The Colony of Lies
Roots: There are references to Little House on the Prairie, Back to the Future Parts Two and Three, Orbital (the track that the surgeons on board the Hannibal listen to is presumably meant to be Orbital's cover of the Doctor Who theme tune), Dune (Giant desert worms), Heath Robinson, and Aladdin's Cave.
Goofs: The back cover dates the story to 2539, but on page 147 the date is given as 2534.
Dialogue Disasters: The Doctor tells Kirann 'I should coco.'
Continuity: The Tyrenians believe themselves to be the last survivors of a nomadic warrior race, but are actually humans enhanced with canine DNA. A scientist named Gustav Tyren, who was employed to create genetically enhanced super-soldiers, created them. The Federation eventually abandoned the program, ordering Tyren to halt his research and destroy all specimens; Tyren refused and his direct employer Stewart Ransom arranged for the Tyrenians to escape from the space station laboratory in which they were created by leaving them a spaceship to steal. The Second Doctor promises Zenig that he wont reveal their true nature to either humans or the other Tyrenians. The Seventh Doctor blackmails Federation Administrator Greene into abandoning plans to exterminate the Tyrenians to prevent anyone ever finding out that the Federation once sponsored gene-splicing experiments, and orders him to spread a cover story to protect them. According to this story, the Tyrenians originated on the planet Tyrenia, the third planet of a twin-star system in Sector Five; the Great Accident, an outbreak of plague on Tyrenia, almost wiped the race out and forced the survivors to abandon their home. The Tyrenians have rapid self-healing abilities. The Tyrenians use symbiotic invertebrates called Alisorti to place themselves in a form of suspended animation called Deep Sleep. Alisorti occasionally suffer from a rare blood disorder that is fatal to the Alisorti and affects any Tyrenian bonded to the creature in Deep Sleep, resulting in Intelligence Reducing Virus, or IRV. IRV affects the Tyrenians brain, turning it in a savage beast. Alisorti cannot survive out of water unless attached to a Tyrenian host. The Tyrenian Planetary Defence System orbiting Axista Four is disguised as a series of asteroids and satellites. The Tyrenians use robot drones in battle.
The Second Doctor wears odd socks, one dark blue and one with a purple cartoon dinosaur on it. He carries a collapsible telescope in his pocket. His pockets also contain a half-eaten apple, a catapult, a bicycle bell, a couple of spotted handkerchiefs both with knots tied in the corner, a tennis ball, a pair of binoculars, a bundle of King William 10-Euro notes, a Betamax video cassette marked Hancock's Half Hour, a handful of sweet wrappers, and a hairpin. He is unfamiliar with BEM helmets. He knows of the Tyrenians by reputation but has never actually met any of them before.
Jamie loves riding horses and takes the opportunity to do so whenever he can. He borrows slimline body armour, which he wears under his clothes.
Zoe dislikes exercise, preferring the pursuit of knowledge in her spare time; however, she put in the regulation hours on the treadmills and exercise bikes on board the Wheel. There were robot servitors on board the Wheel (The Wheel in Space). Zoe knows a great deal about the theory of flying a spaceship, but has no practical experience; she manages to fly a shuttlecraft by memorizing the contents of the vehicle manual file.
The TARDIS food machine is malfunctioning. There are several galleys, one on a floor or two below the console room. The Doctor ponders one day installing a kitchen area in the console room (Escape Velocity). The Doctor produces a pair of torches and a battered miner's hat from within the TARDIS. It contains a variety of high-tech medical devices from various times and places.
The Seventh Doctor tells Ace that he used to keep a diary (The Power of the Daleks, Tomb of the Cybermen). He telepathically crosses his own timeline to remind his Second incarnation to use the data crystal provided by Kirann Ransom on Axista Four. He himself provides Kirann with the crystal prior to her departure from Earth and tells her to expect to meet his Second incarnation when she wakes up on Axista Four.
Ace visited the British Museum on a school trip at the age of eleven and found it tedious except for the Ancient Egyptian Hall, where the mummies fascinated her.
Axista Four has an orange sky and three main landmasses. The planet has native wild animals, poisonous plants, insects that carry diseases, and birds. There are bear-like creatures in the mountains near Plymouth Hope. There are ruined cities on the southern landmasses, suggesting that the planet was once inhabited. The colony was established as a fully independent state. Frontier myths exist amongst colonists and space travellers, including stories of giant desert worms, sentient seas, and hidden Dalek armies (Planet of the Daleks).
Space-born humans tend to be tall and thin. The Earth Federation has a file on the Doctor, describing him as an independent operator and known agent whose file dates back centuries; the conflicting descriptions of his appearance have led to the theory that Doctor is a rank or honorific title handed down through the generations. Maintenance droids are used on board spaceships; battledroids such as the Tennyson 405 EBD (Enhanced Battlefield Drone) are used in war. The Tennyson 405 EBDs can amalgamate to form a larger, flying robot.
The Museum and Archive of the Tellurian Stain is one of the Seven Hundred Wonders of the Universe. The term 'stain' refers to the view of humanity's spread through space held by the museum's founders.
Links: For the Seventh Doctor and Ace the events described here probably take place at some point between Survival and Timewyrm: Genesys, and for the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe probably between The Space Pirates and The War Games, during the same gap as The Menagerie (Jamie hopes that the TARDIS hasn't materialized on board another space station). There are references to Gabriel Chase (Ghost Light), Cybermen and their tombs on Telos (Tomb of the Cybermen), Yeti (The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear), the Doctor's soft-spot for steam trains (Black Orchid), Ice Warriors (The Ice Warriors, The Seeds of Death), Sontarans, and UNIT (The Invasion). The Doctor recalls his visit to Tombstone (The Gunfighters). He makes a guarded reference to his own people, prefiguring The War Games. Ace recalls been known as Dotty at school (Timewyrm: Revelation).
Location: The Museum and Archive of the Tellurian Stain, date unknown; Axista Four, 2534AD.
Future History: The Tyrenians established a fledgling colony on Axista Four c2430 AD. Prior to Stewart Ransom invested in off-world leisure facilities and space hotels, was involved with the desert reclamation projects on Earth, and was responsible for the building of New Atlantis in the Pacific Ocean. He lead the colonization of Axista Four in 2423AD, organizing the colony along the Back to Basics principle, which sought to build a society free of the trappings of advanced technology; he chose the American wild west during the nineteenth century as the technological cut off point for the colony. The colony ship The Big Bang arrived at Axista Four in 2439 and was shot down by a Tyrenian defence satellite and crashed; the surviving colonists established the city of Plymouth Hope several miles south of the crash site. The battledroids hidden on board the Big Bang for the purpose of eradicating the Tyrenians, whose artificial origins were evidence of illegal gene splicing technology, attacked the Tyrenian colony, forcing them to retreat into their bunker and enter Deep Sleep. Many of the original human colonists, including Ransom's daughter Kirann, were left in cryogenic suspension on board the crashed ship, since none of the survivors had the technological knowledge to safely revive them. The descendants of the original colonists adopted Back to Basics as a strict code rather than a set of guidelines. They celebrate Planet Fall Day every year. Circa 2530, a group of colonists calling themselves the Realists broke away from Plymouth Hope, resenting the fact that the refusal of the Loyalists to use technology was slowly killing the colony.
By 2423, the population of Earth is sixty billion. Westerns undergo a periodic revival in popular culture. By 2534 AD there are strict laws restricting the use of DNA splicing technology, following a treaty signed by, amongst others, the Earth Federation. Memory-form plastic is routinely used to make shelters for basic survival kits. Scotland is still part of the EuroZone (Trading Futures). The Earth Federation is growing in power; by the end of this story, the term Earth Empire is used for the first time. Navigation Beacons are used as marker buoys to guide spaceships. Earth Colony Support Vessels are military spacecraft used for the support and defence of Earth colonies. An Earth Colony Support Vessel visited Axista Four c2484.
The Dalek War broke out in 2459; by 2534, the Daleks are making gains in the third quadrant, and space stations and entire planets have been evacuated from the front line, resulting in a massive tide of refugees including some entire races. The Earth Federation is part of an alliance formed to stop the expansion of the Dalek Empire.
Standard is the language that has evolved from English over the centuries. At some point after the twentieth century, there was a convention about the conduct of war at New Geneva. Matter transportation technology has been abandoned by 2534 (see The Seeds of Death). The software on board The Big Bang is semi-sentient.
Unrecorded Adventures: Jamie was with the Doctor when he met the Terrible Zodin (The War Games). She has talons or claws. The Doctor took Jamie and Victoria to visit Ancient Rome, where they witnessed a gladiator duel and Victoria, appalled by the bloodshed, insisted that they leave.
The Bottom Line: After the awful Escape Velocity, Colin Brake redeems himself with a story that, whilst straightforward and resolutely traditional in terms of plot and structure, nevertheless manages to be hugely entertaining. The various characters are all well motivated enough that the reader cares about their fates, and the novel proceeds at a cracking pace.