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The Discontinuity Guide
The Past Doctor Adventures

Heart of TARDIS

June 2000

Heart of TARDIS cover

(Features the Second Doctor between The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Abominable Snowmen and the Fourth Doctor between The Stones of Blood and The Androids of Tara)

Author: Dave Stone

Editor: Justin Richards

Roots: 50s science fiction; the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; The Simpsons; Occultism; Mouse icons

Goofs: The dating of this story is rather inconsistent. Benton and the Brigadier recognise the fourth Doctor, but Benton is still a Sergeant (rather than a RSM), and Yates is still part of UNIT. Besides, UNIT has been around for rather a long time - it's after the Falklands war, and UNIT is said to date back at least to the Heath and the Labour administrations. Oh, and it appears to still be in the UNIT era.

The Second Doctor is able to give out indefinitely large amounts of blood. However, in The Eight Doctors, the Fourth Doctor was dangerously drained drained of blood and the Eighth only had a limited amount that he could give him before being affected himself.

The narrative claims that Tolkien wrote reams of semi-coherent fiction under the orders of the Allied command to counter the Nazi worldview. Apart from the obvious fact that The Lord of the Rings is very well written and doesn't really achieve this kind of aim, none of it was published until 1954.

On page 260, it says that Dr Sohn "quite simply, stopped dead". On page 262, it says what happened to stop it.

The Doctor and Romana don't seem to care about the quest for the Key to Time, yet in Tomb of Valdemar, the Doctor seemed to think it was so important that nothing should get in its way.

Technobabble: Gravmetric forces; Piezoelectromagnetically-based autonomic macroconstructs. Romana's paragraph-long explanation of how the TARDIS works on page 215. Quantum-based dynamically self-referential pattern matrix.

Dialogue Disasters: It is slightly harder than otherwise to feel fear in a situation in which someone is comfortable enough to eat a cheese sandwich.

Several of the chapter titles

Dialogue Triumphs: Romana to Delbane: 'I have little to no experience at all with this so-called technology of yours.'

Romana: 'A little outing with the aboriginals. How perfectly lovely.'

The Second Doctor: 'Surely I must have said something about murders when I ...'
Victoria: 'Doctor, perhaps it would be simpler if we all pretended that you had told us, but we've forgotten, so you'll have to tell us all over again.'

After a paragraph of narrative describing advanced technology, Romana thinks that 'the helicopter looked quaintly baroque and archaic.'

The fourth Doctor: 'Have you ever thought of seeing a specialist about that needlessly self-important and messianic tone?'

The fourth Doctor 'I never met you back then - or at least I haven't yet'

The Doctor: 'You people pick up things faster than almost everybody else in the known universe - concepts and processes for which others strive for millennia before they so much as begin to grasp them - and then you just bang them together until they go boom.'

The Brigadier to McCrae: 'You've been given an order by a superior officer, which by my reckoning, from the shape of you, means any officer at all.'

Continuity: Victoria's father once had a nineteen-guinea pen, which she was forbidden to go near. She has been keeping a journal of her adventures, which is partly fictionalised. She has never before encountered an escalator and is afraid of both rats and spiders.

The Time Lords put failsafes in a TARDIS to prevent a thief from travelling where he wants. Romana has at least 27 different senses. The Doctor knows for a fact that Rassilon came upon "the great and glorious secrets of Time" by stealing a translation belt from the species who attacked the Time Lords in the Time Wars. There was a new traditionalist faction that appeared not long before Romana left Gallifrey. The [second] Doctor has the ability to give ridiculous amounts of blood. The [fourth] Doctor can construct a machine to track someone's recent movements.

The Collectors are an alien race with hyperwobble-drive and psychonomic shielding, they are impossible to stop, as they cause mental breakdown of planetary defence systems. They started just wanting to collect things. They eventually settled down to displaying their finds in The Big Huge and Educational Collection of Old Galactic Stuff, which has no idea about sensible displays. They are metamorphic.

There is some kind of magick. It involves "minor Signs of Power", shapes which can shut down the higher centres of the brain.

UNIT has arrangements to acquire industrial lasers, live marmosets, archeolgical tools, rocketry components, Watsui tribal masks, and time on US college-campus particle accelerators. They recently requisitioned a third of the Bank of England's gold reserves and didn't replace them. [There was an unrecorded Cyberman invasion - with Cybermen from the future]. It has been around since the 70s. The Doctor's lab has not been touched since his last use of it [so UNIT hasn't moved HQ for a while].

DISTO(P)IA, the DIvisional department of Special Tactical Operations (Provisional) with regard to Insurgent and subversive Activity is part of Special Branch to counter the forces of subversion [i.e. left-wing sympathies] wherever they appear. Its head of department is Crowley.

TV Comic in the 1960s published some stories remarkably similar to the Doctor Who ones where Patrick Troughton was exiled to Earth before being turned into John Pertwee. [These are Professor X stories].

There are at least three varieties of demon - the Azrae, the Raagnarokath, and the Jarakabeth. The latter don't like their name being spoken aloud because it embarrasses them (like the surname Crapper).

Links: The Daleks once tried to pretend that their planet had been destroyed to avoid being attacked by the Collectors (War of the Daleks). Victoria recalls The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Location: Prologue - 1947; The Big Huge and Educational Collection of Old Galactic Stuff, in the far future; UNIT HQ, July

Unrecorded Adventures: The Second Doctor has just had an unrecorded adventure which involved removing the influence of an Orb. The Fourth Doctor has just left K9 somewhere (Romana seems to think this happens a lot), and places he could have picked K9 up from include a 20th Century birthday party. The fourth Doctor was present as an eyewitness during the Time Wars. He also claims to have told Francis Bacon that "all will be well, and well, all manner of things shall be well" when Bacon was trying to stuff snow up a chicken. The Doctor knows for a fact that certain things will happen to the Brigadier (Decalog 3: UNITed we Fall?).

Victoria recalls an adventure where people live in crystal bubbles beneath the sea. She visited the NovaLon Hypercities in the 22nd century several weeks ago. The Second Doctor used to be a subscriber and, ocassionally, contributer to Astonishing Stories of Unmitigated Science!, but believed it died out by the end of the 1950s.

The fourth Doctor claims first that he had never met Crowley, and then that he knew him for years ('lovely chap, if dreadfully misinterpreted, and a bit too fond of the old laudanum').

The Bottom Line: 'What have you gone and done to the basic fabric of space/time now?' Heart of TARDIS contains lashings of silliness. All the regular characters are well written, and the plot's OK. Despite all this, the book failed to impress me. Perhaps it's just that I was irritated at the way the Doctor appears to have casually abandoned the quest for the key to time, or that Dave deliberately makes the UNIT dating impossible. However, it might be that it's just not my cup of tea.

You visited the Whoniverse at 1:56 am GMT on Sunday 5th February 2006