by Gareth Roberts

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 426 20450 6


    Weapons dealing, the end of the Chelonian empire, telepathic shipbuilders, cynical entertainers. Oh, it's all happening on Zamper.


    Benny, Roz and Chris.

    Pg 22 On a test ship, which is about to crash, above the surface of Zamper.

    Pg 248 A trip to see Taal's family.

    Pg 248 The house on Allen Road, Autumn.

    None, although this book features the return of the Chelonians from The Highest Science.

    Pg 22 "Only hours after their departure from the Sloathe moon, the systems had suddenly jammed, forcing an emergency dematerialization." Sky Pirates!

    Pg 26 "Even after the Sloathes, adapting was difficult." Sky Pirates! again.

    Pg 34 Brief reference to Ace.

    Pg 88 "No robot-controlling mastermind, this fellow." Original Sin, amongst numerous others.

    Pg 91 "'I've seen a lot of caves in my time,' the Doctor assured her." Let's just mention Doctor Who and the Silurians and The Caves of Androzani and leave it at that, shall we?

    "Smith found the Doctor hunched over her workbench, an inky fountain pen gripped in his right hand, her own stylus gripped equally tightly in his left, both hands writing at a furious pace over sheets of scrap paper." The Curse of Fenric.

    Pg 106 "An ordinary sort of dream. Edwardian London, being knocked on the head, being strangled by Ace, being half-eaten by carnivorous plants, being menaced by a glinting octopus with the sea inside-out above it, being spat at by pink-haired youths, being chatted up by Doctor Watson, doing a jigsaw at Allen Road, painting a picture of a lady with a shopping basket, shopping with President Flavia, entering Paris on a haycart." Gosh, and the continuity had been so quiet. Birthright, could be anything, The Left-Handed Hummingbird (I think), Falls the Shadow, Tragedy Day, No Future, All-Consuming Fire, probably Warlock, not sure, Blood Harvest, Set Piece.

    Pg 109 "'You've met these Chelonians before, then?' 'They're old enemies of mine. The Doctor and I bumped into some quite a while ago.'" The Highest Science.

    "Her first few trips in the TARDIS had been almost fun, the Doctor the friend she'd always wanted." That's a very strange way of describing Transit, The Highest Science and The Pit. The memory, it seems, cheats.

    "You-are-an-en-e-my-of-the-Da-lek-race-you-will-be-ex-ter-min-a-ted..." Benny impersonates a Dalek.

    Pg 121 "External markings suggest ancient artefact of Tellurian origin." Earth was described as Tellurian in a lot of stories by Eric Saward, the most memorable being The Visitation.

    Pg 129 "And it'd be impossible to get in there, the doors are inch thick megalanium." Megalanium is also mentioned in The Highest Science, The Romance of Crime and The Well-Mannered War.

    Pg 151 "Smith followed the Doctor as he leapt nimbly from rock to rock, navigating the massed sub-herd with the ease of a circus performer." The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.

    Pg 152 "He spoke animatedly, his rubbery features twisting with enthusiasm. He looked to Smith less of the great scientist she'd taken him for; now, as he rambled on, putting emphasis on all the wrong words and rolling every 'r' in his path, he looked more like an entertainer who might be hired for a children's party." Ouch. The Curse of Fenric.

    Pg 155 "Listen, you young fool -' 'No. Goodbye, you old fool.'" Ripostes worthy of The War Games.

    Pg 166 "Well, failure is one of the basic freedoms." The Robots of Death.

    Pg 210 "Dreary tin cans and potato-heads." That'll be the Daleks and Sontarans, then.

    Pgs 214-215 "He hadn't dropped his facade for the Master or Tanith and Gabriel or President Flavia." First Frontier, Falls the Shadow, Blood Harvest.

    Pg 230 "He looked dignified even in sleep, and she was reminded of Ice Lord Savaar." Legacy.

    Brief reference to Ace.

    Pg 240 "'No! If they're dead.' 'Oh, shut up.'" Battlefield.

    Pg 248 "On the flyleaf was written in watery fountain pen To Douglas, from Aunt Eve, Christmas 1919." We're not entirely sure how, but this is clearly meant to link us into Toy Soldiers.


    None who survive.


    1. Pg 57 "But gold retains its value whatever, and is the only completely safe way to trade." Erm, not really. Gold has a value on Earth because of its comparative rarity, but that principle collapses the moment you go off-planet, particularly if Voga suddenly heaves into view.
    2. Pg 88 "The Doctor had been through some mementoes of previous adventures with her [Roz]." When? It's very clear that Original Sin leads straight into Sky Pirates! whilst Zamper is mere hours after that adventure finishes. Also, what a boor the Doctor must be: "Oh, and now I must tell you how I defeated Count Grendel." "Really, Doctor? Must you?"
    3. Pg 109 "The lot we met got trapped in a time loop, poor things." No they didn't! The Chelonians and everyone else at the end of The Highest Science got trapped in a freak time-effect where everything was slowed down to practically no movement at all. That's not even close to a time loop and Roberts wrote it!
    4. Pg 121 "An upright oblong, two point six metres by nought point nine metres." Sorry? The TARDIS is only 90 cm wide? That's tiny.
    5. Pg 227 "The Doctor had then nonchalantly swiped a communicator from a wall-point, patching himself through to Big Mother's personal input with ease, and uttered a string of words in narrow dialect." Oh, so he can speak narrow dialect now, can he? He couldn't on page 190.

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

    1. By coincidence, the area of the galaxy around Zamper has precisely the same percentage of gold ore as Earth does now.
    2. Presumably in those 'hours' immediately before Zamper. He must be so irritating to travel with.
    3. The Doctor, embarrassed at how badly The Highest Science ended, has altered Benny's memories. That's probably why she described Transit and The Pit as 'fun' as well.
    4. The Doctor's been playing with the architectural configuration again. Did he learn nothing from Logopolis?
    5. He's heard a line of it now, so can translate with impunity.


    Zamps, snail-like creatures that communicate telepathically and can knock you up a spaceship in a couple of months if you've the available cash. They also turn into hideous loop creatures that drink your blood. Nice.

    Pg 1 The gateway to Zamper, on the Eastern edge of the Universe.

    Pg 2 The Complex, the main human area on Zamper.

    Pg 248 The house on Allen Road.

    IN SUMMARY - Anthony Wilson
    Yeah, the plot has a tendency to collapse, things happen because Roberts says they need to, people keep knowing things they shouldn't, as if they've had access to other parts of the narrative and some of the monster ranting is the most outrageous we've ever experienced it. But I love it. It's small, unassuming, with a pleasant Doctor, a nice tight setting, a good mystery and some great description. It may be small, but it's perfectly formed.