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The Discontinuity Guide
The Missing Adventures

Goth Opera

July 1994

Goth Opera cover

(Features the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan between Snakedance and Mawdryn Undead. It follows on from events in the New Adventure Blood Harvest)

Author: Paul Cornell

Editor: Rebecca Levene

Roots: The vampires here demonstrate a mixture of traits from traditional and modern vampire stories, including Dracula, Nosferatu, and The Lost Boys. There are references to Michael Caine, Sega, W. G. Grace, the Manchester Evening News, Delia Smith, Evita, A. A. Milne, Roger Moore, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, and Jackie Collins. Tegan is reading Primo Levi's If This is a Man. Whilst on his cricketing holiday in Tasmania the Doctor plays against Mike Gatting.

Dialogue Triumphs: 'I didn't kill your friend. I don't intend to kill you. That's my handicap, you see, I try not to kill anybody.'

Continuity: The vampires seen here can fly and instantly heal injuries, including broken bones. Jake guesses that they are between three- and four-hundred vampires in Britain. Each vampire is only allowed to convert three people during their whole existence. They can summon others of their kind by spitting a fine mist of blood, which is carried on the wind. They can dissolve themselves into mist and change shape [and mass]. Vampire DNA is contagious; the flowers growing on top of Yarven's grave are affected by it. Ruath explains that faith affects vampires because it affects the transition between the quantum and classical states of physics in the humanoid mind (see The Curse of Fenric). She further notes that, based on this principle, Ice Warriors cannot perceive vampires. Garlic has the same effect. The Doctor claims that in large enough doses, both faith and garlic can make a vampire vanish from the world entirely. Beheaded vampires disintegrate into dust (see State of Decay) because, like Time Lords, their bioplasmic fields are diffused throughout their bodies, but are centered on the human brain stem; once that stem is severed from the body, the field collapses. Vampires' stomachs are bigger on the inside. They have an overwhelming urge to sleep during the daytime, due to their susceptibility to sunlight. They cannot cross running water (the Doctor traps Madeleine inside a loop of hosepipe). They cannot live on animal blood alone without falling into a fugue. A new vampire only properly becomes a vampire on the first full moon following their conversion; prior to this, they will revert to normal if the vampire who converts them is destroyed. They are, of course, telepathic. They still obey the physical laws that were laid down for them in the first moments of the universe's creation (the Doctor hypothesizes that the Black Guardian had a hand in their creation).

Yarven is the Vampire Messiah; the Great Vampire predicted his coming when he met Rassilon and named him as his successor. Details of this meeting are recorded in a book from the Dark Time bearing the Great Seal on its cover, which Ruath possesses. The prophecy predicts that the Vampire Messiah would be entombed on the world that will be called Ravalox (see The Trial of a Time Lord), where he will be joined by a Prydonian Lady (Ruath). The prophecy also states that the Great Vampire's final death by sunlight will prelude the coming of the Vampire Messiah. It is unclear exactly when Yarven arrived on Earth, but Ruath states that every vampire on Earth in 1993 is descended from him. He came to Britain in the nineteen-forties, then traveled to Croatia, where he was captured and buried alive in a forest. Whilst in Britain, he warned the vampires present at that time of Ruath's coming, as laid down by the prophecy. Ruath restores Yarven by giving him an infusion of her own blood, thus providing him with symbiotic nuclei (The Two Doctors). She also treats him with Numismaton as to aid his recovery (Planet of Fire).

Ruath has studied vampires for many years, beginning when she was part of a research team studying texts from Rassilon's time. She discovered in a volume of R. O. O. (Rassilon, Omega, Other) stories an illustration of an owl being overcome by a bat, the owl being a bird associated with Rassilon (see Human Nature). Investigating further, she discovered that the Great Vampire bit Rassilon when they met, and that Rassilon was thus a vampire towards the end of his life. She claims that this is why Time Lords and vampires share ninety-eight percent of the same genes and why regeneration technology is similar to natural vampire traits. She subsequently discovered that in the ducts and serviceways of the Capitols there are still used vampire shrines, used by small groups of heretics who keep alive the cult of Rassilon the Vampire. She claims that Rassilon deliberately became an initiate of the Great Vampire, knowing that the Time Lords had entered an evolutionary blind alley, and were destined to become extinct. Ruath claims that he knew that the Undead were destined to become the dominant life form in the universe and lays Undead, waiting in his tomb for that time. She also claims that he created Agonal (from Blood Harvest), although she also claims that Agonal is an Eternal, and a disembodied energy matrix. Yarven claims that Agonal was his father. Gallifrey no longer exists in relative time by the twentieth century, only in the far distant past.

Ruathadvorophrenaltid calls herself Ruath for short. She is a Prydonian. She was in the class of 92 at the Prydonian Academy, the year above the Doctor. He remembers her as being sincere and compassionate. She refers to the Doctor and his classmates as graduates of Borusa's Academy for scoundrels, and mentions Mortimus (the Meddling Monk - see No Future), the Rani, and that idiot Magnus (the War Chief - see Divided Loyalties). Her TARDIS disguises itself as a pylon, an old well, and Castle Yarven. The console room is decorated with oak paneling and black leather padding. She carries bioplasmic data processors, datapod viruses that hook into the memories of individual cells and tap into the racial memory. They require the blood of a virgin to be effective. She also carries a staser pistol. Ruath wears the sigil ring of the Great Vampire, recognized by undead all over the cosmos, which she found bound into the spine of a book made out of human flesh. The ring was made form the command circuitry of Rassilon's lead bow-ship, ripped out of the deck by the Great Vampire himself, and can reactivate any of Rassilon's personal technology. Tracking the Doctor, who the prophecy declares she is destined to destroy, she discovers that he becomes the Ka Faraq Gatri (see the novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks) and balks at the idea of confronting him, so decides to cross his time stream and meet his fifth incarnation. Before she left Gallifrey, Ruath stole a sample of the Doctor's DNA from the bio-data files (The Deadly Assassin). When the vampire baby accidentally takes Nyssa's blood instead of the Doctor's Ruath is forced to give Yarven her own, after which she regenerates (as with the Doctor's first regeneration in The Tenth Planet, her TARDIS helps the process and her clothes change at the same time). This is her second regeneration. Her new, third incarnation, wears a red velvet gown and long gloves and has waist length flowing black hair. To her surprise, her new incarnation has no interest in science. At her request, Yarven converts her into a vampire. She takes Yarven to see the alternate future time line in which the Haemovores evolve on Earth (The Curse of Fenric), which is only possible because her ring allows her to move between timestreams. Ruath synthesizes a vampire DNA compound that instantly transforms humans into vampires; Lang's Christian followers, full of faith and garlic, are instantly converted only to explode as a result. Ruath destroys the Time Scoop (The Five Doctors), and in the process the Presidential suite (although Flavia and Spandrell are able to get the destination co-ordinates from it to track Romana, suggesting that the Time Scoop is merely damaged [see The Eight Doctors]. Ruath creates a Time Freeze to hold the Earth's rotation in a second-long repetitive cycle without affecting the temporal perceptions of the inhabitants; she and Yarven plan to release her vampire DNA compound as an aerosol, to create an army of the vampires on the permanently dark side of the planet thus created and thereby create a vampire army to take control of Gallifrey. To create the Time Freeze she builds Time Baffles, which require a living component; only a being possessing symbiotic nuclei can permanently act as this component, since any other life form's brain would soon burn out. She is eventually sucked out of the Doctor's TARDIS into the vortex, the Doctor doubting that she could survive the experience. He sends her TARDIS back to Gallifrey.

The Doctor is concerned that his increasing tendency to pilot the TARDIS to specific locations will allow the Black Guardian to track him down (The Armageddon Factor, Mawdryn Undead). The Books of Prophecy predict that he must be sacrificed over seven days in order for the rule of the Undead to come to pass. He uses his faith in Ian, Susan, Barbara and Adric to hold off Jake (see The Curse of Fenric). He rethreads the seam of his cricket ball with thread from an ancient prayer mat, a distillation of faith. When he and Ruath were at the Academy together, they introduced cats into Gallifrey's eco-system, altered the local gravity in the Panopticon so that a graduation ceremony took place in mid-air, and electrified Borusa's perigosto stick. He taught her a trick for transferring between TARDISes using the chameleon circuits. He last saw in her in the Panopticon library, whilst he was planning to leave Gallifrey, but claims that he knew she wasnt ready for leave and so didn't meet her when he was supposed to [see Lungbarrow - the Doctor is bending the truth somewhat, since he eventually had to leave in rather a hurry]. The Doctor carries Rutan Pobulas (coins).

Nyssa is bitten by a vampire baby and becomes a vampire. She tries unsuccessfully to synthesize artificial plasma as a blood substitute. Synthetic plasma was first produced on Traken many years before Nyssa left, but requires large vats and high pressures to make. Whilst she is a vampire, Nyssa turns herself into a Deaths-Head moth. She reverts to normal once the child is destroyed by sunlight. Ale was brewed on Traken. Nyssa has taken to wearing a bracelet of Trakenite gold since Adric's death.

Tegan's other Grandfather was Serbian (see The Awakening). He used to tell her about vampires. She tells Jeremy that she has faith in Qantas, the republic, and James Reyne.

Whilst the TARDIS is in Manchester, somebody draws graffiti on it, but a single trip in the vortex is enough to remove it [the Doctor makes the Kangs clean their graffiti off the TARDIS at the end of Paradise Towers to make a point. Ditto The Happiness Patrol]. Circuits for the personal operation of Rassilon have always been fitted into TARDISes.

Ruath uses the Time Scoop to trap Romana in a Miniscope containing Drashigs (Carnival of Monsters), in the possession of Sabalom Glitz. Mel is no longer travelling with Glitz (Dragonfire, Head Games). The Nosferatu 2 is usually referred to as the Nosferatu because Dibber can't pronounce the longer name.

The tune that opens the secret entrance to the Time Scoop (The Five Doctors) is called Rassilon's Lament.

The vaporization orders for Elar, Morin and Rath are completed in record time (Blood Harvest).

Ian and Barbara have a son named John (see Happy Endings). It is implied that the Doctor has visited them at some point, since he knows that Barbara makes a very good upside down cake.

The unnamed planet on which Yarven dies has two suns; it is hinted that one of these was created by Omega, to deliberately give the planet short nights and thus protect it from vampires (Romana reads a legend of such a planet to a group of Time Toddlers [recently loomed Time Lords - see Lungbarrow].

Links: State of Decay, Blood Harvest. Tegan recalls the Master's murder of her Aunt Vanessa in Logopolis. Nyssa discusses the Mara with Tegan (Snakedance) [it has been pointed out that since Tegan also discusses the Mara at the start of Mawdryn Undead, this raises the possibility of a third Mara story between Goth Opera and Mawdryn Undead]. The Doctor mentions the Xeraphins (Time Flight). The Doctor grimly swears that he wont lose another companion during his current regeneration (Earthshock). Ruath knows Mortimus (The Time Meddler, The Daleks' Master Plan, No Future). Tracking the journeys of the Fifth Doctor, Ruath observes that he travels from a deserted planet (Castrovalva), to deep space (Four to Doomsday), to Deva Loka (Kinda), Earth several times, Gallifrey (Arc of Infinity), and Manussa (Snakedance). Flavia complains about the lead decor in the presidential suite (The Invasion of Time). The legend read to the Time Toddlers by Romana mentions the Minyans (Underworld). The two figures who play chess in an alcove on Gallifrey are the Black and White Guardians (Enlightenment).

Location: Tasmania, Staffordshire and Manchester, 1993; an unnamed planet, date unknown.

Unrecorded Adventures: The [Fifth] Doctor wrote an article entitled By Lord Cranleigh's Invitation, Seventy Years of Charity Events, which was published in Wisden. He claims to have been a friend of Moses and to have made suggestions about the Ten Commandments, but he may be joking.

The Bottom Line: An impressive start to the Missing Adventures and one of the most successful vampire stories attempted in Doctor Who to date. The gratuitously continuity-ridden chapter six rather spoils things, but the characterisation and larger plot more than compensate.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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