Father Time
by Lance Parkin


Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 53810 4

     

    BASIC PLOT
    The Doctor has been caught on Earth for more than eighty years. Old villains have scores to settle, a giant robot stalks the countryside and the only thing the Doctor has is the love of his daughter.

    DOCTOR
    Eighth.

    COMPANIONS
    None.

    MATERIALISATION CIRCUIT
    The TARDIS is still in its embryonic form and so nonfunctioning. It resides in the grounds of the Doctor's house in Greyfrith in 1980 (page 17) and in the south of England in 1986 (page 127).

    PREPARATORY READING
    The Infinity Doctors and the Caught on Earth arc, especially The Burning. However, it still stands alone fairly well.

    CONTINUITY REFERENCES
    Pg 2 "The planet earth, in the twentieth century of the Humanian era" The Humanian era was on the scanner in the TARDIS in the telemovie.

    Pg 9 "They told stories about RAF planes chasing flying saucers, official cover-ups, a whole menagerie of plant men, robot men, spaghetti men from outer space, not forgetting turtle men who lived under the sea." The RAF planes chasing flying saucers might be Terror of the Zygons or Terror of the Autons or maybe The Seeds of Doom. Official cover ups occurred a lot in the UNIT era and specifically Who Killed Kennedy. Plant men are the Krynoids, robot men the K1 robot, spaghetti men the Axons and turtle men presumably the Sea Devils.

    Pg 18 The TARDIS door panel is lovingly reproduced.

    Pg 22 "I was in a house, and it was my house but it wasn't. It went on forever, and I kept finding new rooms. There were hundreds of bedrooms, a swimming pool, an art gallery and a library, even a greenhouse the size of Kew Gardens." The Doctor dreams of the TARDIS interior. The art gallery, swimming pool and an outdoor area were featured in The Invasion of Time.

    Pg 23 "It's just something I'm working on. It generates soundwaves. Ultrasonics. When I get it working, it could be used to unfasten screws, maybe even open locks." The Doctor is building a sonic device like the sonic screwdriver.

    Pg 33 Miranda has two hearts.

    Pg 41 "Our breath must be colder than his" Both Miranda and the Doctor's breaths cannot be seen even in the cold winter of Northern England.

    "'Jupiter has twelve moons.' 'Thirteen including Neophobos,' said the Doctor absently.'" Revenge of the Cybermen, To The Slaughter.

    Pg 43 "Dass hunnar, ssli hoossurr." The Doctor remembers meeting Martians and knows some of their language.

    Pg 46 "The United Nations have a unit operating in this country which covers up alien activity. The MOD know nothing about it, even though they recruit men from the regular army." The UFO spotters know about UNIT.

    Pg 48 "A grasp of symbolic logic that put Alan Turing himself to shame [...] but my memories start with me waking in a railway carriage [...] I was from a large family" Turing appeared in The Turing Test, the Doctor awoke on the railway carriage at the end of The Ancestor Cell and his large family was seen in Lungbarrow.

    Pg 52 The Doctor carries jelly babies.

    Pg 58 "The caption said it had been taken in Stalingrad in 1951." The Doctor was in Stalingrad in 1951 in Endgame.

    Pg 73 "I told you I woke up in a train carriage. What I didn't tell you was that it happened over a century ago" The Ancestor Cell.

    "We know that this era was monitored and protected, and the -" Perhaps by the Time Lords.

    Pgs 76-77 "They started a sequence of events that led to whole galaxies being evacuated, whole sections of the timeline being erased." Miranda's people are very similar to the Time Lords, but they 're from the future, so either Gallifrey comes back, or they're from a parallel universe (possibly the Dead Romance one, with the reference to evacuating whole galaxies). It's also possible that they're the race who fills the gap left by the Time Lords and for some reason they're genetically similar.

    "I am the ruler of Faction Klade." This seems suspiciously close to Faction Paradox, so perhaps they are the Faction, or elements of the Faction get woven in. It's said on the next page that only members of the Imperial family have two hearts, so it's possible that the surviving Time Lords team up to rule this empire.

    Pg 80 "The Doctor's memories appeared in the air in front of him in a ghostly bubble, one after the other, arranged into a semblance of order. Fire and madness and bombing and cobbled streets, and colour and a succession of faces." Fire is from The Burning, madness from Casualties of War, bombing from The Turing Test. Cobbled streets might be Endgame (as the memories are coming in order) or it might be The Burning again.

    Pg 84 "And there was a note." There's a long discussion of Fitz's note (which first appeared in The Burning and then throughout the Caught on Earth books) and the Doctor's guesses about what it might mean. In particular is the idea that it was written by Compassion.

    Pg 109 "Miranda. Miranda Who?" Just like the Doctor, we never find out Miranda's last name, but it just might be "Who".

    Pg 110 "He's Thatcherism personified." The Doctor becoming the perfect capitalist in Thatcher's Britain is reminiscent of the Seventh Doctor signing up to become a Nazi in Just War.

    Pg 121 "'It's a static electricity generator,' the Deputy told him. He pointed at a small plastic vial. 'The static charge is stored here in that mercury, which converts it to magnetic charge.'" This is charming pseudo-science, as though straight from the imagination of David Whitaker. It's precisely the sort of thing seen in The Daleks and Evil of the Daleks... which may be no coincidence, given that the Deputy is from Facton Klade (an anagram of "Dalek").

    Pg 124 "There's a planet where the moths and the ants are at war [...] there were men made of Liquorice Allsorts and there was an empress who lived in a big jam jar." The Web Planet, The Happiness Patrol, The Scarlet Empress.

    Pg 129 "She said she was an old friend, although Dad couldn't remember her. [...] Her name was Iris." Iris Wildthyme is a fellow renegade Time Lord who has a crush on the Doctor. She appears in The Scarlet Empress, The Blue Angel and Verdigris, as well as a number of short stories.

    Pg 145 "The Doctor was standing to one side, along with two young people: a tall man and a dark-skinned woman." These are Fitz and Anji Kapoor, shortly to be introduced in Escape Velocity.

    Pg 152 "She concentrated: increased the supplies of adrenaline and sugar in her bloodstream, her heartsrate and the level of oxygen carried by her respiratory system." She was taught how to do these things by the Doctor.

    Pg 161 "The sonic suitcase was sitting by one of the consoles." The Doctor has condensed his sonic device into a suitcase.

    Pg 164 "Not even the sonic suitcase can get us out of this one" This is a misquoting of a line from Invasion of Time.

    Pg 175 "I'll explain later" is from Curse of the Fatal Death.

    Pg 183 "Her species had always had a gift for translation. [...] There were legends on many worlds of creatures who wore human form but were really demons, shapeshifters. That is what this 'woman' in front of him was." More evidence that Miranda's species are very similar to Time Lords.

    Pg 190 "You and the Doctor are two of a kind: time-travellers." More evidence.

    Pg 191 "He told her that in the future the universe had been devastated, drained of energy , with whole galaxies uninhabited and uninhabitable. Somehow - no one was quite sure how - this was the fault of her people" This future is from The Infinity Doctors.

    "A group of goblin shapeshifters and robot gangsters" The shapeshifters are the Rutans (who are still around in that future, from The Infinity Doctors), while the robot gangsters are the Silverati, from Hope.

    "She was the daughter and heir of the Emperor , and the last survivor of her entire race. Her stepfather, the Doctor, was one too, but from an earlier period. He was a war criminal, a man who'd destroyed whole planets." Explicit proof that the Time Lords exist in the future and Miranda is one. The Doctor destroyed Gallifrey in The Ancestor Cell. Miranda also has "Time sensitivity", which all Time Lords seem to have (see City of Death etc).

    Pg 203 "'Betty,' the Doctor said." Betty Stobbold was the Reverend Stobbold's daughter in The Burning.

    Pg 205 "But a lot of things have changed since I first went to Middletown" The Burning.

    Pg 210 "The Doctor made more of an impact, of course. The Lloyds Building, Baghdad, Waco, the Martian invasion, that business with the Kulan... but I'm getting ahead of myself." The Martian invasion took place in 1997 in The Dying Days and featured the eighth Doctor in an early appearance. The business with the Kulan is a reference to Escape Velocity, the next book.

    Pg 217 "I feel like I've just lost an old friend." The Doctor says the same line when he's misplaced the sonic suitcase as he did when the Terrileptils destroyed the sonic screwdriver in The Visitation.

    Pg 220 "It crashed near the Librarinth a long time ago." The crashing of the Supremacy is mentioned in The Infinity Doctors.

    Pg 221 "The Factions and Houses are at open war with each other, now." This is suspiciously similar language to that of Faction Paradox. The Houses are understood to mean the various houses of the Time Lords.

    Pg 230 "For over twenty years, the United Nations has been aware that extraterrestial life forms exist." Presumably since The Web of Fear in 1969, which would track, although possibly since Remembrance of the Daleks, in 1963.

    Pg 234 The Librarinth is in... a rather unique location. The Needle." The Needle featured in The Infinity Doctors in the far future.

    Pgs 243-244 "The pilot had heard legends of the Doctor - everyone had: how he'd destroyed planets, how he'd wiped out whole intelligent species, how he'd brought darkness to the universe, how he travelled through time wiping out his enemies and turning those he abducted into monsters and terrorists." The Doctor destroyed planets in Remembrance of the Daleks and The Ancestor Cell, wiped out whole species in Terror of the Vervoids and Horns of Nimon, brought darkness to the universe in The Infinity Doctors and The Ancestor Cell and the story of his turning his companions into monsters and terrorists is similar to Cwej's story of the Doctor in Dead Romance.

    Pg 245 "'Wetware?' Debbie asked. 'I'll explain later.'" Curse of the Fatal Death.

    Pg 254 "'Partially?' he said, 'His kind can...'" Ferran knows about regeneration, so presumably Miranda can regenerate.

    Pg 262 "Death Comes To Time" The chapter title is named after the radio broadcast. We find out in Trading Futures that Mather later becomes Secretary of State during the Canisian invasion.

    Kladenium is presumably similar to Dalekanium.

    "And behind him there was a roar like an oncoming storm" This is the Draconians' term for the Doctor (and the Daleks too, according to the new series).

    Pg 263 "They destroyed worlds. They destroyed universes." The Time Lords destroyed the Fendahl homeworld and destroyed the universe (sort of) in Dead Romance.

    "Weapons are the tool of the cruel and the cowardly. We strive to be better than that. We do not need them." This echoes Terrance Dicks' famous statement about the Doctor, which was also taken as a mantra in the New Adventures.

    Pg 270 "And, as Turing had always said, a computer as intelligent as a man was instantly more intelligent" The Turing Test.

    "Even the streets of Victorian London. The Doctor had walked those streets" The Burning.

    "But how much better to step onto the first space station or stand on top of a mile high skyscraper" Escape Velocity and The Sunmakers respectively.

    Pg 271 "Violin music, violin music in the heart of a lightening storm. It felt like a memory, but..." The Year of Intelligent Tigers.

    "The Doctor ducked as a large robot arm swung a silver fist at his head" Hope.

    "A swarm of wasps surrounded him" Eater of Wasps.

    "Mr Saldaamir smiled his disconcerting smile" Mr Saldaamir appeared briefly in Beige Planet Mars, The Infinity Doctors and The Gallifrey Chronicles.

    "The Doctor grabbed a ship's wheel, with the stars streaking over his head above him" This is a likely reference to Sabbath's ship, from The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.

    "A man in a bowler hat walked through the mud, checking something from a clipboard" Anachrophobia.

    "A large metal vehicle, something between a tank and a chrome turtle, sat in a forest clearing." Most likely Trading Futures although the phrase doesn't appear there.

    "A young woman in a scarlet tunic with long blonde hair." Romana II.

    "There was a crowd of people in what looked like Renaissance clothing. 'The planet's called Albert?' he asked." Grimm Reality.

    "A conical robot, gunmetal-grey swung a camera eye at him, the lights on the top of its head flashing angrily." A Dalek, which is especially prescient, given the Time War.

    "A man with thin white hair and a mournful expression looked down his nose at him. 'I wondered when I'd put in an appearance.'" This is a joke on how an Ian Richardson-character appears in every one of Lance's books.

    Pg 273 "It brought back a memory he'd never had. He turned to gaze around his surroundings. He was standing on a beach, with seagulls whirling overhead, and waves lapping at his feet. The light was flame-red, the setting sun was far larger than it should be. Supremacy filled the sky, and looked like it was falling to Earth. [...] His lover was dead and the seas were dry." This is the Doctor from The Infinity Doctors in the far future, when the sun is dying. His lover was Patience, who also appeared in Cold Fusion. We see the mirror image of this scene on page 25 of The Infinity Doctors.

    Pg 275 "I am the Last One [...] Custobian of the Artefacts" These artefacts might be the objects of Rassilon.

    Pg 279 "In a little over eleven years, I've got to meet Fitz. Whoever Fitz might be." Escape Velocity.

    "Space-time coordinates to the Needle have been calculated and laid in." Miranda and the crew are returning to the far future of The Infinity Doctors.

    OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
    Pg 204 Betty Stobbold was the Reverend Stobbold's daughter in The Burning.

    NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
    Miranda, the Doctor's adopted daughter, who reappears in Sometime Never....

    Felix Mather reappears in Trading Futures.

    Ferran, Cate, Tarvin, Graltor, Mordak.

    CONTINUITY COCK-UPS

    1. "'It's a Sunbeam,' Barry said, exercising his talent for identifying cars from their headlights." Except that the next page identifies the car as a Trabant.
    2. Pg 178 "If he hadn't known she was adopted he'd never have guessed. She looked just like her stepfather" An adoptive father and a stepfather are different things.
    3. Pg 163 "Do you like Guns 'N Roses?" In the second segment Miranda listens to Guns and Roses (who didn't come out until 1988) and Phil Collins' Two Hearts which also came out in 1988. This doesn't square with the time period, which is about 1986 or so. On page 163 (in the second segment) Miranda says she is "sweet sixteen". On page 203 (in the third segment) Miranda is nineteen. The third segment is definitely set in early 1989 or late 1988, since it's "a little over eleven years" until February 8 2001 (page 279).

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

    1. Barry isn't nearly as adept as he thinks.
    2. Bob has a stepfather himself, so he probably just defaults to the same language.
    3. The music is a real problem, of UNIT Dating proportions. It's just possible that Miranda ages at a different rate, so she ages three years in less than a year. However, that really doesn't square with the amount of time that seems to pass between the second and third segments and judging from the finale that rate would seem to be slower, not faster. The only explanation that seems to fit is that the DW universe is alternate to ours and the music of 1988 actually appeared two years earlier there. However, this is a very unsatisfying explanation.

    FEATURED ALIEN RACES
    Miranda's people are clearly Time Lords of the far future.

    Pgs 37-38 The Hunters. They're almost human, but their bodies are elongated, eyes too narrow and hair swept back all wrong.

    Pg 96 Mr Gibson is a transformer, able to assume the shape of a Volkswagen, but transforming into a bulky 12-foot high robot.

    Pg 77 Faction Klade, members of an alliance from the far future, although they might be an offshoot of humanity, given that they look identical and Sallak's blood tests human (pg 114).

    Pg 233 Cate is an android, built in Miranda's image.

    FEATURED LOCATIONS
    Pg 1 The Librarinth, in The Needle, several million years in the future (pg 76).

    Pg 8 Greyfrith, England 1980.

    Pg 70 The Hunters' spaceship, 1980.

    Pg 109 England, 1986 (but see Continuity Cock-Ups)

    Pg 201 Berlin, November 1989.

    Pg 202 India, 1989

    Pg 203 England, 1989.

    Pg 206 The Supremacy, 1989.

    Pg 213 Aboard Concorde, 1989.

    Pg 217 Florida, 1989.

    The Atlantis, 1989.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    This is an astonishing book and it just gets better with age. The construction is brilliant, putting the Doctor front and centre, which is more of an achievement than it seems, with Miranda to compete. Debbie's fantastic, although it's a shame that her (subtextual) affair with the Doctor means she has to be perfunctorily killed off. The emotional heart is what drives this story onward: a man's simple desire to keep his daughter safe. The details are excellent, from the various jokes to the background history of the far future, but it's the development of character that makes this novel shine. It's the pinnacle of the EDAs, which don't really deserve a book as good as this.