The Land of Fiction was a realm of make-believe, a pocket universe inhabited by characters from the works of fiction, mythology, and folklore. The Writer implied this to be specifically based on "all the masterpieces written by Earthmen since the beginning of time," with the Second Doctor adding that "only an Earthman type creature has the power to create fiction. The power to imagine." (TV: The Mind Robber)
The First Doctor explained that the human species entertained the most extraordinary ideas in the dark corners of their mind: monsters, demons, creatures of the id, and that occasionally, in times of stress, these dreams could surface and have formidable power. When enough people believed in the same extraordinary things, sharing stories and combining those forces, they would be nurtured and grow: "When enough people all believe the same thing, it can achieve existence." Venturing into the Land required making oneself receptive to these cumulative forces, allowing the generation of fictional concepts within the Land itself. (PROSE: Journey Out of Terror)
The Second Doctor feared that becoming fictional would trap someone in the Land, (TV: The Mind Robber) and indeed on the First Doctor's trip there, he suggested that had they not discovered they were in a fictional land they were in, they would have become trapped and begun having fictional adventures in a fictional TARDIS. (PROSE: Journey Out of Terror)
The Land was escribed by the Seventh Doctor as a unique space-time phenomenon, composed of fictional energy and implied to be housed in a fictional sub-dimension, (PROSE: Head Games) solid and tangible but not part of time or space, (PROSE: Journey Out of Terror) like the White and Black Voids outside of the Land. (TV: The Mind Robber)
The structure of the Land of Fiction required a Master of the Land to write stories that would entertain, (PROSE: Conundrum) and they could be connected to the Master Brain computer which could control them. Without the Master Brain, the Land would be destroyed (TV: The Mind Robber) although a new Master could take control. ((AUDIO: Legend of the Cybermen, PROSE: Conundrum)
The Gods of Ragnarok created the Land of Fiction to be entertained, but they eventually grew bored and abandoned it for other things. (PROSE: Conundrum) The First Doctor had heard tell of such domains. (PROSE: Journey Out of Terror)
The First Doctor's venture into fiction
While being chased by Daleks, the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, and Vicki Pallister arrived in a haunted house at the Festival of Ghana ,with Dracula and Frankenstein's monster, before escaping without Vicki. The Doctor was convinced that the house "was neither time nor space" and that they had visited "an area of human thought," (TV: The Chase) the realm of imagination that exists only in the human mind, the solidified dreams and nightmares of human beings. (PROSE: The Chase)
After realising they'd left Vicki behind, but incapable of bypassing the TARDIS's time mechanism, the Doctor programmed the conceptual geometry, aligned the telepathic circuits, and explained they needed to make themselves receptive to the cumulative forces of imagination, concentrating on what they most desired into a wish. As a result, Ian's book Monsters from Outer Space!, was altered to contain a comic depicting the travellers meeting a family and their dog on a rocket. The TARDIS then landed on this rocket, where they met a young girl called Julia Jett, with their landing sparking her into existence. The girl tried to leave in the TARDIS with them, but it eventuated that she and her dog were fictional, so to do so would be impossible. The TARDIS departed and Julia continued to live in the Land, now in the full knowledge of her own fictionality. (PROSE: Journey Out of Terror)
The Second Doctor's adventures in the Land of Fiction
The Doctor visited the Land of Fiction in his second incarnation, immediately after defeating the Dominators on the planet Dulkis. To escape a volcanic eruption there, he flipped an emergency switch in the TARDIS. (TV: The Dominators) The ship materialised in a White Void inhabited only by White Robots and a disembodied force that invaded the minds of the travellers. The crew returned to the safety of the TARDIS, which appeared in a Black Void. The TARDIS appeared to explode, leaving Zoe and Jamie clinging to the TARDIS console, spinning in space and the Doctor floating nearby, seemingly dead.
After a dream-like interval, the travellers found themselves in a world called the Land of Fiction, without the TARDIS. The White Robots re-appeared, this time as clockwork soldiers. In the Land, mythical and fictional characters such as Lemuel Gulliver and unicorns had a physical existence, as did puzzles, riddles and puns. The three travellers first found themselves in a Forest of Words, in which the trees were shaped as words, and when Jamie discovered this when he climbed up a tree which was the letter S, he saw that the letters made up proverbs, such as 'Look before you leap'. The Doctor had to answer a riddle given to him by children. There was also a Redcoat residing in the Land of Fiction, and when Jamie went to attack him, he was shot, and he lost his face, which the Doctor had to put back together from a collection of eyes, noses and mouths, and he got the face wrong, so Jamie had a different face.
Next, after being faced with a unicorn, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe travelled to the end of the forest where Jamie was shot by a Redcoat again and the Doctor, with the help of Zoe, reconstructed Jamie's face properly. Then, all three travelled into a labyrinth where they used a ball of twine which would be used in mazes, but it ran out. Jamie was left to stay on guard where it ended, but he was forced to flee when a clockwork soldier found him and chased him out of the labyrinth. The Doctor and Zoe encountered the Minotaur and Lemuel Gulliver again, where the Doctor deduced that he was Lemuel Gulliver, a fictional character. Before escaping, they encountered and defeated Medusa. Jamie, meanwhile, found himself inside a castle in which Rapunzel was until she vanished. He saw a ticker-tape which reported the progress of the Doctor and Zoe's test in the labyrinth.
Once near the citadel, the Doctor and Zoe, searching for Jamie, found themselves outside it and met with the Karkus, another fictional character. They managed to get inside the citadel and find Jamie, and allowed themselves to be captured and were taken to meet the Master of the Land of Fiction. (TV: The Mind Robber)
They found this realm under the control of an unseen presence known as the Master of the Land. He attempted to turn Jamie and Zoe into fictional characters and to trick the Doctor into assuming his place and rule the Land. A futuristic computer, the Master Brain, had forced the Master of the Land to be its slave.
The Master of the Land was, in fact, a benign old man, a writer of boys' fiction from Earth in the year 1926 who had also been trapped in this universe and taken over by the Master Brain. Zoe and Jamie overloaded the Master Brain's systems, destroying it and freeing the old man from its control. Once the Master Brain was destroyed, everything vanished, (TV: The Mind Robber) the central structure of the Land destroyed, (PROSE: No Future and the TARDIS reassembled around the travellers (TV: The Mind Robber) now returned to the normal universe. (TV: The Invasion)
The Second Doctor later sent himself back to the Land to retrieve his recorder, but instead encountered Goth, who sent him to meet his future self to help deal with Omega. (PROSE: Future Imperfect, TV: The Three Doctors)
Attempted invasion of reality
In the early 21st century, the Land of Fiction was becoming overcrowded due to the sheer volume of fiction distributed through various mediums that were available during this time. It had gotten to the point where lesser-known and obscure fictional characters that had been forgotten about over time had to be erased to make room for new characters. During this time, in the English town of Eastwold, a woman named Laura Corbett, having recently been abandoned by the father of her child after he got her pregnant, created a fictional construct of a father for her child whom she told her friends and family about. The fictional father, whom she named Simon Corbett, was created so that he would do anything to be with and protect his child, Edward. This fierce determination, combined with the already overcrowded nature of his world, made Simon create a breach in the Land of Fiction so that he could be with his child. Because Simon was seemingly the perfect man for her and her child, Laura accepted his existence, although Simon himself was unaware of his true origins.
Eventually, this breach in Eastwold was discovered by the more selfish obscure characters within the Land of Fiction, who would do anything to avoid having their existences being erased. The Crooked Man—a book-dwelling monster created in a manuscript by Laura's father, Geoff Corbett, whose existence was also being threatened—led an invasion of Eastwold by crossing over into reality and murdering the town's residents, allowing for obscure fictional characters to come through the breach and take their place. After Jeff Corbett's death, Laura sold all his books at a local bookshop, accidentally leaving the manuscript for The Crooked Man among them. Knowing that destroying the manuscript was the only way of killing him, the Crooked Man made the shop's owner, Rance, his thirteenth victim and stole the manuscript.
At this time, the Fourth Doctor and Leela arrived in Eastwold where they began investigating the murders. Their investigation eventually led them to the Corbett's house, where the Crooked Man kidnapped baby Edward in order to lure Simon, the Doctor, and the others into the Land of Fiction so that could trap them there and keep the breach open. In the end, however, the Crooked Man's tricks were no match for Simon's seemingly super-human feats fueled by his determination to protect his child, allowing the Doctor to take possession of The Crooked Man manuscript and tear it up, erasing him from existence. As they were being pursued by the other fictional characters that the Crooked Man brought through, the Doctor confronted Laura about Simon's origins, revealing the truth to all, including Simon. Realising that Simon is the cause of the breach, the Doctor told him that the only way to save Laura, Edward, and the rest of reality was for him to stay behind and close the breach. Simon agreed to do so, easily fighting off the remaining characters as the others escaped through the breach, allowing him to close it for good. (AUDIO: The Crooked Man)
Sixth Doctor in the Land of Fiction
The Sixth Doctor arrived in what appeared to be the highlands of Scotland in 1780 to find an older Jamie McCrimmon, who, under the alias of the ruthless Black Donald, led a group of rebels in fighting the Redcoats. Jamie, despite having no memories of the Doctor due to the Time Lords' mindwipe, agreed to journey with him through events involving what seemed to be advanced, oil-pumping technology from 1884 on the moors, the mysterious Overlord, who was after "black water", and the creation of the Red Caps. (AUDIO: City of Spires)
Jamie accompanied the Doctor into what they realised was the Land of Fiction, where they seemed to have become involved with the RMS Titanic on 14 April 1912, which abruptly became the similarly ill-fated, but literary Titan from 1898. The adventure continued in Captain Nemo's famed submarine, the Nautilus, which faced an attack from a giant squid. After the Nautilus was attacked, the Doctor and Jamie found themselves in the White Void. (AUDIO: The Wreck of the Titan)
While facing clockwork soldiers, Jamie found an unaged Zoe Heriot, whom he didn't remember. Zoe helped return a flood of Jamie's memories with the data clusters. Jamie and Zoe met up with the Doctor and an interdimensional secret agent version of the Artful Dodger. After Oliver Twist was found to have become a partly-converted Cyberman, the group travelled to the fairy-filled Magic Forest where they met an armoured Lt Alice Liddell in the company of Dracula. The group was attacked by cyber-converted Wagnerian Valkyries. Coming across Sleeping Beauty and her spindle, like Alice, Jamie was found to be fictional, with blood of black ink, even though he had believed himself to have been a real person with a full life. The Doctor told the fictional characters to exercise their free will regardless. Jamie was rescued by the Doctor from metafictioning himself out of existence by the Cybermen in a glass cupboard.
The fictional Jamie was upset about the Doctor never coming back to his companions and worried the Doctor had never checked on the real Jamie, who might have been hanged by the Redcoats after the Battle of Culloden. Moby Dick was discovered to be cyber-converted and Cpt Long John Silver's Hispaniola faced sinking from its torpedoes, but they were saved by Cpt. Nemo and Rob Roy MacGregor, who returned the barnacle-covered TARDIS to the Doctor.
The Mistress of the Land of Fiction was the real-life, older Zoe, who had found out she had mysteriously aged two years and was captured in a Cyberman attack on the Wheel. When Zoe's memories were triggered, she sent the Cybermen into the Land of Fiction and brought the Doctor there to defeat them, creating Jamie as a friend and as a mystery to solve. After a Datamat, which looked similar to a Cybermat, started climbing up Jamie's kilt, the Zoes were told to work on writing the fictional Cybermen, who had been converted from fantasy creatures, out of existence. Cpt Nemo, finding himself with a cyber-converted Dracula, was rescued by the soon-to-be-killed Karkus, sent by Zoe. The Doctor used the Datamat to erase the fictional Cybermen from existence. The fictional Zoe was killed. Alice was elected to be in charge of the Land of Fiction, as Jamie was more of a fighter. Jamie told the Doctor to find the real Jamie if he ever found himself in the Scottish highlands again. Zoe was rescued by the Doctor, but in doing so, her memories were lost to her again. (AUDIO: Legend of the Cybermen)
The Seventh Doctor in the reactivated Land
As part of his elaborate scheme to gain revenge on the Doctor, Mortimus reactivated the Land following its destruction, and installed Jason, a mentally unstable boy from 1993 Earth, as its new Master. Jason constructed a town called Arandale, inhabited by various fictional characters such as the White Knight and Doctor Nemesis. He trapped the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Benny in a scenario where the power source that gave the White Knight his powers would soon explode and destroy the town unless the Doctor either went along with the story and thus became trapped in the Land for good, or took the Master's place. By tricking Jason into introducing highly disruptive McAllerson's Radiation into the Land by claiming that it could be the source of the White Knight's powers, the Doctor escaped after the Radiation release damaged the Land long enough for him and his companions to return to the TARDIS. At his request the Time Lords placed beacons around the Land to warn away other travellers in space and time who might become trapped there. (PROSE: Conundrum)
Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart's time travel experiments (PROSE: Set Piece) created a space-time anomaly which allowed energy from the Land of Fiction to bleed into the real universe. This created the Miracle, an energy source which for a time sustained the dying planet Detrios. It also re-activated Jason, who sought to gain revenge on the Doctor, by creating a fictional version of him, Dr. Who. Jason employed Dr. Who in a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. Although the Queen was killed by Dr. Who, Jason's distaste for bloodshed made him use his powers to restore her to life. Jason helped the real Doctor seal off the anomaly, after which the Doctor wiped Jason's memory and returned him to Earth. (PROSE: Head Games)
The Tenth Doctor mentioned having met numerous fictional characters in the Land of Fiction. He told Rose Tyler he could take her to meet her childhood heroes and have honey with Winnie the Pooh, who is a right laugh. Rose thought Mr. Tickle would be annoying and had had enough of fictional characters at the time. (AUDIO: Infamy of the Zaross) When trapped inside The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage, he explained to Martha Jones that the Land of Fiction tasted like boiled cabbage and smelt like wet dog. This helped him to rule out this pocket universe as their location. (PROSE: The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage)
Behind the scenes
- For some time there was ambiguity as to whether the travellers had simply imagined the Land of Fiction. However, later accounts more or less confirmed the Land of Fiction as "real".
- In the 2012 Blue Peter special, the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Williams became trapped inside the Land of Fiction (although it physically resembled the White Void) and asked for British schoolchildren to help develop an adventure for them so they could escape.