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176 'Faith Stealer'

CD audio adventure released September 2004, 4 episodes

Writer: Graham Duff
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: Monty Python's Life of Brian, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The Matrix ("It turned out it was just a spoon after all")

Dialogue Triumphs: "Charley and I are Tourists. We worship C'rizz here and [begin] each day with a [ceremonial] cup of tea"

"When you've met as many gods as I have there's a tendency to become a shade blasé."

"[Kabari] is not a miracle, it's just handy!" [?]

"Just lie back and let the restraints do their work"

"The thing I've noticed about power is that it's ever so abuser friendly."

Continuity: The Multihaven is a city built, according to legend, after the meeting of two children who met in the desert and began to discuss their different theological viewpoints. From then it became a universal centre for tolerance and debate, open to all creeds and belief in the pursuit of peaceful interaction. Monitoring its balance and encouraging its diversity is the Bordinan, the closest to an authority figure seen. The Multihaven boasts a population of thousands and over forty-seven different practicing religions including the Microbaptists, the Kabarians, the Divine Gas, the Temple of the Other Open Door, and the Church of Serendipity, who worship 'Whoops the Great Neglecter', and embrace accidents and chaos of all kinds. The Kabarians worship Kabari, a versatile material that can be used as foodstuff, a hat, wallpaper, and many other things. The Bakoans (led by a Basso-Profundo) worship their own hymn, and never stop singing it, sustaining the song like an eternal flame. The hymn resonates on spiritually-healing frequencies.

The Lucidians believe that their god Miraculite gives them the power to reshape reality through dreams. In reality Miraculite is a bivarity anomaly quartz, a crystalline entity created by friction in the gaps between two realities. It has the power to generate self-doubt, negative emotion and confusion: those exposed to it therefore become the more susceptible to the lure of Lucidianism. Originating from outside this Universe, it is sustaining itself by feeding on the energies generated during REM sleep, presumably the closest thing the Divergent Universe has to the energies created by reality friction.

C'rizz can't sing.

The Doctor employs Venusian Aikdio in this story (see: Links), though admits he hasn't in a very long time and is a little rusty). The phantom TARDIS he sees assumes the shape of a coffin, a pipe organ (Attack of the Cyberman), and a sedan chair (The Chase).

Links: The Doctor refers to earlier experimental areas of the Interzone, particularly those of Scherzo and The Twilight Kingdom (to which C'rizz also refers regarding his first attack on Charley). The Doctor hypnotises C'rizz and uses his Venusian Aikido (The Curse of Peladon).

Location: The Multihaven, part of the Divergent Universe's Interzone network

The Bottom Line: "Bloody Tourists"

A story that puts more flesh on the bones of C'rizz's character, yet the Doctor and Charley are still where all the fun is. After the grimness and gore of The Twilight Kingdom this is a welcome injection of humour, proving that the Divergence Arc needn't be all unanswered questions and angst. In all, pretty good stuff, and a nice change.

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