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Doctor's Dilemma

By Jon Preddle (with additional input from David Ronayne)

Jeff Stone wants to know if Dudley Simpson composed any music for Shada, and if so, does it still exist?

I asked Dudley a similar question at NovaCon last year, and the answer is no. The music is always written after the composer views the complete, edited tapes. Since Shada was never completed, no music was required.

Jeff has another question which was first brought up at DoctorCon '92 [where the question was posed by Adam McGechan]. His poser concerns Sir Keith Gold in Inferno, and specifically how is it possible for the alternative Earth Sir Keith to retain his title when the monarchy was executed in 1943 by the regime that took power?

A very good question indeed. My only explanation concerns phonetics and spelling. In the parallel world, the Professor's name was Stahlmann, with two 'n's, whereas in the Doctor's world it was Stahlman, with only one 'n'. Maybe in the parallel world, Gold was not a knight at all, but his first name was 'Sirkeith'! Sorry, but it's the best I can do - Anyone else want a go?!

While I'm inviting readers to try and answer questions, here's David Ronayne's thoughts on a couple of queries from last issue's column:

The reason why the Sea Devils and Silurians appear different in Warriors of the Deep is in the case of the Sea Devils simply because the earlier seen story featured Sea Devils from a civilian settlement, whereas the Warriors of the Deep Sea Devils were a specialist military group revived by Icthar with the express purpose of war, hence the armour rather than string vests, and the presence of their Myrka 'warhorse'. The Silurians though are the same as in the Pertwee story - Icthar was from the original triad and remembered the Doctor - and there is a fifty year gap between the estimated reactivation of the Silurians (2020), and the events of Warriors of the Deep (2084). During this time the surviving Silurians were able to develop an organic body armour (not totally dissimilar to their ship) which moulded directly around the skin, causing a scalier brown hide to form, hence their bulky appearance.

As for the Earthshock question, the Cybermen had plugged their device directly into the ship's navigational unit (see page 111 of the book), and hence when the ship started falling back in time the navigational circuits worked out where the Earth would have been and reset the course. It would have had to do this anyway - resetting Earth's position by 43,000 miles for every hour away. If Briggs' base of operations was on Earth, she would have based her ship's systems to home in on this, so the spatial coordinates relative to Earth would have remained the same despite the time spiral.

David also has some thoughts on the subject of Time Lord regeneration...

I've always thought all Time Lords have the potential for a graceful, flowing, controlled regeneration - as with Romana - and can, while their regeneration is in flux, go through a multitude of possible features (remember the Doctor was offered a choice in The War Games). Regeneration is a precious gift invaluable in dangerous situations (as we've seen), so most Time Lords grow old gracefully until such a time as their old bodies wear out and then select a new young body. Romana's change out of choice would then seem frivolous but not totally out of character. But this method of regeneration requires a lot of concentration to keep the features 'liquid' (for want of a better word) and with all of the Doctor's regenerations being rushed or forced this caused a random element to be introduced into the features and personality, whilst necessity required the first available body to be taken. The only possible problem here is the regeneration of the First Doctor, who would have seen the change coming. But here the events of The Tenth Planet could have accelerated the process, and despite old age and exhaustion, the stubborn character of the First Doctor would have held on until the bitter end.

More dilemmas next issue - providing you keep those tricky questions coming!

This item appeared in TSV 27 (February 1992).

Index nodes: Doctor's Dilemma, Shada, Inferno, Warriors of the Deep, Earthshock