Recap / Eighth Doctor Adventures Camera Obscura

There is a time machine causing dangerous instabilities, fracturing people both mentally and physically. Worse, its continued use might see the time continuum chewed up and spat out. The Doctor turns to his sometime ally, sometime enemy Sabbath for help tracking down the machine and along the way discovers some very disturbing things about where his heart lies in the matter…

Tropes present in Camera Obscura include:

  • Anthropomorphic Personification: of Death. Probably continuing on from the NAs.
  • Armed with Canon: Fitz and Anji have a Seinfeldian Conversation about cartoons, leading Fitz to apparently complain about his characterization in The Crooked World.
    "This is too much like that cartoon planet, Anj. I don't feel I was at my best there."
    • This may be because he was much more of a Casanova Wannabe in that one, whereas he's entirely innocent of any overtly libidinous behavior in Camera Obscura. In another scene he objects to Anji's assessment of him as only interested in things he can "drink, inhale, play, dance to or ".
  • Badass Boast: See the page quote for the series as a whole.
    Break, damn you! Break! You've never had a spanner like this thrown in you! Chew on me till your teeth crack. Grind me up till your gears lock. I'm the nail in your tyre, the potato jammed in your exhaust pipe, the treacle poured in your petrol tank. I'm the banana peel beneath your foot, the joker that ruins your straight flush, the coin that always comes up heads and the gun you didn't know was loaded. I am the Doctor!
  • Body Horror: Happens to the Doctor quite a lot for one book. Not only does he have a vivid flashback to his heart being ripped out in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, he gets squashed flat by a falling sandbag, which apparently would ordinarily have killed him, except it turns out that the reason Sabbath stole the Doctor's heart was so he could transplant it into himself, resulting in some kind of Synchronization which ensures the Doctor can't be killed if Sabbath is still alive. Eventually, Sabbath rips the heart out of his own chest. There's also a scene where the Doctor, in some sort of mystical realm, ends up impaled on a meathook. And also there's Chiltern, who ends up part-man, part-toaster, part-rosebush, etc., to really top the whole thing off.
  • End of the World as We Know It
  • Gorn: To go along with all of the Body Horror inflicted on the Doctor, it's all described in pretty graphic detail.
  • Heart Trauma: After Sabbath rips the Doctor's second heart out of his chest in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, he finds out that Sabbath has placed it in his own chest to use as a navigating tool of some sort.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Nathaniel Chiltern is split into two unequal parts, the second of which ends up fused together with an electric toaster and a rosebush as a result of a failure in the time machine to work properly.
  • Ill Girl: The Doctor's erm, heart condition leaves him frail and prone to fainting.
  • Organ Theft: See Heart Trauma above.
  • Sim Sim Salabim: Anji, being South Asian, stands out pretty heavily in Victorian London, and as a result, finds it easiest to wear a sari and not speak to anyone while the three of them are staying, capitalizing on the peoples' assumptions about India of the time. Needless to say, she doesn't particularly enjoy this trip.
  • Split Personality: Constance Jane, a "fake" psychic, has this problem, as well as an ability to sense time anomalies. Octave, the magician who tries to kill the Doctor, has an inversion: his use of the faulty time machine split him into eight separate bodies, each of which has the same sensory input and feelings as all of the others.
  • Suggestive Collision: The Doctor confronts Sabbath in a sort of shared dream sequence, in which they end up on a ship, whose rocking causes the Doctor to end up falling on top of Sabbath while panting.
  • Time Machine: A damaged and incredibly destructive one is the cause of most of the plot.
  • Victorian London: Where the book takes place.
  • Victorian Novel Disease: See Ill Girl. Everyone assumes the Doctor is consumptive.