Publisher's summary Edit
A huge metal dome sits by the side of the river Thames, within it is a device that might change the entire future of humanity. The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie embark on a small act of kindness but the TARDIS seems oddly unwilling to help. It’s as if it knows the truth. There is something waiting here, something adaptable and cunning, gathering its strength to conquer the stars.
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- In 1951, the Festival of Britain is meant to cheer people up after World War II and look to the future. Features include the Dome of Discovery, a museum of Britain's scientific achievements and advancements over the centuries. The Skylon was built just to show it could be done, then is dismantled in 1952.
- The Doctor has various forms of money, including chocolate money.
- Zoe was taken from the city as a child and trained away from her family and friends. Before meeting the Doctor and Jamie, she monitored radio waves and watched the stars.
- The Doctor mentions George VI and George III. When Jamie met him, the Jacobites were fighting George II.
- There are husky dogs at the Festival.
- The radio telescope uses cathode ray tubes, but messages break up in the ionosphere. It's meant to let people bounce radio messages off of the Moon.
- The Doctor wonders if fixing the telescope would influence one child and that could change the future.
- He thinks the TARDIS is trying to hide anachronisms from him.
- Jamie uses a walkie-talkie.
- The Doctor describes the Vardans as creatures made from waves of mental energy, living wave-forms.
- The Vardan is too weak to directly control another person's thoughts, but it can suggest ideas, claiming suggestion is more powerful than control.
- Vardan vanguards travel ahead of their fleets, searching for territories to conquer.
- The Vardan mentions the "ancestral hymn." The Doctor explains it as microwave background noise, the "fizz" of dead space, which is what dead Vardans become. He expects Zoe heard it on the Wheel.
- The Doctor explains that the Vardans like to join forces with other species because, in pure energy form, they can be susceptible to interference. They can take on the characteristics of other species, such as a warrior race. The Doctor suggests that if they want to be devious, they could team up with his people.
- The vanguard admires British propaganda as "Vardan genius."
- The Doctor points out that mind readers poking about in his head leave their own minds open in return.
- The trapped Vardan slowly bleeds out into noise and joins the ancestral hymn.
- The Doctor says they haven't been near the south bank of the Thames since 1668. This is likely a reference to The Glorious Revolution, which takes place in 1688.
- The Seventh Doctor and Ace later visit the Festival of Britain in an alternate timeline. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
- The Doctor mentions being on the Endeavour with Captain Cook. (AUDIO: The Transit of Venus)
- Jamie recalls visiting a museum in the future. (TV: The Dominators)
- The Doctor and Zoe discuss interfering in her history. (TV: The Aztecs)
- The Doctor mentions first encountering the Vardans and defeating them. (AUDIO: The First Wave) This is also the second time he's encountered a Vardan trying to pull itself together. (AUDIO: The Locked Room)
- The Vardan takes over Imogen's body. (PROSE: No Future)
- The Doctor mentions the Wheel. (TV: The Wheel in Space)
- The Doctor explains that Vardans like to join forces with other races. (TV: The Invasion of Time, PROSE: No Future)
- The Doctor sets a trap without telling his companions, in case their minds are read. ([source needed]
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