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'Sisters of the Flame'

Released July 2008. 1 episode.

Writer: Nicholas Briggs
Director: Nicholas Briggs

Roots: Greek mythology (the names Hespera and Orthena recall the goddesses Hesperia and Athena) The Godfather (Zarodnik has a reputation for making "offers that cannot be refused"). The Doctor's line "failure is one of the basic freedoms" recalls a similar quotation by Erich Fromm: "there is no real freedom without the freedom to fail."

Dialogue Triumphs: "My prattling days are over"

Continuity: The Trell are ten-foot long intelligent centipedes - it is a matter of historical record that the Trell are a peaceful, highly ordered race and are almost incapable of acts which might be considered illegal.Commander Rosto Coradia Trell - has a translator box. Their eyesight is far superior to that of a human's. Rosto suggests that his home world is a very long way away from his current location (presumably he means by ordinary methods of travel). He tells Lucie he has encountered some telekinetic species before.

The Galactinet is a supralight microwave information network transmitted across hyperspatial conduits. Every ship has access to it,

The Galactinet says the Sisterhood departed from the planet Karn fifty-two standard years ago when the planet was purchased by the Zarodnix Corporation and their current location is unknown. It adds that they're an ancient order of psychics, which explains how Haspira was able to teleport without any technology. Their symbol is a flame device, and they are unknown to Rosto and, by association, the Interplanetary Marshalls [nor has he heard of Time Lords, presumably as a result of Zarodnix's censorship campaign.] The market for interplanetary systems is currently depressed.

Free Trader ships (Zarodnix's is one) - humans are not known to be out in the area this one is. There are Interplanetary Police Marshalls of many species, including several humanoid ones.

Kristov Zarodnix is a businessman who buys and sells planets and collects ancient artefacts, including many Trell worlds. He's also believed to be the richest man in the galaxy, possibly even the Universe, although that may just be propaganda put about by his PR agency. The Zarodnix Corporation drove the Sisterhood from Karn and mined out the surface of their planet. After the Sisterhood found a new home, they discovered Zarodnix has a dangerous obsession with Morbius and has dedicated his entire life to collecting every surviving artefact relating to the despot. Zarodnix's ship is the Euretz.

Straxus says missing the Doctor by two days could be regarded as "a near miss". He says "lesser species" aren't allowed on Gallifrey. The Doctor believes there has only ever been one Gallifreyan stellar manipulator in existence, with the power to disconnect the Eye of Harmony (it does seem rather careless of the Time Lords to have allowed it to go missing then...) A bio-transmitter is an ancient Gallifreyan device intended to broadcast a fake bio-signal to any lurking scanner. With a time scoop active and Zarodnix active, travel by time ring is assumed by CIA Coordinator Bulic to be the only safe way to travel. Straxis describes the sensation as feeling like he is being turned inside out.

Lucie is imprisoned for two days

The Doctor, his renegade status and his previous exploits on Karn have entered legend. Mother Superior Orthena says the stories passed down through the generations tell of him being a "prattling man full of idle questions"

Untelevised Adventures: The TARDIS has recently visited London, 2008, as recalled by Lucie

Q.v: 'Aliens on Gallifrey'

Links: The Brain of Morbius (Karn and the Sisterhood), The Five Doctors (time scoops), Remembrance of the Daleks (stellar manipulators) Human Resources (Straxos), The Dispersal Chamber (also known as the Oubliette of Eternity) was used in Neverland.

The Bottom Line: "Karn, here we come!"

Yep, once the 'mystery' of who the Sisterhood is solved (and to be frank the story title alone pretty much puts paid to that), it's an express route to working out where the greater story is headed, and who is poised for a return-match. As this episode goes, it's a strong one for Lucie and her new-found working relationship with Rosto the policeman centipede (insert 'plod' joke here); but it's still a lot of sitting around, talking, whether in space or on Gallifrey.

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