They Keep Killing Marius re-introduces Ric and his master, Professor Marius. To recap, of course, Marius is the inventor of K9 and generally speaking a genius. But this time he has gone a bit too far even for The Doctor.

The idea of the mind repository takes up an idea from  a science fiction short story I read  MANY years ago in which in a future world it is possible to deposit ones memories daily in case of accident. When a person dies they can be revived and their last saved memory put into their head. Of course it means that everything they did since is lost, as it was with Marius. I took it a step further and had him give himself a synthesized body, which is what appalls The Doctor after all his trouble with Cybermen and causes that sad rift with his old friend.

Ralph Noae as a genius in the artificial intelligence field actually references a New Lords of Time story which dealt with AI life. In that story artificial lifeforms wanted to be Human. Here a Human made himself into an artificial life.

I went to a lot of effort to create the habitat on Titan, incidentally, and then realised that in the Doctor Who series, when Marius gives K9 to The Doctor, it is because he is going back to Earth. Slight loophole there. Let’s assume he went BACK to Titan at some point in his life.

Obviously, the title is a pun on the South Park slogan ‘they keep killing Kenny’ which was also used in Torchwood series one in the episode ‘They Keep Killing Suzie’. It’s one of those things that is going to keep being parodied in that way long after the original source is forgotten.

The ‘body’ of the finally dead Marius cybernetic WAS going to have a space burial like Reidluum in the previous story, but I decided that doing that twice in a row was too much, and anyway there WAS a possibility of his body being recovered in space before it could burn up. Burial in the Eye of Harmony has been done twice. First, in the 1996 film when The Master fell in, and second in my Theta Sigma stories when Natalie, in her last moments before dying of cancer, throws herself in to make a more dignified end of herself. In the New Lords of Time story The Willows Weep, an energy entity joins with the Eye, but that didn’t really die as such, just became a part of the TARDIS’s energy.

Ric joining The Doctor, of course, is in the tradition of K9. But as with K9 it is problematic as there are places he can’t go. His tenure as a TARDIS companion is doomed to be short, sadly.