Recap / Eighth Doctor Adventures Seeing I

"You won't be getting out of here. We both know that. They won't let you out. I won't let you out. Everything you do, I'll be watching, recording...I'll make sure you're stopped. Do you understand? You're not leaving."

Sam has decided to leave the Doctor. She leaves the Dreamstone Moon with the rest of the refugees and ends up on a planet called Ha'olam, which is mostly owned by a corporation called INC. Because she has no identification, it is impossible for Sam to get a job, so she ends up working for a soup kitchen in exchange for a place to stay. Eventually, she manages to get a job with INC (who don't have much problem hiring undocumented workers, apparently, since they're much cheaper) doing computer work that only requires you to look and blink into an eyepiece.

The Doctor, however, has not given up searching for Sam. He releases semi-sentient data umphs into the computer system of INC, searching for any mention of Sam Jones. Eventually, he resorts to bugging the INC receptionist every day, hacking the government computers to get proper identification, and generally being quite persistent. Along the way, he discovers that something in INC's computer system appears to be made from stolen Gallifreyan technology. Technology which seems to have been planted on Ha'olam by an unknown alien force. Unfortunately, he goes a little bit overboard in his investigation, easily hacking INC's records that the Gallifreyan technology gives him, a Gallifreyan, unlimited access to. He gets thrown in prison.

Okay, no big deal. He's the Doctor. He's walked out of thousands of prisons, and he should be out by the morning. Wrong. Somehow, the prison guards seem to know his every move, despite the prison having little security, cameras, or...anything, really. Three years and the death of a fellow inmate later, the Doctor still isn't out.

Sam, meanwhile, has quit her job, which was sucking the life out of her. She gets another job with a nonprofit organization that builds houses, and lives there during the three years that the Doctor is in prison. She makes friends, falls in love, and begins to think of Ha'olam as home. She's determined to make this her life, convinced that she will never see the Doctor again.

The Doctor is slowly going mad. He's taken to drawing on the walls, talking with the voice in his head, and a variety of other seemingly crazy things. (The voice in his head is actually an eye implant that OBFSC gave him in order to keep him from escaping.) He keeps trying to escape, but it slowly losing hope...until Sam Jones breaks into the prison to rescue him.

Which is a good thing, because the aliens that planted the mind probe on Ha'olam have come back for the harvest...

Tropes present in Seeing I include:

  • Ambiguously Jewish: Ha'olam's culture could be described as pan-Semitic: there are characters with names such as Shoshana and Ramadan. Dr Akalu's use of "Baruch atta Adonai" as an interjection makes him a bit less ambiguous.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Between Sam and the Doctor. If admittedly one of the most awkwardly described ones in the series.
  • Bi the Way: Samantha Jones dates three people during her stay on Hao'lam, two of whom are men.
  • Continuity Nod: As it's an EDA, there are many:
    • Once again, the Doctor is worried about his shoes. When he wakes up in prison, he's given "battered leather shoes which didn't fit at all."
    • Sam thinks "you really could find the most amazing things in junkyards," both referencing her own first meeting with the Doctor and probably the first ever episode of Doctor Who.
    • When the Doctor protests that DOCTOR can't be an accurate representation of his brain, because he wouldn't work for these people, DOCTOR replies that it sees itself more as an unpaid scientific advisor.
    • In the final chapter when DOCTOR decides to explore the universe, its companion is FLORENCE, an AI who made several minor appearances in the Doctor Who New Adventures.
    • The Doctor refers to the time he was separated from Ace for three years from her perspective, and when they were reunited she was a different person. This happens in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Deceit.
    • Tincalvic, the malleable metal from "The Visitation" and "The Awakening", makes an appearance.
  • Companion Cube: The Doctor carries around a teddy bear of Sam's while in prison. To try and create a disincentive for the Doctor to keep trying to break out, Dr. Akalu confiscates it. Eight doesn't quite know how to react.
  • Cardboard Prison: Subverted. The Doctor assumes that OBFSC, being a minimum security prison for white collar criminals and elderly INC employees, should be easy enough to break out of. Three years and hundreds of escape attempts later, it finally starts to sink in that it's more or less impossible. (At least, without help).
  • Clark's Third Law: Not quite. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is compatible with magic."
  • Determinator: The Doctor. In his first three months at OBFSC, he makes ninety escape attempts, all of which fail.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Sam gets the chance to talk the Doctor up to her friends, but when they meet him, he's feeling a bit drained and doesn't come across very wellnote .
    I dunno, said Orin, I kinda figured hed be... well, taller.
    He acts tall, murmured Sam.
  • Eye Scream: The protocol for bringing prisoners into OBFSC unconscious is actually an excuse to implant mental scanners into their eyes. Also, the way the implants Akalu and Shoshana have tend to be described this way as well.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: The Doctor has one that is absolutely epic.*spoilers* 
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Sam's relationship with Chris skirts the line of this trope. She's only referred to with female pronouns once, several pages before she and Sam start dating, although a later reference to her "curves" provides a hint for readers who weren't paying enough attention.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Ziba.
  • Living Ship: The I's ship is a giant seashell made of tinclavic, which turns out to be more like a cocoon for a giant space butterfly.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: OBFSC. Compared Lindsay, the maximum security prison, the Doctor is being held in a minimum security heaven. There's a library and a duck pond and even a therapist to help the prisoners cope, but the Doctor goes slowly insane from lack of stimuli.
    "Forty-seven civilizations in this part of the galaxy, thirty billion years of history among them, and I've got a room. And a hallway. And a room. And a courtyard."
  • Mega Corp.: The INC is responsible for ninety percent of Hao'lam's economy, even owning the intellectual property rights of employees on the healthcare plan who need organ donations. These employees are sent to prison rather than being forced to return the organs, but are forced to spend the rest of their lives there to ensure that INC's copyrights aren't infringed upon.
  • Mythology Gag: "Oh, no...not the mind probe."
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever happened with Amelia Earhart that the Doctor would find embarrassing. (Possibly a Development Gag about an early draft of the TVM where she was the companion.)
  • Playful Hacker: The Doctor sure goes to town with those data-umphs.
  • Room Full of Crazy: The Doctor's jail cell. In crayon.
  • Schizo Tech: The Doctor's hacking rig is a neural net bolted onto the back of an Apple II and powered by a steam engine.
  • Tears of Blood: The Doctor gets a mild case of this when the surveillance device implanted in his left eye is activated.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Why Sam left the Doctor in the first place. It seems resolved by the end of the novel, but then later books contradict that.