The Discontinuity Guide
The Eighth Doctor Adventures
Author: Paul Leonard
Editor: Stephen Cole
Roots: All those stories where history gets wiped out.
Goofs: The Doctor's claim that the only bits of reality existing are two bits of Africa a million years apart makes very little sense. Fair enough that the first divergence point still exists, but why should the second point - who's existence depends on a particular outcome in the first timezone - still exist? Also, if there's nothing between them, how can the Doctor send a message from the earlier period to the later period?
Technobabble: The Universe is depicted as quasi-stable flux interference by the TARDIS. Chronon-wave asynchronous transmission. The Doctor's explanation on page 155 of why the divergent universe is causing major temporal trouble. Minerals on Tractis include Xantium and Cardinium.
Dialogue Disasters: The Doctor: 'Can you possibly help us? We seem to have mislaid our planet.'
Dialogue Triumphs: Jo's thoughts: 'First she'd saved the universe with the Doctor; then she'd saved the world with Cliff; now she was raising her son in a two-bedroomed flat in Hackney with two jobs and a bedroom that needed decorating and a roof that needed retiling and hadn't life been supposed to get better?'
Jo: 'This was freedom: to sit in your own kitchen, making a cup of your own cheap nasty tea.'
Jo 'wondered if she was walking into a trap. She'd always been good at that.'
The Doctor on Hynes: 'He wasn't responsible. He looked insane to me.'
Sam on Paratractis: 'It was still Earth, really, but it was still wild
too - can you understand that?'
Jo: 'Maybe you just didn't recognise the alien corners.'
The Doctor: 'You're killing me because you're afraid.'
Mauvril: 'I'm not killing you. I'm going to have you executed.'
The Doctor: 'It's the same thing. It only means you're afraid of pulling the trigger yourself.'
Continuity: Tractites are half-horse, half-ox. They have strange limbs, three-fingered hands, and four large eyes. Those on Paratractis have Keepers - one for every city in the galaxy - and they are responsible to watch for the Uncreator, a mythical figure who will destroy their existence. They must decide whether a stranger resembling the Uncreator is or isn't.
Sam has developed the "Jones-Richter Scale". 1 means the Doctor has misdirected the TARDIS. 5 means that he has landed them in the middle of a war zone. 10 means that he has accidentally destroyed the universe. She says that she's only seventeen. Her parents abandoned her to go on political protests.
The Doctor knows who Rowenna is, and about Jo's son Matthew. He claims that he hasn't seen Jo for about 300 years. The TARDIS console room a hundred clocks, a model train set [not the one from Short Trips: Model Train Set], gramaphones, a chair with a crown, a phonograph, a ticker-tape machine, and a red crescent first aid kit (hidden behind the harpsichord) - which just happens to have the stuff needed to wipe out Hayes' virus.
If a being from an unstable timeline, or one that is subsequently destroyed, travels out of it in a TARDIS, then they continue to exist even when their timeline is destroyed.
The time trees that the Tractites discovered are six feet tall, have orange leaves, and an appetite for heavy metals. Picking off a fruit allows travel back in time, though you cannot control it very well.
Links: Sam notes that the label on the Doctor's clothes (which he claims to have picked up on Saville Row 1892) says Party Funtime, San Fransisco, and he also mentions the boots he was given by Grace (both from Enemy Within). The Doctor recalls buying a pair of wings in the 2108 January sales (Speed of Flight). Sam mentions Zygons (The Bodysnatchers), Vampires (Vampire Science) and the Doctor's stories about Daleks. Jo recalls her life with Cliff (The Green Death), and both Jo and Rowenna make references to Jo's adventures wihth the Doctor - including Terror of the Autons, The Claws of Axos, Day of the Daleks, Planet of the Daleks, and Dancing the Code. She also recalls the effects of alien viruses from a number of incidents. There are references to Earth Reptiles, Draconians, Ice Warriors, Zygons, and Davros.
Location: Paratractis (a parallel Earth), 1st January 2108; San Fransisco 1997; Kilgai in Tanzania, Hackney, and UNIT UK HQ June 1997; The Rift Valley, Africa at least 2.5 million years BC, and 1 million years before that.
Future History: In the 23rd Century, they publish sperm-whale songlines. During the period of the Empire, humans commit genocide on Tractis because a few Tractites refused to bow to the exploitation of their race.
Unrecorded Adventures: The TARDIS contains the throne of a pretender to the title of the Earth Empress in the early fourth Millennium. The Doctor has visited Tractis. He says that he always wanted to visit the Rift Valley, Africa, at about this stage.
The Bottom Line: 'We all have to be Daleks sometimes.' One of the better early Eighth Doctor books, with strong, adult, themes throughout. Sam's and Kitig's indecision about destroying the other's race, and the horrific crimes on both sides give this book a sense of gritty realism, and horrific imagery. The plot is good, the characters are good, and you're left wondering who was actually in the right.
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