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'The Doomsday Quatrain'

CD audio adventure released September 2011, 4 episodes

Writers: Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie
Director: Ken Bentley

Roots: Nostradamus - the Man Who Saw the Future and similar literature and film. The Doctor name checks Far from the Madding Crowd. The Cro may be based on the Kleggs, a similar-appearing warlike race in Judge Dredd (notably Pat Mill's The Day the Law Died, their introductory story), for which Gordon Rennie wrote for several years.

Goofs: So why did the river dry up overnight?

Technobabble: The Doctor considers reformatting the generator feeds into a Zed-Stein spiral.

Dialogue Triumphs: "It's supposed to be foolproof." "Yes, it is, but then I'm no fool."

"I said 'all my life', and yet it is another man's life, one that I have been allowed to dream is mine... I now know what I am and I begin to see why I am here."

"I am a creature created from another man's dreams and yet still perhaps that man, Michel de Nostradame, the seer Nostradamus, and I can still see the future."

"Those symbols on your tunic - are they the symbols of your state?" "-of my state of mind, perhaps!"

"I've been to the beginning of time and the end of the universe several times; 'Can't be done' is a phrase I have issues with."

Continuity: Poldigans have blue skins but conceal this with a hologuise. They are insular and studious race, aware of Gallifrey and the Time Lords.They may also have blue blood. This is simulation 5081 created by the Polidigan Science Academy. The planet saldor was the Academy's previous simulation. Bioforms and their environment last three days and then their programming reverts and their cells break apart. Precognition is a 'Category IV' ability.

The Cro are a four-metre tall crocodilian race from an unnamed swamp world. Their 'phalanx', comprising of at least two distinct and warring factions (Longsnouts and Shorttails), have standard suborbital weapons including thermonuclear armaments, and number four hundred thousand 'spears' in two thousand warships. They won't achieve interstellar flight for another 400 years. The Cro believe they can acquire the knowledge of those whose brains they devour.

Rolagtha was a jungle planet destroyed by solar flares.

The Doctor has heard of the Cro, but to date has not encountered them. He doesn't recognise Cro ship design.

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor once helped the Duke of Medici's great-great-great-grandfather in a spot of bother with the Borgias.

The Doctor will in his future confront Cro of the 40th generation. This is the 82nd.

Links: The Doctor mentions Madame De Nostradamus: "His wife knitted me a rather fetching scarf. Or will..."

Location: Apparently Florence, circa 1560. The planet Saldor.

The Bottom Line: "I've had enough of hearing about my future today!"

A disappointingly routine debut. Nostradamus' character gets a boost with his predictions seemingly destined to be fulfilled through the Doctor's televised end (the audio journey remains to be heard, of course), but such revelations are less novel with similar tricks having been played in the new TV series - and as noted elsewhere, the similarity of its story's big idea with The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People is also unfortunate. In the end we're left with a reliable performance by Sylvester McCoy and the undeveloped Cro who, hopefully, may make a return in audio form.

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