The Ultimate Treasure

Roots: Labyrinth, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Fighting Fantasy game books. The Merry Wives of Windsor (Falstaff). Chocky's Inn is possibly named after John Wyndham's Chocky. There are references to Alice in Wonderland, Wedgewood, Van Gogh, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Goodman, Hercules, and The Wizard of Oz.

Goofs: Van Gogh is spelt Van Gough.

Dialogue Disasters: “Krek it". "Whoreson caterpillars!" "Cruckbrain!"

Chapter 8 is entitled "The Wood of Lies".

Dialogue Triumphs: "Priorities tend to get displaced where large sums of money are involved".

"The prospect of suddenly acquiring vast wealth can do strange things to otherwise normal and well-balanced beings."

Continuity: The Seers of Gelsandor are humanoid, with five wire-thin silver tendrils that protrude from their foreheads. They can create transdimensional portals in space and in the space-time Vortex using mental power. They are telepathic and telekinetic. Their mental powers are strong enough to create a psychokinetic field inside the TARDIS and take control of it. They can cast mental fields over visitors to Gelsandor to make them feel at peace, and can also use their minds to delve into the time winds. They have no power over artificial minds. Gelsandor is temperate and well-cultivated, with trees, bushes bearing poisonous orange berries, and fauna including a creature resembling a prehistoric terrestrial sauropod, standing five metres at the shoulder and twenty-five metres in length, with a spiked tail, three pairs of limbs, and a turtle-like shell on its back. There are also smaller, four-legged animals with powerful jaws and rows of dagger-like teeth on Gelsandor, as well as a massive reptilian creature with a horned lizard head and a long scaled body supported on many pairs of short leg.

The Cartovallians were humanoid. Rovan Hathcorl Clemont Delermain Cartovall was born on Centros, the capital of the Cartovallian stellar empire, in 1973BC (608,432.93 Galactic Time Index). The Cartovallian Stellar Empire comprised approximately fifty systems and 2.8x1011 subjects and was ruled by Emperor Dorrian III and Empress Kalia of Cartovall, Rovan's parents: Rovan became Emperor in 608,465.04GTI. Rovan disappeared during a voyage to the vacation world of Serenity in 608,469.29GTI when he left on his private yacht along with the entire contents of the palace treasury, estimated to be worth 6.4x1012 stellar credits, and was never seen again. He also took with him the Book of Lineage of the Empire, which contains the genetic records of all of his ancestors. His younger brother Athren succeeded him as Emperor in 608,472.63GTI. Rovan's disappearance was widely blamed for beginning the disintegration of the Cartovallian Empire. Rovan took his fortune to Gelsandor with the aid of the Seers, who used a small portion of his wealth to ensure their independence and continue their studies into the science of the mind: as part of their agreement with Rovan, the Seers became the guardians of his treasure. The Seers, as agreed by Rovan (who believed that courage and determination should be rewarded), allow seekers of the treasure to try and reach it past a series of traps: in return, the Seers get to study the minds of beings under stress.

Hok has stubby locomotor limbs resembles the mock turtle, but with bunches of manipulator tentacles instead of flippers. Cantarites have horn-toed feet and vaguely resemble bipedal rhinoceroses. Mr Alpha is humanoid, but with purple skin and slightly peculiar eyes. Tritonites are humanoid reptiles with lightly scaled green skin and short, bony-frilled crocodile tails. The two policemen that question the Doctor and Peri resemble a mobile fir tree with eye stalks, and a creature with a stick-like body and a head as smooth and featureless as an egg [which sound very much like descriptions of two of the alien delegates (Beaus and Gearon) from Mission to the Unknown and The Daleks' Master Plan, so they may be members of the same species].

Alpha's strongbox resembles a Brody and Yang Executive Model 18 with obdurite casing, but is actually a robot with a large humanoid torso on a blocky tracked base and red photosensors for eyes: it contains a copy of Alpha's mind, which he periodically downloaded into it in case he dies. It is capable of independent space flight. It also comes equipped with weapons, including a blade that extends from the arm.

The Doctor buys Peri some clothes on Astroville Seven using a credit system of some kind. He provides fake identity cards for Peri and himself on Astroville Seven. The Doctor notes that the TARDIS shed several thousand tonnes of mass some time ago (Castrovalva) but has regenerated most of it. The Doctor can remove the TARDIS key's sensitisation to his body pattern by pressing it against his forehead [telepathy?]. He claims that he is currently about eight-hundred and fifty years old. He can tell that Falstaff isn't Gallifreyan by looking at him. He dons walking boots for the quest on Gelsandor and provides backpacks complete with bedrolls and walking staffs.

Peri has a coffee and a sandwich from the TARDIS food synthesizer [an updated version of the food machine?]. She dons a loose cord shirt, thigh-length shorts, knee-high woollen socks, and walking boots from the TARDIS wardrobe, as well as a hooded cape.

Red is an equine with a unicorn-like horn, long canine teeth, and a body covered with red hair and contoured, metallic blue armoured plates. He has feet that are both webbed and clawed. He is actually Kamelion, who interfaced with the TARDIS before the Master took control of him and has a pseudo-metabolic extension into the fifth dimension, where he stores or draws on additional mass to suit varied body forms [controlled by Block Transfer Computations - see The Crystal Bucephalus]: through this and the tenuous interdimensional link, his mental pattern survived when his body was destroyed and was trapped in the TARDIS' hyperdimensional fields. He remained trapped, unable to communicate with the Doctor or regenerate a new physical form, until the Seers of Gelsandor released him and allowed him to transfer his mind into an amorphous plasmoid form that they had created, at which point he became Red, a form based on Peri's thoughts of heroic dogs, knights in armour, and America. Because his new body is unstable and too many of his functions dispersed with his original body, he finally dies here after saving the Doctor and Peri and thus redeeming himself.

Dexel Dynes works for the Interstellar News Agency. He uses flying cameras called Drone Audio Visual Equipment (DAVE).

The Ymerl are a race of methane-breathers that live at super-cold temperatures and usually have little contact with the rest of the galactic community.

On Gamma Ceffilos 12, diagonal stripes of crimson and cobalt blue denote a recently widowed mother who is still in mourning, but who will be accepting new suitors after the next lunar conjunction. There is a reference to third-period Tabaron vases. Jek fruit can be purchased in Dryden Dome on Sirius Nine. Collapsium is impervious to energy weapons.

Links: There are references to Sarn, Lanzarote, Kamelion's death, and the Master (Planet of Fire). The Doctor notes that the Time Lords are partly responsible for the prevalence of the humanoid form throughout the universe (Lucifer Rising).

Location: Astroville Seven; on board the Newton; and Gelsandor, c3054AD.

Future History: Astroville Seven is a thirty-first century spaceborn trading post many light years away from Earth, and populated by a variety of robots and alien species. It serves the recreational and administrative needs of a stellar nebula and its associated swarm of asteroids and minor planets. Metal bars can be used a means of payment. Stellar Grand is Astroville Seven's five-star hotel. Astroville has a Central Archive, which is essentially a library.

Figures of public prominence are exempt from the protection of parts one and two of the Privacy of Sentient Beings Act of 2830. Obesity is rare by 3054 [see also Last Man Running].

The Bottom Line: "The Quest For The Ultimate Treasure... What a title!" Cliché-ridden nonsense, with a hugely unoriginal quest-based plot and characterisation so thin it's barely even two-dimensional. It is nice to see Kamelion again though.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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