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'1001 Nights'

Audio anthology special released December 2012. 4 episodes.

Writers: Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby, Jonathan Barnes, Catherine Harvey
Director: Barnaby Edwards

Roots: The Arabian Nights, particularly the storytelling framework of Sherazade, but also Disney's Aladdin, from which the character of Haroud comes.. The Exorcist. Smuggler stories. The Three Billy Goats Gruff ("trip-trapping over my bridge") The Interplanetarian's "We are legion" is a version of Mark 5:9. A tale begins with a mish-mash of a fairy tale opening (or maybe it's just Star Wars?) and Edward Bulmer-Lytton's Paul Clifford scene-setter: "A long time ago on a dark and stormy night"

Technobabble: The Miaxan prison's inner chambers force field is a fixed atom forcefield. Positrons rush to a weak point when forced, but weaken in other areas in doing so.

A compliance collar is a combination lie detector and electric shock administrator

Dialogue Triumphs: "Trapped on Earth, I know how it feels"

"I've always thought you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his prisoners"

"Without hope we'd all be monsters"

"The power of Gallifrey compels you, the power of Omega compels you, the power of Rassilon compels you"

Continuity: Plagiarists are very much frowned upon on Fabula, a country where stories are common currency. Ramblejuice costs a quick tale. Trefiska is a known place over the sea. Muskets are in common use.

100 years ago a spaceship crashed on Earth with a Shalaki aboard as its cargo. The Ganthan crew were killed and the Shalaki took the local Sultan's identity. There is no Shalaki homeworld or technology - they have become a myth by removing evidence of their existence. Given enough information a Shalaki can steal an individual's psyche. The Shalaki describes itself as very old

The Interplanetarian is a demon, but an artificial being. The Doctor describes it as not ancient but peripatetic crypto-consciousness, a virus floating through the galaxies and infecting people at random.

Parasite of the psyche aeons old, referred to as a demon, sprite and djinn.

The Miaxa was the ruler of a great empire millennia ago; benign and wise, and psychic but his mind became imbalanced and his personality divided. One part won and ended the war which had broken out and imprisoned the other self in a prison at the edge of the universe, created for the purpose. It dies over and over again using psychic power to reconstitute itself. Prison 50' high walls and logarithmic locks.

The Doctor visits a location near the Styxheimer Cluster called the Melian Cube, home to the Melian lingua-technicians. The Melios were having problems with the Covetous Shoal of Majestix Prime and are masters of arcane vocabulary, esoteric terminology and supra-linguistics, as well as tea. They make a liquid 'code' which creates a contacting hexahedral firewall in Hill's cortex. The Interplanetarian recently visited and was repelled by the Melian Cube.

Gantha are intergalactic thugs, muscles for hire paid to retrieve an item in the palace, set off a beacon to alert the item's real owners. They only work for the worst beings. The Ganthan ship can keep its cargo alive. Gantha have energy weapons and possibly vocoder voice boxes

The TARDIS is en route to the Coronation of the High Hierophant of the Five Revealed Truths at the Celestial Basilica - among its spectacles is perfumed rain falling from clouds sewn with powdered diamonds. The Doctor has had invitation for past 300 years.

The Doctor says he was first in his class for logarithms, but Nyssa says he was never any good at them.

Unrecorded Adventures: Nyssa and Doctor have apparently had various adventures including one on a world made of ice as well as an adventure in a jungle on Arkados. Nyssa also tells the Sultan of the Doctor and her facing off rock monsters with 'spells' (clearly some embellishment on Nyssa's part).

The Doctor once visited the planet of Iridio where everyone told jokes - Iridians are fierce critics. The Shalaki mentions the Brigadier and two moon-sized creatures grazing on a planet's asteroid belt. The Doctor is stranded for a very dull three years (or 1001 nights) with the Gantha (not the most stimulating company.) During the 1843 second great Crookback Incursion in Mesopotamia - the Doctor saved Elisabeth's father's life. The Doctor once again credits Houdini ("my dear old friend") for his skill in lockpicking. He has visited the Dahastrian Fields (possibly in a different incarnation).

Links: The Shalaki mentions the Brigadier; Nyssa recalls the Fourth Doctor and Adric on their first meeting. Also Tegan and the Master. The Doctor uses the word "Tremas" to defeat the Interplanetarian and mentions Traken. The Demons of Red Lodge: Doing Time (Nyssa complains, "I had enough of prisons on Folly") The Caves of Androzani (the Doctor's "eyes tell a different story") is it possible for the Doctor to borrow a catchphrase from a future incarnation? ("I'm so sorry, I'm so very sorry") Nyssa mentions her father.

Location: Norwood, London 1892

The Bottom Line: "As potent as fire and as patient as ice"

A change of format to the now-traditional four-parter does 1001 Nights wonders with a wrap-around story in disguise (making this effectively a three-parter, really) Highlights are the rather fun Smuggler's Tale and the wrap-around itself, though you have to wonder whether Sarah Sutton is getting a little fed up playing possessed versions of Nyssa all this time. Well, it makes a change from [playing Nyssa, we suppose.

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