Everything that has been building for the last 35 books comes together in a resoundingly satisfying conclusion. Or possibly not.
Eighth, and it's the last we'll see of him with any knowledge of who he had been before the end of the novel.
Fitz, whom we wave farewell to for a time, and Compassion, whom we wave farewell to for a considerably longer time.
Romana III may, or may not, have escaped the conflagration at the end, although it seems likely, given the Epilogue of Tomb of Valdemar.
Before the book begins, the Doctor's old TARDIS has dragged itself together in the skies above Gallifrey.
Pg 9 Compassion has been forced out of the Vortex near a random ice-world.
Pg 17 Compassion on the Edifice.
Pg 166 Compassion arrives at the TARDIS berthing cradles on Gallifrey.
Pg 186 And then she goes back to the Edifice.
Pg 253 Back on Gallifrey.
Pg 259 In the Console Room in the Edifice.
Pg 262 And she's back on Gallifrey again now.
Pg 279 A fair distance from the destruction of Gallifrey, so they can watch. Prior to this, it transpires, she materialised in order to rescue the Doctor.
Pg 283 Brussles (as we'll find out in Escape Velocity), 2001, to drop Fitz off. Thereafter, she must materialise on a train in Victorian England to do the same for the Doctor, but we don't see it happen.
Alien Bodies, Unnatural History, Interference parts I and II, The Taking of Planet 5, The Shadows of Avalon and, arguably, The Banquo Legacy, if you want to have any chance of understanding what's going on. Failing that, we'll do our level best here.
Pgs 7-8 "'Phase malfunction?' was the first, followed shortly by, 'That's just jargon, isn't it? Isn't it?'" As the eighth Doctor as we know him comes to an end, there is clearly a terrible desire to quote the Telemovie. Whilst it was a timing malfunction back then, there's still a, seemingly deliberate, resonance.
Pg 8 "Must find... must find... Doctor?" And again with the Telemovie.
Pg 9 "The pervasive scent of dust and sandalwood." The Doctor has smelt of sandalwood since, at least, Dominion.
"The Doctor poured rose pouching." This particular brand of tea was mentioned in The Space Age.
Pg 10 "The tiny six-sided TARDIS console was drifting in the middle of nowhere, like a tired grey mushroom floating in soup." Like The Mind Robber. Incidentally, Cole won't be so good at counting the TARDIS sides come Ten Little Aliens, so maybe Anghelides wrote this bit.
"Could they have cracked the Randomiser's seed?" The Banquo Legacy.
Pg 13 "We've been forced out of the TARDIS by those broad spectrum Tuckson-Jacker pulses." Frontier Worlds. It's annoying that Fitz then feels it necessary to say 'Like on Drebnar', just in case we weren't paying attention.
Pg 16 "'The Randomiser,' he said. This was the contraption that supposedly chose an arbitrary destination for their every trip." Just in case you hadn't been paying attention. It was installed in The Fall of Yquatine, and the original version turned up in The Armageddon Factor.
Pg 17 "Compassion hiccupped violently, signalling that they had materialised again." As Marie did in Alien Bodies.
Pg 21 "Fitz experimented a little with placing his hands over some of the objects, but couldn't create a shadow." Tellingly, the Edifice light source is designed so that shadows could not be seen, taking us back to the loss of the Doctor's shadow in Unnatural History.
Pg 22 "Or we're shrunk inside the skeleton of a smaller animal. It's all relative." Planet of Giants, whilst the final line is something that the Doctor says to Einstein in Time and the Rani.
"It was a spider. Fitz wasn't afraid of spiders. Except when, like this one, they were the size of an overnight bag." The Edifice's defence mechanisms are spider-like in deference to the lost Planet of the Spiders story, removed so very violently in Interference part II.
Pg 25 "'Brave heart,' he said distantly." As he so often said to Tegan.
Pg 26 "Ancient biological defences against such threats as the Charon and the Great Vampires have been revived and reconnected." The Charon are from Sky Pirates! of all places, whilst the Vampires are from State of Decay and also see The Pit and Interference part II.
Pg 27 "He is back in the past now, at a time when the Doctor was in his greatest danger, hunted by a hundred thousand agents scattered throughout time and space. They waited for this misfit to reappear in his stolen TARDIS so they could catch him and steal back the ship that would sire the first fighting force. Once, that ship had been a woman. She'd been transfigured into the most precious weapon Gallifrey could ever possess." The Banquo Legacy, The Shadows of Avalon, but also more than a little hint of The War Games.
Pg 28 "Behind him stood a silhouette, a tall and hooded outline unmoved by the whirling gusts of sand, probably on account of the long, heavy robes." Presumably a deliberate reflection of a similar sequence in Genesis of the Daleks, where a being from outside time gives the Doctor a mission of destruction.
Pg 29 "'Dust?' breathed the Doctor, looking around them at the unforgiving desert. 'Is that why you've brought me here?'" Interference parts I and II.
Pg 30 "We thought it would save time if we assumed your acceptance." As the Time Lord in Genesis of the Daleks also says.
Pg 31 "However, a professional career as an internationally famous guitar legend with a rock band who played their instruments with their teeth had rapidly vanished in place of a reluctant vocation as a universally ignored roadie for a Time Lord who saved worlds using string and sealing wax." The only reference in the Doctor Who oeuvre to Puff the Magic Dragon which wasn't written by Paul Cornell.
"Fitz Fortune is strutting it on stage." The Taint.
Pg 33 "The visualiser humming full of foreboding" A Time-Space visualiser, as seen way back in The Chase.
Pg 37 "Not long after first meeting him, the Doctor had casually mentioned having a granddaughter." An Unearthly Child etc., although how has Fitz suddenly become so ignorant about regeneration? He knew about it in The Banquo Legacy.
"I'm from Archway, of course." Fitz's abode in The Taint.
Pg 38 "The way he'd stare if he met a Neanderthal with its elbows on the polished mahogany of Molly's bar." Also from The Taint.
Pg 41 "Around its wizened torso, the figure was tightly clutching its one remaining arm." Father Kreiner lost his arm in Interference part II. We see him as the one-armed man in Dead Romance.
Pg 42 "Even so, he'd have traded back this younger-looking incarnation for his old one, gout and deaf ear and bald head too." The Robert Holmes view of Time Lord society, as evinced in The Deadly Assassin.
Pg 43 "But they hadn't stopped before they'd already built a structure that now took the best part of a morning to traverse on foot, and which had its own weather system." The Panopticon, which somehow suggests that they've had the decorators in since The Deadly Assassin.
Pg 45 "'Permission to employ the mind probe, sir!' 'No,' said Vozarti calmly. 'Not the mind probe.'" Yep, we knew that line was coming. The Five Doctors.
"I think the President should know that I have access to a Type 102 TARDIS." Compassion was so named in The Shadows of Avalon.
Pg 46 "Do you know what happened to my coat? I'd only just got it." He picked up the new one in The Banquo Legacy.
Pg 48 "I was President of Gallifrey myself, you know. On several occasions." The Invasion of Time, The Five Doctors.
Pg 53 "President Romana told me so herself. To prepare for the forthcoming war with the Enemy." The war was, of course, introduced in Alien Bodies and President Romana said so in The Shadows of Avalon.
Pg 59 "'So formal, Doctor?' Romana's green eyes flashed in amusement. 'It's like our first meeting. Though, on reflection, I seem to remember there was rather less respect on that occasion.' The Ribos Operation.
"That poor man died for the high crime of stealing a half-loaf of bread." Bizarrely enough, this would appear to be a reference to Les Miserables.
Pg 65 "He feels laser light snap on behind the connection screen, probing his retina." That Gallifreyans used retinal technology was established in Seeing I.
Pg 68 "Fitz thought back to his communist friends on Earth, like Jin-Ming." Revolution Man.
Pg 71 "This is a complex fractal interface with a nonreal pseudo-environment, not the Number Twenty-Two bus to Putney Common." Iris Wildthyme's TARDIS - The Scarlet Empress etc.
Pg 75 "Hospital. Even the word made his hearts palpitate. He had to get out of here." The Doctor is still scared of hospitals after his experiences in the Telemovie. One can only assume that he's also afraid of getting old, the Time Lords, spiders, heights, Spectrox and, erm, hitting his head on the TARDIS console.
Pg 76 "Where are my shoes?" Spearhead from Space.
Pg 77 "'No, no, these fit perfectly,' said the Doctor." As his shoes did also in the Telemovie. That's it; get all the continuity references out while you still have the chance.
"When you've seen plant creatures and faeries." Frontier Worlds and Autumn Mist/The Shadows of Avalon.
Pgs 80-81 "The Doctor marched smartly up to the bank of equipment, raised his right fist and delivered a sharp blow to the top of the dead screen. It immediately sprang into noisy life." Very State of Decay, but the same thing has been overused in any number of other books and audios.
Pg 92 "The Doctor was curled up in a ball, still chanting to himself when the shadow fell upon him - and then into him." The Doctor's shadow now appears to have become a representation of his Faction altered timeline. Somehow.
Pg 93 "Whole regions of space-time had degenerated into chaos, warping and changing to the point where they threatened to become rival universes themselves, linked by an enclave of time corridors; an obverse, the powerful onlookers had termed it, a temporal boil on the poisoned flesh of the cosmos." An utterly dreadful 'explanation', if we can dignify it with the term, for the Obverse Universe and the Enclave of The Blue Angel.
Pg 97 "'Isomorphic?' Nivet hazarded." Pyramids of Mars.
"It's in all the nursery rhymes." Nursery rhymes on Gallifrey appear to hold all the clues. See also The Five Doctors, Lungbarrow and The Infinity Doctors.
"Has it occurred to you this place might be where they keep their shadows?" We actually saw that place in Interference part II.
Pg 98 "That's you, that is." A reference to The Mary Whitehouse Experience, a television show running in the early 1990s.
"Some kind of warp ellipse." Mawdryn Undead.
Pgs 100-101 "Mali saw what he was staring at. 'I'm sure that doorway wasn't there before,' she said slowly." A randomly appearing door in what we know to be the TARDIS was a feature of Interference part I as well.
Pg 102 "This is why you've done so much, and why you're chasing so many terrible things." Reference to that line in The Moonbase.
Pg 103 "'What colour's the sky in your world, Kellen?' 'Burnt orange.'" The Sensorites and The Invasion of Time.
Pg 105 "Since the Dalek incident" The Apocalypse Element; the audio which tried to bring the various different Presidents of Gallifrey into a coherent whole and make the books and the audios match up, just before everyone gave up on that idea as it was too damned complicated.
Pg 106 "Summoning the loa to retrieve that projection as a real space-time event will be child's play." Interference part I had a long description of the loa's place in Faction Paradox's belief system. Its use here as a convenient means to an end demonstrates a complete and fundamental lack of understanding of their symbolic nature in Miles' book.
Pg 109 "He scans the fragments, anxious, and finds they relate to somewhere called Dust." Interference parts I and II. There follows a brief summary of the 'What happened on Dust' segments of those books.
"Every Time Lord knows the Enemy homeworld is called Earth." Not quite what Sam said at the end of Interference part II, but that's probably the best way of reading it.
Pgs 109-110 "He himself has helped prepare and launch a great warship three billion years in the past, its mission to destroy Earth once and for all, not by travelling through time, but through space." We visited the ship in Interference parts I and II, but see also Continuity Cock-Ups.
Pg 117 "Kellen had studied the remembrance tank that Eton and Tarra had stolen from the Museum of the Arcane." Remembrance tanks are from Interference parts I and II.
"All you had to do was turn the thing on and feed in the data-extract." From The Deadly Assassin.
"Release the dead spirit back from Mictlan's vale." Alien Bodies. And, arguably, this is probably how, when he finally got around to it after The Gallifrey Chronicles, the Doctor recreated Gallifrey.
Pg 125 "Nothing took him back to those days in 1968 and his life with Maddy more than that song. He'd already sung his repertoire of Sinatra songs and muttered the odd Skalen meditation to himself." Revolution Man, Frontier Worlds and Parallel 59.
Pg 126 "A tank like that one in the house was the place he was born." Interference part II.
Pg 127 "He watched disbelieving as Tarra pulled away what looked like a knuckle duster crossed with a hyperdermic syringe." We saw these first in Alien Bodies.
Pg 129 "There were hundreds of butterflies nailed to the doors." All dead now. They were first seen in Vampire Science (but see Continuity Cock-Ups).
Pg 136 "Some of the words he half remembered from school lessons about the dead language of old Gallifrey." Old High Gallifreyan, one assumes, from The Five Doctors.
Pg 138 Arguably the best prose in the book: "He felt like a child, bringing a popgun to bear on bug-eyed monsters from the darkest corners of the universe. They must be fought. Who had said that? He'd heard that somewhere... A child's maxim, a scandalous ideal. We've bred the most terrible things." The bug-eyed monsters problem goes right back to Sydney Newman and the creation of Doctor Who, but the bulk of this extract is probably the best reworking of the famous line from The Moonbase that we are ever likely to see.
"He felt bones snap, knew he'd never stand again. Things that stand against everything we believe in." The Moonbase again.
Pg 140 "I thought my TARDIS was dead, destroyed." The Shadows of Avalon.
Pg 141 "'Got lost... in the time vortex.' The black eyes flickered over their surroundings. 'The TARDIS brought me home.'" Planet of the Spiders.
Pg 150 "Well, the same effect you get when two TARDISes are interlocked." This 'recursive' effect comes from Logopolis.
Pg 151 "He was in a blue cave, and the spider queen leered down at him." The eighth Doctor has a severe case of the flashbacks to Planet of the Spiders.
Pg 152 "Not to Dust. To Metebelis III." Interference parts I and II and Planet of the Spiders.
"She'd already reached out and communed with me, while I was locked up and at my lowest ebb. She helped me then, put me in touch with my former self - she must have known my future history." Interference part I, but see Continuity Cock-Ups.
Pg 153 "This time, she took the infected shadow of my dying incarnation into her own workings, holding it in temporal orbit." From the Telemovie.
"Maybe the old girl cribbed from a higher power. We have encountered one or two in our travels." No, we're not going to give you an exhaustive list.
"And when the dimensional rift over Avalon finally tore her apart." The Shadows of Avalon.
Pg 154 "It felt... wrong. The TARDIS knew too - her walls dripped with blood." The first is a misquote of the final line that the third Doctor utters in Interference part II; the second happened in Interference part I.
Pg 156 "Start that regeneration on Metebelis, not on Dust, or you'll be doomed for all time." Planet of the Spiders, Interference part II and, may we just say that no one should ever force a character to say 'doomed for all time' and expect us to take them seriously.
Pg 157 "Images he had tried to avoid for so long. Images of the future. Of Gallifrey's future." There follows a description of the War, as predicted in Alien Bodies, the same book in which the Doctor was trying not to find out about it.
"Retaliation by anarchitecture and revision and paradox." Anarchitecture is from Alien Bodies as well.
Pg 159 "That an entity could have such mastery over biosystems that it could create a viable universe from a section of the vortex seems unthinkable." The Universe-in-a-Bottle from Interference parts I and II and, maybe, Dead Romance.
Pg 161 "I thought the Celestis chose to control the dead, not the Faction." Alien Bodies, and see Continuity Cock-Ups.
Pg 162 "You're an ersatz version of me, created by the Remote over many years. First on Ordifica, and then on Anathema." Interference part II, and see Continuity Cock-Ups.
"I was the young man who went to China with Mao's army. I wept at the sound of the T'hiili Queen's song. I saw the double sunrise on Cherantrin V. It was me who travelled with him and... Samantha? Yes, with him and Sam to Vega station..." Revolution Man, Dominion, an attempt to appear like Bladerunner, Demontage.
Pg 163 "You could never be Frank Sinatra, like I was on Drebnar. You could never be Fitz Fortune." Frontier Worlds, The Taint.
"Left me to rot on Earth, left me to the Faction." Interference parts I and II.
"Ask him about Susan - ask him how he can call himself a grandfather after abandoning her on Earth." The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Pg 164 "And he knew how the Doctor had made it a personal project to humanise Compassion - and look what had happened to her: the result had been quite the opposite." The Doctor decided on the project in The Taking of Planet 5, put it into action in Frontier Worlds and it all went drastically wrong in The Shadows of Avalon.
Pg 168 "We'll also establish an osmosis dampener." Nightmare of Eden.
"This access system, for example, could have come straight from an old Type 40." Because she was partially modelled on the Doctor's old TARDIS in The Shadows of Avalon.
Pg 172 "Starting way back when she'd challenged that Presidential lush Flavia." Flavia comes from The Five Doctors, originally. She was President in Blood Harvest and Goth Opera, wasn't in Happy Endings and then was again in The Eight Doctors. Don't get us started.
"The ancient language of Old High Gallifrey." The Five Doctors.
Pg 176 "And the diadems around the coronet were sparkling in sequence as his mind accessed the Matrix seamlessly." The Coronet of Rassilon, from The Five Doctors.
Pg 181 "To lose one TARDIS might be considered an accident, but to lose two - well, that smacks of carelessness." You've got to love an Oscar Wilde quotation.
Pg 185 "You left that young man, Fitz, for example, in a place on Earth called Geneva." Interference part I.
"You left your friend Romana once." State of Decay.
"Directly from that, she started on her path to becoming President." Goth Opera, Happy Endings, Lungbarrow etc.
"She even invoked the right of challenge against the incumbent President, Flavia, for the first time in two hundred generations." Either after The Eight Doctors, before Happy Endings, both or neither. The Time Lord Presidency is now as confusing as UNIT dating; we may never have it clear.
Reference the deaths or departures of Adric, Katarina and Susan, from Earthshock, The Daleks' Masterplan and The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Pg 189 Reference to hypercubes, from The War Games initially.
"Can you contact the Eleven-Day Parliament from here?" This was first named in Unnatural History.
Pg 196 "Timon knew that he looked to Sabjatric and Rungar, the Pythian Heresy, the legend of Cuwirti and Klade as much as most of the population." Faction Klade appear in Father Time and The Gallifrey Chronicles and are also an anagram of 'Dalek'. The Pythian Heresy is from Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible and Lungbarrow. The Cuwirti sound suspiciously like their name was invented by reading the first six letters of a standard Earth typewriter or computer keyboard and then spelling phonetically.
"We stole it from Foreman's World." In Interference part II, although that the Time Lords stole it was pretty clearly not the intention back then.
Pg 197 "Eventually he spat out one word: 'Safe?' He went a bit more purple and bellowed 'Safe!' once more." Is it just us or can you just see Greyjan being played by Colin Baker as he is now?
Pg 204 "The place could've been designed for fugitives, there were that many alcoves and dark corners and conveniently placed statues and pot plants." Pot plants were seen on Gallifrey frequently in Arc of Infinity and The Five Doctors. And, oh, how we laughed.
"Even after the Dalek Invasion." The Apocalypse Element.
Pg 205 "It looks kind of like the Doctor! His hair's a bit short..." This is the version of the Doctor from The Infinity Doctors. Quite what it's doing here is beyond us.
Pg 206 "You're not going to worry about this until there are only two sides and it closes on you with an almighty bang, like a book slamming shut on you..." What's about to happen, symbolically, as well as being an image from The Mind Robber.
"I'm just an Earth primitive who can count to five." Castrovalva, maybe.
Pg 210 "I know you have fought to the death for Gallifrey before." The Deadly Assassin, The Invasion of Time, etc.
Pg 218 "She looked as if she was taking off one of the mime artists he'd seen in San Francisco." Unnatural History.
Pg 227 "Timing malfunction!" The Telemovie.
"Leaving me in Geneva, out of your hair while you went out with Sam as usual." That's neither fair nor accurate, but Father Kreiner's memories may just be playing up.
Pg 228 "Another customised companion?" Unnatural History and the whole Dark Sam thing.
Pg 232 "The Greyjan construct's block-transfer computations were like surgical incisions." Logopolis.
Pg 236 "Some kind of relay-triggered ray-phase shift." The Trial of a Time Lord, and it meant nothing back then either.
Pg 237 "But our lives, Doctor, shall be different from anybody else's. That's the excellent thing. No one in the universe can do what we're doing." The Tomb of the Cybermen.
"Oh, what an entrance, Grandfather Paradox." Who was first mentioned in Christmas on a Rational Planet.
Pg 240 "Is it always to end in evil?" Presumably another comment on the Valeyard from Trial of a Time Lord.
Pg 243 "or, more accurately, how the Doctor might've looked if he'd spent twenty years in the marines before becoming a psycho." Or, perhaps, what he looks like throughout most of Fear Itself.
Pg 247 "There was an almost fanatical gleam in her eyes that reminded Fitz of Jin-Ming and his fellow inmates in the Red Army." Revolution Man.
Pg 252 "She had no intention of being time-rammed again." The Time Monster.
Pg 256 "Go back to Earth in 1963. Don't take me with you." The Taint.
Pg 258 "Watching Ryssal psych himself up to hit the red button." Ooh, a big red button! The Christmas Invasion.
Pg 265 "Where there's life, there's hope." The Third Doctor's final words in Planet of the Spiders.
Pg 267 "Then the corridor started pouring with blood around him." Interference part I, inexplicably. [Go on, throw in another continuity reference, why not? They'll lap it up!]
Pg 270 "'Why?' the Doctor cried, struggling to be free of the spider's thick white leg. 'Why this senseless, evil killing?'" The Daleks.
Pg 271 "'I am your fate.' The Grandfather glared down." I, Luke, am your father.
Pg 276 "Why could he hear footsteps?" We won't know the answer until The Gallifrey Chronicles, but we suspect that, right now, they are the footsteps of Justin Richards.
Pg 281 "Staring at the pale figure wrapped in its evergreen coat." The Doctor has been described as the evergreen man before - Vampire Science - but rarely with such pathos as here.
Pg 282 "As long as you turn up in the right spot in 2001." Escape Velocity.
Pg 283 "Him just waiting around, living with that, for a hundred years." The Caught on Earth arc, starting with The Burning.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
Mother Mathara and Father Kreiner.
Grandfather Paradox, whoever he might be, has been mentioned for so long he feels like an old friend even though we've never met him before.
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Ah, who survived Gallifrey? Now, there's a question. The only absolutely clear survivors of the end of this novel are The Doctor, Fitz, Compassion, Nivet and Lady Withycombe (who only appears briefly as the Doctor's travelling companion on a train in Victorian England). It's possible that Romana and Mali survive. But that's about it. Anyone else has, in the words of the novel, been reduced to something roughly the size of an electron.
A train carriage in late Victorian England, journeying from St Pancras.
A library on a distant world called Pangea, which has three suns, that will probably now never be visited by the Time Lord who visits it, if you see what I mean.