Roots: Bruce compares Matthews' work to that of Arthur Conan Doyle. Erimem recites the first lines of Lewis Carroll's Father William. H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos [The Great Old Ones] Blow Up, Bruce quotes Eliot's The Hollow Men ("I don't want to go out with a whimper"). The Doctor references Wilkins Micawber from David Copperfield ("something's bound to turn up")
Goofs: The fifth Doctor says he hasn't played cricket since Cranleigh Manor (Black Orchid) but does so (a lot) in Circular Time: Autumn.
Dialogue Triumphs: Peri describes the Doctor: "He worries about several things a minute, forgets an equal amount every hour, figures out the solution to a problem before he even knows what the question is, and only realises things before it's too late when he knows there's enough time to fix them."
Dialogue Disasters: "If you expect to survive the night... alive!"
Double Entendres: "Peri, why don't you and Mr Matthews go into the storeroom and have a rummage around?"
Continuity: The Great Old Ones are unimaginably ancient creatures preserved in humanity's race memory as their worst nightmares; wherever they go they spread creatures that spread evil, chaos and destruction in their wake. In this story they are a disembodied consciousness made manifest with the debris and organic matter collected around it, appearing as a dark cloud teeming with red eyes and claws, although the Doctor deduces these to be merely a psychic projection created by far worse, trapped creatures. They have a vulnerability to the cold, being in part organic, and the Doctor dismisses them in the main as akin to ‘cosmic locusts’, a dying race eking a form of survival through the race memories of their past victims.
Psychic energy behaves much like lightning.
Erimem believes in the gods again, usefully. She liked the Alice stories and is also reading The Hunting of the Snark (see: Links). When she was four or five in a royal procession with her father she encountered a leper child in the streets. Also in her childhood Erimem heard stories of a great white pyramid that contained all the bad things of the world, and which would take one's soul. She has not seen a western funeral before.
As a child she accompanied her father on passages through their city, and recalls how her father's guards would clear the city streets before the royal family so their eyes would not be offended by the sight of its beggars. Childhood was an active time for her, as it also included losing a pet kitten in a temple (found with the help of her father's priest Pyran). She was also told by her father of a white pyramid containing an evil which would destroy the soul of anyone who approached it. The mountains in this story remind her of the legend. Curious, she stole scrolls (thinking them for her) from the Pharaoh's study containing details of the Old Gods and illustrations matching their appearance which gave her nightmares for a long time since. A believer in the Gods and their power, Pharaoh Amenhotep II argued with his priests over their existence and charter the stars to find their meaning. Despite the loss of the scrolls he was able to understand the nature of their power, and denying himself the opportunity to seize it for himself, plotted to trap them forever in a white self-reflective pyramid, ensuring for a while the safety of his world from them.
Peri spent her fifteenth birthday mixing plaster of Paris for moulds at a dig supervised by her stepfather Howard (see: Links). Immediately prior to this story she has frozen the water in the TARDIS pool over with liquid nitrogen to turn it into an ice skating rink.
The TARDIS has many storerooms (including some containing a fierce amount of explosives) and its scanner has a 3-D mode. Peri retrieves some all-weather garments the Doctor bought from a market 'somewhere ' which conform to the figure of the wearer - although she hasn't worn them herself (spoilsport!)
The Doctor bribes some sherpas with his supply of jelly babies ("a worthwhile sacrifice"). He broke his pocket watch a month ago and has back problems - he also admits that he rather enjoys the looks on people's faces when they first enter the TARDIS. He has acquired an invitation to the cricket match at the Grand Imperial Hotel.
Links: The Doctor drops the name of explorer George Cranleigh whom it turns out is related by marriage to Lord Davey (Black Orchid) Peri recalls three of the four preceding adventures, mentioning 'Egypt, Teldoran and the Axis' and mentions her stepfather (Planet of Fire). The Doctor doesn't fancy materialising the TARDIS in the middle of a cricket pitch "in this instance" (The Chase). Peri suggests as an alternative destination the Gettysburg Address (Ibid). Erimem is still reading from Lewis Carroll (The Axis of Insanity)
Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor was present when Lord Charles James Mandeville ('legendary heavyweight politico and gambler extraordinaire') lost his fortune of eleven-thousand guineas after a twenty-two hour game of cards.
Location: Tibet (including the environs of the Grand Imperial Hotel, roughly near Darjeeling) 1917.
The Bottom Line: A weird sort of missed opportunity and overlooked obvious conclusion. Rigelsford sets a story in the Himalayas with talk of Old Ones as gods - but opts for some anonymous and less spectacular ‘trickster’ cloud with claws over the expected (and arguably easy) option of ten years of fan theory aligning aforementioned Lovecraft-inspired gods with the Great Intelligence, present in the same area at roughly the same time. Perhaps it's also a scheduling error that allows Erimem's character to slip back from having been fiercely independent at the end of Axis of Insanity to a crumbling wreck in this story. Sort of fine, but sort of obvious at the same time. Sort of inessential.