Roots: The Birds. The story title may refer to the popular chaos theory notion of a hummingbird's wingbeats culminating in a far-off catastrophic storm. Lane claims that the story is a deliberate inversion of BF's brief to him, a story akin to The Thing from Another World (women in a tropical environment rather than men in a frozen one). Klein's South American history may owe something to The Boys from Brazil (see also Links). The Doctor mentions [L] Frank Baum and The Wizard of Oz. Sophia and Lucy discuss the music of Scott Joplin and Tchaikovsky (and later Sophia and Klein discuss Wagner). Klein's "light classical" remark is a play on Karl Marx's "religion is the opiate of the masses". Ravel's Boléro plays on the BBC World Service.
Intertextuality: The Doctor's cream linen suit is likely the same as that worn in the later New Adventures series.
Goofs: The Wizard of Oz was written by L Frank Baum, not Frank L Baum.
Dialogue Disasters: Despite best efforts, the scenes where the Doctor and Klein describe Abe's suffering and death, his winged tormentors taking to the air to attack them and the like are a sad example of show, don't tell.
Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: "Rifles to tea in less than a minute. What a record - even for me."
"You cleared the road yourself, Mrs O'Donnell?" "Of course not, we had natives do it." "How exhausting for you..."
Denise: "Only three of us to stay awake? Then how shall we play bridge?"
Continuity: The Cheylis are an insectivorous hive mind avian species which can effect telepathic control over a second, humanoid species as slave stock. Individually inoffensive as a group their society is avaricious and unsympathetic, viewing other species dispassionately as either reources or gullible markets for their current technology and projects, biological warfare. Each individual resembles an iridescent blue hummingbird with tiny feathers, each soft and flexible yet razor sharp "edge-on". A fatal toxin is present on their beaks, claws and wingtips. Their current biological creation is not contagious and has a purpose-built weakness which can be overcome by a second Cheylis biological concoction. "Abraham", the Cheylis' 'mule' is a very thin vegetarian humanoid species with double joints and four opposable thumbs. His cranium is sufficiently large for complex tasks and his vocal chords present to enable speech, but the Cheylis' telepathic hold over him prevents this. When not in use by the Cheylis he lies effectively unconscious.
According to the Doctor there are very few intelligent avian species in the cosmos, which he puts down to their winged limbs being insufficient for handling tools. He also claims that eighty-six percent of known [intelligent] life forms drive on the left hand side of the road, but nobody knows why. The TARDIS translation circuits can easily translate any language of human and alien origin - although for some reason it has great difficulty with Esperanto.
Following her defeat and the removal of her timeline in the Colditz event (see: Links), Klein made her way to South America and the Nazi communities there, liaising with Hans De Flores (see: Links) and re-training as a medical doctor. With the knowledge of a virulent and incurable biological outbreak in Kenya after Third Reich forces carpet bombed the Mau Mau insurgency, she has travelled to Kenya in this timeline in anticipation and with a mind to prevent or cure the outbreak if she can (and perhaps in doing so further 'correct' history). Her first name is Elisabeth.
The Doctor is dressed in a linen suit and carries his umbrella with him.
Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor says he learned his tracking skills from Plains Indian buffalo hunters. He once debated the nature of flying monkeys with Frank Baum (see also Goofs).
Links: Colditz, Silver Nemesis (de Flores). Klein asks what happened to Ace (the Doctor doesn't explain). The Doctor's line "I can move like a cat if the mood takes me" reappears in BF's adaptation of Paradise Five, voiced by the Sixth Doctor during Andy Lane's original episode.
Location: Kenya, November 1952, during the Mau Mau uprising (two weeks after the state of emergency was announced in Nairobi, according to the radio broadcast).
The Bottom Line: "I will not be distracted by simplistic moralising."
Hello Nazi. Despite its mixed reception Colditz is certainly remembered for a few very good things, and Klein is one of them. Andy lane's clever setting, a deliberate inversion of the basic scenario of The Thing, recalls many of Who's traditional 'base under siege' stand-bys, but it's the inclusion of Klein that provides the necessary intrigue, although credit is due also to some cracking dialogue and a sharp and shrewd version of the Seventh Doctor. A fine start, with some superb sound design.