Deep Time

Roots: Jem is inspired by the Hybrid from Battlestar Galactica. There are references to Hawking radiation, Neil Armstrong, Les Miserables, and Rigoletto.

Dialogue Triumphs: "You can own the galaxy's biggest fortune, but still not be fortunate."

Continuity: The Phaeron Roads were a vast network of ancient wormholes that stretched across the entire universe. They were created millions of years ago by the Phaeron, who are now extinct. They were beings of pure dark matter and resemble cloaked and hooded bipeds with a long, disjointed proboscis and deep-set blood-red eyes. They exist outside of and at one with space and time. They left behind a Ganymede Stone, a map of the wormholes. When the Glamour came, it tempted the Phaeron and made them imperfect (they refer to it as "the Imperfection"); the Time Lords warned them how dangerous it was, so they closed all the Phaeron Roads and dug a time well on the planet in order to dispose of it in "Deep Time", committing suicide in the process.

The Glamour is seemingly sentient. It can shapeshift and has malignant powers of attraction and attention, which warps people's perceptions. The Phaeron succeed in their quest to take it with them on a one-way journey into Deep Time here.

Astrogators are clones, genetically engineered to be ultra-sensitive to the space-time continuum. They can sense minute fluctuations in the gravitational field that exists between dark matter. They were developed by the military during the last Draconian War and can do nothing except fly spaceships. They have a very short lifespan. Except for Jem, they were all decommissioned (deliberately burnt out) following the end of the war.
In different time zones, the planet is inhabited by flying creatures resembling a cross between bats and dragonflies, lichen, lice, and large carnivorous insects.

The Doctor likes porridge, with a pinch of salt.

Clara likes Prosecco and drinks Champagne here. She and the Doctor both drink hot chocolate. She once saw a boy suffer an epileptic fit at school. She and Doctor don spacesuits here. She once saw an Egyptian Mummy on a museum visit. Danny gave her lessons in basic self-defence.

Tabitha Vent has recently been on a dig on Ursa Minor. She is Emeritus Professor of Extraterrestrial Studies at the University of New Earth. There is a Sand Sea on Charisma Orion. There are shipyards on Vandelisco.

According to the Doctor, human brains can't cope with Space Worms. The Alexandria is partly made of titanium poly-tritillium.

Links: The Doctor mentions the effect that the Glamour had on Lancelot's knights (Royal Blood). There are references to Spectrox (The Caves of Androzani), Draconians (Frontier in Space), Sarah Jane Smith, the Bank of Karabraxos (Time Heist), Clara wearing a spacesuit on the Moon (Kill the Moon), Ogrons (Day of the Daleks, Frontier in Space), the HADS (The Krotons), Clara and the Doctor's visit to the Orient Express (Mummy on the Orient Express), and Mechonoids (The Chase').

Location: Shoredtich, c2015; Far Station, on board the Alexandria, and on a planet orbiting a non-rotating neutron star between the Milky Way and Andromeda.

Future History: The Alexandrina is based on a Heracles-class Starcruiser.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has visited Ganymede. He describes C. S. Lewis as a personal friend and hints that Narnia is real.

The Bottom Line: "The final journey. Deep Time." A decent horror story, with some claustrophobic scenes and well-crafted supporting characters. The ambiguous nature of the Glamour is frustrating and the Phaeron aren't terribly interesting, but it's one of Baxendale's better novels and he writes the Doctor and Clara extremely well.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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