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Millennial Rites

A Virgin Missing Adventure by Craig Hinton, featuring the sixth Doctor and Mel

Publication Date: October 1995
ISBN number: 0-426-20455-7

'The Millennium, Mel; The last New Year's Eve of the twentieth century. But it's definitely not party time.'

England, 1999: the Doctor and Mel have come to London to celebrate the new year with old friends - and to heal old wounds. but others are making more sinister preparation to usher in the new millennium. A software house is about to run a program that will change the fabric of reality. And an entity older than the universe is soon to be reborn.

When Anne Travers' fear of the Great Intelligence and millionaire philanthropist Ashley Chapel's secret researches combine, London is transformed into a dark and twisted mirror image populated by demons and sorcerers. Only the Doctor can put things right, but his friends have also been shockingly changed and he cannot trust anybody, least of all himself.

Continuity

Mel's friends at West London University included Chantel Edwards, Julia Prince, Leonor Pridge. In her final year she was offered jobs with IBM, I²(System Shock) and Ashley Chapel Logistics, though she had already turned down the I² job and was probably going to take the job with ACL. Mel assisted in a plan by the Master and the Usurians to disrupt Earth's stock markets in 1989, after which she had stowed away on the TARDIS and become his companion. She'd become a vegetarian and given up caffeine at the age of thirteen.

She has been travelling with the Doctor for "a couple of years", and still has him dieting. The Doctor refers to meeting the Terrible Zodin and "the self-styled Queens of the Satanic Winding Sheet" though it's not clear if Mel has met them. They have encountered the "vicious Herecletes" and the Stalagtrons, but not yet the Vervoids, although the Doctor keeps bringing them up. They had recently fought the Quarks and the giant wasps, after which the Doctor had instructed her on the basics of TARDIS operation, to the point where she's confident of arranging "a short hop". She has not been to the Library of Saint John the Beheaded before. She recognises the Valeyard.

As the Technomancer, her mother (Hypatia) is described as a stout, dour woman with black hair.

Bertrand Russell is one of Mel's favourite authors. She has an IQ of 162.

Comments

"'This isn't Peter Pan.'"

The best Mel adventure since... well... the only thing this lacks is a wonderful performance by Bonnie. The author successfully captures in the written word the character of Melanie Bush, complete with her optimism, her determination to better others and Bonnie's great energy and enthusiasm.

At last Mel gets to show off her computer programming skills as she hacks into the computer of a software company and debugs a piece of software written in an alien language. Her people skills are sorely tested when she befriends Louise and Barry and tries to suppress her urge to find fault with them.

Of course, everything goes wrong... Mel is transformed into the Majestrix Melaphyre, Technomancer of the Great Kingdom, a technological sorceress who rules a third of the twisted landscape London has become. Because it was partly her fault, Mel is determined to put things right, even at the cost of her own life.

Craig Hinton's second book featuring Mel was The Quantum Archangel

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