- You may be looking for the scientific principle.
- "Someone is tampering with the fabric of the human cell," the Fourth Doctor said darkly, "perverting its secrets to his own dark purposes."
Sarah Jane wants to meet her fellow journalist Rudyard Kipling, and the Fourth Doctor sets the co-ordinates for England, Earth, in the Victorian Age. As usual, the TARDIS materialises in not quite the right place, and the time travellers find themselves pursued across Devon moorland by a huge feral hound.
Children have gone missing; at the local boarding school, the young Rudyard Kipling has set up search parties. Lights have been seen beneath the waters of the bay, and fishermen have been pulled from their boats and mutilated. Graves have been robbed of their corpses. Something is going on, and Arthur Conan Doyle, the ship’s doctor from a recently berthed arctic whaler, is determined to investigate.
The Doctor and Doyle join forces to uncover a macabre scheme to interfere with human evolution - and both Sarah Jane and Kipling face a terrifying transmogrification.
to be added
- The Fourth Doctor
- Sarah Jane Smith
- Rudyard Kipling
- Arthur Conan Doyle
- Sir Edward
- Sir Alexander Cromwell
- Josh Andrews
- Ben Tolliver
- Captin Grey
- Sarah compares the moors to Karn and observes the effect that adventure has had on the Doctor's mood.
- Sarah swims in the Doctor's TARDIS' "bathroom".
- The Doctor is the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (and, possibly, Professor Challenger, as mentioned in the novel's coda). Specifically referenced are Holmes's choice of dress (the Doctor wears a deerstalker cap and long cloak), his methods of deductive reasoning and close reading of footprints to determine events at a crime scene.
- The relationship between The Doctor and Doyle, himself a ship's surgeon, parallels that of Holmes and Dr. Watson.
- There are numerous references to The Hound of the Baskervilles, especially in the early parts of the novel, concerning a great, dog-like beast claiming victims on the moors.
- It is possible that the relationship between Edmund and Percival Ross is an oblique reference to the relationship between Holmes and his older brother, Mycroft Holmes who, like Edmund Ross, was the more intelligent of the two and in clandestine service to the Crown.
- This novel implies strongly that Holmes and Watson are fictional characters, created by Doyle, based on the Doctor and Doyle himself. However, the novel NA: All-Consuming Fire treats Holmes and Watson as real people, fictionalised slightly by Doyle.
- Colonel Ross claims to be a special agent working directly under the command and authority of Her Majesty Queen Victoria and it is his job to investigate those matters that lie outside of the conventional. This suggests he may be a member of the Torchwood Institute.
- In several scenes told from Sarah's point of view, she refers to the planet Karn and the encounter with Morbius in DW: The Brain of Morbius. Her observations imply this story takes place almost immediately after The Brain of Morbius concluded.
- The TARDIS's "bathroom" in which Sarah swims was first seen on-screen in DW: The Invasion of Time.
- A crashed Rutan ship is key to the back-story; this story occurs (within the Doctor's personal timeline) prior to DW: Horror of Fang Rock, which is also about events set in motion by a Rutan crashing in an isolated part of the English coast.
- The Doctor mentions Metebelis III (DW: The Green Death, DW: Planet of the Spiders) and Argolis (DW: The Leisure Hive).
- Sarah refers to her first trip in the TARDIS to 13th century England (DW: The Time Warrior) and her encounter with Sutekh in 1911 (DW: Pyramids of Mars).
- Queen Victoria has secret agents who investigate unusual occurrences. (DW: Tooth and Claw)