Timewyrm: Apocalypse
by Nigel Robinson


Publisher: Virgin
ISBN: 0 426 20359 3

     

    BASIC PLOT
    Visions of the Doctor's second incarnation lead the Doctor and Ace to the planet Kirith, billions of years in the future and Ace falls in love with one of its peace loving natives, Raphael. Just what is the connection between Kirith and the Panjistri, led by the Matriach, a woman the second Doctor met as a girl, who has now been possessed by the Timewyrm?

    DOCTOR
    Seventh.

    COMPANIONS
    Ace.

    MATERIALISATION CIRCUIT
    The outskirts of the main city of Kirith, the far future.

    PREPARATORY READING
    This is the third part of the Timewyrm series, but the previous two books are summarised in the narrative and the series was structured so that the middle two parts were only tangentially related to the overall story.

    CONTINUITY REFERENCES
    Frontispiece "The fact is, the universe long ago passed the point of total collapse." This passage quotes Logopolis (with due credit).

    Pgs 2-3 "On the ancient planet of Logopolis a group of mathematicians attempted to maintain that equilibrium." There's a summary of Logopolis and its effects on the future of the Universe.

    Pg 14 "Daleks, Cybermen, even cutthroat smugglers." The Power of the Daleks, The Tenth Planet, The Smugglers.

    "They had just left a planet whose mercury swamps ensured abundant supplies of the element." The Power of the Daleks

    Pg 17 "Are there any animals in the TARDIS?" This is a possible future reference to the Cat's Cradle trilogy (there's a definite future reference to a silver cat walking around the TARDIS in Timewyrm: Revelation, the next book)

    Pg 19 "The Doctor had saved the embryonic human civilisation in Mesopotamia, on Earth [...] the Doctor restored the time-lines that she had disrupted and scattered her across space and time." We get a summary of Timewyrm: Genesys and a reference to Timewyrm: Exodus.

    Pg 20 Artron energy is "an energy force hidden deep in the mind".

    Pg 21 "He had gone to a physician who had provided him with a deltawave augmentor." Nyssa's handy sleep-inducing device in Kinda.

    Pg 32 "I trusted people on Earth and on Iceworld [...] my friend Manisha nearly died from tursting that no bastard was going to burn her house down." Dragonfire and Ghost Light (although Manisha was introduced in the novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks).

    Pg 33 "'We had space travellers here once before, almost two hundred years ago, so the records tell me,' said Miril. 'But the Rills joined the Brotherhood of Kandasi before we learnt anything from them.'" Galaxy Four.

    Pg 34 "It sure beats the cholesterol gunk at Mrs Smith's boarding house in East London." Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Pg 37 "I've seen that before on Alzarius." Full Circle.

    "These freak weather conditions are apparently normal on this planet" This might be a reference to similar conditions in Claws of Axos.

    Pg 51 "A secret older than time." This is an intriguing reference, with no obvious source. It's tempting to speculate that it might be a reference to the Other, but that's probably hindsight talking.

    Pg 55 "Ben, for instance, was suspicious of him" Reference to the first regeneration (The Tenth Planet/The Power of the Daleks).

    Pg 56 The seventh Doctor accidentally calls another character Professor Travers. However, it turns out that this isn't the clunky continuity reference it appears to be and is instead there because his subconscious is trying to draw attention to something that happened to his second self.

    Pg 71 "He was a Time Lord, not a blessed mountain goat!" The first Doctor used a line like this in The Time Meddler.

    "An invention of an Italian friend of mine" We meet that friend and the invention in The Empire of Glass.

    Pg 78 "His mouth was open wide in amazement. Ace leant down and obligingly shut it for him." Shades of Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Pg 94 Reference to Jamie as the seventh Doctor slips back into his second persona.

    Pg 98 "The Time Lords were always an unpredictable and unreliable species, even during the last days of their existence. And the Doctor is not only a Time Lord..." We see the last days of that existence in The Ancestor Cell, although the Virgin and BBC books build towards the destruction of Gallifrey for quite some time. The Timewyrm knows that the Doctor is more than just a Time Lord. We see more details of this right throughout the Virgin books, especially Time's Crucible and Lungbarrow.

    Pg 107 "And Australia of all places!" This sequence leads in to the beginning of Enemy of the World.

    "The Pan-Galactic games on Alpha Centauri" These might be the Galactic Games referred to in Destiny of the Daleks.

    "No matter what destination he programmed into the TARDIS's flight plan, for the past four or five journeys the time machine had always returned him to Earth, dragging him further and further into that planet's future." This sounds like it's the kind of sentence that will obliterate MAs and PDAs by its very presence but actually, given that the previous four television stories before The Enemy of the World were The Evil of the Daleks, The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Abominable Snowmen and The Ice Warriors, the Doctor's assertion here just implies a series of extra adventures in various gaps.

    "He felt like some blessed intergalactic yo-yo." The Claws of Axos.

    Pg 127 "A selection of alien coinage, a congealed mass of jelly babies left over from a previous incarnation, even a personally signed photograph of Louis Armstrong failed to impress." The alien coinage reminds us of Battlefield, the jelly babies are, of course, the fourth Doctor's and Louis Armstrong makes us think of the seventh Doctor's thing about jazz from Silver Nemesis.

    "The Doctor's face lit up as his fingers alighted on a mouth organ." The Happiness Patrol.

    "He began to pick out the strains of a popular Venusian lullaby." We heard this in the Peladon stories.

    "If only there had been another way." Quoting the final line of Warriors of the Deep.

    Pg 130 "'Scared?' jeered Ace. 'That's what you are; just an old scaredy-cat.'" This is probably a deliberate reminder of Paradise Towers, quoted for you here in the days before the NAs decided to actually use real swear-words.

    Pg 137 "Did I ever tell you about the time I almost blew up the art room?" Mentioned in Battlefield.

    Pgs 147-148 "This transmigration of his being into another form was a kind of death" We see the second Doctor's regeneration and his companions are all name-checked.

    Pg 161 Reference to the Brigadier.

    Pg 164 "'Now that we've escaped the Lock Ness Monster, yeah.' 'Loch,' corrected the Doctor." He corrected Mel in the same way in Dragonfire.

    Pg 175 "Even the legendary time Lords, Doctor, are long extinct." We see this happen in The Ancestor Cell.

    Pg 179 We get another summary of Genesys and Exodus.

    Pg 188 "They burned down Manisha's home [...] I firebombed that old house [...] I trusted Mike[...] Even Sorin died [...] Karra is calling [...] Cold metal, sharp against my throat" Ghostlight, Remembrance of the Daleks, Curse of Fenric, Survival, Exodus.

    OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
    None.

    NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
    Raphael (transformed into an energy being by the end of the novel).

    CONTINUITY COCK-UPS

    1. Pg 2 "Without them, they knew that the Universe would surely contract and fall back on himself, until it finally returned to the state it was in the beginning." Rather charmingly, this sentence assigns the universe a gender.
    2. Pg 2 This page also demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the concepts explored in Logopolis, including muddling up the heat death of the universe with its contraction, whereas these two things are totally unconnected. It then goes on to suggest that the Logopolitans were trying to fix the latter when, in fact, they were attempting to deal with the former. Equally, it suggests that the universe was in a state of equilibrium at the time of Logopolis, neither contracting nor expanding, which is scientifically dubious at best. Given that the book makes no further mention of Logopolis, the reference to it here was a huge rod that Robinson made for his own back.
    3. Pg 4 "The sea voyage to Kandasi is long, and the trip disorienting even to we of the Panjistri." This doesn't exactly square with Pg 158 "Raphael was looking out apprehensively at Kandasi: they had left the Harbours almost twenty minutes ago and were fast approaching the shore." So we presumably have a long, disorienting 25-minute sea voyage.
    4. Pg 14 "He sulked like the little child he often pretended to be." Given that this second Doctor cameo is explicitly slotted in straight after The Power of the Daleks, one wonders how he's had time to develop his 'sulking little child' persona so 'often'.
    5. Pg 52 "The day she and eighty-four of her colleagues had left her home world" doesn't square with Pg 176 "eighty-four of our race were selected to roam the universe." Was the Grand Matriarch counted in the 84 or not?
    6. Pg 52 "As she had done for more than three thousand years" The Grand Matriach has ruled for more than 3000 years, but on page 53 this is said to be 4 centuries ago minus a hundred years (which would make it only 3 centuries, or 300 years).
    7. Pg 79 "'This is were Darien came?' asked Raphael." A missing 'h' rather changes the meaning of Raphael's question.

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

    1. Back on Logopolis, we saw precisely no women, so one could assume that the planet is entirely populated by men. In this circumstance, we could also assume that they would have no gendered language at all, and 'it' and 'him' were interchangeable. Or perhaps the Logopolitans, after all their research, had a genuine reason to think that the universe was male.
    2. Nigel Robinson understands science and the nature of the universe far better than any scientists, cosmologists or astrophysicists on the planet.
    3. Unlikely as it may seem, Darien had not arrived on Kandasi by hovercraft - as everyone else does - but had instead swum there.
    4. However odd the image in your head is, it can only be assumed that, when we weren't watching, the first Doctor often pretended to be a little child as well.
    5. It's been a long time (although, as you're about to see, we're not really sure how long) and the either Grand Matriarch or Reptu can't remember properly.
    6. The Grand Matriach is a bit senile anyway, so she might be confused when she's remembering.
    7. He's so confused by what's going on that Raphael's pronunciation collapses.

    FEATURED ALIEN RACES
    The Kirithons, a genetically engineered race.

    The Panjistri, genetic engineers.

    FEATURED LOCATIONS
    Seventh Doctor sections:

    The planet Kirith and its capital city, far future.

    The island of Kandasi, on Kirith

    A space station orbiting Kirith

    Second Doctor sections:

    Unnamed planet, 5000 years earlier than the events on Kirith, presumably the homeworld of the Panjistri (he meets the Grand Matriach there)

    The TARDIS console room

    Australia, early 21st century

    The Doctor's trial in the War Games

    Kirith (where he meets the seventh Doctor)

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    It's not as bad as its reputation might suggest, but it's not particularly good either. Apocalypse's main problem is that it hasn't realised the potential of original Doctor Who novels, so it feels like a generic Target novelisation. There are some nice bits, such as quoting Logopolis, the meeting between the second and seventh Doctors and the chapter where Ace instigates a revolution (which, unlike the rest of the book, moves like greased lightning), but sadly the rest of it is just dull.