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Contextual Continuity

By Jon Preddle

Regular readers of original Doctor Who fiction (Virgin and the BBC New and Missing Adventures books) will know that the authors take great delight dropping in references to Doctor Who TV adventures. I challenge anyone to name a TV story that hasn't been alluded to.

Many of the books also contain references to pop culture, music, classical literature and fandom, as well as references to other Doctor Who novels. It would be an almost impossible undertaking to identify every one of these so I don't intend to try! (Paul Scoones almost managed it with Happy Endings in TSV 49).

When reading the books one thing I did notice were the many references to non-television Doctor Who ‘stories’ as well as other TV shows and SF movies. What stood out was that many of these references were written in a context that would therefore make the subject matter part of the book series' canon. For example, due to the many contextual references to Star Trek, that Universe must form part of Virgin's Doctor Who continuity. So, if you consider the novels to be canonical then you must also accept without question this extra continuity baggage that the books sometimes carry.

This series of articles is primarily a listing of these cross-medium/cross-series references to other TV shows and films, and non-TV Doctor Who stories. I have also thrown in a few other interesting bits and pieces for no reason other than because I felt like it. I will cover the BBC books, Decalogs and Virgin's Missing Adventures at another time, but first the book series that started this all off...


(With thanks to Peter Adamson, David Ronayne and Alden Bates)


  • Ka Faraq Gatri - Bringer of Darkness / Destroyer of Worlds [53]: Ka Faraq Gatri, the title that the Daleks gave the Doctor was first coined by Ben Aaronovitch for his novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks [pages 26, 100 of that book]. The name tends to pop up in all of Paul Cornell's books (No Future, 132, 199, 239); and his comic strips for Marvel (Metamorphosis in Doctor Who Yearbook 1993, and Emperor of the Daleks (DWM 197-202); as well as other NAs Infinite Requiem [179]; Head Games [242]; The Also People [225]; Happy Endings [37]; Return of the Living Dad [229]; So Vile A Sin [308] to name a few. The name also appears in Warwick Gray's Marvel strip Bringer of Darkness (DWM Dalek Special).
  • ...nearby Stockbridge [75]: Stockbridge was the small English hamlet which the Doctor visited several times in the Marvel strip - the Stockbridge trilogy consists of The Tides of Time (DWM 61-67), Stars Fell on Stockbridge (DWM 68-69), and The Stockbridge Horror (DWM 70-75). The Eighth Doctor recently revisited the village in End Game (DWM 244-247).
  • ...the caverns of Nessanhudd [197]: Vanessa Bishop and Brian Hudd are well-known British fans who edit the popular fanzine Skaro.
  • ...devouring Rassilon or his shade [197]: The concept of a shade, or shayde, first appeared in the Marvel strip The Tides of Time (DWM 61-67). A Shayde is a being, like the Watcher from Logopolis, who is best described as the part of the Matrix given human form, but with a large featureless globe for a head. The Doctor's Shayde returned to DWM in The Final Chapter (DWM 262-265), and Wormwood (DWM 266-).


  • They passed the street sign that said ALLEN ROAD and Ace saw that someone had dabbed white paint on to the second L so that it read ALIEN ROAD [143]: The idea of the Doctor having a house in the country is by no means a new concept; the Doctor's farmhouse laboratory in Wales first appeared in the Third Doctor comic strips appearing in Countdown during the 1970s. The Doctor's house in Kent first appeared in the Marvel strip Fellow Travellers (DWM 164-166). A glimpse of the painted street sign was later seen in the strip Ravens (DWM 188-190). The Doctor visits this house in several New Adventures, notably Transit, Warlock, Warchild, and The Dying Days.


  • Nightshade is clearly based on the 1950s TV series Quatermass. References to Nightshade appear in many New and Missing Adventures (The Left-Handed Hummingbird [151] and Conundrum [41]). A poster advertising Nightshade The Motion Picture appears in the Marvel Strip Star Beast II (DWM Yearbook 1996).


  • Daak's dead... [47]: Abslom Daak first appeared in the Marvel Back-Up strips Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer (DWM 17-20), and Star Tigers (DWM 27-30, 44-46), and the main strips Nemesis of the Daleks (DWM 152-155), and Emperor of the Daleks (DWM 197-202), as well as in an original text story in the Abslom Daak graphic novel published by Marvel. Daak would later appear ‘in the flesh’ in Deceit, which was a direct sequel to Nemesis of the Daleks.


  • Kadiatu... [7]: Family connections to Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart who features prominently in this book (she also appears on the cover) were first alluded to in Ben Aaronovitch's novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks (page 30). She later appears in Set Piece, The Also People and Happy Endings.
  • “Ill Dottore Va in Viaggio” by Marconi Paletti [65]: Marconi Paletti is a joke name for Marc Platt, who had novelised Aaronovitch's TV script Battlefield.


  • Abslom Daak... The Dalek Killer [78] ...Dalek Death Wheel [78, 108]: See Love And War above. The events surrounding Daak's death by destroying the Daleks' Death Wheel on page 78 is a direct link to the Marvel strip Nemesis of the Daleks (DWM 152-155). The planet Arcadia may be the same that appeared in the Marvel strip Profits of Doom (DWM 120-122).


  • ...a company called Panorama Chemicals [84]: In The Green Death the chemical company was called Global Chemicals but this was changed to Panorama Chemicals for the novelisation.


  • Smegging hell [15]: “Smeg” was a ‘safe’ swear word that first appeared in Red Dwarf. “Smeg” or variations of it crop up in several other New Adventures.
  • ...Exo Three [90]: Author David A McIntee is a great Star Trek fan and this was the first of many allusions to the Star Trek universe in his books. Exo Three was the planet from the original series episode What Are Little Girls Made Of?
  • Maybe even a Magnees... [111]: The Magnees Prize comes from the Star Trek episode The Lights of Zetar.
  • ...the Rihanssu language [129]: Another Star Trek reference: Rihanssu was the name given to the Romulan language as first used in the Star Trek novels, but not in the TV series.


  • ...the bloody ocean at Kandalinga! [113]: In the first Doctor Who Annual there is a text story called The Fishmen Of Kandalinga, in which the Doctor returns to the water world of Marinus, seen in the TV serial The Keys of Marinus.
  • ...all the way back to New Skaro [121]: This was Nigel Robinson's sly wink at Jean-Marc Lofficier's theory that the Daleks settled on New Skaro following Skaro's destruction in Remembrance of the Daleks as proposed in Lofficier's ‘History of Mankind’ in The Terrestrial Index (page 67). The idea of a New Skaro appears in the BBC Book War of the Daleks.


  • The History of Mondas on page 134 is a direct summary of the more detailed fuller hypothesis in David Banks's non-fiction book Doctor Who - Cybermen.


  • The names Okdel and Morka, the lead Earth Reptiles, first appeared in Malcolm Hulke's novelisation Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters, names which did not appear in the TV story Doctor Who and the Silurians.


  • The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey [2, 146]: This is the title of the book that played an important role in the cancelled Season Seventeen TV story Shada. The canonicity status of Shada is still a topic of heavy debate.


  • ...and watched Star Trek: The Next Generation in Spanish... [14]: Given the allusions in White Darkness and Sanctuary (and the Missing Adventures The Crystal Bucephalus) that the Star Trek universe was a part of the Doctor Who universe, it is odd to see a reference to Star Trek being referred to here as a television programme! Star Trek later pops up still as a TV show in Orman's Return of the Living Dad.
  • Macbeth hated flying... [99, 123]: Hamlet ‘Hank’ Macbeth also appears in No Future, page 102, and Happy Endings, and later in Orman's Third Doctor Marvel strip Change of Mind (DWM 221-223).


  • The Adventure Kids... [37]: A joke reference to Enid Blyton's The Famous Five. The joke is carried further by having one of the kids called Gary, named after Gary Russell who played Dick in a 1970s TV series based on the books.
  • Gillian... John... The Kleptons are here!... and the Trods!... You're Dr Who! [195, 208]: This sequence is a crossover to the long-running Dr Who comic strip from TV Comic, which started in 1964. John and Gillian were Dr Who's grandchildren. The alien Kleptons and robotic Trods appeared in several strips. The seventh incarnation of Dr Who would later appear ‘in the flesh’ in Head Games.
  • I can reconstruct the missing Christmas episode of ‘Professor X’ [211]: Professor X was the creation of Ben Aaronovitch, the idea being that in the Doctor Who universe in which the Doctor is a ‘real’ person, there is a long-running science fiction TV series called Professor X. The ‘missing Christmas episode’ is a joke reference to the lost seventh episode of The Daleks Master Plan. Professor X is referred to in No Future [54, 56, and he appears in person 124-126]. There are several references to him in Kate Orman's Return of the Living Dad and The Room With No Doors.
  • You are enemies of the Dredlox. You will be in-cin-er-at-ed! [236]: The Dredlox appeared in the US Marvel comic series Power Man and Iron Fist (Issue 79, March 1982), in which the titular heroes battle the very Dalek-like robots the Dredlox. There is even a mysterious stranger called Professor Gamble who lives in a book shop that is bigger on the inside than the outside, which dematerialises in the last panels of the strip!
  • ...those Mutant Ninja things... [237, 239]: The Doctor meets the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Nuff said!


  • Plotting, putting a mattress where he was going to fall... [13]: In Paul Cornell's DWM strip Emperor of the Daleks (DWM 202) the Seventh Doctor meets the Sixth Doctor, who says “I hope you appreciated that mattress in Perivale”. This is Cornell's sly attempt to explain how the Seventh Doctor survived the motorcycle explosion in Survival.
  • Chapter 9: Intertextuality [117-128], features appearances by characters from well-known British comedy or SF series: Dad's Army, [117-118]; The Goodies, [118-120]; The Good Life, [120-122]; The Tomorrow People, [122-123]; Till Death Us Do Part, [123]. Professor X appears on 124-126.
  • What's this Skywatch, for instance? [141, 156, 259]: This might be a reference to the UNIT outpost that originally appeared in the DWM back-up strip Skywatch-7 (DWM 58, DWM Winter Special 1981). But then again it might not.
  • I call you in the name of the Other... [203]: The idea of the Other, a mysterious member of Rassilon's triumvirate, was created by Ben Aaronovitch, Marc Platt and Andrew Cartmel. The concept of the Other first appeared in print in Aaronovitch's novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks, page 45. The Other later featured in John Peel's ‘The Scrolls of Rassilon’ in The Gallifrey Chronicles. The Other is also mentioned a lot in Lungbarrow. See also Lance Parkin's A History of the Universe.
  • ... or a Shayde [238]: See Timewyrm: Revelation.
  • If it's you, Magnus... [239]: Magnus was an old Time Lord friend of the Doctor's, who appeared in Warwick Gray's strip Flashback in the DWM Winter Special 1992. Magnus is either the Master, the Monk or the War Chief. Only Warwick knows, and he ain't saying!


  • ... I mean, on Magnus - [90]: With Legacy being an Ice Warriors book, Gary Russell has included references to all of their TV appearances. This mention of Magnus is a reference to the unmade Season 23 story Mission to Magnus by Philip Martin (a novelisation was published by Target in 1990).
  • ...It was the legendary sacred sword of Tuburr [95]: The sword of Tuburr was invented by Adrian Rigelsford for his non-fiction book Doctor Who - The Monsters. The sword has since popped up in other New Adventures, such as GodEngine and The Dying Days, and also in Gary Russell's Radio Times Eighth Doctor comic strips.
  • Calfedoria? The Cal-Med 1 base? [149]: These are references to the Audio Visuals audio-play Maenad written by Gary Russell (using his pseudonym Warren Martyn). Cal-Med One was a space station.
  • ...she's now at the Z-BD University [149]: Zebedee University was where Dr Who left his grandchildren John and Gillian in Invasion of the Quarks in TV Comic issue 872.
  • ... a Sontaran fragmentation grenade [271]: This lethal weapon first appeared in Terrance Dicks' novelisation of Terror of the Autons [67].
  • This book also contains several in-joke references to Gary's friends: Pol Kohnel [37] is obvious!; Pegg [39] is Nicholas Pegg; Neal Corry [62] is, um, Neil Corry!; J V Way [68] is Jonathan V Way; Riddler [114] is probably Jean Riddler; H'yn'tn [115] is Craig Hinton; Gris [128] is Warwick Gray; Grith Robtts [164] is Gareth Roberts; Krau Gillatt [165] is DWM editor Gary Gillatt; Hearn [165] is Marcus Hearn.


  • ...the northerly Nykortny Cosmodrome [1]: This is a name created by Ian Marter for his Target adaptation of The Invasion [131], being a play on Nicholas Courtney's name.
  • ...Just the Hunt kid seeing shadows on the sandpit again [8]: Child actor Jimmy Hunt played David MacLean, who witnessed the arrival of the Martians in the sand quarry behind his house, in the 1953 film Invaders from Mars.
  • ...I once had one where all my old foes chased me round a soap opera... [54]: A clever in-joke in which the Doctor recalls the events of the Doctor Who / EastEnders run-around Dimensions in Time as a nightmare he once had!
  • ...I helped with all that trouble over at Santa Mira last year [68]: The town of Santa Mira was the landing and distribution site of the pod aliens in the classic 1955 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • ...That's like something out of Future Boy [107]: An inaccurate reference to the Quantum Leap episode Future Boy, in which Future Boy is the hero's side-kick in the 1950s TV series Captain Galaxy (the line in the book should be “That's like something out of Captain Galaxy”.)
  • ...on Metaluna [176]: Metaluna was the alien planet in the film This Island Earth (1954).
  • ‘Qu'vatlh!’ [197] : This is apparently a Klingon swear word!
  • ...The Time Lord nanites... [255]: The idea that the Time Lords' ability to regenerate is controlled by nanobot technology first appeared in John Peel's book The Gallifrey Chronicles.
  • ...a Dalek anti-grav disc... [212]: The Daleks used anti-grav discs in the TV Century 21 comic strips of the 1960s, and on TV in Planet of the Daleks.
  • The book also contains name in-joke references to people connected with science fiction films: Agar [8] is named after John Agar, who starred in films such as Invisible Invaders (1959) and Journey to the Seventh Planet (1961); Exeter [6] is named after the alien from This Island Earth (1954); John C Finney [14] wrote the original story on which Invasion of the Body Snatchers was based; Lt Wood [15] is probably Ed Wood who directed cheesy films like Plan 9 From Outer Space (1956); the Master's alias Kreer is the name of the character that Roger Delgado played in the episode Stay Tuned of The Avengers; Jack Siegel [52] directed Invasion of the Body Snatchers and appeared in a cameo role in the 1978 remake; Corman AFB [63] is named for Roger Corman who produced many classic - and not so classic! - SF films during the 1960s and 1970s; ‘Klaatu barada nikto’ [120] is the well-known phrase from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951); Commander Tobey [186] is Kenneth Tobey who starred in The Thing from Another World (1951).


  • ...the old city of Urrozdinee [195]: The Doctor and Susan visited this world, a corruption of the name EuroDisney, in Mark Gatiss' short story of the same name in Marvel's 1995 Doctor Who Yearbook. (The theme-park was subsequently renamed Disneyland Paris.)


  • ...in La Bas [100]: An incorrect reference to the French village of La Barre where Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation grew up.
  • ...a painting of me.... on the wall in Windsor Castle [235]: A reference to a deleted scene from Silver Nemesis - reinstated in the video - in which Ace finds a painting of herself at the castle.
  • How's Count Sorin? [236]: This book was designed to write out Ace, and had to conform to Ace's destiny as described in the epilogue to Target's novelisation of The Curse of Fenric, in which Ace ends up living in 19th century France with Count Sorin.


  • ... fit to climb Mount Seleya [171]: This mountain is located on the planet Vulcan, and was where Spock was brought back to life in the film Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
  • RomuluS Hiq [250]: In other words: Romulan Ale, another detail from Star Trek.


  • Two Antonine assassins... [107]: The term Antonine first appeared in Steve Gallagher's novelisation of Warriors' Gate [1].


  • ...the Trods [17] ... Dr Who... John and Gillian... Zebadee University [66]: These are all taken from the 1960s Dr Who TV Comic (see Legacy and Conundrum above).
  • ...Jeremy Fitzoliver... [174]: A link to the obnoxious character from Barry Letts' two 1990s Third Doctor radio serials The Paradise of Death and The Ghosts of N-Space.
  • ...a dose of Molyneux's Radiation [203]: Probably named after well-known British fan John Molyneux.
  • ...a fictional attack by Daleks [237]: The Doctor plays the computer game Dalek Attack, in which the Daleks chase the Doctor from London to Paris to New York to Tokyo to Skaro.


  • This is, of course, an extended novelisation of the fan-produced video film Shakedown - Return of the Sontarans.
  • ... the Quatermass theory [202]: Bernard Quatermass was the character from the popular British SF TV serials The Quatermass Experiment, Quatermass II, Quatermass and the Pit and Quatermass.


  • ... they could have perfected the Gruber-Schneider Devic- [193]: A reference to the unmade 1960s Doctor Who story Operation Werewolf, set during World War Two, in which the Gruber-Schneider Device was a matter-transporter.


  • Doris and Kate, and Gordy... [104]: Kate is the Brigadier's daughter and Gordy his grandson, from the fan-produced video Downtime.


  • Shelbyville... Springfield... [12]: These two Martian colonies are named after the neighbouring (and rival) towns that feature in The Simpsons.
  • The Doctor had called them ‘everlasting matches’... [25]: These wondrous igniting instruments first appeared in David Whitaker's novelisation Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Daleks.
  • ... the rock snakes and the spider-lizards - not to mention the venom-moss... [43]: The rock-snakes would appear to be the same creatures from the 1966 film Thunderbirds Are Go!, while the others hail from The Angry Red Planet (1959).
  • ...Hitler, Green and Williams... [52]: I know the first and I'm not sure who Williams was, but Colonel Green led a genocidal war in the 21st century on Earth, as revealed in the Star Trek episode The Savage Curtain.
  • ...the sword of Tuburr [101]: See Legacy above.


  • ...PROBEs... [24]: The Preternatural Research Bureau comes from the series of fan-produced videos featuring Liz Shaw: The Zero Imperative, The Devil of Winterborne, Unnatural Selection, and Ghosts of Winterborne.
  • The Zen Military - A History of UNIT [99]: A reference to this book first appeared in Ben Aaronovitch's novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks [30].
  • ...his adventures with fictional characters like Old Father Time and Abslom Daak [104]: Dr Who met Father Time in the TV Comic strip (issues 890-893), but the reference to Daak being a fictional character when the Doctor actually met him (see Deceit) is very sloppy editing.


  • ...Stepford Wives, Midwich Cuckoos... Leapers, Sliders... [43]: The first is from Ira Levin's novel (later made as two films) about robotic housewives, the second from John Wyndham's novel about alien children born to human mothers (also a film), while the other two refer to the TV shows Quantum Leap and Sliders.
  • ...Professor X [55, 56, 181] ...the Professor X Appreciation Society [65]: Additional references to Doctor Who's TV counterpart in the Doctor Who Universe.


  • ...Altair IV... [22]: This is the name of the planet from the 1956 classic Forbidden Planet.
  • The nanobots in his bloodstream [254]: A concept which originated in The Gallifrey Chronicles - see also First Frontier.


  • ... on Deneb Seven... [30]: This could be a reference to DWM 48 comic strip The Touchdown on Deneb Seven.


  • ...the Professor X movie... [48]: As seen in Return of the Living Dad, Joel Mintz is a huge Professor X fan. He misses the May 1996 screening of the [Paul McGann] movie. He even wrote a Professor X: The New Adventures submission [183].


  • ...I was going to have you enrolled here at the Academy... [224]: Before Doctor Who was cancelled in 1989, Marc Platt had an idea for a Season 27 story in which the Doctor leaves Ace on Gallifrey to stir up the High Council of the Time Lords. See Sophie Aldred's book Ace! or DWM 255 for more on this proposal.


  • Who Killed Kennedy... David Bishop [26]: A reference to David's conspiracy theory pseudo-Missing Adventure.
  • The roll call of guests at the Space Centre contains several in-joke names:
    • -ermass... [34]: Another reference to Bernard Quatermass - see Shakedown above.
    • Richard Dawkins and his wife... [46]: Dawkins's wife is a little- known actress called, um... er, Lalla something... ah yes, Lalla Ward.
    • ...Lady Creighton-Ward... [46]: Thunderbirds is (apparently) set in 2026, so this cannot be that series' character Lady Penelope; more likely it is a relative.
  • I loved Sense and Sensibility... [48]: A sly in-joke to the idea that Benny is based on actress Emma Thompson, who starred in that film.
  • IIF are planning to build a nuclear-waste storage facility on the Moon in the next two years and the first manned flight to Jupiter is planned for two years after that [51]: A nuclear-waste storage facility on the Moon is the setting for the series Space 1999..., and in 2001 the Discovery will be launched for Jupiter, in 2001 A Space Odyssey.
  • ...Skywatch Control [103]: Another possible reference to the DWM comic strip Skywatch-7 - see also No Future.
  • ...one of MI6's double-O agents... [135]: A reference to Agent 007, otherwise known as James Bond.
  • ...a host of agencies from the IMF... [164]: The Impossible Missions Force is from the long-running TV series Mission: Impossible.
  • ...some looked like giant desk lamps, some like great camera tripods... [191]: These descriptions of captured Martian war machines appear to be based, respectively, on the vehicles from the film version of War of the Worlds (1953), and presumably that on the album cover of Jeff Wayne's musical of H G Wells' book.
  • ...the sword of Tubarr... [248]: It's a different spelling, but it's the same weapon - see Legacy and GodEngine above.
  • ...my autographed copy of The Killing Stone [269]: Many years ago, actor Richard Franklin revealed that he had written an original novel about Mike Yates called The Killing Stone. It has never been published in book form, but Franklin did record a ‘spoken book’ adaptation.
  • ...The Daleks call me the Bringer of Darkness... [271]: The translation of Ka Faraq Gatri - see Timewyrm: Revelation.

Jon adds: In my introduction, I refer to “this series of articles”. Sadly, this was the first and only instalment of Contextual Continuity. I still have on file the unpublished first draft of ‘part two’; this covers the Decalogs and the Missing Adventures.

This item appeared in TSV 55 (October 1998).