It was the first purely historical novel in the New Adventures range, with no aliens or alien elements outside the Doctor, Bernice, Jade Pagoda, and what they bring or make during the novel.
The TARDIS is caught in the gravitational field of a dark star. The Doctor and Bernice are forced to evacuate, and find themselves stranded in medieval France — a brutal time of crusades and wars of succession.
As the Albigensian crusade draws to its bloody conclusion, men inflict savage brutalities on each other in the name of religion. And the TARDIS crew find their lives intertwined with warring Templars, crusaders and heretics. While the Doctor begins a murder investigation in a besieged fortress, Bernice finds herself drawn to an embittered mercenary who has made the heretics' fight his own. And they both realise that to leave history unchanged they may have to sacrifice far more than their lives.
to be added
- Seventh Doctor
- Bernice Summerfield
- Guy de Carnac
- Chretien d'Alsace
- Francisco Guzman
- Louis de Citeaux
- Philippe de Montfort
- Bishop of Citeaux
- Aumury de Montfort
- Simon de Montfort
- Francisco Guzman's uncle is Dominic de Guzman.
- Tomas de Torquemada would participate in the Spanish Inquisition a century or so later.
- Louis IX is the King of France.
- The Doctor claims to be "Jean Forgeron de Gallifrey", from the court of Alexander II of Scotland and presents a writ of safe convoy from him and John Baliol.
- Alexander II died five or six years before and was succeeded by his son.
- The Castellan participated in the Crusades with Frederick II.
- Black stars are stars made of quasi-baryonic dark matter.
- The Doctor says there are 650,000,000 G-type stars in the galaxy.
Foods and beverages
- Benny builds a still to make medicinal alcohol.
- Benny can speak ancient Tzun.
- Bernice says that she spent some of her early life on Vandor Prime in the Gamma Delphinus IV system.
- Bernice knows what Necros is like.
- The TARDIS console is likened to a gothic altar out of The Lord of the Rings.
- The Doctor and Benny use the Jade Pagoda to escape the TARDIS. As it goes through the black star, the Doctor specifies it to home in on a Class M (Earth-like) planet orbiting a main sequence Class G (Sol-like) star.
- The outside world can be reached through any of the three console rooms.
- The TARDIS interior has wood panelled corridors, a 1930s style cage lift, an arboretum, a hospital ward, a tennis court, a car garage, a water purification plant, a quarantine bay, a "Wanted" poster of Doc Holliday, a Veltrochni tree sculpture and a Greek statuette.
- A prelude to this novel was published in DWM 225.
- It is misstated that Benny is from the 25th century, 1200 years in the future.
- Bernice says that she spent some of her early life on Vandor Prime in the Gamma Delphinus IV system. These statements seem to contradict earlier statements by her about her homeworld, but can be reconciled with Benny's other statements about her homeworld if "Vandor Prime" is the name of a settlement and "Gamma Delphinus IV" is another name for Beta Caprisis, much as "Sol III" is another name for Earth.
- Likewise, Necros is misspelt as "Nekros".
- The Doctor and Benny use the Jade Pagoda (PROSE: Iceberg) to escape from a black star. (TV: The Invasion of Time)
- The Doctor reminds Benny that they are not in his original TARDIS. (PROSE: Blood Heat)
- As part of his cover, the Doctor explains that he knew King Richard (TV: The Crusade) and what happened to Sir Gilles Estram. (TV:The King's Demons)
- Guy de Carnac was a Knight Templar. (AUDIO: The Quality of Mercy)
- Benny initially believes she's on Necros. (TV: Revelation of the Daleks)
- She can speak Tzun. (PROSE: First Frontier)
- The Doctor recalls Ry'leh, and Benny thinks of Sherlock Holmes shooting up morphine. (PROSE: All-Consuming Fire)
- Benny recalls the Doctor owning a speakeasy, and resents being called "Lady Bernice" because last time she was called that, she was being chased by vampires. (PROSE: Blood Harvest)
- Among the Doctor's items is a "Wanted" poster of Doc Holliday, (TV: The Gunfighters) an Agatha Christie novel with the last page ripped out, (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) and a jade brooch that he wears. (TV: The Aztecs)
- Bernice jokes that the Doctor playing the spoons is against the Armageddon Convention. (TV: Time and the Rani, Revenge of the Cybermen)
- Benny laments that she doesn't have a Veltrochni holosuit. (PROSE: The Dark Path)
- As part of a distraction, the Doctor shouts that he is the great wizard Quiquaequod. (TV: The Dæmons)
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Sanctuary at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: Sanctuary
- Prelude to Sanctuary as published in DWM#225