Tomb of Valdemar
by Simon Messingham

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 55591 2


    The Doctor and Romana become embroiled in the complex plots to open the tomb of Valdemar, an Old God with the power to reshape the fabric of the universe.


    Romana I and K9.

    Pg 23 In a dark tunnel, Ashkellia, time unknown.

    None, but a passing familiarity with the quest for the Key to Time (or simply The Ribos Operation) might be helpful.

    Pg 9 "He is bound up in a larger story, a greater narrative he calls the search for the Key to Time - six segments of a greater whole (again) that need convergence. He has one, he needs five more." Season 16, The Ribos Operation. There are a number of references to the search for the Key to Time. I haven't noted every one.

    Pg 10 "She is studying the first segment, perhaps wondering just what she has let herself in for." The Ribos Operation.

    "The Doctor is glaring all right, wondering how the White Guardian has lumbered him with such an unsuitable companion. All right, she acquitted herself reasonably well on Ribos, but there was unquestionably more than the usual amount of luck involved." The Ribos Operation.

    Pg 16 "Mind you, the explosion that blew the tracer out of its nest on the console was a little worrying." The tracer was first introduced in The Ribos Operation.

    Pg 18 "Mind you, he does slam his fist down on the console and yell, 'Come on you stupid overgrown pencil!' at the innocent device, confirming Romana's view that the Doctor suffers from psychological cognitive dissonance and a fixated egocentric maturity deficiency. As Garron might have said: he's a big kid." Romana's psychological diagnoses were a feature of The Ribos Operation. Garron also hails from that story.

    Pg 19 "'If something is causing the higher dimensions to become apparent. Perhaps the Black Guar-' 'The what?' 'Never mind.'" The Black Guardian was mention in The Ribos Operation and will appear in The Armageddon Factor. Romana's initial ignorance of the Guardians was established in The Stones of Blood.

    Pg 24 "She hadn't been expecting this new life, back at the halls and lecture rooms of the Academy where she had spent most of her life slaving away for that triple first." The Ribos Operation.

    Pg 33 "Who was the man who found the Daleks on Skaro, ready to emerge from their metal city and make war with the universe?" The Dead Planet.

    Pgs 33-34 "Who was the man who tricked the Great Intelligence, deep in the tunnels of London?" The Web of Fear.

    Pg 34 "Who was the man who solved the riddle of Peladon?" The Curse of Peladon.

    "At the Academy. Where his friend, the Time Lord who went bad and became the Master, revealed to him: Valdemar." Terror of the Autons et al.

    Pg 35 "The students had emerged from the Matrix, the eyes of one of them shining. 'The power,' he shouted joyously, 'Think of the power.'" The Deadly Assassin. The student is, of course, the Master.

    Pg 36 "You've discovered the principle of atmospheric flotation, about six hundred years early." The Doctor has a similar line in Pyramids of Mars.

    Pg 39 "Barring accidents or tampering, there's no reason why it couldn't stay here forever." Similar to a line about the Time Lords from The War Games.

    "Same principle as the city of the Exxilons." Death to the Daleks.

    Pg 40 "It was on the unlikely planet of Proxima 2 - the first of the settled worlds, now deeply unfashionably familiar, little more than a stopover - that she discovered Valdemar." The Face-Eater.

    Pg 41 "Large wooden poles carried by colourful monks; humans, nu-apes, the lithe Kordszz and even a multi-limbed Centauri, its giant eye blinking moistly beneath its hood, under the hot Proximan sun." The Curse of Peladon.

    Pg 48 "She has had worse introductions... well, one worse introduction to the universe outside Gallifrey." The Ribos Operation.

    Pg 56 "All leisure time was given up to a quite conscious development of mental and physical skills, from telepathic meditation to learning the traditional waltzes (days of studying the steps in yellowing, dusty old tomes - they'd called them the 'Foxtrots of Rassilon')" The Deadly Assassin et al.

    Pg 57 "Well, that all went just about as badly as it could have gone. Wonderful. Triple first." The Ribos Operation.

    Pg 63 "As poetry goes, it's down there with the Sontaran battle odes." The Time Warrior et al.

    "'Long ago, when love was real...' it begins, and Romana knows this is the worst thing she will ever read." It may not be a specific reference, but this sounds a lot like Messingham is poking fun at Paul Cornell's New Adventures. And, to be fair - and as much as we love those with a deep passion - it's a hilarious line.

    Pg 70 "The Key to Time has to take precedent. Time is running out for the universe; the White Guardian's voice rings in his memory." The Ribos Operation.

    Pg 71 "His brain whirring, filtering the most important from the unimportant, the Doctor sonic-screwdrivers the door of the room where Neville has locked him, and saunters off into the depths of the place." Fury From the Deep et al.

    Pg 76 "The kind of biological, chemical and radiation-led tampering that is morally, utterly repugnant. Surely the Daleks had proved..." The Dead Planet et al.

    Pg 88 "Neville, the young Neville, his hair already greying with the knowledge of a generation, was on Europa at the time" Managra.

    Pg 90 "The Centauri called it 'Stoodlhoo', the Xanir 'Prah-Tah-Cah', the Ogrons with their lumpy language simply 'The Getting Into'." The Curse of Peladon et al; Day of the Daleks et al.

    Pg 92 "You must have the lungs of a Birostrop." The Brain of Morbius.

    Pg 96 "He vaguely recalls a church, back on Earth, twentieth century. The Master and the trouble he caused." The Daemons.

    Pg 118 "'Hello Romana, how are you?' He holds out that little paper bag." Jelly babies (Robot et al).

    Pg 123 "It is the Doctor, alive. He sits and plays with a yo-yo, staring intently at it as he tries to master a trick." The Ark in Space et al.

    Pg 138 "She has never seen anything like that, not even when the Sontarans were strutting through the Academy, no one daring to halt them in their atrocities." The Invasion of Time.

    Pg 143 "To her intense relief, he jumps awake. 'Search the plastic factories, Brigadier!'" Spearhead from Space.

    Pg 161 "The rumour was that generations ago there had been some distasteful breeding experiments involving Ogrons; she didn't like to think about it" Day of the Daleks et al.

    Pg 171 "Not for the first time, he resents the White Guardian and the demands made upon him." The Ribos Operation.

    Pg 198 "The basic tenets; the Seven Strictures of Rassillon." The Deadly Assassin et al. But see Continuity Cock-Ups.

    Pg 203 "It was all there, in the mythologies so meticulously collected by human Neville - the witch-bride of the Centauri, the duo consort of the Binarii, even the crude Nagwife fairy tale of the Ogrons" The Curse of Peladon et al; Day of the Daleks et al. The Binarii are new.

    Pg 205 "Even after the recent, unheard of, Sontaran occupation, she had been far enough away for the deaths of those few Time Lords involved to be little more than horror stories." The Invasion of Time.

    "She had read what little actual evidence there was of his history - the famous Master affair, Omega's dread return, his mission to Skaro." The Deadly Assassin, The Three Doctors, Genesis of the Daleks.

    Pg 220 "The devil take him for a quick draw; said somethin' about takin' lessons from Doc Holiday" The Gunfighters.

    Pg 226 "I won't have you turning all weak and feeble on me! [...] And all Miranda Pelham can do is sit here and whinge in her own self-pity..." This is very similar to the goading that the Doctor did when Sarah Jane Smith was stuck in the ventilation shaft in The Ark in Space.

    Pgs 226-227 "Pelham pulls away from him. 'I can manage, thank you very much.' 'Funny, I have the uncomfortable feeling you're not the first who's said that to me.'" The Ark in Space.

    Pg 249 "How about,if you can concentrate with all that blood spilling out and your arm being on fire, how's about going back in time, back to Proxima 2" The Face-Eater.

    Pgs 249-250 "But the Doctor looks old now, very old. The lines on his face have deepened, that funny scar on his lip puckered with weariness." The scar is one Tom Baker received from a dog while filming The Ribos Operation, that was written into the opening of The Pirate Planet.

    Pg 257 "It tells her she is Romanadvoratelundar and that she was proud when she earned that triple first, excited when chosen by the president of the High Council himself to accompany the Doctor..." The Ribos Operation, The Stones of Blood.

    Pg 260 "'He decided he didn't want to destroy everything. I mean, who would?' Don't mention Sutekh. Don't even think about Sutekh." Pyramids of Mars.

    Pg 262 "'Of course,' the Doctor is saying, 'of course I knew all the time that my hypnotic suggestion would enable you to shake off his influence. You mustn't take the credit for that." This is very similar to what he says to Harry in The Ark in Space.

    Pg 277 "I've done it before, I'll do it again, no doubt. She was such a lovely-looking woman." Romana previously regenerated into the spitting image of someone she liked the look of in Destiny of the Daleks.

    Pg 278 "'How...?' he stumbles, 'how did you get so young again?'" Romana has regenerated.

    Pgs 34-35 The Master appears briefly in flashback.

    Huvan/Ponch, Miranda Pelham, Valdemar, the Hopkins/Neville hybrid.


    1. Pg 33 "I ran to help and then... then they turned round. Praha and Erik turned on him, attacked him, started to..." Miranda was only travelling with Praha and Erik. So who exactly did they turn on?
    2. Pg 68 "He feels aggrieved, he has better; things to be doing, work on his furs that must be completed." Huh? What does he have better?
    3. Pg 89 "Amused by him then, she had no idea of the extent and importancce of the knowledge she had collated." Say what?
    4. Pg 198 "The basic tenets; the Seven Strictures of Rassillon." Would that be someone related to Rassilon?

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

    1. Miranda means to say "Praha... And Erik turned on him". Her traumatised state is playing havoc with her syntax. Much like the author, one suspects.
    2. Ponch is so aggrieved that his grammar is suffering. He may not; be the only one.
    3. The knowledge has more than mere importance. It has importancce.
    4. Clearly not, since "Rassilon" is spelt correctly on Page 56. Instead, Rassillon was a lesser-known Gallifreyan, known only for his seven strictures.

    Pg 41 Nu-apes.

    Pg 41 The Kordszz, who are lithe.

    Pg 41 An Alpha Centauri.

    Pg 150 Neville's guards mutate into creatures with leathery skin, elongated heads and black fronds growing from their eyes.

    Pg 152 The nobles have turned into animals, with leathery hoofs replacing hands and bristly snouts instead of noses.

    Pg 196 Kampp has turned into an insect.

    Pg 255 The Old Ones are massive, the size of a building, and green with purple veiny stalks, vast tentacles and a blueish head.

    Pg 268 Ur-dogs, tracking hounds with long snouts and two stringy legs.

    Pg 1 An unnamed planet, some time after events of the rest of the novel.

    Pg 12 Ashkellia, time unknown.

    Pg 37 A bathyscape.

    A floating palace, above Ashkellia.

    Pg 40 Proxima 2.

    Pg 157 Hopkins' ship.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    This is an utterly stupendous novel. The writing is sumptuous, being in the present tense and examining the idea of stories within stories and questioning memory across different lives, both the Doctor's and Huvan's. The plot unfolds beautifully, even though you think it won't, and the characters are deliciously repulsive, yet you end up having sympathy for Huvan and even the fate of Hopkins and Neville. The fourth Doctor is spot-on, which is a harder trick than it appears to be, while there are some very clever reference. And the final chapter is just sublime. An overlooked classic.