Introducing the Missing Adventures
By Paul Scoones
The regular monthly output of New Adventures is soon to be joined by an equivalently prolific second series of Doctor Who novels from Virgin Publishing. These are The Missing Adventures, novels of the same length as the New Adventures, written by much the same pool of authors, but set in the Doctor's past; specifically at approved points in the television chronology of the first six Doctors.
The editors of both the New and Missing Adventures, Peter Darvill-Evans and Rebecca Levene, have issued a set of guidelines (Doctor Who - Guidelines for Prospective Authors, February 1994), which indicate the direction the Missing Adventures are to take. Interestingly, the prospective authors are asked to steer clear of the 'stylistic experimentation' encountered in some of the New Adventures such as Transit and Conundrum; the Missing Adventures are to feature a straightforward style, reminiscent of the television stories but without the restraints on location, effects or characterisation. Unlike the New Adventures, the Missing Adventures have to be what the publishers have termed 'Doctor-centric'. By this they mean that the novels must revolve around the activities of the Doctor and his companions as it was on television so we won't be reading several chapters in before the Doctor puts in his first appearance, as has been the case with some New Adventures.
The editors are keen to ensure that the different feel and styles of the six Doctors' eras are maintained with these new books. This is so that readers will be more ready to accept the original adventures as taking place within the established history, rather than regarding them as unwelcome interlopers. To this end the editors have also decreed that each adventure must be set in a specifically defined gap between two television stories. This anchors the novels at a firm point within series continuity, and dictates which memories and experiences of the Doctor and his companions might be recalled in the novel. The Doctor and particularly his companions will be wearing the clothes associated with the gap between stories and the placing may also influence their frame of mind.
Contrary to what might be assumed at this point, the editors are not permitting the books to be directly linked to the television story preceding or following it, so there won't be the sort of situation whereby the TARDIS leaves the planet Sarn on the first page and arrives on Androzani Minor on the last page. There's a very good reason for this; there are only a limited number of gaps between stories available so each gap might have to accommodate several Missing Adventures novels, published perhaps over a period of many years.
It is therefore of interest to look at what gaps are approved by the editors for placing Missing Adventures. Some gaps are definite no-go areas because one story leads directly into the next. This is particularly relevant with regards to the First Doctor's era where many stories ended on a cliffhanger scene. Conversely very few Third Doctor stories are linked. In some cases even if there is no actual reprise of the final scene from the previous story the opening situation can be such that it is apparent that almost no time at all has passed for the TARDIS crew.
Gaps where there are little or no references closely tying a story into the one immediately preceding it are therefore regarded as ideal by the editors, but in order to allow authors to use certain Doctor and companion pairings, they have also had to identify other gaps where there is still a link but not so strong that it precludes the possible insertion of a Missing Adventure or two.
The guide stipulates that no Missing Adventures are to be set before An Unearthly Child or after Time and the Rani. Missing Adventures with the Seventh Doctor are presumably regarded as unnecessary while the Seventh Doctor is featured in the New Adventures.
Virgin Publishing's authors' guidelines contain a listing of every television story up to the end of the Sixth Doctor's era with 'yes', 'no', or 'maybe' accompanied by the occasional qualifier in each gap. The listing below summarizes this information grouped together for each possible TARDIS crew. The identified gaps are those listed in the guidelines; if a Doctor and companion pairing is not featured, then according to the guide there is no possibility of a novel featuring that line-up.
NOTE: This article was originally published in May 1994 on the eve of the launch of the Missing Adventures range. This online version has been published many years after the range ended, so to see which gaps were adopted and how closely the guide was adhered to, the placing of the Missing Adventures novels are noted below in blue. The one omission is Downtime by Marc Platt, as this does not fit within the Doctor's timeline. Virgin also reissued an updated version of their guidelines in January 1995, which had some modifications to the possible story gap listing, which are also noted here. This guide does not include BBC Books' novels since these were not necessarily governed by Virgin's writers' guidelines.
First Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara: There are four possible gaps available for this grouping, all of which are listed as 'maybe': between Marco Polo and The Keys of Marinus; after the first shot of The Aztecs but before the rest of the story; between The Aztecs and The Sensorites; between The Reign of Terror and Planet of Giants.
First Doctor, Ian and Barbara: Venusian Lullaby is located between The Dalek Invasion of Earth and The Rescue. The Virgin guide notes that there will be no more novels here as the Doctor is 'still sad about Susan' in The Rescue.
First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki: Between The Web Planet and The Crusade is regarded as the ideal placing for novels with this group. Between The Space Museum and The Chase is listed as 'maybe', noting that the Doctor is still working on the visualiser.
First Doctor, Vicki and Steven: There are two possible gaps: between The Time Meddler and Galaxy 4; and between Galaxy 4 and The Myth Makers (disregarding Mission to the Unknown as the TARDIS crew does not appear in this story).
First Doctor and Steven: Between The Daleks' Master Plan and The Massacre.
First Doctor, Steven and Dodo: Between The Massacre and The Ark and between The Celestial Toymaker and The Gunfighters are both listed as 'probably not'; in the first instance because Dodo is still unfamiliar with the TARDIS; and in the second because the Doctor still has toothache. There is a possible gap before the last scene of The Gunfighters which is unconnected to the rest of the story but does link into the one that follows.
First Doctor and Dodo: Between The Savages and The War Machines.
Second Doctor, Ben and Polly: Between The Power of the Daleks and The Highlanders.
Second Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie: Between The Moonbase and The Macra Terror is a 'maybe' but the time scanner prediction links the two stories; between The Macra Terror and The Faceless Ones is a possible gap.
Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria: The first scene of The Tomb of the Cybermen is linked to the previous adventure, but not to the rest of the story, so this is an approved gap. Between The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Abominable Snowmen; The Abominable Snowmen and The Ice Warriors; The Ice Warriors and The Enemy of the World are all approved gaps - but with the note that The Enemy of the World contains many references to the previous story. There is a gap after the first scene of The Web of Fear and another approved gap between The Web of Fear and Fury from the Deep.
Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe: Approved gaps are between The Invasion and The Krotons; The Krotons and The Seeds of Death but with no costume change; The Seeds of Death and The Space Pirates; The Space Pirates and The War Games.
Second Doctor Intriguingly, the gap between The War Games and Spearhead from Space is noted as 'preferably nothing here, please', indicating that the publishers see a possible gap between the Doctor's trial and his regeneration.
Third Doctor, Liz Shaw (and UNIT): All of the gaps between stories are available.
Third Doctor (and UNIT): Between Inferno and Terror of the Autons.
Third Doctor, Jo Grant (and UNIT): Every gap until the end of the Doctor's exile in The Three Doctors is available, with the additional note that between The Daemons and Day of the Daleks is a particularly long gap. The gap between The Three Doctors and Carnival of Monsters is listed as 'preferably not'; between Carnival of Monsters and Frontier in Space is approved but with Jo in the same costume. Frontier in Space leads directly into Planet of the Daleks but there's an approved gap between this story and The Green Death.
Third Doctor (and UNIT): Between The Green Death and The Time Warrior.
Third Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith (and UNIT): Strictly speaking The Time Warrior and Invasion of the Dinosaurs are directly linked but The Paradise of Death radio show, and later the novelisation, is placed here, so Virgin lists this as a possible gap, but notes that it is 'largely filled' by The Paradise of Death '...and future radio shows?' Between Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Death to the Daleks is a 'maybe', as is the gap between this latter story and Monster of Peladon. An approved gap exists between The Monster of Peladon and Planet of the Spiders.
Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan: Between Robot and The Ark in Space is a 'maybe' gap as Harry is unfamiliar with the TARDIS. Between Revenge of the Cybermen and Terror of the Zygons is listed as 'preferably not'.
Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith: Between Terror of the Zygons and Planet of Evil is a 'maybe' gap as the TARDIS is 'already en route to London'. Thereafter, every gap is available right up to The Hand of Fear. The novel Evolution is listed in the guide.
Fourth Doctor: Novels featuring the Fourth Doctor traveling alone can be set between The Deadly Assassin and The Face of Evil.
Fourth Doctor and Leela: Between The Face of Evil and The Robots of Death is a 'maybe' gap as 'Leela is still unfamiliar with the TARDIS'. All gaps after this point are available.
Fourth Doctor, Leela and K9: All gaps are available.
Fourth Doctor and K9: There is a gap available between The Invasion of Time and The Ribos Operation.
Fourth Doctor, Romana I and K9: The guide says 'preferably not' to novels set within the Key to Time season, but there is an approved gap between The Armageddon Factor and Destiny of the Daleks.
Fourth Doctor, Romana II and K9: Every gap is available from Destiny of the Daleks through to The Leisure Hive (the publishers list Shada as part of the story sequence); Between The Leisure Hive and Meglos is a 'maybe', but without K9 as he is 'incapacitated'.
Fourth Doctor, Romana II, Adric and K9: Between Full Circle and State of Decay is listed as 'probably not' due to Adric still being a stowaway at this point. The following gap between State of Decay and Warriors' Gate is approved, but novels in this gap would have to be set in E-Space.
Fourth Doctor and Adric: Although there are many references linking The Keeper of Traken and Logopolis, this is an approved gap.
Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan: Between Castrovalva and Four to Doomsday is listed as a 'maybe'; between Kinda and The Visitation is approved but with the note that Tegan is still worried about the Mara in the latter story. Between The Visitation and Black Orchid is listed as 'probably not' due to Nyssa commenting on the previous adventure, however there is an approved gap without a qualifier between Black Orchid and Earthshock.
Fifth Doctor and Nyssa: There is a gap available between Time Flight and Arc of Infinity.
Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan: Between Arc of Infinity and Snakedance is an approved gap. The novel Goth Opera is listed as set between Snakedance and Mawdryn Undead and the guide says 'preferably not' to further novels set before Goth Opera but afterwards is approved, noting 'Tegan still worried about Mara' in Snakedance.
Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough: The one possible gap between Mawdryn Undead and Terminus is listed as 'probably not', for the reasons that Turlough is new to the TARDIS and that the Black Guardian is around.
Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough: Between Terminus and Enlightenment is noted as 'probably not' because of the presence of the Black Guardian. Between Enlightenment and The Kings' Demons is an approved gap.
Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough (and Kamelion): Between The Kings' Demons and The Five Doctors is a 'maybe' gap as the Doctor is en route to the Eye of Orion. After The Five Doctors all the way through to Frontios every gap is approved.
Fifth Doctor, Turlough (and Kamelion): The one possible gap between Resurrection of the Daleks and Planet of Fire is listed as a 'maybe'.
Fifth Doctor and Peri: The one possible gap between Planet of Fire and The Caves of Androzani is approved.
Sixth Doctor and Peri: Between The Twin Dilemma and Attack of the Cybermen is listed as 'maybe'. All other gaps are approved through to The Trial of a Time Lord, with the note that Peri retains the same costume between Timelash and Revelation of the Daleks. The guide does not list Slipback, The Nightmare Fair, The Ultimate Evil or Mission to Magnus as part of the story sequence. The guide says 'preferably not' to setting novels between the segments of The Trial of a Time Lord.
Sixth Doctor (and Mel): As noted above, the guide advises against setting novels between the segments of The Trial of a Time Lord, but setting them in the gap between this story and Time and the Rani is approved. Although this is not noted in the guide, it is understood that the Doctor returned Mel home directly after the events of The Trial of a Time Lord as she is from his own future, and a younger Mel later joins the Doctor aboard the TARDIS.
This item appeared in TSV 39 (May 1994).