Birthright
by Nigel Robinson


Publisher: Virgin
ISBN: 0 426 20393 3

     

    BASIC PLOT
    The Doctor disappears inside the TARDIS, which promply dies. Benny finds herself stranded in Edwardian London, crossing swords with Jared Khan, the immortal leader of the New Dawn secret society. Ace finds herself in the far future where an insect race is trying to cross the great divide of time and space to escape their dying planet, helped by an enigmatic hermit, Muldwych. Khan tries to invade the TARDIS and Bernice finds more than she bargained for without the Doctor's help.

    DOCTOR
    Seventh.

    COMPANIONS
    Ace and Benny.

    MATERIALISATION CIRCUIT
    Pg 23 On the shore of the Thames by the Victoria Embankment, 1909. It's been there for two months, so it landed in February.

    Pg 89 Culloden, 1746.

    Pg 200 The Charrl Hive, Earth, 20,000 years in the future.

    Pg 208 A series of materialisations has occurred offscreen.

    PREPARATORY READING
    The events of this story are contemporaneous with Iceberg, but the books can be read in either order.

    CONTINUITY REFERENCES
    Pg 4 "The race of the faithfulest friends, creators, so they say, of over three hundred of the six hundred and ninety-nine Wonder of the Universe." Death to the Daleks.

    Pg 5 "It's the result of living alone on Mount Kukuruk with only the daisies for company." The Time Monster.

    Pg 21 "'His is Ernie Wright,' said the stranger, and the policeman could detect a faint Scottish burr in his voice. 'I know... his family.' [...] 'Accuse him unjustly, send him to the hangman , and think what harm you'll do to him - to his sons that have yet to be born. Or to the granddaughter he might one day have...'" Barbara Wright (An Unearthly Child et al).

    Pg 24 "A telephone with a direct line to the police station in the Totters Green district of Shoreditch." An Unearthly Child.

    "Gone forever, as irretriveable as the millions upon millions of lives lost on the Seven Planets." The Pit

    Pg 25 "'I've given this to few people, Benny," he said sombrely. 'One of them was my granddaughter, Susan.'" An Unearthly Child et al.

    Pg 26 "Sleep is for tortoises you told me once." The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

    "'Blackpool? The Eye of Orion?' he suggested. I told you it's time to get away. I need a holiday.'" Revelation of the Daleks/The Nightmare Fair, The Five Doctors.

    Pg 29 "What was it Ace had once said about a bell in the TARDIS?" The Cloister Bell, first heard in Logopolis.

    Pg 33 "They were as much use as a Draconian at a WI meeting." Frontier in Space.

    Pg 34 "He's about as trustworthy as a Hoothi on heat." The Brain of Morbius, Love and War.

    Pg 35 "It was when my poor older brother Teddy was reported missing, so it must have been 1872." Teddy is Edward Waterfield, Evil of the Daleks.

    "I saw Victoria, his daughter, from time to time though, always with the Doctor, although there was that time when she sailed alone from Vienna where she was studying graphology." Victoria first appeared in Evil of the Daleks. She was said to be studying graphology in The Two Doctors. (Note that World Game contradicts this.)

    Pg 36 "Poor Margaret doesn't even know that her brother Edward Waterfield was murdered on an alien planet, and that her neice travelled with you for a while before settling down in this planet's future." Evil of the Daleks, Fury From the Deep.

    Pg 37 "Benny had failed to make the connection until she went along to the bank's offices in the Strand out of curiosity, and discovered that her four fellow signatories were Victoria Waterfield herself, a Miss S. Foreman, a Miss S. J. Smith, and a Miss M. Bush." Susan (An Unearthly Child et al), Sarah Jane (The Time Warrior et al), Mel (Terror of the Vervoids et al).

    Pg 39 "Never engage in single-handed unarmed combat with Special Weapons Daleks" Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Pg 54 "'Sorry, I can't read Cyrillic script,' she admitted. Draconian yes, even ancient Mondasian if I'm pushed, but not Russian!" Frontier in Space, The Tenth Planet.

    Pg 61 "The old Queen had lived too long and experienced too much to expect a truthful answer from John Dee." John Dee is one of Jared Khan's aliases, who was said to found the Service in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

    Pg 65 "This was the England she'd always heard about, before the wars and the great love plague and the CyberWars and the Daleks came." Revenge of the Cybermen et al, The Daleks et al.

    Pg 70 "'We search for nothing less than the Elixir of Life.' 'Try Karn then...'" The Brain of Morbius.

    Pg 81 "The bones of Margaret's only brother, Edward, are rotting on a planet which will someday be known as Skaro, the Death World; and, as for Margaret's only surviving relative, Victoria - well, she wouldn't even start living in this century for another sixty years or so." Evil of the Daleks, Fury From the Deep.

    Pg 82 "Those names I hear you mutter sometimes when you think I'm not listening: Adric, Sara, Katarina. The ones Ace has told me about: Sorin, Julian and Raphael. And the others: all those inhabitants of the Seven Planets." Earthshock, The Daleks' Master Plan, The Curse of Fenric, Love and War, Timewyrm: Apocalypse, The Pit.

    Pg 84 "If you ask me it's the work of a gang. The Tongs, mebbe" The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

    Pg 85 "They began walking down the road towards Spitalfields market, where Benny promised she'd treat the Russian to a hot buttered muffin." Possible reference to The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

    Pg 89 "Culloden, AD 1746." This is the location of The Highlanders.

    Pg 99 "There would be no Hitler; no Bob Marley; no Ace, no nitro-nine; no organized opposition to the Dalek Wars; no Benny." The second Dalek War was first mentioned in Love and War.

    Pg 106 "I once heard my friend, the Doctor, speak to me of a man he once knew. Called himself the Master." Terror of the Autons et al.

    Pg 112 "Even in the Outer Wastes she'd heard that Draconian satellites usually kept an ear open for any signals of intelligent life." Frontier in Space.

    Pg 113 "She punched out another code on her computer gauntlet, sending out a sub-etheric message to anyone who might be around to pick it up." Sub-etheric beam locators featured in The Curse of Fatal Death.

    "Like throwing a bottle into the bloody ocean at Kandalinga!" Reference to the comic strip The Fish Men of Kandalinga.

    Pgs 116-117 "Ever since she had returned to the ship after three years in the 25th century there'd been a tension between the two of them." Deceit.

    Pg 117 "Realising that the TARDIS was about as useful to her now as a box of Kleenex to a Cyberman - or a sense of integrity to the Doctor - she stalked off towards the hills in search of civilisation." The Cybermen first appeared in The Tenth Planet.

    "Light her blue touch paper and it would be advisable to stand well back..." The Brain of Morbius.

    Pg 119 "She remembered a trip with the Doctor to Africa a long time ago" Uncertain reference.

    Pg 121 "It shoots a concentrated beam of plasma, enough to blast a careless Dalek all the way back to New Skaro." New Skaro was necessary because of Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Pg 122 "The ocean seemed unnatural: it was calm and still, undisturbed by any wind, and the squawks of seagulls as they wheeled and gyred in the breeze" Possible reference to "birds wheeling in an alien sky", from An Unearthly Child.

    Pg 132 Reference to Daleks.

    Pg 141 "She remembered the Professor once telling her of an alien race which could propagate itself in a similar way; he'd called them the Wirrn." The Ark in Space.

    Pg 142 "Now what's this about a Time Vector Generator?" The Wheel in Space.

    Pg 143 "The Time Vector Generator, when reconnected to the box, will enable the [...] 'police public call box' to become whole again, reuniting its exterior shell with its true interior which exists outside of time and space." This is what happened in The Wheel in Space.

    Pg 144 "Lady Peinforte and her servant Richard Maynarde had also time-travelled unprotected when they tried to get their hands on the Silver Nemesis. Hell she'd even done it once herself but had never known whether she'd wound up on Ice World unscathed by good luck or because of the machinations of Fenric." Silver Nemesis, Dragonfire, The Curse of Fenric.

    Pg 150 "The Professor had once offered her a homing device which would always lead her back to the TARDIS." Mawdryn Undead.

    Pg 164 "Not quite as impregnable as the casket which once contained the Hand of Omega, she granted, but impressive nonetheless." Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Pg 165 "Well here's my big chance to find out if the Doctor still considers me a member of his crew, or just another prize pain in the arse he should have dumped with Fenric when he had the chance." The Curse of Fenric.

    "She inserted the key into the specially constructed trimonic lock, and turned." The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

    Pg 170 "Tachyons and luxons" The Leisure Hive.

    Pg 177 "From deep within the centre of the TARDIS the dreaded tolling of a bell began." The Cloister Bell, Logopolis et al.

    Pg 180 "Took me all around the universe with him, he did, and then dumped me in an old storeroom without so much as a by-your-leave when he turned into that white-haired chap in the fancy clothes." The third Doctor.

    Pg 182 "Honours in ancient Terran history, and Martian archaeology" The Ice Warriors et al.

    "A professorial thesis on Draconian culture..." Frontier in Space, Love and War.

    Pg 187 "This one belonged to someone called Adric" Full Circle et al.

    "And those used to be called Katarina" The Myth Makers.

    "And those belonged to a lad named Raphael" Timewyrm: Apocalypse.

    "But the greatest feast of all will be the Seven Planets." The Pit.

    Pg 188 "The water churned as the creature snipped and snatched at her attackers, killing them as effectively as a - well, as a Dalek..." You probably know who the Daleks are.

    Pg 189 "'That's right,' said the Lamb. 'A Kaled Mutant.'" Genesis of the Daleks.

    "A long time ago the Doctor had the opportunity to destroy the entire Dalek race" Genesis of the Daleks.

    Pg 191 "And it transformed itself into a Kaled mutant, quite possibly the very same mutant that had saved her life earlier, but this time choking the life out of her." Genesis of the Daleks.

    Pg 193 "Culloden, remembered Benny. The Doctor was here once. He had a companion who he'd met at Culloden." The Highlanders.

    "Vicki, Nyssa, Peri, Steven, all former companions of the Doctor" The Rescue et al, The Keeper of Traken et al, Planet of Fire et al, The Chase et al.

    Pg 201 "Ace, what's a Time Ram?" The Time Monster.

    Pg 208 "They're inside the TARDIS?" The Charrl being in the (original) TARDIS will be resolved in Happy Endings.

    Reference to the TARDIS swimming pool (The Invasion of Time).

    Pg 210 "He brushed something from his shoulder. Flakes of melting ice." Iceberg.

    Pg 216 "'I fear she's not too taken with nineteenth-century French literature.' 'She'll have to be one day.'" Ace's fate, as detailed in the novelisation of The Curse of Fenric, is the end up in nineteenth-century France. We'll eventually see this happen in Set Piece.

    OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
    Pg 41 Kublai Khan, from Marco Polo.

    NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
    Muldwych (although he's almost certainly a future Doctor), Charlie Jackson, Seeba, Skol, Chel, Korin, Ch'tizz.

    CONTINUITY COCK-UPS

    1. Pg 4 "The race of faithfulest friends, creators, so they say, of over three hundred of the six hundred and ninety-nine Wonders of the Universe." Leaving aside the fact that 'faithfulest' isn't actually a world, why do they not still refer to the Seven Hundred Wonders? Just because the City of the Exxilons got destroyed doesn't make it any less a wonder. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were destroyed long before the Colossus of Rhodes was built, but no one got numerically anal at that point.
    2. Pg 23 "Thursday 15 April 1909" Why is there no AD in the year, when it occurs in other dates (eg page 15)?
    3. Pg 31 "Thursday 15 April 1909" There's no AD here either. But the AD reappears thereafter (eg page 33).
    4. Pg 39 "But after that I'm gorn down t' apple 'n' stairs" Except that the expression in rhyming slang is "apple 'n' pears", a rhyme for stairs. The entire point of rhyming slang is to rhyme with the intended word, not say it outright.
    5. Pg 54 "I know policing methods and training have changed in the last five millennia..." Except that Benny is clearly comparing policing methods of her own time with that of 1909, which should be five centuries - 500 years. Definitely not 5000.
    6. Pg 77 "With her free arm Benny lashed out at her opponent's eyes who jerked involuntarily back, enabling Benny to push her off." What an odd thing for her opponent's eyes to do.
    7. Pg 97 "'The gap between our world and Antykhon,' explained Khan. 'It first opened last year, in Russia, enabling the Charrl to come to Earth -' 'The Siberian meteorite,' Benny guessed." As well as bringing the Charrl, the Tunguska crash consisted of a spaceship carrying the drug Warlock (Warlock) and was observed by Liz Shaw in The Wages of Sin.
    8. Pg 106 In a conversation in a pub between Benny and Popov: '"The society has a long and influential history," said Khan.' Sorry? When did he join the conversation? He's not even present.
    9. Pg 146 "... right down to the tiniest spielsnake". That's 'spielsnape' to you.
    10. Pg 210 'And sent him fifteen thousand years into the future, to a barren world called Antykhon, there to await its colonization by a noble race of insects called the Charrl.' The maths is appalling: it's 20,000 years in the future (p134), and Muldwych has been exiled on Antykhon for a thousand years (p203), and he gets pushed 15,000 years forward to await them. That means 20,000-15,000=1,000, which is not what I learned at school. More to the point, this ending for Muldwych locks him in a grandfather-paradox-esque time loop, where he's been exiled before the events that led to his exile. Which pretty much traps him forever. Whoops.

    PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]

    1. The universe really is that anal.
    2. The bigger question is why specify it at all, since all the dates occur anno domini.
    3. Seriously, we can probably just assume that London 1909 takes place in the twentieth century!
    4. Benny doesn't quite grasp the concept.
    5. Since Shadowmind, the Doctor and crew have been to the year 6909, where Benny became intimately acquainted with the local policing methods.
    6. Her oppenent's eyes jerking back obviously affected her opponent quite a lot.
    7. The gap must have allowed several things to pass through at once.
    8. By complete coincidence, Khan happens to be walking past a conveniently open window, speaking to a friend about the Society, and his words just happen to be overheard by Benny and Popov, giving them a little more information than they had before.
    9. Ace, like so many of the rest of us, misheard it.
    10. Muldwych escapes from Antykhon fairly swiftly, then an earlier version finds himself exiled back there 4,000 years later. This fixes both problems but retains the obvious one that this was certainly not the intention of the narrative.

    FEATURED ALIEN RACES
    Pg 1 The Charrl, giant fly-like insects that walk upright.

    FEATURED LOCATIONS
    Pg 9 Ercildourne, Scotland 1270.

    Pg 15 London, 1909.

    Pg 41 Cathay, 1289.

    Pg 61 Windsor Castle, 1603.

    Pg 89 Culloden, 1746.

    Pg 134 Earth, 20,000 years in the future.

    Pg 213 Earth, 1910.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Birthright was an ambitious novel for its time. The idea of an adventure without the Doctor was quite radical; having an adventure contemporaneous with one with a companionless Doctor is even better. And the appearance of a future Doctor was inspired. But the icing on the cake is this book's examination of the persona of the manipulative seventh Doctor: he's barely in it, but his influence hovers over every page. Consequently, the first section with Benny in 1909 London is astonishingly good. The latter sections aren't quite up to the same standard and the virtual reality ending dates this terribly, but it's still a book that's worth reading. Nigel Robinson famously wrote this after reading
    Timewyrm: Revelation and realising just what the novels could do. And you can tell.