Time and Relative
by Kim Newman

Publisher: Telos
ISBN: 1 903889 02 2 (standard)
1 903889 03 0 (deluxe)


    The winter of 1963 was especially harsh. But winter's icy grip is only one of the problems facing schoolgirl Susan Foreman. She has to deal with far worse horrors: Geography, school sports and boys.


    Susan, with cameos by Ian and Barbara.

    Also two of Susan's classmates are named John and Gillian, which were the names of the Doctor's grandchildren in the early comics.

    I.M. Foreman's junkyard

    Pluto in the far future, plus at least 17 other unrecorded destinations along the way.


    Pg 11 "What Grandfather means is that he's tinkering with the Box" Interestingly the TARDIS is never referred to by name, suggesting that this precedes the time when Susan makes up the name (An Unearthly Child).

    Pg 12 "I was tempted to strike one of Grandfather's everlasting matches, and see what poor plodding Mr Chesterton made of that." Everlasting matches were used in the novelisation Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks.

    Pg 25 "Where we come from, all people are like that [not meddling]." Reference to the Time Lords.

    Pg 37 "After our trial, I wouldn't be allowed to remember him or he me." This is effectively what happens to the Doctor and his companions when he's finally caught and put on Trial in The War Games.

    Pg 42 "My hearts were racing." Susan definitely has two hearts.

    Pg 43 "The primary rule says we mustn't meddle." The Time Lords' non-interference policy (see The War Games, Underworld et al).

    Pg 44 "Only on my first face" Susan hasn't regenerated, but interestingly she says this in a paragraph contrasting her abilities with those of the Doctor's, suggesting that he may have regenerated before.

    Pg 62 "I was haunted by the half-memory of a particular Master, the Truant Officer. [...] In my dream, I saw his face, smiling blandly through a neat black beard" The Truant Officer is the Master, at this stage still with the Time Lords.

    Pg 97 "You'll be seeing flying teacups and creeping pepperpots next" Daleks.

    Pg 103 "'John Brent isn't it?' said Grandfather, peering at the boy. 'That might be a name to be reckoned with. In some futures.'" In the alternate future of the early comics, John is the Doctor's grandson.

    Pg 112 "He is especially wary of the teachers at Coal Hill, because he has this strange idea that educators are the sharpest, most dangerous intellects on the planet." This explains the Doctor's mistrust of Ian and Barbara in An Unearthly Child.

    Pg 114 Susan described herself as Unearthly (An Unearthly Child).

    Pg 115 "Grandfather hasn't tested it yet, but he believes the Box won't follow a course set for it." Explaining the randomness of the TARDIS in the series.


    John Brent, Gillian, Malcolm, Zack

    The Cold.


    1. Pg 31 "I wanted to open my mouth and breath freezing death, crystallising them into beakable statues." Say what?
    2. Pg 42 Susan definitely has two hearts, although it's been established elsewhere (eg The Man in the Velvet Mask that Time Lords only have one heart before their first regeneration.

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

    1. Susan is still mastering the TARDIS translation circuits.
    2. Who knows what's up with Susan, as she doesn't fit any description about Time Lords.

    The Cold.

    London, 1963, specifically Coal Hill school, Foreman's Yard, The Pump (a pub), Wimpy bar and a railway station. Pluto, the far future

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Fantastically written, just the right length and a great examination of Susan and the world she's staying in through childlike eyes. Time and Relative is only let down (slightly) by its insistence on tying itself to continuity of the TV series, which serves to hold it back from soaring to greatness. But it's still a fabulous, gripping tale and well worth your time.