The Taking of Planet 5

Roots: H. P. Lovecraft, specifically At the Mountains of Madness from Astounding Stories, February to April 1936. There is a quotation from James Thomson's "City of Dreadful Night". There are references to Lara Croft, Max Planck, 1984 (Room 101), Vick's vapour rub, Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars, Star Trek, Patrick Moore and The Sky at Night, Scott, Amundsen, Howberry, William Blake, Transformers, John Mills, Freud, Borges, Mark Twain, MTV, Carter, Spielberg, Jane Austen, P. G. Wodehouse, Harry Houdini, Madonna, and Walter Raleigh.

There is a reference to Deneb, from the Doctor Who back-up strip The Touchdown on Deneb 7.

Dialogue Triumphs: "Destiny... is the art of throwing darts at random and claiming that anything you hit was the target all along."

"My ears are burning and that always means people are talking about me. Either that or I'm standing at the focal point of a number of converging microwave emitters."

And loads more, including "The power of the scenario: it's trying to turn me into an expert narrative voice", "Obviously Doctor, I was employing irony".

Continuity: The Swimmers are vast things that dwell in the void between universes, which are the original fragments of the Ur-universe; so vast are the Swimmers that universes burst against their sides.

The Fendahl encountered by the Doctor previously was a ghost of its original self: the original Fendahl, released from Planet 5, would be able to eat worlds. The time fissure that powered Fendleman's time scanner during the nineteen-seventies was created by the damaged TARDIS seen here. The time loop created around Planet 5 was not a true time loop, but one specially designed by the CIA to accelerate the evolution of the world within: the Fendahl escaped by beaming itself to Earth in the form of psionic energy, but the part itself that survived was devoured by a creature that evolved to feed on the creature that feeds on death, the Fendahl Predator. The Fendahl Predator is a Memeovore, and devours meaning: it devours the ability to intuit circles on an Earth colony in the far future and the Delphonians and Tersurans ability to communicate by any but the most tenuous means (see Spearhead from Space and The Curse of Fatal Death). It devours the ability to speak on New Quintesson, a typical world of the seventh epoch. It also consumes the concept of family on the duty-bound worlds of the Nepotism of Vaal, one morning in Aaron's Month. One unleashes the Predator specifically to destroy Mictlan, a conceptual realm, which he believes will attract the Swimmers to our universe.

The Last Parliament rules Mictlan. Lords Celestial include the Duke of Knives, the Lord of the Red Moon, the Grey Cardinals, and the Chronometricists. There are Ninety-Nine Houses in Mictlan. One and Two are Celestis constructs ("archons") sent to search Earth for temporal anomalies: on their travels they kill a survivor of Atlantis ('The Time Monster'), and the Borad in Scotland in 1179AD ('Timelash'). Archons are virtually indestructible. One actually has his own agenda: terrified of the Swimmers, he engineers the events on prehistoric Earth to releases the Memeovore. Memory-cloning is an Enemy mind-war technique stolen by the Celestis shortly before they fled to Mictlan. The Bone Museums of Mictlan contain information on the Doctor. The Fendahl Predator attacks and consumes Mictlan, utterly destroying the Celestis: the Doctor persuades a fleet of War TARDISes to sever Mictlan from the main universe, setting it adrift in the void and trapping the feasting Predator inside it. One escapes, as does the hermit, another outcast from Mictlan who told One about the Swimmers, who regenerates into a young man and remains on Earth. One implies that the Enclave into the Obverse is a Celestis construction.

The Elder Things have cylindrical bodies with five-fold symmetry, and stand on tentacles that end in flat, triangular feet. Their heads are small, five-pointed stars, and they have five thin, ropey arms. They don't actually exist: as the Doctor notes, they were a creation of H. P. Lovecraft, as were their servants, the Shoggoths, which also appear here. The Elder Things seen here comprise two factions, one created by a Celesti fictional generator, and based on Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, one consisting of Time Lords from the Doctor's future during the War who have altered their bodies to replace the species they are wiping out. The Elder Things created by the Celestis technology become part of history. During the war, a male President rules Gallifrey as head of the War Council. There are special war Looms to produce soldiers. Thirty-thousand nine hundred and twenty-three new Gallifreyan words have derived solely from the War. Madness is not unusual amongst Time Lords. During War Time, there are nine Gallifreys, Gallifrey Eight covered in Loomstacks and chronoforges devoted to weapons manufacture. There were ten Gallifreys, but one was lost to the battle of Mutters Cluster. There was a rout on Delphon (Spearhead from Space) at which Homunculette (Alien Bodies) was present: he answers directly to the President on occasion. Banned copies of Doctor ? In An Exciting Adventure with the Enemy are read by some inductees. Waspbeatles are Gallifreyan insects.

Homunculette adopts the alias of Professor Nathaniel Hume, occasional scientific advisor to UNIT.

Twisknadine calls Planet 5 Thyrop-Minerva.

The Time Lords build Parallel Cannons for use in the War: they allow a stream of neutrinos from an anti-sun in another universe to pass throw into this universe, destroying whatever they hit. D-mat guns (The Invasion of Time) are used in the War and are kept on Gallifrey Nine. Artron energy is measured in atto-Omegas.

TARDISes are grown in Cradles. An Ubbo-Sathla is a TARDIS breeding engine. War-TARDISes have all the interpretive, adaptive and responsive intelligence of normal TARDISes, but with added aggression. They can drain stars for energy. TARDISes have genders - males are called "Bulls". A group of War TARDISes can create a formation known as a Time Drill, which can cut through anything, including a Time Loop.

The Doctor has been trying to find Professor Mildeo Twisknadine's Wandering Museum of the Verifiably Phantasmagoric, a.k.a. The Museum of Things That Don't Exist, for some time and now hopes it will show him a way into the Obverse that isn't the Enclave. Twisknadine (who introduces himself as Twistknacker) knows Vorg the Magnificent (Carnival of Monsters), who the Doctor last encountered trying to sell crustacoid (The Brain of Morbius, Original Sin) pornography to the unicellular life forms of Van Madden's Star. Twistnadine's collection includes nine types of Yeti, including robotic (The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear, Downtime) and fungi varieties. The Doctor notes that he dealt with several ancient evils from the dawn of time during his last incarnation (The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, The Curse of Fenric, White Darkness, All-Consuming Fire, amongst others) and hopes to have put that behind him. His pockets contain a copy of The Adventures of the New Frontier: Phantom Gadgets. He hates getting pins and needles. He breaks his own left wrist to attract the attention of a TARDIS.

Compassion dons a black cocktail dress from the TARDIS wardrobe. She has toast and coffee here. Marie is astonished that Homunculette doesn't realise who Compassion is...

Fitz occasionally worries that he has inherited his mother's madness (The Taint). He still claims to have half-heartedly quit smoking.

The Doctor has made modifications to the TARDIS such that parts of it are not formed out of block transfers, but built from actual materials from the real universe: these areas can bypass the symbiotic relationship, allowing a physical approach to the controlling the TARDIS. When he first left Gallifrey, he created various manual controls (explaining his reference to having built the ship in The Chase) in an attempt to override the symbiotic link, which he couldn't use properly because he lost control of the codes. It is implied that the Doctor is half-human as a result of repeatedly regenerating in the company of humans (see The TV Movie and also Interference). He eats French toast here.

UNIT recruits personnel with some psychic abilities, including Thomas Jessup. The United Nations Pantographic Survey (South American Section) is a front for UNIT.

Urmungstandra is the devil god of the Silurians.

Wallachians are humanoid with warty heads, and wear eye-makeup. A walloon is the smallest Wallachian coin in existence. Clockwork technology is used on the Gothick Whorl.

Captain Cook's Letters from Golobus (The Greatest Show in the Galaxy) makes reference to Androgums (The Two Doctors), and the sessile stalagbats of Marinus (The Keys of Marinus), which have cave-mouth-dwelling cousins. The singing squids of Anagonia nudge each other when a tone-deaf sidles by banging its six muted gongs. Probably fictitious planets in Professor Mildeo Twisknadine's Wandering Museum of the Verifiably Phantasmagoric include the caroming worlds of Velikowsky, the Black Star Nemesis, the Five Outer Worlds named after the lowest circles of Dante's Hell, Pellucidar-Symlandia, Hyperborea, Mu, Atlantis, Hy-Brasilica, and Antilles. The Doctor mentions the planet L'nf!XfX!, but is probably making it up.

Links: Alien Bodies (the Celestis, the War), Image of the Fendahl (the Fendahl, Planet 5). There are references to Anathema and the Remote (Interference). The Doctor mentions Martinique and the Vega station to Compassion (Demontage). Fitz muses on the events of Interference and The Blue Angel. He refrains, with some difficulty, from correcting Mildeo's assertion that Sherlock Holmes is entirely fictitious (All-Consuming Fire). There is a reference to the "Humanian era" (The TV Movie). Fitz mentions Griffin (Unnatural History) and recalls Tibet (Revolution Man).

There are references to Omega's stellar manipulator (Remembrance of the Daleks), Karfelon circuitry "like tinsel at Christmas" (Timelash), Nestene (Spearhead from Space, Terror of the Autons), Zygons (Terror of the Zygons, The Bodysnatcher), Rutans (Horror of Fang Rock, Lords of the Storm, Shakedown), Yartek and the Voord (The Keys of Marinus), the House of Redloom (Lungbarrow), Stangmoor (The Mind of Evil), Raston Warrior Robots (The Five Doctors), Omega (The Three Doctors, Arc of Infinity), Rassilon, Borusa, Sontarans, Chronovores (The Time Monster, No Future), and Starfall 7 seals (The Face of Evil). Celestis agent One is building up a tolerance to aspirin to amuse himself (The Mind of Evil). Brendonites is a probably a reference to Mawdryn Undead. The Elder Thing Black Stone is created from a Tau Cetan genus that eventually evolves into the Ogri (The Stones of Blood).

Location: Mictlan; Antarctica, and Buenos Aires, September and Octomber 1999; Professor Mildeo Twisknadine's Wandering Museum of the Verifiably Phantasmagoric (the future); Antarctica, c12,000,000BC; an unnamed Earth colony, the mid twenty-fourth century; Corinth; Tulloch Moor, Scotland, 1179AD.

Future History: Vulcan (The Power of the Daleks) is the closest planet to the sun in Earth's solar system: it was discovered in 2003 and had vanished by 2130. (The Murder Game)

Various twenty-fifth-century fringe archaeologists, especially Bendecker, Vildson and Urnst (The Highest Science) believe that the Elder Things were real.

Zigma photography (see The Talons of Weng-Chiang) proved all prior reconstructions of the Temple of Zeus to be incorrect during the mid-twenty-ninth century.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor may have visited galaxy RNGC-4603. He exchanged correspondence with Lovecraft, with whom he shared a love of ice-cream. The Eighth Doctor has met Eric Blair.

The Bottom Line: "I'm going to save the universe and commit genocide. Now there's moral ambiguity for you." A magnificent companion piece to Alien Bodies and Interference, The Taking of Planet 5 is full of wit, imagination, and big ideas. The only disappointment, as with Interference, is that the subsequent reset button of The Ancestor Cell means many loose ends would never be resolved (One and the hermit being an obvious example).

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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