cat's cradle: time's crucible
author: marc platt
isbn: 0 426 20365 8
confusion quotient: 0.713
warning: this is an extremely bewildering book. It's quite good, but it helps if you know some Gallifreyan history. Some offhand references to alien species and the Cartmel Masterplan simply aren't published here; since the book gives all the information there is about these things, what would be the point of going over them again?
Myfanwy Piper, The Turn of the Screw: taken from Benjamin Britten's 1954 opera. Britten revitalised English opera, which had languished since Henry Purcell's time.
Dark Time: The Dark Time was the period of Gallifreyan history before the Time Lords came to power. It was first mentioned in "The Five Doctors". There was some control of time travel, and the Time Scoop was used to import monsters from the rest of time to fight as gladiators. Gallifrey was ruled by the Pythias, seers which foretold the future. For more information, refer to Lance Parkin's A History of the Universe.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee: This passage is from Through the Looking-Glassby Lewis Carroll.
1: Moussaka and Chips: (Text submitted by David Whittam) moussaka is a Middle Eastern dish of ground meat (as lamb or beef) and sliced eggplant often topped with a seasoned sauce - chips are fries, you put one on the other...
Young Hero: The Hero as a Gallifreyan concept pops up in 'The Infinity Doctors' as well. They are a feature of the Gallifreyan Empire before the Pythia's curse; people like Prydonius, Rassilon etc.
Academia: Precursor of the Time Lord Academy, or the Prydonian Academy, or Prydon Academy, or University, as it is variously named in various points in the show's history.
Gallifreyan Empire: Before the Pythia's curse Gallifrey had a pretty big empire. The Gallifrey of 'The Infinity Doctors' grows out of a Gallifreyan Empire as well, but Gallifrey may still be the core of such an empire; since only Gallifrey of all its galactic neighbourhood plays a large role, it's hard to say. But 'The Infinity Doctors' still pays service to the Pythias as well.
lacustrine Sattisar: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) Lake-dwelling.
Gryffnae: Possibly some kind of mythic Gryphon; they have jewel-studded stone heads.
century-long seige of the Winter Star:
plague of batworms on the asteroid archipelago: An archipelago is a string or group of islands. This is a tip of the hat to The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (1973-78) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's massive three-volume study of the Soviet penal system as it evolved between 1918 and 1956. Prydonius later gets packed off to Siberia, that is the archipelago, after rattling his sword at the Pythia.
Court of Principals: Presumably the governing body of the Academia.
Individual: Before Rassilon all Gallifreyans were telepathic to the point that there was no such thing as privacy, or it was very rare. Vael might be different with respect to the permeability of his mind.
palanquin: A covered litter or conveyance carried by poles projecting from its sides.
league: One league is about 3 miles.
Intiutive Revolution: Phrase invented in the Cartmel Masterplan. The Revolution is concurrent with this time-period of the story: a prolonged time of crisis in which the Pythia lost power and cursed Gallifrey with sterility, Rassilon took power with Omega and the Other (wait for it), the Empire collapsed, genetic looms to produce new babies were invented, along with regeneration, Rassilon used a fleet of bowships to fight off the Great Vampire, Omega conducted his time experiments and the Time Lords were founded.
Prydonius: Haclav Agusti Prydonius, presumably the originator (or part of the family which started) the Prydonian Chapter, College, Academy, et cetera of the Time Lords first mentioned in "The Deadly Assassin".
Apollaten: The name of Prydonius' ship might be a reference to Apollo, the Roman Sun God. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) And Aten, Egyptian Sun God during a brief period in which the Egyptians tried monotheism. Tutankhamen was called Tutankhaten before they decided to chuck it and go back to the old gods.
Space Voyager: The mythology surrounding the Voyager from DWM comic strips 88 to 99, which might be tied in with Merlin, who dwelled inside the Matrix with the Celestial Intelligence Agency in the Tides of Time strip, is all very confusing; it's hard to tell if Cartmel is making reference to it.
The Sphinx of Thule's riddles: The original Riddle of the Sphinx was 'What walks on four legs at dawn, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?' The Sphinx was the monstrous ruler of Thebes when Oedipus arrived to confront it in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. Oedipus was the victim of a prophecy which dictated he would kill his father and marry his mother. He had found out about the prophecy, which had been read in a similar way to the Pythia's own prophecies, but his attempts to escape it only sealed his fate. This is the comparison: The Pythia cannot escape her own prophecies of the end of her line and is fooled by the Sphinx. Later on in the New Adventures, specifically in 'Dead Romance', the Sphinxes are reintroduced as an element of Lawrence Miles' Time Wars story arc. The Sphinxes are mirror-faced winged monsters, the agents of the Gods who drive the race of Time Lords from the New Adventures universe into a bottle universe with its own Earth. The Gods used to be the deities of the People of the Worldsphere, in the Home Galaxy, but through some course of events the computer named God became the representative of the People and had the Gods imprisoned inside Dellah in the Milky Way. The Gods are also refugee Time Lords escaping from their own BBC Books universe, driven out by the Enemy from 'Alien Bodies'. The idea of all this escaping into the next universe started out with the Ctulhu interpretation of the Great Old Ones in books like 'All-Consuming Fire' and 'Millennial Rites': Yog-Sothoth became the Great Intelligence, Shub-Niggurath became the Nestenes, and so on. Here's an extract from p.25 of 'Millennial Rites':
- The Doctor took a deep
breath and picked up one of the doilies that lay on the table, protecting
the varnished surface from the bowl of complimentary nuts. "Before this
universe was created, there was another one. A totally different universe,
with alien physical laws. The heavens were green, and the stars looked
like -" He chuckled. "Giant doughnuts, to be brutally frank. Very, very
different. And, as in this universe, there were people who discovered
the deeper mysteries of time and space. In this universe, they're my people,
the Time Lords. In that universe, they were also Time Lords, but they
were lords of a very strange version of time and space." His gaze shifted
to the window and the snowy wastes of Hyde Park, but Anne got the feeling
his thoughts were much, much further away.
"As their universe reached the point of collapse, a group of these "Time Lords" shunted themselves into a parallel dimension which collapsed seconds after ours. Moments later, they erupted into our universe, and soon discovered that they were in possession of undreampt of powers." He swigged from his glass. "And I'm afraid that the power went to their heads - or what passed for heads given their new bodies. They decided that since they now had god-like powers, they should behave like gods. And the one called Yog-Sothoth, who had been the Time Lords' military strategist, decided to dedicate his new-found abilities into discovering whether his tactics and strategems would have worked." He held up the transformed doily: it now resembled a string of white Yeti.
Baked Alaska: Exotic dessert. Cold meringue and ice cream with cherries, and a hole on top in which brandy is set on fire. It really works, too.
Ealing Broadway: West London main street, about three km south of Perivale. The Doctor is suspicious of the mannikins in the department stores for a reason: although he wasn't there to see it, location filming for "Spearhead from Space" in 1970 included footage shot here of Auton mannikins breaking out of their window displays and attacking passersby.
TARDIS lunch machine: The TARDIS food machine was invented by David Whitaker in the first season, and was one of his favourite plot devices. It dispensed nutritious little white food bars tailored to match any one of possible flavours, as if taste was a spectrum.
Hand of Omega: Stellar manipulator used by Omega in his time travel experiments. The Hand caused the supernova which was the first power source for Gallifreyan time-travel, and in which Omega disappeared. When the Doctor left Gallifrey he took the Hand with him, and left it in London, 1963.
didus ineptus: Dodo birds are an extinct family, Raphidae, of stout, flightless birds once found on the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Reunion, and Rodriguez), in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. The dodo of Mauritius, Raphus cucullatus, was about the size of a turkey and weighed up to an estimated 23 kg (50 lb). Its wings were rudimentary, but it had strong feet and a heavy, hooked bill. The dodo's plumage was largely ashy blue gray, with a tuft of short, fluffy, curled feathers at the tail. It was hunted to extinction by Europeans by 1681.
alien ice cave: Iceworld, the city where the Doctor and Ace first met in "Dragonfire", was built on the ice planet Svartos which contained ice caves.
Victorian dinner party: In "Ghost Light" The Doctor and Ace attended a dinner party at Gabriel Chase, a Perivale mansion in the 1880s.
dripping clock: Salvador Dali, the surrealist painter, is sometimes known for his pictures of melting clocks, some with an eye in the middle. Example: Persistence of Memory, popularly known as Soft Watches (1931; Museum of Modern Art, New York City)
pelmet: This word isn't in the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. (Text contributed by Iain Truskett ) pendent border concealing curtain-rods etc. (The Australian Little Oxford Dictionary, 1987)
Alice: The Doctor knows Alice's name without being prompted. He might know her future role in history, or he may only be pretending to. He may be referring to the psychedelic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland again. The new BBV Audio Adventures feature 7th Doctor and Ace-like characters played by Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred; the Ace character is named Alice, switching the Wizard of Oz Dorothy reference for Lewis Carroll.
207 bus: I can't verify that the 207 bus goes down Ealing Broadway.
2: Cat's Eyes: Besides the feline anatomy, cat's eyes are reflective devices countersunk in road surfaces for increased visibility at night, as well as a type of marble.
pianalaika: fictitious hybrid musical instrument illustrating the Anglo-Slavic dichotomy in this version of Gallifreyan history. The piano is well-known; the balalaika is a guitar-like instrument native to the Ukraine and Russia.
Time Scaphe: Scaphe is from the ancient greek for boat, as used in the modern word 'bathyscaphe' Jacques Cousteau used to describe his Deep-Sea Research Vehicle.
Mum: Ace hated her parents, and authors disagree on the status of their marriage.
3: Bootstrapping: The operation of booting up a computer is derived from this phrase, which was originated in The Adventures of Baron Munchausenby Rudolph Erich Raspe, the fantastical recollections of a character based on a real German officer retired from the Russian Army at the end of the 18th Century. In one sequence the Baron is mired in a swamp, and escapes by pulling himself out of the mud by his own bootstraps.
House of Blyledge: So even before Gallifreyans were made sterile, family groups were divided into ancient households. Somewhere in 'Cold Fusion' Patience is revealed to be either a Blyledge or a Fordfarding, but I can't find it for the moment. There's also a Fordfarding in 'The Infinity Doctors'.
tafelshrew: Gallifreyan rodent.
WPC: Woman Police Officer.
Bleasdale Avenue: Actual street in a Perivale housing estate, confirmed by further description on p. 8. Some location filming for "Survival" was done there, and it's possible that these TARDIS scenes are meant to take place in the same spot as the ones in that serial.
Passes gifts from the Brigadier: In "Battlefield", set in 1997, the Doctor and Ace infiltrated UNIT with passes dating from Season 7 which were the wrong colour. Evidently, either Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart or Brigadier Bambera gave them new passes accurate for that time. Problem: in that serial, produced in 1989, the England of 1997 was foretold to have voice-operated telephones, with no more 'phone numbers.
Through the Looking Glass:The Lewis Carroll metaphors thicken.
Jibert Cathcode Troisième timepiece: Possibly a reference to the clock seen in the console room in Season 1, which temporarily melted in "The Edge of Destruction" or whatever it is. The clock is usually referred to as the Ormolu Clock.
Doric plinth: Squat and thick, a practical support for an antique clock.
gravity bolt: That explains why TARDIS furniture doesn't always fall over when the camera tilts to illustrate a lurch.
chesterfield: The TARDIS sofa also hasn't been seen since "The Edge of Destruction", a serial which shares some themes with this book: the TARDIS malfunctions and causes mental illness in the crew.
fault locater (sic): The fault locator was another forgotten feature of the Season 1 TARDIS. When a component malfunctioned it registered the part's number from a catalogue. In "The Edge of Destruction" it didn't work.
rod of tubular steel: Possibly the gadget the Doctor used to pinpoint dimensional interference in "Battlefield".
electricity in the console: In "An Unearthly Child", the Season 1 serial with many names, the Doctor electrified the controls to stop Ian from opening the doors. Here the TARDIS is trying to stop the Doctor from doing the same. (Text submitted by Sarah Hadley) In 'The Edge of Destruction', the TARDIS electrified five of its six panels to indicate where the 1st Doctor needed to focus his attentions. Once he and his companions worked out that the sixth panel was not electrified, the Doctor was soon able to figure out that one of that panel's elements was the cause of all their problems.
mahogany travelling chest: Possibly not seen since "The Power of the Daleks" after the first regeneration scene; Patrick Troughton used it to exhibit relics of the Doctor's first life. In the novelisation of the previous serial "The Tenth Planet" he regenerated inside it. (Text submitted by Sarah Hadley) I believe this is seen again in 'The Abominable Snowmen', when the 2nd Doctor goes looking for the Holy Ghanta which he needs to return to Det-Sen Monastery. It could be another chest he goes through, but I think it's the same. In the same episode, Jamie takes a sword from it. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) Zoe hides in a large chest in her stowaway attempt at the end of 'The Wheel in Space'; I don't know if it's the same one, but it might be. Zoe... large chest... Yeah, I guess that is kind of funny.
TARDIS Manual:The Doctor has never put much faith in TARDIS Manuals. In the 30th Anniversary DWM comic strip 'Time and Time Again' it was stolen from the 1st Doctor's timeline in Shoreditch 1963 as the sixth segment of the Key to Time. However, its mouldy, slimy, dessicated description is reminiscent of imagery used by Gabriel Garcia Marquez to indicate decay, especially in One Hundred Years of Solitude. (Text submitted by Sarah Hadley) I The Doctor has used one once, at least, in 'Vengeance on Varos'. In the novelisation of that story, it is described as '726 bulky pages of the bulky manual marked 'TARDIS - Service'. A TARDIS Manual was also mocked up for a publicity photo of Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Turlough (Mark Strickson), but I don't think it was actually used in an episode.
Kronovores: The Doctor faced Kronos the Kronovore (time-eater), an elemental being native to the Time Vortex, in "The Time Monster".
Hæmovores: Dessicated vampires defeated by the Doctor and Ace in "The Curse of Fenric".
fluid links: mercury vessels in the TARDIS circuitry which periodically leak and fail to drive the crew insane.
secondary control room: mahogany-inlaid set used as an alternate console room used through season 13.
3: There's No Place Like Home: Dorothy's mantra from The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Dorothy is Ace's real name.
Pazithi Gallifreya: This is the first time Gallifrey's moon is identified.
sweet papers: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) Lolly wrappings.
overgrown courtyard: The Cloister Room seen only in "Logopolis".
gentlemen's changing room: Used by the Fifth Doctor, shortly after his regeneration, to try out the cricket-like clothes he decides to keep.
Geoffrey Chaucer:Evidently the Doctor met Chaucer in 1388 and got him to write another tale about him for The Canterbury Tales, which he then stole to keep it from muddling up the timeline. Of course, it could just be the Doctor's idea of a joke.
Baedeker's Galactic Guide: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) There is (or was) a real set of Baedeker's guides to various tourist destinations on Earth.
Billy Fury, Adam Faith and the Beatles: Vinyl singles run at 45 RPMs. EP records are 12 inches and runat 33 and 1/3.
van Eyck's 'The Arnolfini Marriage': Jan van Eyck, the most famous and innovative Flemish painter of the 15th century, is thought to have come from the village of Maaseyck in Limbourg. Van Eyck has been credited traditionally with the invention of painting in oils, and, although this is incorrect, there is no doubt that he perfected the technique. The wedding portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife (1434; National Gallery, London), was signed "Johannes de Eyck fuit hic 1434" (Jan van Eyck was here), testimony that he witnessed the ceremony. The woman in the portrait is very pregnant, and is accompanied by a tiny little hairy terrier and a man wearing black and a very big hat.
convex: The image formed by a diverging or convex mirror is always virtual, upright, and reduced in size, whereas the virtual image in a concave mirror is always magnified. If Mrs Arnolfini's image is seen in a warped mirror her heavy pregnancy makes her look all the more strange.
Palladian-style: Some of the hallmarks of Palladian style originated by Andrea Palladio in 16th-Century Italy are geometric and harmonic proportions generated from the number three, both in the facade and in overall plan, whether axial or radial; horizontal lines accentuated emphatically in the facade; giant columns articulated on a grand scale beneath a pediment with another, smaller pediment split and placed in support on either side over smaller columns; and freestanding colonnades, straight or curved, used to unite the central with the flanking elements of a building.
Manisha: Ace's friend from a visible minority whose house was firebombed, reference from 'Ghost Light'.
Shreela: Another of Ace's friends, who appeared in "Survival". She reappears in the next book, 'Cat's Cradle: Warhead'.
hectoring: The act of intimidating by bluster or threats; domineering over; bullying; bringing or forcing out of or into something by threats or insolence.
Nosferatu: German for vampire, as in the 1922 German silent film of the same name; also the name of Sabalom Glitz's spacecraft in "Dragonfire".
Leonardo's helicopter: Primitive aircraft of the 16th Century which never got off the drawing board; remarked on by the Doctor in "City of Death.
National Curriculum: Although the local authorities retain the primary responsibility for the administration of British schools, the Department of Education and Science planned to establish a national curriculum in the Great Education Reform Bill (1987). Individual schools would also be allowed ato "opt out" of local control and be controlled nationally.
Sabalom Glitz: Space mercenary created, as part of the last of his famous comic relief double-acts, by Robert Holmes, ace Dr Who screenwriter. Played by Tony Selby in "The Mysterious Planet" and "The Ultimate Foe" ("The Trial of a Time-Lord" Parts 1-4, 13 and 14) and "Dragonfire". (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) And the thing he's promising not to tell Ace's mum is revealed on p.63 of 'Happy Endings'.
This is Your Life: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) TV series in which a celebrity is ambushed and forced to reminisce and chat with old acquaintances. Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison have both been victims. I remember the Sesame Street send-up of the programme where they do This is Your Life of a kitchen table - the show is mentioned in another of these guides - I just saw the programme with Tom Baker last night.
Captain Sorin: WWII Red Army officer from "The Curse of Fenric". On a secret mission to steal the Ultima machine, the English codebreaker, and complete Fenric's plan to defeat the Doctor, Sorin and Ace inexplicably fell in love literally at first sight.
7: Non vultus, non color:
House of Fordfarding: Another House of Gallifrey.
kithriarch: Gallifreyan houses are led by kithriarchs. Kith are the persons who are known or familiar, taken collectively; one's friends, fellow-countrymen and neighbours; acquaintance; in later use sometimes confused with 'kin'.
murder a bag of chips: Ace's unconscious echoing of the 4th Doctor's companion Sarah Jane Smith's catch-phrase 'I could murder a cup of tea.'
freak chronometeorological event: Ace was transported to Iceworld in the far future in a Time Storm supposedly kicked up by a chemical experiment gone wrong, but actually as part of Fenric's machinations.
machiavellian: Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Machiavelli, or his alleged principles; following the methods recommended by Machiavelli in preferring expediency to morality; practising duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct; astute, cunning, intriguing.
fascia: Or facia. The tablet or plate over a shop front on which is written the name and often also the trade of the occupier.
gold sodium giant: The wavelength of emission lines from sodium is in the yellow part of the visible electromagnetic spectrum, as obsreved in sodium-vapour street lights which give off yellow light. Some giant stars grow to such size because they are old; having fused all the hydrogen in their cores into helium, the cores heat up and uncrease heat pressure on the outer layers, which expand in size. Stellar cores with enough supporting mass can fuse helium and heavier elements, such as sodium, as far down the periodic table of the elements as far as iron. However, sodium fusion and emission of radiation happens far down in the stellar core; the star's outer layers still have a large percentage of hydrogen, which radiates in several different regions of the spectrum. A sodium giant should not be yellow; it should be red.
astragal: A moulding in the capital of a column.
derelict bombsite: remains of a building destroyed in the WWII Blitz. Most bombsites were built over in the late 1940s and early 50s.
biros: Ballpoint pens.
Orculqui: Language of the natives of Svartos, presumably digressed upon in the serial "Dragonfire"'s novelisation.
dodecahedron: A solid figure having twelve faces. The 4th Doctor encountered a seven-foot wide dodecahedron-shaped power source in the serial "Meglos".
time ram: The TARDIS and the Time Scaphe collided in the Time Vortex, much like the Doctor's and the Master's TARDISes collided in "The Time Monster".
10: Daleks Don't Like Finger Biscuits: Daleks don't actually have any hands, and they never eat anything, so this is understandable.
Dalek time travel: In "Remembrance of the Daleks", Ace's only onscreen experience with them, the Daleks travelled back in time to 1963 London to steal the Hand of Omega.The Daleks have used primitive time travel several other times.
circular collar: The Doctor's ghost is wearing Time Lord robes as well as a ceremonial collar.
Krewva Prospect: Another Russian factor. Russian arterial roads are called Prospects.
panoptics: Presumably some sort of square or meeting place. The heart of the Time Lords' Capitol is the Panopticon, a ceremonial chamber. The Earth usage of the word is an architectural design often used in prisons; minimising privacy, circular halls afford a view of everything in them.
fur-clad Pen-Shoza traders:
Oshakarm and the Star Grellades:
Great Book: The Book of Future Legends.
cerulean blue: dark green, dark blue, applied to the sky, the sea, but occasionally to leaves and fields.
the Games: Reference to the gladiatorial contests fought in the Death Zone, first mentioned in 'The Five Doctors'. The sequence of events doesn't make very much sense at first. The Dark Tower, Rassilon's tomb, is in the middle of the Death Zone. Presumably it was built after the Games were stopped, but was still protected by the Games' survivors. Gladiators from the Games were kidnapped from different parts of the Universe, from the future and the past, by the Timescoop. But they haven't mastered time travel yet. Well they have primitive travel, but it's life-threatening and unpredictable, which is why it's not a popular method and also why the Time Scaphe was built. The Timescoop is another primitive tool, which explains why the 4th Doctor gets stuck in it when he is timescooped, and it also explains why Ruath was so victorious after timescooping Romana in 'Goth Opera'. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) One possibility is that at this point in Gallifreyan history the gladiators are from various parts of the Empire in the present, and that when time travel is more common they will take their more familiar form.
Cavern of Prophecy, Crevasse of Memories That Will Be: Another reference to Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. The prophecy which doomed Oedipus was given by the Oracle at Delphi, where a priestess sat on a tripod hung over a crack in the Earth's crust. She inhaled the vapours and spoke in tongues, reading the future. The Pythia's apparatus is similar.
periapt: Something worn about the neck as a charm; an amulet.
Legendary Hero Ao:
servant in the shadow: It's the Other.
wishing the Doctor had ridden a Harley Davidson: Actually, the 7th Doctor rode a motorcycle onscreen two times more than he rode a bicycle. In "Delta and the Bannermen" he rode one with a side carriage, and in "Survival" he survived the collision of two motorcycles in a game of chicken with Midge, the Master's slave and former friend of Ace's.
12: In Initio, ex Tempore: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) A rough translation might be "In the beginning, out of time."
Tower of Babel: In Chapter 11 of Genesis (the book of the Bible,not the Timewyrm) the tower of Babel was erected by the descendants of Noah, who were attempting to unite all peoples in building a city and tower that would reach to heaven. God thwarted their efforts by turning their language into babblings.
Suyryte Rod: The same rod used on the electrified console. I don't know what Suyryte is, but it might still be the aerial from "Battlefield".
samovar: An ornate Russian tea urn.
Niflheim: In Norse mythology, Niflheim was the underworld, the cold, dark, foggy realm of death. It lay in the north and was ruled by Hel, who distributed the dead among its nine worlds.
Ginnunga Gap: Empty space between the sinister Niflheim in the North and Muspelheim in the South, the region of warmth and sunlight.
rainbow bridge of Valhalla: Valhalla was the most beautiful mansion in Asgard, where the heroes slain in battle feasted each night with Odin on the boar Schrimnir and mead from the goat Heldrun. The heroes rode out each morning and fought one another until they were cut to pieces; they recovered from their wounds each evening. Valhalla was located in the heavens and was accessible only over the rainbow bridge, Bifrost. This imagery is interesting, especially when compared to Gallifreyan history. Rassilon could be seen as Odin, or Wotan; Odin gave one of his eyes in return for wisdom, and disposed of an old order; Rassilon submitted to the Pythia's curse in return for deposing her and mastering time travel and regeneration.
Swiss Army knife inlaid with 'IC': These are the initials of Ian Chesterton, one of the Doctor's first onscreen companions. Ian was seen to use the sofa in which the knife was found, but I can't remember where he used the knife on television; obviously, it fell out of his pocket and got lost under the cushions.
'I'll be back': Ace is obviously trying to take advantage of a catch-phrase which the Phasels have no comprehension of.
14: Tales from the Tongues of Fish: Do fish have tongues?
Anmers-Tonastide, the Festival of the Timewright: The Timewright must have had something to do with writing prophecy in the Book of Future Legends. Yes, Gallifrey has festival days much like mediæval Europe, such as this one and Otherstide.
baroque mansard: A form of curb-roof, in which each face of the roof has two slopes, the lower one steeper than the other. This Marc Platt doesn't half fancy himself an architect.
Oi, mush: Rustic expression native to a certain area of the south coast of England meaning 'hey man' or equiv.
breezeblock: Known in North America as cinder blocks. Basically, large grey bricks with large cavities in them.
rotting Angel Hair: Over here Angel Hair, or tinsel, is made out of plastic or aluminium. I don't know what it is if it can rot. (Text submitted by Alan) Angel Hair is a very fine type of noodle or pasta.
moggie: A cat.
brittles and fricpins: Pins and needles, Gallifreyan-style.
17: Mutatis Mutandis:
Lungbarrow mountain: In 'Lungbarrow', this book's sequel, the mountain on which the House of Lungbarrow was built is Mount Lung. Lungbarrow is the Doctor's House.
Housekeeper Satthralope: Appears as a supporting character in 'Lungbarrow'.
Mother Goddess of the Old Time legends: A shrouded woman pours an amphora full of dust into a crevasse, pouring Time into the empty universe. Going back to Norse mythology, the Giants who formed the world and destroy it at Götterdämmerung were created when warmth from Muspelheim melted ice from Niflheim and it fell into the Ginnunga Gap between the two.
Alice and the Red King: Another bit from Through the Looking Glass.
18: Future Imperfect: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) A grammatical tense.
Meccano: The very first childrens' construction set, inspiration for all the others except perhaps Lego.
colourful clothes, multicoloured umbrellas, fanfare: This scene resembles one of the pageant scenes from 'The Prisoner', Patrick McGoohan's surreal 1967 ITC television series. See my tour page.
19: Superstrings: Too technical for me, go to the Superstring Tutorial .
ridiculous tower in Pisa: The Leaning Tower: the 8-story, 54.5 m/163 ft cathedral belltower, built 1174-1350, which deviates 5 m/16 ft from the perpendicular and from which Galileo is said to have conducted experiments on gravity.
Pelatov: Author of Pelatov's Collected Sageries, Pelatov was a Third Century philosopher who lived five thousand years before the Intuitive Revolution began.
'A leader's greatness is best judged by the quality of her advisers.': Pelatov didn't originate that phrase, it was Machiavelli. It's misleading, though. Her advisers shouldn't be excellent; otherwise she could never get her own way without looking stupid. She should get popular pundits who look good, hear whatever they care to babble on about, and then do whatever she likes. That way the public thinks she's taking advice from their favourite wags, and the advisers aren't clever enough to want to, or perhaps too clever to risk driving their own car.
Tersurran factotum: In 'The Deadly Assassin' Goth said he found the Master dying on Tersurus. The novelisation explicitly uses that spelling. 'Legacy of the Daleks' completed the ellipse when the Master was abandoned there by Susan after a devastating telepathic attack. Once again the spelling Tersurus was used. In 'The Crystal Bucephalus the story of Tersurus' destruction was recounted. In the 63rd Century the Tersurus Institute, funded by the Galactic Federation, conducted some rare research on cloning. 'The Invisible Enemy' showed the inefficiency and, frankly speaking, the nonsense of the Kilbracken Technique in the year 5000. Anyways, in 6211 the Sontarans broke through and destroyed Tersurus along with the Institute, ostensibly to protect their own cloning secrets. In the comic strip 'A Life of Matter and Death' in DWM #250 the Doctor mentioned he planned to conduct some TARDIS repairs on Terserus. The 1999 Children In Need special 'Doctor Who and the Curse of the Fatal Death' resurrected Tersurus (although we haven't seen the spelling in the original script) as once the home of the Tersurons. The Tersurons were wiped out when they discovered fire, because they communicated through flatulence. So maybe there are different races of Tersurran/Terserran/Tersuron natives, but not necessarily. The Time Lords have a sense of humour about bodily functions; 'The Infinity Doctors' presented us with a Time Lord with the epithet ".. the Flatulent", a nod to both Douglas Adams' creation of the Azgoths of Kria's Poetmaster Grunthos the Flatulent (The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and Robert Holmes' Runcible the Fatuous from 'The Deadly Assassin'. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) There's a throwaway line in 'All-Consuming Fire' that suggests that Tersurus is still occupied in Benny's time; somebody is operating clone banks on the planet. Yes, on p.215. The singing stones of Tersurus are also notable.
Babushka: Another Russian idiom; means grandmother. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) And a Babushka doll is a little wooden figure of a woman, which breaks into two halves to reveal its contents: a slightly smaller wooden figure of a woman, which breaks into two halves to reveal its contents: an even smaller wooden figure of a woman, which... Much like Rassilon's onion toy on p.269, only without the dimensional transcendentalism.
Stygian gloom: Reference to the River Styx, a device of Greek mythology separating Hades from the land of the living. Charon is the ferryman of souls, and the far bank is guarded by Cerberus, the three-headed dog with the tail of a snake.
Siamese: Innately vicious breed of domestic cat, yellow with a black face.
jerry-built prefab: Built usubstantially of bad materials; built to sell, not to last. Prefab houses are cheap units, the ones shipped around on 16-wheel rigs.
Speak, I charge thee: Well, it's not an exact quote, but this is pure Hamlet, Act I. The Doctor is confronting his ghost. Dickens probably had Hamlet on his mind when he wrote 'A Christmas Carol' as well, and Platt certainly had Dickens in mind, but this isn't a direct quote from Scrooge either, as far as I can tell.
sepulchasm: Hamlet's father was laid in a sepulchre. There's no such word as sepulchasm, but it's the name of a popular board game on Gallifrey by the Doctor's time, according to 'Lungbarrow'.
CV: Curriculum Vitæ; a list of everything significant one has done for work experience as a job or career. The Doctor has over 900 years of experience.
Ghost of Christmas Pudding: He had to spell it out..
Hojotoho: Brünnhilde's Battle Cry, from early in the second act of Wagner's Die Walküre (The Valkyrie). Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung cycle of operas is based on Norse mythology.
The Descent into Nibelheim: Niflheim? (Text submitted by Alan) Nibelheim and Niflheim are indeed the same.
Multum-in-Parvo: (Text submitted by Alan) Multum-in-parvo is many in few/one, but I don't have the context so I don't know how it fits.
Middle Gallifreyan: Gallifreyan language, different from Old High Gallifreyan, introduced in 'The Five Doctors'.
Time and Space and thirty-five other dimensions:
SARDIT: Space And Relative Dimensions In Time is an inverted TARDIS. SIDRAT is a non-time travel, short range and lifespan TARDIS from 'The War Games' and 'Exodus'. SIDRAT is pronounced Side-Rat and was explained as Space and Inter-time Directional Robot All-purpose Transporter. The acronym is so contrived its only meaning is that it's an anagram of TARDIS.
Osirian's spiral spine: In 'The Pyramids of Mars' the 4th Doctor said that Osirians had spines line spiral staircases.
Covent Garden tube: Evidently the escalators at Covent Garden are long. In 'Web of Fear' the TARDIS materialised at Covent Garden station in the middle of an invasion of the Underground by the Great Intelligence, using robotic Yeti armed with web-spinning guns.
Alexandria Library: Founded by Aristotle and Alexander the Great's successors on the basis of all the information Alexander collected while conquering Persia. Saved works by several Greek playwrights. Was eventually scattered.
local mystic: the renegade Time Lord later known as K'Anpo Rinpoche was a hermit who lived on a mountain behind the Doctor's house, according to the Doctor in 'The Time Monster', 'Planet of the Spiders', and 'State of Decay'. Probably Lungbarrow mountain. K'Anpo taught the Doctor meditation techniques in his youth, and they met again on Earth in 'Planet of the Spiders', where K'Anpo assisted with the Doctor's third regeneration.
Dickensian pea-souper: During Dickens' time in th Industrial Revolution byproducts of coal combustion such as sulphur thickened fogs and gave them the colour of pea soup.
hoovering: A hoover is a vacuum cleaner.
am-dram: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) Amateur dramatics.
Phrontisterie section: A place for thinking or studying; a thinking-shop; a term applied in ridicule by Aristophanes to the school of Socrates; hence applied to modern educational institutions.
King's English: Is there a king on the throne? The same prediction was incorrectly made in 'Battlefield', where the Brigadier said he wouldn't answer the 'phone if it was the King. The Queen is not dead, she was not assassinated by Jason from the Land of Fiction in 'Head Games', or by Ace in 'No Future'. It was only a flesh wound.
spring tide: The highest tides in a lunar cycle are when the moon is full and new. When a straight line connects the moon, the Sun and the Earth there are high tides. Spring tide is when the moon is opposite the Sun.
Blinivictual's theory: In the series he was always called Blinovitch. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) Well, the Doctor's not completely back together yet. Anyway, the Blinovitch Limitation Effect says that you can't cross your own timeline and meet yourself in the past or future; if you do you'll explode. The Doctor's proven him wrong, but in this situation it seems to be using a great deal of the TARDIS' energy to keep the Phazels from exploding when they meet and sometimes kill their doppelgangers.
enriched uranium: If it's the U-238 isotope, watch out.
Xyz: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) The Doctor's asking if it's another new and more potent version of nitro-nine, or just the old stuff. Yeah, thinking about this it just seems like the Doctor is wondering how many letters in the alphabet she's used up.
Gardyloo: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) Possibly a corruption of "gardez l'eau", or "watch out for the water", which is what French people used to shout before emptying the contents of their chamberpots into the street. (Text submitted by Alan) Definitely a corruption of Gardez L'eau, used in the UK, notably in Edinburgh.
Nijinsky: Vaslav Fomich Nijinsky, (1888-1950)born in Kiev, was a prodigy and one of the greatest male dancers in the history of ballet.
jeté: A ballet move.
State of Grace circuit: The TARDIS interior is supposed to exist in a State of Temporal Grace, supposedly meaning you can't fire weapons in it. It only worked on the occasion in which it was though up, 'The Invasion of Time'. Temporal Grace? I love that woman!
Aubert Cluster: The villains of 'Human Nature' are the Aubertides, shape-shifters from the planet Aubis. They know a great deal about the Time Lords. I just noticed this recently: after rereading 'Human Nature I looked up the Aubertides on rec.arts.drwho with DejaNews and found a guy named Jason who connected them with 'Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible'.
Ruta III and the Sontara Warburg: The Sontarans have been fighting the Rutans for as long as anyone can remember, but this is going a bit far; at least a billion years into the past, and they had just started? It's believable; the Sontarans exist concurrently with Gallifrey in 'The Invasion of Time', and again in 'The Infinity Doctors', although strictly speaking that doesn't count.
sacred firelake of Rag-Fraish:
invisible armour of Troppolsabler:
holy icons of the Bright Past:
leviahide: Some Gallifreyan animal, I guess. Possibly also a reference to Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, the 17th-Century political philosophy justifying absolute rule. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) The Leviathan was a monstrous sea creature in the Bible. The term is sometimes applied to large whales by people who are in a poetic mood. Wouldn't it make more sense to have this note on the page where leviahide is first mentioned? I ask because there's a leviahide-bound book on p.161. Yeah, thank you.
treazants: Ancient Gallifreyan form of currency. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) And treazants are mentioned on p.162.
gatekeeper: Who is the gatekeeper?
nitro-ten: In 'Exodus' we had nitro-nine-A. in 'Apocalypse' we went back to nitro-nine.
Miss David's carpet shop in Antalya: Surprising forward reference to 'Cat's Cradle: Warhead'.
The ration queues of Boom City after the Great Soul Rush of '831:
House of Lungbarrow: The Doctor's ancestral home, residence of his forty-four cousins setting for 'Lungbarrow'.
before regeneration, reincarnation: This is a popular explanation for the 'pre-Hartnell Doctors' seen in still photographs shown onscreen during the Doctor's mental battle with Morbius in 'The Brain of Morbius', which had been intended as a joke (the stills were of the production staff dressed in Doctorish clothes). If the 1st Doctor, pe-regeneration, played by William Hartnell was a reincarnation of someone else, a certain mystery is added back to the storyline.
A Coppellian strabism:
Ealing Gazette: Possibly fictional neighbourhood newspaper.
PROPRIETA DI VERONA ARENA: Property of the Arena at Verona. Dating back to Rome, the Arena is now used for operatic productions. I saw La Bohème there in '92. The seats are a bit hard, so bring a cushion; they rent their own out, as well as opera glasses, I guess.
Dante's Circles of Hell: In 1968 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn published The First Circle, which refers to Dante's Circles of Hell. After passing Charon, Limbo is the First Circle; Minos the Infernal Judge rules the Second; in the Third the Gluttonous are punished; in the Fourth Plutus awaits the prodigal and the avaricious; in the Fifth the wrathful and gloomy are tormented in the Stygian Lake; in the Sixth several usurous contemporaries of Dante's are tortured in the City of Dis; the Seventh Circle is for the violent; the Eigth is for fraudulent sinners (it's named Malebolge, as Tom Baker plummily remarked when he appeared on Have I Got News For You, and damned if it didn't irk Angus Deayton something rotten); the Ninth and last is for traitors.
thousand nanoseconds: 1 nanosecond is 1 x 10 -9 seconds.
Thereby hangs a tale: (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) Appears in Shakespeare's "As You Like It", Act II scene 7; and "The Merry Wives of Windsor", Act I scene 4. So either it was actually a common expression of his day, or he repeated himself occasionally.
geistlicht: Ghost Light.
Mirphak 2: The brightest star in the Earth constellation Perseus, in the northern sky. It is visible all year round from the UK. Magnitude 1.79, spectral type F5 yellow. Luminosity 5000 times the Sun; distance about 570 light-years, absolute magnitude about -4.4. If it's 570 light-years from us it's at least 30 000 light years from the galactic core, which is usually the assumed location of Gallifrey. If this use of the word 'Mirphak' is a concession to human language and not a coincidence of pronounciation, the Gallifreyans have a big empire.
cuvée: A vatful.
sherry: Sherry, a blended, fortified wine, originally was made only in the Andalusian province of coastal southwest Spain, around the city of Jerez de la Frontera; today other countries also market products called sherry, but it is often dissimilar to the original.
27: An Eye for an Eye: Exodus Chapter 21, verse 24.
Core Sybilline of the Nest-Worlds of Klanti: The Core Sybilline, another seer known to the Pythia, fell silent. The Sybil of Apollo probably delivered her prophesies at Cumae, an ancient city near Naples, which was perhaps the earliest Greek colony in Italy. It was probably founded c.750 BC by Chalcis.
The Pythia replaces her eye with the Sphinx: Odin gave one of his eyes for wisdom, in much the same way except that it worked better for him. Is Odin more like the Pythia or Rassilon?
caldera: The crater of a volcano.
The sort of thing Brunel would have appreciated: Two Brunels, father and son, were engineers, designers, and builders, both in Europe and America, during the 19th century. Marc Isembard Brunel designed the first tunnel under the Thames, and his son Isembard Kingdom Brunel designed tunnels, viaducts, bridges, Paddington Station, three steamships and the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.
Harry Houdini: Escapologist often given credit by the Doctor for his own skill at getting away.
Tellurian: Human. Shockeye, an Androgum butcher in 'The Two Doctors' was the first to call us Tellurians. The phrase was also used once in 'The Sunmakers'. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) The term is derived from the Latin word for "earth" in much the same was as Terran is from the Greek, and it's been used by a number of notable sf writers who never contributed to Doctor Who, including E. E. Smith.
Blue Peter badge for heroic achievement: Blue Peter is a UK childrens' TV programme dedicated to craft work; prize winners get blue badges with a tall ship on them, as the Blue Peter is a flag hoisted by a ship coming into port. The show's theme is a sailor's hornpipe. (Text submitted by Paul Andinach) The Blue Peter badge Sophie Aldred wore as Ace was the genuine article, which she was awarded years earlier for, if I recall correctly, something to do with model rockets. How appropriate. If it's true that no episodes of Blue Peter were ever junked, perhaps some fan has gone back and retrieved the footage in which Sophie is named. If it was like that.
Adric hit Mexico: 65 million years ago an asteroid hit the Earth on the Yucatan Peninsula in what is now Mexico, and rendered the dinosaurs extinct. In 'Earthshock' the asteroid was a space freighter lost in time after a battle with the Cybermen, with Adric stuck on board trying to prevent the explosion.
Brown Owl's Triple Reefer: A reef knot is right over left, left over right. I don't know what a triple reefer is, but divorced from knot-tying and the Brownies, it has a very different meaning.
Darwinian universe: A place where life-forms evolve by chance over millions of years, restricted but not directed by the environment and without self-control.
raspberry: A fake fart blown on the lips.
Grand Guignol: Grand Guignol was a form of sensational entertainment that flourished in small Parisian theaters at the turn of the century and featured heavy doses of violence, madness, suicide, revenge, and trick apparitions. In its day it was the equivalent of such modern film styles as the horror movie or a psychological thriller like Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The form reached its zenith in 1897 when Oscar Metenier, a former police superintendent familiar with Parisian underworld vice, opened the Theatre du Grand Guignol in Montmartre.
Rassilon the God: Another Gallifreyan book by Cardinal Borusa, the Doctor's old tutor.
Karn: Karn is the home of the Sisterhood of Karn, who have an estranged relationship with the Time Lords in 'The Brain of Morbius'. The Time Lord tyrant Morbius lost a battle with the Time Lords on Karn and survived his execution to be reconstituted into a monster from his brain, also on Karn. The Sisterhood manufactures a healing ointment by the Time Lords in difficult regenerations. Evidently, the Pythia's people escape to Karn to become the Sisterhood.
wretched sorceress Peinforte: From the chessboard in Lady Peinforte's study in 'Silver Nemesis' the Doctor suspected the role of Fenric. He had clashed with Peinforte before, and her knowledge of the Doctor's identity implies that she has a link to the Pythias or the Sisterhood.
onion doll: On Earth, they get smaller the farther you go, and they're Russian too.
Mid-Gallifreyan Nursery Versery: Read to all Time-tots, like the Gallifreyan Nursery Rhyme book from 'Shada'.
Begat...begat...begat: Another reference to the history bit from the Book of Genesis.
Happy Birthday Grandfather: It's a birthday card from Susan.
Persian carpets: In the next book, 'Warhead', Ace spends time in Turkey.
from Gary Russell's DWM #184 interview with Marc Platt)
"Its absolute origin is actually a story I wrote called Cat's Cradle and submitted to Eric Saward when he was Doctor Who's script editor something like six or seven years ago. Eric rejected it, but I still thought it was a good story with ideas that hadn't been used in Doctor Who before. So I revamped it and sent it back just at the time Eric had left. John Nathan-Turner, the show's producer, then handed it on to the new script editor, Andrew Cartmel. It was the first thing of mine that Andrew saw and that was why he originally invited me into the Doctor Who office. He actually said "My God, we'd spend the entire budget for the season on the first episode!". Then we went on to Ghost Light. The ideas stayed with me and when the chance came to do a New Adventures novel I just grabbed Cat's Cradle - it was the ideal opportunity to do it."
So how much of the TV script treatment has survived the transition to Time's Crucible, the novel?
"I've added a lot of Gallifreyan stuff since then. The TV stuff was the stuff set in the Grey City. The Process was there, both Processes in fact. The Chronauts were there, but they weren't Gallifreyan, although they were still pioneers of time travel. The whole Gallifrey aspect came later. The cat was there, originally because it was a Colin Baker story. The cat was going to be equated with the badge on his lapel. It didn't matter that Colin wasn't there eventually because I still like the idea of the cat! It signifies the instincts of survival and things like that.
"I wanted very much to do a story about time. There are a few stories in Doctor Who done about it, but not many. How people perceive time when bobbing backwards and forwards. Some of this was covered in aspects of the Peter Davison story Mawdryn Undead but it's also about how time affects people, how they perceive it and how it can be changed. There's a marvellous painting by Dali showing Christopher Columbus discovering America. In the foreground you have Columbus coming ashore. Behind him you have his ship, behind that another ship, all going back through time. The whole voyage in one painting. Right in the distance you have Ferdinand and Isabella sending him off on that voyage. I really liked the idea of actually being able to see the whole of time stretching out like a painting.
The book is also about that other frequently ignored aspect of Doctor Who, his craft, the TARDIS. In Time's Crucible it almost becomes a second companion for the Doctor.
"Yes, but it's not a walking, talking character at all. I've always thought that the TARDIS was sort of a missing character in Doctor Who and yet it's been there all the time! It's an intelligent machine, although it's a completely different sort of intelligence and one of the inspirations for this in Time's Crucible is the Hartnell story The Edge of Destruction. This is really looking at the Doctor's relationship with the TARDIS, how they are symbiotic. They've been together so long now, they probably can't cope without each other. So when the TARDIS is in complete crisis it goes about its own survival by the most bizarre means, and the Doctor becomes part of that. This time the TARDIS actually uses the Doctor to survive and I wanted to see the tables turned for once."
Copyright Eric Briggs 1999