In England a hotel worker has been turned to stone, an ancient lake has vanished, and the inmate of a mental hospital is being terrorised by unseen creatures. In Israel, in the shadow of Masada, an archaeological dig unearths something that should have stayed buried. The Doctor is sure he is dealing with a local and relatively straightforward temporal anomaly. Troy Game, a refugee from the planet Caresh, is not so certain. She believes the impending destruction of her home world is somehow linked to the events on Earth, and she is pinning her hopes on the Doctor to avert the catastrophe. But can the Doctor interfere with a planet's destiny? And should he risk his new-found freedom to do it?
Pg 35 The TARDIS recently landed on Erekan, Gau-Usu and Cern (time unknown).
Among a cluster of ruined villas and overgrown gardens and dust-choked fountains, Dagusa (time unknown).
Pgs 83-86 There's an all-action materialisation as the TARDIS crashes through buildings and eventually comes to rest in a Northgate car park, 1999.
Pg 120 A nature reserve near Wesbourne Lake, 1999.
Pg 155 A field behind a pub in Nyetimber, 1999.
Pg 201/202 A ledge on an island, Caresh, 1999.
Pg 35 "They walked through a landscape that reminded her of a recent visit to Greece although it was a lot less hilly." Probably a reference to The Time Monster, since Atlantis was just off Greece.
Pg 36 "So that's why we ended up on Inter Minor." Carnival of Monsters.
Pg 46 "'Curiosity,' he muttered. 'One of these days it's going to cost me dearly.'" Planet of the Spiders.
Pg 54 "There was Judith Winters, with her memories of her schooldays in Shoreditch in the 1960s and the encounter that had permanently unhinged her." Remembrance of the Daleks. This is possibly the little girl from that story.
Pg 80 "But we met ourselves once before." Day of the Daleks.
Pg 81 "Don't you have any safety belts in the TARDIS?" Timelash.
Pg 88 "Would she even be called Jo Grant, or had her name changed to something else - Jo Yates perhaps?" Jo does indeed get married later, although according to Genocide she's divorced by 1999. In The Curse of Peladon, she had a date with Mike Yates.
Pg 138 "On one occasion the Ship had been carried off by natives, another time she had seen it tumbling down a mountainside on Peladon" " Uncertain reference, The Curse of Peladon.
"The Doctor later explained that the TARDIS had simply activated its Hostile Action Displacement System, or HADS, and relocated itself." The Krotons.
Pg 153 "She remembered her own first experience of finding herself on another world." Colony in Space.
Pg 170 "He would probably be disoriented, prone to sudden lapses in memory and susceptible to suggestion." Power of the Daleks, Spearhead from Space, Robot, Castrovalva, Time and the Rani, the Telemovie.
"On the other hand, he might be stroppy, contrary and paranoid." The Twin Dilemma.
Pg 171 "The new Roche had a lean, humorous young-old face and a shock of exuberant white hair." Roche's regeneration is identical to the Doctor, just as Romana II was identical to Princess Astra.
Pg 174 "The zero room." Castrovalva.
Pg 215 "You know, I've always wanted to drive one of them." Black Orchid.
Pg 249 "He must have used a stellar manipulator" Remembrance of the Daleks.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Troy Game, Solenti, Jess the dog, Lord Roche, Zeke Child, Ben & Patric Fuller and possibly Simon Haldane (it's not clear if he was restored to life at the end as well, although he never met the Doctor or Jo anyway).
- The cover is notoriously inaccurate. Troy Game's hair is black, not blonde and she has blue irises, not brown (page 25)
- Pg 82 Jo recalls multiple trips in the TARDIS, where it landed on an ocean planet and inside a cave. However, it was established earlier that this adventure takes place only shortly after Carnival of Monsters and the Doctor is still relearning how to use the TARDIS again. It's unlikely that the Time Lords would have sent them on a mission to a cave.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- This may be a property of the light from the suns.
- These trips were a result of the Doctor trying to explore while on his way to and from various Time Lord missions.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Vortex dwellers, beings who dwell in the vortex and appear as an image of brightness with a roughly human outline (page 2).
The Careshi, short, human-like aliens who have short hair, no earlobes and large irises.
Furies, snake-like creatures with a jackal's head that hatch from egg-sacs, can turn people into stone and whose images are forgotten by those who see them (page 103).
Pg 228 Motile trees.
Pg 237 Leshe, a locust-like creature with a crystalline body, the size of a large dog and dragonfly wings with a six foot span (page 237).
Various locations on the planet Caresh, 1999.
Pg 5 Israel, 1972.
Pg 40 Dagusa, time unknown
Pg 23 Chichester, July 1999 (according to page 89).
Pg 87 Northgate, 1999.
Pg 120 A nature reserve near Wesbourne Lake, England, 1999.
Pg 145 Bognor Regis, 1999.
Pg 155 Nyetimber, 1999.
Pg 205 Lanare, a planet of merfolk, time unknown.
Pg 208 The realm of the vortex dwellers, in a vision.
Pg 279 A world with three moons and a harsh blue sun.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
The Suns of Caresh is a little uneven - the bulk of the plot is really a short story taking place on Caresh, padded out by 200 pages on Earth before it. On the downside, none of the earth-based plots are wrapped up to any satisfaction, with a handwaving restoration of the dead rendering it all dramatically irrelevant. And we never do learn what Lord Roche was up to on the other side of Caresh which is highly annoying. On the upside though, there's some fascinating detail here, with Troy Game's impressions of Earth, various Time Lord skullduggery and an almost disturbing fascination with the mechanics of TARDISes that nevertheless gives us a lot of really cool and original scenes. And the ending is very nicely done, with the Doctor's solution quite brilliant. Despite the nitpicks, this is one of the stronger PDAs, with a lot to recommend it.