Orwell went to a private school where he received training as a soldier. He went to Spain to fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. He signed up for service at the Lenin barracks as a member of the Partido Obero de Uniﬁcacion Marxista, a communist organisation. His wife, Eileen, joined him in a civilian capacity.
Orwell went to Monte Oscuro and joined an ILP contingent just out from Barcelona. He took part in trench warfare, only a few hundred yards from the Nationalist line. He took a particular dislike to rats during this time. Orwell was surprised to see deserters cross to their side.
After four months, he left for Barcelona. While in the city, Orwell met with the Eighth Doctor and Anji Kapoor. They sat together in a café over drinks. Orwell saw the funeral of Buenaventura Durruti, as did most of the people in the city. Orwell again met with Anji and walked with her.
Orwell managed to gain full contact with the Absolute - a being who was trying to change people's perspective on history. The being took on Orwell's form and so his conscience became part of an entity along with the others who had been possessed. He then took the name "Burton" and began working for the Republicans torturing prisoners.
He was torturing Anji when he managed to regain control of his mind, the Doctor having freed his conscience from the Absolute. Orwell pretended to still be Burton and ordered Anji to be taken to his car. However, Pia Samscuro was unaware of Orwell's true allegiance and tried to help Anji escape, threatening Orwell with a gun.
Orwell convinced Anji he was telling the truth and she gave him the gun she had taken. He then used it to kill a guard while assisting their escape. Once in a car, they were preparing to drive away when Orwell was shot in the neck and fell unconscious. Anji and Pia returned him to Barcelona and organised his exit from the country along with his wife. (PROSE: History 101)
Behind the scenes
References to Orwell's work
History 101, the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures book in which Orwell appears, makes many references to the author's works. Most notable of these is the idea of the mutability of history, a central theme is Orwell's novel, Nineteen Eighty-four. Other references made to this novel include the theme of always being watched and Orwell's supposed fear of rats, a characteristic shared by Winston Smith, the novel's protagonist. The torture and imprisonment scenes also share themes, with the torture room being reminiscent of Room 101.
Politics were always central in Orwell's novels, particulary communism, the central ideology present in Animal Farm, and they are also the background causes behind the events of History 101. In The Daleks' Master Plan, Mavic Chen uses a modified version of a rule from Animal Farm in saying: "Although we are all equal partners with the Daleks on this great conquest... some of us are more equal than others."
Fact and fiction
Many of the events that happen to Orwell in the novel occurred in reality. He was one of many writers to visit Spain to see the war first-hand. However, he was one of the few to actually take part in the fighting. Orwell's disappearance, which is central to the novel, has never been documented, but he was shot in the neck by a sniper and left Spain shortly after.
Many small details about his life are also true: fascism was shown to initially be Orwell's driving force and this was certainly true in real life and his wife did indeed join him in Spain. Of course, none of the science-fiction elements of the story occurred at all.