reef Station One, the 101st century.

    A working knowledge of the Autons is helpful, but that's about all that's essential.

    Pg 9 "The Doctor was still fiddling around with the Zeiton 7 they'd got on Varos" Vengeance on Varos.

    Pg 11 Reference to Howard (Planet of Fire).

    Pg 12 "Thanks to that extra Zeiton 7, we were able to shear off from the plume..." Vengeance on Varos.

    "It looked like London... but her experiences with the Doctor meant that she was always on the lookout for killer cyborgs or talking slugs." Attack of the Cybermen, The Twin Dilemma.

    Pg 26 "Surely that wasn't a Cyb attacking Professor X?" Professor X was the TV show equivalent of Doctor Who in the NAs. It was annoying then, but at least kept subtly in the background. You can imagine how annoying it would be, then, to have a book where it wasn't kept in the background, but instead features continually, as though it's the punchline to the funniest in-joke ever. Or, if you prefer not to use your imagination, you can read this book instead.

    Pg 27 "The latest incarnation of the Professor - the Ninth (or was it the Tenth? Fans were still arguing over that.) in his high-collared black silk jacket, with curly blond hair and imperious gaze - answers questions about old enemies such as the XTerminators, the Snow Vikings and the Cybs: are they featured in the new season? Only time will tell, he answers enigmatically. He always does." And oh, how we laughed. Professor X is from the NAs, the XTerminators are so close to the Daleks that you wonder if Craig isn't tempting litigation again after the brush with it he had after GodEngine, the Snow Vikings are the Ice Warriors and the Cybs are the Cybermen. But see Continuity Cock-Ups.

    Pg 33 "'It's at times like this...' he muttered in a brief, unfinished lament to his sonic screwdriver, before he considered his options." The sonic screwdriver was destroyed in the Visitation. Shortly afterwards, depending how you count it, the sixth Doctor has a sonic screwdriver in The Nightmare Fair, so possibly it's this lament which inspires him to build a new one.

    "True he had been frustrated when the Time Lords had exiled him there" The War Games.

    "And as for the 1960s... well, where had it all started?" An Unearthly Child.

    Pgs 34-35 References to Howard (Planet of Fire).

    Pg 35 "How could she hurt her by telling her what Howard was really like?" We discover the true nature of Howard's abuse of Peri in Shell Shock, although it's pretty much there already on screen in Planet of Fire.

    Pg 41 "Whitechapel in the nineteenth century when his first incarnation had fought off whores and beggars to discern the truth behind the curious tale of the Pale Man; Soho in the 1960s, where, carousing with Bacon, Freud and dear old Jeffrey, he had learnt enough to stop yet another of the Master's insidious schemes, as well as how to get beer stains out of crushed velvet; and, carousing with Chaucer in the tabard in Southwark in the fourteenth century over mugs of foaming ale." Uncertain references, but I suspect they're actually all made up.

    Pg 42 "One of his companions, Ben, had described it as having 'bar presence' - the ability to attract the landlord's attention." This is a reference to the fact that Michael Craze, who played Ben, later became a pub landlord.

    Pg 59 "This was an actual police box, not a block transfer computation that had altered over the years as old age had set in to the outer plasmic shell." Block Transfer Computation was first mentioned in Logopolis, and then every Craig Hinton book since. This is also an attempt to explain why the TARDIS exterior varies over the years.

    "He knew that even early twenty-first century Earth had the technology to restore scratched, degraded and disintegrating film prints to near-pristine condition" Much of which was pioneered by the Restoration Team, restoring old Doctor Who film prints for DVD release.

    Pg 67 "She could accept capitalism to the max more easily than the killer robots, murderous cyborgs and deformed slugs that had been her company recently" The Caves of Androzani, Attack of the Cybermen, The Twin Dilemma.

    Pg 72 Reference to Draconians (Frontier in Space, Catastrophea), H.G. Wells (Timelash, but see Continuity Cock-Ups) and Silurians (Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Scales of Injustice, Warriors of the Deep, Blood Heat, Happy Endings, Eternity Weeps).

    "As long as it wasn't the one with the Quarks and the Giant Wasps" This is a reference to The Killer Wasps, a second Doctor comic strip which featured, you guessed it, the Quarks and their Giant Wasps. Craig Hinton seems inordinately fond of it, as it's mentioned in both The Quantum Archangel (but then again, what isn't?) and Millennial Rites. The Quarks first appeared in The Dominators.

    Pg 82 "You'll be telling us it's static electricity and mirrors next - preposterous, utterly preposterous." This is exactly how time travel worked (or appeared to) in Evil of the Daleks. The static electricity dates back to The Daleks.

    Pg 85 "For once, the Doctor could deal with the Cybermen, or the giant slugs, or whatever else was lurking on his side of the wall." Attack of the Cybermen, The Twin Dilemma.

    Pg 86 "The Doctor had effortlessly slotted into societies across the universe, from the precise court etiquette of the Draconians to the mannered threats and insults of eighteenth century Paris" Backstories to Frontier in Space and An Unearthly Child (and we saw more evidence of the Doctor's first visit to eighteenth century France in Christmas on a Rational Planet).

    Pgs 90-91 References to Howard (Planet of Fire).

    Pg 99 "Emperor Chen's empire had finally fallen" Possibly a descendent of Mavic Chen (The Daleks' Masterplan), especially given there's a later despot (page 273) who also claims to be descended from Mavic Chen.

    Pg 100 "Reaching the end of episode five of the Professor X story 'The Snow Vikings' , he discovered that episode six - the rip-roaring climax - needed far more processing power than he could muster in his home lab." Like the Ice Warriors, the Snow Vikings clearly first appeared in a story of the same name. Also, all the restoration stuff is based on the efforts of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, especially VIDFire's ability to fill in the gaps between frames.

    Pgs 102-103 "He thought back a few incarnations and remembered a visit to the real Los Angeles with Ben and Polly: hadn't the Seyloids tried something similar then?" Dying in the Sun.

    Pg 103 "The Professor appeared to be running away from some strange reptiles that looked like a sad, cheap version of the Ice Warriors." The special effects on Professor X clearly leave a lot to be desired as well.

    Pg 108 "Sometimes the Doctor wished that Time Lords had an audio bypass system to go with their respiratory bypass" First mentioned in Pyramids of Mars and thereafter mentioned in far too many novels to list.

    Pgs 110-111 "This was worse than Cybermen, worse than the Valethske" Attack of the Cybermen, Superior Beings.

    Pg 120 "She never thought she'd miss running away from Cybermen." Attack of the Cybermen.

    Pg 137 "'Sub-etheric beam transmission,' said Claudia." Etheric beam locators were a running gag in The Curse of Fatal Death. Variants are mentioned a number of times here. I haven't noted the others.

    Pgs 155-156 "At the dawn of time - and by that I mean the beginning of the universe - a creature known only as Shub-Niggurath emerged into our universe." We get a brief history of the Great Old Ones here. These popped up fairly frequently in the NAs as backstory.

    Pg 156 "Our history books talk of the Sontarans, and the Martians, the Earth Reptiles..." The Martians are the Ice Warriors and the Earth Reptiles were known, in less politically correct times, as Silurians.

    Pgs 159-160 "As a time-travelling botanist, one-time warlord and the lust object of a million and one alien monsters, Peri understood perfectly: the wonderfully efficient Miss Glove was leading her meekly into a trap" Peri was a warlord in Warmonger and has been the lust object of alien monsters in far too many stories to name (although The Caves of Androzani, The Twin Dilemma and Timelash are probably the main offenders here).

    Pg 176 "He'd been in the back of far too many cars with Autons at the wheel for his liking." Terror of the Autons.

    References to the Master and the Rani (although the Doctor is yet to meet her onscreen, of course).

    Pg 179 Reference to Howard (Planet of Fire)

    "You're a born victim, Peri." Shell Shock.

    Pg 180 "This is the same Doctor that tried to strangle you?" The Twin Dilemma.

    "Everywhere you've been with the Doctor, people, creatures - they've all seen you as nothing more than a victim. Sil, Sharaz Jek, Tabilibik..." Vengeance on Varos, The Caves of Androzani; Tabilibik was a being with psionic powers in the short story "Fascination", from the first Decalog, who used his powers to make Peri fall in love with him [with thanks to Jay Demetrick].

    "I've commanded armies..." Warmonger.

    Pg 181 "Looks like Tombstone. Visited there once. Not nice." The Gunfighters.

    Pg 185 "'I've been tortured by experts!' Peri yelled." This is a paraphrase of the Doctor's line about being insulted by experts, from The Twin Dilemma.

    Pg 186 "We've faced off against the Cybermen!" Attack of the Cybermen.

    Pg 188 Reference to Peter Cushing, who played Dr Who in the movies. Peter Cushing is also referenced in Salvation.

    Pg 191 "Once, many years ago - in both linear and his personal time - a similar swarm had landed on earth, just as the TARDIS had materialised." Spearhead from Space.

    Pg 193 "They were Type 70 War-TARDISes." This fits with the TARDIS numbering scheme that leads into the EDAs and the Type 102 TARDIS that is Compassion. We see War-TARDISes in The Taking of Planet 5 and The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 194 "The Time Lords had sent him to Earth in 1986 to prevent the Cybermen from disrupting the web of time" Attack of the Cybermen.

    "That slight scar on Peri's forehead, incurred during their recent experiences on Dorsill, was gone." Grave Matter.

    Pg 196 "I thought daffodils were bad enough." Terror of the Autons.

    Pg 198 "YOU KNOW, DON'T YOU?" This is a line from Time and the Rani, quite appropriately for this melodrama.

    Pg 199 "I've heard of grandfather paradoxes, but this one's ridiculous." Probably not a Faction Paradox reference, but you never know.

    Pg 205 "Won't work. It's isomorphic. My TARDIS, my key." The Doctor also claimed the TARDIS controls were isomorphic in Pyramids of Mars. He was very likely lying then too, given how many other people operate the controls and use the key.

    "And the Doctor would detonate his Eye of Harmony before letting these psychic vampires get their tentacles and claws on the console." The Doctor had an Eye of Harmony inside his TARDIS in the Telemovie. There's a reference to later types of TARDISes having an Eye of Harmony fitted in The Quantum Archangel.

    Pg 210 "This Marc replica was far more advanced than any Auton the Doctor had met before save swarm leaders such as Channing" Spearhead from Space.

    Pg 215 "From the early twentieth century mankind had been drawing attention to itself." This paraphrases the Brigadier's line in, you guessed it, Spearhead from Space.

    References to Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Martians (Ice Warriors) and Earth Reptiles (Silurians).

    Pg 216 "From beings such as the Eternals who saw other life forms as nothing more than playthings, to the Daemons who saw them as laboratory experiments." Enlightenment (and various NAs), The Daemons.

    References to the Daleks and the Cybermen.

    "The earliest was possibly the Jaggaroth, but that was arguable: in 5270, in the aftermath of World War Six, deep-core archaeologists had discovered the crushed and fossilised remains of what might very well have been a starship. But they never discovered who might have been responsible. Hardly surprising, since the race - the sublime and mysterious Khorlthochloi - had been extinct for over a billion years." City of Death, Talons of Weng-Chiang (and Emotional Chemistry), Superior Beings.

    "The civil engineers excavating for a new runway at Heathrow had quite a surprise when they discovered three-hundred-year-old metallic artefacts that defied analysis - and that was before they discovered Concorde GolfVictor-Foxtrot!" The Visitation, Time-Flight. The lack of spacing between "Golf" and "Victor" is as in the novel and may even be deliberate.

    Pg 217 "Allowing petty little insects like the Zarbi and the Menoptera to triumph over an august being like the Animus?" The Web Planet.

    "What about the Great Intelligence? It only wanted to live, and its knowledge was greater than the entire human race!" The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear, Downtime, Millennial Rites.

    References to Daleks and Cybermen.

    Pg 222 "A cluster of stars, thirty, forty, maybe fifty of them, were moving towards the plexiglass dome. Meteorites?" The Nestene invasion seen here in flashback is almost identical to that seen in Spearhead from Space.

    Pg 223 "He thought of poor old Hibbert, during the Nestenes' first Earth invasion."

    Pg 232 Reference to Daleks.

    Pg 235 "The Doctor had removed a panel from the side of the control bank and was poking around with a Laserson probe." We saw one of these in The Robots of Death. The Doctor continues to use his quite a bit; I haven't noted every reference.

    Pg 237 "The Doctor couldn't help thinking of his exile to Earth." Spearhead from Space through The Three Doctors.

    Pg 244 "The long-awaited sex-flick, Confessions of a Monoid" The Ark (but see Continuity Cock-Ups).

    Pg 252 "The Great Old Ones gave him the creeps - why were they so fascinated by tentacles and slime? Why couldn't they choose something fluffy and comforting? Perhaps that's why the Great Intelligence used Yeti - some sort of transference." The Great Old Ones were frequent visitors in the NAs; we saw the tentacles in Spearhead from Space and Terror of the Autons. The Great Intelligence was a presence in all the Yeti stories (The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear etc).

    Pg 267 The Doctor uses an ion bonder, as Nyssa did in The Visitation.

    Pg 269 Reference to Susan, Ian, Barbara, Vicki, Tegan and Turlough.

    Pg 270 "'I... I... I...' 'Don't make me say that again, please?'"

    "Some of them even got to go home again - think of Turlough." Planet of Fire.

    Pg 273 "A despotic psychopath who claimed lineage from Mavic Chen." The Daleks' Masterplan.

    Pg 276 "Prepare Space Station Zenobia. Order the High Tribunal to appoint both an Inquisitor and a Valeyard." The Trial of a Time Lord (but see Continuity Cock-Ups)

    (And this is the book that Craig says in his afterward is sparing with the continuity. The again, compared to his previous works, maybe this is Craig being sparing with the continuity. Yikes.)

    Pg 150 The Autons and (page 151) the Nestene Consciousness (Spearhead from Space, Terror of the Autons, Business Unusual and Rose)

    Pg 275 Vansell appeared in a variety of audios, starting with The Sirens of Time.

    Claudia Bruderbakker, Marcus Brooks, Dominique Delacroix.


    1. Pgs 22/36 The Doctor says it's 8000 years in Peri's future, but Peri is from the twentieth century, not the twenty-first, so that would make it the 100th century, rather than the 101st century.
    2. On that note, would people really still be referring to centuries by the time there's been more than a hundred of them? Surely they'd be calling it the "eleventh millennium" or something?
    3. Pg 27 "Old enemies such as the XTerminators, the Snow Vikings and the Cybs" Except that, in Escape Velocity, the Cybermen analogues in Professor X were the Cybertrons.
    4. Pg 72 "What's this one... The Time Machine... He tapped the entry to bring up more information, expecting to learn it was a ninety-first century version of old Herbert's masterpiece" For a book set before Timelash, how does the Doctor know Herbert, whom he hasn't met yet?
    5. Pg 79 "Less Alexis, more Martha Stewart" How would Peri know about Martha Stewart, who rose to fame about a decade after Peri's time?
    6. Pg 154 "Whoever had abducted him had taken his phone." Except that Marc knows this isn't true, as he gave his mobile phone to Claudia on page 115.
    7. Pg 190 "The Nestene Homeworld is dying, Doctor." Except in Spearhead from Space, set millennia before this, Channing stated that the Nestenes had no homeworld (which, taking Rose into account, may have been due to the Time War). And page 223 is even more explicit, stating that "the entire Consciousness was fleeing its ancestral home".
    8. Pg 194 "The High Council? He should have sacked the lot of them when he had the chance!" Presumably during The Five Doctors, as that was the only story during which the Doctor was president with any members of the High Council who'd still be on it now... but given that the only other surviving member was Flavia, this seems like a bit of an overreaction on his part.
    9. Pg 244 "The long-awaited sex-flick, Confessions of a Monoid" The Monoids were contemporaneous with The Ark, which was set approximately 10 million years in the future. It seems unlikely they were hanging around all this time.
    10. Pg 267 "The entire Nestene consciousness is now trapped inside that plastic body. Unreachable. Unable to cause any more damage, any more pain." It's not clear if this contradicts Rose or not. In linear time, 2005 was a long time before this. But in absolute time, which seems more feasible for a race involved in the Time War, a later incarnation of the Doctor encounters (at least an aspect of) the Nestene Consciousness after this.
    11. Pg 276 "Prepare Space Station Zenobia. Order the High Tribunal to appoint both an Inquisitor and a Valeyard." The second epilogue leads directly in to The Trial of a Time Lord, but for the Doctor this adventure takes place immediately after Vengeance on Varos. So he has time to have at the rest of Season 22's adventures, various MAs and PDAs within Season 22, plus innumerable adventures between Revelation of the Daleks and The Mysterious Planet, not to mention that some considerable time seems to elapse between then and Mindwarp (enough for the Doctor to change aspects of his costume, for instance). Why the delay in bringing the Doctor in?

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

    1. The Doctor is approximating and he does say "Give or take a century" which easily covers it, but it still seems weird.
    2. Since twentieth century television is in fashion, colloquial use has reverted to be more in synch with the speech patterns of that time.
    3. Clearly Professor X featured both the Cybs and the Cybertrons. No wonder it got cancelled.
    4. The Doctor has read The Time Machine so often by now that he feels he's an intimate friend of the author's. He's in for a rude awakening, shortly.
    5. Peri actually attended college with a young woman named Martha Stewart who was always decorating her dorm room and arranging pine cones in the lecture halls.
    6. Marc's just recovered and isn't thinking straight.
    7. The Nestenes took a new homeworld in the intervening centuries. They've now lived there so long that everyone thinks of it as their ancestral home.
    8. The Doctor has some unresolved issues with Flavia that he has yet to work out.
    9. The subject of the sex flick isn't one of the one-eyed mop-top aliens, but rather a, erm, one-eyed creature of an entirely different sort.
    10. The Doctor's just hoping the Consciousness is trapped and he's wrong, as he so often is when it comes to the final fates of regular villains.
    11. It took longer than expected for the High Tribunal to find an appropriate Valeyard, due to a series of unfortunate accidents that just happened to befall each and every candidate until one resembling Michael Jayston was appointed.

    The Autons and the Nestene Consciousness.

    Pg 44 Reef Station One, the 101st century (page 36).

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Oh boy. There's something incredibly painful about watching comedy gone wrong. You can see what Craig's trying to achieve, but he has about as much ability to write comedy as Dave McIntee or Justin Richards. And the mysterious overload of continuity doesn't help. Sure, the references to the Auton stories throughout the ages are appropriate, but why all the others? Especially when Craig seems convinced he hasn't written a continuity-heavy book. There's some okay stuff here - you can't help liking the Doctor, for instance - but Peri's crisis of leaving is one of the great PDA companion cliches by now and this does very little with the idea. And it's not as though we're all incredibly shocked when, lo and behold, she decides not to leave at the end of the novel, after all. Fundamentally, though, Synthespians™ stakes its entire existence on one central point: that age-old chestnut about television signals reaching the distant corners of the galaxy is dissected with the revelation that this wouldn't actually be possible. While this is an idea that you can intellectually appreciate, the problem that Craig fails to realise, yet again, is this: when it comes to physics, nobody actually cares. Fun cover, though.