by Stephen Cole

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 48607 4


    The Doctor finally solves the alternative realities thing, nearly killing the TARDIS crew in the process. Then he meets up with some people who probably shouldn't exist doing things they definitely shouldn't be doing. Then Sabbath joins in, and suddenly everyone's looking for some really important diamonds.


    Fitz, Anji and Trix (who drops into her companion status in this book with all the subtlety of a traffic accident).


    Pg 27 The TARDIS has arrived just by Anji's flat in Docklands.

    Pg 54 Charing Cross Road, London 1938

    Pg 56 Newhaven, 2003

    Pg 60 All around the world, setting up Fitz and Trix's cover story.

    Pg 126 back to Anji's flat again, although we don't see it happen.

    Pg 149 Florence, Italy

    Pg 163 A car park in Fulham

    Pg 214 72, Boyard Towers, Streatham, London

    Pg 219 Basalt's warehouse, near the River Colne

    Pg 221 Inside the Jonah. Gosh, the TARDIS is moving around a bit this month, isn't it? That's three trips in six pages.

    Pg 241 Back to the warehouse site, outside where the Jonah was again

    Pg 251 The TARDIS does a joint materialisation with Erasmus's TARDIS, at the beginning of the universe.

    Pg 261 Back to Anji's flat again, for the last time.

    Time Zero, really, as this bounces back off everything that was set up in that book, as well as as much of the alternate universe arc that you can manage. The Ancestor Cell and The Adventuress of Henrietta Street are also useful but probably not essential.


    Pg 1 Fitz's movie is doubtless filmed with the video camera Anji bought him in The Last Resort (page 9).

    Pg 3 Trix, from Time Zero and has presumably been every reference to a woman who remained unnamed and seemingly purposeless in all the stories since then.

    Pg 4 "SABBATH: Ha! Ha! Ha! Woking as I am for unspecified higher powers, the nature of my misguided plans remains frustratingly obscure, ha ha!" Has been working for said higher powers since Anachrophobia. All to be resolved in Sometime Never..., although the use of the adjective "frustratingly" presumably resonated with many fans during this arduous alternate universe arc.

    "Now, thanks to Sabbath's meddling, [the universes] are all squashing down into one" Time Zero and subsequent books

    Pgs 4-5 Fitz's diary gets a mention, the one from Time Zero.

    Pg 8 The Doctor's handkerchief, stained with Sabbath's blood in Time Zero (pg 234), appears. It will have a vital effect on the survival of the entire universe in Sometime Never...

    Pg 9 "She heard the low, mournful tolling of some almighty bell" The Cloister Bell, from Logopolis first, and then others since.

    Pg 30 "I'll explain later," was still the Doctor's tagline in The Curse of Fatal Death, and it's still not funny to keep seeing it again and again.

    Pg 33 "I wanted to see if we could breach a Charged Vacuum Emboitment" Full Circle, Logopolis.

    Pg 37 Trix has been rummaging in the TARDIS wardrobe, mentioned in numerous stories and appearing (albeit as a room full of costumes and a black backcloth) in Time and the Rani. It may have appeared in The Twin Dilemma as well, but I can't bring myself to watch it and check.

    Pg 45 The Doctor sees into Guy's past like he did into people's futures in the Telemovie alongside various 8DAs since then.

    Pg 55 Rather gloriously, the Doctor selling Fitz's diary back to the shop he bought it from, as well as being a reflection of the alternative universe sequence in Time Zero (right down to the gender of the person in the shop being back to what it was in the normal universe), is also reiterated from an external viewpoint in the closing page of Wolfsbane.

    Pg 61 Fitz "could attempt a pretty good French accent" Just as we saw in The Taint (pg 12).

    Pg 89 "Nobody in the universe can do what we're doing, can they?" Paraphrase from Tomb of the Cybermen.

    Pg 99 "Fitz recalled the old dears down his mum's old hospital" The Taint.

    Pg 106 "'I had a boyfriend called Dave,' Anji blurted out angrily, 'and he died.'" Escape Velocity.

    Pg 109 "'Can you clone someone old?' [...] 'I've seen it done.'" Hope.

    Pg 135 "My expedition to Siberia was a breeze next to six weeks being married to her." Time Zero.

    Pg 147 "A Tsar's daughter gave the locket to Chloe as a gift a hundred years ago." Emotional Chemistry.

    Pg 152 "Suppose some great disaster occurred on a world with time-travel capability" The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 168 "'Fallen gods,' the Doctor murmured softly." This might be a reference to Fallen Gods, particularly given that the novella opens with him plummeting from a vast distance. Or it might not.

    "Some creatures stay backstage in space-time for very good reason." As we saw in The Slow Empire.

    Pg 175 Chloe nodded. "When my other heart shrivelled and had to be cut out." Fairly similar to what happened to the Doctor in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, as Anji goes on to point out.

    Pg 179 "But hey, she tried to kill me before she passed on, if it's any consolation." The Taint.

    Pg 181 "As a side effect of his actions on one occasion a whole universe was put to death." The Domino Effect.

    Pg 182 "Our home was destroyed. Our people went rotten and our world followed on. It had to be cut out by the Blessed Destroyer." The Ancestor Cell again.

    "We wandered eternity. Set beacons for more of our kind. We searched the ashes of dead suns to find the magic of the old stellar engineers." "We wandered eternity," could be either misquoting An Unearthly Child or Pyramids of Mars. The stellar engineers, Omega, Rassilon and the Other feature in numerous places throughout the Who mythos, but I'll just refer you to The Infinity Doctors, The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors, and much of the New Adventures, particularly Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible and Lungbarrow.

    "The holy world of Earth, linked to our own world in the records." One has to wonder what records these were and where they are stored. Something to do with the Needle (The Infinity Doctors)? The link that Earth has to Gallifrey, notably with regard to the Enemy (although that's not mentioned here) is important in Alien Bodies and Interference, along with being part of Peter Darvill-Evans' philosophy in the New Adventures.

    "Earth, beloved of the Destroyer." That'll be the Doctor, then. The Ancestor Cell.

    "Where one-hearted humans dwell, an inventive, invincible, indomitable species." A mis-quote of The Ark in Space

    The Doctor's reaction to all the above ("strangely shifty") almost begins to imply that his memories are returning and he just hasn't told anyone yet. Compare Fallen Gods, when he seems to be aware he is responsible for the death of worlds, and can also clearly remember the events of the Telemovie. Also in the previous couple of novels, he has mentioned things which occurred pre The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 196 "The triumph of this reality over all the alternative realities vying for supremacy has allowed for the development of a single, definitive history of events." This was, interestingly, what it was claimed Rassilon had done when he fixed the Web of Time to a single pattern in the audio Zagreus.

    "And I'm dreadfully worried that some force is using that predictability to its own insidious advantage." And we discover who they are in Sometime Never...

    Pg 197 All the "Free Will" stuff in this (and other) books around this time harks back to the alternative universe in Inferno and the Doctor's overquoted "So free will is not an illusion after all" line

    Pg 197 "You know that all sorts of extra-dimensional creatures have been allowed access into the material universe - since even before the multiverse went into meltdown." The Slow Empire.

    The wraiths as the Doctor described them seem almost like the "good" equivalent of the apes from The Adventuress of Henrietta Street. Kind of like the White Guardian to the Black in a post-Time Lord universe.

    Pg 202 Anji accuses the Doctor of being from the same place as Chloe and Erasmus, and his reaction is, again, of someone who knows more than the general audience seem to think that he does know. (The Ancestor Cell again). Also references to fire might refer to The Burning. They might not.

    Pg 223 "'Dwarf star alloy,' he decided. 'Unbelievably heavy.'" Warriors' Gate.

    Pg 229 Erasmus' TARDIS materialised around the Jonah, itself with the TARDIS inside has created a gravity bubble as seen in Logopolis.

    Pg 230 "And now the people of Earth shall inherit the mantle of your kind." Ironically, this is a reversal of what the Doctor was trying to do in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, where he was trying to tie himself to Earth. Now the world will have moved on without him. There's also a subtle irony in that, although The Ancestor Cell (in direct contradiction to so much that had come before it) established that the Enemy did not come from Earth, here, finally, Sabbath plans to have Earth replace Gallifrey's function in the Universe. And, by the by, did anyone else notice that the "explanation" for the Enemy in The Ancestor Cell was mere speculation by a random character who had been dead for hundreds of years. No one ever confirmed it. Maybe this battle between Earth and what is left of Gallifrey (i.e. The Doctor, Erasmus and Chloe) while not how it would have turned out had the Doctor not destroyed his home planet, still reflects the same basic concept and conflict. Although, all that said, it should be noted that Sabbath was probably born too early to know the phrase "being led up the garden path." Sabbath may think that Earth is going to become all-powerful; his superiors may have other plans (Sometime Never...)

    Pg 259 Anyone who doesn't know that Time Lords have a respiratory bypass system probably came to this page by mistake. For the record, I think it was first mentioned in Pyramids of Mars, but I could be wrong.

    Pg 260 The fall-out from the diamonds being part of the basic structure of the universe is explored in Emotional Chemistry and explained in Sometime Never...

    Pg 267 "Kept in a locket given to her by a Russian princess." Lead-in to Emotional Chemistry.

    Sabbath. What a surprise.

    Pg 197 The Vortex Wraiths appeared in The Slow Empire.

    Guy Adams, Chloe, Jamais, Mike, Stacy Phillips.

    Daniel Basalt and Kalicum.

    Greg reappears in The Gallifrey Chronicles.


    1. Pg 34 "The TARDIS hasn't wanted to leave Earth because she's so familiar with your planet's history, it's so well documented." This is an entirely different explanation to the one given in The Last Resort (pg 156) which claimed that it was because the rest of the universe didn't exist.
    2. Pg 45 "An octave's span [...] But, you thought, only fourteen notes and all those records in the Top Forty each week... all the best songs will've ben used up by the time I've any good." There are 12 notes in an octave, not 14. And it's a stupid comparison anyway, like saying that there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, so how can you write a new novel? Sorry, I know that's irrelevant, but I'm a musician and it annoys me.
    3. Pg 106 "She chucked another cushion at him, and knocked over the mug of coffee. It splashed over Guy's sofa and the cream carpet." Given that they're in Anji's flat, how can she tip coffee on Guy's sofa? What's it doing there? Is he that fast a mover that he's already bringing his furniture round?
    4. Pg 163 "Then he launched into a fullblown Riverdance" Except that "Riverdance" isn't a dance, but rather the title of a dance show.
    5. Pg 231 "'Release Guy, release Trix, and I'll leave you well alone, believe me.' 'You want the old woman?' Anji caught a spark of realisation in his black, beady eyes. 'Of course, I should have realised. The woman is known to you.'" This is the same woman whom Sabbath had arrange to smuggle a model boat onboard the TARDIS in Time Zero, who grilled Sabbath on the nature of the TARDIS so she could smuggle herself aboard and - and we feel this is important - did so while in the disguise of an old woman at the time. Named Beatrix. So why doesn't Sabbath, the supposed genius, recognise her?
    6. Pg 236 "Then he opened the TARDIS door and waved Sabbath inside." Sabbath enters the TARDIS, despite not being able to in Camera Obscura.

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

    1. The Doctor's actions at the end of The Last Resort may have stabilised the multiverse sufficiently so that the rest of the universe came back into being. Either that, or the Doctor was just speculating.
    2. Guy didn't know that when he was younger and the Doctor's exactly channelling his thought process. Spooky.
    3. Anji's POV says it's Guy's sofa because he's lying on it. Yeah, I know that's the obvious explanation, but it still seems a weird turn of phrase.
    4. The Doctor doesn't actually know this and makes the mistake that many people do.
    5. Sabbath's torture at the end of The Infinity Race did more damage than we'd realised.
    6. Sabbath was able to enter the TARDIS when the multiverse was breaking down (The Last Resort) and the Doctor hasn't got around to resetting it.

    The Apes pop up again, and the Wraiths, guardian spirits of the Vortex (pg 164).

    Pg 240/255 Kalicum is a crystal entity (confirmed in Sometime Never...).

    Pg 166 Jamais is a time-travelling dog, but doesn't look quite like an Earth dog (pg 91).


    Pg 11 The Creation of the Universe

    Pg 14 London, 2003 (including DEFRA, a bridge over the Thames, Anji's rather plush Docklands flat and Fitz and Trix's Battersea residence. Nice. Also a tenement flat in Streatham. Less nice.)

    Pg 54 London 1938

    Pg 56 Newhaven 2003

    Pg 59 Six weeks earlier.

    Pg 63 Bournemouth, 2003

    Pg 68 Eleven months earlier.

    Pg 88 St Raphael, Italy, 1830.

    Pg 149 Florence, Italy, 2003

    Pg 142 A warehouse in Denham, junction 2 off the A40 (except that there are no numbered junctions on A roads in England and Junction 2 off the M40 (which the A40 turns into about 600 yards from my house) goes to Beaconsfield and not Denham. You want Junction 1 off the M40 for Denham.)

    Pg 147 Chloe and Jamais' ship (another TARDIS).

    IN SUMMARY - Anthony Wilson
    It opens well, with the Doctor solving the alternative universe problem in such a flippant manner you get the feeling that Steve Cole was as fed up with it as everybody else, and the chapter where everyone that Guy knows, including his gran, is trying to kill him, is great. But after the nice beginning, it rambles, and meanders, and rambles, and meanders. The middle is dull to death. There is a story in there, and some of the ideas are marvellous, but the "mist" as a concept is quite dull and overused constantly. The constant semi-scatological "humour" is annoying, as well ("The silver [watch] casing peed water over him as he flipped it open". Are there no better verbs?) Things pick up towards the end, and some of the characterisation is excellent, particularly in Daniels' thought-processes, which are deeply disturbing. Sets stuff up well for the future as well. Not great, but good and vastly superior to anything else Stephen Cole's written.