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Roots: The Office. Lucie mentions The Wizard of Oz. Phil Neville is mentioned during the Fantasy Football announcement. Hulbert mentions Del boy and Rodney (Only Fools and Horses). There are references to Argos and Topshop. Straxus is named after a character from Marvel's Transformers comic.

Technobabble: The Time Lords use a quantum crystalliser, which splinters time in a localised area into various probabilities and then selects one that matches what it's been programmed to accept as desirable.

Dialogue Disasters: Various rope puns in episode one.

All of Jerry's management speak, including "Lucie, hi! I've been meaning to touch base with you" and "I've got poles to grease and oxes to grind."

"I'll explain later."

Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor's excitable response to Lucie thinking she'd had a "Wizard of Oz" moment: "In glorious Technicolor? Which one was I, the scarecrow? No, the dog! Oh, not one of those flying monkeys!"

"If you draw that scimitar I will call security."

Lucie: "You'll never believe this."
The Doctor: "I probably will. When you've seen as many things as I have, you tend to become rather credulous."

Lucie on technobabble: "As a general rule of thumb, if it's not something you can buy at Argos, you have to explain it to me."

Straxus: "Doctor, it is very, very important that we don't look bad".

Continuity: Lonsis' sky is purple. The Cybermen seen here of the early CyberFaction type seen in The Invasion. Hulbert's clients are the people of the planet Shinus: the Shinx are traders, but hired Hulbert to deal with the Cybermen because Lonsis is in a neighbouring system. They have records of the Doctor from Earth and Planet 14 (The Invasion). The CIA seeded paranoia in the Shinx to prompt them to hire Hulbert to wipe out the Cybermen on Lonsis, and then planted a quantum crystalliser in one of the war machines to ensure that the Cybermen didn't win. The Doctor gives the quantum crystalliser to the Cybermen, which is programmed to make the Cybermen lose as soon as combat begins: as a result, it makes every Cybermen suffer an abrupt systems failure, the chances of which are usually very remote. The Cybermen haven't heard of Telos at this point in their history. Straxus agrees to have Hulbert's machines destroyed and help Jerry return all the surviving humans to Earth.

The Hulbert Logistics "offices" are actually giant robotic combat machines controlled by the brainwashed human occupants. Many of Hulbert's alien clients have either been to Earth before, or have picked up Earth's radio and television signals in space. Hulbert claims to be a former employee of the system who shook off the conditioning and took over (it isn't explain who built the system). He hired the Headhunter to retrieve Lucie because he was worried that she had been poached by a competitor.

Straxus gives the Doctor a time ring so that he can rescue Lucie. Prior to Straxus's arrival, the Doctor is trying to repair the TARDIS isomorphic controls so that he can override what the Time Lords have done to it. New time rings have a temporal buffer. The Doctor builds a device to undo the brainwashing used on Lucie. He bluffs his way into a job at Hulbert Logistics and dons a change of a clothes found in a stationery cupboard. He uses the alias John Smith, but claims that everyone calls him Doctor because when he was at the LSE he had transferred from studying medicine at King's. He tells Hulbert that his real name isn't pronounceable in English. The Doctor gives Lucie a new mobile phone that can get a signal through the shielding around Hulbert's platform [see The End of the World]. He has never heard of Lonsis prior to arriving there.

The job that Lucie was to start when the Time Lords snatched her out of time was at Hulbert Logistics in Telford: she commences her job there when the Headhunter returns her to it and blocks her memories of the Doctor. The block isn't terribly effective, as she keeps remembering the TARDIS. Rachel started work at Hulburt Logistics on the very same day as Lucie. Hulbert paid the Headhunter to recapture Lucie, "a lowly data entry clerk", because her aptitude was very high. Lucie's Auntie Pat (Horror of Glam Rock) once got twenty thousand pounds from an insurance company following an accident with a hedge-trimmer. The High Council snatched Lucie out of time and space and placed her in the Doctor's care, because they believed that the CIA predicted a future in which she became a European dictator and would ultimately be responsible for an aggressive Earth expansion into space. In fact, it was Karen who the CIA had predicted this future for: she and Lucie were interviewed on the same day, causing the High Council to pick the wrong girl.

The Headhunter is apparently human, although it isn't explained where she got her time travel pod from. She has heard of the Time Lords. She offers the wounded Karen a job as her assistant at the end.

Links: Blood of the Daleks. Lucie mentions the Tomorrow Twins (Horror of Fang Rock) and Phobos (Phobos).

Location: Lonsis, [c2006].

The Bottom Line: "I will leave things better than I found them, and that's a promise." Complex, rewarding, and very, very witty. McGann gives one of his finest performances. The various subplots strewn throughout the series are all tied up, with Robson making great use of both Cybermen and Time Lords.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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