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Spiral Scratch was the seventieth novel in the BBC Past Doctor Adventures series. It was written by Gary Russell, released 4 August 2005 and featured the Sixth Doctor and Melanie Bush.

This was the final novel featuring the Sixth Doctor. It is also the final Sixth Doctor adventure overall, as the ending leads directly into the television story Time and the Rani. It was also the first Past Doctor Adventures novel to be published after the start of the revived series.

The novel reveals the circumstances behind the Doctor's regeneration into his seventh incarnation, which were left a mystery in the televised version of the event. According to the novel, the Sixth Doctor was already dying by the time the First Rani boarded his TARDIS after the events of this story, and her attack propagated the Sixth Doctor's inevitable death sooner than it would have occurred.

It is the first account of the regeneration in a BBC-licensed venue. In 2015, Big Finish would later approach a different version of the regeneration in audio form by releasing The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure. However, it remains the only official account of the regeneration in prose form, novelisations not withstanding.

Publisher's summary[]

Carsus: the largest repository of knowledge in the universe — in any universe, for there is an infinite number of potential universes; or rather, there should be. So why are there now just 117,863? And why, every so often, does another one just wink out of existence?

The Doctor and Mel arrive on Carsus to see the Doctor's old friend Professor Rummas — but he has been murdered. Can they solve the mystery of a contracting multiverse, and expose the murderer?

With the ties that bind the Lamprey family to the past, present and future coming unravelled around him, only the Doctor can stop the descent into temporal chaos. But he is lost on Janus 8. And Schyllus. And a twentieth-century Earth where Rome never fell. And...


to be added



Astronomical objects[]


  • Rummas is a Time Lord and a friend of the Doctor who lives on Carsus.
  • An alternate version of Peri Brown is said to have sacrificed her life for her version of the Doctor.
  • Among the alternate versions of Mel is a human-Silurian hybrid known as Melanie Baal.



Foods and beverages[]

  • The Doctor and Mel share lobster, Waldorf salad and a Merlot with Rummas; Mel avoids the lobster.


  • The novel and chapter titles are named after the EP and song by British punk band the Buzzcocks.
  • The Sixth Doctor is the second Doctor to have the circumstances of his regeneration explained in spin-off media rather than a television story, the previous being the Second Doctor, whose regeneration was seen in the comic story The Night Walkers.


External links[]