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170 'Neverland'

CD audio adventure released July 2002, 2 episodes

Writer: Alan Barnes
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: A Matter of Life and Death, Peter Pan (Never Never Land, Charley compares the Doctor to Peter Pan, and refers to the Lost Boys, herself as Wendy Darling), Margaret 'TINA' Thatcher ('there is no alternative') Twin Peaks (cliffhanger ending to the final episode with the hero possessed), The Singing Detective ('Am I right, or am I right?') Paul Daniels ('You'll like this, not a lot, but you'll like this.'). Star Trek: The Next Generation ('make it so'), Charley paraphrases Scott's ill-fated fellow explorer Oates ('I'm going for a bath - I may be some time') and sings 'Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses'. Gary Russell and Philip Segal's behind-the-scenes book of the TV Movie Regeneration has the following eras on the TARDIS console: Humanian, Peon, Manussian, Sumaron, Kraalian and Sensorian. Seinfeld ('yadda yadda yadda'). The alternative names of Rassilon recall C.S. Lewis' Narnia books ('Asilon'=Aslan), and Egyptian mythology (Raslon/Ra). The 'Warpsmiths' mentioned by Vansell are a reference to the comic strip by Alan Moore and Gary Leach.

Intertextuality: A well-known but unfilmed speech credited to David Whitaker is referred to at least twice (Gallifrey's silver leaves and pools containing singing fishes) The Audio Visuals adventure 'The Secret of Nematoda' is evoked (Vansell mentions Nematodans). The story of Vansell and the Doctor being together at the Time Lord academy featured in Gary Russell's BBC Book Divided Loyalties. Battle TARDISes and time-freezing time torpedoes first appeared in Steve Parkhouse's DWM comic strip The Stockbridge Horror (DWM 70-75). The Library of St John the Beheaded first appeared in Andy Lane's Virgin New Adventure All-Consuming Fire. An alien world created by a inside out TARDIS was first conceived by Marc Platt for the series during Colin Baker's era, and was later novelised as the Virgin New Adventure Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible. Yssgaroth, one of Rassilon's alleged past conquests, first appeared in Neil Penswick's New Adventure The Pit, while Gallifrey's Mount Cadon comes from Paul Cornell's New Adventure Timewyrm: Revelation. A Mexxonian dragon appears in Alan Barnes' serialised story 'The Dragon of Hyacinth Lodge' (DWM 236-238). The oath 'Thalia's bones!' comes from a fan theory concerning a skeleton in the Death Zone seen during 'The Five Doctors'

Goofs: The Time Lords still refer to the Doctor's TARDIS as being 'rogue', although they themselves gave it to him at the end of 'The Three Doctors'

None of the Rassilon Era dates given by the Matrix are consistent with that used in 'Doctor Who'.

The dating for the most recent Rassilon Era event jumps nearly 200 'years' from 6798.5 to 6978.3 within the story (did the 9 and 7 get transposed in the script?)

If the legend of Rassilon entering the Antiverse was an invention, where did TARDIS that is there come from? [some of the Never People were engineers and used the debris of unlicensed TARDISes]

Vansell lists the TARDIS' recent journeys in order of the audio stories, with no apparent breaks between them. This doesn't account for the 'prologue' to 'The Stones of Venice', nor the 'other worlds' Charley refers to in 'Minuet in Hell' [perhaps they only tracked the path of 'anti time'?]

Fluffs: Rassilon claims to be the 'prefedent' of Gallifrey.

Sentris: 'Gallifrey glittering beneath the shining like a jewel.'

Double Entendres: 'Your continuity cannot survive without us!'

'Your passage will be unimpeded'

'She's here! She's coming!'

'You did it, you finally did it.'

Dialogue Triumphs: 'I am the Doctor, and whatever the odds, I never ever never give up.'

'I may be none the wiser, but I dare say I'm better informed.'

'Oop, metal trees, my mistake.'

The Dalek Emperor and Romana: 'Please - have pity...' 'Pity? I don't think so!'

Romana: 'You don't get to be President of Gallifrey with a head full of turnips you know'

'Well, I don't know, I might not have the jump leads. And if the fan belt's gone... Romana, are you wearing tights?'

'Doctor, you're talking nonsense.' '-More often than not.'

Best line goes to Charley though: 'We measure our lives in love, and I've loved every minute'

Dialogue Disasters: 'Teatime terror for Time-Tots'

'You just sit there in your nice Earth chair.'

Technobabble: Take a deep breath, and here we go: Time-warp-silos, Time-torpedoes, Relative time compression, Anti-Time, Levith has a sub-protonic accelerator, triple bonded polesium with Tinclavic relief, there are Zybanium shields, multi-quantiscopes, neutron staffs (see: Links) and flux valves Other tools are an astro-rectifier and neutron grips. Also delta leads and a radial socket, ion grapplers, electron cramps, flux curves, Ganymede drivers (see: Links) and Demeter uncouplers.

Continuity: Gallifrey has a Codex of Disciplines, which do not officially recognise the theory of Anti-Time (which comes from the more esoteric branches of academia), which has been among the thinking circles for some time.

Anti-time has been around a lot longer than the Flat Galaxy Society. The Web of Time could not exist until the Great Rassilon built the Eye of Harmony, the hitching post of chronology, that which does not flux nor wither nor change its state." This creates a universe of finite time, positive time. Gallifrey anchored the continuity of the universe. As matter has anti-matter, so time has anti-time, which is just as destructive. The Doctor considers this gibberish. There are ancient documents that support all this, the so-called 'Books of Zagreus'.

Recently the students of Gallifrey have been brave enough to break from the Great Curriculum, and share their knowledge with other temporal races (which the CIA have been happy to help with) [This may explain the time treaty in 'The Apocalypse Element'].

The whole of time's continuity was anchored to Gallifrey's timeline in the first act of Rassilon's empowering the Eye of Harmony. The Oubliette of Eternity is a dispersal chamber housed in an off-world station controlled by the Celestial Intervention Agency. In it the most heinous criminals are dissipated, their timelines wiped out forever. Allegedly it was created by Rassilon, who in doing so inadvertently gave birth to anti-time. According to 'legend', Rassilon discovered his creation and travelled via a gateway to the Antiverse to do battle with the beast Zagreus until either or both were destroyed. This legend was whispered 'in a hundred ears on a thousand worlds', including Sparboros Obinion IV as a parable, and among the Jesuric speaking people, whose language has complicated consonant sounds. It also features in myths of the Knights of St John the Beheaded on Earth (see: Links) and spans back to the 'twelfth epoch and possibly beyond'. Variants on the hero's name include 'Asilon', 'Raslon' and 'Ra'. In all versions, before leaving his home the hero orders all evidence of anti-time destroyed, suggesting that this is why the concept although existing in theoretical circles, has never been accepted and is regarded as anathema on Gallifrey.

The 217th Coordinator of the CIA (gender unknown) was called Sentris, a self-judged 'cold killer'. Wracked with guilt, Sentris dispersed him/herself, entering the Antiverse (presumably this means that there were in fact two 217th coordinators of the CIA). Discovering the existence of the 'wraiths' of past victims of the Oubliette and the Never People, Sentris vowed to re-enter the real universe with a wave of anti time, destroying the Web of Time. In order to do this, the myth of Zagreus was created and retained in the Books of Zagreus, and the question of Rassilon's final resting place in the Antiverse fabricated.

Vansell mentions the Monan Host as now being allies of Gallifrey [after the events of 'The Apocalypse Element' did Romana broker a treaty with them?], as well as the Warpsmiths of Phaedon. Working within four dimensions, the Time Lords plot coordinates by the letters x, y, z [depth?] and n [time?]. Gallifrey has an internal ionosphere. Among its most closely guarded secrets are the Jasquig Records, the War Perceptives and the Cavox Imperitives. The Archetryx Convention (see: Links) allows individuals to be tried by an independently assembled commission of temporal powers.

The distortion due to anti-time has many effects: There is a 50-year war of Kosnax and the Uri, which is in its third century. In the ring systems of the Vita Worlds, stones, not reptiles, are emerging into a dominant lifestyle. On Earth, the wrong President is elected into executive command of a major landmass [possibly Benjamin Franklin, mentioned in 'Seasons of Fear']. Whilst normally Charley surviving wouldn't have mattered, this created the anti-time breech, turning her into a four-dimensional archway, a portal into a universe an anathema to our own, which the Time Lords can travel though. As long as she is alive, the breech has space-time co-ordinates.

In the anti-verse, there a comet eating its own tail, two nebulae locked together in an accelerated dance, a star swallowing a star swallowing a star, constant motion: the life and death of a universe in an ever-changing instant.

Sentris has visited the Doctor's reality once or twice, but only briefly so as not to cause catastrophe. S/he knows all of them intimately, and knows that the Doctor doesn't believe in ghosts.

Other Never People include Bidoff, who was a Chancellory Guard who got drunk on Milean Head juice and babbled details of President Pandak's retinue. Savos was the barman who listened to him. Rorvan and Tarris were caught accessing classified documents trying to find out why they were orphans, their parents Majos and Telsar, who were student rebels dispersed for unlicensed and unsponsored researches into mutagenic breeding. Never People communicate via a form of telepathy.

Beyond his death Rassilon can 'reach out', freeze time and talk with people. He has been watching the Doctor and his adventures. He considers the Doctor a favourite son.

The Doctor and Charlie are frozen for a few hundred years by the time torpedo. Time stations have time rotors (which are described in the same manner as a TARDIS console column) - the Doctor recognizes one by its internal construction and materials (see: 'Technobabble'). Upon the one manned by Vansell's CIA operatives (a Class 7C) there is an 'Eighth Door' to the Matrix (see: 'Links'). The Time Station has transcendental architecture which can reconfigure itself. It has a limited ability to regenerate itself, given time. The temperature in the Solarium drops half-a-degree during the transfer to the Antiverse.

The Doctor hasn't been to the Actaeon Galaxy since he was 'an old man, probably'. It features spiral nebuli and asteroids made of mercury, a gas giant and a red dwarf. The third planet [of the Actaeon System?] was exploded by Megaluthian Slimeskimmers (see: Links).

The Jovians decided to celebrate the billionth span of their civilisation with Millennium Mardi Gras, which lasted a thousand years inside a space-time fold the Time Lords know nothing about. Sumaran Era, 9235.3. It may be inferred that Mexxonian dragons enjoy a large number of hot dinners in their lifetime (perhaps they cook their own?).

Rassilon died millions of years ago on Gallifrey. He is remembered as president of Gallifrey from the time of the empire's first inception and carries the titles Conqueror of Yssgaroth (see: Intertextuality), Overpriest of Drornid (see: Links), First earl of Prydon, Patris of the Vortex and Ravager of the Void. Time on Gallifrey is measured in 'spans'. In a future projection, Gallifrey is in ruins and Romana is Imperiatrix.

The Matrix voices refer to the following historical and future events:

Humanian Era
October 5 1930 - the crash of the R101
January 30 1933 - Adolf Hitler is appointed chancellor of Germany
December 10 1936 - the abdication of King Edward the Eighth
September 1 1939 - German forces invade Poland
May 27 1940 - the evacuation of Dunkirk.
Sensorian Era
? - Peladon enters the Galactic Federation
3932 - Zephon overthrows the Embodiment of Gris
3950 - Mavic Chen is elected Guardian of the Solar System
4000 - Dalek forces assemble on Kembel
Rassilon Era
5725.3 - The Time Lords establish a cult of Morbius.
5892.9 - Plans for the Doomsday Weapon are stolen
6241.1 - Chancellor Goth visits Tersurus
6776.7 - President Romana and Ettra Prime vanish
6796.8 - Dalek invasion repelled by Romana
6798.2 - Dalek time fleet captured in Vortex
6798.5 - The Doctor materialised his TARDIS around the anti-time casket.
6978.3 - Romana authorises mission beyond the time breach
Sumaron Era
9235.3 - The Millennium Mardi Gras

Vansell (or Vansellostophossius to give his full name) was at the Academy with the Doctor 600 years ago. He has little familiarity with Earth, its languages or slang ('good cop, bad cop'). Prefector Zorac came up with the name Nosebung or Toast Rack for someone. Likely because it merely annoys him, the Doctor uses the former for Vansell.

Romana is an only child. When she was a mere sixty years old, she used to swim in Lake Abydos, home of the singing fish, and gather zinc hawthorns from the molten rushes at the water's edge with her friends Taris and Rorvan, an orphaned brother and sister. Once they discovered flurry birds nesting in the ruins of a pavilion, and ran from a 'hermit' (see: Links). She had no other real friends, choosing to concentrate on her studies, and graduated with a Triple Alpha in Temporal Engineering. Romana is referred to by her abbreviated name by Gallifreyans.

Charley was born on 14 April 1912, the day the Titanic sank. At the time of the R-101 crash, she would have been eighteen years, five months and twenty-one days old. She has been travelling with the Doctor for about six months. Her full name is Charlotte Elspeth Pollard. She is 'the best assistant in the universe'. When she was six, she got lost in a forest at Burnham Beeches. She has heard of the Montana Mountain Mauler (see: Links) and is unfamiliar with the concept of a hologram. She calls Romana 'Madam Icy-drawers'. Charley wanted to be Wendy Darling in 'Peter Pan'

The Doctor is '950 and something' years old. He loves parties. At the conclusion of this story the Doctor becomes infected with a mass of anti-time and becomes Zagreus

Links: 'The Romans' (the Mountain Mauler of Montana), 'The Daleks' Masterplan' (Mavic Chen, Kembel, Zephon and the Embodiment of Gris). 'The Colony in Space' (The Doomsday Weapon), 'Carnival of Monsters' (The Acteon Galaxy), ' 'Planet of the Spiders' (The hermit), 'The Brain of Morbius' (cult of Morbius), 'The Pyramids of Mars' ('Brain like a spiral staircase'), The Hand of Fear' (Zeus plugs, mergin nuts (come in two or more gauges) and Ganymede drives), The Deadly Assassin' (Chancellor Goth, Pandak and Tersurus). 'The Invasion of Time' (Shobogans), 'The Ribos Operation' (Tri-bio-physics) 'Shada' (Drornid), 'Dimensions in Time' (Megaluthian Slimeskimmers), The E-space Trilogy (the Doctor recalls his and Romana's 'adventures in E-Space'), 'Time Flight'/'Planet of Fire' (the Vardon, Kosnax war), 'Snakedance' (Sumaran Era) 'The Visitation'/'The Awakening' (Tinclavic) 'The Five Doctors' (Rassilon's Tomb). 'Castrovalva'( Zero cabinet), 'Arc of Infinity' (Dissolution/dispersal/dissipation, 'Thalia's bones!') 'Attack of the Cybermen' (Vita worlds), 'Project Twilight' (Zagreus), 'Last of the Titans' (Kurst compares the Doctor's TARDIS interior to an 'Ormelian brothel'), 'Doctor Who' (Humanian Era and Rassilon Era dating, plus the neutron ram; Rassilon's description of Gallifrey's skies; Sentris reminds the Doctor that he doesn't believe in ghosts), 'Storm Warning' (The Doctor recalls more of his presence at Lake Geneva with Byron and friends - 'I tell you Lord Byron - you're meddling with forces you don't understand...', 'Mary, the man is not your brother...'), 'Sword of Orion', 'The Stones of Venice', 'Minuet In Hell', 'Invaders from Mars', 'The Chimes of Midnight', 'Seasons of Fear' (The Nimon, Lucy returns as a Never Person, the Fast Return Switch), It is likely (yet not stated specifically) that the battle TARDISes at the beginning of this story are the Type 70s which the Doctor evades in 'Embrace the Darkness', 'The Time of the Daleks'.

Location: Gallifrey (Rassilon Era 6798.5), a void in the Anti-Time universe

Q.v. 'The History of Mars', 'The Doctor's Age', 'The Web of Time'

The Bottom Line: 'Can't we just dispense with the pomp?'

NeverLand is two stories. On the one hand, it is about the Time Lords and their need to keep Rassilon 'alive', going to extreme and convoluted efforts to retrieve him beyond concrete proof of his death. On the other hand, it is Charley's story - a conclusion to her paradox 'arc', and an acknowledgement of her own demise. The latter is by far the best, bringing an at times vast and lofty 'epic' down to a moving and utterly human level. It's a pity that it is at times very chatty, often built up of explanations, and that Vansell isn't half the foil he was to the Doctor before. In all however, a satisfying conclusion and in all the right places highly dramatic. And that ending is a shocker!


As the end of Neverland Rassilon himself tells us that the paradox is now resolved. But which paradox and what was the effect? What does being resolved mean?

The Charley Paradox: Charley survives when she was supposed to die. This affected the entire course of history by allowing Anti-Time to escape into the universe. This was resolved by turning the events that happened into history. This possibly means that the events changed by Anti-Time are now really that way (the wrong President is elected, etc.) but this is not clear (one other possible disruption is others surviving the R101 wreckage as in our history).

The Edith Paradox: Charley returns to accidentally meet Edith in 1906, who died in 1930 when she found out Charley was dead. But if Charley isn't dead, then she can't have killed herself either. This paradox only affects Edith, and is resolved when Edith decides to live. (There was still a minor paradox in that this decision is based on Charley's paradoxical survival, but this is cleared up after the Charley paradox was resolved.) The paradox's resolution means Edith lives on.

The Grayle Paradox I: The Doctor encounters Grayle after Grayle was given the power of the Nimon, then the Doctor goes into the past and stops Grayle getting the power of the Nimon. The Grayle with the power has to be from some other timeline/dimension (which happens after the Doctor ejects himself from the TARDIS), as the Grayle the Doctor then encounters never can become this one.

The Grayle Paradox II: An old Grayle (not the one above) travels back in time to be killed by his young self, who then swears never to become his old self. The timeline of the old Grayle affects the history of the Earth, but becomes null when he dies. (Lucy enters and exits this timeline, leading to Sentris killing her.) (Due to the temporal instability around the Roman 305AD point, the mirror in 'Time of the Daleks' ends up putting the Dalek in the divergent timeline as opposed to Time Classic.)

The Will Paradox: William Shakespeare was taken out of time by people from the future to save him from being taken out of time, creating a future without him. This affected the history of Earth from the mid 16th Century to the mid 21st Century ('Invaders From Mars' takes place during this altered history, although some of the historical inconsistencies in that may be due to the wider anti-time problem). This was resolved when the Doctor returned William to his correct place. This means the 'No Will' future is a divergent timeline that is now nulled.

The Dalek Paradox: The Daleks come across a fissure (possibly created by the anti-time breach or from their own attempt to fracture time later) in time, and try to break it open. This causes their craft to be disabled and they end up in the mid 21st Century of Earth (and enable the Will Paradox to take place). Upon fixing their craft, they try to open the fissure again. This causes their craft to be disabled and they end up in the mid 21st Century of Earth... This means the Daleks are in a time loop, where they remain stuck. (Although the Time Lords will eventually get them out.)

The History Paradox: If history's web was saved by the very fact of Charley's existance, then the very fact of Charley's existance cannot have imperiled it at all. This is, however, a paradox we can surely live with.

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