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'The Resurrection of Mars'

Released November 2010. 2 episodes.

Written by: Jonathan Morris
Directed by: Barnaby Edwards

Roots: The Monk quotes Scooby Doo (see: Dialogue Triumphs), the Valeyard (see: Links), and The Smiths' Bigmouth Strikes Again ("Now I know how Joan of Arc felt!"), and paraphrases from Hamlet (III.iv.207 ("hoist by your own petard!"). As You Like It (Tamsin compares Halcyon to a "fairy tale" Forest of Arden) The Monk's TARDIS S.E.P filter recalls the similarly-named S.E.P (Someone Else's Problem) Field of Douglas Adams' So Long and Thanks for all the Fish. Marilyn Monroe's unfinished film Something's Got to Give. The long-lost Beatles' appearance on Jukebox Jury is one of the more famous non-Doctor Who examples of the BBC's infamous disposal policy of old television stock. Britain's Got Talent, The Apprentice ('"You're fired!") Hamlet (the Doctor's "To Be Or Not To Be moment"

Technobabble: A factorial cypherlock has a billion combinations.

Dialogue Triumphs: "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for your meddling. Oh wait - I did! Hahahaa!"

"I used to be that guy... a man with a master plan, seeking out injustices and toppling governments all in the name of the the greater good. I'd started to do the maths - that's how evil starts, with the ends justifying the means. Once you start down that road there's no turning back; what if you could save a million lives but you have to let ten people die - or a hundred, or a hundred thousand? Where do you stop? (...) I did, but by then I ended up travelling alone, because I couldn't trust myself with anyone's life - no, not after- (...) A new body a clean slate, a fresh start; from that moment I knew I would never again countenance the death of a single living being. That's why I no longer travel alone, so I could never forget how precious a single life is."

Double Entendres: "Whoo! That's some big bang!"

Continuity: The planet Halcyon is ninety light years from Earth and a thousand years in its future. It has coral-like trees, an indigenous lepidopteron life form called 'shimmerwings', purple-orange flowers and its air smells like honey. The local culture have their own version of Punch and Judy (the Monk's TARDIS disguises itself as one courtesy of its SEP filter), suggesting that violence may not be entirely unheard of Indeed, their culture has cured almost every disease, created transcendent works of art, live in peace (although do experience crime) and constitute a population of twenty billion. The Doctor regards its destruction as one of the greatest tragedies in the history of creation.

The Monk's TARDIS also has a time-space visualiser. Contained in its larders are cakes from the kitchens of Marie Antoinette and 'Caesar's original Caesar salad' (presumably the Monk is referring to the Emperor, though the salad of course came much later still) and Arctic coffee from the 51st century. Among the treasures hoarded there are half a dozen Faberge eggs, two Van Goghs, a Blu-ray of Something's Got to Give (Marilyn Monroe's unfinished film, suggesting the Monk somehow orchestrated its completion) and the Beatles on Jukebox Jury (also rescued - see: Roots).

The Ice Warriors use a fission bomb. Among their trophies is the Hammer of Axlyr. They have woken up a few centuries early, according to the Doctor.

While she was in the Monk's company Lucie met the emperor Caligula, the Sensorites, viewed the final of Thordon's Got Talent (which was won by a singing Slithergee), Kells Abbey (see: Links), then the planet Crestus which was ruled by a two-bearded dictator the Monk intended to remove from time by the assassination of his parents in an avalanche. It was his devising of this which caused the Monk and Lucie to ultimately fall out.

The Doctor loves dinosaurs.

Future History: The Monk's coffee stores suggest that global warming (or environmental upheaval) allows for coffee plantations in the Arctic by the 51st century. Gravity eddy technology is too far advanced for this time period, according to the Doctor. After the Doctor's intervention with the atmospheric re-ioniser Mars's atmospehere is made equivalent to Earth's, and Phobos becomes Mars' "blue sun", radiating enough heat and light to sustain a human population. Protein wafers are standard issue on the tour shuttle.

Links: The Sensorites, Flip-Flop, The Book of Kells, The Chase, Trial of a Time Lord ("Victim of your own spurious morality") the Doctor refers to the glass deserts of Marinus (The Keys of Marinus)

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor implies that he was present at the burning of the library of Alexandria, but was unable to prevent it from happening due to the Web of Time.

The Bottom Line: "Mars Two, Halcyon nil"

Back in action and back in the game. Morris' script seems to defy its standard time limit to reintroduce the monk, swap companions, kill the baddies, save the goodies and deliver a thumping condemnation (or is it a prediction?) of the seventh Doctor's modus operandi. A true resurrection, then.

THE WEB OF TIME

Imported from the Virgin New Adventures into the Big Finish audios, the concept of a Web of Time is intrinsically connected to the existence of the Time Lords. The Web, a structural network of events and causality forming an anchor to reality, was a construct credited in Neverland to Rassillon at the beginning of Time Lord culture; and is described there as "a hitching post to chronology", brought into reality by the power of the Eye of Harmony. This tying in with the efforts of Gallifrey's Time Lord founders suggests that the Web is not a natural phenomenon - or at least, is not natural in its known for. That the Web's existence relies on such an extraordinary power source also implies that it has limitations and is vulnerable, and explains much of the modus operandi of the Time Lords as fosters and (in the Doctor's words) "defenders of history."

This noted, the Web of Time is clearly not a concept adhered to or valued by all species, and is a matter of conflict in itself. The control over established history and, by implication, future events is perhaps the most powerful form of control achievable by technologically-advanced species, but knowledge of the future and the implied ability to shape the present in accordance to a rigid and pre-ordained order also explains not only the Doctor's early reluctance to intervene (The Aztecs, Wrath of the Iceni), but also the conflict his world enters when other races such as the Daleks vie for the same power (The Apocalypse Element) or indeed replicate it (Time of the Daleks.) The Web is not only a tool of control and propaganda (perhaps explaining the mockery the Doctor receives for his adherence to it in The Dark Flame) but a weapon capable of turning history by premeditation - literally, power over time and space. If control over time travel and control over the Web of Time are assumed to be synonymous, then all known threats to Gallifrey's influence from The War Games through The Invasion of Time, the main series Dalek Empire stories to the Gallifrey series and the new series' Time War can be similarly read as battles over the Web of Time itself.

With the destruction of Gallifrey we can assume that this battle has been lost for the most part. In Father's Day the Doctor remarks that space and time have become more vulnerable since Gallifrey's fall, and much of the new series' credo that "time can be rewritten" (and possibly the Doctor's ability to change his own past) seems to support this notion. The new series' 'fixed points' may represent the disparate remnants of the Web, or what remains without its influence in a more natural state, freed from a greater power, but still integral to the nature of existence.

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