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The Discontinuity Guide
The Eighth Doctor Adventures


August 2003

Timeless cover

Author: Stephen Cole

Roots: There are references to Bollywood. , Holst's The Planets, This Island Earth, DEFRA, Kit-Kats, Bond villain Blofeld, Einstein, Tom Jones Delilah, the Evening Standard, Crimewatch, Princess Diana, Danger Man, Michael Heseltine, Greek myths (Charon, the Styx and Hades), Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Magoo, Riverdance, the Monkees, Dean Martin, Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese, Leslie Phillips, Tigger, Terminator 2, Michael Schumacher, The Dambusters, James Bond, PG Tips, Quentin Tarantino, The A-Team, Animal Hospital, Christopher Marlowe, Phillip Marlowe, Tarzan, Jules Verne, Casualty, M. C. Escher, Barbarella, Caeser, Dr. Doolittle, Austin Powers, and the Chemical Brothers. Guy's boss Mike seems to have been heavily influence by Colin Hunt of The Fast Show fame.

Goofs: The antiquarian bookshop to which the Doctor returns Fitz's journal appears to be located on Charing Cross Road; it was located in the Euston Road in Time Zero. Sabbath's apes included Gorillas and Orangutans, which contradicts the origin of the apes from The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

Dialogue Disasters: The Doctor calls Sabbath a 'lazy get.'

Dialogue Triumphs: 'A survivor is that how you think of me? Spared the fire I dont survive, Anji. I only endure. Death has forgotten me. I celebrate life. I defend it, treasure it, preserve it, whenever I can. Because because all I can do is feed from it. Perhaps in order to die, you have to truly live. Not muddle by in this patchwork, vampiric existence I cling to.'

Continuity: The destruction of Gallifrey (The Ancestor Cell) contaminated other planets with temporal fallout, killing most lifeforms on those planets. Jamais survived the contamination of his planet, but exposure to raw time gave him the ability to travel through time and between dimensions at will. He adopts the shape of a dog whilst on Earth, since this is similar to his real shape. He has a respiratory bypass system. Chloe and Erasmus are Time Lords who survived the destruction of Gallifrey; like the Doctor's, their second hearts shriveled and died (The Adventuress of Henrietta Street). Because Gallifrey no longer exists, Chloe is permanently trapped in the body of a little girl. Erasmus refers to the Doctor as the Blessed Destroyer since he believes that Gallifrey was rotten and needed to be destroyed. Erasmus has a TARDIS with a functioning chameleon circuit, which disguises itself as a tree. They have met other survivors [suggesting that the assertion by the Man With the Rosette in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street that there are 'only four of us now' is not a reference to Time Lords]. The origin of the mysterious book that Chloe carries is not revealed. When Chloe tried to look at the last page, the book twisted her eyes out of shape as punishment.

Sabbath refuses to dream, seeing sleep as a necessary function not to be polluted with unnecessary sentiment. The materialization of the TARDIS inside the Jonah causes a gravity bubble (Logopolis). Sabbath's plan is finally revealed; his masters claimed to be humans from the future, helping Sabbath to make humanity inherit the mantle of the Time Lords. They first contacted Sabbath when he was initiated into the Service. With Sabbath's help, they create a genetic key (Guy) to unlock the potential contained with the diamonds at the point of the universe's creation, seeding the fabric of the universe with this force, which will permeate the universe so that when sentient life evolves the essence will be a part of it. Sabbath describes this essence as a genetic directive that will recognise any evolution deemed unacceptable and modify it along human lines. His various alliances with aliens (The Infinity Race) were therefore made with the knowledge that in the resurrected universe, they would no longer exist. Ultimately, humanity would rise all across the cosmos. In fact, Sabbath has been manipulated by his masters all along; his assistant and ally Kalicum places a different, non-human essence within the diamonds Having thus been betrayed and seeing his plans come to nothing, Sabbath resolves to pit himself against his former masters.

The identity of Sabbath's masters is still not revealed, although they have mastered time travel and have the technology to seed the entire universe with their essence from the dawn of history (hmm). Kalicum is not human, but has adopted a human form. He appears to be crystalline in his true form. It is not clear whether he is one of Sabbath's masters or merely one of their servants. As a result of Jamais jealousy, their plan succeeds, although the consequences of this remain to be seen.

The Wraiths inhabit the Vortex. They are dying due to the pollution of the Vortex by a new presence that has been present since the beginning of time (the presence seeded throughout time and space from the Big Bang by Sabbath's masters).

It is implied (although not explicitly stated) that the Doctor remembers the events of The Ancestor Cell as a result of Chloe jogging his memory. The Doctor returns himself and his companions to their native reality by traveling back to the Big Bang and then navigating through the dimensions from the origin of history. The alternate timelines generated by the events of Time Zero finally collapse, restoring the universe to a single timeline once more. The Doctor finally returns Fitz's journal to the second hand bookshop in the London of 1938. To avoid being recognized when he later buys the book, he dons a false Rhett Butler-style moustache, an eye-patch, and a collapsible top hat. The Doctor wears a vest. Prior to travelling back to the Big Bang in a last ditch attempt to return to his own reality, he provides his companions with cocoa that he has secretly drugged so that he can face either the moment of discovery or his end alone. The Doctor repeats his old party trick of looking into somebody's eyes and telling them their past or future (Doctor Who). He carries a Gladstone Bag brimming with medical equipment including a stethoscope and a healing ointment that customizes itself to the DNA profile of its first user; when Guy uses it on his nephew against the Doctor's instructions, the boy ends up looking like a younger version of Guy as a result! The Doctor drinks lager shandy.

Fitz makes a film of the various alternate Earths before they are destroyed, so that somebody will remember them. He and Trix star in the film, playing themselves, the Doctor and Anji, whilst Anji films them. He entitles the film These Islands Earth, or, How the Universe Was Won (We Hope). The Doctor accidentally slams a door into Fitz's nose, possibly breaking it.

With reality finally restored to its proper timeline, Anji leaves the TARDIS crew to return to her old life. Chloe persuades Anji to adopt her and Jamais, and introduces her to Greg, whom she predicts Anji is going to get to know a lot better. Chloe persuades Trix to arrange forgeries of birth certificates and adoption papers for her and Anji.

Trix's full name is possibly Beatrice MacMillan, although she specializes in false identities. She occasionally uses the names Mac and Trixie. She loves performing of all kinds, including acting and carrying out confidence tricks. Beneath the various wigs she often wears, her real hair is short, blonde and spiky. She has been using her time hidden in the TARDIS to conduct business ventures. She poses as a crone in the canteen where Guy works. She wears high heels and black evening gown whilst in the TARDIS. She and Fitz adopt the aliases of Ralf and Susan Canonshire in order to investigated Daniel Basalt's organisation. She also adopts the alias Beatrice Montgomery. Trix claims that chocolate helps her to concentrate, but later says that the caffeine in chocolate affects her concentration span She takes advantage of having access to time travel technology to win the National Lottery whenever she needs money. Generously, she gives Guy a winning lottery ticket as a farewell gift. She has a numbered bank account in twenty-first century London.

Amongst the multiple realities generated by the events of Time Zero, the TARDIS chronometers won't function away from Earth, since this is the planet the history of which she is most familiar with. Fitz finds a foldaway canvas chair in the TARDIS.

Links: Timeless wraps up the alternate universe plotlines of Time Zero, The Infinity Race, The Domino Effect, Reckless Engineering and The Last Resort. Trix first appeared in Time Zero and was discovered in the TARDIS by the Doctor in The Last Resort. Fitz refers to his trip to Siberia (Time Zero). Trying to return to his own universe, the Doctor considers steering the TARDIS through a Charged Vacuum Emboitement (Full Circle, Logopolis). The capsule used to deliver the diamonds to the Big Bang is made of Dwarf Star Alloy (Warriors Gate).

Location: London, 1938 and 2003; and the beginning of the universe.

The Bottom Line: Competent, but dull. Despite the importance of Timeless to the range, Cole concentrates on characterisation at the expense of the plot, meaning that such landmark events as the possible restoration of the Doctor's memory are glossed over. As an exercise in wrapping up the alternate history arc, it works adequately enough, but it raises just as many questions as it answers and disappointingly fails to deliver on the promise of an explanation as to just whom Sabbath is working for.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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