The English Way of Death
Technobabble: The Doctor miss-sets the TARDIS triple vector zigzag plotter (it is corrected by Romana). He also builds a seismic monitoring system using cutlery, piano string and K9's compensator. He wishes he had a tri-cyclical wave inverter or a metonymic synference (size 3). Romana asks if Closed's time corridor operates on a Chronon field oscillation method.
The Equation of Rassilon, if applied to Zodaal's apparatus, would, in conjunction with a field of restricted wave-particle duality, stabilize the time corridor.
Continuity: The core of Zodaal is a cloud of gaseous radmium, which is only found in the core of a double-spiralled star. The core is the only facet of Zodaal with the power to kill. Zodaal's home planet is Phryxus. His propelled warping capsule uses a grey interchange as an energy source, i.e. a giant star. Zodaal stole the capsule from the stable zone where it was stored. The stable zone was created, using gravity wave suppressors, as a place where the grey field matter could be worked. The capsule was supposed to travel outside the galaxy through the interchange, but the drives locked, the power source inverted, and the capsule was dragged into the time core, where it clung to the time corridor for protection.
Zodaal transubstantiated his consciousness into a gaseous form based on radmium in order to be beamed out into the corridor through a chronon-funnel. He used a hyperzoic filter to split off his qualms and morals in order to become ruthless and thus survive. The fragment of his personality thus removed remained in the capsule and consists of humour, wonder and imagination. Radmium acts as a corrosive agent, hence the trail of decay left by Zodaal's presence. Zodaal intends to use a sonic stimulator to destroy the world and use the energy released to refashion him. He intends to use the Doctor's body for this.
The Doctor seems untroubled by the heat wave, continuing to wear his long woollen coat. He orders a pot of tea and a plate of scones from a caf&eacut;, but can go without food for a week. He is again seen to read with incredible speed and can detect the level of immuno-agents in blood by its smell. The Doctor is an expert shot and can take a pulse with his knee. He drives Mrs Chater's car.
Romana is familiar with the primitive underground railway networks of Earth. She has painted fingernails.
K9 has the ability to make improvements and has added a locator to him. He can trace cross-temporal signals. He has a welding attachment and can reconfigure his linguistic frame to a certain time period, for example 1890 to 1945. He also has a self-destruct mechanism. His brain possesses alternator interfaces for use by visiting intelligences.
39% is the highest mean efficiency grading attained by the TARDIS in the last 17 years. The Doctor bypasses the randomiser in order to direct the TARDIS to Earth to return his library books [see Unrecorded Adventures]. The TARDIS is able to detect a minor release of time-warmed chronon particles in the external atmosphere.
Location: London, 1930
Future History: Professor Marius registered K9 as a data patent on October 3rd 4998. In Percy's time, unauthorised time travel is illegal. He works for the Bureau [a front for the CIA?] and acts as their agent in the 1930s. The Bureau stumbled upon the time corridor accidentally. The destruction of Zodaal's grey interchange in relative year 365509 destroyed four developed civilisations in the region of space known to the Colonel's descendants as NGC4258. Phryxia survived. Millions of years later Phryxia, a technocracy, discovered a process by which matter from the grey field can be harnessed and inverted using radmium as a bonding agent. The radmium was easy to harvest, since the stellar activity in the region is famously volatile. This process would have unlocked the secret of functional intergalactic travel.
London swallowed up Nutchurch in 2415, partially covering the sea. The area was re-designated district 406 akker Playa del Nuttingchapel. The people use flying boxes for transport. This is Percy's native time zone.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor borrowed Physics is Fun, Febrile Diseases, and Swine Judging for Beginners from the public library on Shore Lane in London, June 5th 1930. He was also at Okushiri in 1720, at Krakatoa in 1883, and in Peru in 1910. He knew Sir Thomas Cubitt and Hannibal, played bridge with Cleopatra, and saw a composite entity directed by a controlling intelligence on Vybeslows VII. He has not painted since 1749.
The Doctor has fought the Hypnotron, the Aquamen, and the Steel Octopus (see Roots).
The Bottom Line: Easily one of the funniest Missing Adventures, The English Way of Death is probably the best of Robert's three Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 novels. It captures all the best aspects of Season Seventeen, and features a novel villain in the form of Zodaal, Doctor Who's first sentient smell.