• Reply to: Blood Heat   1 month 1 week ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    A drab slog. It started off all right with the traumatised alternative Jo and the knowledge of the alternative Third Doctor's death, but it was all very numbing after so many pages of UNIT and the Silurians committing war crimes followed by Liz demanding peace. As much as Mortimore tries to sell us on the idea both sides have their points, it's heavily slanted towards the humans; the Silurians are immensely brutal and we see far less from their point of view, making it much harder to sympathise with them. To top it off, nothing the protagonists do matters in the end, and the identity of the villain behind the history changes is blindingly obvious thanks to poor wording. It also sees the return of the giant chapters that Deceit had, a feature I hate. It was kind of nice having illustrations again though.

  • Reply to: Cold Fusion   4 months 2 weeks ago
    Author: DavidBE

    'A lot of what happened before my second regeneration is hazy. Great chunks of my life are missing.'

    You note the in universe factual content of the lines under Continuity above, but surely it should be mentioned (under 'roots', perhaps, or even 'Dialogue triumphs' - gave me the biggest smile in the story) that it's actually a metafictional joke - a reference to all the missing episodes, wiped by the BBC and unrecovered, from the First and Second Doctor's TV seasons.

  • Reply to: Godengine   4 months 3 weeks ago
    Author: DavidBE

    There's a certain 60s scifi shout-out that's passed you by - must be deliberate by the author, it's so loud it's deafening to anyone who was a scifi fan kid in the 60s in Britain (as I was). He even teases: uses the name several times, causing a 'Hang on. Is he going to ...?', and dragging it out before finally the appearance and the description - 'Yes! He did it!' (big grin).

    it's a shout-out to the science fiction future in the Gerry Anderson 'supermarionation' (puppet) scifi shows, specifically Thunderbirds - even more specifically the feature film 'Thunderbirds Are Go' - and also 'Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons' (same shared future history and universe as Thunderbirds, just a few years later), especially in the licensed official Captain Scarlet comic strips in the 'TV Century 21' comic (name changing to just TV21 part way through - presented as a newspaper from the mid 21st century in the shared future history of Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, and greatly expanding the background of the TV shows in a licensed, official way.)

    In 'Thunderbirds are Go' the mid-21st century Zero-X mission to Mars, driving around in the MEV, find one native Martian life-form in the otherwise barren landscape ... which duly attacks them (possibly only because they were provoked by the Zero-X crew trying to break samples off something they don't realise is alive), forcing them to lift off dangerously and early to escape. Still a very memorable scene to me, for all that I was six at the time I saw it after the film's release (actually especially because I was only 6 and at that age it was very scary). What they had found (and tried to blow samples off) was .... Martian Rock Snakes. That's what they were called, and they also featured several times and quite luridly in the Captain Scarlet comic strips in stories that returned to Mars. And they looked like ... a string of boulders (easily mistaken for a rock pile when curled up), with a single large eye in the head 'boulder', and an attack consisting of blasts of superhot plasma. Sound familiar? Craig Hinton's Martian Rock Snakes have the same name, and the same description - he's just changed two things: made them smaller (the Thunderbirds/Captain Scarlet ones are vehicle size), and has his little ones fire the plasma from a sting on the tail rather than out of their mouths. (A Google image search on Thunderbirds Martain Rock Snake pulls up pics from the Thunderbirds Are Go film, and on Captain Scarlet Martian Rock Snake finds a whole page from a TV21 story they appear in, if you are interested.)

    So - deliberate shout-out, and Thunderbirds Are Go and Captain Scarlet should be in 'Roots'.

  • Reply to: Happy Endings   4 months 3 weeks ago
    Author: DavidBE

    You say, above, 'The Charrl, who now worship the Doctor, bring the Doctor's original TARDIS to the wedding - it escaped destruction in the Time Ram from Blood Heat thanks to the effects of the Fortean Flicker. Muldwych takes it at the end, intending to drop the Doctor off at a suitable planet. He suggests using a merge program to transfer the rooms and contents of the original TARDIS to the Doctor's new one.'

    This is wrong in two respects.

    Muldwych tells the Doctor that the Charrl have cleaned up the Doctor's original TARDIS so the Doctor can have it back now, then asks for the 'new' one (the alternate 3rd Doctor's one the Doctor's been using since Blood Heat), suggesting the merge so that the Doctor can move anything the Doctor wants from the 'new' TARDIS to his original one, not the other way round. Muldwych then takes the 'new' TARDIS - the Blood Heat alternate one - intendng to drop the CHARRL off on a suitable planet (not drop off the Doctor, which is what you've written above). The Doctor then goes back to using his original TARDIS - the one lost in the tar pit in Blood Heat, not the 'new one' as you've written.

    Quoting from the text near the end at a point after Muldwych has gone with one TARDIS:

    'Jason and Bernice were handing the wedding photos out to Roz and Chris, around a little table in the TARDIS console room. The Doctor had been wandering about, now that he’d dropped Keri off, delighted to have his original ship back. He was, however, making the occasional tutting noise at the mess that the Charrl had left it in.'

    Emphaisis added, and note this TARDIS has some Charrl mess left in it - so it's the one the Charrl arrived in, which is the Doctor's original TARDIS recovered from the Blood Heat tar pit.

    So - this is where The Doctor gets his original Tardis back, letting Muldwych take the Blood Heat 3rd Doctor one; the Doctor does NOT continue in the Blood Heat 3rd Doctor's one, just moves any wanted rooms and property accumulated since Blood Heat (like all of Roz and Chris's stuff, one would imagine) from the Blood Heat 3rd Doctor TARDIS into this, his original TARDIS during the merge. He would be delighted to get his original TARDIS back for at least two reasons: (i) as you've actually noted in your pages on earlier NAs, the Blood Heat Tardis the Doctor's been using from Blood Heat to now doesn't fully trust the Doctor, although it does trust Ace, and Ace can actually operate it better than the Doctor himself can, much to his annoyance; and (ii) the Doctor's original TARDIS had been upgraded by him over centuries beyond the Blood Heat 3rd Doctor's TARDIS, and it seems very unilkely that Ace would have known all about all of those changes/upgrades when the Blood Heat 3rd Doctor TARDIS reconstructed itself from Ace's memories of the original one as it was immediately before Blood Heat.

  • Reply to: Death and Diplomacy   4 months 4 weeks ago
    Author: DavidBE

    Pretty much anyone in the UK who lived through the 70s wil recognize that Sergeant Vim, with his 'You is a poof Gunner ------. What is you?', and ‘Does I look like a hofficer, Gunner -----?’, and 'Lovely shoulders. Lovely shoulders' to the one gunner he unaccountably likes, and to crown it all the ‘we’re a concert party. That’s what we are. Here to entertain you’ is a complete deliberate lift, for humerous effect, of the character of Battery Sergeant Major Williams, complete with his catchphrases (barring changing the names of the gunners addressed) in the sitcom 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum', from the BBC, originally broadcast from 1974-1980, which was a comedy following the (mis)adventures of a group of useless soldiers forming a concert party at a Royal Artilery depot in India during WW2. The writer would definitely have expected all British readers to recognize this, and laugh or groan (I groaned)..

    I have to say i disagree with your 'bottom line'. I enjoyed Sky Pirates, but Death and Diplomacy is just terrible. On the one hand the author has a basically serious plot with some supposedly intense and serious scenes, but on the other hand he has completely non-serous elements and he writes it like he's trying to ape Douglas Adams's Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy ... and I',m sorry to break it to him, but he's no Douglas Adams. The whole mess veers jarringly in tone back and forth, sabotaging both the humour and the supposedly moving bits, and doesn't so much fall as plummet screaming between two stools.

    To me the only redeeming quality is that it's setting the stage for the imminent departure of the odious Benny. Back in ... 1995/6/7 I first read the first 9 New Adventures, plus Deceit, Set Piece, Head Games and then Lungbarrow (after the first 8 I had an idea for writing one myself, but it featured Ace in a main role, and I gathered from SF magazines I read at the time that her character had gone, then come back changed, then left again, but popped back for some occasional reappearances, hence the NAs i jumped to after Love and War - figured I could still make it work, sent off to Virgin for the submission guidelines, which i still have somewhere, retooled my story a bit, wondered whether to submit it as a New Adventure, as it would be from Ace's timeline, or a Missing Adventure, as it would be from the Doctor's, wrote the detailed synopsis, and was just writing the sample chapters when the news came through that the BBC had pulled the plug on Virgin's license, all remaining new releases were already comtracted, and no new submissions would be accepted - grrrr - so I gave up, but did get and read Lungbarrow as it was supposed to finally explain the 'Cartmel Masterplan') so I'd only read 4 Benny stories back then. Didn't much like her then, but heard how she'd become a 'fan favorite' and got her own ongoing series, so I hoped other writers had made her a better character. For me - no such luck. She has been consistently dreadful - an arrogant, pompous and most especially SMUG complete Mary Sue of a character. I had to get right the way to The Also People to find one story i found her ... not good but just about tolerable in. Had my hopes raised that her torture in Just War might bring about a welcome character change (and it should have), but no such luck - the reset button was firmly pushed for the next one and all since. Mind you, much as I want her to go, I just don't believe that she (as written throughout the series) would fall for Jason Kane. (Then again, I suppose that's fitting as I didn't believe most of the sudden romances that had companions leaving in the original series either ... Susan, Jo, Leela et al, even when I welcomed the leaving of the character).

    The most galling thing for me, working my way through reading all the New Adventures, most for the first time, is how my reaction on certain matters is the opposite of what i read in the SF magazines was the 'fan reaction'. Fans loved Benny, it was said, but hated Space Fleet Ace. I detest Benny, but ... well, I really like the IDEA of Space fleet Ace. I just think that Space Fleet Ace was written terribly by all the authors, none of whom appear to have any idea of what a soldier and soldier metality is really like, and none of whom can actually write a realistic close combat scene involving at least one well trained combatant to save their lives (plus all of them seemed to want to do down Ace and raise Benny as a paragon of companionhood to beat Ace over he head with, for whatever reason). For all the stories with Ace in from Deceit on, I'd have a special subsection under Goofs called something like 'Making Ace the worst supposedly well trained and skilled soldier ever'.

    Oh no. Came back here to see what you have to say about the next three NAs, which I've now read, and remembered I'd meant to add the thing about It Ain't Half Hot Mum. Thought that after the next one I was done with Benny (I will NOT be reading Benny's own series of NAs), and I so enjoyed her absence from the next two, but she's back again in the next one for me to read! That's one less Benny-less one out of the few left to read.

  • Reply to: Death and Diplomacy   6 months 1 week ago
    Author: DavidBE

    I'm only a little way into this book as I work my way the whole NA series, and just popped onto this page to read your bottomline, not the rest yet. But I coudn't help noticing that while in the 'Roots' you mentioned the Star Wars' bar cantina scene for the Fatigue Shebeen scene, you appear to have missed that one of the domino players - 'Hammerhead' - is not only clearly described as the Xenomorph from the Aliens movies, but it includes a clear precis of the plots of Alien, Aliens and Alien3!

    "But when you look like Freud’s worst slimy nightmare, are born by exploding spectacularly out of somebody’s sternum, can brutally slaughter the entire crew of a starship, the population of an exploratory colony and the inmates of a prison complex in an hour and a half and then hound any last survivor across half a galaxy until they kill themselves with their own flamethrower just to put themselves out of their misery and avoid the subsequent complications of the child-access rights ..."

    I'd say that Alien, Aliens and Aliens 3 deserve a mention as much as Star Wars.

  • Reply to: Daleks in Manhattan   6 months 2 weeks ago
    Author: daniel resendiz

    In some shots from the top of the Empire State building you can see the Empire State building.

  • Reply to: Iceberg   7 months 1 week ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    A mess really. I don't care how much swearing is there (and I really didn't notice any other than the infamous "Fuck you, mate!" bit), Iceberg has far better reasons to dislike it. David Banks has an irritating "edgy" prose that results in long swaths where characters are only identified as he or she. We get extremely long stretches that don't go anywhere, especially regarding Mike Brack, making him as untrustworthy and creepy as possible just for a red herring. Instead Straker is the Cyberman agent, except he turns on them the moment the show up. Why was he helping them? Why did he betray them? The time spent with Ruby feels wasted since she doesn't join the Doctor, and the use of the snowbase and going through the trouble of establishing Pamela as Cutler's daughter have very little pay-off. It doesn't even make sense to keep the Doctor off-page for so long; it's not like he was working behind the scenes setting everything up for Ruby. How could any of Bono's personality remain in the Cyber Controller? It clearly states that all of Bono's brain was removed. I really think the Doctor's line "A kind of carat and stick approach," should be counted as a Dialogue Disaster, and Pah T'wa has to be some of the fakest Chinese I've heard since The Talons of Weng Chiang. Finally, there was no reason for any of that terrorist and Freedom Foundation nonsense; that had no relevance at all from what I remember.

    What I did like was giving such a prominent role to a woman of colour like Ruby; it's just a shame that her development is for nothing in the end. I really like the Cyber Controller from The Tomb of the Cybermen so it was nice seeing the origin of that model. The scene with Ruby discovering the horrifying human experiments was amazingly well done, packing a visceral punch that makes the Cybermen so disturbing. Ultimately though, the negatives greatly outweigh the positives for me in Iceberg.

  • Reply to: Birthright   7 months 2 weeks ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    A rough but delightful romp, and truly the moment where Benny at last grows into the character so beloved today. The prose needs some work, what with the sudden changing of character perspectives, but making Benny the main focus was a brilliant move, allowing her character space to develop without the Doctor looming over her. Like Deceit though we get a little obnoxious slut shaming from her, which is interesting considering what her time period is apparently like. I've only experienced a few of Benny's solo adventures before, but if Birthright is any indication then she's got a splendid future ahead of her.

  • Reply to: Shadowmind   7 months 3 weeks ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    I quite liked Shadowmind, from the Invasion of the Bodysnatchers-style intrigue to the sudden shift into military SF. I loved the scene where the Doctor revealed the duplicates, blowing the lid off their conspiracy, and Ace's dilemma at the end was horrifying. Umbra was a bit of a mess though, feeling almost tacked-on when the evil Shenn faction made strong enough enemies on their own. We get no insight at all into them, and after Umbra's defeat the novel ends very abruptly. I also question the point of Bernice seeing the First Doctor for a moment instead of the Seventh. That never became important to the plot, so why have it? I also found it suffered from too many named characters, much like Lucifer Rising, making it hard to keep track of everyone. On the whole though, I'm glad I read Shadowmind.

  • Reply to: Head Games   8 months 4 days ago
    Author: DavidBE

    Just for the sake of completeness - one bit of continuity you haven't mentioned. When Mel left the Doctor so abruptly in Dragonfire, she also left possessions, including clothes, in the TARDIS. Having nothing with her after being picked up abruptly by Jason and Dr Who from Avalone, she expects to find her old stuff, including a change of clothes she desparately needs, still in the TARDIS. She doesn't, because this isn't the original TARDIS but rather the alternate reality 3rd Doctor's from Blood Heat which she has never been in. Benny explains this to Mel and helps her find some clothes from the TARDIS wardrobe rooms, but Mel clearly doesn't believe this and still accuses the Doctor of having thrown all her stuff away after getting rid of her in Dragonfire, leaving her with nothing.

    (Interesting question: what does happen to companion's rooms, and the stuff in them, when they leave? Do new companions have to clean out and redecorate the rooms of old ones? Does the Doctor go in and pack the stuff away? Does he just use the architectural reconfiguration system to move old companions' rooms away and bring new, as yet unused rooms close for the new companions so all the old rooms and contents are still filed away far from the console room? In Zamper, the Doctor mentions to Benny that some of Ace's weapons were still lying about in the TARDIS at that point.)

  • Reply to: White Darkness   9 months 1 week ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    Now this is more like it! White Darkness is a vast improvement over the last two New Adventures and had me turning the pages in suspense. I simply could not wait to see what happened next! It really had everything: adventure, horror, mad science, conspiracy and Lovecraftian weirdness! I was surprised how understated the Lovecraftian elements were here, not even naming the Old One Mait was serving nor showing more than a brief glimpse. My sole complaint is that the zombies were not featured enough after a terrifying build up.

    The Doctor claims no-one, not even the Time Lords, knows about the Old Ones, but the Sixth Doctor in Millennial Rites seems to know an awful lot right at the start, although that's Craig Hinton's fault rather than McIntee's. The Doctor also claims that the Old Ones never appear in person despite meeting several face-to-face, although that's probably more Andy Lane's fault. Also, isn't The Highest Science the first New Adventures novel to have a badly-drawn Seventh Doctor on the cover?

    For Roots, at one point Ace thinks of Mortimer as having a "Smokey Bear hat" and the scene where the Doctor persuades Mortimer seems very similar to the Jedi Mind Trick from Star Wars (although it's likely a reference to the Master). The Golden Bough is a real anthropological text by Sir James George Frazer, unlike the other hidden books Ace discovers. For Links the Doctor demands the blaster that Ace didn't bring with her, similar to Remembrance of the Daleks.

  • Reply to: Lucifer Rising   10 months 1 day ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    While Lucifer Rising gets points simply for not being Deceit and beginning with a strong first half, I found it to suffer under the weight of so many named characters, antagonists that show up too late into the book and its own length. Ace getting her chance to be a grand manipulator is a great idea, but the Doctor lamenting how manipulating others has stained his soul was just silly, as is treating the Doctor personally killing an antagonist a big, shocking moment. This Doctor set off a supernova to destroy Skaro; shooting a weird alien isn't at all shocking after that. Lucifer Rising ultimately doesn't work for me in the end, but it was filled with some great ideas and I liked having a New Adventures with illustrations.

    Anyone else, with all the hell symbolism and a location called the Pit, feel disappointed the Yssgaroth don't turn out to be behind everything?

  • Reply to: Lucifer Rising   10 months 3 weeks ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    Still in chapter 7, Jesus thinks of Alex Bannen as hijo de la puta ("bastard") when it's more properly expressed as hijo de puta or hijo de la gran puta. They really shouldn't have tried any Spanish...

  • Reply to: Lucifer Rising   10 months 3 weeks ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    Also, Jesus' full name is given as Jesus Garcia de Soto y Delporto; García is a more common spelling, and Delporto isn't a Spanish name but an Italian one, although having Italian ancestry isn't impossible for him; I just don't know if that was the intent.

  • Reply to: Lucifer Rising   10 months 3 weeks ago
    Author: Rabukurafuto

    In chapter 7 Jesus mentally describes Ace as "Fria como aqua de nieve: as cold as ice-water". A big mistake here is that the Spanish word for water is agua, not aqua. Also, his name really should be spelled Jesús. That said, Spanish has some vast regional differences, so maybe Jim Mortimore or Andy Lane was trying to convey Jesus was speaking a new dialect of Spanish (although if that's the case then English should have changed a little more too...).

  • Reply to: Loving the Alien   10 months 3 weeks ago
    Author: Ged S

    Anyone reading stories like Ace of Hearts, Matrix, Prime Time etc. will see that 'Gale' is clearly the surname. In Ace of Hearts, Ace's mother's married name is 'Audrey Gale'.

    We can discuss what is "more important", or whether "in-universe" is more significant than "real world", but the fact remains that in those stories Ace's surname is clearly and unambiguously 'Gale'. Not her middle name, her surname.

    So there were thus two possible solutions., one the 'Bottled Universes' solution, which many people disliked, or trying, somehow, to reconcile the two sets of stories. Unless Ace was very briefly married to someone whose surname was 'McShane', and chose to keep her married name, something big was needed. So Dorothy Gale dies, and is replaced by the very nearly identical Dorothy McShane. Not ideal certainly, but it works, and it may also explain why the New Adventures Doctor spends so much time "testing" Ace.

    Now what of Relative Dementias? Its proferred solution doesn't work, because it was clear that 'Gale' was Ace's surname, not her middle name. However, it does still fit into the continuity.

    Because while Relative Dementias claims to take place during Season 26, Ace being 'McShane' must place it after Loving the Alien. This is far from unique in Who history. The novel Mission:Impractical's cover states that it takes place between the DWM comics War-Game and Funhouse. However, it also takes place after The Trial of a Time Lord, and features Glitz, who the Doctor first meets in Trial. While the comics War-Game and Funhouse take place before Trial. Thus, its stated placing has been ignored by just about everyone, and it is instead placed after Trial, before the Big Finish audio The Holy Terror.

    Another oddity is the DWM story Future Imperfect, which is supposed to take place between The Mind Robber and The Invasion, and explain the Second Doctor's appearance in The Three Doctors. Except that for the Second Doctor The Three Doctors very clearly takes place after The Invasion.

    Jonathan Blum stated that his The Fearmonger takes place between Nightshade and Love and War, yet very few people would place it there if they created a larger continuity.

    And so, without listing all such stories, there is nothing that prevents Relative Dementias taking place, along with Atom Bomb Blues, between Loving the Alien and the Timewyrm books.

    After all, you've made quite a strong case about 'Authorial intent versus actual in-universe content'. And actual in=universe content unambiguously gives Ace's surname in various stories as 'Gale'. Therefore meaning Relative Dementia's "Dorothy Gale McShane' can't occur when Ace is Dorothy Gale(as a surname).

  • Reply to: Loving the Alien   11 months 12 hours ago
    Author: whoniverse

    Relative Dementias had a solution that most of the people who cared seemed to find satisfactory at the time. And there are a number of clear continuity references between Relative Dementias, Heritage, and Prime Time that places Relative Dementias before Loving the Alien, so Dorothy Gale McShane isn't the alternate universe Ace introduced in this novel.

    I'm not sure what you're trying to say with your second paragraph here. When Virgin went with McShane for Ace's surname, there was no in-universe evidence for Ace's surname. And whilst it might well have been Paul Cornell's idea to use McShane, it's the kind of thing that would have had to have been approved by the editor (Rebecca Levene). Cornell's approach to continuity as a writer is much more respectful to other writers' work than that is, say, Terrance Dicks' (who goes with what he can remember, and really doesn't care about directly contradicting anything).

    As for BBC Books, the initial intent was that they were for new fans brought in by the TV Movie, but in practice they sold to the same people who had been buying the New Adventures. And, from the start, they were seen as a continuation of the Virgin line. The first BBC Eighth Doctor novel that doesn't contain a continuity reference to the Virgin books is Option Lock, the eighth in the series.

    I'm not sure why you think that I would say that Big Finish trumps the books. My point was that McShane is used in more stories (published by Virgin, Big Finish and BBC Books), by a much wider variety of writers, than Gale is. That means that the in-universe evidence for her surname being McShane is stronger than the in-universe evidence for her surname being Gale. Before Loving the Alien decided to claim that the non-TV Ace that many fans had come to know and love wasn't the real one, the continuity nerd section of fandom had pretty much settled on the idea that it was the Perry-Tucker stories that had got it wrong, and that the Relative Dementias retcon solved the problem.

    Given this, it seems really strange that Perry-Tucker thought that they had to address the discrepancy, and did so by revamping the most hated part of the infamous Spider-Man clone saga. There was no need to actually kill off the "real" Ace in order to resolve the Prime Time cliffhanger. There was no need to replace Ace with a near-identical clone in order to resolve the naming discrepancy (especially as it still leaves at least one story where the "original" Ace uses Dorothy McShane).

  • Reply to: Set Piece   11 months 12 hours ago
    Author: whoniverse

    The comments on this page have been massively targetted by spammers, so I've closed the comments so I don't have to spend hours deleting spam posts. I would like to come back on this discussion with Ged, but it would be unfair for me to abuse my admin rights to get the last word in.

  • Reply to: Loving the Alien   11 months 5 days ago
    Author: Ged S

    Relative Dementias wasn't 'satisfactory'. because 'Gale' was clearly the family surname, as shown by Ace's mum being 'Audrey Gale' as her married name, the people in Prime Time digging into Ace's history, and unambiguously coming up with her being 'Dorothy Gale', with 'Gale' as the surname etc. Saying 'Oh, that's her MIDDLE name!' clearly doesn't work. Who talks about Mick Philip(lead singer of the Rolling Stones) or David Robert(former Manchester United star, and married to Posh Spice)?

    Cornell is well-known for attempting to alter established continuity, as various other people have pointed out. And also well-known for stubbornly sticking to his preferred version, even after other in-universe stories have established otherwise. he wanted 'McShane', and he most likely didn't care what Briggs said, because HE(meaning Cornell) wanted 'McShane', so he forced the issue.

    Tucker and Perry went to the horse's mouth(Briggs) for Ace's proper name, and called her 'Dorothy Gale'. It should also be noted that the BBC Books were not written for Virgin fanboys, but rather for Doctor Who fans who would be coming back to the show(or becoming new fans) after The TV Movie, and a hoped-for full series with Paul McGann. They were written for people who had seen The TV Movie, most likely the television series, and wanted more. And 'Gale' was entirely consistent with that. It should also be noted that at the time, even the biggest-selling Big Finish audios still did only a fraction of the sales of the BBC Books. The idea that Big Finish "overtook" or "Replaced" BBC Books as the 'official' Doctor Who is a fan myth.

    The overwhelming evidence gives Gale as her correct surname. However, as you say, there is also a huge amount of evidence for 'McShane'. However, here's the thing.....the first use of 'McShane' is in Set Piece. The earliest Big Finish to use 'McShane' is The Fearmonger, set between Nightshade and Love and War. All the Tucker-Perry stories are set either in Season 26, or immediately after Survival. Briggs said that Ace(the one he created for television) is Gale. Due to the nature of the Tucker/Perry books, many 'one continuity' fans were placing them between Survival and the Timewyrm books. Prime Time says that Dorothy Gale will die soon. Many fans felt that the Virgin Books were a bit 'off' in relation to the tv show....

    Tucker and Perry could have written a different story that separated the Virgin and BBC Books outright, or they could have tried to appease fans of other ranges. This was made more interesting by the fact that the Big Finish Audios referenced elements from both the Virgin and BBC Books, while Prime Time references both the DWM Comics and Big Finish Audios. And elements from the DWM Comics and Virgin Novels had crossed over. So, the only solution, and a way to tie everything into one continuity, was for Briggs' television Ace(and the Ace of the Tucker-Perry Books, plus some short stories, comics, The Hollow Men, Heritage, and Tucker audios) to be Dorothy Gale. She dies, and the almost-identical Dorothy McShane replaces her, unaware that she's in an almost-identical universe to her own. However, even the universe itself has been altered by the events of Loving the Alien, allowing for the Virgin Novels and Big Finish Audios to follow on. Yes, it does leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth knowing that Ace isn't the one true Ace, but then many people who read the books(especially from Deceit onward) felt that way already.

  • Reply to: Set Piece   11 months 5 days ago
    Author: Ged S

    ''It's interesting that you don't seem to consider Relative Dementias relevant, given that it was also published by BBC Books, and is just as clear as any of the Perry-Tucker books.''

    I never said it's not relevant. In any case, it could easily take place after the Tucker-Perry books, or in an alternate universe, like The Infinity Doctors or Scream of the Shalka.

    ''I find it interesting that the in-universe evidence for Ace's surname being Gale is entirely in books and short stories written by Robert Perry and Mike Tucker, whilst every other book, short story, and audio that gives her a surname opts for McShane.''

    I don't find that interesting at all. What I find more interesting by far is the real-world evidence of what the man who created Ace actually said her surname is.

    ''As for your other points, I'm not convinced they matter so much, but I'll answer them anyway.

    The early comic strips were clearly never intended to be set in the same continuity as the TV Series, and frequently give the Doctor a very different characterisation from the TV Series. ''

    That's not true at all. They were clearly intended to be the same character as the character William Hartnell was playing on television. Note how, eg., after The Web Planet, the Zarbi appear in the comic strip, and the Doctor refers to his earlier encounter.
    The reasons for using John and Gillian are that a)it would have cost too much to use tv companions, ab)the strips were prepared pretty far ahead of publication, and the tv companions may have left by the time their stories reach the page, c)the strips wouldn't be able to say something about the tv companions, because the tv stories may say something else.

    But nowhere is it stated that this is a different continuity to the television show. Also take not of the fact that the tv show in the 60's did stories like Planet of Giants, The Celestial Toymaker, The Mind Robber etc.

    ''Both Virgin Books' claim that they are set in the Land of Fiction and Doctor Who Magazine's story that claims they are the Doctor's dreams are, if anything, attempts to bring something that didn't fit with continuity into the fold. There are also, as you point out, stories that suggest they were in continuity as actual adventures the Doctor had. This is a continuity issue just like the question of whether the UNIT stories were set in the 70s or the 80s. There are various different ways to resolve the issue, but nothing that is clearly and unambiguously the right answer.''

    Is that apart from your claiming that they were 'clearly never intended to be set in the same continuity as the TV Series'? But remember that things like The Big Timeline etc. didn't really exist in the 60's and 70's, as witnessed by the whole T-Mat problem, the multiple fates of Atlantis etc.

    However, by the 90's, and especially as most people following Who in the 90's were fans rather than just the general public, the concepts of continuity and canonicity now existed. Which makes Virgin's decision to break with that ever more interesting.

    ''Yes, Virgin Books, BBC Books, and Big Finish are/were all at arms length from the BBC proper (even though some Big Finish audios were made for broadcast on BBC radio). My view is that if a story is officially licensed and clearly intended to be set in the main continuity, that makes it just as valid in a continuity discussion as any other story.''

    Then why did you dismiss the BBC Books as "fringe"? And as noted, the TV Comics WERE intended to be set in the main continuity. Actually for that matter, Scream of the Shalka(mentioned earlier) was meant to be set in the main continuity too.

    ''I'm not convinced that your claim that BBC Books stories are more valid than Virgin Books stories just because BBC Books is/was owned by the BBC has any weight (which was the point I was trying to make). And given that a number of BBC Books (from a wide variety of authors) draw very heavily on continuity created by Virgin, and that Ace's surname is one of only two or three real contradictions between the two ranges, it's difficult for me to think of them as entirely separate strands of continuity.''

    I think there are more than two or three. But anyway, in-universe and real-world it is stated that the Virgin Books take place inside a bottle in the BBC universe(Dead Romance and Interference 1&2). SO, going by your own viewpoint....

  • Reply to: Loving the Alien   11 months 1 week ago
    Author: whoniverse

    I'm pretty sure that, at the time this was written, I wasn't vociferously calling for anything on any internet forums. Relative Dementias (set before this story) had already given a satisfactory answer to the contradiction between the Perry-Tucker books and every other author on the question of Ace's surname.

    As for Virgin books, Paul Cornell is anything but a hater of continuity - he was one of the co-authors of The Discontinuity Guide, which is a love-letter to the whole concept. And his novels show him to be the kind of writer who enthusiastically uses continuity to tell a story. When Virgin first used the surname McShane nothing had been established in-universe about Ace's surname, so the writers and editors were perfectly free to either go with or contradict behind the scenes intentions. It's entirely possible that nobody involved in the decision was aware of Brigg's original intention.

    When BBC Books stories by Robert Perry and/or Mike Tucker later started to use the surname Gale, despite a number of earlier clear-cut uses of McShane, those of us who hadn't (at the time) heard about Ian Briggs' intentions about her surname assumed that it was Perry & Tucker making the mistake. When Big Finish went with McShane, that simply re-inforced the impression.

    I agree that the alternate-universe Ace cheapens the character (it was, at best, a very very weak resolution to the revelations about her tombstone in Prime Time). I'm just not convinced by your claim that the evidence overwhelmingly favours Gale as being her correct surname.

  • Reply to: Set Piece   11 months 1 week ago
    Author: whoniverse

    It's interesting that you don't seem to consider Relative Dementias relevant, given that it was also published by BBC Books, and is just as clear as any of the Perry-Tucker books.

    I find it interesting that the in-universe evidence for Ace's surname being Gale is entirely in books and short stories written by Robert Perry and Mike Tucker, whilst every other book, short story, and audio that gives her a surname opts for McShane.

    As for your other points, I'm not convinced they matter so much, but I'll answer them anyway.

    The early comic strips were clearly never intended to be set in the same continuity as the TV Series, and frequently give the Doctor a very different characterisation from the TV Series. Both Virgin Books' claim that they are set in the Land of Fiction and Doctor Who Magazine's story that claims they are the Doctor's dreams are, if anything, attempts to bring something that didn't fit with continuity into the fold. There are also, as you point out, stories that suggest they were in continuity as actual adventures the Doctor had. This is a continuity issue just like the question of whether the UNIT stories were set in the 70s or the 80s. There are various different ways to resolve the issue, but nothing that is clearly and unambiguously the right answer.

    Yes, Virgin Books, BBC Books, and Big Finish are/were all at arms length from the BBC proper (even though some Big Finish audios were made for broadcast on BBC radio). My view is that if a story is officially licensed and clearly intended to be set in the main continuity, that makes it just as valid in a continuity discussion as any other story. I'm not convinced that your claim that BBC Books stories are more valid than Virgin Books stories just because BBC Books is/was owned by the BBC has any weight (which was the point I was trying to make). And given that a number of BBC Books (from a wide variety of authors) draw very heavily on continuity created by Virgin, and that Ace's surname is one of only two or three real contradictions between the two ranges, it's difficult for me to think of them as entirely separate strands of continuity.

  • Reply to: Loving the Alien   11 months 1 week ago
    Author: Ged S

    The Eighth Doctor happily accepted a clone of Fitz Kreiner, and refused to go back and help the original.

    Then there's the K-9 thing. Surely the Doctor's best friend was the original K-9, yet he got a Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV....

    However, the "New" Ace was written to appease certain people vociferously posting on various internet forums. People like whoever runs this site.

    Because, as stated elsewhere on this fine website, Ian Briggs(you know, the chap who actually created Ace) decreed that Ace's real name is 'Dorothy Gale'. And so it was. Ace's mom's married name is given as 'Audrey Gale' in 'Ace of Hearts', 'Ace gives her own name as 'Dorothy Gale' in Matrix, the name 'Dorothy Gale' is used by various people in 'Prime Time'(and is the name on Ace's grave), and here near the beginning of Loving the Alien, the Doctor refers to Ace as 'Miss Gale'. Now, ordinarily that would be enough for any level-headed person to accept that Ace's real name is 'Dorothy Gale', with 'Gale' clearly being her surname.

    ...BUT our friends at the Virgin New Adventures decided to call her 'Dorothy McShane' instead.
    Actually, that's not fair to the New Adventures authors. The name was apparently thought up by continuity-hating Paul Cornell, but first appears in Kate Orman's 'Set Piece''

    And then the fine folk over at big Finish created a conundrum. Ace gives her name in the Jonathan Blum-written 'The Fearmonger' as 'Dorothy McShane'. Yet stories like 'The Genocide Machine' and 'Dust breeding' are clearly set in the same continuity as the BBC books. Only for her to resort to being 'McShane' afterwards. And yet Big Finish claim that all THEIR stories(excluding the Unbounds) take place in the same universe. Eh?

    So, it falls to Tucker and Perry to 'solve' the problem. Although, really, it may have been better if they'd just given two fingers each to the 'McShane' people. Ace, the original Ace, the one the Doctor met in 'Dragonfire', travelled with through Seasons 25 and 26, as well as the six BBC novels from 'Illegal Alien' through halfway through 'Loving the Alien'(and that would include 'The Hollow Men', 'Ace of Hearts', 'Stop the Pigeon', 'The Genocide Machine' and most likely 'Dust Breeding'), is Dorothy GALE. Thus fulfilling Ian Briggs' wishes.

    The alternate Ace, the almost identical in every way, but with a few little differences, the one who comes through the dimensional tear....she is Dorothy MCSHANE. The Doctor even says at the end that this Ace
    believes that she's in the same unvierse as she always was, barring her dislike of peas, and her NOT KNOWING WHAT HER SURNAME IS. Except that she does. because in her reality she was 'Dorothy McShane'. And not long after 'Loving the Alien' we can then move onto the New Adventures and Big Finish Seventh Doctor Audios, allowing all three ranges to exist in one continuity. It does of course mean that the New Adventures Ace and the Big Finish Ace(barring a couple of early audios) is not the exact same Ace from the television show, but rather an almost-identical one from a parallel universe. But maybe Cornell, Orman and Blum should have thought of that before they decided to call her by the wrong name of 'McShane'.

  • Reply to: Set Piece   11 months 1 week ago
    Author: Ged S

    "You're on a site that chronicles the in-universe continuity of Doctor Who, so yes the in-universe evidence is relevant. "
    I never said it wasn't. I said that it's not the ONLY thing that is "relevant".

    "Virgin, Big Finish, and BBC Books all use the surname McShane for Ace. BBC Books also uses the surname Gale. There's a pretty large body of in-universe evidence for McShane being her actual surname - and certainly more than the in-universe evidence the other way."
    That's subjective of course. Depending on what one considers to 'count'. Of course, there is still a mountain of in-universe evidence that eg. Paul McGann regenerated into Christopher Eccleston, or for the Looms. So 'amount' isn't really the big thing, is it?

    "You are, of course, entitled to prefer the possibility which has less in-universe evidence, but saying that Ace's "real" name is "clearly" Dorothy Gale, rather than Dorothy Gale McShane would seem to be overstating your case somewhat."
    I said that it was clearly 'Gale' in the BBC Books, which is after all part of the BBC, the same company that created and produced Doctor Who the television series, rather than an outside party making licensed merchandise.

    It was also more a response to the idea that saying her full name is 'Dorothy Gale McShane' somehow 'fixes' or 'explains' things. In Ace of Hearts, Ace's mum's married surname is 'Gale', in Matrix Ace gives her name as 'Dorothy Gale', in Prime Time, she is referred to as 'Dorothy Gale' as her full name. So, it's abundantly clear that 'Gale' is a surname, and not a middle name(which would be spelled 'Gail' anyway).

    And again, if you're going by amount of usage, then the Virgin Books can't count, as there were FIFTEEN YEARS of Polystyle comics every week, excluding annuals, various summer, holiday etc specials against TWO stories claiming that they took place in the Land of Fiction. And then various stories like Placebo Effect, Hornet's Nest, etc. all refer to events or characters from TV Comic.

    "There are plenty of examples where continuity stuff that was assumed by those behind the scenes was contradicted by later stories. This appears to be one of those cases. If you are suggesting that behind the scenes facts which the entire production team was aware of are necessarily "true", I have to assume you believe that the Doctor is a human from the 49th Century and that Tom Baker was, in fact, the 12th Doctor. "
    Two different things. Where IN THE TELEVISION SERIES does it say that Ace's surname isn't 'Gale'?

    "Even though these are flatly contradicted by stories made and broadcast by the BBC proper (and not by an arms-length commercial publishing arm)."
    Again, Ace's name isn't contradicted by anything in the television series.

    And if BBC Books is "an arms-length commercial publishing arm", then what does that make Virgin Books or Big Finish Audios?

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