Shakedown is the forty-fifth Virgin New Adventures novel. It features the Seventh Doctor, Bernice Summerfield, Chris Cwej and Roz Forrester. This is the first novel to be a partial novelisation of a spin-off video drama; Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans, the action from the video drama takes place in the middle of this novel and does not feature the Doctor or any direct references to him. This is due to the unique licencing and copyright arrangements of spin-offs and the BBC at the time (it was possible for filmmakers to get permission to use characters created by specific writers, so long as the works did not feature BBC-owned properties such as the Doctor). This is Terrance Dicks' final contribution to the New Adventures. However, he did write a partial sequel to this novel, Mean Streets, which is one of the Virgin Bernice Summerfield New Adventures.
"The Sontarans can never defeat us. It is we who will win."
For thousands of years the Sontaran clone-warriors and the Rutan gestalt have fought each other across the galaxy. Now the Sontarans have a plan to strike at the heart of the Rutan Empire, and utterly defeat the Rutan race.
The Doctor has his suspicions, but only one Rutan spy knows the Sontarans' secret. He is being pursued from planet to planet by Chris and Roz and by a Sontaran hit squad. After a confrontation aboard the racing space-yacht Tiger Moth, the chase culminates on the library planet Sentarion - where Professor Bernice Summerfield's researches into the history of the Sontaran/Rutan war turn into explosive reality.
to be added
- The Doctor has grey eyes.
- The Doctor is known as "the Infamous General Smith" by the Sontarans because of his actions in the first third of the story.
Colleges and universities
- Bernice has begun to see evidence of the Doctor's habit of getting into so much trouble that people can't kill them (she can't be killed in the sacred precinct. Nor can she leave the sacred precinct. It's the law).
Foods and beverages
- Chris and Roz pose as Pinkerton Agency members or "Pinks".
- Garshak is a super-intelligent Ogron. He got his job because one of the other candidates had both their arms mysteriously ripped off. It was some sort of accident...
Libraries and archives
- Bernice spends much of her time on the planet Sentarion doing research for the Doctor.
- The Sontaran Military Code requires the death penalty for every infraction.
- The Pinkerton Agency (aka the Pinks), also known as The Eye That Never Sleeps, is an infamous spy organisation that flourished as far back as the 19th century.
- The Great Mother is the repository of the Rutan gestalt intelligence.
- The Time Lords seem to support the Rutans in their war with the Sontarans.
- The middle section of this novel novelises the Reeltime Pictures video production Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans, and includes photographs from that production. The novel version also intentionally ties into Lords of the Storm, published that same month.
- The novel as a whole provides what is basically a three-part adventure; before, during and after Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans.
- Chris returns to Mega City in PROSE: Mean Streets.
- The Doctor is forgiven by the Rutans for killing one of them on Fang Rock. (TV: Horror of Fang Rock)