The Final Sanction

Roots: War, basically. More specifically, the injustices and moral grey areas involved in any combat. There are references to the Mona Lisa, and Pandora's box.

Dialogue Triumphs: "I am not your enemy, Supreme Leader. I am the enemy of anything that is wrong or evil in this universe. My responsibility is to the innocent, whoever or whatever they may be."

Continuity: Ockora has no moon. One Ockoran day is roughly equivalent to twenty-six Earth hours. Ockoran technology is grown rather than manufactured (see The Murder Game). There are barnacles on Ockora. "She Who Tends to the Injured and Swims with the Lonely" is an example of an Ockoran name. Before the Selachians emerged from the oceans in their battlesuits, Ockora was a popular tourist destination; the Kalarians built numerous resorts, hotels and hostels on the planet and murdered the Ockorans for sport (see The Murder Game). Ockorans have a song that tells of the start of the war, and the death at the hands of the air-breathers of their Great Mother, who guided their species. The Ockorans use fluorescent fungi to light their cities. They use underwater solar panels to provide power.

Selachian land-transports resemble huge armadillos and tend to be covered in green moss. Selachians are long-lived and can apparently live for well over a century. Their unfiltered, untranslated speech-song is apparently a beautiful sound. The Selachians have been augmenting their battle suits for decades, using stolen alien technology. Their weapons are designed to have the maximum psychological impact possible on humans; as such, they tend to leave very messy, bloody corpses. Eighteen percent of TSF privates do not survive their first encounter with Selachians. TSF weapons release swarms of nanites that burrow into metallic surfaces and prise their molecules apart; the Selachians' battlesuits contain nanites designed to hunt down and neutralise enemy nanites. The Selachians mine seas with Selachian spores, which cling to people and combust on exposure to air. Thinkers are Selachian bioengineered organisms that attach themselves to the heads of humans via a spike and shut down their neural pathways one by one. The Selachians can naturally survive on land for a time, dragging themselves along with their arms. Selachian records contain details of the Doctor, who implies that he will thwart them many times, but hasn't yet [he hadn't met them before in The Murder Game, and Jamie doesn't recognise them so he can't have met them since. Since they recognise the Second Doctor's face, does he clash with them in the gap between The War Games and Spearhead from Space (see World Game)?].

Kalaya has an oxygen-rich atmosphere, near-Earth normal gravity (which is actually slightly higher than Earth's) and a temperate climate. There are twenty-two and a half Earth hours in a Kalarian day. Kalarians are humanoid with white hair, pink skin, and hands that end in three long, webbed fingers. They have deep black eyes and no noses.

The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to deactivate a minefield. He and Jamie drink a beverage made from local leaves and berries by TSF privates on Kalaya. He has a discarded chocolate wrapper and a pencil in his jacket pockets. He reads a copy of Moby Dick, which he presumably has in his pockets. Despite detailed foreknowledge of the destruction of Ockora and the roles of Redfern and Mulholland, the Doctor is hugely tempted to encourage Mulholland to defuse the G-bombs, thus changing history. He eventually warns the Supreme Leader about the G-bomb, partly to save Zoe and partly to save the Ockorans, although the destruction of Ockora eventually takes place as recorded anyway. He reluctantly dons a TSF uniform with oxygenator and carries a gun, knife and electro-grenades when he joins the TSF expedition to Ockora; he soon hands the weapons to Michaels. He carries an apple, which he eats here.

Jamie dons a blue cagoule from the TARDIS, which later gets damaged by acid from a Selachian acid-gun. The TSF gives Jamie a combat suit and training. He eats some vitamin pills at the TSF ship. A thinker attacks him, leaving a spike in his forehead. He wears pink striped pyjamas whilst in the infirmary. He can swim.

The Earth School of Parapsychology gave Zoe an excellent sense of direction. She is forced to change into overalls when the Selachians capture her and her clothes are burnt. She eats some tiny violet berries on an island on Ockora and nutrient paste whilst held captive. A Selachian repeatedly slaps her with an armoured hand to try and make her talk. Zoe can swim.

Links: The Selachians were first mentioned in Killing Ground and first appeared in The Murder Game. Jamie recalls visiting Atlantis (The Underwater Menace). There are references to Daleks, Cybermen and Ice Warriors.

Location: Kalaya and Ockora, 2204AD.

Future History: The Selachians first developed their battle suits and left Ockora circa 2104AD. They conquered Kalaya in the first six months and three more neighbouring worlds within a year. By 2204AD, they are at war with humanity, and have been driven back to their own system. The humans have retaken all the worlds captured by the Selachians, including Molinar, except for Kalaya, which is the last. In 2204, Terran Security Force (TSF) Commander Wayne Redfern orders the use of a newly designed G-bomb, short for gravity bomb, which totally destroys Ockora, more or less wiping out the Selachians and killing over ten thousand human and alien hostages on the planet in the process. As a result, future generations will vilify Redfern. Professor Laura Mulholland, creator of the G-bomb, committed suicide six months after the destruction of Ockora; due to the Doctor's interference in history, she is killed by Selachians after the destruction of Ockora. At some point before 2204, the Selachians massacred the civilians of Regus V and tested their sun-stoker on a Martian colony that had refused to sell arms to them.

The TSF is controlled by a powerful cartel of Earth conglomerates, which exploited the nervousness left by the Dalek war (The Dalek Invasion of Earth) to take control of the TSF, turning it within five years into an army capable of mounting a full-scale galactic war; according to the Doctor, they have been trading weapons with the Selachians for years and pushed for war with the Selachian Empire when it started to become too strong on the galactic markets.

By the twenty-third century, human accents have become more or less homogenised. The TSF uses T-Mat, which the Doctor implies has only recently started to be used again (The Seeds of Death).

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has already met Leonardo da Vinci (see also City of Death).

The Bottom Line: A heavy-handed and massively unsubtle treatise on the horrors of war, but effective nonetheless. Lyons is adept at creating characters who are simultaneously sympathetic and unpleasant, and by showing the conflict from the point of view of both humans and Selachians, he creates a tragedy that inexorably unfolds.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke
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