Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



prose stub

Set Piece is the thirty-fifth New Adventures novel. It features the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice Summerfield. This is the last novel to feature Ace as an ongoing companion in the Virgin New Adventures novel range. She reappears as a "guest character" in Head Games, Happy Endings and Lungbarrow.

Although he is the "Set" of the title, and his worshippers play an important part in the plot, Sutekh does not actually appear in the story.

Publisher's summary[]

Dead. He was dead. How the hell was she supposed to do CPR on a man with two hearts?

There's a rip in the fabric of space and time. Passenger ships are disappearing from the interstellar traffic lanes. In an attempt to find out who's behind the disappearances, the Doctor and Ace allow themselves to be captured. But when Bernice's rescue attempt goes terribly wrong, the time travellers find themselves scattered throughout history.

Ace, stranded in Ancient Egypt, struggles to survive in an environment as alien as a distant planet: the Earth 3,000 years before she was born. She manages to find employment as a nobleman's bodyguard. And then she comes face to face with the metal horrors which have pursued her through time — the creatures she saw kill the Doctor.


to be added



The Doctor[]


  • Ace ends up in a relationship with one of Captain Sorin's ancestors, Count Nikolai Sorin, at one point.
  • Ace tells Sesehset about the butterfly effect.

Foods and beverages[]

  • The Doctor drinks wine for breakfast with Kadiatu and Thierry.
  • Bernice drinks absinthe and eats grapes in Cairo. She drinks beer in a seedy bar and wins a drinking competition in order to gain information.
  • Benny's travelling bag holds gold, vodka, antibiotics and camping equipment.


  • Time calls the Doctor her champion.
  • The Doctor first met Death on a Gallifreyan hill side.
  • Vivant Denon harbours Kadiatu.


  • Ace speaks Egyptian when stuck in Egypt, but doesn't realise it's because of the TARDIS until she's been there for several months.


Theories and concepts[]

  • Net, Isis, Khepri, Khnum, Set, and Re were among the gods replaced with Aten by Pharaoh Akhenaten.
  • Some of Death's "siblings" appear, including Pain and Time. All the Eternals (Time, Death, Pain) appear to be female.
  • Pain clarifies for Benny that her mother (Claire Summerfield) was killed by the first Dalek beams during the attack on their colony.
  • The Doctor notes there are places in time where history can change, and he calls these "disequilibrium points."

Time Lords[]

  • The Doctor showed the Brigadier how to disable a Time Lord (in case the Master ever returns to Earth); a blow to the left shoulder on a Time Lord hits a vital nerve cluster.


  • Ace visits Denon in 1815, aged twenty-eight.



  • Sophie Aldred wrote the afterword for this novel.
  • A prelude to this novel appeared in DWM 222.
  • The working title for this novel was Butterfly Wings.[1]
  • Since joining the Doctor at 16, this story establishes that Ace spent seven years in the TARDIS, separate from her three years in Spacefleet, and leaves at 26.


External links[]


  1. DWM 252 (Licence to Kill p.30)