The novel bridges several gaps between the television stories The Mark of the Rani and Time and the Rani, explaining the absence of the dinosaur last seen rapidly growing in the Rani's TARDIS due to breaking its neck on her TARDIS control room's ceiling, how the Rani parted company with the Master and why she had a new control room in her next televised appearance.
Publisher's summary Edit
- "In less than 25 years the Romans have invented electricity generation, airships, radio and who knows what else. Is that reasonable?"
Ancient Egypt, 41 BC. The Doctor and Peri watch as Cleopatra's pleasure barge glides up the Nile in preparation for her fateful meeting with Mark Antony. And an alien presence observes the TARDIS, waits for it to dematerialise, then pounces.
When the time ship lands, the Doctor and Peri find themselves in ancient Rome, in the tomb of Cleopatra. But something is very wrong. The tomb walls depict steam-driven galleys and other disturbing anachronisms. The Roman Empire is preparing for a devastating war — using weapons from the future capable of destroying the entire world.
to be added
- Sixth Doctor
- Peri Brown
- The Rani
- Cleopatra Selene
- Alexander Helios
- Ptolemy Caesar
- The front cover of the book depicts Peri as a bird, linking to the events of the television story Vengeance on Varos.
- "Chapter XVII" deviates from the novel's usual third-person prose in favour of a spoken first-person account, as told by Ptolemy Caesar, of what he discovered at the edge of their known world.
- The Doctor refers to the TARDIS' recent power problems. (TV: Vengeance on Varos)
- Peri recalls the Fifth Doctor's appearance when they first met in Lanzarote on 9 May 1984 (TV: Planet of Fire) and their subsequent trip to Androzani Minor. (TV: The Caves of Androzani)
- The Doctor still has samples of the Thal anti-radiation drug in the medical chest of the TARDIS. (TV: The Daleks)
- The Rani mentions what happened to her after she and the Master were trapped in her TARDIS. (TV: The Mark of the Rani)