Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
This is the twenty-ninth novel in Virgin's Missing Adventures range. It is the only one to feature an appearance by the seventh Doctor.
Where does this fit?
For the fifth Doctor this happens in Season 19 between Castrovalva and Four to Doomsday.
For the seventh Doctor this happens between the New Adventures novels Return of the Living Dad and The Death of Art
Other Guides to this Story
The Fifth Doctor is physically younger than his previous incarnations. He wears Edwardian cricketing clothes with a stick of celery on the lapel. He is less eccentric than his previous incarnations. This story is shortly after he has regenerated from his previous incarnation.
The seventh Doctor views himself as "Time's Champion", and is pro-active against his foes. He tends to use strategic planning and manipulation to achieve his goals, and is perfectly willing to intervene in his own past in order to improve things and achieve victory.
Adric is from the planet Alzarius in E-Space. He is a mathematical genius from a race with a high metabolism (which means he heals fast). In Full Circle he stowed away on the TARDIS.
Nyssa of Traken is the daughter of Tremas of Traken, and a member of an alien race. In The Keeper of Traken she helped the Doctor and Adric to defeat the Melkur, a living statue that threatened their planet. The Melkur was actually the Master's TARDIS, and at the end of that story the Master took over her father's body. In Logopolis, the Master destroyed a large portion of the universe, including Traken.
Tegan Jovanka is an Australian air stewardess who accidentally stumbled into the TARDIS in Logopolis. She has a tendency to moan.
Christopher Rodonanté Cwej (usually Chris Cwej is a fairly junior Adjudicator (policeman) from 30th Century Earth. He is large, blond-haired, and blue-eyed. He has a somewhat childlike appreciation of fast vehicles. In Original Sin he and his partner Roz uncovered a plot to destabilise the Earth Empire. At the end of that story they both joined the Doctor on his travels.
Roslyn Sarah Inyathi Forrester usually Roz Forrester) is a veteran Adjudicator (policewoman) from 30th Century Earth. Her family are powerful aristocrats who are proud of their Xhosa heritage and claim descent from Nelson Mandela. Roz is very cynical and is bigoted against aliens. She also can't shoot straight. In Original Sin, she and her partner Chris Cwej uncovered a plot to destabilise the Earth Empire. At the end of that story they both joined the Doctor on his travels.
Recurring and Historical Characters
If you want to get a feel for where the fifth Doctor and his companions are at, you might want to watch Castrovalva.
Aspects of this novel might throw you if you're not vaguely familiar with the New Adventures novels and their version of the seventh Doctor. But then you'd just be in the same position as the fifth Doctor and his companions, and that's a perfectly good way to read this novel.
There are a lot of references to the version of Time Lord society established in Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, which would be further explored in Lungbarrow.