The Discontinuity Guide
The Eighth Doctor Adventures

Kursaal

January 1998

Kursaal cover

Author: Peter Anghelides

Editor: Stephen Cole

Roots: Werewolf stories. HALF are inspired by animal rights activists and direct-action campaigners. One of the worlds of the Chronos system is called Trantor, which is the name of a planet in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. The idea of the TARDIS returning to the same place to continue the adventure comes from The Ark. There are references to Lindt chocolate, Disneyland, Babylon 5, Alice in Wonderland, Swan Vestas, the Titanic, Manhattan, Thunderbirds, Neighbours, the Sydney Opera House, Panorama, Sir David Attenborough, The Bill, Prime Suspect, Gordon the gopher, and Batman.

Goofs: Given that the Doctor and Sam are clearly not where he intended to be, why is the Doctor so sure that he's landed on Kursaal before it was built rather than on a completely different planet?

The Doctor's account of his lessons for the Mars-Venus Shuttle Flight don't make sense. Firstly, he says that he forgot that Uranus spins on its side when Uranus is nowhere near any sensible route between Mars and Venus, and then - having said that he had paid for ten monthly lessons, he remembers his instructor telling him "same time next week, Doctor?"

Sam's eyes change from being blue to being green back to being blue, though this could be a side-effect of the Jax virus.

The Jax apparently waited for humanoid life to return to Saturnia Regna before coming back to life. However, the book establishes that there were humanoid inhabitants of the planet before Kursaal was brought up by the Gray Corporation.

Technobabble: Medium-range quadrodatum compression on a tightly focused premium-subspace frequency.

Dialogue Disasters: Sam swears: "Gordon Christ!" and then she apologises about her language, which is particularly odd because she later thinks a proper swear word.

'Double poo with extra poo on top.'

Dialogue Triumphs: Cockaigne: 'I hope you don't live to regret it.'
The Doctor: 'If I live, then I will have nothing to regret.'

Continuity: Gray Corporation, owned by Maximilian Gray, owns the planet Saturnia Regna, and heads a consortium of major Chronus financial houses who want to convert the planet into Kursaal, a Class Two leisure world. The brochure for Kursaal calls it Kursaal, the Pleasure Planet of a Thousand Worlds. The corporation legally bought up the planet from the local subsistence farmer colonists. The original plan was to divide the planet into sections, each one based on a different culture from the Chronus System. These include an ice world, a technological city block, a desert world full of nomadic dwellings, a sea world, plantations stripped from Cenima, a patch of Golden Desert taken from Apang, and a section where all the water was drained from the northern-hemisphere lakes on Trantor in order to get the chemical balance right. For its first few years, it struggled because of huge development debts. However, it was then scaled down designed around a series of white-knuckle space rides and themed leisure holidays. Attractions include the WaterPark, the ActionPark, the SportsPark, ZooPark (which contains the Jax Drones), FestivalPark, and the ThemePark. The ThemePark is based around the cultures of the Chronus system including a ride telling the history of the Jax.

HALF, which stands for Helping All Life Forms are a protest group who have been disrupting and sabotaging Gray Corp's qork on Saturnia Regna because they want the planet's native life forms preserved. They have lots of non-humanoid members, including piscines, reptilians, fish, and monopodes

The Jax are a legendary race of the Chronus system who are believed to have died out over a thousand years ago. The Jax were, in fact, a virus that injects enzymes to convert the another life form into a Jax. Humanoids infected by the Jax virus came to Saturnia Regna and built "the cathedral" on the planet, complete with a visual information system.. The humanoids were killed off by the native wolves, who became carriers of the Jax virus and then went into hibernation until humanoids returened. When a corpse is infected with the Jax virus, it begins to transform into a wolf. When a living being is infected, the transformation requires moonlight in order to take full effect. There are two types of Jax, the Jax Drones, and the Pack Leader, who does all the thinking. Left for long enough without a pack leader, the Drones will become real wolves. When a Drone is killed, it will revert to the appearance of the original host, whilst a Pack Leader will retain its lupine form. The Jax symbol is thirteen bright stones in a crescent shape.

Fodorans have yellow hair and blue skin. Brascan hermaphrodites look like orang-utans in boiler suits. Emorgans are humanoid aliens. Haxalians rotate their forehead antennae as a sign of agitation. Caballans are long-faced and have horselike nostrils. They have hind legs with hooves. Geomyde are rat-headed humanoids with fluffy brown cheeks which Sam compares to giant chipmunks. Angorans have pink fluffy hair.

Sam's mum once replaced the Greenpeace magazine clippings at the bottom of her knickers drawer with wallpaper offcuts. Sam thinks that this was the last time she had a good sulk. Her dad thinks that her mum's evening classes are all prewar Freudian mumbo-jumbo. She refers to Galileo as "the guy who discovered America", but she may be just teasing the Doctor. She claims that haemoglobin is the word she finds most difficult to spell. When she was in Year Nine, Sam held hands with John Govan on the way back from the Coal Hill disco. En route, she snuggled up to the fake-fur collar of his overcoat. They sat on the bench outside Woolies and he failed to take her hints about having a snog. Sam later told her friends that he is a rotten kisser. Her room in the TARDIS has a tall oak wardrobe. She has an uncle Norman, who does an embarrassing party piece. She failed Year Seven biology. Her eyes are blue (as in The Eight Doctors rather than green as in Alien Bodies). She once tried to set up a Coal Hill Friends of the Earth group. She once had a trainee or supply teacher called Mr Bisham who was Australian and eight years older than her. She liked him because he represented wild Australia, where she'd always wanted to go, despite not having been further than France. Her friend Melissa probably did fancy him, but she fancied anybody from south of Dover. The teacher left after three months. She is so helpless with computers that when her dad bought her a mouse mat, she asked whether it was for Windows or Mac. She has never been in an interrogation room before. She has taught herself to palm objects. When she was little, her mum had a dog called Plato.

Sam's dad used to work for the Blood Transfusion Service, and one of the few thingx she remembers him approving of was when she went down to the community service and gave blood. [This may be a memory from "Dark Sam", as "Blonde Sam" appears to have got the political activism that defines her character from her parents.] The worst swear word she's ever heard her dad use was "oh cripes" when Melissa Donoghue fainted when giving blood, and illegitimi nil carborundum when people were getting at Sam. He knew a lot of latin, thinking it useful for doctors, and once asked Sam's headmaster why they didn't teach it at Coal Hill.

The Doctor has told Sam that he never forgets a route that he has committed to memory, and says that he doesn't always remember to commit it to memory in the first place. His pockets contain a conker on a piece of frayed brown bootlace, a pair of marigold gloves, a browning apple core, and a round tin of travel sweets containing everlasting matches (see the novelisation of The Daleks). Both he and Sam have torches. Later on, his pockets contain various scraps of paper, a pair of coloured gloves, two marbles, and a pencil torchlight. Following the bomb attack, his heart rate is seventy percent below human normal, breathing a quarter of human normal, and his temperature abnormally low by human standards.

The TARDIS Information System contains information about the history of Kursaal. When Sam asks the Doctor if it contains any information about her future, he claims that it's full of useless information, not very well indexed, and anyway he could only afford the abridged version. [This evasiveness may be partly a reaction to events in Alien Bodies.]

Links: The Doctor remembers having an umbrella, a reference to the one that the Seventh Doctor used to carry. The Doctor isn't fond of hospitals, he says that he supposes you could call it birth trauma (Enemy Within). Sam remembers killing a Tractite in self-defence (Genocide), and she still hasn't been able to tell the Doctor about it. The Doctor mentions having taken a medical degree several lifetimes ago (The Moonbase). Saraband uses a flitter (Original Sin). Sam thinks that she hasn't been so helpless since she was locked up by the Daleks on Skaro (War of the Daleks). Visitors to Kursaal include an Alpha Centaurian (The Curse of Peladon, The Monster of Peladon, Legacy) and some Ogrons (Day of the Daleks, Frontier in Space, The Romance of Crime). A medical team think that there is at least a fifty percent chance that the Doctor is human, and an actor in the Jax History ride says that he's half-Alsatian on his mother's side (both references to the half-human line in Enemy Within).

Location: The planet Saturnia Regna at an unknown point in the future.

Future History: By this point, technology includes comms links that show the location of those connected to it, planetary sat-links are standard communication technology, and there are devices that use a submedia carrier and are never out of contact over a direct line of three to five kilometres, even underground. Notesheet technology is used for writing things down, but power fluctuations can throw up all the annotations. Interplanetary newsfeeds are broadcast in a three-dimensional format and viewed via a cube which you can turn around to see the other side of somebody or something. Saraband has never heard of French or the Titanic.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor says that he was once told that you can't teach a man anything, you can only help him to find it within himself. He attributes it to Galileo (whom he met in The Empire of Glass). When the Doctor was training for his Mars-Venus shuttle certificate, he paid upfront for ten monthly lessons, each lesson taking an entire day. His instructor was Frajnar Kumbolo, an old soldier from the original Dalek wars. Halfway through his first lesson, the Doctor forgot that Uranus spins on its side and misjudged his route between the delta and gamma rings. He tried to adjust at the last minute but pulled out into the path of a fleet of solar yachts and then across the bow of a Mars freighter. Finally, he crash-landed into a caldera on Umbriel. The Doctor says that he hasn't been to Chawara for at least 300 years.

The Bottom Line: 'There are no protected species on this planet.' Kursaal is, quite frankly, forgettable. There are werewolfve, there's a leisure world, there are a couple of actual characters for parts of the novel, and there are a few chase sequences. Kursaal might have worked extremely well had it been a TV script in the traditional Doctor Who format, but it's too sparse to fill a novel.

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