Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



prose stub

Fear of the Web was the second novel in the sixth series of Lethbridge-Stewart, released under the banner of The Laughing Gnome, by Candy Jar Books in 2018.

Publisher's summary[]

Dame Anne Bishop learned a long time ago that for every fixed point in time, this a fracture point, an event that is susceptible to catastrophic changes in the timeline. And when she is catapulted back in time, she discovers first hand that February 1969 is one such point.

Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is on manoeuvres with the Scots Guards in Libya. Only, he’s about to receive a call from his old commanding officer, Colonel Spencer Pemberton. A call that will drag him to London, and set him on a direct course for destiny!

The London Event, the trap set for the Doctor by the Great Intelligence, changed the course of human history, and for Anne Travers it set into place a series of events that would see the death of her father barely a year later.

Now, waking up in the body of a woman she barely knows, Dame Anne is faced with the idea that perhaps she can change things – not enough to damage the timeline, but enough to save her father.

Future and past are set to collide, which could have irrevocable consequences for the timeline…


Fiona Campbell enters a room to find Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Steward, Brigadier Bill Bishop and Dame Anne Bishop completely unconscious. She relates it back to previously finding Alistair in a similar condition whilst holding 'that grotesque gnome'. She uses her basic girl guide training to give them basic medical assistance and presses Alistair's emergency call button.

Decades earlier, Edward Travers forces his way into Emil Julius Silverstein's home to see the Yeti in the private collection. He begs and pleads with Silverstein to let him have the Yeti, stating it's dangerous. Responding to her father's telegram, a young Anne Travers appears at the museum enquiring about the urgent nature of the message. Travers exclaims that the Yeti is not only dangerous, but a robot.

He then drops the bombshell that the control sphere from the robot has disappeared. Convinced that Travers simply wants it back for monetary reasons, he orders them both out of his house. Anne convinces Travers to go back to his laboratory where they can look for the sphere, to which he agrees.

After their departure, Silverstein decides to have supper, blowing out all candles in the museum as he goes. A huge crash comes from the main museum room. Entering the museum, Silverstein is faced with the living Yeti, with glowing red eyes. The Yeti lets out a roar and lashes out at him.

An older Anne Travers finds herself under the influence of the laughing gnome but is quickly snapped out of it by a stranger holding her hand. The stranger is under the impression that she is 'Rachel'. Before she could correct him, it became clear to her that she was inside a younger, much different body. It becomes clear to her that this man is Malachi, son of Emil, and the body she is inhabiting belongs to his fiancée, Rachel Ashcroft.

A policeman interrupts their conversation. From this interaction, she gleans that this is the Silverstein house in Kensington, and this follows the break in and killing of Malachi's father. Meanwhile, forty miles away and a few hours later, 1 Para are preparing for deployment. They learn, over their radio, of the death of Silverstein and the theft of his 'model Yeti'. Captain Knight explains that the Yeti is mythical being from Tibet. The radio then begins to report the spreading fog across the country.

Dame Anne wakes up in a hospital bed and immediately hunts down a mirror to verify her identity. Upon using the mirror in the en-suite and the documents in her room, she discovers that she is still inhabiting the body of "Ashcroft, Rachel Veronica". Ruling out virtual reality, Anne concludes that her consciousness had indeed been placed inside Rachel's body.

Nurse Gupta walks into the room and reminds her of her (or Rachel's) fainting the night before. Anne recalls to herself that Malachi rarely spoke of his engagement, knowing it had only ended badly. Malachi had referred to it as 'a dreadful mistake'.

Anne's mind returns to the gnome and its attempted trap for Alistair. She wonders whether this 'astral projection' was a part of that trap. She concludes that Alistair's 'falling asleep' in their previous meeting, could also be a similar 'astral projection' trap laid by the gnome. Her thoughts moved to how to find Alistair and Bill, if they too are in 1969.

Sergeant Daniel Walker is on patrol on Cadogan Street due to the fog disruption. The twenty to thirty residents had called the police due to a lingering patch of fog, despite the brisk winds. Walker decides his duty is to check on the family living in the house beneath the fog cloud. Upon entering the house, all connection is lost with the outside world. He finds a member of the family, covered in thick webbing. When he checks her pulse, he is paralysed and webbing takes control of him too.

to be added



  • Fiona Campbell was in the girl guides, where she was taught basic, medical training.
  • Corporal Jackson and Sergeant Calder discuss Peter Cushing's movie The Abominable Snowman.
  • Anne Travers suggests that anyone who reads Sherlock Holmes would recognise the setting of the yellow fog in the London winter.
  • Sergeant Walker finds his new Pye PF1 two-piece Pocketfone much more useful than having to find a Police Box, or whistle for help.


to be added


  • Anne makes several references to her time in Fang Rock. (PROSE: Beast of Fang Rock)
  • Lethbridge-Stewart saves Jonathan James as a child. (PROSE: Downtime)
  • Chapter seventeen features a scene that leads directly into TV: The Web of Fear, with the Brigadier pointing his gun into the Doctor's back.
  • Chapter one adapts and builds up the opening scenes of The Web of Fear, featuring Edward Travers visit Silverstein and his subsequent death.
  • During the latter half of the book it is mentioned that Captain Knight is in Soho with Corporal Buscombe. Those events are depicted in AUDIO: The Web of Time.
  • The epilogue adapts the final scene from The Web of Fear to feature Lethbridge-Stewart, Edward Travers, Anne Travers and Harold Chorley.
  • Sergeant Daniel Walker remembers vividly the Great Smog of 1952, which wrought havoc in London for three days. Unbeknowst to most Londoners, this was part of the plan laid down by the Fumifugium, which was stopped by the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble. (AUDIO: The Creeping Death)

External links[]