Princess Peggy of Gallifrey takes up the story of ‘Princess Peggy’ who we met on New Earth in the story Death in New Manhattan. Peggy now lives on New Earth’s twin planet, Umem-Sigma, where the economy is in such a state that she is far from the only down and out in a city where others are perfectly affluent.

The discussion about vegetarian food in the restaurant, looks like a throwaway scene at first, but of course it isn’t. It is a lead in to the main theme of the story, which is the food company kidnapping and killing down and outs and using them as food. This is not a totally new idea, of course. The connection between cannibalism and Creutzfeldt-Jakob dates from a 1995 episode of The X-Files called Our Town which had a similar plot to the Torchwood episode Countrycide. But the idea of people being made into food goes back all the way to the 1973 film, Soylent Green.

The lady running the food kitchen for the down and outs wasn’t based on ANYONE at all, though some people have asked if she was based on the lady in the comedy film Scrooge who does the same job.

Readers have pointed out that after the episode Gridlock in 2007 the two stories set around Princess Peggy don’t work because the population of New Earth was wiped out by the virus. Yes, that is true. But remember this is not the same universe where those events happened. We can assume that the population of New Earth survived in this universe and developed its own set of problems.