The Taking of Chelsea 426
by David Llewellyn


Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 1 846 07758 6

     

    BASIC PLOT

    DOCTOR
    Tenth.

    COMPANIONS
    None.

    MATERIALISATION CIRCUIT
    Pg 81 In a hotel room, Chelsea 426, approximately 2509.

    Pg 155 In another room of the same hotel.

    PREPARATORY READING
    None. This is a very loose followup to The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky, but I can't in good conscience recommend watching that again.

    CONTINUITY REFERENCES
    Pgs 7-8 "He had arrived when it first opened as a part of the Interplanetary Mining Corporation's first hydrogen mine on Saturn." IMC featured in Colony in Space.

    Pg 23 "'Molto bene!' said the stranger." Midnight.

    "Nobody here but us chickens et cetera" The Empty Child.

    Pg 24 "Except pears. Can's stand pears." The Shadows of Avalon.

    Pg 48 The psychic paper makes an appearance.

    Pg 52 "The Battle of Olympus Mons." Transit.

    Pg 84 "The carbon levels are too high for a Krynoid." The Seeds of Doom.

    Pg 97 "We have been at war with a race known as the Rutan Host for nearly fifty thousand of your years." The Sontaran-Rutan war, first mentioned in The Time Warrior.

    Pg 101 "When the Rutans discovered that Earth was to become a cloning facility for the Sontaran Empire they planted a trap on a neighbouring world - this world." The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky.

    Pg 146 "You people obliterated themselves in a war." A discussion of the Time War follows.

    Pg 180 "I think the first time I met the Sontarans was in Medieval England. Or was it Spain?" The Time Warrior, The Two Doctors.

    Pg 184 The sonic screwdriver makes an appearance.

    Pg 186 "Sontar-ha! Sontar-ha! Sontar-ha!" The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky.

    Pg 231 "For one thing I've had my fair share of angry mothers lately" Jackie, Francine and Sylvia.

    OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
    None.

    NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
    Jake, Vienna, Mr and Mrs Carstairs, Wallace, General Kade, Commander Strom, Mayor Sedgefield, Captain Thomas, Mr and Mrs Pemberton, Zack and Jenny (although the latter two never meet the Doctor).

    CONTINUITY COCK-UPS

    • Pg 219"I can't use the TARDIS to tow the colony away from the storm it's anchored to Saturn if I tried pulling it away it would break up" Huh?

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

    • The Doctor's stressed and it's affecting his ability to punctuate. Much like the author, one suspects.

    FEATURED ALIEN RACES
    Pg 85 Sentient plants.

    Pg 86 Sontarans.

    Pg 147 Human-Rutan hybrids.

    FEATURED LOCATIONS
    Pg 8 Chelsea 426, a colony on Saturn. It's been 500 years since The Sontaran Stratagem (page 118).

    Pg 113 The Pride of Deimos.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    This is a very poor novel indeed. Written in a far-too-juvenile style, it has no sense of dramatic timing and just reveals all its big set pieces with no buildup. The only things of worth are the brief discussion the Sontarans have with the Doctor over the nature of the Time War and the joke about when the Doctor first met the Sontarans. Collectively, those last less than a page. Everything else is either dull or nonsensical. The setting is as boring as the back cover tells us and entirely fails to convey the sci-fi nature that the resolution hinges on. The attempt at a Fawlty Towers parody can't be sustained. The Sontarans capture and recognise the Doctor, but nevertheless decide to let him go and have free run of the colony. And the Rutan plot is too dumb for words: in order to combat a Sontaran invasion of Earth in 2009, they seed an entirely different planet with spores that will make Rutan hybrids in 500 years' time, which depends entirely on someone building a city in the clouds of Saturn, but is foiled because they can make exact copies (with memories) except that the clones can't say yes or no, except when they can? Well, that'll learn the Sontarans then.