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'Animal'

CD adventure released June 2011, 4 episodes

Writer: Andrew Cartmel
Director: Ken Bentley

Roots: The Day of the Triffids, A River Runs Through It, Hunt saboteurs and animal liberation groups. Are the Numlocks named after a QWERTY key?

Goofs: Why doesn't Bambera know the protocol for meeting alien intelligence? What do UNIT do again?

Double Entendres: "You three can carry the recumbent Percy"

"The 46th born excuses himself"

Continuity: Margrave University's Centre for Technical Excellence is a joint venture with UNIT, allowing UNIT to headhunt the brightest and best for their research. Flood tunnels below the campus have been largely forgotten by those living and working there. The university's collection of alien stinging trees was recovered from a spaceship crash site in Mauritania. They are carnivorous and attack would-be prey with stinging thorns, which they shoot from ambulatory roots. When the victim scratches their wounds a paralysing toxin is released, allowing the plant to move to the stricken creature, smother it and devour it with the same root system.

Numlocks see light on separate wavelengths and have at least two knees. The species used to be carnivorous but became pacifist vegetarians after a massive cultural shift. To make up for lost amino acids in their diet they rely on samples extracted from animals they encounter. Their sensitive spot is just above their left knee. The Numlock spaceship is three kilometres in diameter and can only be accessed via a hover platform which seals flush with the ship's underside - this is standard on quite a few spacefaring ships, according to the Doctor.

The Metatraxi are still within comms range twelve years after the Doctor's last encounter with them.

Raine's father Markus Creevy has died by 2001. As a child Raine holidayed on the Red Sea and learned to scuba dive there. She went to Kings College in London She wishes she went to a university campus in the country but her parents wanted to keep an eye on her.

The Doctor has visited Mauritania and says the deforestation there is very serious. His pockets contain postage stamps, a fountain pen, antique coins, a universal comms jack, and Earl Grey tea bags, but no torch.

Location: Margrave University in 2001 Early 21st century (twelve years after Crime of the Century)

Links: This story follows immediately from Crime of the Century. Battlefield

The Bottom Line: Off. McCoy is enjoying himself, and his chemistry with Angela Bruce's Bambera is light, though there's little of the acerbic side to the new Brigadier we saw in Battlefield. On the whole though, Margrave University is a queer place, drawn more from stereotype than reality. Ace is right - Scobie's pick-up technique is awful and Raine is also correct - the music in the student bar is appalling. The Numlocks are a clever idea, though, redeeming a somewhat bland execution.

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