The Glamour Chase
Roots: There are references to Emmeline Pankhurst, Time Team, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, The Addams Family, The Munsters, Thomas Edison, Darwin, Lady Gaga, The X-Factor, American Idol, Howard Carter, Doug McClure, The Lord of the Rings, Rider Haggard, Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, the Titanic, Oscar Wilde, the Brothers Grimm, Hieronymus Bosch, Dr Crippen, The Wombles and Disney.
Continuity: The Weave resemble living wool, and are actually composed of flexible ribbon proteins that are always in flux. Their basic shape resembles a knitted humanoid. They are asexual and take on characteristics depending on their mood. They can copy the appearance of other beings, including humans. They don’t have names, but rather numbers and their society functions like a single huge family. Their life cycle is similar to a Fibonacci code: each new Weave’s number is a successive number added to the last. Their ship crashed in Norfolk six thousand years earlier, although the Weave remained in suspended animation until circa 1920. They carry out short-term memory transfer when they copy humans and also transfer their basic characteristics. Their ship is powered by the Glamour, an energy field that can alter reality. It is programmed to respond to crew members, unless they are sick or injured, as they could send it haywire.
The Tahnn are old enemies of the Weave and hail from a neighbouring planet, Tahnnis. They are humanoid with prune-like faces. They don’t have names for alien planets or moons. They know of the Daleks. Nathaniel Porter is a Tahnn-Weave hybrid created by the Tahnn as a super-soldier to infiltrate and kill the Weave.
An alien species from a different galaxy once entered the Milky Way and wiped out an entire species: the Shadow Proclamation responded by seeding that galaxy with a virus that would be triggered if any species tried to leave their planet’s atmosphere. The inhabitants of one planet tried it, wiping themselves out and causing one-third of the population of that galaxy to die before an antidote was found.
The Doctor pretends to be from Scotland Yard and claims that Rory is on loan from Gloucester University’s geological department. The TARDIS picks up the signal from the homing beacon that the Doctor gave to the Weave girl, which brings it to 1936.
Rory wears jeans and a Space Invaders T-shirt. Amy wears a blue baggy top, a short black skirt and trainers. She dislikes dried dates. When she was thirteen years old Darren Cotham told her that Pernod was all aniseed and no alcohol.
Rory had a childhood friend named Alec who he lost touch with as they got older. He met him again when Alec was admitted to a ward having been in a car crash on the M5 at the age of nineteen; he died of a heart attack due to his injuries. He became a nurse because he wanted to study to become a doctor due to Amy’s obsession with the Raggedy Doctor and found that he preferred nursing instead. He went on excursions to a brass-rubbing centre when he was at school and hated them. He plays chess with Oliver Marks.
Links: There are references to the Atraxi and Prisoner Zero (The Eleventh Hour). Amy recalls “alien vampires” (Vampires of Venice) and “strange nightmares” (Amy’s Choice). The Doctor mentions Marcus Scarman (Pyramids of Mars) and Bernice Summerfield.
Location: Little Cadthorpe, Leicestershire, August 1928 and Shalford Heights, Norfolk, 1936.
Unrecorded Adventures: In a previous incarnation the Doctor saved the Weave’s home planet from a massive thing that was rotting away the planet’s very soul. He took a small Weave girl on a trip around the cosmos in the TARDIS before returning her home and gave her a homing beacon. Whilst attempting to take Amy and Rory to Rio the Doctor has instead taken them to Tibet and a world of dragons and jousting.
The Bottom Line: Considerably more restrained than many of Russell’s novels, making for a much tighter and enjoyable story than in the past. The Tahnn are fairly forgettable villains, but the Weave, with their odd physiology, are far more memorable. Russell’s characterisation of the regulars is peerless.