Roots: Brave New World. At the cinema Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and New Jack City are playing, while Bryan Adams' love theme from the former movie '(Everything I Do) I Do It for You' is currently number one (a recurring joke based on Adams' three month stay in the UK charts with the same song). Unmentioned, but rather fittingly, the UK number one on Lucie's birthdate was 'The Only Way is Up' by Yazz and the Plastic Population. Karimov may be named after Uzbek President Islam Karimov. Andropov may alternately be named after Soviet President Yuri Andropov, Vitas may (at a stretch) be named after Russian pop star Vitaliy Vladasovich Grachyov aka Bumac Vitas. Alice in Wonderland (Lucie dreams white rabbits) Karimov's confusion of Blackpool and Blackburn misappropriates The Beatles' A Day in the Life ("four thousand holes"). Jason mentions Dallas. The Doctor's "Life finds a way" (Jurassic Park) earns the response from Lucie: "Enough with the David Attenborough routine!" Karamov mentions Little and Large and Mr Bean; Lucie quotes from Big Brother and likens deserted Thorington to a scene from a post-apocalyptic or zombie movie.
Goofs: The TARDIS was apparently en route to Blackpool Pleasure Beach - so why does Lucie complain about sand on her shoes when they arrive in Thorington?
Dialogue Triumphs: "A fallout shelter - how quaint!"
"That girl is like a horse with pedals!"
"Think, Lucie - where does all the plastic come from?" "-Taiwan!"
"It's all in foreign!"
Dialogue Disasters: Lucie's story-closing pun "never in a month of Sundays" [cue freeze-frame on laughter, roll credits]
Double Entendres: "Back in a bit. Do some more rooting!"
Continuity: Autons don't show up on heat scans. The Autons of Thorington are truly autonomic, separated from the call of their control device and embracing their roles as humans. The site of the Thorington model town was a Soviet Era spy school, which incorporated recovered Autons stranded after a local meteorite storm which contained a Nestene control device. After the Cold War ended and Uzbekistan declared its independence, the school was shut down and the synthetics were left behind to keep up the pretence for 17 years.
Lucie was born on the 31st of July 1988 - unsurprisingly she's a Leo. She loves sherbet fountains and isn't aware of beginning of the month "white rabbit" traditions.
On arriving the Doctor checks the area for contagions and airborne radiation before leaving the TARDIS.
Links: The Doctor mentions the Auton meteorites that fell to Earth in Spearhead from Space, and Marco Polo.
Location: The fake village of Thorington, aka Savshikar ("New Town") an island in the former Aran Sea, Uzbekistan, 24th of October 2008
The Bottom Line: "This looks like the Town that Time Forgot - populated by nutters!"
Good fun. As much a satire on cold war military tactics and the brain-death of consumerism and the military mind as nod to post-Soviet Era central Asia. The plastic population of Thorington are the next wave of refugees poised to be exploited by a cynical and expansionist modern world, and yet the ending in as much as the Doctor and Lucie are involved, is a positive one.