Roots: The novel opens with a quotation from Wordsworth's Toussaint, the most unhappy man. There are quotations from Isaiah chapter 14 verse 12; Marlowe's Doctor Faustus; Genesis chapter 28 verse 12; Edward, First Baron Thurlow; Emperor Ferdinand I; and William Gladstone. There are numerous references to Tewa Pueblo mythology. One of the characters is named Lars Ulrich after Metallica's drummer. A character called Bishop is ripped apart by an alien, possibly a reference to Aliens. The Doctor hums "Chatanooga Choo-Choo". There are references to Jack Daniels, M. C. Escher, Glasst's Requiem, Norse mythology (Bifrost), British Rail, Lucretia Borgia, Medici, Machiavelli, W. G. Grace, The Wizard of Oz, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, and Harrison Ford.
Goofs: Zeiton Seven is spelt Zyton Seven.
Technobabble: Cold fusion generators can be made from Zyton Seven (Vengeance on Varos) fused with hymetusite (The Horns of Nimon) using a parranium catalyst (Death to the Daleks). IMC uses controlled quantum collapsers to strip away Lucifer's atmosphere, exposing the mineral-rich core.
Dialogue Disasters: "Poppydash and baldercock!"
Dialogue Triumphs: "Everything is history if you look at it from the right perspective."
Continuity: Gallifreyans were the first humanoids to evolve in the universe; their morphic field thus made it more likely that subsequent humanoid races would evolve, which is why there are so many humanoid species throughout the universe. According to the Doctor, morphic fields don't follow the normal rules of space and time. The mathematics of morphic fields is too complex for a computer and requires a living mind.
Lucifer is a gas giant orbited by the moons Belial, Moloch, Astarte and Demogorgon; the Bridge connects Belial and Moloch in geosynchronous orbit. The Bridge and the other sites in the moon system are between five hundred and one thousand million years old. Belial Base is the upper moon; a nest of galleries exists on the far side from Lucifer, and is joined to the far side by the Pit, which runs straight through the centre of the moon. The Bridge extends to Moloch from the far end of the Pit. Travel along the Bridge takes place via the Lift, which moves erratically between the two moons. The Lift and the Bridge are actually designed to harvest energy from the magnetic potential generated by Lucifer. Moloch is hollow and has an internal artificial sun, and is filled with a variety of alien flora and fauna. Moloch is located within Lucifer's Roche Limit; the technology that created the Lift protects Moloch from breaking up in Lucifer's gravity.
The Angels dwell in the atmosphere of Lucifer and built the moon system, which they refer to as temples. They can modify their body structures and become denser when they die, falling into the core of Lucifer and becoming the high-mass elements that the Eden Project are searching for on Lucifer. They built the Mushroom Farm as a vast machine for altering morphic fields. The machine is controlled by emotions. The necessary organic component of the machine is the flora and fauna inside Moloch, which used to be an Angel. The Angels can rewrite space and time, but singularities are beyond their understanding; as a result, they worship them, believing that they contain their God. The Angels expel IMC from their space, and place an impenetrable barrier around the system, which still exists during the mid-twenty-fifth century. There is a sea of zelanite on Lucifer (The Robots of Death).
Legion's species exist in seven dimensions, meaning that he appears to humans as a group of disconnected shapes as he moves in and out of the usual three, or as he puts it, as a three dimensional cross-section of a seven dimensional object. Probably as a result of this, his voice changes pitch erratically. He also drifts around in time if he isn't concentrating. He reappears in the main three dimensions inside Bishop's body, ripping him apart. Species that his species have encountered include the Cimliss, the Usurians (The Sun Makers), and the Okk. Quantum collapsers have been harnessed from Legion's species.
E flat minor is the Doctor's favourite key. His left knee aches when somebody needs help. He carries two drinking straws, which he uses to simultaneously drink a strawberry drink and oxtail soup. He carries a spray can containing universally compatible software encoded on magnetically aligned particles of paint, which he invented. He owns more than one umbrella and breaks one on Belial. He carries a collection of pins. He likes Arcturan tea as well as Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong and thinks that tea tastes better out of a Wedgwood pot. Whilst meditating in his cell, he manages to levitate. He juggles five balls whilst singing a medley of Abba songs, before standing on his head and juggling the balls with his feet whilst gargling "The Star-Spangled Banner". He speaks Tewa. He shoots and kills Legion. The morphic field generator on Belial temporarily fuses the Doctor, Ace and Bernice into one being, forcing them to share memories. Prior to arriving on Belial, he prepares a batch of a highly contagious virus that will confer protection from the Dalek plagues on at least some of the inhabitants of Earth, ensuring that they survive to help his First Incarnation (The Dalek Invasion of Earth).
Ace wears her old jacket over her combat suit. Whilst in Spacefleet, she has become used to ration packs and food machines and finds it hard to sit down to a meal with other people. Her password on the Apple Mac computer at school was "Wicked!" which she reused for the cortical lattices on the ships she served on. Whilst in Spacefleet she served on the Saberhagen, the Corporate Raider, and the Admiral Raistrick (Deceit). The Corporate Raider is IMC-funded; whilst she was serving on board, IMC, who had records of the Doctor and suspected that he was a time traveller, asked her to undertake an intelligence mission to Lucifer should she ever meet up with him again. Amongst the types of Dalek she fought in Spacefleet were Bombadier Daleks. She once shot a hole through the motive units of a Special Weapons Dalek (see Remembrance of the Daleks), rendering it immobile and harmless; it talked to her whilst she stripped out its power unit, begging her to kill it. She may have visited the Carlsbad Caverns. She once lost a marble in the school playground, only to find it weeks later in the corner of the bike shed. She learned hypno-techniques to block remorse, but they either don't work very well or she didn't learn them properly. She and Julian (Love and War) once sat in worn green leather armchairs in a pub off the A40, drinking underage. She now realises that she didn't really love Jan.
Benny wears a baggy jumpsuit with multiple pockets and loops, and a velvet waistcoat. She has dreadlocked her hair since Deceit and wears a baseball cap. She made her reputation excavating Ice Warrior citadels on Mars, which formed part of her first visit back to Earth after she fled from Spacefleet. During the excavation, she made love to a man named Tim in the egg chambers. Whilst looking for traces of her lost father, she joined a team excavating a Dyson sphere constructed around a white dwarf star on the fringes of the Vartaq Veil. Tidal stress and gravitational asymetries had pulled the sphere out of shape, and Newtonian mechanics completed the process; it disintegrated into a series of unconnected fragments drifting apart for thousands of years with their atmospheres slowly dissipating. The builders of the Dyson sphere, traumatized by their failure, devolved into a nomadic shelled race called Varts, migrating from fragment to fragment and seeing the universe as a giant jigsaw puzzle being slowly assembled by God. Benny carries a hip flask containing alcohol doped with various smart chemicals. She has met the man who decoded the Mk'kur'qa Inscriptions and worked out the structure of Venusian from first principles and who is probably the foremost galactic authority on the Venusian race; as a result, she knows that "Klokeda partha mennin klatch" is a bawdy rhyme and not the lullaby that the Doctor claims!
The Guild of Adjudicators is based on Ponten Six, which was ceded to them in perpetuity by Earth Central. The head of the Guild is the Adjudicator in Extremis.
The inhabitants of Delphon (Spearhead from Space) find the surgical removal of limbs to be highly sexually alluring. In the Axorc Sector it is considered to be the height of good manners to serve oneself up for dinner on special occasions. The Rills (Galaxy 4) have a political system in which the uglier one is, the more power one attains.
Links: Deceit. There are references to Jan, Máire and Heaven (Love and War). The Adjudicators, IMC and duralinium first appeared in Colony in Space. The disappearance of Benny's father is again mentioned (Love and War). The terms Krau and Trau were first used in The Caves of Androzani. The Doctor sings a Venusian lullaby (The Curse of Peladon, The Monster of Peladon) and recalls the advice given to him by Biroc ("Do nothing") (Warrior's Gate). He also recalls visiting the Hermit (The Time Monster, Planet of the Spiders) on Mount Cadon (Timewyrm: Revelation). Adjudicator Bishop investigated the Kroagnon affair (Paradise Towers), the vraxoin raids of Azure (Nightmare of Eden), and the Macra case (The Macra Terror). There are references to Rutans (Horror of Fang Rock), Drashigs (Carnival of Monsters), Zed-bombs (The Tenth Planet), ElleryCorp (Love and War), Dwarf Star Alloy (Warrior's Gate), and Rassilon.
Location: Belial, Moloch, and the Insider Trading, in orbit around Lucifer, c2157AD.
Future History: The Martians invaded Earth in 2090AD (The Seeds of Death). Sheep become extinct during the Ozone Purge of 2106AD. Sparrows are also extinct by 2157AD.
The Hydrax disappears c2127AD; it is an InterSpace Incorporated scientific vessel on an exploratory mission to Beta Two, with a crew of two hundred and forty-three (State of Decay).
In 2137AD the anti-pollution laws are repealed; in 2140AD Panorama Chemicals fills the Carlsbad Caverns with plastic waste. America's economy collapses in 2146AD, resulting in massive food riots. IMC asset strips InterSpace Incorporated in Tokyo in 2156AD.
The First Dalek War starts in 2157AD, with a series of mysterious attacks on various planets including Sifranos in the Arcturus Sector, Azure (Nightmare of Eden) and Qartopholos. The plague attacks on Earth start at this time. The moon of Sifranos is destroyed and one billion settlers massacred. The Dalek fleet masses around Epsilon Eridani. The war properly begins in 2158AD, when the two sides engage.
By 2157AD the Earth Central Complex is located in Damascus. Muslims dominate the hierarchy of Earth Central. An Earth Embassy is opened on Alpha Centauri Five. Ergs are the unit of currency used by Earth Central in 2157AD. There is an Earth Alliance of Corporations, also known as the Holding Company. Earth Government declares bankruptcy and places its assets in the hands of the Holding Company. As a result, IMC gets the mineral rights of all subcontracted colonies. The Project Eden team use robot drone cameras for security surveillance. Teaching can be achieved via hypnocourses. It is fashionable for men to wear eye make-up (Warriors of the Deep).
The Adjudicators are known as "Ravens" in the twenty-fifth century. As the Earth Empire gives way to the Federation, hundreds of forms of local justice make the Adjudicators redundant; they eventually degenerate into a reclusive order of assassins known as the Knights of the Grand Order of Oberon (Revelation of the Daleks).
Unrecorded Adventures: At some point after Revelation of the Daleks, the Doctor went looking for the Knights of the Grand Order of Oberon in order to honour his promise to Orcini, but was unable to find them.
Q.v. Benny's Birthday, Love and War.
The Bottom Line: 'It's a horrible feeling, isn't it? Knowing you've been used.' Engaging debut novel from two of Virgin's most prominent authors, which explores the relationship between the new TARDIS crew far more effectively than Deceit did. It is perhaps fifty pages two long, but there are some highly imaginative concepts on display here, and Legion makes a great villain.