Yquatine falls. The Doctor, Fitz and Compassion are there to see it, but quickly get separated. While the Doctor tries to save the aggressors from certain death at the hands of the ridiculously inept President of the system, Fitz is trapped in the past, moving forward inexorably to the fall all over again. And Compassion is trapped all over everywhere, but not where she needs to be. Has the Doctor finally met his match in the ludicrous President Vargeld? Will we ever see Compassion again? Can we possibly take Fitz seriously when he utters phrases like 'In the name of all that's funky' (Pg 39)? Read it and find out in another thrilling adventure for the most useless time travellers in the universe. But, trust us, you may come to regret it.
A sad excuse for the Eighth. No, really, it turns out that that is possible.
Someone masquerading as Fitz Kreiner, as played by Del Trotter from the BBC's Only Fools and Horses, who cries a lot.
Compassion, who's great, but only appears in about a quarter of the book.
More than you'd care to shake a hatstand at:
Pg 25 Compassion has materialised on Yquatine, on Treaty Day, 2993
Pg 61 Much the same place, precisely 58 days earlier - the 1st of Jaquaia.
Pg 85 Beatrix City, the planet Beatrix.
Pg 135 It becomes clear that Compassion has arrived on New Anthaur.
Pg 184 A smoke-choked trench in the middle of a warzone
Pg 184 A jagged, airless asteroid
Pg 184 The middle of a board meeting
Pg 184 Somewhere hot, with flower-headed lions
Pg 184 A damp grassy hillside with butterflies
Pg 184 Loads more, unrecorded
Pg 185 A child's bedroom
Pg 185 At least seven more materialisations.
Pg 212 Finally, after decades in the Vortex, Compassion arrives on the moon of Muath.
Pg 13 "'A bottle of Admiral's Old Antisocial, please.' [...] it was the favourite drink of a heroine of hers." The heroine in question is Benny Summerfield, and it's mentioned in the prologue of Human Nature.
Pg 20 "Chateau Yquatine, famed export of the Yquatine vineyards" and first mentioned in Dry Pilgrimage.
Pg 17 "Heading for a tiny place sandwiched between a Fizzade stall and a body-beppling clinic" Paradise Towers and Original Sin.
Pg 28 "We're safe for now. But I know the Time Lords. They're horribly devious." The fallout from The Shadows of Avalon. It gets quite a few mentions, but I haven't recorded them all.
Pg 33 "The Kukutsi, as leaders of the insect-dominated world of Chitin." Great name for a planet, chaps. Pure Terry Nation. Incidentally, Jon Pertwee couldn't pronounce 'chitinous' in The Green Death.
Pg 34 "Krukon, the Adamantean, simply stared at President Vargeld, his entourage of two Ogri glowing with golden light behind him." The Stones of Blood.
Pg 35 "We signed up to independence from the Earth Empire." From various Pertwee stories, especially The Mutants.
Pg 38 "A Randomiser is a simple circuit that can be linked into TARDIS guidance systems." The Armageddon Factor. As the Doctor comments, "I made one once."
Pg 46 Brief mention of Draconians, from Frontier in Space.
Pg 47 "A costume even his sixth incarnation would have balked at." Gosh, it must be bad.
Pg 57 "No giant rats on Yquatine, are there?" The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
"I'm the Doctor and this is my friend Lou Lombardo." It's the 'and this is my friend Ace" from loads of the NAs.
Pg 70 "So, if Fitz did approach him now, he'd be seeding a mighty fine time paradox which could cause much more damage than any alien attack." Fitz is aware of the dangers of paradox since his encounters with Faction Paradox in Unnatural History and Interference.
Pg 81 "Oh yes - an Ixtricite. Combined crystalline gestalt of the Krotons, the Rhotons and the something-else-ons." From The Krotons. What could the other one have been? The photons? The Dote-ons? We may never care.
Pg 87 "Then an exotic dancer who wanted her middle breast enlarged." This might be a reference to Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6 from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but it might not.
Pg 101 Brief reference to Daleks.
Pg 104 "[The Doctor] walked off casually, humming a song about a man who often dreamed of trains." Could this be dramatic foreshadowing? Because in a very few books' time, the Doctor's going to be put on a train carriage and it's going to have quite an effect. See The Ancestor Cell. (The song in question is probably 'I Often Dream of Trains' by Robyn Hitchcock. It includes the line 'I wait till Eternity or Basingstoke or Reading'. So there you go.)
Pg 121 "Not now, so soon after Filippa." Parallel 59.
Pg 137 "She won't be too pleased if one of you kills me." We'd all have loved it if Compassion (oh, yes, it is her; did you not spot the cunning name change to M'Pash?) had followed this with 'I'm a genius' in the style of The Seeds of Death.
Pg 143 Mention of Filippa again, still from Parallel 59.
Pg 144 "She remembered the Doctor's old TARDIS. That was meant to be indestructible. And it had been totally destroyed." The Shadows of Avalon, but actually, as The Ancestor Cell will show, it wasn't actually totally destroyed after all.
Pg 145 The chapter title, 'Cloudbusting', is the name of a Kate Bush song. Actually a really rather good one.
Pg 152 "Turns out his coma was self-induced." The Invisible Enemy et al.
Pg 169 "'The Omnethoth were developed millennia ago by a race they call the Masters.' He frowned. 'Terrible choice of name.'" Subtle reference to the Master.
Pg 171 "His biodata could be and had been extensively rewritten so he wasn't even sure of the past, let alone the future." Unnatural History et al.
Pg 176 Another brief mention of Draconians (Frontier in Space et al).
Pg 184 "Surely the Doctor didn't intend an endless, crazy flight through Time and Space with no idea where he was going next. That was madness." Oh, you'd be surprised. See The Five Doctors, in particular.
Pg 191 "If I throw a stone into a pond, that's a random act, but the ripples are a direct, logical consequence." Any discussion of stones, ripples and ponds has some sort of root in the now-altogether-too-famous sequence in Remembrance of the Daleks.
Pg 196 "I tried to tell them there was another way." Warriors of the Deep.
Pg 203 "Would he end up like his mother?" The Taint.
Pg 208 "One rainy afternoon during his exile on Earth." The Pertwee era.
Pg 209 "The Omnethoth have the potential for good." It's suddenly got all very Genesis of the Daleks.
"Out of the roots of evil could come great good, et cetera." See?
Pg 226 "Why couldn't it have been him? At least he was used to being taken over by alien entities." At last, a fairly good line! The Taint and onwards.
"Was it because he was tainted by Faction Paradox?" Interference part II.
Pg 231 "He'd helped save the creatures of the Dominion, but he had lost Kerstin." Gosh, it's always about girls when it comes to Fitz, isn't it? Dominion. And the way this is written, it sounds like she died whereas, in fact, the Doctor and Fitz just dropped her off in Sweden.
Pg 259 Mention of Sam.
Pg 276 Fitz gets to do the 'I'll explain later' 'joke' from The Curse of Fatal Death.
Pg 282 "How would you feel if your home planet was destroyed?" Hmmm, that'll be dramatic foreshadowing, that will. The Ancestor Cell.
Pg 285 It says a lot about the fact that I've read too many of these books that when I read Fitz's description of Compassion as a 'Goth wet dream', I thought of the eponymous Chancellor from The Deadly Assassin.
Repeatedly, and with no warning. He's supposed to be writer-proof. This shouldn't have been possible (although, that said, you should read most of his dialogue).
Pg 181 "He laughed, he shouted, he cried."
Pg 203 "Fitz couldn't wipe the tears away."
Pg 212 "His voice was thick with sobs of anger."
Pg 222 "Fitz was babbling, about Arielle, about the Doctor, his face streaked with tears."
Pg 223 "Fitz's pale blue eyes were pleading, his lips trembling."
Pg 225 "'That's a damn lie,' said Fitz, wiping the tears from his eyes."
Pg 232 "Fitz stared at it for a while, feeling too numb for tears." At last. It won't, though. Last, that is.
Pg 250 See: "Despite his chirpy manner, there were dark rings around his eyes. He'd been crying a lot over Arielle."
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Lou Lombardo (apparently an old friend of the Doctor's, but we've never heard of him, and we never will again).
Lorena, Naomi Vohner, Jalbert, Guvin, Trooper Lindsey Jones.
President Stefan Vargeld.
The Senate: Krukon, Tibis, Okotile, Juvingeld, Rhombus-Alpha.
Zizeenia and Zuklor, of the Anthaurk.
Pg 74 On an Anthaurk ship.
Pg 77 Aloysius Station, orbiting (Pg 100) New Anthaur.
Pg 184 Various places throughout time and space as Compassion struggles to take control of the Randomiser.