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The Paternoster Gang was a group of detectives active in Victorian London named after Paternoster Row, the street on which their de facto headquarters were located. (TV: The Great Detective) The group was comprised of Madame Vastra — owner of the Paternoster house — Jenny Flint and Strax. (TV: The Snowmen, et al.)

Vastra considered Jenny and Strax to be her family, (AUDIO: Inside Every Warrior) favouring this chosen family over "[her] own"; (AUDIO: Dining with Death) that is, the Silurian clan she had disavowed. (AUDIO: A Photograph to Remember)



Vastra, along with fellow Silurians, had awoken during the construction of part of the London Underground and had wanted to take revenge on innocent tunnel workers for the deaths of her "sisters". After Vastra had slaughtered at least five commuters, the Doctor convinced her not to give in to rage. At some point, she hired Jenny Flint as her maid. Vastra's relationship with Jenny eventually became romantic. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War, The Snowmen)

Vastra and Jenny were part of the Doctor's army which he summoned from across time and space to aid him in the Battle of Demon's Run. Also among the Doctor's allies was Commander Strax, a Sontaran nurse who, like Vastra, owed the Doctor a debt. He was killed in the battle with the Headless Monks. After the battle, the Doctor departed in his TARDIS, leaving River Song to take Vastra and Jenny home. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)

The Battle of Demons Run Two Days Later

The gang two days after the Battle of Demons Run (WC: The Battle of Demon's Run: Two Days Later)

However, two days after the battle, Vastra and Jenny returned to the Demons Run asteroid to retrieve Strax. They woke Strax up, informing him that he had not died since they had used alien technology to heal his wounds. Jenny said that he had never truly passed away thanks to the resurrection technology and he had been in a state of unconsciousness for two days while the resurrection device healed him. Strax was angry that his glorious death in battle was robbed from him. Vastra and Jenny announced that the station was being evacuated, and offered to take Strax with them back to London. Strax was hesitant and at first rudely refused but then changed his mind and agreed to accompany them. Joining them in Victorian London in 1888, Strax became Vastra's butler. The Paternoster Gang was formed soon after. (WC: The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later, TV: A Good Man Goes to War)

Prior to the events of Demons Run, Vastra employed a chauffeur named Parker. As Strax later takes on his chauffeur duties, presumably Parker left Vastra's employ at some point.

Christmas 1892[]

Soon after the Eleventh Doctor's arrival at Victorian London to retire, after losing Amy Pond and Rory Williams, the Paternoster Gang became known as "the Doctor's friends", and tried to convince the Doctor to return to his universe-saving career. Soon after, on 24 December 1892 the three, along with the Doctor and Clara Oswin Oswald, defeated the Great Intelligence and stopped his plan to take over the Earth using telepathic snow. During this adventure, Clara died, but the Doctor, who seemed to know her before, returned to normal. (TV: The Snowmen)


In 1893, a man called Mr Thursday contacted Vastra to ask her to investigate the murder of his brother Edmund. Vastra, with Jenny and Strax, investigated Edmund's dead body, and found out a strange optogram in his eye — an image of the Doctor. Jenny was sent to Sweetville to see what was happening there, only to find the Doctor fossilised in an odd red liquid. The Doctor instructed Jenny how to heal him, and once it was done, the pair went out to find Clara. They found her as a puppet inside a glass dome. The group was confused at seeing Clara, now the Doctor's companion, alive after seeing her die the previous Christmas. After Clara was recovered, the Doctor, Jenny and Clara were caught by Winifred Gillyflower, the project's manager. They were soon saved by Vastra and Strax. Then the Paternoster Gang, along with the Doctor and Clara, stopped Gillyflower's plan to launch a rocket containing a red leech poison which would wipe out humanity. Eventually, Strax shot Gillyflower, who fell to the floor and died. (TV: The Crimson Horror)


Jenny was called to talk to a serial killer, Clarence DeMarco, who killed fourteen women. (HOMEVID: Clarence and the Whispermen) He told her about the Doctor's biggest secret, and gave her space-time coordinates in exchange for his life. Vastra accepted the deal and arranged a psychic conference call with Jenny, Strax, Clara and River Song. There, she told them what Clarence had told her, but the call was soon disturbed by the Whisper Men who attacked the sleeping investigators. Jenny was murdered by them, but Vastra and Strax managed to wake up in time. Clara also woke up, and after telling the Doctor what was happening, the two travelled to the coordinates Clara remembered. The coordinates led to a ruined Trenzalore. Vastra and Strax were also brought to Trenzalore by the Whisper Men where Strax managed to resuscitate Jenny.

There, the Great Intelligence, who controlled the Whisper Men, opened the Doctor's tomb. He jumped into the Doctor's time stream, and began to alter his history, erasing Jenny from reality. Because of the Great Intelligence's actions, Vastra and Strax no longer knew each other. Strax attacked Vastra, and she shot and killed him. Clara reversed the recent occurrences, including Jenny's and Strax's deaths, by entering the timeline after the Intelligence, saving the Doctor wherever he went. The Doctor then decided to save Clara by entering his timeline himself, telling the Paternoster Gang that the TARDIS could return them home with the fast return protocol if he didn't return. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)

With the Twelfth Doctor[]

At some point, after having been returned to their home period, they witnessed a dinosaur arrive in the Thames from an earlier time. After his TARDIS was regurgitated by a dinosaur, the newly-regenerated Doctor and Clara met with the Paternoster Gang. Dealing with his new body, the Doctor was confused between Strax and Clara and later thought that she was a regeneration of Handles. After the dinosaur was set on fire and burned to death, they helped the Doctor deal with his new personality and uncover the plot of the Half-Face Man. (TV: Deep Breath)

When the Doctor visited London again with Clara, the Paternoster Gang again helped him with a new threat. They separately investigated the Carnival of Curiosities and individuals linked to Orestes Milton. They collectively learnt that Milton had enslaved two acts in the Carnival, Silhouette and Affinity and used them as weapons to escape capture from the Shadow Proclamation for war crimes. Posing as an industrialist, Milton attempted to channel anger onto the local population to turn them against each other. However, he was thwarted and promptly executed by the Proclamation. (PROSE: Silhouette)

Further investigations[]

At some point following the relocation of London's Crystal Palace to Sydenham Hill in 1854, the Gang visited it and foiled a scheme by Lady Cornelia Basildon-Stone to overthrow Queen Victoria and turn the British population into human-insect hybrids, using long-buried Silurian gene-splicing technology. It was here they met and were aided by Tommy Corrigan (COMIC: The Crystal Throne).

In 1893, Strax visited Yorkshire and foiled an attempted invasion of Earth by the Azohians. (PROSE: The House of Sorrows)

In 1893, the Paternoster Gang attempted to capture a thief at the Monte Carlo Casino only to witness him creating a temporal portal. They followed the thief through the portal and found themselves at the court of Henry VIII in 1544. The gang learned that the thief, Lord Volta, was planning on altering history by providing Henry VIII with technology from the future. Strax grabbed Volta and used Volta's time travel technology to create a portal back to 1893. The Paternoster Gang handed over the unconscious Volta to the police of 1893. (PROSE: The Tudor Engagement)

Curious Fugitive

The Paternoster Gang send Vex's prisoners into the 25th century. (PROSE: The Case of the Curious Fugitive)

In 1893, the gang tracked down technology stolen from several universities to a warehouse by the Thames. They discovered that the technology had been stolen by Vex, a 25th century carrier droid who was using the technology to create a machine that would send his prisoners back to the future. The gang helped Vex use the machine and then allowed the police to arrest Vex as a petty thief. (PROSE: The Case of the Curious Fugitive)

Miniature Menace

The Paternoster Gang observe Gremlins. (PROSE: The Curious Case of the Miniature Menaces)

In February 1894, William Christie brought the Paternoster Gang to the Royal Observatory to find the source of several peculiarities. Vastra deduced that Gremlins were the cause of Christie's troubles. Jenny negotiated with the Gremlins and had them relocate from the observatory to the River Thames. (PROSE: The Curious Case of the Miniature Menaces)

In spring 1894, the Paternoster Gang investigated a series of disappearances on the Isle of Skye. Using a boat rented from Waternish, they travelled to the Minch Strait and discovered a group of alien scientists. The aliens helped the gang stop a group of smugglers who were responsible for the disappearances. (PROSE: The Singular Case of the Blue Men of Minch)

In June 1894, Strax and Jenny went undercover as performers at the Palace of Wonder after Faye Garrideb asked them to investigate several supposed sightings of ghosts at venue. They found out that the ghost was actually an alien prince from Calamiño whose spaceship was underneath the Palace of Wonder. Vastra decided to let the prince destroy the Palace of Wonder so that he could leave Earth in his ship. (PROSE: The Phantom of the Music Hall)


The Paternoster Gang witness Thaddeus Maine leaving 1894 in a time machine. (PROSE: The Singular Case of the Time Machine)

In September 1894, the Prime Minister came to Paternoster Row to request that the gang protect Thaddeus Maine, a scientist who created a working time machine. At the Royal Academy of Science, they stopped two foreign assassins from killing Maine and stealing the time machine. Distressed by the number of people wanting to use the time machine for military purposes, Maine piloted the machine to a safer time. (PROSE: The Singular Case of the Time Machine)

Later in autumn 1894, the Paternoster Gang were called to the British Museum by Jolyon Tanner to inspect the recently acquired Book of the Dead. Vastra determined that the pages of the book were made of a psychic papyrus made its readers depressed. While Jenny and Strax both fell prey to the book's effects, Vastra was able to resist it. The psychic papyrus strained to depress Vastra and disintegrated after overloading itself. (PROSE: The Curious Case of the Misery Diary)

On 15 November 1894, Strax's fighting drone malfunctioned and began attacking residents of Paternoster Row. The gang kept the drone distracted until it ran out of power. (PROSE: The Spectre of Paternoster Row)

Lizard Woman & Missing Link

Vastra and Strax at Holmes' Travelling Carnival and Freakshow. (PROSE: The Case of the Dissolving Man)

In late 1894, Vastra and Strax went undercover as freaks at Holmes' Travelling Carnival and Freakshow in order to find the source of high levels of artron energy which had been detected in the area. They discovered that Harrison Crane, one of the other freakshow performers, had been using a damaged vortex manipulator as part of his act and put a stop to it. (PROSE: The Case of the Dissolving Man)

On 14 February 1895, Oscar Wilde gave the Paternoster Gang tickets to the premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest at St James's Theatre. During the performance, a being from Proscenia possessed Rose Leclerq and used a device to make all the humans in the audience uncontrollably laugh in order to signal an invasion fleet. Strax punched Leclerq, knocking her unconscious and breaking the Proscenian's control over the audience. Strax then took Leclerq's place as Lady Bracknell. (PROSE: The Importance of Being Strax)

The Paternoster Gang encountered an alien prankster who was using a molecular disruptor to transform parts of London into silly things. Vastra convinced the prankster that getting rid of London's smog and cleaning the River Thames would be a prank. Upon seeing the people of London laughing in joy, the prankster assumed that he had performed the ultimate joke and he left Earth. (PROSE: The Confounding Case of the Planetary Prankster)

In early 1896, the Paternoster Gang attended a demonstration of Auguste and Pierre Lumière's moving picture technology. The projector used in the demonstration was augmented with holographic technology added by PR-40. The gang found PR-40 and took him to Paternoster Row. (PROSE: The Inscrutable Illusionist)

In 1897, the gang dived into the River Thames and located an Esturian spaceship. Strax trapped the Esturians in a canister. The twelve orphans who had been turned into mermaids by the Esturians were given to P. T. Barnum. (PROSE: The Terror of the Thames)

In summer 1897, shortly after the Paternoster Gang visited Paris, Hilary Bantlewhite hired them to guard the Giant's Heart at the Tower of London. The Doctor came to the Tower to dispose of the Heart because it was actually a dangerous alien parasite which absorbed light. The gang helped bring the Heart into the Doctor's TARDIS and replaced it with a diamond from Horno Ciego. (PROSE: The Giant's Heart)

When Missy recreated The War of the Worlds on Planetoid 50, the Paternoster Gang were among the inhabitants of 19th century London that she abducted to populate her simulacrum of London. Missy hypnotised Jenny into her servant, using her to keep Vastra bound and in line, while Strax escaped into the countryside. When the Tenth Doctor arrived, he managed to free the Paternoster Gang who, along with Jessamy Moore, helped him defeat Missy's Fighting-Machines. After the Master escaped, the Doctor return the Paternoster Gang to their native time, briefly sharing a drink at a pub with them, before he took off. (AUDIO: The Martian Invasion of Planetoid 50)

Behind the scenes[]

Steven Moffat derived the name Paternoster Gang from The Brilliant Book 2012 where Clayton Hickman referred to their base as Paternoster Row. (DWM 480)