Ten Little Aliens
by Stephen Cole

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 53853 8


    Deep in the heart of a hollowed-out planetoid ten alien corpses are discovered, frozen in time at the moment of violent, bloody death. The bodies are those of the empire's most wanted terrorists, and their discovery could end a war of attrition devastating the galaxy. When the Doctor arrives on the planetoid with Ben and Polly, he soon scents a net tightening about them. And as soldiers begin to disappear one by one, paranoia spreads; is the real enemy out there in the darkness, or somewhere among them?


    Ben and Polly.

    Pg 37 The Vertigan Majoris asteroid, the far future.


    Pg 32 "The temperature is very cold..." This explains the 'gap' in which this story is set, because the end of The Smugglers had the TARDIS landing in a cold place.

    Pg 37 "It was more like a wetsuit than a spacesuit, and made from a dull green quilted material which felt a little too snug for comfort in all the wrong areas. The worst of it was the headgear, like looking out from a crystal ball." These are the TARDIS spacesuits later worn in The Moonbase.

    Pg 45 "Able Seaman Ben Jackson, HMS Teazer." The War Machines.

    Pg 97 "He'd sorted the War Machine's big brother, and earned his place in the barracks." The War Machines.

    Pg 116 "Since Toronto, Pent-Cent computers are guarded like spectrox." The Caves of Androzani.

    Pg 160 Reference to the Teazer.

    Pg 194 "Then, inexplicably, a picture - an old, strange-looking bicycle, a penny farthing or something - resolved itself from the chaos in her mind." This is the same image the Doctor uses to confuse the mind probe in The Space Museum.

    Pg 203 "So many guys have looked at us that way over the bar in the Inferno at the end of the night." The Inferno was the nightclub seen in The War Machines.

    Pg 276 "'Oh yes, quite well, my boy,' said the Doctor as he turned and pottered away. 'Soon I shall feel a new person...'" Reference to the Doctor's impending regeneration.


    Tovel, Creben, Shel, Frog.


    1. Pg 21 "The Doctor began flicking switches on the pentagonal console." The console is six-sided, not five-sided.
    2. Pg 39 Section X is missing from this chapter.

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

    1. The Doctor is experimenting with the internal configuration.
    2. The chapter was accidentally erased from the ship's log.

    The Schirr, short aliens with broad, round heads, milky white eyes and full, rubbery lips (see page 21, or the cover illustration)

    Kill Droids, robots with a glass cylinder for a head, a body the size of a chest freezer and countless spidery limbs (page 96).

    Shel is a lifelike robot.

    Morphieans, bodiless aliens who inhabit a variety of stone statues and luminescent fleas.

    Training facility, location unknown. It's not clear when this takes place, but on page 15 the date is given as 23.5.90. It's definitely far in the future, though.

    A ship (page 21).

    The Vertigan Majoris asteroid.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Ten Little Aliens is very good indeed. The surprise highlight is the characterisation, which starts off awful, but the limited cast leads us to really identify with these people, even if they were found in Eric Saward's dustbin. The choose-your-own-adventure chapter is wonderful, especially since there's a very good plot reason for it and it adds to the characterisation wonderfully. Unfortunately, things fall apart at the end, as the book struggles and struggles to convince you that a particular character has turned traitor, but can't. It's not believable for a second and really does the book damage.