The opening scene is totally irrelevant to the main plot, of course. But it was a necessary follow up to Gwen’s Christmas adventure in which she spent a night with Jack. It was two hundred years in the future and Rhys was dead. She has nothing to be guilty about. But she inevitably finds herself comparing Rhys and Jack’s lovemaking. This scene clearly shows her enjoying Rhys’s lovemaking and resisting the temptation to fantasize about the unobtainable.

 

And Then There Were None is the far more politically correct film title of the Agatha Christie novel originally called Ten Little Niggers in less enlightened days when nobody questioned the idea of children singing a nursery rhyme with a title like that. The book eventually got changed to Ten Little Indians, but even that is still quite offensive and the film title is much preferable all round.

 

That way of connecting the story up came to me once it had begun. The idea of people being killed because they were guilty of something terrible in the past was so obviously similar to the Agatha Christie story that it either gets mentioned, which makes it ‘homage’ or I ignore it and have other people point out that Agatha Christie did it first. In any case, the ‘Murder Mystery Weekend’ then became a way of connecting everyone, and of giving Jack a clue to where Gwen and Rhys are.

 

The way the people were killed, by an incredibly localised radiation burst that dissipated rapidly comes from an X Files novel called Ground Zero in which an alien was getting revenge for something done to a group of individuals. I read it some time ago when there wasn’t much else to do and it was conveniently to hand. That much of the story is, admittedly, derivative. But after all, there is nothing new in Science Fiction.

 

The fire, probably wasn’t necessary to complete the execution of the guilty parties. But it WAS necessary to give an action finale with Jack doing his thing. I wonder if I should have Jack dying a bit LESS often. There ARE only so many ways he can do it, and it does seem to be a convenient tool sometimes. But in this instance it just felt right.

 

http://www.amazon.com/X-Files-Ground-Kevin-J-Anderson/dp/0061056774

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_Then_There_Were_None