Roots: Cannibal Holocaust. Grave watches Zombie Flesh Eaters. There are references to Winnie-the-Pooh, Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book and George Thorogood's Bad to the Bone. The Papul and Indoni may be intended to represent the West Papuans and the Indonesians.
Continuity: Regions of Jenggel include Papul, Batu and Javee, the next island west of Batu. Jayapul is the largest town in Papul. Agat and Meraowk are other towns on Papul. Akima is a Papul village. Jikora is the most tourist-frequented village in Papul due its proximity to the market town Wameen. The Wildmaan and Schlachtenmoord are rivers in Papul. Banuwang is a town in Javee. The Indoni Republic is Jenggel's largest superpower and rules most of the planet. Although there are humans on Jenggel, most of the humanoid population is native to the planet, including the Indoni. The Kirowai are the most savage and unrepentant cannibals on Papul. The seas on Jenggel are purple, with red sand beaches. Nights are shorter than on Earth. Wildlife native to Jenggel includes Kassowarks, which are large flightless birds with a purple coxcomb and a large white horn protruding from their backs, Babis, swamp Kroons, and Crouch-flies. Hortogs are pig-like creatures with red fur. Horrakbill birds are another species of large flightless bird, with a massive beak. Deathsnakes are thin green snakes, the venom of which kills almost instantly and turns their victims green. Jungle Snatchers are massive green creatures with slimy tentacles; they are large enough and strong enough to grab a passing cruiser and pull it out of the sky. They have huge green slime-covered featureless heads, with massive toothless mouths. They prefer to be underwater, but can move on land. Amongst other things, including humans, they eat huge armoured eyeless purple reptiles. They only come out and hunt for one month during the rainy season, spending the rest of the year mating. Hole Slinkers are massive grey beasts with flat, blunt heads, which eat people. Tea is imported.
The purple fungal growth found in the lake in Papul contains highly concentrated proactive encephalo-tissue stimulants, which can even cause neuronal activity in mummified corpses. It is a sentient organism that feeds on the cerebral cortex of anyone who eats it, giving them powers of long-distance telepathy and mind-control over anyone who has eaten the fungus in lesser quantities, until it causes so much brain damage that it drives them mad.
The Doctor carries some mould-blue coins which he claims are legal tender on Jenggel. He has always been fascinated by jungles.
Jamie gets drunk.
Victoria has seen pictures of snakes in books back at home.
Links: There are references to Redcoats (The Highlanders) and the Daleks (The Evil of the Daleks).
Location: The Islands of Batu and Papal, Jenggel, date unknown (the future).
Future History: Humans have attempted to colonize Jenggel, but were seemingly repelled by the Indoni. The Earth-Indoni war has just ended. Cigarettes were banned on all Earth colonies hundred of years earlier. Magnow is an Earth Colony satellite just outside the Jenggel System. There has been a resurgence of Christianity, and Earth's missionary influence has spread across numerous planets.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has visited the purple rainforests of Kolith, where there are monitor lizards the size of buildings, and the golden swamps of Aerny Dhu where according to legend the Juices of Everlasting Life can be squeezed from certain leaves. The novel ends with the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria preparing to row back to Batu and the TARDIS from Papul.
The Bottom Line: Uncompromising and brutal, with grisly depictions of death and cannibalism, and some truly nasty killers in the shape of Pan and The Dogs. Despite this, the regulars are well-captured, even the elusive Second Doctor, and the detailed jungle setting and engaging plot make this a far better read than Lewis' previous Rags.