Death Riders was the first story in the 2 in 1 Doctor Who books range.
It's not all fun at the galactic fair...
The Galactic Fair has arrived on the missing asteroid of Stanalan and anticipation is building around the construction of the fair's most popular attraction — the Death Ride! But there is something sinister going on behind all the fun of the fair; people are mysteriously dying in the Off-Limits tunnels. Join the Doctor, Amy and Rory as they investigate...
Rodge was trying to find a shortcut in the tunnels where he could find Korl and give his survey results in. He was a little scared, even though he was denying it to himself. He used his torchlight to navigate his way. But then he began to hear something in the darkness. Something in the dark dragged claws along the ground towards him and he dropped the torch, which went out.
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor was running around the console as usual, ready to open the doors to a new scene. He opened the door and they found dark rock in their way. Amy and Rory didn't look happy, but the Doctor was enthusiastic. After licking the damp rock, the Doctor deduces that they were on an asteroid. Blocking their way out, the Doctor tried again, turning the TARDIS doors around the opposite way. After turning around they went outside and found themselves in a dark tunnel. There was a noise coming from down the tunnel and the TARDIS crew decide to follow it. An enormous vehicle passes further down the tunnel. Walking further, they emerged inside a large cavern where hundreds of people were gathered around stalls and music resounded around the walls, tunefully. It was a huge fairground.
They wandered around the fairground, the Doctor enjoying his food. Amy was enjoying herself too, but Rory held a grim face. They then met a clown who called himself "clueless". Amy, noticing a coconut shy, tells Rory that he and her are going to win one. Rory was now beginning to enjoy himself after winning something for once. They meet up with the Doctor again who explains what he's found out.
While sitting down, the Doctor explains to both of them that they are on a mining asteroid called Stanalan within the Torajii system. There was also a bit of community along with the mining and digging facilities. A woman came over and announced about the arrival of the "Death Ride". When leaving the tent, Amy and Rory heard some more music. Amy tried to find where it originated herself and discovered a large beast.
She suddenly realises that the creature is dancing in front of her, listening to the tuneful notes that originated from a mouth organ. After being asked the Doctor doesn't know what it is. The man is paid for his song. Amy isn't sure about the picture. At first she was scared, but now she felt pity for the creature to be used like a slave. The man playing the mouth organ is Garvo, who explains that the string connecting both him and the Drexxon is to help with their bond. Then the procession began in one corner of the large cavern. The procession was an orchestra who played beautiful music. They soon noticed a coffin, which every one was looking at as a sign of respect. The Doctor was wondering why he had died.
The orchestra finished their song and the TARDIS crew were met by two of the instrument players, Harby and Vosh. They explained that the body was the person of Rodge who wasn't shown to anyone before placed in the coffin. The two boys explained about the roller coaster 'Death Ride' and how its path avoided the Off-Limits tunnels. The Doctor, after hearing the details from the boys, decided that he would investigate. Amy remained in the fairground.
The Doctor and Rory were now walking through the middle of a mining colony village in the tunnels. They arrive at the building site of the ride. A woman seemed to let them watch the work. The woman explained that they were hoping to get a few parts of the ride through Off-Limits tunnels, but it was highly unlikely. They here about the guy who knows everything, Perpetual Pete.
The Doctor and Rory are keen to learn more about Perpetual Pete. He is restraining people from entering certain tunnels, claiming that they are dangerous. When he found him, the Doctor noticed that Perpetual Pete was the oldest of the builders. The man seems to be sorting out "linkages". The Off-Limits tunnels have bad linkage because of molecular decay. It turned out that Perpetual Pete was the Health and Safety manager. After interviewing people, Rory decided that he'd follow the Death Ride back to the fairground.
Back at the fairground, Amy was listening to people on their opinions about Rodge and his decision to travel into an Off-Limits tunnel. A man told her that there wouldn't be another death in a while. However, back at the building site, Rory has returned to tell the Doctor that there has been another death. It was a woman, who had apparently been scratched and bitten maliciously. Amy returned to Garvo and the Drexxon as they performed once again. Harby and Vosh meet up with her. They explained that a woman had heard Garvo's harmonica playing down an Off-Limits tunnel. Moving closer to the music, Amy had a plan, she pulled the string from the creature's wrist, but it had a terrible reaction. Garvo had fallen over in terrified shrieks of pain.
The creature put the string back over its wrist and Amy began to feel guilty. Amy disappeared through the crowd. The body was a mining engineer. Deciding to investigate, the Doctor was about to head down the tunnel, when he was restrained by Perpetual Pete. Thinking that something else was amiss they asked him why he was so sure that the tunnels were dangerous. The manager said nothing, but the Doctor was still suspicious. They headed back to Amy. Amy wanted to apologise to Garvo for what she had done, but couldn't find him, but found the Drexxon quickly slipping away into a tunnel. She met up with the Doctor and Rory and told them that she had to see Garvo because of stuff. But when they arrived there, they found him sprawled on the bed, looking up at the roof of the tent.
Garvo turned out to be alright, but with an investigation of the leash, the Doctor deciphered that he had been hypnotised by the creature. But Amy had already gone to get the Drexxon, because she felt sympathy. The Doctor and Rory, realising the creature had been terrorising the Off-Limits tunnels, set off to find her quickly before anything happened. They finally found where she had gone. Now inside the tunnels, Amy is confronted by the Drexxon who had grown considerably aggressive.
Amy was saved by Rory who had kicked a stone and suddenly a few people had gathered around to see what was happening. The Drexxon who had tried to escape from the stone, emerged once again and charged towards the people. It pounced at the fire-eater who released a ball of flame into the creature's stomach and it squealed away in pain. Perpetual Pete appears and the Doctor addresses him to try and get a bit more information about the Drexxons. Perpetual Pete explains everything.
He had been on the asteroid for a very long time and had warned many people, even the mining corporation not to start digging on Stanalan. He talked of the Drexxons and how they had increased in violence and destroyed many planets. He and an army managed to trap the creatures inside a Perpetuity Chamber. There they would be held in stasis forever. They now knew that the Drexxon running around was a child. In a surprised moment, Perpetual Pete realised his mistake. The Death Ride ran really close to the chamber, the Drexxon could sabotage the ride to crash through the barrier. Harby and Vosh abruptly arrive, shouting that the Death Ride had been completed.
The Doctor, Amy, Rory and Perpetual Pete were now running towards the "Death Ride" hoping to stop it before anything could happen. Harby and Vosh then took Rory towards the "Death Ride" and the Doctor, Amy and Pete headed for Garvo's tent, hoping to find him in good condition after being treated badly by the Drexxon. But when they arrived, the music player had disappeared. They realise that the Drexxon will use the train to break through the vault and the correct musical notes will open the chamber. At the 'Death Ride' a large crowd of people had already gathered. The others arrive and Rory explains that he had asked them to stop the train, but they wouldn't listen. But it was too late, the crowd were beginning the countdown. The Death Ride set off and Amy and Rory were forced to embark.
Amy and Rory were not enjoying their ride. The Doctor and Perpetual Pete were keeping with the train. The Doctor was pointing out children from the orchestra and telling them to get out of the train. The train then dropped down a steep hole. Amy yelled, "Geronimo." The Doctor complains, "That's my line", but then turns to the instrument players next to him. He explained that they would be performing a concert. Perpetual Pete didn't look very happy. Amy and Rory were now up again and decided that they would head down the train towards the engine.
- Drexxons are similar in appearance to monkeys.
- Rory concludes that if the Doctor was trapped in a sticky situation and he didn't have his sonic screwdriver, he would take off his shoe and smash any controls with it.
- Korl is Rodge's supervisor.
- The Doctor mentions Fluripsent crystals.
- This novel was released in the 2 in 1 book range along with Heart of Stone by Trevor Baxendale.
- Rory is not displayed on the front cover even though he is a companion in the novel.
- This book was later re-released individually, and with a new cover, as part of the Eleventh Doctor Adventures. This edition was released as a ebook on 5 November 2015 and in paperback on 17 November 2015.
- Rory describes a roller coaster plunge into a hole as their second journey to the centre of the Earth. While this was only a joke, the TARDIS crew had their first such journey in TV: The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood.
- Amy yells "Geronimo!" to which the Doctor complains "That's my line". (TV: The End of Time et al)
- The Doctor leads an orchestra in singing the Venusian lullaby. His third incarnation first sung the lullaby in TV: The Curse of Peladon.
- Official Death Riders page at Penguin Books
- Official Heart of Stone / Death Riders page at Penguin Books
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Death Riders at The Whoniverse