Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
Other Guides to this Story
This is the sixty-sixth novel in BBC Books' Past Doctor Adventures series.
Where does this fit?
This happens at some point after Vengeance on Varos (Classic Series Season 22).
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.
Perpugilliam (Peri) Brown is an American botany student from the 1980s. She met the fifth Doctor in Planet of Fire (Classic Series Season 21) when she was on holiday in Lanzerote with her stepfather Howard, and helped him to defeat the Master. In The Caves of Androzani (Classic Series Season 21), the Doctor sacrificed his fifth incarnation to save her life. She continued travelling with the sixth Doctor, despite his initial ill treatment of her, and the fact that they were always bickering.
Recurring and Historical Characters
The Nestene Consciousness is a disembodied intelligence descended from a being that survived the previous universe. It attempted to invade the Earth in Spearhead From Space (Classic Series Season 7) and Terror of the Autons (Classic Series Season 8). It has the ability to control items made of plastic, and usually employs Autons as agents.
Autons are plastic beings controlled by the Nestene Intelligence. There are two types of Autons. The first are sophisticated duplicates which need the original to be kept alive in order to duplicate them. The second are crude killing machines with a gun hidden in their hands. This second type are often disguised as shop window dummies. The guns have two settings - kill and disintegrate. The Doctor faced them in Spearhead From Space (Classic Series Season 7) and Terror of the Autons (Classic Series Season 8).
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 Vengeance on Varos (Classic Series Season 22), the TARDIS needed a new supply of Zeiton 7. The Doctor obtained some, and has been playing around with it since then.
In The Trial of a Time Lord (Classic Series Season 23), the Time Lords put the Doctor on trial for his interference in the universe. The trial was revealed to be, in part, a cover-up ofcertain secrets concerning the planet Ravalox, which the Doctor had apparently discovered in The Mysterious Planet (Season 23).
In Shell Shock (Telos Novella), we discovered that Peri had been abused by her stepfather Howard, who appeared in Planet of Fire (Classic Series Season 22).