The Feast of the Drowned
Roots: The Fog (phantom sailors), Alien (aliens implanting their offspring in human bodies).
There are references to Captain Bird's-Eye, the Star, Casualty, Crimewatch, "Greensleeves", Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, Calvin Klein, the Trojan Horse, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Bambi, Yellow Pages and Red Cross tea.
The Doctor quotes Arnold Schwarzenegger from The Terminator, General MacArthur, and Scott of the Antarctic, and the Apocrypha (specifically the King James translation of the Prayer of Azaraiah).
Goofs: The Doctor claims that he's never met a real ghost, despite having met several in The Ghosts of N-Space.
If the transmitters are subatomic (smaller than atoms), then how can they be organic (made from carbon compounds – which necessarily contain carbon atoms)? Being subatomic also means they wouldn't be able to detect them with geochemistry, as Vida claims.
If it takes years for the waterhive to make their imitations look properly human, how did Commodore Powers not get discovered as an alien?
Kelper is an American naval officer, so why is he thinking of calling in Torchwood, rather than UNIT?
Dialogue Disasters: The Doctor on meeting Vida Swann: “Take me to your Vida”.
Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: "Now that Mickey the untrained civilian's got a couple of hand grenades in his pockets, hey! We're safe as houses!"
The Doctor: "I've just been tangling with a dirty great queen in an underground dungeon. Shame I didn't think ahead. In this part of town I could have sold tickets."
Continuity: The waterhive is a shared hive consciousness that connects by water molecules, and which is controlled by a queen. They can control all moisture and can draw moisture from nearby humans, using water to create three-dimensional bodies for themselves, including replicas of human beings. They are telepathic and can control humans whom they have drowned, using their knowledge of anti-cellularisation to alter their victims' bodies, providing them with gills and fish-like eyes. They lay their eggs in human bodies, providing them with a source of nutrients when they hatch. They have been on Earth for centuries and project themselves through space by using mental power to power fuse hydrogen and oxygen in space together, providing the water it needs. They can absorb the bodies of the dead, taking their experience and knowledge and learning from them, using the emotions of drowned humans to lure other humans to its spawning ground by creating images of those it has drowned using local moisture, and projecting their emotions to their loved ones
In their natural form, the creatures of the waterhive resemble large one-eyed eels. They can make themselves much bigger to intimidate their prey, growing stubby fins and protuberances, and making their mandibles straighter and sharper. The Doctor uses a combination of the inhibitive powers of chemical transmitters released into the water and his own mental power to destroy the waterhive, causing the DNA of its creatures to unravel, and undoing the genetic damage to its human victims, restoring them to normal.
The Doctor buys chips for Rose, Keisha and himself. He preferred the way chips tasted when they were wrapped in newspaper. He is still getting used to having new teeth (The Parting of the Ways). He poses as Sir John Smith, Scientific Adviser to the Admiralty. He later revises the alias to Sir John Smith Junior, when he finds out that he looks a bit young for a knighthood. He uses his sonic screwdriver to resonate concrete until it shatters.
Mickey's smile was one of the first things that attracted Rose to him. Keisha is one of Rose's old clubbing crowd, though they have been friends since they were kids. She has an older brother, Jay, who is in the Navy, and whom Rose had a crush on when she was fourteen. Rose and Keisha often went out with Shareen, another friend. Rose went on holiday to Cromer in Norfolk, where she stayed in a caravan. When Rose and Keisha were younger, a strange old man whom they called Old Scary used to wander the Powell Estate. The waterhive drowns Rose and grows gills for her, and plants eggs in her body; when the Doctor destroys it, she reverts to normal and the eggs dissolve.
Keisha has led Mickey to believe that they slept together after Rose disappeared, although in fact they didn't; he was too drunk to remember otherwise. It was actually Keisha who tried to seduce him, not the other way around. Later she blamed Mickey for Rose vanishing and got her friends to push things through his letterbox and try to beat a confession out of him.
Jackie is currently seeing someone called Dennis. She knocks a man out with a single punch to the jaw.
The planet Jacdusta is in the Duskijec nebula.
Links: There is a reference to the Doctor bringing Rose back home twelve months after she left, rather than the day she left (Aliens of London). Mickey mentions Slitheen (Aliens of London/World War Three) and Sycorax (The Christmas Invasion). The Doctor's line, "Ace-a-mundo. A word I shall hopefully never use again" is suspiciously similar to a line in School Reunion. Kelper mentions Torchwood. Mickey's reference to webs when they're in the tube station is clearly a nod to The Web of Fear. The sonic screwdriver resonating concrete is a direct reference to The Doctor Dances.
Location: The North Sea and London, c2007.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor suggests that he's been walking in Norfolk and been to the Elvis Experience at Yarmouth.
The Bottom Line: Pedestrian at best, The Feast of the Drowned is Cole on autopilot, riffing various watery horror films with little originality. Most new readers won't know or care, but intelligent water similar to the waterhive in part, has previously been done in the Big Finish audios The Genocide Machine and Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Poison Seas, and in the more recent Doctor Who Magazine comic strip "the Cruel Sea"