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The Scarlet Empress (novel)

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The Scarlet Empress
The Scarlet Empress
Doctor: Eighth Doctor
Companion(s): Sam Jones
Main enemy: The Empress
Main setting:
Hyspero, Abbasid Era, Third Decade
Hyspero, Town of Fortalice, c9968AD
Key crew
Publisher: BBC Books
Writer: Paul Magrs
Cover by: Black Sheep
Release details
Release number: 15
Release date: 7 September 1998
Format: Paperback Book, 288 Pages
ISBN 0-563-40595-3
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The Scarlet Empress is the fifteenth BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures novel. It was written by Paul Magrs. It features the Eighth Doctor and Samantha Jones. It is also the first full length novel to feature Iris Wildthyme, a Time Lady who first appeared in PROSE: Old Flames.

Publisher’s summary

Arriving on the almost impossibly ancient planet of Hyspero, a world where magic and danger walk hand in hand, the Doctor and Sam are caught up in a bizarre struggle for survival.

Hyspero has been ruled for thousands of years by the Scarlet Empresses, creatures of dangerous powers — powers that a member of the Doctor’s own race is keen to possess herself: the eccentric time traveller and philanderer known only as Iris Wildthyme.

As the real reasons for Iris’s obsession become clear, the Doctor and Sam must embark on a perilous journey across deserts, mountains, forests and oceans. Both friends and foes are found among spirits, djinns, alligator men and golden bears — but in a land where the magical is possible, is anything really as it seems?

Plot

to be added

Characters

References

Books

  • Aja'ib is a book of fantastic stories, tales and adventures.

Culture

  • Romana once dragged the Doctor to an opera in Milan.
  • Sam sings ABBA songs with Iris on their road trip.

The Doctor

  • The Doctor describes himself as an ethnomethodologist and his job as being keeping everyone out of the trap of genre-death.
  • The Doctor is "an inveterate underliner (of books), a scribbler in margins, a very unpassive reader".
  • The Doctor recalls "jumping off an Ice Warrior ship over Central London. Scuba diving with Zygons. Causing havoc once again on Skaro."
  • Iris was not fond of the Seventh Doctor. She describes him to his immediate successor as "a portentous little feller, swaggering around, thinking he’s got all the world’s darkest secrets under his hat." Furthermore, she thinks that he was "a pretentious old thing" who "got on [her] nerves" as he regarded himself as the Guardian of Forever and Time's Champion.

Foods and beverages

  • Iris consumes a variety of alcohol, mostly gin.
  • Sam drinks too much of the crystallised wine.
  • Gila buys some fish. They all come with names.
  • The Doctor offers the Mock Turtle a jelly baby prior to travelling through the vortex in Iris' bus.

Gallifrey

Individuals

Iris Wildthyme & The Doctor

"Really, Doctor, this is hardly -" (Third Doctor)
"You see, my dear, it's very simple..." (First Doctor)
"I'm not exactly breaking the Laws of Time, but -" (Second Doctor)
"There were once three sisters and they lived at the bottom of a treacle well..." (Fourth Doctor)
"Only in the direst of emergencies can you -" (Fifth Doctor)
"Nice? Nice?" (Sixth Doctor)
"I saw this coming." (Seventh Doctor)
  • Iris claims the Doctor's previous self was a pretentious old thing calling himself "Guardian of Forever" and "Time's Champion".
  • Iris refers to the Master as a "phallocentric dope" (most likely a reference to his Tissue Compression Eliminator).
  • The Doctor challenges Iris' claims, stating, "You didn't foil the Dalek invasion of Earth in the twenty-second century. I did! It was me, Susan, and Ian and Barbara! And the Cyber tombs on Telos...You weren't there Iris. You weren't to be seen!"
  • Whilst in a river with patriarchal psychic river jellyfish-like creatures, Sam is telepathically contacted by said patriarchal creatures, who tell her that the Doctor was woven on a loom and only thinks he has a human mother.
  • The Doctor recalls having Christmas dinner with Iris, Tegan and Turlough.
  • Iris is in her "old lady" body. She has a house in every world, time zone and planet visited (the Doctor comments, to himself, that she collects homes as he does companions).
  • Iris once proposed to the Doctor in Venice.
  • Iris once travelled with an "obtuse shape-shifter who loved nothing better than to spend much of his time as a lippy garrulous penguin."
  • Iris's mother left her when she was quite young, with an older man, an offworlder.
  • Kroton the Cyberman once travelled with Iris.
  • Iris astral projects herself around Hyspero while everyone sleeps in Major Angela's house with the bears.

Locations

Species

  • Sam sees Draconian princes, Spiridons in purple furs and Martians in armour on the streets of Hyspero.
  • The Doctor mentions vampires to Sam while discussing the borders between magic and science.
  • According to the Doctor the Chelonian version of Cinderella had to be seen to be believed.
  • Iris is sick because she took high tea with a Draconian prince and ate a live Kaled mutant from the shell.

TARDIS

  • Its dimensional stabilisers are fixed with a pair of laddered tights. It follows the Doctor, Iris and the Mock Turtle under the sea to where they're regurgitated by the giant fish on a desert island.
  • She has some cassettes in her TARDIS of Motown, ABBA, and Shirley Bassey.
  • In Iris's bus the time winds come in through the windows when it's in flight.
  • The console of Iris' TARDIS is made of teak, brass and Formica.
  • The Doctor can pilot Iris's TARDIS.
  • Sam suggests to the Doctor the TARDIS should have a white and luminous control room and look a bit more futuristic, than the gothicness that it currently looks like.

Technology

  • Sam and Gila trade a dismantled and useless etheric beam locator for some bread.
  • The Scarlet Guards have T-Mat-like devices on their belts.
  • The Doctor pulls a crystal from his pocket that he claims is "no ordinary jewel. It is from Metebelis Three, in the Acteon galaxy," but is actually something he picked up in Portabello Road.

Time travel

  • The Doctor describes travelling through the Vortex as "vworp vworp".
  • The Doctor, Iris and the Mock Turtle catch a ride inside a giant fish that (probably) keeps them outside time.

Notes

  • This novel is often narrated in first person by Iris Wildthyme, Gila, Sam Jones and the Doctor.
  • There are numerous references to past stories.

Continuity

External links

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