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Arc of Infinity was a novelisation based on the 1983 television serial Arc of Infinity.

Publisher's summary[]

1983 Target Books edition[]

When the Doctor returns to Gallifrey, he learns that his bio data extract has been stolen from the Time Lords' master computer known as the Matrix.

The bio data extract is a detailed description of the Doctor's molecular structure - and this information, in the wrong hands, could be exploited with disastrous effect.

The Gallifreyan High Council believe that anti-matter will be infiltrated into the universe as a result of the theft. In order to render the information useless, they decide the Doctor must die...

1992 Target Books edition[]


On his return to Gallifrey, the Doctor learns that his bio data extract has been stolen from the Time Lords' master computer, the Matrix. The Gallifreyan High Council believe that anti-matter will be infiltrated into the universe as a result of the theft. The information must be rendered useless - the Doctor must die.

First broadcast in 1983, this is the first story since The Three Doctors to feature Omega, a bitter Gallifreyan exiled forever from this universe. This novelization by Terrance Dicks was adapted from the original script by Johnny Byrne.

Chapter titles[]

  1. Deadly Meeting
  2. The Horror in the Crypt
  3. Recall
  4. Death Sentence
  5. The Prisoner
  6. Termination
  7. The Matrix
  8. The Traitor
  9. Unmasked
  10. Hunt for Omega
  11. Transference
  12. Omega's Freedom

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Many of the story's scenes have been truncated together. Including, but not limited to, the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan's final pursuit of Omega through the streets of Amsterdam.
  • The Ergon is described as a "giant walking lizard".
  • The function of the Matrix Crown on Gallifrey is elaborated upon. It's explained that the link is only used in strict emergencies to directly consult with the "strange combination of group-mind and race memory" that is the Matrix. It's both extremely dangerous and stressful to the wearer.
  • The High Council's intention to execute the Doctor are made clear far earlier than in the televised story.
  • On the Doctor's first encounter with Maxil, he remains unconscious after shot until he's returned to the TARDIS for recuperation and incarceration.
  • It's clarified that Nyssa uses her staser to stun the guards outside the Place of Termination. However, she resets the weapon to kill before challenging the High Council. Something left ambiguous in the televised version of the story. Later, she again uses non-lethal force against an attacking guard en route to the Presidential Chambers.
  • When attacked by the Ergon, rather than dodging on his own, as per the televised story, Nyssa shoves the Doctor out of the way. Subsequently, Omega's convulsive cry is clarified to be the result of his servant's disintegration, rather than a side-effect of the ongoing transformation.
  • During the Doctor's escape from Gallifrey, he and Borusa communicate via the TARDIS scanner.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • Although known in the Target library as book number 80 (following the book numbering which started with number 79 Terminus), the book itself was not numbered. Number 81 (The Five Doctors) however was.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

  • Hardback
W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 3 June 2021 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Geoffrey Beevers.

External links[]