Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



prose stub

A Device of Death was the thirty-first novel in the Virgin Missing Adventures series. It was written by Christopher Bulis and featured the Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan.

This novel is set rather uniquely between Genesis of the Daleks and Revenge of the Cybermen; it takes place during their Time Ring travels just after Genesis of the Daleks. Since the Doctor remains separated from his TARDIS from the beginning of former serial to the end of the latter serial, this story sees him borrowing another one temporarily.

It was not the only story to take place between the two serials. The Short Trips entry The Last Thing You Ever See also saw the Doctor, Sarah and Harry travelling by time ring while trying to return to Nerva Beacon. Logically, that story chronologically follows this one.

Publisher's summary[]

"As a member of an inferior race, you either work to serve the cause of Averon, or die."

Sarah is marooned on a slave world where the only escape is death. Harry is caught in the middle of an interplanetary invasion, and has to combine medicine with a desperate mission. And the Fourth Doctor lands on a world so secret it does not even have a name.

Why have the TARDIS crew been scattered across the stars? What terrible accident could have wiped the Doctor's memory? And what could interest the Time Lords in this war-torn sector of space?

At the heart of a star-spanning conspiracy lies an ancient quest: people have been making weapons since the dawn of time — but perhaps someone has finally discovered the ultimate device of death.


to be added



The Doctor[]

Time travel[]

  • After departing from Skaro, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry are scattered across the Adelphine Cluster due to temporal disruption interfering with the Time Ring.


  • The prologue of the novel contains explicit confirmation that the Doctor's mission in Genesis of the Daleks created a new timeline. The Time Lords actively monitor the changes as thousands of worlds are retroactively liberated from the Dalek Empire, although millions more remain under Dalek rule. The concept of a second timeline in Dalek history branching off from Genesis was introduced in The Discontinuity Guide, as reprinted on the BBC website.[1] Similar revelations were later intended for inclusion in the audio story Return of the Cybermen in 2021, linking the fallout of Genesis to the coming of the Last Great Time War, as well as explaining many other continuity discrepancies, but the scene was ultimately not recorded.[2]
  • According to the Time Lords, due to the Doctor's actions, a force of robots will arise that will contribute to the fall of the Daleks. It is implied that these robots are the Movellans.



External links[]