The Doctor returns to Olleril to find the native population has been exterminated by the Earth Empire. The secret society of Luminus are planning to use a psychotronic generator to turn the society into that of a bland television program, and the Doctor is hunted by a pregnant woman and an arachnid assassin.
Ace and Benny.
Pgs 5-6 There's a cameo by Barbara and Susan.
Pg 18 In a metal compartment inside a prison camp, the planet Olleril, the far future.
Pg 266 It's not really a materialisation, but the Doctor and the TARDIS are instantly transported to Pangloss.
Pgs 276/277 On the dancefloor of death, Olleril.
Pg 3 "Yet over the roar of the feast they heard the low note of an oncoming storm." This may not necessarily be a reference to the Draconians' name for the Doctor (or, as of the New Series, the Daleks'). But we can't rule it out for sure.
Pg 18 "Their relief at the ultimate defeat of the vengeful Mortimus had brought home how much they needed each other's trust, support and friendship." No Future.
Pg 36 "According to Meredith, she'd taken seventeen Rutans with her." Horror of Fang Rock.
Pg 134 "Do you need a degree to join in this conversation or am I just thick?" City of Death.
"Then Auntie Doris went off on her own and got vaporized by a Rutan suicide squad." Horror of Fang Rock.
Pg 180 "Bernice was telling me you've been to a place where fiction became reality" Conundrum.
Pg 202 "No thank you. I have a pipe of my own." The first Doctor's pipe was seen in An Unearthly Child.
Pgs 244-245 "But even I know that you can't generate a field of that size without an ever-increasing power source. The longer you operated it, the more power it swallowed." This is not dissimilar to what happens in The Pirate Planet.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Forgwyn (who reappears in Happy Endings), Robert Clifton, Wendy Clifton, Maurice Taylor.
- Pg 61 "Did you have anything to do with this, squit?" Shouldn't that be "squirt?"
- Pg 220: "What do you do all day except sit here with only the goggle box for company." Why does this not end in a question mark. What's going on.
- Pg 220 "Crispin stood. A gleam glass entered his eyes." Say what?
- Pg 263 "He loosened his collar and tucked his cravat in a pocket." Except that the front cover clearly shows the Doctor wearing a tie, not a cravat (though, to be fair, it does appear to be tucked into a pocket).
- Pg 271 "He carried out a basic systems check on the fault-tracer panel." Shouldn't this be the fault locator?
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- It's a term Ace picked up in Spacefleet. It's very rude.
- The Doctor is expressing righteous fury. Given that this Doctor is played by Sylvester McCoy, it's a piece of characterisation to have his inflections off kilter when he's angry.
- It's impressive he can stand with all that glass in his eyes.
- Given that the cover actually shows a robot duplicate, we can surmise that the duplication process was imperfect. This, incidentally, may have been how Ace and Benny figured out it wasn't the Doctor so quickly.
- The TARDIS has both a fault tracer and a fault locator. The Time Lords were clearly big on redundancy.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Pgs 7/20 The native Vijjans are small with dark skin and dark eyes, and huge bellies.
Pg 43 The celebrities are all robots.
Pg 67 Slaags, perpetually hungry scaly creatures with two antennae, dagger-shaped teeth and unweildy flippers.
Pg 158 Ernie McCartney is a giant arachnid spider mutant.
Pg 234 A fish shaped like an upturned tea tray.
Pg 7 The planet Olleril, largely in and around Empire City.
Pg 121 The shrine of the Friars of Pangloss.
Pgs 263/274 Pangloss.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
An enormous arachnid who dresses and acts like something out of a Western, but speaks with a Yorkshire accent. A world where all the celebrities are robots. The supreme being is a small child. The dancefloor of death. A pregnant assassin. A plan to turn the world into a bland soap opera. The Doctor teams up with Zsa Zsa Gabor. This should be the funniest book ever written in the history of anything. Instead, it's... okay. The satire is weak when it should be razor sharp and the jokes just don't click, with the sole exception of Ernie McCartney, who's firing on all cylinders. Sadly, he's killed off once his plot function is complete, which is a terrible shame. Oh, and the tacked-on visit to Pangloss that comes out of nowhere is just bizarre. Not bad, just incredibly bland.