Spiral Scratch was the seventy-first BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel. It was written by Gary Russell. It featured the Sixth Doctor and Mel. 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.

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 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. As of 2013, it is the only account of the regeneration in a BBC-licensed venue.

Chapter Titles

  1. I Need
  2. Real World
  3. Something's Gone wrong Again
  4. Who'll Help Me Forget
  5. Are Everything
  6. 16
  7. Moving Away from the Pulsebeat
  8. Whatever Happened To?
  9. Nostalgia
  10. Sixteen Again
  11. Noise Annoys
  12. Harmony in My Head
  13. A Different Kind of Tension
  14. Thunder of Hearts
  15. Time's Up
  16. Everybody's Happy Nowadays

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.



  • Among the phenomena mentioned by Professor Rummas is strange matter fragments.


  • Before arriving on Carsus, the Doctor encounters one of his future incarnations outside the TARDIS Library. It is not specified which incarnation it is.


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