"Release the Doctor — or the killing will start."
An asteroid in the furthest reaches of space — the most secure prison for the most dangerous of criminals. The Governor is responsible for the worst fraudsters and the cruellest murderers. So he's certainly not impressed by the arrival of the man they're calling the most dangerous criminal in the quadrant. Or, as he prefers to be known, the Doctor.
What does impress the Governor is the way the new prisoner immediately sets about trying to escape. And keeps trying. Finally, he sends for the Doctor and asks him why? But the answer surprises even the Governor. And then there's the threat — unless the Governor listens to the Doctor, a lot of people will die.
Who is the Doctor and what's he really doing here? Why does he want to help the Governor? And who is the young woman who comes every day to visit him, only to be turned away by the guards?
When the killing finally starts, the Governor begins to get his answers...
to be added
- The Governor
- Twelfth Doctor
- Clara Oswald
- Guardian Bentley
- Marianne Globus
- The Oracle
- The Judge
- Guardian Gillian Donaldson
- Guardian Chandress
- Clara suggests that the Doctor regenerate to fix his broken toe.
- The Doctor says if the Governor hadn't destroyed Clara's mobile phone, he would have used it to show him how annoying Candy Crush was.
- The Doctor states that the Dalek Emperor is nothing compared to an average mobile phone salesperson.
- The Prison library contains The Da Vinci Code, The Woman in White, Shall We Tell the President?, the Garfield book I Hate Mondays, The Magician's Nephew, Arabian Nights and Moll Flanders. Moll Flanders is a TV tie-in edition and the Doctor stops himself before reciting the name of its star (Alex Kingston).
- Lafcardio finds a copy of The Barber of Seville.
- The Doctor mentions the show Call the Midwife, which was apparently about babies and bicycles.
- The Doctor mentions that he's in his early 1000s. Clara says that he is over 2000 years old. (See: the Doctor's age)
- The Doctor once made balloon animals for Clara's class.
- Clara's class, 2B, created protest signs saying "Save the Doctor", however one of the children wrote "Save Dot Cotton" by mistake. Clara calls her a "Cockney chimney".
- The Doctor says that the walls were painted pink in Alcatraz.
- The Doctor discusses how the citizens of Dachau claimed not to be aware of the "death camps" during World War II.
- When Arabian Nights is mentioned, the Doctor remembers when he flew on a flying carpet.
- The Doctor hums The Entry of the Toreadors from Carmen.
- The Doctor talks about clockwork robots and "living silver suits of armour".
- The Doctor remembers having a dog.
- Class 3B is taught at Coal Hill School.
- This novel is written entirely in the first-person from the perspective of the unnamed Governor.
- Clara makes limited appearances in the novel, making it a "companion-lite" story.
- Clara gives the Doctor's birthday cake to Danny Pink for being nice, and also borrows a broom off him. (TV: Into the Dalek)
- Due to the Governor's ignorance, the sonic screwdriver is yet again destroyed, although Clara appears to be in possession of a second one that she attempts to smuggle into the prison by disguising it as the candle on a cake. (TV: The Visitation, Smith and Jones, The Eleventh Hour, The Rebel Flesh)
- The Doctor uses Venusian aikido to defend himself from Abesse. (TV: Inferno, Robot of Sherwood, PROSE: The Eight Doctors, AUDIO: Voyage to Venus, Faith Stealer)
- The Doctor and Clara refer to the TARDIS's initial dislike of Clara and how the ship mostly tolerates her now. (TV: The Rings of Akhaten, Hide, The Day of the Doctor, HOMEVID: Clara and the TARDIS)
- The Doctor alludes to his previous guilt of destroying Gallifrey. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
- The Twelfth Doctor maintains the dislike the Sixth and Tenth Doctors displayed for Jeffrey Archer. (PROSE: Telling Tales, COMIC: Cats and Dogs)
- The Governor's pompous attitude reminded Clara of her headmaster. It is not clear whether this refers to W. Coburn (TV: The Day of the Doctor) or Armitage. (TV: The Caretaker)
- The Doctor acknowledges that, for reasons unknown, his current incarnation cannot tolerate soldiers. (TV: Into the Dalek, The Caretaker)
- The Doctor once again states his current self doesn't like hugs, suggesting that it's a good way to smell shampoo. (TV: Deep Breath, et al)
- The Doctor is blamed for things he didn't do. (TV: Midnight, Planet of the Dead, The Pandorica Opens, Cold War, et al)
- The Doctor has previously been imprisoned (a fact he alludes to himself by suggesting he should write a book on the subject). (TV: Frontier in Space et al.)
- The Governor suspects Clara may be infatuated with the Doctor or his wife. She had flirted with him in his eleventh incarnation and considered him her "boyfriend", (TV: The Time of the Doctor et al.) something the Doctor also believed (TV: Deep Breath). Clara also considered travelling with the Doctor be "an addiction" (TV: Mummy on the Orient Express).
- Clara mentions that Danny is a fellow teacher in her school. The Governor suspects he is her boyfriend. (TV: Into the Dalek et al.)
- Reference is made to New Earth. (TV: New Earth et al.)
- The Doctor compares The Judge to the Clockwork Droids (TV: The Girl in the Fireplace/Deep Breath) and the Cybermen. It would appear the Doctor has regained his memory of the Clockwork Droids after previously suggesting he couldn't remember them (Deep Breath).
- The Doctor recalls talking about levers with Archimedes. (TV: The Two Doctors, PROSE: City at World's End, Fallen Gods)
- Clara says that her nan is in a mobility scooter. However, she was still mobile over the Christmas of 2013, which occurs prior to this story (though mobility scooters are not exclusively used by people who cannot walk at all). (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
- The Doctor exhibits telepathic abilities. (TV: The Sensorites)
- For reasons not made clear, the Doctor is in possession of Clara's mobile phone (TV: Mummy on the Orient Express, et al) until it is destroyed.
- The Doctor scoffs at Clara's notion of him regenerating, or using regeneration energy, to mend his broken toe. However, he previously did expend some regeneration energy to heal River Song's broken wrist. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
- Clara is still not totally used to the Doctor's older appearance and strongly implies the Doctor could use the mending of his broken toe as an excuse to regenerate and perhaps become younger-looking again. (TV: Deep Breath)
Additional cover images
Editions published outside Britain
- Published in the USA by Broadway Books in 2014 as a paperback edition.
- Published in Germany by Cross Cult in 2015 as a paperback edition.
- Published in Russia by AST in 2015 as a hardback edition.
- Published in Italy by Asengard Edizioni in 2015 as a paperback edition.
- Published in the China by New Star Press in 2018 as a paperback edition.
- This novel was released as an audiobook on 13 November 2014 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Colin McFarlane.