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Deadfall is the sixth Virgin Bernice Summerfield New Adventures novel. It is the first novel to not feature Bernice Summerfield in the main character role; rather this novel's story focuses on Jason Kane. This also features the reappearance of Emile Mars-Smith, who acts as Jason's "companion" and who was first introduced in Beyond the Sun. This novel also reintroduces Chris Cwej, who last appeared in Lungbarrow.

Publisher's summary[]

"We've a killer brain-eater on board, half of us are dead, and all you want to do is discuss your wretched fish. Do you sense a problem with your priorities?"

Jason Kane is out to impress his ex-wife, Bernice, and he has found the perfect way of doing it. He's convinced she knows the location of the legendary planet of Ardethe — a site of untold riches and forbidden knowledge So, after riffling through her bag for information, he sets off with his trusty crewman Emile to a barren and isolated rock.

As usual, Jason's plans go awry. Very soon people begin to die — and die quite horribly. They have awakened something beneath the planet's surface that's feasting on human brains. And when a ship full of hard-bitten female convicts arrives in the skies above the desolate world, the situation becomes even more complicated.

Someone is pulling the strings and watching the carnage. It could be any of the desperate prisoners, the reclusive crew, or the suspicious governor. Not knowing who the true foe is, Jason calls for help. Assistance arrives in the form of his old companion Christopher Cwej — just the man you'd want by your side in a tricky situation. But something terrible has happened to Chris, and now he can't even remember his own name.

Chapter titles[]

  1. So Important
  2. Propaganda
  3. At Home, at Work, at Play
  4. Tryouts for the Human Race
  5. A Fun Bunch of Guys From Outer Space
  6. Throw Her Away (and Get a New One)
  7. I Married a Martian
  8. Happy Hunting Ground
  9. A Big Surprise
  10. Beat the Clock
  11. How Are You Getting Home?
  12. This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us


to be added



Bars and pubs[]




  • Prison camps sometimes use the Keller Principle which buries personality and emotions.



  • Emile's father is a follower of the Natural Path.


  • Gossamer Wing and Mister Kiss-Kiss Bang Bang (also known as the KayBee 2) is the female prison ship.
  • Jason Kane owns a ship called the Mother Fist which he won in a game of Twister.


  • This is one of the Bernice Summerfield novels which for most of the novel hardly has any "Benny-centric" scenes.
  • Deadfall is a remake of the Audio Visuals audio drama of the same name.
  • The planet Ardethe is hinted several times to be a desolated far-future Gallifrey: it is located in the constellation Kasterborous, it's inhabited by the Shabooj'm, and it holds a great secret. Ardethe would later be confirmed as one of the Nine Gallifreys in The Story So Far....
  • This is the fifth of Gary Russell's novels to have a character with the name "Townsend" (in this case Marianne Townsend). This is because Russell's first high school crush was named Townsend.[1]
  • Ensign Sax changes gender (across one page) on page 17. Ensign Sax briefly becomes male, being referred to as "Mr Sax", but is then female again at the bottom of the page. This is probably an example of the gender-neutral usage of "Mr" in a military context.
  • As confirmed by Gary Russell on Twitter, the individual on the cover was intended to be Jason Kane. However, he was mistakenly depicted with blond hair, making him resemble Chris Cwej instead.


External links[]


  1. Eric Briggs; Gary Russell, Eddie Robson (1998). Doctor Who Bewildering Reference Guide to Deadfall. Doctor Who Bewildering Reference Guide. Retrieved on 22 February 2010.