Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
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The Eight Doctors
This is the first in the BBC's series of Eighth Doctor novels.
Where does this fit?
For the eighth Doctor, this follows on from The TV Movie. The stories from other Doctors happen during An Unearthly Child episode 3 (Forest of Fear), The War Games episode 9, and The Trial of a Time Lord episode 13; shortly after The Sea Devils, State of Decay, The Five Doctors; and shortly before The TV Movie (all Classic Series stories).
The characters listed below are the series regulars, important recurring characters, and real life historical characters. If a character's appearance is a major spoiler, then their details will be hidden in spoiler tags. In general, recurring characters are not listed here on their first appearance unless they become a series regular during the story, or they are a real life historical character.
Sam Jones is a new companion for the eighth Doctor. This book is her first appearance.
Susan Foreman usually described as the Doctor's granddaughter. She and the Doctor left their home planet in Lungbarrow (Virgin New Adventures novel). Susan adopted the surname Foreman whilst staying on Earth during 1963. She appeared in the first TV story An Unearthly Child (Classic Series Season 1), where she was a pupil at Coal Hill School in London. During that story Susan was followed home by two of her teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. This led to them joining her and the Doctor in travelling through space and time.
Ian Chesterton is a science teacher from Coal Hill School, 1963. In An Unearthly Child (Classic Series Season 1), he and colleague Barbara Wright were intrigued by the strange behaviour of one of their pupils, Susan Foreman. They followed her home to a junkyard where Susan and the Doctor had parked the TARDIS. In a confrontation with the Doctor they forced their way into the TARDIS. The Doctor took exception to this and whisked them away. Later in the story, he realised he was wrong to do so and decided to try to get them home.
Barbara Wright is a history teacher from Coal Hill School, 1963. In An Unearthly Child (Classic Series Season 1), she and colleague Ian Chesterton were intrigued by the strange behaviour of one of their pupils, Susan Foreman. They followed her home to a junkyard where Susan and the Doctor had parked the TARDIS. In a confrontation with the Doctor they forced their way into the TARDIS. The Doctor took exception to this and whisked them away. Later in the story, he realised he was wrong to do so and decided to try to get them home.
Jamie McCrimmon is a scots piper who met the Doctor after the battle of Culluden in The Highlanders (Classic Series Season 4). He is proud of his scottishness and wears a kilt and carries a dirk (knife). The second Doctor leaves most of his action to Jamie.
Zoe Heriot is a 21st century astrophysicist who met the Doctor in The Wheel in Space (Classic Series Season 5). She has an eidetic memory and vast reasoning ability.
Jo Grant: is the third Doctor's assistant at UNIT. She got the job thanks to her uncle, even though she failed science at school. She first appeared in Terror of the Autons (Classic Series Season 8).
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is commander of the British branch of UNIT - the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. He first met the second Doctor whilst in the regular army in The Web of Fear (Classic Series Season 5). He met the second Doctor again in The Invasion (Classic Series Season 6), by which point he was commander of UNIT. He met the third Doctor in Spearhead From Space (Classic Series Season 7), just after the Doctor had been exiled to Earth. During that story, the Brigadier appointed the Doctor as scientific advisor to UNIT.
Sergeant John Benton is an officer in UNIT. He first met the Doctor in The Invasion (Classic Series Season 6). He has frequently worked with the Doctor and is fiercely loyal to both the Doctor and the Brigadier.
Romanadvoratrelundar (Romana) is a Time Lady chosen to accompany the fourth Doctor on his quest for the Key to Time in The Ribos Operation (Classic Series Season 16). Their quest succeeded, and they may have had adventures following this. In Destiny of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 17), Romana regenerated for the first time. Her second incarnation is fun-loving and has a deep friendship with the fourth Doctor.
Tegan Jovanka is an Australian air stewardess from the 1980s. She first met the Doctor in Logopolis (Classic Series Season 18). In Time Flight (Classic Series Season 19), the Doctor left her behind in her native time at Heathrow. However, she rejoined the TARDIS crew during Arc of Infinity (Classic Series Season 20). Tegan is quite irritable and has a strong sense of national pride.
Vislor Turlough is an alien who was exiled to 1980s Earth following a political revolution on his home planet. He was forced to attend Brendon School as a pupil. In Mawdryn Undead (Classic Series Season 20), he made a pact with a cosmic entity called the Black Guardian to kill the Doctor. He joined the TARDIS crew and decided to reject the Black Guardian in Enlightenment (Classic Series Season 20). He holds humanity in contempt, and has great confidence in his own abilities.
Recurring and Historical Characters
The Master is a Renegade Time Lord who was a friend of the Doctor at the Prydonian Academy (see Divided Loyalties (BBC Past Doctor novel)). Due to events in The Dark Path (Virgin Missing Adventure), he developed a hatred of the Doctor. He fought the third Doctor many times during his exile on Earth, beginning with Terror of the Autons (Classic Series Season 8). He was arrested by UNIT in The Daemons (Classic Series Season 8), but escaped during The Sea Devils (Classic Series Season 9). He was turned into a withered husk during Legacy of the Daleks (BBC Eighth Doctor Novel), but gained himself a new body in The Keeper of Traken (Classic Series Season 18). It was this body that turned up at the Sixth Doctor's Trial (Classic Series Season 23). This body later became infected with a virus that turned humanoids into Cheetah People in Survival (Classic Series Season 26). The Master's history after this is somewhat confused. However, he was eventually exterminated by the Daleks and the Doctor was sent to collect his remains. The Master survived extermination as some kind of energy being and tried to possess the Doctor's body before being plunged into the Eye of Harmony aboard the Doctor's TARDIS in The TV Movie (1996 TV Movie). The picture is of the incarnation who battled the Third Doctor and UNIT.
Flavia is a Time Lady who became acting President of the Time Lords at the end of The Five Doctors (Classic Series Season 20) when the Doctor (who was rightful President) left Gallifrey. She later became President in her own right.
Castellan Spandrell is a Time Lord who has held the office of Castellan (chief of the Chancellery Guard) for some time. He was first seen in The Deadly Assassin (Classic Series Season 14).
Rassilon is the legendary founder of Time Lord society. He survived into modern Gallifreyan times as a living statue in Gallifrey's Death Zone - an ancient arena. Legend said that he could grant immortality. The Doctor met Rassilon in The Five Doctors (Classic Series Season 20). He may have powers that are beyond the Time Lords.
The War Chief was a renegade Time Lord who allied himself with aliens led by The War Lord. They kidnapped humans from various time zones in a bid to produce the ultimate warriors. In The War Games (Classic Series Season 6), they were stopped by the second Doctor, who then called in the Time Lords.
The War Lord was the leader of a race of aliens who kidnapped humans from various time zones in a bid to produce the ultimate warriors. In The War Games (Classic Series Season 6), they were stopped by the second Doctor, who then called in the Time Lords.
The United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT) is an international organisation formed to combat alien invasions and the like. Its members are mostly soldiers from the countries in which they operate. We first saw UNIT in The Invasion (Classic Series Season 6), and the Third Doctor became scientific advisor to UNIT in Spearhead From Space (Classic Series Season 7). The Doctor has worked with UNIT on numerous occasions since then.
Vampires are powerful beings that feed on the blood of other species. The Time Lords fought them in the days of Rassilon and thought that they had destroyed them all. However, the fourth Doctor encountered and destroyed some survivors in State of Decay (Classic Series Season 18).
Sontarans are a race of clones who have been at war with the shape-changing Rutan for millions of years. They consider other life forms inferior. The Doctor first encountered them in The Time Warrior (Classic Series Season 11) and The Two Doctors (Classic Series Season 22). He has fought them on several subsequent occassions.
The Valeyard: is a bit of a mystery. He has been described as a distillation of all the Doctor's evil from between his twelth and final incarnations. The Doctor first met him during The Trial of a Time Lord (Classic Series Season 23), where he tried a number of tricks to obtain the sixth Doctor's body and, therefore, his remaining incarnations.
Cardinal Borusa: was modern Gallifrey's most important politcal figure. At one point (see Divided Loyalties(BBC Past Doctor novel)) he taught at the Prydonian Academy. He became Chancellor soon after The Deadly Assassin (Classic Series Season 14). He became President following The Invasion of Time (Classic Series Season 15). Eventually, possibly due to a bad regeneration, Borusa began thirsting after immortality. He rigged the game of Rassilon to obtain it, but was turned into a statue by Rassilon in The Five Doctors (Classic Series Season 20). The picture is the incarnation that appeared during The Invasion of Time
The following stories and other resources are not necessary in order to follow the plot (we've summed up the essential bits for you). But being familiar with them will probably enhance your enjoyment of this story.
In An Unearthly Child (Classic Series Season 1), the first Doctor travelled back to 100,000 BC with Susan, Ian, and Barbara. They were, at one point, captured by a group of cave-men.
In The War Games (Classic Series Season 6), the second Doctor defeated the War Chief's and War Lord's plan to fashion an ultimate soldier by snatching humans from different eras of history. Realising that he couldn't return everybody to their own time, he called in the Time Lords. They returned everyone to their own time, but sentenced the Doctor to forced regeneration and exile to Earth.
In The Silurians (Classic Series Season 7), the third Doctor and UNIT encountered the Silurians, a reptilian species that ruled the earth before mankind evolved. The Brigadier blew up their base, though the Doctor objected.
In The Daemons (Classic Series Season 8), UNIT aptured the Master - who had been posing as both the local vicar and as the leader of a coven of witches in a village called Devil's End.
In The Sea Devils (Classic Series Season 9), the Master used an invasion by Sea Devils (aquatic cousins of the Silurians) to escape from his prison on Fortress Island.
In State of Decay (Classic Series Season 18), the fourth Doctor (with Romana, K9 and Adric) defeated the Great Vampire - an ancient vampire who fought Rassilon. He also defeated the Great Vampire's three vampire servants Zargo, Camilla, and Aukon.
In The Five Doctors (Classic Series Season 20), President Borusa snatched the Doctor's first five incarnations to play the Game of Rassilon and gain himself immortality (though the fourth Doctor was trapped in a Time Eddy and never arrived). Borusa ended up trapped in a statue, and the four Doctors all met each other.
In The Trial of a Time Lord (Classic Series Season 23), the sixth Doctor was put on trial by his own people for interference in history, though the charge was then upped to genocide. Events were being manipulated by the Valeyard, who wanted the Doctor's future incarnations. The trial was put on by corrupt Time Lord officials who had moved Earth and renamed it Ravalox to hide secrets stolen from the Matrix - their data store. The Doctor had accidentally stumbled across Ravalox in his travels.
In Planet of the Spiders (Classic Series Season 11), the third Doctor defeated a race of giant spiders from the planet Metebelis 3.
In The TV Movie (1996 TV Movie), the seventh Doctor collected the remains of the Master from Skaro. However, the Master had transferred himself into an energy being and disrupted the TARDIS. When the Doctor left the TARDIS, he walked right into a hail of gunfire and regenerated. The Master then tried to steal the Doctor's body, but ended up plunged into the Eye of Harmony.