The Ancestor Cell was the thirty-sixth novel in the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures series. It was written by Peter Anghelides and Stephen Cole, released 3 July 2000 and featured the Eighth Doctor, Fitz Kreiner and Compassion. It marked the end of Stephen Cole's role as editor of the BBC Books ranges.
The Doctor's not the man he was. But what has he become? An old enemy — Faction Paradox, a cult of time-travelling voodoo terrorists — is finally making him one of its own. These rebels have a mission for him, one that will deliver him into the hands of his own people, who have decreed that he must die. Except now, it seems, the Time Lords have a mission for him too...
A gargantuan structure, hewn from solid bone, has appeared in the skies over Gallifrey. Its origin and purpose are unknown, but its powers threaten to tear apart the web of time and the universe with it. Only the Doctor can get inside... but soon he will learn that nothing is safe and nothing sacred.
Shot by both sides, confronted by past sins and future crimes, the Doctor finds himself a prisoner of his own actions. With options finally running out, he must face his most crushing defeat or take one last, desperate chance for salvation...
to be added
- Eighth Doctor
- Fitz Kreiner
- Lady President Romana
- Technician Nivet
- Greyjan the Sane
- Mother Tarra
- Mother Mathara
- Third Doctor ('ghost')
- The Faction virus which infected the Doctor during his paradoxical regeneration on Dust continues to affect him.
- Fitz knows of the Faction Paradox either from his encounter on Earth in San Francisco 2002 or on Earth in 1996, or when he was part of the Remote prior to his re-remembering by the TARDIS.
- The Edifice which hangs over Gallifrey is revealed to be the Doctor's TARDIS, which he thought was destroyed. It exists in the form of a Gallifreyan Flower of Remembrance.
- The Panopticon should have six sides, but due to the Faction Paradox's interference it keeps losing sides until it's a circle.
- Romana is about to celebrate her 150th year as Lady President of Gallifrey.
- Romana is a Prydonian.
- Cherantrin V is a planet where the Doctor, Fitz and Sam saw a double sunrise.
- The founders of Time Lord society include Rassilon, Omega, Pandak, Apeiron and the Other.
- The Penansulix Structure is a building on Gallifrey.
- Greyjan was president for three years.
- When Chancellor of Time Future Djarshar said he needed to consult the Black Book of Gallifrey for information, the Doctor jokingly recommended he also check the Little Red Book of Gallifrey, the Bones of the Dead, the Scrolls of Antiquity and the Runes of Rassilon.
- Both the "current version" of Fitz (Kode) and the original (Father Kreiner) appear in this novel. Father Kreiner is killed during the novel.
- This novel's version of Gallifrey has been twisted by the Edifice's temporal damage into a parody of the Gallifrey glimpsed in Alien Bodies and The Taking of Planet 5.
- The Ancestor Cell saw the culmination of the War arc, which had begun in Alien Bodies. That novel's author, Lawrence Miles, criticised The Ancestor Cell for its revelations about the enemy (suggested to be primordial cells irradiated by temporal interference and energised by a leaking bottle universe) and Grandfather Paradox (a future version of the Eighth Doctor). In The Gallifrey Chronicles, Lance Parkin retconned Grandfather Paradox to appear as everyone's potential future, rather than a specific future version of the Eighth Doctor. The Book of the Enemy would later establish that the enemy had more than one "true" answer for its identity.
- This novel marked the "end" of the War in Heaven for the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures. However, after leaving the Eighth Doctor, Compassion became a recurring participant in the War in the Faction Paradox series.
- Each of the duplicate Homeworlds created during the War believed themselves to be the original, had their own War Queens, and created their own duplicates. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
- A Gallifrey was destroyed early in the War. (PROSE: Alien Bodies, The Taking of Planet 5, The Brakespeare Voyage)
- The 'ghost' of the Third Doctor who features here is intended to be a manifestation of the Doctor who would have existed before the Doctor's unintentional interference in PROSE: Interference - Book One erased the events of TV: Planet of the Spiders.
- PROSE: Alien Bodies was the first novel to feature both the Faction Paradox and the first mention of the future War, the Enemy, and sentient TARDISes.
- PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5 debuted the War TARDISes.
- PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon started the Time Lords chasing the Doctor, Compassion and Fitz.
- Fitz knows who the Faction Paradox are from his encounters with them in PROSE: Unnatural History and Interference - Book One.
- Compassion drops the Doctor on Earth, leading into PROSE: The Burning.
- Compassion also delivers Fitz on Earth a hundred years later in time to meet the Doctor, which he does in PROSE: Escape Velocity.
- PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles sorts out and re-interprets many of the events seen in this novel. For instance, it specifies that The Ancestor Cell's Faction Paradox fleet was a devolved and militaristic sect, come to the Eleven-Day Empire and invading Romana's Gallifrey from 292 years into the War.
- Romana mentions the Dalek incident. (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element)
- Romana remembers challenging Flavia. (PROSE: Goth Opera)
- Father Kreiner mentions the T'hiili (PROSE: Dominion) and Vega Station. (PROSE: Demontage) Fitz retaliates with tales of Drebnar. (PROSE: Frontier Worlds)
- PROSE: Spinning Jenny states that there are different conflicting accounts of Faction Paradox's destruction.
- The Ancestor Cell at the Faction Paradox wiki
- The Discontinuity Guide to: The Ancestor Cell at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: The Ancestor Cell
- Unused Chapter 10 of The Ancestor Cell (PDF) from Peter Anghelides website
- Ancestor Cell | The Red Lines Page - Peter Anghelides - WordPress.com