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Killing Ground was the twenty-third novel in the Virgin Missing Adventures series. Continuing on from the final events of author Steve Lyons' Time of Your Life, it showed what happened when the Sixth Doctor gave Grant Markham his "one trip" in the TARDIS — a journey back to Markham's home of Agora.

Unlike Time, however, Ground featured Markham as a prominent narrative element, and the book jacket formally dubbed him a "companion". Still, it proved to be his final outing in a licensed work, despite the fact that it ended in a way that promised more adventures for Markham and the Doctor.

Notably, it was one of only three novels published under Virgin Publishing's control of the Doctor Who licence to feature the Cybermen. The others were The Crystal Bucephalus and Iceberg.

Publisher's summary[]

"Imagine that you can live forever and life is totally free from pain. You can see all things with clarity, unblinkered by irrelevant details. You will never fear, never sicken, never lose control. That is what the Cybermen are offering."

The Doctor takes his new companion, Grant, back home to Agora — only to find a world in the thrall of some of his oldest and deadliest foes.

The Cybermen have taken control and set up a breeding colony to propagate their own race. While the Doctor languishes in a cell at the mercy of the sadistic Overseers, Grant joins up with a group of rebels and works on a desperate rescue bid.

With time running out, the rebels move into action. But will their solution prove more deadly than the problem itself?


Ninety-one years in Grant Markham's past, the New Hope successfully launches from Earth. The Sixth Doctor and Grant observe the launch from inside the TARDIS, which is orbiting Mars. The Doctor comments that the New Hope will travel to the Centraxis system, and its crew will establish "the most remote of the prototype colonies", which Grant immediately identifies as Agora, his planet of origin. The Doctor comments that with humanity now beginning to expand into space, the numerous alien threats that Earth's governments have kept secret for centuries will be eager to exact revenge on humanity at a time in which humans will be less equipped to fight them. However, he confirms that the New Hope will arrive safely. Meanwhile, the majority of the New Hope's Administrative Council votes in favour of establishing a more primitive society on their new home, and eschewing the advanced technology of Earth.

In the midst of a rebellion on Agora, Ben Taggart flees from Population Control, having been driven out, along with the other surviving rebels, by the Cybermen. Falling over in the mud, he eventually gets up, believing the fighting to have passed him, only to be confronted by a Cyberman; the creature is shot dead, however, by Arthur Lakesmith, the leader of the rebellion against the Cybermen, who forces Taggart to accompany him back inside Population Control with a crude bomb, with the intention of blowing up the entire complex and potentially the Cyber-ship. However, inside the complex, the duo are attacked by more Cybermen, one of whom brutally maims Lakesmith, forcing Taggart to take the bomb and detonate it himself. Taggart flees, but is trapped by two Cybermen within an Overseers' rest area, preventing him from reaching the control centre. Fearfully contemplating that detonating the bomb, and sacrificing himself, here, may end up being for nothing, he places the bomb on the floor and surrenders.

More to be added



Biologically modified species[]


The Doctor[]


  • Grant has severe robophobia, as a result of witnessing the Cybermen murder his mother when he was a chid.
  • Arthur Lakesmith was the original rebel leader and was mutilated as a warning to other colonists following a failed rebellion in 2176.



External links[]