Roots: The title and many lines are taken from the Rolling Stones song 'Sympathy for the Devil'. The Abbot quotes Confucius and name-checks the movie Bulletprook Monk. Ke Le whistles the tune to 'Three Little Maids' from The Mikado. The last line comes from Casablanca. 'Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps'. The Brigadier's pub name 'The Little England' may be a reference to a protest by Nicholas Courtney over the DWM reporting of his involvement in a Richard Franklin political skit - "No 'Little Englander', me". The Brigadier mentions Pandora's box (see: 'Intertextuality')
Intertextuality: The Brigadier's likening of the soul jar to 'Pandora's box' may be a reference to 'The Mind of Evil's working title 'The Pandora Machine'.
Technobabble: Invisibility is referred to as 'retro-reflection'.
Double Entendres: 'Stahlman's Gas - my hot tip!'
'The thing in the jar. It's pulsing.'
Dialogue Triumphs: 'Magic widget.'
'You are a serving officer in UNIT. Open your eyes. This is what your job is all about.'
'Stand aside or I shall lay your soul to waste.'
'A Chinese takeaway then'
Dialogue Disasters: 'So much for al fresco sex.'
'The biggest military cock up since...since the last one.'
'I suppose I'm what they call a bulletproof monk.'
Continuity: WHAT IF...the Doctor had not been UNIT's scientific advisor?
Professor X is shown on Sunday nights in Hong Kong. There is a four mile wide hole in Central London forming a lake after Captain Yates and his men took a one-way mission into the past to destroy Silurian civilisation with fourteen nuclear warheads, thus preventing their eventual awakening in the twentieth century.
The Brigadier's past life without the Doctor involved Silurians, Autons, 'Ambassadors' (which left a row of craters across America) and Dinosaurs, but he and UNIT barely managed to survive them (they occurred during the 1980s). Most of the adventures are counted as failures and he himself something of a public disgrace. Under pressure from the media and the Ministry of Defence and infighting within UNIT he was pensioned off and retired. With 'no-one in England' for him [does Doris not exist in this timeline?] and intending to emigrate to New Zealand (hooray!) he instead got 'stuck' in Hong Kong and opened a bar called 'The Little England'. He drinks, perhaps a little too readily for the Doctor's liking, and takes milk in his tea. He ends up travelling with the Doctor.
The Master and the Doctor were both exiled to Earth, but the Doctor arrived later than he should have. The Master used Earth technology in an attempt to replicate Time Lord technology. The Master arrived before the Vietnam War, was exiled from Europe in 1977 (probably after his scheme with the Autons), and took on the name Ke Le (pronounced Kurler) based on the previous name he was using, Keller. He defected to the Chinese and developed the Kurler machine (using a brain parasite) to brainwash the minds of political prisoners to turn them into zombies. (The parasites crashed in a spaceship 150 years ago, and were previously reasonable for the Boxer Rebellion.) He regenerates at the beginning of this story after the crash of a stealth bomber and adopts the clothing of the character Adam, comprising of a suit and Union Jack tie.
The soul jar is a 'prism' device containing the mind parasites collected by the Bhuddist monks of a 147-year-old monastery near by. It acts as a focal point for their chanting, which pacifies and imprisons the creatures, containing evil from the outside world.
The TARDIS' inhibitor circuits allow the Doctor to travel in space but not time. A TARDIS chameleon circuit can be modified to generate invisibility.
The Doctor has just entered his [presumably] third incarnation, the events of a parallel 'War Games' having just taken place. He still wears the clothes of his previous body (the shoes don't fit). He can speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Man-chu, Mongolian and Haikun. To the Chinese he is known as Hu (the Tiger, for his courage), Hu (the Fox, for his cunning) and Xue (Doctor (he who tends to the sick)). He knows Venusian acupressure. The Doctor knew Mao Tse Tung when he was a librarian, but hasn't visited the Earth since the 1960s. He can think of three renegade Time Lords [presumably the Master, the Rani, and the Monk?] who might be on Earth.
Location: Hong Kong, June 30-July 1 1997.
Links: 'The Web of Fear', 'The Invasion', Variations on 'The Ambassadors of Death', 'Inferno', 'The Mind of Evil', 'Terror of the Autons', 'Day of the Daleks', 'Doctor Who and The Silurians'. 'The Armageddon Factor' ('for all your well earned Poly tests') 'Dimensions in Time' (mistaking a pub for a TARDIS)
Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor visited Hong Kong two hundred years previously when it was a fishing village coming under the control of the British Empire.
Bottom Line: 'What's the nature of his game?'
An interesting 'What if', although it might otherwise have been an average, if well-told story. The narrative presents enough for the listener to know what the 'new' history is and carries on the characters well. The characters are engaging enough (Colonel Wood is rather fun), the performances good enough, and ending is such that it could easily spin off into a new series of its own.