MainDoctor WhoMusicSoftwareNZDWFCMel BushWeb GuideDisccon Guide
The DiscContinuity Guide Introduction 3 4 5 6 7 8 Dalek Empire Doctor Who Unbound Other Additions Updates Links Credits Glossary Index

The Foe from the Future

Released January 2012. 6 episodes

Writer: John Dorney from a storyline by Robert Banks Stewart
Director: Ken Bentley

Roots: Leela appropriates "Run Rabbit Run Rabbit", Charlotte mentions Hammer Horror, Monty Python's Flying Circus, David Bowie, Bruce Forsyth & Gene Kelly. The Wizard of Oz (Wicked Witch of the West). The legend of Icarus. The Fly. John Donne's Meditation XVII ("ask not for whom the bell tolls...") The Doctor quotes from Lewis Carrol's Jabberwocky ("Frabjous day") Jelnek adapts the song "Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be?" Round the Horne/Julian and Sandy ("your perfect actual hunter") The Grandfather Paradox. The Doctor discusses Hamlet with Leela (see: Links)

Technobabble: A temporal manipulation matrix can control and project manifestations anywhere within a few miles. Manifestations are accessed via the vortex and controlled elsewhere.

A human trying to absorb five-dimensional calculus would risk early calcification of the intercoccyl cartilage.

The Doctor describes that Grandfather Paradox as "a temporal embolism"

Goofs: Thanks to an untimely ad-lib by Tom Baker we now have a Doctor who "met a butler called Butler" before the generally-accepted actual event (see: Links). John Dorney has since suggested that the effects of Jalnik's time rupture fed the Doctor a "flash-forward of his future", so... okay then. He would say that though, wouldn't he?

Similarly, Leela's reference to knowing something of Earth's "blue guards" (see: Links!) - perhaps she read about them in the TARDIS library?

Fluffs: Tom pronounces "chitinous" the old Pertwee way.

Dialogue Triumphs: "What are you supposed to be?" "A citizen of eternity!"

"Don't make any sudden moves" "If I made any sudden moves you would be dead"

"It sounded like an elephant... in a shed."

"You guess well, Doctor" "I know, that why nobody will play me at Cluedo."

"I'm sorry, Kostal, but you're a politician. You know what it's like - always give the public what they want!"

"I can see why you liked him so much, he's so... moreish!"

Double Entendres: "People find me hard to swallow at the best of times"

"Come on, Doctor, the whole of creation is at stake - pull your finger out!"

The vintage Ford Cortina which Charlotte steals from Instructor Shibac's driving class has the registration number BFP 189S [is it story 189?]

Continuity: The Pantophagen are a transdimensional flying insect species (Jalnik is turned into one via DNA splicing in the travel capsule). Pantophages travel through the vortex is their bread and butter, and they can eat absolutely anything - in a future earth they devoured entire continents. The survivors of future Earth (circa the year 4000AD) comprise two thousand people led by a Council of Twelve in a dome protected by a force field.

Ghosts, according to the Doctor, are temporal projections - fatal to the touch due to massive chronon displacement (the shock kills - a nasty way to go). The rupture leaks chronon radiation which kills Father Harpin with his proximity. The 'riding' of the vortex by Jalnik and his cohorts weaken the rupture. The Space-time vortex exists outside normal physical space.

The Doctor says that once one is removed from time their memory fades from those who knew them after a while. In short, the dead stay dead, but in the case of Shibac his removal from a destroyed future timeline is ensured as time is robust enough to absorb him, provided he lives a "quiet life".

Leela says the Sevateem believe that the dead walk among the living. She breaks her (second) knife in this story. At the beginning, Leela is reading (somewhat unwillingly) in the TARDIS Library, and has obviously been there for some time (perhaps that's where hs hears of the blue guards?)

The Doctor says he has difficulty telling the ages of humans under fifty. He refuses to believe in ghosts due to lack of empirical evidence. He has with him a chronon detector. He says being a time sensitive he's riddled with enough artron energy that he would absorb the effects of the rupture. He can navigate the vortex itself without a carrier signal, but says that Leela's stranding herself in the vortex would condemn her "floating through eternity, a never-ending living death"

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor says he has visited the year 4000 "and it wasn't like this"

Links: The Talons of Weng-Chiang (Leela's "blue guards", "the secret is to warm the pot", Leela's recollection of the wisdom of entering strange men's machines may also prefigure the fate of Magnus Greel) and The Face of Evil (the Sevateem, Leela mentions Xoanon). The Doctor mentions having met Noah (also recounted in Song of Megaptera), and says Leela is "indomitable" (c/f The Ark in Space) Destination Nerva ("A butler named Butler" - see 'Goofs') City of Death (the Doctor and Leela discuss the Doctor's helping Shakespeare with Hamlet's soliloquy)

Location: The village of Staffham, Devon. 1977. Earth! 4000AD.

The Bottom Line: "It is not wise to get into the time machines of strange men. I know what trouble it can cause"

Fantastic. Everyone is on form, the story is both faithful and rand in scope, and John Dorney's adaptation is so witty and well executed not only does it successfully divorce itself from its close sibling Talons of Weng-Chiang, you barely notice that six episodes have gone by. Special mention to Dorney's addition of Charlotte From The Village, a fun and fitting companion proxy.


Of all of the Doctor's supernatural gifts, his status as a 'time sensitive' is one which on the outset seems easily defined, yet may be more complicated than initially appears.

Aside from species which appear to have an innate sensitivity to the flow and change of time (notably the Tharils of Warrior's Gate, but potentially any other 'vortex native' such as Temperons, Vortisaurs or Time Sirens), time sensitivity is an aspect which can be given to a species or individual. We can assume that the Doctor's claim of being sensitive to time is a Time Lord gift, perhaps being one of the various vaguely-defined 'legacies of Rassilon'; the Doctor attributes his to high levels of artron energy in his system in Foe from the Future, for example, and in Singularity the same presence reveals his identity as a Time Lord. Travel in the TARDIS exposes some individuals to artron energy with certain discernible effects (Leela's longevity in the Gallifrey series is attributed to this, for example), yet to actual time sensitivity does not appear to be one.

The benefits of being a time sensitive must be mixed, given the trauma some individuals might experience when exposed to discordant time (The Raincloud Man), and yet as in the aforementioned example, it is an ability much sought after by time-ambitious races. Being natural time sensitives the Tharils can navigate the vortex unaided, and were enslaved by humans for this ability. Furthermore, the Doctor professes some confidence in his ability to do this in Foe from the Future, and it's conceivable that the Daleks as a race achieved this to a significant degree by the advent of the Dalek Time Controller. This individual successfully traverses the space-time continuum after being thrown back in time at the destruction of Amethyst Station (Patient Zero, To the Death) and barely survives exposure to time radiation through its journey. Its abnormal awareness of the flow of time in its two stories to date suggests that this individual at least, is more than a match for a Time Lord.

Feedback | Site Map | Admin