Roots: Punk music. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Wind in the Willows.

Goofs: The book says that Totterdown, an area of Bristol, had been flattened by a Second World War blitzkrieg. However, Blitzkrieg refers to the lightning war that took a country in a matter of days or weeks - not the air raids that England experienced.

David Campbell is said to have died old and diseased in a hospital bed whilst Susan stayed young - despite what we saw in Legacy of the Dalek. However, this is almost certainly an image projected by the Ragman based loosely on the Doctor's memories rather than an actual depiction of events.

Fashion Victims: Yates in a sheepskin tank top, with beads round his neck, and huge flares. The band's get-up is pretty weird, and you get the impression that most of the convoy have laughable clothes.

Dialogue Disasters: The Ragman calls the Doctor 'frilly one'.

Lots of the dialogue is pretty poor - but not quite enough to justify putting it in this section.

Dialogue Triumphs: Jo: 'They have every right to be sick of a conscienceless, consumerist society where all that matters is who has the most money and how best they can spend it on themselves.'

Continuity: The Ragman is some kind of ancient being disguised as a standing stone that just wants to have everything kill each other so that it can take over.

Links: Jo recalls Ogrons, Daleks (Day of the Daleks), and Axons (The Claws of Axos). The Doctor is still exiled, but has left UNIT in the past (Colony in Space and probably The Curse of Peladon/The Face of the Enemy). One of the images the Doctor sees in the trailer is of Susan and David after The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The Doctor meets phantoms of Susan, Vicki, Ian, Barbara, Jamie, and Zoe. Yates remembers The Keller Machine (The Mind of Evil).

Location: UNIT HQ, Dartmoor, Glastonbury, Bristol, Cirbury

The Bottom Line: This novel is just plain bad. The plot just crawls along, there's lots of waiting around interspersed with bits of gratuitous violence, very few interesting characters, and nothing much to appeal. On my first read-through (before writing this), I was so bored that I skipped whole chunks.

Discontinuity Guide by Stephen Gray

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I too was so bored and disgusted with this offering that I missed out whole chunks simply so that I could get to the UNIT/Doctor bits and they were pretty uninspiring. On the whole, a disgraceful use of DW and should be erased from DW canon, prose or otherwise! I wouldn't want to be in this authors head!

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