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The Heat-Seekers was a Doctor Who short story published in the 117th issue of Doctor Who Magazine. It featured the Fourth Doctor and his companions Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan.


Olag was one of the lucky few to be allowed to hunt while his tribe were held as slaves by the "melters-of-rock". They had arrived in their metal ships and were now drilling down through the rock, ever forward towards the centre of the Earth. They forced his people to work the mines by their new masters. They were ape-like creatures who carried "thundersticks" that sent bolts of light capable of melting rock.

Olag steals a "thunderstick" from one of the creatures. He runs into the tunnels and encounters three more strangers (the Fourth Doctor, and his travelling companions Harry Sullivan and Sarah Jane Smith). There is a huge energy pattern on the scale of Hiroshima in 1945, so the Doctor has arrived to investigate. He greet Olag and hides from the invaders. The Doctor recognises them as Ronans from the planet Ronos. The planet was believed destroyed when the Ronans drilled into their own planet. It was moving away from its sun and became colder.

This small band of survivors sought to do the same to the Earth and chose the Dead Sea as one of the thinnest parts of the Earth's crust. However, Ronos was a dry world and the Ronans were allergic to salt water.

Olag uses the stolen "thunderstick", a laser weapon, to weaken the tunnels. The Dead Sea floods the tunnels. The Ronans are driven through the flooding caves which were then flooded as the Sea drained.

The Doctor, having parted the waters, recalls the first time this was done, in the Red Sea by Moses ...



  • On a previous visit (a bit later), to the Dead Sea, the Doctor had helped develop a permanent ink for writing the Dead Sea Scrolls.


  • This short story was the runner-up in the Under 15 Category in a competition run by Doctor Who Magazine in 1986 and printed in DWM 117.
  • Written by reader Andrew Lowes, aged 10, the story ran to nearly three pages and was illustrated by regular magazine artist John Ridgway, who donated the artwork as part of the prize that included a Sevans Dalek kit.
  • This was the first piece of original DWU fiction to feature a non-current Doctor, barring stories released shortly after a regeneration and multi-Doctor stories.


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