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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 134 The Wreck Of The Titan

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In an attempt to give Jamie a nice vacation on one of history's finest cruise ships, the Doctor accidentally lands them on the Titanic shortly before its fateful crash— but something immediately proves just a bit off about the ship, which seems to have no lower deck and only two real passengers. The Doctor and Jamie begin to investigate, but when the whole ship suddenly transforms into another ship entirely, they realize the mystery goes deeper than they ever expected.


This audio play is the second in the trilogy which began with City of Spires and ends with Legend of the Cybermen, and the second to feature an older Jamie McCrimmon traveling with the Sixth Doctor.

The Wreck of the Titan contains examples of:

  • Admiring the Abomination: Moments before being eaten by a giant squid of over 140 meters, Professor Aranax is in awe of the creature and dubs it with a Latin name.
  • American Accents: Mrs. Selfridge has a very nasal NEW YAHK accent.
  • Blank Book: The books on the Titanic.
  • Blunt "Yes":
    Jamie: You knew I'd jump to the wrong conclusion! You just wanted me to make a fool of myself!
    The Doctor: Oh, come on, would I do a thing like that?
    Jamie: Yes.
  • Butterfly of Doom: The Doctor mentions that small events can change the course of history, such as putting jam on your scone before cream, and that averting a gigantic disaster can create an Alternate Timeline.
  • Call-Back: The submersible has a refinery of Black Water.
  • Combat Tentacles: The giant squid.
  • Dramatization: The Doctor believes this to be the case of why he and Jamie are on the Titanic. A holographical or android re-enactment of historical events.
  • Eaten Alive: Professor Aranax gets eaten by a giant squid. Vessel and all.
  • Fictional Document: Tess of the Titanic, and a series of other alliteratively-named books about Edwardian adventuresses on famous ships that the Doctor comes across on both the Titanic and the Titan. They are apparently of dubious quality.
  • Giant Eye of Doom: When the Doctor has the submarine cut the lights to hide them from a squid, Mrs. Selfridge turns on her cigarette lighter and is eye to eye with one.
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  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Professor Aranax makes a getaway in a smaller vessel, which got coated in squid ink, and then the Nautilus manages to scare off the giant squid that was attacking it, it goes for smaller prey...
  • Inside a Computer System: The Doctor decides at the end that they must have travelled into a computer simulation game that is glitching and incorporating aspects of other games. (He's completely wrong.)
  • Lady of Adventure: Tess.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Doctor tries to convince Jamie of the joys of using his ears while blindfolded:
    The Doctor: ... Besides, sight is a deeply overrated sense.
  • Nobody Poops: Actually a key to the Doctor figuring out the plot.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: The captain of the submarine plays one.
  • Ontological Mystery: Much of the plot revolves around the Doctor and Jamie trying to figure out where exactly they are, as the idea that they are on the real Titanic is thrown out almost immediately after the start of the play.
  • Public Domain Character: John Rowland and Myra Selfridge from Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan. Also, Captain Nemo.
  • Red Herring: The Doctor at first believes that he and Jamie have stumbled into a theme-park re-creation of the Titanic, then suspects they are caught up in a time distortion, and finally concludes that they must have somehow become trapped in a glitching computer simulation. None of these guesses are right— they're in the Land of Fiction.
  • The Reveal: The Doctor realizes at the end of the play that he and Jamie have been in the Land of Fiction the whole time.
  • Sherlock Scan: The Doctor pulls apart all the details about Lieutenant Truman regarding his marital status, his career and his weapon of choice.
  • Shout-Out: The Doctor says the amount of soap opera elements is quickly making the events turn into an episode of The Waltons.
    • When the Doctor is introduced to Captain Nemo he quips back that he is "Jane Eyre".
  • Standard Snippet: Symphony No. 3 in E flat Major is played on the pipe organ.
  • Teach Her Anger: Jamie calls Myra a weak, helpless woman in order to anger her and motivate her to save herself from falling to her death.
  • Tempting Fate: The Doctor, moments before he falls flat on his arse, says to John that "Even his grandma" could stroll down the lower slope of the iceberg.
  • White Void Room: The Doctor and Jamie find themselves stuck in one at the end.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson, a novella published in 1898 which proved eerily prescient of the sinking of the Titanic fourteen years later.

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