Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and his colleagues at UNIT investigate a spate of unexplained deaths and murders. Meanwhile, the Third Doctor and Jo are caught up in strange events in the small English Village of Hob's Haven.
Jo Grant, the Brigadier, Mike Yates, Benton.
Pg 13 "For a treacherous moment he felt a pang of regret that he'd committed himself to Fiona Campbell." The Brigadier's first wife, later seen in The Scales of Injustice.
Pg 35 "There's one lot - used to be the Mesopotamian gods, I think- that get their kicks from using men's lives like a chess game. Call themselves the Players." Players, Endgame.
Pg 70 "It's like the Players. This is his game." Players, Endgame.
Pg 126 "His capture by the Time Lords had ended in forced regeneration and exile to Earth." The War Games.
"He was, after all, a Time Lord. He walked in Eternity." Pyramids of Mars.
Pg 198 "'Sleep is for tortoises,' said the Doctor." He says this in The Talons of Weng-Chiang too.
Pg 200 "Using techniques learned long ago from his hermit mentor on Gallifrey, the Doctor kept his mind calm and peaceful" This hermit was first mentioned in The Time Monster and seen in Planet of the Spiders.
Pg 202 "One of the deadliest drugs in the galaxy, in a class with the notorious skar." Skar features in Catastrophea and Mean Streets.
Pg 226 "And when I say run - run." This was the second Doctor's catchphrase, made more amusing for having Benton say it.
Pg 280 "However freak weather conditions mean that festival attendees and civilian population may need assistance." Freak weather conditions also feature in The Claws of Axos.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Demeter/Dempster, Sephie/Sophie, Hermy/Herbie, Hades, Zeus.
- The cover not only gives away the resolution, it's quite wrong. The Doctor and Jo are quite specifically on top of a hill, surrounded by members of UNIT, not in an empty amphitheatre pit.
- No Future establishes that the Brigdier was born in 1930. Letts' own The Ghosts of N-Space also says he was a young boy in 1940. Yet he's 21 here.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
- Zeus's powers are affecting perception.
- The Brigadier is in fact 15, but lied about his age, even to himself, so he could get into the army. It's his first and only love.
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Pg 31 The Greek gods.
Pg 64 Cerebus, a three-headed dog-like creature.
Pg 67 A Centaur.
Chimaera (half lion, half goat).
Pg 68 A Satyr.
Pg 78 A sea creature with serpents for limbs, a cavernous mouth and two staring eyes.
Pg 83 A six foot slug with a face like a vulture.
A giant spiderish thing with too many limbs, a proboscis the size of an elephant's trunk and an abdomen so full of blood it flops along on the ground.
A bat-headed skeletal creature with a swollen belly and human hands.
A small furry beast.
Pg 86 They're not aliens, but there are a variety of ghosts in the underworld.
Pg 89 Medusa.
Pg 7 His Majesty's Motor Launch 951, 1945.
Pg 8 Zante.
Pg 43 Corfu.
Pg 47 Kerkira.
Pgs 41/55 Albania.
Pg 64 The Underworld.
Pg 122 UNIT HQ (presumably in London), the 1970s.
Pg 125 Essex.
Pg 127 Hob's Haven.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
The Barry Letts novella which occurs at the beginning is simply atrocious. It's written as though an eight year old were telling a particularly dull story. What's more, it serves no purpose whatsoever. You can actually feel the gears shift once Terrance Dicks' (entirely welcome) fluffy style comes into play. The remainder of the book is mostly mediocre, but after the appalling opening, that's entirely welcome. The sequences of random violence are the book's highlight, although the comedy police sergeant is amusing and the Master's alliance with UNIT is fun. The ending proves that this was a gigantic shaggy dog story - a huge buildup for a resolution that's entirely guessable for anyone who's ever glanced at the cover (which would be everyone, then), simply so the authors can later chortle about having a "Zeus ex machina". A waste of a novel, let alone one written to celebrate the 40th anniversary.