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The Discontinuity Guide
Short Stories

Decalog 3: Consequences

Decalog 3: Consequences cover
Editors: Andy Lane and Justin Richards

...And Eternity in an Hour (3rd Doctor) Moving On (Sarah Jane Smith)
Tarnished Image (1st Doctor) Past Reckoning (5th Doctor)
UNITed we fall (4th Doctor) Aliens and Predators (2nd Doctor)
Fegovy (6th Doctor) Continuity Errors (7th Doctor)
Timevault (6th Doctor) Zeitgeist (5th Doctor)

...And Eternity in an Hour

Features the Third Doctor and Jo between Planet of the Daleks and The Green Death

Author: Stephen Bowkett

Roots: There are references to the Babel Tower and Abraham Lincoln.

Technobabble: Pandimensional holographic representation. Chronotronic energy rippling like seismic waves across the fragile space-time cobweb of the Cosmos. By harnessing the cold-fusion power plants of Alrakis, you can create a seamless temporal feedback loop as a space-time containment vehicle for the temporal spillage. There are flux foci and you can retroprogram the vessel-defining software.

Dialogue Disasters: Jo: 'Oh Doctor - you're ... you're back.'
The Doctor: 'This tea's cold, Jo'

'First I'll need another cup of tea - hot this time, please - and at least five hundred dominoes'

Continuity: The Cerunnos is monster spoken of in myths of planets across the universe, and which is believed to have existed in the Dawn Time. The Tonska inadvertently call forth the Cerunnos by exposing a volunteer to the energies of the time rift. The Cerunnos is parasitic and can assume any form. The Doctor considers it madness made flesh; it is implied that it is more a force of nature than an actual living, thinking being.

The Doctor spends three days in a self-induced coma after the High Council alert him to a temporal rift (the multidimensional equivalent of an earthquake) that measures eight-plus on the galactic Richter scale [the Bocca Scale see The Two Doctors]. He drinks wine with the Yed-Prior. Granite and Steel are good protection against Time Rift energy due to their durability.

Jo passed domestic science at school, rather than actual science (Terror of the Autons). She considers her copy of the TARDIS key to be the most sincere symbol of the Doctor's trust that he has ever given her.

The TARDIS is apparently operational independent of the Time Lords, setting this story after The Three Doctors. The TARDIS contains a pandimensional holographic representation of the galaxy [effectively a planetarium], which is connected to a complex neural net that forms part of the TARDIS's AI fuzzy logic circuitry. The Doctor refers to the fuzzy logic circuit as the intuition circuit and uses it to locate the source of the time rift. He can operate the TARDIS from a small console in this projection room.

Alrakis orbits the star Iota Ophiuchi. The planet has a single huge moon, the orbit of which is gradually decaying and which will eventually crash into the planet. The dominant species is the Tonska, a humanoid race whose technological abilities have outstripped their ability to care for their world. The Doctor describes them as having become grey and mechanical, just like their machines. They know of the Time Lords. The highest authority on Alrakis is the Yed-Prior (which means the Foremost), who is effectively their ruler. Thousands of years in their future, after the Cerunnos is unleashed, the Doctor and Jo see Alrakis restored to a lush and verdant paradise, all trace of the Tonska long since vanished.

Location: The TARDIS, and the city of Almaraqq on Alrakis, a planet orbiting Iota Ophiuchi

Links: The Doctor begins the story in a trance similar to that in Planet of the Daleks. The time spillage is probably caused by events in Zeitgeist.

The Bottom Line: And Eternity in an hour successfully combines a number of plot threads into a compelling read. The blend of the time rift, the terrorists, the Yed-Prior's scheme and the effects of her scientists' attempts to control nature all come together to tell a good story. The only downside to the story is its excessive reliance on technobabble.

The first story in the final Decalog volume to actually feature the Doctor, And Eternity In An Hour unfortunately sets the tone for much of the rest of the anthology. The Cerunnos is yet another evil from the dawn of time, and not a particularly memorable one, and the overall plot is rather dull, with an ending in which everything blows up whilst the Doctor impotently flees.

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Moving On

Features Sarah Jane Smith and K9 Mark 3 after The Five Doctors and Decalog 2: Housewarming

Author: Peter Anghelides

Roots: There are references to Nescafé, the Prince of Wales, the Evening Standard, Radio Times, Omnibus, Classic FM, Faur's Cinq Mlodies, Eastenders, and Star Wars (help me Obi Wan Kenobi).

Goofs: Brendan is referred to as Sarah's nephew (he is actually her Aunt's ward - see K9 and Company).

Continuity: Sarah has a laptop and her hair is greying. Her friend Katy Pickering is on the TV programme Wake Up! with Tom and Katy. She first met her friend Katy Pickering at a freshman party when they were both students. Katy's ex is called Boris. Katy is offered a new arts series at Carlton. Sarah found adjusting back to life on Earth quite difficult due to leaps in technology and still hasn't caught up. Aged 14, she was given a dog named Rab for her birthday. Her Aunt Lavinia is a spinster. She is working a novel entitled Unforgiving. Sarah's current editor at Metropolitan is called Joshua. Brendan is now attending college. Sarah drives a yellow Metro. Her relationship with UNIT is mentioned. She took part in a questionnaire for Media Weekly, during which she stated that ET is her favourite film. Sarah has recently visited Switzerland.

K9 Mark III is slowly starting to wear out. He is no longer able to climb stairs (Decalog 2: Housewarming) and is taking longer to recharge. He can display his on-line documentation and operational schematics on the monitor on his side, but his components are so advanced that they are not yet manufactured on Earth. His systems attrition is exponential. K9 was programmed by the Doctor to transmit a sub-space distress transmission asking for help when he is incapable of helping himself. Sarah orders him to stop broadcasting and delete the program that controls the system. K9 eventually ends up deactivated in a cardboard box in the attic of Sarah's Victorian house in Islington.

The Cerunnos adopts the identity of Scott Wojzek, head of Tonska Industries (see ...And Eternity in an Hour. It has also used the identities of Jonathan Kendrick, Jennifer Benndick, and Mary Jones amongst a dozen other humans. It arrived on Earth in human form and has been trapped on Earth for thirty years. It is seeking the Doctor partly for revenge for trapping it on Earth and partly to help it escape the planet. It contacts Sarah having learned of her association with the Doctor, hoping that she can put it in touch with him. It offers to repair K9 in exchange for her cooperation. It is possibly telepathic as an extension of its parasitic nature, although it uses Kendrick's VR machine to infiltrate Sarahs mind. It impersonates the Fourth Doctor. Tonska has advanced holographic imaging based on lasers and VR technology that mucks with the mind.

Links: Sarah's abandonment by the Doctor (The Hand of Fear) is central to the plot. Wojzek & Sarah are possessed by the Cerunnos from ...And Eternity In An Hour.

Sarah has written a series of novels based on her adventures with the Doctor. Drawing on her encounter with the Cerunnos, she pens her latest novel, Moving On, which is published by Virgin. Amblin Entertainment express an interest in adapting some of these novels into films [Amblin were at one point rumoured to be producing a Doctor Who film]. Sarah's full bibliography comprises several short stories, all published in Metropolitan magazine, and several full-length novels, all published by Virgin Publishing, all of which are based on her experiences with the Doctor. The short stories are Irongron's Star (The Time Warrior), Operation Golden Age (Invasion of the Dinosaurs), Exxilon (Death to the Daleks), Return to Peladon (The Monster of Peladon), Eightlegs (Planet of the Spiders), The Destructors (The Sontaran Experiment), and A Girl's Best Friend (K9 and Company), all published between 1995 and 2003. The novels are More Than Human (Robot), Noah's Ark (The Ark in Space), Dalek Dawn (Genesis of the Daleks), Return to the Ark (Revenge of the Cybermen), Terror of the Loch (Terror of the Zygons), Forbidden Matter (Planet of Evil), A Gift of Death (Pyramids of Mars), The Kraal Invasion (The Android Invasion), Solon's Brain (The Brain of Morbius), Terror Stalks (The Seeds of Doom), Death Masque (The Masque of Mandragora), and A Hand through Time (The Hand of Fear), all published between 1997 and 2001.

Location: London. Sarah hasn't started writing any of the books in the bibliography yet, so it's before 1995. Moving On comes out ten years after the story, so it can't be earlier than 1993, so it's 1993-95.

Future History: From 1995, Sarah starts publishing a series of short stories and novels based on her televised adventures with the Doctor.

The Bottom Line: 'You have to decide for yourself that its time to move on.' Competent, but dull. In an example of spectacularly bad editing, the Cerunnos goes from powerful Lovecraftian monster, to shape-shifting businessman in the space of two stories, retroactively destroying what little dramatic impact And Eternity In An Hour had in the first place.

I didn't like the flashback style very much and I wasn't too impressed with the plot. The epilogue, however, is a really nice touch.

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Tarnished Image

Features the First Doctor and Dodo between The Savages and The War Machines

Author: Guy Clapperton

Roots: I don't have a clue

Dialogue Triumphs: 'The enforcers, my good man, enforce what the Azmec corporation tell them to. They are not interested in investigating their paymasters.'

For a couple who keep predicting the end of the world, they laugh a lot.

I feel like apologising for being a mere mortal.

The Doctor on the "primitive nature" of the settlers: 'They had mastered interstellar travel, survived invasions from outer space, fought off plague. They were fully computerised in the way they lived, they had a sophisticated society - it wasn't just a bunch of cavemen rubbing sticks together, I'll have you know!'

On the Doctor: He's not the first. He's just damned good at it.

The Doctor: 'Condescending, arrogant, smug and irritating.'
Dodo: 'Don't know who he reminds me of.'

Continuity: Dodo is worried by the Doctor's dismissal of casual violence and hasn't [at least in her opinion] been travelling with him for long. Journalist Kronel Juslan mistakes the Doctor and Dodo for performers, describing them as a comic double act. The Doctor has met the Azmec Corporation before, under a different name. The Doctor produces a piece of wheeled equipment from his TARDIS, which he describes as being similar to the holoprobe [possibly the Astral Map see The Web Planet]. At the request of the new authorities on Tarron, the Doctor takes the Jewelled Head-dress of Princess Maxtra, the volumes of Garda, and the faked holovid of Simova, and casts them into the Vortex.

Tarron has touch-sensitive metallic newspaper sheets. Autosecurity robots are standard. The European segment of the First Segment of Time is believed to have had clothes like the Doctor's, but short hair. The Azmecs are non-human (but humanoid) colonists who take over societies by infiltrating and then being invited to take control. They are also known as Kephas, among other names. There was a civilisation on Tarron before the humans arrived. Tarron has multiple suns.

Links: There's reference to The Ark and the journey to Refusis. The holovid, supposedly of the colony being handed over to Azmec, is taped over the message sent in Moving On.

Location: Rotar City, Tarron. Hundreds of years after colonists left Earth. Also hundreds of years after Earth was destroyed by solar flares. Over the course of roughly two weeks.

Future History: Hundreds of years ago, the cult of Vorass sprung up on Tarron. It performed ritual murders, putting a hole in the head of people and, often, leaving a V sign on their heads. Tarron is an Earth Colony. Danta Vorass (also known as Akha Vorass), a retrograde who believed that Tarron was violated by the presence of humanity, started the Vorassan Cult. The Vorassans believe that by smashing a hole in a persons skull, they can release their Earth spirit, allowing them to be accepted by Tarron. Vorass himself carved his v shaped insignia on his victims backs; this insignia is reserved for victims in whom he showed a personal interest. Some historians believe that the Vorassans were victims of a virus that attacked their central nervous systems, driving them to commit acts of brutality. A man named Hal Simova, who supposedly assigned rule of the planet to the Azmec Corporation, founded the colony on Tarron. In fact, the Azmec Corporation faked the holovid recording that showed Simova handing power over to them. Enforcers maintain the law on Tarron. The main news media on Tarron are the City Watcher and Watcher-Line News Feed.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has met the Azmec corporation before under a different name.

The Bottom Line: A good tale, told in an effective manner. The newspaper reports communicate the events very effectively, whilst the interludes featuring the Doctor and Dodo sparkle. The plot develops very convincingly and it's a good touch to let us see the very real, harsh, consequences of victory over oppressors.

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Past Reckoning

Features the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa between Time Flight and Arc of Infinity

Author: Jackie Marshall

Roots: There are references to Edward the First, Ghostbusters, Sooty, and Troy.

Dialogue Triumphs: 'It's hard to imagine anyone really feeling they owned this place; it rather gives the impression it would own them instead.'

Continuity: The earliest part of Trentillys Castle was built in 1300 by Roger Mortimer, one of Edward I's warlords. It was sold in the Elizabethan period to merchant adventurer Thomas Gosthorpe, whose family has owned it ever since. Its lake was sculpted in the 18th century. Ellen Carter's marriage collapsed after two years as her husband wanted to go off wih his secretary. David Gosthorpe died of a stroke in Naples, 1987. He was penniless at the time. Ellen and David were siblings.

Nyssa feels forlorn at any kind of death. She has pointed out to the Doctor that she knows very little of the history of Tegans home planet, prompting a visit to Earth. She likes tea and caramel slices.

The Jewels of Helen were found by Heinrich Schliemann in 1873, whilst excavating Troy. This, along with the other so-called Treasures of Priam vanished from Berlin in 1945. They are actually living jewellery. The wearer completes a psychic circuit, enhancing their appearance. Nyssa throws them into a lake in the grounds of Trentillys Castle.

The Doctor tends not to visit old companions, since he wants to respect their decision to leave him. He mentions Romana and her tendency to wear impractical footwear.

Links: This trip is a result of Nyssa admiting that she knows very little of the history of Tegan's planet. Nyssa suggests they look up Tegan, now they're back on Earth (Time Flight). The Doctor mistakenly believes that Tegan chose to leave the TARDIS. The Jewels of Helen are actually the Jewelled Headdress of Princess Maxtra, which the Doctor cast into the vortex at the end of Tarnished Image. The Doctor makes use of his UNIT pass to leave the scene. The Doctor tells Nyssa "I'm a Time Lord, I walk in eternity" (Pyramids of Mars).

Location: Trentillys Castle, the Welsh marshes. Judging by Ellen's actions, it's the late 80's.

Unrecorded Adventures: The [Second or Fourth] Doctor met David Gosthorpe several years ago at Glastonbury. David told him that he'd never consider opening the castle to the public.

The Bottom Line: 'History is always a lie.' Quite entertaining, although this is more to do with the prose style and the use of newspaper articles to tell the story, rather than the actual plot.

It doesn't amount to much, but it's well constructed and entertaining.

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UNITed We Fall

Features the Fourth Doctor between The Deadly Assassin and The Face of Evil

Author: Keith R.A. Decandido

Roots: The Doctor is compared to Harpo Marx and Toulouse-Lautrec.

Technobabble:'I'll be by in fifteen minutes to get the recall device.'
'The what?'
'The blue thing I gave you that had the button to push.'

Dialogue Disasters: 'This man has bad taste in clothes, but that doesn't make him dangerous.'

Dialogue Triumphs: Fontaine: 'I can't even figure out who this advisor is; he's not even listed on any of the payroll vouchers.'
The Brigadier: 'He was, as you said, an unpaid scientific advisor.'

The Doctor: 'Ah, a member of the legal profession. That would explain the exorbitant office, the books on the bookshelf, and that rather unfortunate tie.'

'I can't put this - this - this reject from the Harpo Marx lookalike contest in front of the committee!'

The Doctor: 'I know there's a bomb! What do you think I'm trying to defuse?'

Continuity: The oversight committee outrank UNIT command Geneva in UNIT command structure. Part of their job is to monitor UNIT's requisitions. Bambera's equipment is impounded and her soldiers placed on standby pending the results of the committee's enquiry. The enquiry is prompted by an outcry concerning the exorbitant requisitions requested by the Doctor. The Brigadier is retired. He prides himself on his punctuality. UNITs American counsel is Stephen Joseph Fontaine III, Attorney-at-Law. Bambera (Battlefield) requested that the Brigadier visit New York.

It is possible to make a bomb out of a TARDIS dematerialisation circuit which will spread the TARDIS across a 1,000 year period. This would cause the solar system to cease to exist 1,000 years ago. This may be due to the fault in the TARDIS dematerialization circuit during the Doctor's exile.

Links: The Brigadier is at the hearings partly due to a letter from Brigadier Bambera (Battlefield, Downtime). The Doctor's requisitions in the 70's included computers & top-of-the line scanning equipment. The Brigadier recalls the events of The Web Of Fear (Yeti) and The Invasion (Cybermen). Both times the Brigadier has encountered a Doctor out of sequence, the entirety of time and space was threatened (The Three Doctors & The Five Doctors, which doesn't quite fit this bill. But presumably, the Brigadier saw it like that). The Doctor has been called back by the recall device (Revenge of the Cybermen/Terror of the Zygons). Robin is after the Doctor because his secret service career went down the pan after Past Reckoning thanks to the Doctor's mode of exit.

Location: New York City, the 90's. Almost 2 decades since the Brigadier last saw the 4th Doctor. Geographically, it's mainly set in the Metropolitan Museum, Central Park and the UN compound.

Future History: In a little less than 75 years, the American wing of the Met will be torn down.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor won't have been in New York for several years ago now. The Doctor has just come from halfway across the galaxy (possibly a reference to The Deadly Assassin). He claims to have told the Egyptians not to simplify their heiroglyphs by putting just one foot on. He also claims that Charles V [of France? He's in the arms and armour exhibition] never wore anything that ornate when he met him. He has met Seurat and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York c2043.

The Bottom Line: 'You ruin things!' Oh dear another pedestrian link that does little except join bits of the anthology together. UNIT feels particularly tired here.

Given that there's already been a UNIT shutdown story in Decalog 2, you wouldn't expect this one to be that notable, but it is. The characters are all well portrayed, but what really makes it shine is the quality of the writing and the brilliant dialogue.

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Aliens And Predators

Features the Second Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe between The Invasion and The War Games

Author: Colin Brake

Roots: The Alien and Predator series of films.

Dialogue Triumphs: 'They're as much like the Yeti as the TARDIS is like a bicycle.'

Continuity: Hope has been travelling for 80 years. Its treasures include a computer console from Zoe's time, a 60's Biba chair, a bust of Napoleon (similar to one found in a broom cupboard in a TARDIS corridor a few days ago), a 17th century chest. Its crew, the guardians, have records of the TARDIS. They consider Earth to be long-lost. Transmats still require a transmat-receiver at the far end. The Faces of Humanity is an artwork created in honour of the mission undertaken by the Hope. The metal rods that make up the picture contain an encrypted recording of the signal that the ship is following. Merik gives The Faces of Humanity to the Doctor to save it from destruction. The Doctor arranges for it to be displayed in a museum on an unnamed populated planet millennia earlier.

The Other are one of the most evil, vicious and relentless races known in the Universe. They are humanoid and mammalian, augmented by reptilian and alien DNA. Their eyes are protected by a double layer of scaly skin. Their mouths have sharp teeth and forked tongues. They have chitinous shoulders and shell-like lower torsos. They have conquered a thousand planets throughout the universe. They are actually the descendants of humanity. The Doctor thinks that they want pure human DNA in order to restore qualities like compassion, but are too aggressive. One of the raiders grows thick filtering eyelids when required. Chitinous plates protect their shoulders and lower torsos. They have silicon enhanced senses and computer/mind interfaces surgically implanted into their hippocampuses. They have conquered over one thousand worlds. They use neutron-cutters to penetrate the hull of Hope. They have weapons that can create micro-thermonuclear explosions. [The Doctor suggests that the Other are the last remnants of the otherwise extinct human race. Since it is heavily implied that this story is set before The Ark in Space and The Sontaran Experiment and that Earth still exists, he's mistaken].

Jamie and Zoe know practically nothing about the Doctor's race (despite Jamie's meeting with the Master in The Dark Path).

Links: The Other are said to be more dangerous than the Daleks, more feared than the Sontarans, and more ruthless than the Cybermen. The signal Hope follows and the Doctor detects is from the dematerialisation signal launched in UNITed we fall. Zoe recalls a trip to the 60's (The Invasion). Jamie and Zoe mention the Yeti (The Abominable Snowmen/The Web of Fear). The guardians ask the Doctor if Benny is with him. The Doctor mentions Ben.

Location: The edge of the rim-worlds, the frontier of known space. As there's a reference to the inhabited hub of the universe, this must be later than even the years of intergalactic travel. Humans have been major players in the Universe for tens of thousands of years, but are now extinct. Earth was abandoned 100 generations ago after solar flares forced a planet-wide evacuation.

Future History: The spaceship Hope has been travelling through space for eighty years. It is larger than a small moon. It contains a vast museum of the last remains of humanity, including human DNA and other biological material intended to re-seed life on Earth. The ship is crewed by six android guardians, which are humanoid but approximately seven or eight feet tall. Earth has been abandoned due to solar flares (The Ark in Space) and its coordinates lost. Hope is homing in on a signal from deep space that is believed to contain the coordinates of Earth; it is actually the recall device that the Doctor transported into deep space in the ninety-second century in UNITed We Fall. Merik uses the ships autodestruct to destroy the Other.

The Bottom Line: 'Oh dear! Oh dearie me!' Whilst nowhere near as bad as Brakes' debut novel Escape Velocity, Aliens and Predators is both boring and derivative. In fairness however, the characterisation of the elusive Second Doctor is spot on.

An enjoyable story, which never quite shines.

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Features the Sixth Doctor and Mel between Business Unusual and Time and the Rani

Author: Gareth Roberts

Roots: Auctions. The Doctor quotes Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and All.

Goofs: Mel is competent at programming ship computers from centuries after her time. Surely programming has moved on somewhat from what she would know from the 20th Century.

Technobabble: Ultragraphic hologistery

Dialogue Disasters: 'Who the dark mine are you?'

'This is an ion converter.'
'And what does that do?'
'Converts ions.'

and numerous others.

Continuity: Mel has been travelling in the TARDIS for several months. She is reminded of her younger brother's bedroom. (But Business Unusual establishes that she's an only child. Perhaps she's referring to Trey, her friend from that story.) She has met Chelonians before. She is accustomed to people ignoring her advice.

The Doctor is wanted in several different incarnations. He has a small cutting device. He finds a book inside the TARDIS, which he describes as a fascinating thesis on interstitial bias; deciding to test out the theory, he materialises the TARDIS inside an asteroid to drill for a certain mineral. There is a considerable price on the Doctors head, which Fegovy hopes to collect. The Doctor offers Fegovy a piece of paper, which he tricks him into believing contains the coordinates of Gallifrey.

The TARDIS contains oxygen cylinders and a laser device capable of drilling rock.

Fegovy is a machine intelligence that manifests as a ball of green light. He was created by the Syndicate for the purpose of gathering wealth, and continues with this task despite the fact that the Syndicate homeworld is long dead. He auctions The Face of Humanity, which he says has been lost for centuries and has been fully restored (Aliens and Predators). Its value derives from the fact that it is made of pure phizlomium. Fegovy's hoard includes an early Galostophus and a pair of Sissoroan serving spoons. Fegovy also captures known felons and places them in suspended animation, in order to collect the bounty on their heads later on; they include a Glasseater, a Kroton (The Krotons) and a Quark (The Dominators).

The Chelonian military should have heard of the Doctor by now. In addition, they can't resist bragging about their rank. One of them mentions that underestimating the enemy led to the loss of the Empire. Chelonian convicts have a symbol of an inverted red cross overlaid by three green dots painted on them.

Credit-coil is used as a means of payment. Units of currency are measured in credits and mega-credits. Miss Monodine uses a weapon called an ion-converter, which can convert all forms of energy.

Eyspeer are wisp-like beings, half liquid, half gas in hovering opaque cubes. Eyspeer ships resemble giant crystal cubes containing statically charged blue fluid.

Grimyr have slimy matted fur, a big BO problem and are surrounded by bright blue flies. Miss Monodine mentions the planet Abarantikos. Willchook mentions the planets of exotica and the crystal springs of Uffe.

Links: Chelonians (The Highest Science, Zamper, and The Well Mannered War) appear, as do Moroks (The Space Museum). The face of humanity, which is being auctioned, was left somewhere and somewhen in the heart of the inhabited universe by the Doctor at the end of Aliens and Predators. Fegovy's collection includes a Kroton (The Krotons) and a Quark (The Dominators). The New Alexandrians (Continuity Errors) stockpile everything that they collect and learn; the Doctor advises them to establish a library.

Location: Inside the dark zones, far away from space trade routes and where the nearest refuelling satellite is on the far side of Abarantikos. The face of humanity has been missing for centuries. Given the date of the next story, I'd guess it's about the 24th Century. Paul would guess that it's some time after 5665AD based on the Chelonian history.

Future History: The Chelonians are used to dealing with humanoids and Varzlad fondly recalls the days of empire, probably setting this story after 5665AD (The Highest Science).

Unrecorded Adventures: Mel has encountered the Chelonian miliary before, though they weren't quite like they were in this time zone. The Doctor knows that the Chelonians should have heard of him by this era.

The Bottom Line: 'Rather childish really.' Oh thank God! The anthology picks up considerably with Fegovy, as Gareth Roberts turns his considerable wit to the (at the time of publication) underused team of the Sixth Doctor and Mel. It's all wonderfully silly, and the appearance of the Chelonians is always welcome.

It's a good plot with good characterisation. Its weak point is too much poor dialogue.

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Continuity Errors

Features the Seventh Doctor and Benny between Human Nature and Original Sin

Author: Steven Moffat

Roots: Orcnell's Four Seasons and a Wedding is a reference both to the film Four Weddings and a Funeral and to Paul Cornell's Doctor Who books. His first four books ended with the lines "Long ago in an English winter.", "Long ago in an English autumn.", "Long ago in an English summer.", and "Long ago in an English spring." The fifth was, of course, Happy Endings, which was set around Benny's wedding.

Goofs: When the TARDIS is temporarily changed into a truck, we see a different inscription to the one that's usually there.

If the Doctor has met David Hittenstall (as he implies), then why does he need to get the book when he could just go ask the author?

Dialogue Triumphs: On the speech: eight weeks of actual writing, thirty years of research, a lifetime of serious resentment.

The Doctor: 'Any books you wrote, you're not allowed to read them!'
Benny: 'Can I run copies? It'll save me time when I get around to writing them.'
The Doctor: 'Absolutely not. They come down very heavily on that sort of thing.'
Benny: 'Time Lords?'
The Doctor: 'Critics.'

The Doctor: 'David was sentient most of the time.'

Andrea: 'It's a restricted text. So there's no possibility of you being allowed to read it, see it, or even stand around in its general vicinity.

The Doctor: 'Lets just say I'm a doctor of history.'
Andrea: 'You mean you study it.'
The Doctor: 'I mean I make it better.'

Andrea: 'They wiped out an entire species!'
Walter: 'And people will keep casting it up.'
Andrea: 'It was genocide!'
Walter: 'You see?'

Continuity: Professor Candy's lecture claims that Ka Faraq Gatri means 'nice guy - if you're a biped' rather than the traditional translation of 'Bringer of Darkness'. He attributes the traditional translation to the Doctor. His dissertation on the Doctor, based on historical records, is entitled Doctor Who?. He describes the Doctor as a CSTE, an acronym for Complex Space-Time Event.

The New Alexandria Library may have a minibar in the archeology department (Benny asks if it has one. The librarian says that of course it does, but that might be a sarcasm). The catalogue deparment crosses two international datelines. A HyperSound monorail is needed to get round the detective fiction. In order to gain access to the copy in the New Alexandria library, the Doctor travels back and changes the history of Librarian Andrea Talwinning; he posed as a temporary teacher at her school, and taught her class Tibetan mind control techniques, whilst wearing an unconvincing ginger wig. He also stopped her husband Freddy from leaving her, picking him up on the night he originally left in the TARDIS, which he disguised as a blue wooden lorry with a flashing light on top and the words Call Here For Help emblazoned on the side, then traveled back even earlier and saved the life of her daughter Gwendoline. Realizing that he has changed her life in order to gain access to the restricted text, the Doctor eventually goes back and arranges for Professor Candy to take a holiday, thus stopping him delivering his lecture about him, and instead delivering a lecture on the importance of lending library books to your friends to his audience, including the eighteen year old Andrea Talwinnin. The Doctor forbids Benny from reading any books of her own that she has yet to write, including her diaries.

David Hittenstall wrote Massacre on Deltherus 5: The definitive account of the Drakoids' extermination of the last of the Deltherons. During the story this becomes Miracle on Deltherus 5: The definitive account of how the Deltherons repelled the Drakoid invasion. This is a result of the Doctor learning from Hittenstall's book the three key tactical mistakes made by the Deltherons and going back and changing history.

The Kantrassi philosopher Orcnell mentioned the Doctor in the prologue to Four Seasons and a Wedding. The Doctor bought all the copies except for the one in the New Alexandrian Library.

The smaller lecture theatre of the Hammerstein building at the Luna University has a capacity of approximately twenty-eight million people. The New Alexandria Library is the single largest and most comprehensive library every built, at any point in time and space, and contains any book of any type ever written in all of history.

Links: There are references in the lecture to Peri, Jo and Tegan. The New Alexandrian Library is a result of the Doctor's suggestion to the New Alexandrians in Fegovy. The Luna University is presumably the same institution that Kadiatu attended in Transit. The Time Lords are mentioned.

Location: Smaller lecture theatre, the Hammerstein building, Luna University 2643 and New Alexandria Library 2668.

Future History: The Deltherons were (until now) entirely wiped out by the Drakoids a hundred years ago. (c2568AD)

Unrecorded Adventures: The sole surviving Morthoid from the Dark Planet once remarked 'Never argue politics with the Doctor. He'll just nip down a ventilation shaft, destabilise your political infrastructure and blow up your solar sysem.' (But this might be a joke). There is some evidence that the Doctor influenced two mens' political views causing a new government in the Kantrassi system. The Kantrass Empire was spanning the galaxy by 2643AD. The Doctor has apparently met David Hittenstall.

The Bottom Line: 'I don't think anyone knows more about the Doctor than he wants them to.' Absolutely brilliant, a comic tour de force that grabs the idea of the manipulative Seventh Doctor and runs with it. This is the only Doctor Who story written to date by Stephen Moffat (The Curse of Fatal Death notwithstanding) and it bodes well for the new series.

Absolutely brilliant! A great and original story with sparkling prose. The concept is great and the execution equally so. In fact, this is probably the best Doctor Who short story ever.

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Features the Fourth Doctor and K9 Mark II between The Invasion of Time and The Ribos Operation

Author: Ben Jeapes

Roots: I don't have a clue

Goofs: The Doctor's explanation about the Time Lords wiping out the Crialans from history doesn't make sense. Firstly, these Crialans were able to preserve themselves by going into Stasis. Surely this shouldn't work - they would have been wiped out before going into stasis. Also, Time Lord history, which includes picking up hints about time travel from the Crialans, appears to have been unaltered by wiping out the Crialans from existence.

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: 'Blinovitch.'
Ts'ril: 'Who?'
The Doctor: 'Nice chap, but he had his limitations.'

Continuity: K9 Mark II is entirely self-maintaining.

The Lorq have been around for billennia. They look like 4-armed teddy bears and are shorter than humans and strong (They developed on a high gravity planet). They carry anything in their vaultships, no questions asked, for a price. They can keep items in stasis for millions of years. They have weapons which could take apart a solar system, but will only use them in the defense of their charges. It is unacceptable for them to ask questions. The singular of Lorq is Lorqling. The Doctor describes Lorq vaultships as the safest places in the universe. Crew duties on a Lorqship are usually hereditary within a clan.

Anlerrian rash is a viral disease that peels away the epidermis then the dermis then everything else down to the inner organs. It's lethal and contagious. It also attacks any carbon based lifeform. It has been known to wipe out half of a planetary population.

The Crialan planet Crial no longer exists. It was a planet with purple sky, blue fauna and flora, and twin suns. The Crialans are a bacterial life form and lived in symbiosis with the creatures on their world. But they wanted to posess the entire universe. They are composite telepathic intelligences. They grow a crystalline structure inside their host which acts as a parallel nervous system and becomes a new Crialan intelligence. The first thing they do on infecting a new host is to take control of the immune system, but they are unable to cope with changes in the immune system caused by rapid growth. Time Lords are naturally immune to them. They can posess a body and supress its immune system. Such a body is invulnerable to blasters like K9's, but are vunerable to being wrapped up in a scarf. They They developed time travel about the same time the Time Lords did. The Time Lords edited them out of history because they planned to travel back in time and infect the entire universe from the beginning of time. A small number of Crialans survived by entering stasis on board a Lorq vaultship before the Time Lords wiped their timeline. The Doctor notes that the Time Lords stole some aspects of Crialan time travel technology in the process. The Doctor leaves the last two Crialans in existence in perpetual stasis on board the Collateral Security. The Crialans claim to be the earliest life form in the universe.

Aesulac was developed at the Gwendoline Talwinning Memorial Institute. Based on Nanotechnology, it makes on the spot analysis and develops an antidote. Blood samples from patients are sent back to the institute to ensure that each batch is better than the previous one. Unfortunately, it sometimes cures something nasty by creating something nastier. This happens only once in ten million cases.

The TARDIS can connect with stasis generators. While stasis generators slow time down, this can speed up time and slow it down again several times over. Crialian hosts change to keep in parallel with the host. Under time stresses like this, such action forces them to let go of the immune system - which then fights back.

Draconians (Frontier in Space) can suffer from a rare condition in which they grow new scales before the old ones have moulted.

Links: Passengers on the vaultship include a Draconian (first seen in Frontier in Space). The Gwendoline Talwinning Memorial Institute is in memory of the girl the Doctor saved by messing about with history in Continuity Errors. The Doctor says he'll never ask for help from his people after the last time (presumably a reference to The War Games, though the most recent occasion was actually Frontier in Space/Planet of the Daleks). The Doctor refers to the original K9 and Professor Marius (The Invisible Enemy).

Location: The Lorq vaultship Collateral Security at least a generation after Continuity Errors.

The Bottom Line: After the comic highlights of Fegovy and Continuity Errors, Timevault plunges back into World Distributors territory for a particularly drab story. The Crialans relationship with the Time Lords feels like another idea designed to ape the New Adventures, but a similar theme is explored to much greater effect in Sky Pirates!

I liked it, even though it's utterly lightweight.

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Features the Fifth Doctor and Turlough between Resurrection of the Daleks and Planet of Fire

Author: Craig Hinton

Roots: I don't have a clue.

Technobabble: cyber-psionic argument, psi-bit versus psi-bit. The TARDIS has Dynamorpic relays, which the Doctor has been adjusting. Reverse-spin imaginary chronons. Tau-meson carrier wave. Tachyon decelerator. Cherenkov backlash (an effect causing a green glow - there is actual Cherenkov radiation, but it has a blue glow). Tachyon-chronon flux relays. High-energy photon beam laced with anti-quarks (this bit actually makes some scientific sense).

Continuity: Tegan left the TARDIS weeks ago. Since then the Doctor has been scowling at everyone.

The only things that can influence a TARDIS are another TARDIS and the Matrix [a simplification on the part of the Doctor]. The Doctor's TARDIS has enough safeguards in it to prevent another TARDIS from influencing it. A helmic regulator is an essential component (it stabilizes the beam of chronons as they enter the Vortex, though Drax probably doesn't have one. The Doctor has been adjusting the Dynamorphic relays.

The spline is a beam supposed to stretch between the beginning and the end of time. It is much more advanced not only than Sontaran Osmic Projectors, but also than early Gallifreyan time scaphes and scoops. It is a stream of coherent temporal energy composed of reverse-spin tachyon chronons that runs from the very beginning to the very end of time and allows the user to access any era and take resources from it.

Heracletus is nowhere near any habitable planets, so it is rarely visited by alien species. Ts'ril (Timevault) helped professor Ullius design the Spline beginning ten years ago [his knowledge of time travel being gained from his infection by the Crialans and what he saw of the TARDIS], but he died before the work was completed.. Two years ago, the idea was presented to the Presidium. Hotampa University is on Heracletus.

The Time Lords time-looped Heracletus to prevent the creation of the Spline, but the time loop was imperfect, creating multiple alternate realities within it and trapping the Doctor's TARDIS, which the Heracletes within the time loop realities used to create the Spline. In one such reality, the Doctor is an agent for Gallifrey who goes by the name of the Savant and uses a time ring (Genesis of the Daleks) [Turlough hypothesizes that the Savant is created from the Doctor's insecurities by the TARDIS telepathic circuits]. The collapse of the time loop creates a massive temporal rift, which the Doctor decides to leave for the Time Lords to deal with (see And Eternity In An Hour).

Turlough knows that transmats are in use on all civilised worlds. His teachers at Brendan include Peterson and Dribb. Shanty towns can be found surrounding palaces on Trion.

Sontarans do not sweat.

Links: The Doctor mentions acting president Flavia (The Five Doctors). The spline is the direct result of the arrival of Ts'ril from Timevault. The Doctor recalls how Erato was used on Chloris (The Creature from the Pit). He also recalls Davros (Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks, Ressurection of the Daleks), Greel (The Talons of Weng Chiang) and Whitaker (Invasion of the Dinosaurs). The Doctor thinks of the Master, the Rani and Drax (The Armageddon Factor). There have been encounters with Sontarans and Rutan since Tegan left (Lords of the Storm). There are also references to the Black Guardian and Brendan school (Mawdryn Undead), Solos (The Mutants), and Tegan. The Doctor refers to his presidency of Gallifrey.

Location: The city Hotampa on the planet Heracletus. About a Lorq lifetime time after the previous story.

Future History: The Utilitats around the end of the 60th century are similar to Eastern Bloc cities in the twentieth century as well as one of the cities on Heracletus.

Unrecorded Adventures: Since Tegan left, the Doctor and Turlough have had a so-called holiday on the Matasian Pleasure Rings and an expedition up Mount Gysis, which have not improved the Doctor's mood.

The Bottom Line: 'For a moment I had the strangest sense of déjá vu.' Set towards the end of the Fifth Doctor's era and featuring a threat to the stability of the Time Vortex, Zeitgeist feels like Hinton's The Crystal Bucephalus (slight return). Nevertheless, it's engaging enough and considerably better than many of the stories it shares the volume with. As usual, Hinton's characterisation of the regulars is exemplary.

A good story, if a little confused at the end. The Doctor's comments at the end potentially provide a way out of the loop of consequences - which kind of destroys the point of the collection. There is a lot of good characterisation, especially in the case of the Savant.

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Writer: Stephen Moffat

Continuity: The Doctor has a panic button in case a culture becomes aware of his existence; he travels back in time and establishes himself as a fictional character in the mythology of that particular world. One such example is the Intelligent Tree Spores of Xandar 6, who follow his adventures in their weekly bark carvings.

Links: The Doctor stranded Professor Candy (Continuity Errors) in Birmingham in 1996. [Professor Candy is Steven Moffat.]

The Bottom Line: A nice touch to the end of the book, which adds to the pleasure of reading Continuity Errors.

An amusing epilogue to Continuity Errors that provides a pleasant coda to the volume.

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Discontinuity Guide by Stephen Gray and Paul Clarke
You visited the Whoniverse at 5:03 am GMT on Friday 16th December 2005