Publisher's summary Edit
"We've been colonising planets for a thousand million years," she said, turning to the camera and giving her trademark smile. "All right, Mr. Matheson — I'm ready for my close-up."
In the 101st century, nostalgia is everything. Television from the 20th century is the new obsession, and Reef Station One is receiving broadcasts from a distant Earth of the past, transmitting them to a waiting audience.
When the Sixth Doctor and Peri arrive on Reef Station One, they find a fractured society, totally dependent on film and television. They also discover that the Republic's greatest entrepreneur Walter J. Matheson is in league with one of the Doctor's oldest enemies.
As the alien influence spreads its tentacles throughout the Republic, the Sixth Doctor and Peri must unravel the link between Walter J. Matheson's business empire and the invaders. Because, if they don't, they'll end up in the deadliest soap opera of all time.
to be added
- Sixth Doctor
- Peri Brown
- Walter J. Matheson
- August DeValle
- Charles Bruderbakker
- Claudia Bruderbakker
- Dominique Delacroix
- Joan Bruderbakker
- Marcus Brooks
- Sean Brady
- The Doctor has met Francis Bacon, Sigmund Freud, Geoffrey Chaucer and Samuel Johnson.
- Peri has shopped in a 25th century Wal-Mart.
- Some of the planets of the New Earth Republic include New California, Tranicula, New Regency, Bel Terra, Paxas, New Aspen and New Alaska.
- Television programmes restored and broadcast from Reef Station One include Dixon of Dock Green, The Sweeney, The Bill, Dallas, Dynasty, Baywatch, Professor X, Babylon 5, Crossroads, Falcon Crest, Z-Cars, The Forsyte Saga, The Six Million Dollar Man, EastEnders, The Tomorrow People and Juliet Bravo.
- Original programs broadcast from Reef Station One include Dreams of Tomorrow, Executive Desires, As the Worlds Turn, Dusty the Fearless Monster Killer, Space Journey: Traveller, Star Traveller: The Motion Picture, The Secret Files, Confessions of a Monoid, The Rep, ReefEnders, Liberation Street, and This Evening With Phil and Bev.
- An illustrated preview for this story appeared in DWM 345.
- The cover for this novel went through several modifications of its design.
- The first cover was created by James Gent for Craig Hinton as a proof of concept, intended to be "like Spearhead from Space crossed with Dynasty".
- Unfortunately, Black Sheep (the cover designers for BBC Books' range of PDAs) interpreted him literally, using copyrighted images of the cast of Dynasty but as Autons. This was technically illegal, necessitating the entire batch to be pulped.
- The third cover was approved for publishing, but featured mirroring on both the background and the two female Autons, prompting Black Sheep to make several modifications to it before publication. 
- In the year 200,100, the Earth was also dependent solely on TV, mainly the broadcasts from the Game Station. (TV: Bad Wolf)