The Discontinuity Guide
The Eighth Doctor Adventures

ED03 The Bodysnatchers

August 1997

cover

Author: Mark Morris

Editor: Stephen Cole

Roots: Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

Goofs: On page 52, the Doctor flashes a warning glance at Sam, even though she's not there.

If the Zygon ship needs to breath oxygen to survive, then how does it survive when it is in space?

How does Tuval keep Sam's form after she's been released?

Technobabble: Organic crystallography. Trilangic flange oscillator with detachable spirons.

Dialogue Disasters: Sam: 'They're quite sweet when they're not eating people, aren't they?'

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: 'In fact, you'll be one of the coolest people around. The 1890s equivalent of a ... a Spice Girl'
Sam: 'I think I'd better take that as a compliment. Otherwise I might end up giving you a slap.'

Sam: 'Penicillin. Haven't you heard of it, Sergeant?'
Sergeant Tomkins: 'Can't say as I have, miss.'
The Doctor: 'I'm not surprised. It hasn't been invented yet.'

Litefoot: 'I have a number of questions that I would rather like to ask you.'
The Doctor: People always do.'

Sam: 'He's like that. Untidy. Forgetful. Thoughtless. Downright annoying sometimes.'

Litefoot: 'I see, or rather, I don't'

The Doctor: 'Travelling with me is not some kind of endurance test, Sam. You don't get points for the number of atrocities you can witness before teatime.'

The Doctor: 'You're as sane as I am.'
Litefoot: 'Very reassuring.'

The Doctor: 'Sometimes pride and stupidity are indistinguishable.'

The Doctor: 'How are you feeling?'
Sam: 'Like something disgusting has been trying to suck out my brain.'
The Doctor: 'Excellent. You're not delusional.'

Sam: 'Hi, Mum and Dad: having a great time. Here's me wearing an alien mind-sucking device. Wish you were here.'

Continuity: The Doctor is no longer a vegetarian. He appears to know random facts about a person and their future. He carries Delphonian (Spearhead from Space) coinage called dur'alloi. He claims to have never been to Paraguay. He brought two daxamoil suits from a Verulonian dealer on Peluvia. Once you put it on, it moulds instantly to your shape. It's self-sealing, flexible, waterproof, and fireproof, and automatically keeps the body of its wearer at the optimum temperature for their particular species. After three or four hours, the daxamoil would become more brittle and dense, and deteriorate flake by flake. He also has a Prydian flare - coated in dilumium and waterproof. Sam is still 17.

The Zygons come from the planet Zygor, destroyed in a stellar explosion, which is part of a star cluster in the Biphaelides System. In their natural state, they have perfectly smooth maggot-like skin, and are less agressive. They are hermaphrodites. Each adult can produce and self-fertilise its own eggs, which it lays in clusters of five to twenty-five up to four times throughout its lifetime. They are rigidly divided into warrior-engineers, scientists, and civilians. To become a warrior-engineer (which is a great honour), they must undergo the ritual of sterilisation, turning them into a more agressive and larger orange form. Every Zygon has a sting, which it can use to stun, paralyse, or kill. They have the technology to alter their appearance to imitate individuals. They use the Skarasen as weapons and live off their milk. Skarasen are engineered to live for millennia. Zygons are very partial to board games. Their average lifespan is in the range of 700-1000 years. Their commanders do not abandon a course of action once it has been initiated. Their scientists have achieved telepathic abilities. If they are killed when disguised as a member of another species, then the alien they are imitating may be automatically released. Their spacecraft are manufactured nonsentient lifeforms, which have breathing holes. They have long spider-like legs.

Links: The Doctor mentions that Sam's room used to belong to Nyssa. Professor Litefoot met the Doctor in The Talons of Weng Chiang. The Doctor mentions that Leela is married with children (Lungbarrow). Sam mentions the events of Vampire Science. The Doctor mentions Tegan. The Doctor mentions the destruction of his previous sonic screwdriver (The Visitation). He hums a Draconian lament. The Draconians first appeared in Frontier in Space. He recalls Ace telling him that he must have a homing pigeon in his head. He also uses a Venusian Lullaby (The Curse of Peladon), and briefly mentions his encounter with the fourth Doctor from The Eight Doctors

Location: London, January 1894.

Unrecorded Adventures: A number of the Doctor's friends invented slide fasteners, cylinder phonographs, and pneumatic tyres - some of them without his help. He has fixed the state of grace circuitry, and added a stasis circuit to trap intruders. He used all his other Pridian flares at the Festival of N'Tapu on his last visit to Kakara. The locals thought that he was trying to assassinate the High P'nbar.

The Bottom Line: 'Standards must be maintained, particularly if one is about to be introduced to foreigners.' The Bodysnatchers is well-written, with lots of good prose. However, the plot is fairly simplistic and the characterisation is adequate rather than outstanding. It's an enjoyable read, but don't expect exceptional quality.

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