Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark
by Andrew Hunt

Publisher: Virgin
ISBN: 0 426 20368 2


    A coach crashes on the M40, killing all anonymous passengers. A vet delivers a unicorn. On an alien planet, besieged humans are attacked by mythical beasts and demons. The TARDIS's link with the Eye of Harmony is becoming ever more tenuous and these events will have a role to play in its repair.



    Llanfer Ceirog, Wales.

    Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, although everything is explained.

    (Cat's Cradle: Warhead is barely even referred to, so it's not essential)

    Pg 13 "It is the quiet of a tornado, the Eye of Harmony." First introduced in The Deadly Assassin.

    "On [...] a planet called Gallifrey whose history is tied up with the Earth's far more than its inhabitants appreciate, there dwell a people whose upper echelons are self-styled Lords of Time" The NAs often suggested a link between Earth and Gallifrey. Not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords with regenerative cycles. They might not even all have two hearts.

    "A place called the Panopticon Hall" Seen in most Gallifrey stories, beginning with The Deadly Assassin.

    "From this rich source springs forth the raw artron energy which powers every TARDIS" Artron energy was first mentioned in The Deadly Assassin

    "From the simplest Time Scaphe (or at least those which did not rely, gods forbid, on the telepathic powers of their occupants)" Telepathically powered Time Scaphes were seen in Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible.

    Pg 14 "But links are essential and the Doctor's TARDIS was losing its link." To the Eye of Harmony, as made clear on page 16. This is explicitly part of the Cat's Cradle arc and implicitly part of the longer arc about the TARDIS possession that culminates in Deceit.

    "The TARDIS's cloister room" First seen in Logopolis as a stone and pillar area with benches and vines.

    "She found a workshop which had been occupied quite recently" This might be a reference to Invasion of Time - the notion that it was quite recently occupied suggesting that time flowed differently in the depths of the TARDIS or that that was relatively recent compared to some of the rooms.

    Pg 15 "Above her a bell started tolling." The Cloister Bell, first heard in Logopolis.

    "The tiny marks were a cat's pawprints [...] 'Lynx'?" The 'Cat's Cradle' cat's name is Lynx, as mentioned on page 254.

    "He was over seven hundred years old" In Remembrance of the Daleks the Seventh Doctor claims he is over nine hundred years old, as does the Sixth Doctor in The Trial of a Time Lord. In New Adventures continuity, the Doctor celebrates his thousandth birthday while locked in a dungeon in Set Piece.

    "When the TARDIS had sustained its present damage, inflicted upon it by a mysterious alien Process" Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible.

    Pg 16 "I've just come from there" The sound of the Cloister Bell has never been restricted to the Cloister room.

    "A call to man the battle stations" The Doctor says something similar in Logopolis when the Cloister Bell rings.

    "Block transfer computation" Logopolis and Castrovalva.

    "They were on the verge of a breakthrough, setting up entropy-reducing programs to run on computers when the Master turned his attention to them." Logopolis.

    Pg 17 "Gallifrey, perhaps Axos, even Nestene matter might work" The Claws of Axos, Spearhead from Space/Terror of the Autons.

    Pg 24 "The Black Swan" There's also a Black Swan pub in Cheldon Bonniface in Timewyrm: Revelation.

    "It's not exactly New York is it, Professor?" Cat's Cradle: Warhead.

    Pg 25 "The squeaky one had enough of you, is it?" Mel.

    Pg 55 "'Nasty things, some spiders,' the Doctor said. 'I seem to recall one almost killed me.'" Planet of the Spiders.

    "You must give me a sample so that I can program it into the TARDIS food machine." The food machine was first seen in The Daleks. During the New Adventures it gets done over a couple of times, at least once by Ace (Set Piece), so that eventually it can be chased by Wolsey the Cat.

    Pg 58 "Did I ever tell you about the time I visited Wales in the fifties? [...] I must look up old Garonwy sometime. That 1928 Hibiscus Blossom you finished off was made by him." Delta and the Bannermen. Garonwy kept bees, and he gave the Doctor a jar of this vintage honey. In Remembrance of the Daleks, the Doctor chides Ace for eating it.

    Pg 70 The Doctor fries bacon, although he doesn't eat it. Human Nature establishes that the Doctor is still a vegetarian, which he became in The Two Doctors.

    Pg 71 "I used to be a waitress, you know" On Iceworld, in Dragonfire.

    Pg 78 "To her the word had unpleasant undertones - her mind fled back to a handsome young sergeant in 1963 who had wanted to keep the outsiders out." Mike Smith from Remembrance of the Daleks.

    "Gallifreyans developed a respiratory bypass system which could miss out the olfactory organs." The respiratory bypass system was first mentioned in Pyramids of Mars. This is the first time we've heard that it can skip the nose.

    "It was a look which stirred strange feelings in her because of her experience as one of the hunters on the planet of the Cheetah people." Survival.

    Pg 79 "If memory serves me right, King Arthur was just mythology." Battlefield.

    Pg 95 "As regular as a wyrm's wrigglings through the underworld" Not necessarily a reference to the Timewyrm. Wyrm is an archaic use of the word worm and a word that was used for types of dragon.

    Pg 115 "Oh yes, I even helped with one of the lines. How did it go? I think it started, "In the beginning...". Something like that anyway - it might not even have been the Bible, there are a lot of things that start with, "In the beginning...". The Book of Rassilon for one." This is the first mention of the Book of Rassilon, but it makes sense that he'd have a book, since he seems to have everything else.

    Pg 122 "Erich Weiss never tied knots like these." Erich Weiss was Harry Houdini, who the Doctor mentions knowing in Planet of the Spiders (and The Witch Hunters).

    Pg 131 "Yeti! Saw them in the London Underground twenty years ago." The Web of Fear.

    Pg 143 "When she had been transported to the planet of the Cat People her mind and body had been influenced by the strange forces at work there. She had thought that the change had been only temporary, but the seed still seemed to be inside her." In Part 3 of Survival, the Doctor says "You can never completely leave the planet because you carry it with you inside yourself." And to be precise it's the planet of the Cheetah-People, although Invasion of the Cat People wasn't written until years later.

    Pg 154 "This is England, isn't it?" No, it's Wales. A similar joke appeared in Delta and the Bannermen.

    Pg 162 "Every crystal of snow was different" The is similar to the opening line of Timewyrm: Revelation.

    Pg 185 "I did encounter one on the planet Svartos." Dragonfire.

    Pg 187 "Aim for the eyepiece?" The Doctor gives the same instruction to Gilmore in Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Pg 222 "Earth is widely regarded as one of the causal nexus points in this galaxy" This is the first mention of one of the themes of later New Adventures, although in this case it comes from something in the FASA Doctor Who Roleplaying Game.

    Pg 248 "The faith that had driven back the Haemovores in World War Two" The Curse of Fenric.

    Pg 251 Reference to UNIT and the Brigadier.

    The silver cat, from Time's Crucible and Warhead.

    Inspector Graham Stevens, Stuart Taylor, David, Jack, Bathsheba, Dryfid.

    Bat, a Ceffyl (centaur)

    Old Davy/Herne also appear at Benny's wedding in Happy Endings.

    The fake Doctor and Ace, who turn up again in Return of the Living Dad.


    • None, although the fake Doctor and Ace are just left hanging around.

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

    The Sidhe. From page 94, they are humanlike in form, but their bodies are covered with red hair and their heads are like the head of a wolf. A similar description stands in Autumn Mist. The Sidhe in these two books are mutually exclusive. McIntee's Sidhe are physically similar to Hunt's; on page107, Sam describes them as furry humanoids with heads like shaved cats. They are first named as the Sidhe on page 122. They are ruled by Titania and Oberon, although that might be because the Sidhe are defined in relation to human mythology. Actually, McIntee had intended to use the Sidhe in First Frontier, but the editors nixed that because of Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark. So he made up the Tzun instead.

    Pg 94 The Ceffyl (unicorns).

    Pg 94 The Firbolg (centaurs).

    Pgs 210/244 Troifran, human-like but with long fingers, plate-like feet, pale green skin and gills.

    The M40.

    Condicote Hospital.

    Llanfer Ceirog (pg 26).

    A house near central London.

    Tir na n-Og, an alien planet created by Goibhnie as an experiment.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    A bit of a disappointment, all told. There's nothing tangibly wrong with Witch Mark, aside from a heavy dose of first-writer syndrome, but compared to the other groundbreaking novels of 1992, it's completely forgettable. Still, at least it boasts the best cover art the NAs ever produced.