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

179 'The Next Life'

CD audio adventure released December 2004, 6 episodes

Writer: Alan Barnes and Gary Russell
Director: Gary Russell

Roots: The Doctor mentions Robinson Crusoe and Man Friday. Charley refers to Charlie Chan, Nellie the Elephant and Blackpool Rock. Rassilon quotes from Hamlet III,ii ("the lady doth protest too much") and Macbeth scene iii ("If you could look into the seeds of time..."), while Charley paraphrases from the latter's opening line ('I hope we three shall not meet again...") Charley's catapult routine recalls the 'Do you feel lucky?' scene from Dirty Harry, while C'rizz calls Charley a "bunny boiler" (apropos of Fatal Attraction - presumably the Doctor and companions have had the chance to catch a few movies in the Divergent Universe). The Garden of Eden.

Intertextuality: The Doctor recalls a previous island feast including dolphin bouillabaisse, likely the same feast which appeared in Alan Barnes' DWM Eighth Doctor comic strip Tooth and Claw.

Dialogue Triumphs: "I never got puffed before nine-hundred, but you know what they say - you reach the big nine-five-oh and everything goes"

Perfection and a jealous Charley: "All these corridors look the same" "Ooh, you'll make the ideal companion!"

Dialogue Disasters: "I've told you a hundred thousand times, you simply mustn't exaggerate"

"I saw something like that on Haiti once" "-Hoodoo?" "No, really..."

"Tsunami!" "Bless you"

Double Entendres: A nod to the veto on Daphne Ashbrook's TV Movie character on audio: "Should we say grace?" "Grace? There's no Grace here!" "Perfection - you do it so much better than I..."

"It crashed into my ship. It attacked me with crabs and then tried to drown me."

"Tell me - as a child how often were you taken over someone's knee?"

Continuity: The Divergent Universe's galaxies number at least seven, each destroyed in turn and from the outer in. The fifth galaxy of the Trisilians met the arrival of a strange, destructive blue moon with neutronic warheads, but these failed. Refugees from there fled to a smaller fourth galaxy put perished there to the same blue moon. The third galaxy of the Eutermesans' and the second (which included the 'crucible world' Bortresoye) observed and anticipated the moon's arrival and considered the philosophical implications - the 'divergent' fourth galaxy's people acknowledging a cycle of growth and destruction brought about by the moon, while the Eutermesans aligned the phenomena with stories in their texts of an ancient Foundry' and its creator Rassilon. While the Church of the Foundation sprang from this belief, the Divergents used their advanced science to create a platform hosting all different races in an experiment to create a super being to meet the moon's destructive potential: the Doctor deduces that aspects of this experiment - the sound creature (Scherzo), the living cave of Setarus (The Twilight Kingdom), and Landscar (The Last) were products of this experiment as is, it eventuates, Keep - the culmination of the Divergents' experiments and an amalgam of the Doctor and Charley who emerged to find his creators had perished before him.

The blue planet is a simple and contradictory world consisting of one island in a great ocean. There are tides despite a lack of satellites and a volcano (known by the island's albino natives as "the bellows of the gods") which has ever erupted. Its terrain features rainforest, mangrove swamps and beaches with rock pools and sandstone cliffs ("the Blood Cliffs"). Tsunamis are a feature. Among the creatures mentioned or encountered are giant crabs, two-trunked elephants, crocodiles, leeches, sabre-toothed leopards and tigers. Rassilon created the world around his Foundry to allow his escape from the Divergent universe, and formed the easily-swayed Eutermesans to maintain its two-part key and thus prevent the Divergents from escaping into another Universe. Rassilon's armoury includes a harpoon tipped with a regenerative inhibitor. A Dreamweaver is an apparatus designed to create a dreamscape for a severely-injured person to occupy their subconscious while their body recovers - as Rassilon uses it, it could be inferred to be a Gallifreyan device.

The Kro'ka has two pairs of hands (two arms?). Charley describes him as 'blobby', but his general appearance is implied to be at the whim of Rassilon.

According to the Doctor there are hallucinogenic fogs on the fourth moon of Coxstridge.

C'rizz was engaged to L'da for three years and credits her family's wealth and influence to 'saving' him from the Church of the Foundation and his mentor and father Guidance. Despite this he was an enthusiastic follower, killing many in the name of 'salvation' and the Church, its central tenet being "all things must die", and implying that only through death can one pass to the next life. Killing L'da was therefore a test of his faith to Guidance. Church bells announce a coming wedding on C'rizz's world. Eutermesan script records the wisdom of the Church of the Foundation in 'screeds'. Some of these writings feature a legendary garden of the Foundation's creator, from whence all life sprang.

Charley's family used to holiday in Cannes. She also once visited the Crystal Palace after its relocation, stopping for lunch in Kingston. Her French uncle Jacques used to feel phantom sensations of the arm he'd lost during the war. As a child she was introduced to fox hunting, and while she loved the regalia and festivities, she wasn't keen on the hunt itself - unlike her sisters. She particularly recalls Cissy being 'blooded' aged thirteen by their father and her delight at it all. In her dream her mother calls her 'Lottie'. The Pollards are catholic. According to Charley's dream the real Simon Murchford (Storm Warning) went through a stage of survivor guilt after the crash of the R-101 and reconciled this in becoming an Anglican minister. His predecessor's name was Townsend (see: Zagreus).

The Doctor has committed to memory all the Liverpool strikers and goals from 1964-5 through the 2013-14 (a terrible season). He said as a 'teenager' he was a terror until the age of 120 (he was a late developer). In year 50 at the Academy he fed the snapping wart fowl a fellow student's summer project (and knows the victim will hold a grudge); he also mentions a vague incident with a 'stripey pig-bear'. Charley says his everlasting matches only last for about three minutes. He describes his age as being (recently?) over 950 and implies that he was a "snipe from the gutters of Gallifrey" (he was probably being sarcastic).

Q.v. The Doctor's Age

Untelevised Adventures: The Doctor previously visited Haiti where he witnessed a hoodoo ceremony and learned a form of hypnosis. He dined once in the Pacific in 1939 on a bouillabaisse of dolphin (See: Intertextuality), and has performed oratories in the Oxford Union and before Tsar Nicholas. The Doctor superstitiously corrects himself, re-mentioning Macbeth "the Scottish play", suggesting he has been an actor from time to time (see: Links).

Links: Storm Warning, Neverland (anti-time), Zagreus, Scherzo, The Creed of the Kromon, The Twilight Kingdom, The Last, Caerdroia. The Doctor's stage superstition regarding Macbeth was also referenced in Medicinal Purposes. He makes the 'Cnut' joke again, as in Invaders from Mars.

Location: The Forge world (a small blue planet) of Rassilon in the Divergent Universe.

The Bottom Line: The sound of Big Finish clearing the decks (part one) is evident in this long and continuity-heavy conclusion accompanied by some dreadful puns and the chattiest extended chase scene you ever did hear. In their defence the Divergent Arc's creators probably didn't see the TV series' revival coming, nor the (to put it charitably) mixed response this set of stories would have; and so in that light, The Next Life wraps things up pretty well, as well as imaginatively and amusingly in places. At six episodes it's a slog, however, and tries too hard to be epic - a frequent issue with BF's 'event' stories.

Feedback | Site Map | Admin