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prose stub

Goth Opera was the first novel in the Virgin Missing Adventures series. Written by Paul Cornell, it featured the Fifth Doctor, Tegan Jovanka and Nyssa. It built on the narrative in the novel Blood Harvest, which was deliberately crafted to build interest in this novel.

Publisher's summary[]

"The time of humanity on this world has come to an end. The long night is starting. The age of the undead is upon us."

Manchester, 1993. The vampires of Great Britain have received a message: the long-awaited arrival of their evil messiah is imminent. It's time for a recruitment drive.

On holiday in Tasmania with Tegan and the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa is attacked by a demonic child. She escapes unharmed — except for two small wounds in her neck.

Why are the descendants of the Great Vampire so desperate to obtain the blood of a Time Lord? And what is their connection to a forbidden ancient Gallifreyan cult?


to be added



The Doctor[]




Goth opera original

The original, unused cover.

  • In the original cover artwork for the novel, there was much more blood on Nyssa's clothes. This was considered too graphic a cover image by W H Smith, the UK's largest book retailer, so the image was altered to be less graphic before publication.[1]
  • The plot for the novel was originally developed from an unproduced comic strip for Doctor Who Magazine, which would have featured the Fourth Doctor in a fight against Dracula. Cornell revised the story to use the Fifth Doctor for this novel. (REF: I, Who)
  • Paul Cornell once called the experiencing of writing this novel "most unpleasant", but did not elaborate.[2] He later called the book obvious pastiche.
  • The back cover indicates this story takes place between the television stories Snakedance and Mawdryn Undead.
  • In one line, Ruath lists the Doctor's fellow students at the Time Lord Academy under Borusa to have later become "scoundrels": "Mortimus, the Rani, that idiot Magnus… and you, Doctor". This context makes it clear that "Magnus" here refers to the Master, as it would be unthinkable for such a list not to include the Master. This followed the implication and original intent of Flashback, which featured a "Magnus" who lived on Gallifrey with the First Doctor prior to the latter's departure. However, to avoid conflict with The Dark Path's contention that the Master's original name was instead Koschei, Gary Russell later claimed in Divided Loyalties that Magnus was a different Time Lord.


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