Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
Other Guides to this Story
This is the second novel in Virgin's New Adventures series.
Where does this fit?
This happens after Timewyrm: Genesys
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.
Ace was a teenaged delinquent in 1980s Perivale. She invented her own homemade explosive called nitro-nine, and prefers her nickname of Ace to her real name of Dorothy. She she was swept away from Perivale by a timestorm, ending up on Iceworld in the far future. Ace met the Seventh Doctor in Dragonfire (Classic Series Season 24) and became his companion. During her travels with the Doctor she has grown up considerably. However, she has been hurt by the way the Doctor has manipulated her. In particular, she was hurt by the way he tricked her in The Curse of Fenric (Classic Series Season 26) and the way he forced her to face the evil she sensed in a house her 13 year old self had burnt down in Ghost Light (Classic Series Season 26). She calls the Doctor "Professor".
Recurring and Historical Characters
The Timewyrm is a malevolent creature of immense power from ancient Gallifreyan legend. She was created during Timewyrm:Genesys (Virgin New Adventures novel) when a cybernetic alien called Ishtar interfaced with the Doctor's TARDIS.
The Nazis: Adolph Hitler was the leader of the National Socialist (Nazi) party, a political party who took power in Germany from 1933 to 1945. The Nazis were responsible for World War 2 and the Holocaust. Hitler and many of his inner circle appear in this book. They include Hermann Goering (amongst many titles, he was head of the Luftwaffe, or air force), Heinrich Himmler (head of the SS - the secret police), Martin Bormann (Hitler's secretary), Joseph Goebells (propaganda minister), Joachim von Ribbentrop (foreign minister), and Albert Speer (personal friend of Hitler's, and a professional architect). All you need to know about them is explained in the book.
The War Chief was a renegade Time Lord defeated by the Doctor in The War Games (Classic Series Season 6). During that story, he was apparently executed by the Time Lords for his attempts to create an army for his allies, a race of aliens styling themselves the War Lords. He also briefly appears in Divided Loyalties (BBC Past Doctor novel), in scenes set before either he or the Doctor left Gallifrey.
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.
The Doctor and Ace visited World War Two Britain in The Curse of Fenric (Classic Series Season 26). They also encountered modern day Nazis in Silver Nemesis (Classic Series Season 25) and Nazi sympathisers in Remembrance of the Daleks (Classic Series Season 25).
In The War Games (Classic Series Season 6), the Doctor defeated some aliens called the War Lords and a Renegade Time Lord called the War Chief. They had kidnapped human soldiers from various time zones in a plan to create the ultimate warriors. He had to call in the Time Lords to return all their victims home. The War Chief was executed by the Time Lords for his crimes.
This book follows on from Timewyrm:Genesys (Virgin New Adventures novel), and sets the scene for Timewyrm: Apocalypse (Virgin New Adventures novel) and Timewyrm: Revelation (Virgin New Adventures novel).
The "what if the Nazis had won the war" scenario was first explored in the non-Who book Fatherland. The Faction Paradox novel Warlords of Utopia also explores the idea.
You might also want to read some history books to get a better idea of who the Nazi hierachy were. One I've read is The Face of the Third Reich by Joachim Fest - which is a good guide to the major figures in the Nazi party. Other history books are also available.