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183 'Time Works'

CD audio adventure released March 2006, 4 episodes

Writer: Steve Lyons
Director: Edward Salt

Roots: See: Dialogue Triumphs.

Intertextuality: Charley mentions a "friend of the Doctor's" saying you could tell a lot about a civilisation by the contents of their bins — which likely refers to Bernice Summerfield, possibly from Lance Parkin's New Adventure novel Just War.

Dialogue Triumphs: lots of clock, timekeeping and management lingo, and the rather neat "Never done a tick's work in all his tock"

The Doctor (presumably) describes his previous incarnation: "I know what it's like to have an obsession, to spend every waking moment working towards an impossible goal....I've learnt to enjoy my work again."

Continuity: Industry appears to have a twenty-four hour clock and measures time in minutes and hours [probably a translation convention to save the Doctor and friends, and audience's sanity. And make the puns fit]. The clockwork men are part of fable, a broader body of knowledge that ensures continuity of the Project's core philosophies and the behaviour of its people (including moralistic stories such as The Tale of the Boy who Tried to Race Time). Foodstuffs mentioned include rice and vegetables.

The Figurehead is a computer construct of Industry's former masters, created as a 'general' during a series of fabricated wars with the (fictional?) state of Langour (in order to hasten technological change) and later to lead the world's recovery and ensure resources are used efficiently. After her creators died in an asteroid strike against which they were unprepared, the Figurehead waited hundreds of years until the planet was once again inhabitable, and then had 'her' drones re-seed it with her masters' DNA. She has led previous ages in the world's recent history, including the Age of the Innovator and the Age of the Architect. The Figurehead's mainframe is surrounded by force-fields and has back-up files in databanks across the planet.

A Vortex Shield Resonator protects engineers working in the Vortex.

Charley possesses a TARDIS key in this story

Links: Timelash (Bandrils) The Space Museum (time tracks)

Untelevised Adventures: Charley mentions Bandril spaceships to C'Rizz (have she and the Doctor met them?), and the experience of being in the heart of a black hole (of which is less clear whether it happened or not)

Location: 'Industry', an uncharted planet orbiting a dwarf star at the edge of an elliptical galaxy.

The Bottom Line: "You have some dial on you, Doctor"

Clever (especially in its wordplay), but sterile. The problem of characterisation in Steve Lyons' work continues here, with the guest characters not really drawing a lot of attention to themselves (or sympathy). The story's origin as a Divergent Universe tale is telling in this one.

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