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Players was the twenty-first novel in the BBC Past Doctor Adventures series. It was written by Terrance Dicks, released 6 April 1999 and featured the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown.

It was the first novel to mention and feature Season 6B — the period between the end of The War Games and Spearhead from Space — and the first to feature the Players.

This was also the first story to feature Winston Churchill in a prominent role and detailed some of his encounters with the Doctor. The relationship between the two became firmly established when it was carried over into the TV series over a decade later in Victory of the Daleks.

Publisher's summary[]

1999 BBC Books summary[]

Promising his companion, Peri, high society elegance in fin-de-siecle London, the Doctor manages to hit the right time, but the wrong place...

The TARDIS has landed on the sun-baked veldt in the middle of a Boer War skirmish. And soon the Doctor and Peri are involved in the adventures of a struggling politician and war correspondent who they know is destined for greater things — a certain Winston Churchill. But mysterious forces seem to be interfering in his potentially great career...

Arriving in London, the Doctor and Peri enter high society but find themselves in a world of intrigue populated by notorious figures from Wallis Simpson to Joachim von Ribbentrop. And behind everything, the Doctor senses the hidden hand of the Players — mysterious beings who regard human history as no more than a chess board. Can the Doctor and Peri find the right moves to defeat them — before it's too late?

2013 BBC Books summary[]

Arriving on the sun-baked veldt in the middle of the Boer War, the Sixth Doctor is soon involved in the adventures of struggling politician and war correspondent Winston Churchill. Of course, he knows Churchill is destined for great things, but unseen forces seem to be interfering with Winston's historic career... The Doctor suspects the hidden hand of the Players, mysterious beings who regard human history as little more than a game. With time running out, can the Doctor find the right moves to defeat them?

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