- You may be looking for the galactic conflict described in the story.
Publisher's summary Edit
They're not here to invade, and they're being exceptionally considerate about collateral damage, all things considered.
But human air travel is at a standstill, our culture is collapsing, the skies are clogged with toxic smog... And UNIT can't do a thing, as the aliens vaporize the weapons stockpile of any country that dares interfere!
The deadlock needs a peaceful and clever solution – let's hope the Doctor is up to the job!
And in the middle of it all... Alice is given a shocking offer she dare not refuse!
The Eleventh Doctor finally brings Alice Obiefune back to her flat in Hackney. She asks him for a couple of days to sort out the storage for her mum's stuff and to find a new place to live. She is still grieving for her mother. The Doctor tells her she can live and store things in the TARDIS but Alice knows it cannot be forever. John Jones, who got into the habit of nervous eating and gained some weight is interested in records from 2015. ARC get out of the TARDIS too. Suddenly, they hear a very loud bang somewhere above. The Doctor sticks his sonic screwdriver out the window but he can see what it is without any instruments. The Eternal Dogfight has come to Earth.
This fight, this war has lasted longer than anyone can remember. The Doctor learned about it in the Time Lord Academy and even then the origins had already been lost in the mist of time. The Eternal Dogfight is fought between the Amstrons of the Great Wheel and the J'arrodic Federation. Both of their home planets are believed to have been lost early in the conflict. Losing one's home planet is something the Doctor can clearly relate to. Since then, the two opponents travel across the universe with their planet-sized motherships continuing the fight. The Amstrons and the J'arrodic are really only interested in fighting each other. However, sometimes their fight takes them to populated solar systems, and then collateral damage cannot be completely avoided. So the Doctor decides to go to the Great Wheel and stop this war once and for all.
Alice fails to persuade him to take her too. He just gives her a mobile phone to reach him just in case. So she gets to the business of sorting out her flat and catching up on the news. When first the Amstrons and the J'arrodic arrived with their war, people on Earth panicked. But the ambassadors of the two warring sides informed Earth's leaders that they mean no harm to Earth. So the people of Earth started treating the hostilities as free fireworks. Meanwhile, Alice finds a photo of her and her mum with a celebratory cake. That brings back memories, but the moment is ruined by a strange sound from the kitchen. At first, she thinks the Doctor is back. When she enters the kitchen, however, she sees a shadowy silhouette in front of a glowing golden circle. Were the Doctor there, he would have recognised the traditional Time Lord robes, headdress and skullcap, as well as the golden glow he saw in the Mississippi Delta when Talent Scout coerced him by offering him what he wanted. The silhouette calls Alice by the name.
The Great Wheel. Glorious mothership of the Amstrons Edit
Meanwhile, the Doctor materialises the TARDIS on the Great Wheel. To his amazement, Jones manages to find an Amstron cream donut first thing and take a bit of it before the Doctor snatches it away, worried how it would affect Jones' metabolism. The Doctor's plan is to break into the Amstron sacred library to try and find what started the war in hopes that it can also be used to end it. ARC opens a door that leads to space. They grab jet packs that Amstrons use to navigate the enormous Great Wheel. The Doctor correctly guesses that the jet packs are thought controlled. So they all think "Amstron Sacred Library", jump out into the nothingness and, propelled by the jet packs, join the extensive traffic around the Great Wheel. On their way, they witness space funerals with endless coffins of pilots sent towards the sun. Soon they are discovered by Amstron guards, who start firing at them. At the same time, Jones starts feeling sick, and not only because of the bumpy jet pack flight. Fortunately for them, an impressive building that must be the library is already in view.
They land in front of the gigantic gates to the library almost simultaneously with the guards. Jones is feeling poorly indeed, complaining that something alien inside him is changing him. ARC finally manages to open the gates, only to find another group of guards pointing their weapons at them from the inside. The Amstrons believe them to be J'arrodic was spies. The Doctor tries to resolve the conflict by using his psychic paper. Unfortunately, Amstrons are under orders to terminate any non-Amstrons on the spot. As they prepare to open fire, ARC grows in size, turns into a whirlwind of biomass and ensnares all the guards inside of itself. Despite that most probably having saved their lives, the Doctor is not entirely happy and orders ARC to spit them out. ARC suddenly says, "He is coming" and then "ARC will serve you" and disentangles itself from the Amstrons. The Doctor and ARC help Jones, who is seemingly starting to hallucinate, get into the library.
The Doctor is a bit intimidated by the millions of books, not knowing where to start searching for a war-ending loophole. Suddenly, Alice appears from a side entrance offering her library expertise. But she is not alone. Her mother is apparently alive and back. She looks exactly as on the photo Alice found. Even the clothes is the same. It is now the Doctor's turn to point out that she cannot stay alive forever.
- Eleventh Doctor
- Alice Obiefune
- John Jones
- Time Lord
- Ada Obiefune
- Amstron ambassador
- J'arrodic Federation ambassador
- Amstron guards
- Alice's London flat is located in Hackney.
- The Eleventh Doctor recalls a saying, "Let the Time Lord see the rabbit."
- The Doctor learned about the Eternal Dogfight in the Time Lord Academy.
- Both the Amstron homeworld and J'arrodic homeworld are believed to be lost at the beginning of the Eternal Dogfight.
- Amstrons use the Great Wheel as their mothership, while J'arrodic have their own mothership.
- ARC eats Ada Obiefune's chaise longue.
- Alice's landlord's name is Mr Badura.
- John Jones finds and tastes a large cream doughnut made by the Amstrons.
- The Doctor paraphrases the song "The Wheels On The Bus" applying it to the Great Wheel.
- ARC can feel when the Talent Scout is approaching.
- The Amstrons' heads and blue armour share striking similarity to that of the Sontarans'.
- The story continues the tradition of having Jones recite lines similar to the lyrics of songs of David Bowie, who heavily inspired the character. For instance, relieved that the jet pack is taking him to Amstron sacred library, Jones cheers, "I think my spaceship knows which way to go" which is a line from "Space Oddity". Later, in half delirium, Jones mutters, "...red... mutant eyes. hungry... hunger city... The Wheel! No more big wheel! 100,000 peoploids... Not rock'n'roll! Genocide!!" These are reminiscent of the lyrics from Bowie's song "Future Legend".
- The publisher's description of the story mentions the "Vrezian Confederacy", which is most likely intended to refer to Amstrons but is never used within the story.
Original print details Edit
to be added
- Alice mourns the death of her mother. She is being evicted from her flat by her landlord. (COMIC: After Life)
- Ada Obiefune had a record collection. (COMIC: What He Wants...)
- The Eleventh Doctor can relate to someone whose home planet was lost in a war. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- Before appearing in the form of a Time Lord to Alice, the Talent Scout twice appeared this way to the Doctor. (COMIC: After Life) The second time, he was also standing in front of a glowing golden circle. (COMIC: What He Wants...)
- The Doctor yells "Geronimooooooooo!!" as he, Jones, and ARC jump off the Great Wheel. (TV: The End of Time et al)
- After overcoming its violent impulse, ARC tells the Doctor, "ARC will serve you." (COMIC: The Friendly Place, What He Wants..., Whodunnit?)
- The Doctor says he likes a good library, (COMIC: After Life) apart from the ones that try to eat him. (TV: Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead)
- The Doctor encountered the Amstrons before, when he twice saved Rokhandi from them. (COMIC: The Friendly Place)
- Later, the Doctor understands that the reason ARC was so violent towards the Amstron guards was fear. (COMIC: The Infinite Astronaut)