The Ultimate Evil
Wally K Daly
ISBN: 0 426 20338 0
The Doctor and Peri's holiday in a peace-loving land coincides with the arrival of an unscrupulous arms dealer.
Pg 46 A sunny beach on the continent of Tranquela. Timeframe unknown, but probably the far future.
Pg 61 Inside Ravlos's laboratory, Tranquela.
Pg 105 On the continent of Ameliera.
Pg 134 On board Dwarf Mordant's planetoid ship (but see, astonishingly, Continuity Cock-Ups).
Pg 142 The TARDIS suspends itself in space.
Pg 16 It isn't actually a continuity reference, but when discussing the TARDIS, the Doctor's phrasing: "The times its waywardness has brought me to the brink of disaster?" echoes The Edge of Destruction, appropriately.
Pg 42 "He paused, deciding what would make the holiday perfect. 'But of course - good fishing.'" The sixth Doctor also enjoyed fishing in The Two Doctors (but see Continuity Cock-Ups).
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Locas, Abatan, Ravlos, Kareelya, Shankel.
Also Mariana who looks surprisingly like Peri, but the TARDIS crew don't actually meet her.
- Pg 18 This isn't technically a continuity issue, but... Why does Dwarf Mordant have a parrot who screeches "stupid little man" at him over and over? No, really, I'd actually like to know, given that the text never explains this in the slightest.
- And, given that Dwarf Mordant is one of the nastier subjects the universe has produced, not above causing an entire planet to ferociously murder one another, does he simply put up with this bird, which he so clearly hates, rather than, say, killing it?
- Pg 42 "He paused, deciding what would make the holiday perfect. 'But of course - good fishing.'" While the sixth Doctor did indeed enjoy fishing in The Two Doctors, he also gave up the practice when turning vegetarian at the end of the story.
- Pgs 80-81 Again, this one isn't actually a continuity issue, but it's so moronic it deserves a special mention: The Tranquela-Ameliera treaty stipulates that each country should place all their weapons in a safe place, and anyone who even looks inside should be put to death. To this end, two guards are permanently stationed outside the doors of the Tranquela armoury. However, when Locas and Peri wander along and discover the guards missing, not only do they, stupidly, decide to open to door of doom and look inside, in case the guards are there... but the door is unlocked!
- Pg 91 "It is not a pleasant sensation being riven by hate." Except on page 83 the Doctor had no memory of what had happened when he'd been overcome by the hate-beam ("He guessed from the look on their faces what had been happening. 'Ah. Had one of my little turns again, have I?'").
- Pg 105 "Inside the TARDIS, unaware of the fact that Ravlos and Kareelya were not in very deep trouble, the Doctor was well pleased with the performance of his sometimes recalcitrant vehicle." Except that the Doctor knows very well that Ravlos and Kareelya are in trouble, considering that he sent them "to certain doom" on page 103.
- Pgs 105-106 "Nothing venture [...] nothing gain." You'd think the Doctor would be able to match his tenses in this common expression.
- Pg 106 The Amelierans have guns, despite the treaty expressly forbidding anyone to use them.
- Pg 132 "Take every fear that man is heir to - agoraphobia, zenophobia, vertigo;" Except that the phobia in question is xenophobia, not zenophobia.
- Pg 134 "As he spoke, behind them, and unseen by either of them, the TARDIS started slowly materialising alongside the control panel." Dwarf Mordant and Escoval may not be looking in the right direction to notice a police box appearing out of thin air... but, as has been mentioned on one or two occasions, the TARDIS makes a particular sound when materialising, so why did they not hear the wheezing, groaning sound immediately behind them?
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- The parrot was a sacred gift from Mordant's dear departed mother and he dare not part with it.
- Beneath that brutish, murderous exterior, Dwarf Mordant is just a big softie at heart.
- Even in the opening moments of the story, he throws the gumblejack back, so he may be imagining this sort of non-lethal fishing.
- The Tranquelans have absolute faith in the abilities of their guards, who are only distracted here due to Dwarf Mordant's mind control device.
- Presumably the Doctor keeps waking up with strained muscles and saliva drooling down his chin, which he finds somewhat less than pleasant.
- The Doctor is unaware that Ravlos and Kareelya are merely in very deep trouble, rather than facing the certain doom he assumed.
- This is a Gallifreyan version and in keeping with their time-travelling nature, deliberately mangles the tenses.
- Given that the Amelierans are under the sway of the Central Computer, presumably it has decreed that the use of certain guns doesn't violate the treaty. That's what you get for an anti-war treaty based on the honour system, I guess.
- While under the fear-beam, the Doctor was overcome by an irrational fear of Zeno's Paradox, the belief that no matter how much to try to get somewhere, you never actually will.
- Dwarf Mordant's parrot has a particular ailment that causes it to wheeze and groan continually, so they assumed the noise was just something to do with this.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Pg 12 Dwarf Mordant, a Salakan (pg 32). He has webbed, three-fingered hands, a long tongue and a toothless hole for a mouth. He has two eyes on stubby flexible stalks and a third eye in the centre of his forehead. His first name appears to be "Dwarf".
The inhabitants of the planet appear to be human or close to it.
Two continents, each an entire country, on an unnamed planet. The tranquil continent is called Tranquela (pg 10) and the ameliorative one is called Ameliera (pg 105). There's some sort of subtle clue here, but I can't quite figure out what it means.
Pg 53 Dwarf Mordant's planetoid ship.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
It starts off passably well, helped enormously by the fact that Daly is actually a reasonable writer most of the time (albeit with the irritating habit of framing every other utterance with some sort of preface like "The Doctor uttered just one word: 'Yes.'"). The regulars have some decent characterisation and the image of the Doctor riven by hate, murderously trying to kill everyone around him, is oddly plausible. But the plot is utterly appalling, the very worst skiffy nonsense, full of characters acting out of sheer, utter stupidity, just to further the idiotic plot. The Tranquelans are so sugary sweet you'll want to murder each and every one yourself. The Amelierans are in sway to a giant computer... that the Doctor doesn't bother to do anything about at all. Only Dwarf Mordant offers some minor levity, although all he does is sit in his ship and giggle. Yet, despite being responsible for the deaths of thousands, the story is resolved when the Doctor literally tells him to stop or else he'll get in real trouble - and he does, so the Doctor happily lets him go on his merry way! This is symbolic of the entire novel: not actually awful, but mind-meltingly stupid in almost every respect.