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Recap / Doctor Who New Adventures White Darkness

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Haiti, 1915. As the latest in a long series of rebellions approaches its climax, the Doctor, Benny, and Ace arrive after taking a wrong turn on the way to Florida. They almost immediately stumble over the mutilated bodies of some murdered soldiers, and from there into an adventure involving Hollywood Voodoo, dastardly Germans, racist Americans, and mysterious cosmic beings.


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  • An Officer and a Gentleman: Subverted with General Froebe, who greets Benny politely, engages in civil discourse with her, and then when she fails to give him the answers he wants announces that he's going to have her mind destroyed with drugs, and then give her to his men to rape.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: President Sam shoots himself when the rebels reach the palace. This is fiction — the historical Vibrun Guillaume Sam was captured alive, and torn apart by an angry mob.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The American marines are casually racist, and their invasion is simply to protect their national interests, doing nothing to fix Haiti's long-term problems. The Germans, on the other hand, are casually gassing entire villages while they experiment with new and more horrible chemical weapons.
  • Blood Knight: Colonel Mortimer is a little too eager to see combat.
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  • Collapsing Lair: The German base in the climax, courtesy of Ace's skill with explosives.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The Marines make repeated use of the N-word to describe the Haitians. Benny, being from the 26th century, is unfamiliar with the word — but is able to quickly grasp the implications from the way it's used, and instantly becomes a lot less friendly to the Americans.
  • Distressed Damsel: Both Ace and Benny manage to get themselves captured over the course of the plot. Benny frees herself, but Ace needs a little help from Petion.
    • Damsel out of Distress: Benny escapes captivity using a mixture of ballet, bluff, and brute force, and also some impressive long-distance swimming. After Petion unties her hands, Ace just starts fighting her captors all at once (and winning).
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The German base is hidden in a labyrinthine series of tunnels and caves, including one big enough for several ships to dock in.
  • The Good Captain: Petion. Seemingly the last honest officer in the Haitian military, faithful to his wife, open-minded when dealing with the Doctor and his companions, and generally very competent.
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  • Hand Cannon: Richmann's personal sidearm is a cut-down Winchester rifle loaded with high explosive bullets.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Ace shows a keen interest in exploring the loopholes in the rules around not changing the past with respect to General Etienne. The Doctor tells her not to kill him, because he's due to commit a historic atrocity any day now. Benny then asks what happened to Etienne after that.
    ”He disappeared in the ensuing rebellion. Who knows?” He cut himself off, silently cursing himself for failing to spot the obvious. Behind him, Ace smiled.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: The opening author's note mentions that he deliberately tried to avert this, and did extensive research. Unfortunately, in the story Voodoo is mostly presented as a way of creating zombies, with no more than passing mention of the religious aspects.
  • IKEA Weaponry: Ace is disappointed by the limitations of early 20th century firearms technology, and uses parts from several guns to build herself a custom submachinegun.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: For most of the story, the Doctor isn't sure whether Mait is actually working for otherworldly horrors, or just thinks he is. As he points out, Mait is still killing people and therefore needs to be stopped either way.
  • Psycho for Hire: Richmann, a mercenary working for the German army, who enjoys killing a little too much.
  • Really 700 Years Old: A couple of people estimate Mait's age at somewhere in his 60s. He was born in 1744.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Carrefour, Mait's sinister lieutenant and assassin, is likened to a venomous snake.
  • The Unfought: Mait's plan is to summon his masters from beyond the veil. They're implied to be incomprehensible cosmic horrors (which the Seventh Doctor fought quite a few of, both on TV and in the books). The Doctor decides not to give him the chance, and just kills Mait with some well placed explosives before he can get to the altar.

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