Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide


This is the eighteenth in Virgin Books' Missing Adventures series, and the only one where the Doctor is not a main character (he only appears in the prologue and the epilogue).

The book is an adaptation and expansion of the video release Downtime by fan company Reeltime Pictures.

Where does this fit?

For Victoria, this happens at some point after Fury from the Deep

For Sarah this happens at some point after K9 and Company

For the Brigadier this is somewhere between Mawdryn Undead and Battlefield

Other Guides to this Story


The second Doctor cameos in the prologue and the third Doctor cameos in the epilogue.


In 1866 Victoria Waterfield was an orphaned teenager. In The Evil of the Daleks her father and his friend Theodore Maxtible established a line between Victorian London and the Daleks' home planet of Skaro. The Daleks held Victoria hostage in order to control them. The second Doctor and Jamie defeated the Daleks, but her father died. Victoria then chose to travel with the Doctor and Jamie.

During her travels she helped fight the Great Intelligence and its Yeti robots in Tibet. In Fury from the Deep she left the Doctor to live with a family called the Harrisses in 1970s England.

Sarah Jane Smith is a journalist who first encountered the Doctor when she sneaked into UNIT Headquarters looking for a story (in The Time Warrior. She subsequently travelled with both the third and fourth Doctors. In K9 and Company Sarah received a gift from the Doctor of K9 Mark III, a robot dog.

Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was a Colonel in the regular army when he first met the (second) Doctor and helped him defeat the Great Intelligence, who was using his robot Yeti to invade the London Underground (The Web of Fear). Lethbridge-Stewart was subsequently promoted to Brigadier, and commanded the British branch of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT), defending the planet from alien invasions. In that role, and afterwards, he worked with several incarnations of the Doctor.

Recurring and Historical Characters

Professor Travers was an explorer in Tibet. In The Web of Fear he encountered the second Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria. He helped them defeat an incorporeal alien called the Great Intelligence and its servants who took the form of robotic Yeti. He then brought one of the Yeti back to England, which enabled the Great Intelligence to attack the London Underground (The Web of Fear), before helping the Doctor to once again defeat it.

The Great Intelligence is an incorporeal alien entity. In The Abominable Snowmen the Doctor, Travers,and Victoria prevented its plans to take over the Det Sen monastery in Tibet. In The Web of Fear, the Doctor, Lethbridge-Stewart, and Travers prevented its plans to take over the London Underground. During both events it used robotic servants in the shape of Yeti.

The Yeti are robotic servants of the Great Intelligence. They are controlled by means of a "control sphere". If the sphere is removed from a Yeti, it ceases to function.

There are small appearances by Jamie McCrimmon (a Scotsman who travelled with the Doctor and Victoria), Brigadier Crichton (the commander of UNIT briefly seen in The Five Doctors) and Captain Bambera (who will become a Brigadier and the commander of UNIT by Battlefield). None of these characters appear in the original video.

This story is a sequel to Classic Series stories The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear, and will make much more sense if you are familiar with them.

You may also be interested in watching the original video, which has been released on both VHS and DVD.



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