Doctor Who and the Invasion From Space

Goofs: Oddly, after numerous discussions about galaxies with the One, Dr Who decides at the end of the story to go and find out what a galaxy actually is.

Continuity: The Aalas are androids and serve the One. They are immensely tall, with bronzed and gleaming bodies and blonde hair. They have heard of "Men", whom they consider to be legendary. The One claims to rule the whole of Andromeda and to have been constructed by the men of Andromeda, whom it describes as its "ancestors"; the One apparently made the Aalas in the image of its creators. The One's intelligence is a distillation of millions of long-dead Andromedan minds, The One is a vast thinking machine that occupies the whole of its planetoid-sized and -shaped spaceship. It can't travel faster than light and left Andromeda a hundred million years previously. It intends to invade the Milky Way, which it won't reach for another three hundred million years. It is leading the evacuation of Andromeda because that galaxy is gradually heading towards a region of "nothingness" in space, which will wipe out all life within it. An armada of millions of identical planetoid-sized spaceships, each populated by a variety of different life forms representing the total sum of life in Andromeda, accompanies it. It claims that its Aalas can create millions of replicas of the Tardis, from which it wants the secret of faster than light travel. The One is able to trap the dematerializing Tardis [which appears to travel through space as it departs] in tentacles of force. Ida throws an empty food bowl at a glass panel, destroying the One as a result. The armada is left drifting through space without direction. Andromeda life-forms present in the Armada include gigantic lizards in tropical swamps, flying creatures, metal and stone creatures, creatures that breathe an atmosphere of methane and chlorine, crystalline life forms, and living clouds or groups of loosely joined cells.

As with the stories in many of the early Doctor Who annuals, the Doctor is referred to as Dr. Who, although here the TARDIS is referred to as the Tardis, rather than just Tardis. The Tardis apparently travels through "the web of energies that criss-crossed the universe and maintained the perfect balance of nature controlling the movements of the planets around the stars, the stars in their courses within the galaxies, and the galaxies in their vast orbits in the cosmos itself." The Tardis apparently has an electronic key. The Doctor produces pairs of sunglasses for himself and the Mortimers, including two smaller pairs for the children. Interestingly, the Tardis apparently won't work without him, since his "spirit and nature" are built into it. He eats food and drinks water provided by the Aalas. Interestingly, when he regains the safety of the Tardis he is seemingly prepared to abandon the Mortimers on the One's spaceship! The Tardis apparently has powers the Doctor has barely dreamed of, which he can channel through his mind to try and break free of the One's forcefield. He believes that he might be able to use Diagrams provided by the One to get the Mortimers back to seventeenth-century London.

George Mortimer, his wife Helen, and their two children Ida and Alan staggered into the Tardis when the Doctor accidentally materialised outside their burning house during the Great Fire of London, shortly before the start of this story. When he first appeared at their door they believed him to be the devil, and despite frequent denials on his part, they still think that he's a warlock and that the Tardis is powered by magic. Amusingly, and to his annoyance, George and Helen keep calling him "Master".

Location: A huge spaceship the size and shape of a planetoid, close to the Andromeda Galaxy.

The Bottom Line: The first ever Doctor Who novel? Doctor Who and the Invasion of Space is rather... odd. There's a breath-taking scope of imagination here offset by the facile nature of the resolution, as a food bowl destroys an near-unstoppable super-computer in pure B-movie fashion. The characterization of Dr Who invokes William Hartnell magnificently, his brief intention to abandon the Mortimers reminiscent of the ruthless streak he showed in An Unearthly Child, The Daleks], and The Edge of Destruction.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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