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prose stub
You may wish to consult Evolution (disambiguation) for other, similarly-named pages.

Evolution was the second novel in the Virgin Missing Adventures series. It was written by John Peel and featured the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.

Publisher's summary[]

"Someone is tampering with the fabric of the human cell," the Doctor said darkly, "perverting its secrets to his own dark purposes."

Sarah wants to meet her fellow journalist Rudyard Kipling, and the Doctor sets the co-ordinates for England, Earth, in the Victorian Age. As usual, the TARDIS materialises in not quite the right place, and the time travellers find themselves pursued across Devon moorland by a huge feral hound.

Children have gone missing; at the local boarding school, the young Rudyard Kipling has set up search parties. Lights have been seen beneath the waters of the bay, and fishermen have been pulled from their boats and mutilated. Graves have been robbed of their corpses. Something is going on, and Arthur Conan Doyle, the ship's doctor from a recently berthed arctic whaler, is determined to investigate.

The Doctor and Doyle join forces to uncover a macabre scheme to interfere with human evolution — and both Sarah and Kipling face a terrifying transmogrification.


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  • Sarah swims in the "tub" in the "bathroom" of the Doctor's TARDIS. The merchildren also stay in the "tub" on the trip to Andromeda.
  • Colonel Ross claims to be a special agent working directly under the command and authority of Her Majesty Queen Victoria and it is his job to investigate those matters that lie outside of the conventional.
  • The Doctor can speak fluent dolphin.


  • The Doctor is the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Specifically referenced are Holmes's choice of dress (the Doctor wears a deerstalker cap and long cloak), his methods of deductive reasoning and close reading of footprints to determine events at a crime scene. The outfit the Doctor is seen wearing on the cover of this story is also the same one worn by him in the television story The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
  • The relationship between the Doctor and Doyle, himself a ship's surgeon, parallels that of Holmes and Dr Watson.
  • There are numerous references to The Hound of the Baskervilles, especially in the early parts of the novel, concerning a great, dog-like beast claiming victims on the moors.
  • The novel All-Consuming Fire establishes that while Sherlock Holmes is a real character in this universe, the name "Sherlock Holmes" is a pseudonym invented by Doyle to hide his true identity. This novel goes on to speculate that Doyle based some of the fictional Holmes' characteristics on the Fourth Doctor, in order to further obscure the detective's true identity. The TV story The Snowmen would later indicate that Holmes and his adventures were based on Madame Vastra.
  • A crashed Rutan ship is key to the back-story. In the personal timeline of the Doctor, Evolution takes place before the television story Horror of Fang Rock, which is also about events set in motion by a Rutan crashing in an isolated part of the English coast.
  • Queen Victoria is said to have secret agents who investigate unusual occurrences. This story was written twelve years before the television episode Tooth and Claw, so any intentional reference to the Torchwood Institute is impossible.
  • This story is set between The Brain of Morbius and The Seeds of Doom.


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