Publisher's summary Edit
The Doctor promised Romana the end of the universe, so she's less than impressed when what she gets is a cricket match. But then the award ceremony is interrupted by eleven figures in white uniforms and peaked skull helmets, wielding bat-shaped weapons that fire lethal bolts of light into the screaming crowd. The Krikkitmen are back.
Millions of years ago, the people of Krikkit learned they were not alone in the universe, and promptly launched a xenophobic crusade to wipe out all other life-forms. After a long and bloody conflict, the Time Lords imprisoned Krikkit within an envelope of Slow Time, a prison that could only be opened with the Wicket Gate key, a device that resembles – to human eyes, at least – an oversized set of cricket stumps...
From Earth to Gallifrey, from Bethselamin to Devalin, from Krikkit to Mareeve II to the far edge of infinity, the Doctor and Romana are tugged into a pan-galactic conga with fate as they rush to stop the Krikkitmen gaining all five pieces of the key. If they fail, the entire cosmos faces a fiery retribution that will leave nothing but ashes...
Part One Edit
Chapter One: Important and Exciting Galactic History. Do Not Skip. Edit
Narration from the Matrix
Of the many problems in the Galaxy, a large one arose with the first major civilisation, Alovia. The Alovians were extremely aggressive and tried taking out their problems on potatoes; however they soon started attacking each other, which over a few centuries led to interstellar war. The Alovians decided to build an Ultimate Weapon to protect them. To do this they built a supercomputer called Hactar, a black moon orbiting Alovia, with every organic particle of it being aware of and containing the design of the computer as a whole. Hactar created the Supernova Bomb, a weapon which, when detonated, would connect every major sun and create a giant supernova. However, when they pressed the button, the bomb did not work. Hactar began to explain that “there was no conceivable consequence of not setting the bomb off that was worse than the known consequence of setting it off”, but before he could continue the Alovians destroyed the computer with missiles. However, the Alovians blew themselves up not much later.
Chapter Two: Sandwiches and Outrage Edit
The Doctor has taken Romana to a cricket match at Lord's, much to her surprise. She notes that the humans there have no knowledge of the true significance of cricket. She is confused why they are there as she remembers the Doctor saying the universe would be ending and giving her a tie for the occasion.
As they exit the TARDIS, they push through an angry crowd. The Doctor notes they are angry because of "race memory", and they wouldn't know why. Romana persists in asking why they are at a cricket match instead of the end of the universe, but the Doctor simply remarks any Englishman would say those are the same thing. He notes that oddly, cricket seems rather harmless and innocent enough. Romana agrees, as the Doctor explains the Ashes. As the crowd grows excited, the Doctor suddenly vanishes.
Chapter Three: An International Incident Edit
Romana notices the Doctor is on the cricket pitch. He tries to convince the Australian captain to give him the Ashes, which are being presented to the English team. He warns them to no avail, and then tries to take the trophy. Then suddenly, killer robots arrive.
Chapter Four: Finally, Killer Robots Edit
A cricket pavilion appears out of thin air, and eleven immaculate figures dressed in cricket whites exit it. The Doctor tells the captain to let him give them the trophy, but he does not take them seriously. The Killer Robots begin their massacre, all in the form of a cricket game. Romana materialises the TARDIS in front of the Doctor, on its side in an attempt to create a barricade. One of the robots snatches the Ashes, and they return to their pavilion, which disappears. The Doctor and Romana come to terms with the fact that it is indeed the return of a Time Lord legend, the Krikkitmen.
Chapter Five: Unforgivable Thefts from a Hairdresser Edit
Romana reflects on Gallifrey, thinking how she was originally to return shortly after helping the Doctor, but instead they had gone on adventures. She realises that they need to return, and that the Time Lords would not be happy she was missing. She and the Doctor remember that he is actually the incumbent Lord President. After waiting, they are confronted by the Chancellery Guard and marched into the Capitol, where they meet Cardinal (and Acting President) Borusa. Borusa is quite unhappy to see them, but leads them through Gallifrey's data core to the Great Matrix Chamber. The Doctor and Romana encounter K9, who proclaims the Matrix is at fault, despite Borusa's claim that since it had not foreseen the return of the Krikkitmen, it was not true. Romana decides they must examine the Matrix's knowledge of the Krikkitmen, by going into it.
Chapter Six: Further Important and Exciting Galactic History. Again, Do Not Skip. Edit
to be continued
- Fourth Doctor
- Romana II
- K9 Mark II
- First Great War TARDIS
- Battle Cardinal Melia
- Professor Chronotis
- Great Khan
- Ognonimous Fugg
- Sir Robot
- Chief Elder Grayce
- Elder Narase
- Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher)
- White Guardian
- Black Guardian
- The Doctor takes Romana to Lord's.
- Romana believes that the Doctor would never be able to fight a war, due to his impatience.
- Before the Krikkit War, the White Guardian used the Key to Time to bring an era of peace to the universe. This involved the downfall of several hostile races, such as the Racnoss, Jagaroth, and Kastrians.
- The Master's TARDIS is said to have an entirely black interior.
- Gallifreyan Bardak the Flighty invented wireless wrist communicators during Gallifrey's Golden Age of Technology.
- Romana has a copy of The Times with a Krikkitman on it.
- The Great Khan is fighting over a planet with the Dominators.
- When the Doctor repairs Sir Robot, he occasionally speaks Esperanto.
- The Doctor and K9 visit Shada. The Doctor sees Sontarans, an Ice Lord, and a Krarg imprisoned there. To get to Shada, the Doctor borrows The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey from Chronotis.
- The original twelve War TARDISes were created for use in the Vampire War.
- An unspecified future incarnation of the Doctor had no plans in his 500-year diary one day, and so decided to study ventilation shafts.
- The Krikkitmen turn off Gallifrey's transduction barriers.
- This novel was released on 18 January 2018 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Dan Starkey.
- Douglas Adams adapted this story into the non-Doctor Who novel Life, the Universe, and Everything, part of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. The planet of Bethselamin also first appeared in the script, and later appears in the Hitchhikers series as an overcrowded tourist destination. This is referenced in the book, hinting that after the events of the book Bethselamin began to gain tourists; additionally, when the Krikkitmen attack Bethselamin, Andvalmon believes them to be tourists.
- Although not specified, the Prime Minister in this story is implied to be Margaret Thatcher.
- In one of the appendices of the book, James Goss writes how he considered using Sarah Jane Smith as a companion as it would have been in the original story, but settled on Romana II and K9 instead. (In fact Adams' notes only use the name "Jane" as a placeholder.) The beginning of the story as it would have been was included, with the Fourth Doctor returning to Sarah Jane after the events of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- Goss also mentions having used many other ideas from Adams' works, published or unpublished. One of these is evident in the story of the Great Khan, an alien emperor who has trouble planning his schedule— a reimagining of Adams' short story The Private Life of Genghis Khan (which also has connections to the Hitchhiker's series).
- The forty-second (and final) chapter in the book is titled "The Meaning of Life", referencing the meaning of life being said to be 42 in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- It is mentioned that Romana has reassembled the Key to Time, (TV: The Armageddon Factor) thwarted Davros, (TV: Destiny of the Daleks) and outclassed the Nimon. (TV: The Horns of Nimon)
- When meeting K9 on Gallifrey, the Doctor remembers there is an earlier version of him on the planet with Romana's "predecessor", Leela. (TV: The Invasion of Time)
- The Doctor and Romana's visit to the Time Lord prison planet Shada is mentioned. (TV: Shada)
- Shada looks like a giant seal of Rassilon. (WC: Shada)
- The Doctor possesses luck manipulation abilities. (PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet, Camera Obscura)
- Borusa has been regenerating more often since meeting the Fourth Doctor (TV: The Deadly Assassin, The Invasion of Time)
- When the Doctor is contemplating the reasons why he didn't notice Romana had been possessed, he remembers how he knew Sarah Jane's android was an imposter by the fact that it was wearing the scarf that Sarah had lost earlier. (TV: The Android Invasion)
- Borusa is acting as Lord President for the Doctor. (TV: The Invasion of Time)
Additional cover images Edit
Editions published outside Britain Edit
- Published in Russia by AST in 2019 as a hardback edition, it was one of eight books published in the 2010s. The title was Доктор Кто против Криккитян (Doktor Kto protiv Krikkityan), meaning "Doctor Who vs. the Krikkitmen".
- Published in Germany by Cross Cult in 2019 as a hardback edition and published as Doctor Who und die Krikkit-Krieger, it was one of five books published by them in the 2010's.