Writer's Commentary

Twenty-Three: 22 November 1963

Stevens travels through time and space to the Dealey Plaza and the scene of JFK's assassination. I read more than a dozen weighty tomes about the events of that day, watched numerous documentaries and researched the hell of the location. I even contemplated flying to Dallas for 24 hours just so I could visit the scene for myself, but decided Virgin wasn't paying me enough to justify such a trip.

The Master pops up, appearing as Black Umbrella Man - a mysterious figure seen in photos from Dealey Plaza. He mocks Stevens with a catchphrase from the TV quiz show Mastermind ('I'm sorry, I'll have to hurry you') and the inevitable expression in a book like this ('dead as a Dodo'). In the Who Killed Kennedy version of history, Lee Harvey Oswald is an unlucky bystander who catches Cleary preparing to shoot JFK. Stevens is given the dilemma of shooting the president and preserving history, or shooting the Master. He chooses to kill the Master but misses. Someone else assassinates JFK, preserving history, but their identity remains secret - for the moment...

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