Decalog is the first anthology released by Virgin books. The story Playback is a framing story for the others. An object from each story is used to remember the events surrounding it. The collection contains ten stories which, between them, feature the first seven Doctors.
Roots: There are references to Charlie Chaplin, Sherlock Holmes and the Ku Klux Klan.
Continuity: Myklos impersonates the Seventh Doctor, pretending to be amnesiac. He has stolen the Doctor's belongings, including a catapult, a brass telescope, a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles, an egg-timer, a bag of jelly-beans, and a rolled up newspaper with a headline about UFOs. In order to learn about the Doctor's past, he persuades private detective Bart Addison to take him to visit Silverman, an expert in psychometry, who investigates the history of various items taken from the Doctors pockets. These include the Fallen Angels clockwork duck (Fallen Angel), a fluid link from the TARDIS containing mercury from the Godhead failsafe (The Duke of Dominoes), a pamphlet with the Third Doctor's sketch of the Eriscent on (The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back), the blackened burnt out Scarab from Beta Osiris (Scarab of Death), a lump of gold ore from Ptolemaic Egypt (The Book of Shadows), a piece of chalk (Fascination), the Doctor's visa from Bukol (The Golden Door), the disc from the Time Lord Message Pod sent to Liz Shaw (Prisoners of the Sun), and Paxton's saxophone (Lackaday Express). The Doctor's pockets also contain a dimensionally transcendental cube covered with hieroglyphs, which he gives to Addison as a souvenir, and a printed circuit.
The Maleans have been conducting operations on Earth for some time [Mykloz contacted the Grand Council after arriving on Earth]; Malean agents substituted themselves for leading figures in the Nazi party, but were foiled by Mykloz's failure to keep America out of the war. Mykloz is starting to mutate, developing a concern for other creatures, which is usually alien to the Malean psyche on a genetic level. The Seventh Doctor encountered him in Los Angeles and stole the genetic stabilizer that he was hoping to use to slow down his mutation. He refused to tell Mykloz were he had hidden it, prompting the Malean to impersonate him.
Location: Los Angeles, December 1947.
Roots: The Fallen Angel mentions Reuben's Madonna with Child and the Wright brothers. He whistles Benjamin Bunny. The Doctor compares him to Robin Hood and the Saint. The story is dedicated to Leslie Charteris. There are references to Shakespeare and the Doomsday Book.
Continuity: The Crustacoids fought a war across the universe because they believed that it was their divine right to rule. The Time Lords trapped them in a prison of the mind, incarcerating them in a house on Earth that they believe to be a fortress; thanks to the Time Lords' intervention, they still believe that they are fighting the war, treating their guards as servants and sending out radio messages which are met with false replies. The Doctor describes them as a long-lived race. They have crab-like spiny carapaces and green blood [Terrance Dicks' novelisation of describes the claw of the body that Solon creates for Morbius as a crustacoid claw]. They killed one another at some point during the past. The house blends in with its surroundings so as to avoid attracting attention. The robot exterior guards have blank metal faces with thin and flexible necks. They have bronze claws instead of hands and feet and can fly. They are clothed in dark bunched cloth garments that cover their large, diaphanous wings, which allow them to fly. The house guards are giant metal spiders.
The Doctor joins Lucas Seyton, a.k.a. the Fallen Angel, for bacon and eggs with toast and marmalade. Seyton calls him Archibald, and later Alphonse, because he dislikes doctors. He rather reluctantly travels in a wing-walker's cage on a Bristol F.2B biplane.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor ate larks' tongues with Nero (The Romans). It was the Doctor who programmed the robots that guard the house [the implication is that the Doctor built the Crustacoids prison whilst working for the Time Lords prior to leaving Gallifrey]. He may have met William Seyton, King John's right hand man.
The Duke of Dominoes
Roots: There are references to Al Capone, the BBC, Svengali, and Abraham Lincoln.
Continuity: The Doctor and Sarah rescue a ship from a pirate fleet of Grakinese Corsairs by bargaining with mercury from the TARDIS [the fluid links - the Doctor tells Sarah that the TARDIS won't work without a new supply]. The Doctor and Sarah materialize briefly in Chicago and accidentally stumble across the mercury from the armilla that forms the Godhead failsafe, utterly unaware of the presence of the Master and their interference in his plans. Grakinese Corsairs have an affinity for mercury because it reminds them of the mirrored swamps of their home planet.
The Master appears here between Frontier in Space and The Deadly Assassin [more precisely, he appears between the subsequently published Last of the Gadarene and Legacy of the Daleks]. He considers a new incarnation of the Doctor to be his worst nightmare. The Master learns of the Ministers of Grace and the Godhead from scraps of information gathered from all across time and space, including the Great Library of Alexandria and the hieroglyphs in the Domdaniel caverns on Strava. His TARDIS is stolen by the power of the Godhead in nineteen-thirties Chicago, temporarily stranding him. He has recently disguised his TARDIS as a garage and a sarcophagus. He makes use of Gallifreyan telegnostic disciplines to clear his mind after being attacked by servants of the Godhood; these include thinking a candle alight. Part of the discipline states "And the adept shall perform simple acts of kindness for his fellows", so he makes carrot and turnip soup for everyone whilst taking refuge in a Mission Hall. He steals a bottle of communion wine. He dislikes letting anyone get too close to him emotionally. Once when he was young he witnessed a wedding flight of scissor bugs on the playing fields of Gallifrey and spent the entire day with them tangling in his hair and crawling into his nose until they died, smug in the knowledge that they couldn't reach the queen trapped in a jar in his pocket.
Slanting rain reminds the Master of prison bars (possibly a reference to his incarceration in The Sea Devils). He manufactures and sells bootleg whiskey in Chicago during Prohibition to provide funds whilst attempting to recover his stolen TARDIS. He uses the alias Dook Domini after the Duke of Dominoes, the trump card in an old Wallarian game of chance. He has apparently considered standing for Mayor of Chicago. He drinks whiskey from Kentucky. He drives a black Buick in which he keeps a Colt .45. During a shoot-out, a bullet grazes his temple he estimates that it will take a couple of hours to heal. He longs for the smooth luxury of a skim-speeder. He makes use of his Tissue Compression Eliminator (Terror of the Autons). He wears a watch that boasts an astro-synchronometer, which provides the Galactic Relative Time in Chicago, on Blue Profundis in the Sappho System, and on the Polar coast of the Isle of Mists. It also contains a hyperspace sonic flare. The Master had a palace (which seems to be called the Temples of Eternity) built on Blue Profundis, glorifying him for the new age of splendour that he brought to the planet. He befriended the reptilian natives, making one of them his Grand Vizier and entrusting them to safeguard the fragments of the Godhead that he left in the palace.
The Godhead is created at the end of the universe by the Order of Alchemaitres, a tyrannical group who rule a large part of the universe towards the end of time. In order to survive the destruction of this universe they instilled the essence of their power into a vessel designed to survive the Big Crunch and pass into the next universe. The Ministers of Grace, who disguised the broken shards and cast them randomly back into time, shattered this vessel, the Godhead. The Flagstaff Tektite was found on Mount San Francisco in Arizona in 1871. It is actually the Thought Core of the Godhead. It was kept in the Wainwright Museum in Chicago by Mrs Wainwright, actually one of the Ministers of Grace, and surrounded by a high-tension Time Brace that keeps it five seconds in the future. Wainwright is the only Minister who travelled back in time to watch over the Godhead, the rest remaining in their own time to face extinction since they believed that all of the fragments of the Godhead besides the Thought Core are irretrievable. The Ministers of Grace refer to the Big Crunch as the Great Purge. Wainwright herself creates and maintains the Time Brace around the Thought Core; her death causes it to unravel, releasing the Core. The Master inadvertently unleashes the elemental energy of the Godhead before he is ready, which steals his TARDIS in order to bring itself to Chicago and reunite with the Thought Core. Mercury acts as the interface between the rival forces of thought and energy that make up the Godhead; the Master considers that his TARDIS operates on similar principles [hence the fluid links - see The Daleks and The Wheel in Space]. The Ministers of Grace imposed a failsafe on the Godhead, so that it needs a living mind to hold the Thought Core and the Energy Focus in check; it manipulated the Master into reassembling it so that he could be that mind, which he agrees to do on his own terms. It accidentally joins the mind of murdered Father Sherrin however, who imbues it with his sense of morality and goodness; it leaves Earth and travels off into the universe, but restores the Master's TARDIS and TCE to him first.
Location: Chicago, during the 1930s.
Future History: The Sappho system has two suns. At some point after the twentieth century New Nippon (which is possibly an Earth colony) has Webster-Sayuki Credit Houses. There is a reference to Gug-trucker freighters.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor and Sarah rescue a ship from a pirate fleet of Grakinese Corsairs by bargaining with mercury from the TARDIS [the fluid links - the Doctor tells Sarah that the TARDIS won't work without a new supply].
The Straw That Broke the Camel's Back
Continuity: The Eriscent is less than four feet tall, with skin that is colourless in some areas and milky-yellow in others, particularly the chest. It has large black slits for eyes and a small lipless mouth, but no visible nose or ears. It has no toes. The Eriscents communicate by telepathy, but any attempt to read the thought patterns of other life forms irreversibly scrambles that being's brain, producing madness or fits. The Doctor has been in communication with the Eriscent for some time, having contacted it in space and discovering that it is lost and alone; he guided it to Earth so that he could offer it help. Its ship is light enough for a human to drag unaided.
The Brigadier has UNIT member Sergeant Purvis spy on the Doctor when his scientific advisor starts behaving suspiciously and refusing to let the Brigadier know what he is doing following the events of Doctor Who and the Silurians. The Brigadier remains uncertain about the Doctor's regenerative abilities, suspecting a hoax perpetrated by the two Doctors that he has met. He briefly revokes the Doctor's status as an employee of UNIT, when the Doctor refuses to tell him what is happening in Milton Bradbury and tells him to mind his own business.
The Doctor has already removed the console from the TARDIS (The Ambassadors of Death). Liz has tried the TARDIS door on several occasions when the Doctor has been absent from the laboratory, in the hope that he has left it unlocked and she can see inside it. He carries an eye-glass. The Doctor has been conducting research inside the TARDIS for some months [an exaggeration] and has built a high-sensitivity, high-frequency SAI-modulating amplifier, capable of detecting signals beyond the capacity of UNIT equipment to detect, with which he contacts the Eriscent.
Location: UNIT HQ and Milton Bradbury [early Summer, 1969].
Scarab of Death
Roots: The man that Sarah knees in the groin is meant to be Abslom Daak, who appeared in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strips Abslom Daak, Dalek Killer, Star Tigers, Nemesis of the Daleks, and Emperor of the Daleks [he carries his distinctive chainsword and refers to Taiyin]. A clone of Daak appeared in Deceit.
Continuity: The mile-high Black Pyramid of Beta Osiris is considered to the greatest surviving artefact of the Osiran civilizations. The Doctor and Sarah visit Beta Osiris following Sutekh's death, partly because the Doctor has always wanted to see the Black Pyramid. The Doctor tells Sarah that although none of the Osirans were as bad as Sutekh they were all power mad, sadistic and evil to the last. The Cult of the Black Pyramid worships Horus and refers to Sutekh as a false god. The Doctor claims that Horus was a cruel and ruthless dictator who conquered and oppressed more than a hundred inhabited worlds, and that he brought plague, famine, infertility and starvation to others. Horus nurtured beautiful societies of peace-loving people and then unleashed vicious killers on them to see what would happen, thus playing with the inhabitants of these worlds like toys. Following the defeat of Sutekh, Horus placed himself in suspended animation in the Black Pyramid on Beta Osiris, leaving behind a crystal microcircuit in the form of a scarab that would awaken him. The scarab was unearthed in Cairo in 2541. The cryogenic systems failed, and Horus died in his sarcophagus c1500AD. The psionic energy released by the damaged scarab causes a pillar energy to spew forth from the Black Pyramid, which the Doctor estimates will take a couple of centuries to expire.
The Doctor detests tour guides. He is able to translate Osiran hieroglyphs, claiming that he picked up a few clues based on what he saw in the pyramid on Mars. He carries a drawstring purse containing assorted coins from various different planets, including a thousand-credit piece redeemable on Beta Osiris. He pockets the burnt out scarab as a souvenir.
Sarah carries a Nikon SLR camera that was a gift from her Aunt Lavinia on the first day that she ever started work. She trades it for information on Beta Osiris. She disguises herself as a maid in the Black Pyramid casino.
A CIA agent secretly helps out Sarah by giving her information whilst disguised as a beggar, in order to prevent the loss of their most talented agent, i.e. the Doctor. He uses a time ring (Genesis of the Daleks).
Species that visit Beta Osiris include the Antareans. Beta Osiris has twin suns and an indigenous species exploited by the human colonists. The only urban complex on the planet is called Azira.
Location: Beta Osiris, July 2541AD.
Future History: Humanity discovered the Black Pyramid on Beta Osiris twenty years earlier, but has never managed to decipher the hieroglyphs inscribed on its sides.
The Book of Shadows
Continuity: The Doctor has told Barbara that he left his own people because they were content to observe whilst he saw the need for intervention. Barbara has some knowledge of Ptolemaic Egypt, although she has always been more interested in the people of the time rather than wonders such as the Pharos Lighthouse and the library. The Doctor and Barbara meet Ptolemy. The Doctor meets Aristotle and Plato.
Rhakotis is a member of a reptilian race. He can isolate areas of his brain, including that which deals with pain. He can withdraw his consciousness into his hind-brain to avoid the pain of death. He wears reflective metal armour. It is implied that his ship can travel through time. It is at least partially composed of refined gold.
Rhakotis interferes in history, giving Alexander and Ptolemy the technology to install temporal portals in the library of Alexandria. As a result of this, Barbara becomes trapped in 331BC; amnesiac, she marries Ptolemy and has a son, Philadelphius, both of whom die when Perdiccas army sacks the city. In this timeline, Ian is the soldier in Perdicca's army who kills Ptolemy, and is killed by the king in doing so. The temporal architecture of the library allows The Ancient and Worshipful Law of Gallifrey to be brought back from the twentieth century (Shada). The nature of the book means that everything that happens in the altered history is linked to it and therefore to the Time Lords, which the Doctor decides gives him the right to interfere; by reading from the book, Barbara and Rhakotis are able to unravel this alternate history, sacrificing Rhakotis by ensuring that his ship exploded before it landed on Earth.
Location: Alexandria, Egypt, 331 and 322BC.
Continuity: The Doctor carries a drawstring bag of money, which includes a gold sovereign. He also carries a pouch of salt, some old bullets saved from a war, and an old-fashioned thermometer. He considers fresh chilled orange juice to be one of the finest things about Earth. Appollonius of Tyana wrote the Nuctemeron during his exile in the wilderness. The villagers of Sair use the book to summon Shades, mystical beings that give them occult knowledge. The villagers use the teachings of the book to make their lives easier [The Doctor refers to the teachings of the book as the higher sciences see The Daemons].
Peri wears multi-coloured cycle shorts, a baggy white T-shirt, white sneakers and an orange baseball cap. She likes Budweiser. Whilst on Lanzarote she had a brief fling with a young Englishman and his brother, who had persistently tried to attract her interest. She eventually got drunk and agreed to return to their place for a nightcap. It is the English brothers with whom she intended to travel to Morocco (Planet of Fire). Tablibik gets her drunk. He uses spells to make her obsessed with him, and then has sex with her.
Location: Sair, somewhere on Earth, date unknown [given the lack of technology, probably the past].
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor witnessed Apollonius of Tyana chased into the wilderness by a posse of men armed with sticks and stones [and possibly met Apollonius' contemporary, Jesus of Nazareth, at the same time].
The Golden Door
Continuity: Mykloz is described as a master of deception and disguise. He is a Malean, and is possibly partially crystalline in nature. Maleans are shape-shifters. The Maleans are obsessed with preserving the purity of their gene pool, and kill any of their kind who are impure or weak. Mykloz poses as an impressionist and illusionist whilst on board the Illyria, making use of his natural abilities as cover. Mykloz fires his weapon into the closing gateway to the Sanctuary, causing a temporary rupture in space-time; the Gatekeeper notes that he could end up anywhere in space and time (see Playback).
Following Steven and Dodo's insistence on a holiday, the Doctor materialized the TARDIS on board the star-liner Illyria, on which they arrived on Bukol. Whilst on Bukol, Steven and Dodo sample Wawalinan lobsters. The Doctor has visited Bukol before, when he befriended Anu-Ak, a man with an obsessive hobby of collecting television programmes. He suspects that the news footage of him broadcast on Bukol is the first time that he has ever appeared on television. Anu-Ak shows him a news report from twentieth century Earth describing the arrival of Mondas and the events at Snowcap space tracking station, which features a picture of the Doctor; he decides to make a note of what he learns from the report, so that he can surprise his companions with his foreknowledge when those events actually take place (The Tenth Planet). The Doctor has a passion for fifth dynasty Aquilian architecture.
The Sixth Doctor is travelling alone [setting this story at some point after Trial of a Time Lord]. He has been championing the cause of Malean mutants for some time, and is accompanying a pair of mutants to the Sanctuary on Bukol, pursued by Myklos. After Myklos abducted the Doctor, they switched places with Steven and Dodo purely by chance. The Doctor is able to shake off the effects of a hymerulion compound. He first learnt of the Sanctuary during a foray into the Matrix [probably during The Deadly Assassin] and has seemingly met the Gatekeeper before.
Bukolians are bulky but graceful pale-skinned bipeds with three eyes that move independently, and a tentacle on either side of their mouths. They are hairless. They are fanatical about bureaucracy. Bukol is a haven for the dispossessed of the galaxy; the Bukolian philosophy is Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to be free, from the poem by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. Bukol houses the entrance to the Sanctuary, a pocket dimension that the Time Lords discovered millions of years earlier before they adopted a policy of non-intervention. The Gatekeeper grants access to the Sanctuary, and is possibly a Time Lord.
Species present on Bukol include Hirazudi, which have translucent flesh, Kefanjii, which have constantly slavering tongues that secrete thick mucus the sight of which causes most humans to vomit uncontrollably, Quamak, and Udimi, which are six-limbed and yellow-skinned. Steven and Dodo visit a Pranganese are mentioned. Rats can be found on Bukol, and are described as Earth's contribution to the galaxy.
There is a Galactic Civil Service.
Location: Bukol, date unknown [certainly in the future, since rats have been spread across the galaxy from Earth and the Bukolians are familiar with humans].
Prisoners of the Sun
Roots: John Ridge is sent to headhunt Liz (Doomwatch). There are references to Doc Martens, Ray-Bans, Prince Charles and Lady Diana, Radio Times, Eagle, Action Man, Hornby, Rule Britannia, The Man In the Iron Mask, David Bowie's Scary Monsters, Marmite, Dante's Inferno, Tim Burton, Kafka, The Prisoner, and Professor Quatermass.
Continuity: There are fallout shelters on Gallifrey. The Solarians lived on the surface of the sun destroyed by Omega to provide the source of energy that allowed the Gallifreyans to become the Time Lords. In the alternate time line, Helios, last of the Solarians, was drawn to Earth by the solar collecting antennae of the first of the SunTraps and in the guise of a human adopted the role of Director of the Power Elite, guiding the human race towards the ultimate goal of forming an army to destroy Gallifrey and the Time Lords. The Doctor destroys Helios by throwing a potato at him, which absorbs the vital microwave bands that hold him together.
The Time Lords create the alternate time line, in which Gallifrey is destroyed, by exiling the Doctor to Earth and thus breaking the first law of time. They sent a Time Lord message pod (The Mutants) to Liz Shaw to show her this future and thus avert it, but it became trapped in the alternate time line; they transport the Doctor into that time line to recover the message and thus safeguard the main time line. Time Lord message pods can exist a chronon in front of their surroundings, to avoid detection. Once this time line is avoided, the Time Lords [the CIA] realize that the Doctor will prove useful again, but decide to keep him busy by realizing the Master from Shada (Shada) [the Master is captured and incarcerated at some point after The Dark Path]. To decrease the likelihood of the Master killing the Doctor outright, they decide to warn him; one of the Time Lords who makes this decision is the bowler-hat wearing Time Lord from Terror of the Autons. There is a clergy on Gallifrey lead by the Supreme Pontiff of Time, known as the Time Pope. He is decapitated during a revolution on Gallifrey that takes place after the Doctors exile, and in which several cardinals are also executed.
Following his exile to Earth and regeneration, the Doctor chose his clothes carefully to help him cultivate his chosen persona. He decided that the Fedora hat he briefly donned in Ashbridge Cottage Hospital was a mistake, and it is now kept in a trunk in the TARDIS (Spearhead from Space). His sonic screwdriver can emit UHF waves. He disguises himself as a robot based partially on Auton technology in the alternate time line, which he dubs a cybotoid. It is implied that the Doctor's first body was prematurely aged by too many different gravities and too many close encounters with death.
Liz's flat contains copies of The Trials of Oz, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Bored of the Rings, and The Day After Doomsday. She has friends named James, Charles and Jools and occasionally smokes marijuana. Her flat has a Zephyr Chime doorbell. She has decided to leave UNIT, but hasn't yet told the Doctor; he has already found out from the Brigadier however [Liz's decision to leave is a combination of the events of The Scales of Injustice and The Devil Goblins from Neptune, setting this story after those those]. She returns to Cambridge and writes a book on the history of time.
In the parallel timeline, London is home to Drowned World Tours Incorporated and the Power Elite. The Power Elite has a Directorate of Energy, Speed and Information, which is responsible for the creation of the Virilio Net, a non-terrestrial network controlled by five satellites orbiting Earth. Humans can connect to the Virilio Net via jackplugs implanted into their noses. The Hadrian canal has been built between England and Scotland. The Nestenes invaded in this reality, but were repelled by UNIT, especially General Munro (Spearhead from Space). The Doctor stopped the Stahlman project in this time line, and still travelled into a parallel universe (Inferno). Auton technology has been used to make robots. WOTAN was also built in this time line (The War Machines); later, the military took control of the Telecom Tower and used it for defence. The Power Elite took control of the United Nations during the nineteen fifties. A group of UNIT soldiers loyal to democracy and the Crown formed a resistance movement named Jerusalem Rises, which included Captain Mike Yates and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart; in this reality, the Doctor betrayed Earth and UNIT, playing a role in the Brigadier's execution. Following his last attempt to escape from Earth, he was placed in suspended animation, so that his knowledge and experience could be tapped. The Power Elite has occasionally used its solar power satellites as directed energy weapons. The alternate Liz Shaw won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize.
Location: London,  and England in an alternate time line some time after 1987; and Gallifrey.
Future History: At some point in the future, Venus is purchased by a North American company and transformed into a leisure planet. Toyota bought the planet when the original owners went bust. The Doctor learnt Venusian martial arts from a Zen hologram created by Toyota.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor taught martial arts to Bruce Lee. Guilio Camillo explained his proposed Memory Theatre to the Doctor and the King of France during the summer of 1530. There is a reference to his meeting with Houdini (mentioned in Planet of the Spiders).
Roots: There are references to Romper Room, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Coke, Christopher Robin, the Pet Shop Boys, and Schroedinger's Cat.
Continuity: The Doctor notes that he has bargained with Time before and that she always demands a terrible penalty.
The TARDIS manual once had an appendix on universal warping, but the Doctor tore the pages out for some reason he can't remember.
As a result of throwing herself into the cyclotron, Kate is able to revisit any point in her past, but not change it. When the Doctor throws himself in after her in order to rescue her, she becomes able to change her own timeline, threatening the fabric of the entire universe.
Hardy has no native life. Steppe Guerillas are apparently plunderers and pirates.
Location: Hardy, date unknown [Camden town is mentioned, so London still exists in recognizable fashion].