The Discontinuity Guide
The New Adventures
Author: Lance Parkin
Editor: Rebecca Levene
Roots: World War Two, obviously. There are references to Howard Carter, Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, Goethe, Boots, Wisden's Almanac, the BBC, Albert Speer, Wagner, Beethoven, Max Planck, Humphrey Bogart, Alice in Wonderland, Norse mythology, Lasswitz, Oberth, von Braun, Einstein, Karl Marx, Dracula, Bismarck, Chamberlain, Buster Keaton, and Buster Crabbe.
Dialogue Disasters: "Doctor von Wer!"
Dialogue Triumphs: "By breathing those air molecules you've changed history. You've left footprints that wouldn't have been left, eaten food that someone else could have eaten."
"By 1976, to pick a year at random, the only people wearing the Nazi uniform were sad little blokes who couldn't get it up any other way."
And many, many more.
Memorable Moments: The Doctor's astounding final conversation with Joachim Wolff, in which he effectively talks the Nazi into committing suicide, is one of most memorable moments of the entire novel range.
Continuity: During his visit to Cairo with Mel, the Doctor posed as her uncle. He discussed owls, bats, aerodynamics and sonar with Hartung, inadvertently giving him the knowledge to build Hugin and Munin, and thus almost changing the outcome of World War Two. The Doctor has a bag of kola-nuts in his pocket. He also carries biscuits for distracting guard dogs, but the Nazis confiscate them. He sustains a bruised mouth when Wolff punches him. He wakes in Granville wearing only a knee-length nightshirt. He is susceptible to chloroform. He speaks fluent German. He eats a full English breakfast whilst held prisoner by Steinmann. He later drinks wine and eats a sumptuous vegetarian meal with Steinmann, against whom he plays chess. He likes lemonade. Steinmann tries and fails to get him drunk. SID mistakes him for German spymaster Doctor von Wer.
Bernice was born on the twenty-first of June during the mid-twenty-sixth century, although the exact date depends on whether she uses Terran Mean Time or Galactic Centre Adjusted, the latter of which puts her date of birth about three-quarters of a century before the same date on Earth [an explanation for the inconsistencies in the dating of Love and War throughout previous novels]. She thinks that she is thirty-three years old, but isn't sure. Benny adopts the alias Celia Doras whilst in Guernsey, living as Celia for three months. She uses a holowig to hide her now shoulder-length hair and turn herself into a peroxide blonde. She tried to bleach her hair when she was twelve in an act of defiance that went so badly wrong that she wore a plastifez until it grew out, and she has tried bleaching her again since. She sleeps with a gun under her pillow. She reads an anthology of poetry by Edgar Allen Poe, Three Plays by Christopher Marlowe, and The Invisible Man. She reads Advice for Young Ladies to help her blend in. She has read Hans Auerbach's history of the Channel Islands. Her degree had a heavy linguistics component, and she has a knack for picking up languages; she is proficient in German, French, Egyptian, Hebrew, Ancient and Modern Greek, Latin, most of the Martian dialects, Old English, and Old Norse. Benny once wrote a passage on fashions in the twentieth century, which Ace read; Ace was especially amused by Benny's belief that Mods were named for their love of modernist poetry. She is forced to kill Gerhard to protect Ma Doras and her family, shooting him in the stomach. Captured by the Nazis, she is forced to dress in the uniform of a slave and is given the serial number F319-350042. She cracks when they threaten to shave her head, confessing to having killed Gerhard. Wolff beats her, breaking her right hand, bruising her right eye, and cutting her forehead; she's subjected to days of starvation and sleep deprivation and loses a considerable amount of blood. Wolff also whips her back and tears two fingernails out of her left hand. Steinmann injects her with relaxants to ensure that she tells the truth under interrogation. He later places a lit cigarette on the back of her broken right hand. She is given tomato soup and bread to eat whilst held prisoner.
On one of the first archeological digs she ever went on she discovered what she thought was a hoard of daggers, but turned out to be a cutlery drawer; one of the senior archeologists told her, "The distinction between a dagger and an inoffensive knife blade is hard to draw and may never have been clear cut", something that she has always remembered. She steals Nurse Kitzel's uniform in order to escape from the Nazi base. Once she is back in the TARDIS, Roz flushes the various drugs the Nazis gave her out of her system, gives her heavy doses of vitamins, minerals and antibiotics, resets her hand, and re-grows her fingernails. She dons a costume as near as possible to that worn by Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca from the TARDIS wardrobe. She accidentally leaves her diary in Guernsey, where it falls into the possession of Steinman; he tries to warn his colleagues of the future events it predicts, but nobody believes him.
Roz can trace her ancestry back to Nelson Mandela [or so she believes - see Decalog 4]. The Doctor arranges fake documents for Roz and Chris so that the War Office takes them in without question; Roz is Captain Roslyn Sarah Forrester, born in 1900 to wealthy parents in Port Elizabeth (South Africa), educated at Fort Hare College, showed remarkable aptitude in applied mathematics and philosophy, and joined the army at sixteen, rising rapidly through the ranks and achieving LONGBOW clearance. Chris is supposedly a Canadian secret agent. Both thus end up working in intelligence for the war Office, Chris as a Lieutenant. The Doctor gives each of them a key to the TARDIS. Roz becomes romantically involved with the approximately thirty-year old Lieutenant George Reed and has sex with him; he proposes to her. She decides not to stay with him, but promises to keep the emerald engagement ring that he gave her. He also gives her a silver fox fur coat. There was a Freudroid at Roz's Lodge that used to perform (rather unreliable) psychological profiling of serial killers. Roz stabs her finger into Wolff's eye, destroying the his eyeball.
Due to his body bepple (Original Sin) Chris's teeth and nails are always sharper than human normal. He grows a thick handlebar moustache whilst working for the War Office. Chris researches the Second World War as much as he can before they arrive, using books from the TARDIS library. Before arriving in wartime England, he had never heard of Franco, Stalin, or Mussolini; Roz had heard of two of them. To his sheer delight, Chris gets to drive a Bentley. He later gets to fly secret Nazi stealth plane Munin back to England. Whilst working undercover in Granville, he has coffee and croissants. He uses the alias Christophe. The motto of his Adjudicator Lodge at Spaceport Nine Overtown was "Just fight for what's just". Chris once saw Picasso's Guernica during a simtour of an Overcity Seven art gallery.
The TARDIS console room currently contains a hatstand, an ornate clock on a pedestal, and two leather armchairs.
Links: The Doctor recalls the alternate reality in which the Nazis won World War Two seen in Timewyrm: Exodus. Benny takes her Spatio-Temporal Alarm Beacon with her when she stays in Guernsey (Shakedown). She recalls visiting England in 1976 (No Future) and Chris and Roz's time (Original Sin). Roz notes that she wore traiditional Xhosa dress at a costume party and recalls feLixi (The Also People). There is a reference to Fenn Martle (Original Sin). Ingmar Knopf is mentioned (The Daleks' Master Plan). Doctor von Wer was the alias used by the Doctor in The Highlanders.
At the end of the novel, the Doctor sets the TARDIS coordinates for twenty-first century Canturbury, leading into Warchild.
Location: London, England; Granville, France; March to December 1941.
Future History: At some point after the twentieth century, Spain captures the Channel Islands during the Gibraltan war. By 2957, they are part of Spaceport Seven Undertown; Trafalgar Square is called Trafflegarr Square and St. James is Sintjaimsys. Every wild animal and plant species on Earth is extinct by the thirtieth century except for humans and rats.
Holowigs are gadgets from a short-lived late twentieth-first century craze.
By 2957, paper files haven't been used for centuries.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor and Mel visited Troxos 4, before travelling to Cairo in January 1936, where they met Emil Hartung.
Benny has already been in place for three months by the start of the novel; Roz and Chris have only been in London for a week, the Doctor having taken them with him to attend to a political situation on Troxos 4.
The Doctor visited Guernsey and met Ma Doras in 1913, where he saved the Channel Islands from some unspecified threat. The real Celia Doras died on Halloween 1913 at the age of three, the Doctor failing to save her. He visited Ma Doras again in 1960, and wondered why Anne had called one of her daughters Bernice.
The Bottom Line: "From a monster's point of view, though, things look rather different. I've always tried to listen to the monster's point of view. You'd be surprised how passionate, how eloquent, they can be." Lance Parkin's astounding debut novel is one of the finest New Adventures, an emotional, insightful and mature novel that still maintains its full impact. Every character here is well crafted, from Ma Doras to the loathsome Joachim Wolff, and the almost likeable but ultimately evil Stienmann. The Doctor's final confrontation with Wolff is enormously satisfying.
Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke