Timewyrm: Genesys
by John Peel


Publisher: Virgin
ISBN: 0 426 20355 0

     

    BASIC PLOT
    A temporal projection of the fourth Doctor warns the seventh Doctor and Ace about the Timewyrm, a cybernetic living data-eater that can take over minds. In ancient Mesopotamia, the Doctor and Ace team up with Gilgamesh and Enkidu to help free the city of Kish from the entity posing as the goddess Ishtar. But what is Ishtar's connection to the Timewyrm?

    DOCTOR
    Seventh.

    Pg 22 "A long burgundy-coloured coat" The fourth Doctor (but see Continuity Cock Ups).

    Pg 205 There's also a cameo by the third Doctor, who says "Jehosophat" (The Five Doctors), "a scarecrow" (The Five Doctors) and rubs his chin (more times than you could imagine).

    COMPANIONS
    Ace.

    MATERIALISATION CIRCUIT
    A field near Kish, Mesapotamia, 2700 BC (twice, on pages 47 and 216-217).

    Pg 229 The TARDIS lands in London at the end of the book (leading in to Timewyrm: Exodus).

    PREPARATORY READING
    None. Obviously.

    CONTINUITY REFERENCES
    Pg 1 "People of Eridu, hear me!" The opening exhortation to the reader is very similar to the section in the novelisation of The Curse of Fenric which tells of how the Doctor originally trapped Fenric in a flask.

    Pg 19 Ace trying to find her way in the TARDIS: "Toss a coin? Guess? Try a bit of logical thinking?" The first thing she thinks of is the thing that Adric did to the TARDIS itself when it was lost in E-Space in Warriors' Gate.

    Pg 22 "I've been editing a few of my useless memories" This is the first appearance of this, although the Doctor will do so again in later NAs. It's a very contrived way to introduce the characters, but it provides a handy get-out for some of the continuity problems.

    Pg 33 "'I'm not a human being,' he said off-handedly, over his shoulder. 'I'm a Time Lord.'" A quote from Pyramids of Mars, albeit delivered with rather less gravitas.

    Pg 35 Reference to Leela.

    Pgs 35-36 "He - me - had to enter the Matrix when Gallifrey was invaded by the Sontarans." The Invasion of Time.

    Pg 37 "It's in ancient High Gallifreyan" Presumably similar to Old High Gallifreyan, first mentioned in "The Five Doctors".

    Pg 38 "Ace felt like she'd been kicked in the brain by a bad-tempered Cyberman." Silver Nemesis (but see Continuity Cock-Ups).

    "They had fought the Master [...] on the planet of the Cheetah people." Survival.

    Pg 39 "Iceworld [,...] I was a waitress." Dragonfire.

    "Then there's something about Fenric." The Curse of Fenric.

    "The Cloister Bell. [...] It's not sounded since - since the Logopolis affair." The Cloister Bell was first heard in Logopolis (but see Continuity Cock-Ups).

    Pg 41 Cameo appearances by the Brigadier, Victoria and Jamie.

    Pg 42 Cameo by Katarina.

    Pg 45 "And if we don't stop it, then there might not be an Earth as you know it. It'll just be dust blowing in the cosmic winds." Pretty much what the Doctor showed Sarah Jane in Pyramids of Mars.

    Pg 58 "He reminded her uncannily of Nimrod..." We get a summary of Ghost Light.

    Pg 77 "It's mostly a whiff I get. Evil, pure evil." Anyone who reads this can't but help thing of 'Evil, evil since the dawn of time... puuuuurrrrrrre evil' from The Curse of Fenric. And wince.

    Pg 92 "You can explain to them about my respiratory bypass system" First mentioned in Pyramids of Mars.

    Pg 134 "I've removed the time path indicator from the TARDIS" Used in The Chase and The Daleks' Masterplan.

    "It had been the time the Daleks were chasing him, seeking to regain the Tarranium Core he had stolen from them." The Daleks' Masterplan.

    Pg 140 "The Doctor tried to apply all the techniques that his old mentor K'Anpo had taught him" Planet of the Spiders.

    "It had been at the time the Sontarans and their gullible henchmen the Vardans had managed to invade Gallifrey." The Invasion of Time.

    Pg 141 "His old companion Leela and that silly husband of hers" The Invaison of Time.

    "Katarina, killing herself to save a Universe she didn't even comprehend; Sara Kingdom, dying to defeat the daleks; Adric, perishing in a fireballover prehistoric earth to stop the Cybermen from destroying the human race." The Daleks' Masterplan, Earthshock.

    Pg 161 The building of a punt instantly makes one think of Shada or The Five Doctors. Or both.

    Pg 164 "Right now, a character called Nimrod is sleeping." Ghost Light.

    Pg 166 "The wonders of Iceworld, the terrors of Paradise Towers,the evil of the Psychic Circus" Dragonfire, Paradise Towers (see Continuity Cock-Ups), The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.

    Pg 168 Another brief reference to Iceworld, from Dragonfire.

    Pg 172 "Ace could still recall the cold grip of the Cybermen she had faced quite recently." Silver Nemesis (or possibly, with hindsight, Illegal Alien).

    Pg 202 More references to Sara, Katarina and Adric. It's the DWM school of 'Who the Doctor regrets dying', because DWM told us these were companions, despite the fact that, Adric aside, they're less relevant than most of the other people the Doctor's ever met. It's a very small list of regrets though: only one person ever gets added to it (Oscar Botcherby, if you must know).

    Pg 206 References to the Brigadier, Jo and Sarah.

    "Maybe I should reverse the polarity of the neuron flow?" It's not clear if this is a typo or a pun on the third Doctor's favourite phrase.

    Pg 207 References to Sergeant Benton and the Brigadier.

    Pg 208 References to Sergeant Benton.

    Pg 209 References to Liz Shaw and Jo.

    Pg 211 "It's theoretically impossible, but so is the flight of the bumblebee, and he manages well enough." The Doctor still (erroneously) thinks that it's aerodynamically impossible for the bumblebee to fly, as he did in The Robots of Death. Apparently it's not, because the wings create little vortices of air which in themselves provide more updraft for the wings to then settle on and use again, if you see what I mean. It's actually a silly discussion anyway: aerodynamics or otherwise, the bumblebee flies, as proven by experimental data (take one bumblebee; does it fly?). It is now, and was then, tremendously arrogant of the Doctor to think so - just because we don't know how, doesn't mean there isn't a reason.

    Pg 214 "Secondary control room. [...] It's a rather nice wooden affair." First seen in the Masque of Mandragora.

    Pg 215 "So what I'm doing is reconfiguring the interior dimensions, losing some of the TARDIS's mass, which gets converted into energy for us." Castrovalva.

    "E equals MC squared, or something like that. Or was it cubed?" The nonsensical physics of the Vortex (or something) from The Time Monster.

    Pg 216 References to Dodo and Jo.

    Pg 219 "Back to the TARDIS and the food machine, eh?" The food machine from The Daleks and beyond.

    Pg 222 "Taking off from the Earth should have gained us a bit of time." As it did in The Chase.

    Reference to the Master.

    Pg 224 "The Chronovores. [...] I met one once." The Time Monster.

    Pgs 224-225 " I heard the Chronovores whispering in the time-winds" Time Winds were seen in Warriors' Gate.

    Pg 226 "Time ram." Also used in The Time Monster.

    Pg 230 "We are in London, then." This leads in to Timewyrm: Exodus.

    OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
    The Brigadier, Victoria and Jamie appear on page 41. Katarina appears on page 42.

    NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
    Qataka/Ishtar/The Timewyrm. The Timewyrm appears in the following three books and Ishtar appears in Happy Endings.

    Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Avram, En-Gula, Ninani.

    CONTINUITY COCK-UPS

    1. Pg 16 Ace with memory loss: "Today, she could choose some clean clothes. Eyeing the T-shirt again, she decided she'd try to pick something with a little more class." Lacking memories, how come she has an opinion of what is classy or not? Whose opinion is this?
    2. Pg 19 "She didn't think she as a prisoner." Missing 'w'.
    3. Pg 19 Ace with memory loss: "'Oi!' she yelled, at the top of her voice. 'Anyone home?'" This is so similar to Ace's normal speech patterns (particularly in Remembrance of the Daleks) that you almost think that she's got her memories back. But it is not so, so how does she know how she'd naturally say something.
    4. Pgs 22 and 35-36 The fourth Doctor is supposed to be from just after The Invasion of Time, but he wears the burgundy costume of Season 18.
    5. Pg 23 "'By Enlil, man,' Ennatum complained, 'when a man plots treason again his king...'" Not a cock-up as such, but possibly one of the worst examples of explository dialogue that Doctor Who has ever seen. What makes this doubly embarrassing is that, because it's a book and not a television programme, you don't actually need to explain these things in dialogue because the narrative can do that for you, as this narrative already has.
    6. Pg 24 "But I trust you didn't tell you wife what we have planned for poor Gilgamesh?" This should read 'your'.
    7. Pg 29 "One of the priest that she controlled." How many priest did she control?
    8. Pg 38 "Ace felt like she'd been kicked in the brain by a bad-tempered Cyberman." Given that Ace still hasn't got her memories back at this point, how does she know what that might feel like?
    9. Pg 38 "The Cloister Bell. [...] It's not sounded since - since the Logopolis affair." Not true, it sounded in Enlightenment (and, in hindsight, The Crystal Bucephalus).
    10. Pg 56 "The King of Uruk will not play charades." Gilgamesh means dressing up rather than actually acting out the title of a book, film or play, but since the 'dressing up' meaning was derived from the game, this speaks of some very anachronistic knowledge on his part.
    11. Pg 81 "It was one of her real talents, her voice. She had perfect pitch, and only had to hear a song through a few times to get it downright." In The Happiness Patrol, Ace admitted to having a terrible singing voice.
    12. Pg 123 "In the pathways, the zuqaqip stand." The spelling of 'zuqaqip' here differs to its appearance everywhere else in the book, where it's 'zuqaquip'.
    13. Pg 133 "I've no idea where Utnapishtim's base is. I could never get the TARDIS there." So scanning for anachronistic or advanced technology, as the TARDIS was capable of in State of Decay, isn't a possibility now?
    14. Pg 140 "He's over a thousand years old, you know" According to later New Adventures continuity, the Doctor does not celebrate his one thousandth birthday until Set Piece.
    15. Pg 153 "In the open doorway stood her father, backed by several of his soldiers." This will be the door that, on Pg 152, "One of the two figures closed [...] silently" will it? So, we ask, how did it open again without anyone noticing?
    16. Pg 166 "The wonders of Iceworld, the terrors of Paradise Towers,the evil of the Psychic Circus" It was Mel who visited Paradise Towers, not Ace.

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

    1. The TARDIS, feeling Ace's lack of memories, has provided her with some basics, based on the average opinions of every companion who has ever been in the TARDIS. Right now, she's channelling Sarah Jane Smith, who wouldn't be seen dead in whatever Ace would be wearing; she's much classier.
    2. And now she's channelling Dodo; the TARDIS got so confused with that girl's accent, though, it didn't know which letters to miss off the beginnings of words.
    3. And now she's channelling Ben Jackson, unlikely though that may seem.
    4. Presumably the Doctor decided to try out his new costume before changing back.
    5. Ennatum feels quite useless and enjoys bigging himself up by constantly re-referencing what he's doing, even though he knows that he runs the risk of being caught like this. Idiot.
    6. Ennatum's so excited by his own plotting by this point, his grammar is collapsing.
    7. On Anu, the plural and the singular are interchangeable specifically when referring to beings under the telepathic or mental control of another.
    8. Right now, Ace is channelling, ooh, Jamie, who met the Cybermen lots and got kicked in the head sufficiently that, by season six, every time he had nothing to do, he slipped into unconsciousness.
    9. The Doctor obviously edited out the memory of other times the Cloister Bell rang, as not being important enough.
    10. It's a translation convention, but a very odd one.
    11. The Doctor is playing a vast practical joke on Ace, having implanted a false memory of her ability to sing when he restored the rest of her memories.
    12. Avram's the only person who's heard the word, so he can spell it any way he likes!
    13. For reasons of his own, the Doctor wants to do it this way. He's being enigmatic; that'll be it.
    14. Ace is just exaggerating for effect.
    15. 'Dramatically satisfying doors', staples of science-fiction everywhere, are those which do not close when they know that the plot requires them not to, or ones which open silently when so desired, despite the fact that, on every other occasion that they open, they make a noise. These doors are also fitted with a field which ensures that no one will be able to notice them as they change state. Equivalent technology, based on complex hydraulics and worship of Shamash, Urukian god of both the sun and dramatic irony, was, in fact, developed by the Ancient Mesopotamians. Not a lot of people know that.
    16. The Paradise Towers reference is explained in Timewyrm: Revelation, as Ace gaining one of Mel's memories when the Doctor restored her memories.

    FEATURED ALIEN RACES
    Aliens from Anu (who appear as tall white haired humans) and their robot guardians.

    The Timewyrm, formerly Ishtar, formerly Qataka. She's capable of insinuating herself into other people's minds. She's like a super advanced computer program, capable of being incorporeal or solid and with the power to move throughout time.

    FEATURED LOCATIONS
    A starship in the prologue

    Mesapotamia, including the Kingdoms of Kish and Uruk, starting two days after the Feast of Shamash, 2700BC.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    Even aside from the wealth of continuity mistakes, juvenile sexuality and fanwanky appearances of the third and fourth Doctors, Timewyrm: Genesys is pretty poor. The Mesopotamia stuff is decidedly uninteresting and the Doctor's characterisation appears to be taken straight from season 24 (so much so that he has to summon his third self in order to work a piece of technology!) The NAs would go on to great things, but this was a very humble beginning indeed.