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The Infinity Doctors was a BBC Books novel released on 16 November 1998 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Doctor Who. It was written by Lance Parkin and featured an unspecified incarnation of the Doctor.
Set primarily on Gallifrey, it also has within its narrative references to Gallifrey gleaned from all other previous appearances and references to Gallifrey.
- 1 Publisher's summary
- 2 Plot
- 3 Characters
- 4 References
- 5 Notes
- 6 Continuity
- 7 External links
- 8 Footnotes
"Sing about the past again, and sing that same old song. Tell me what you know, so I can tell you that you're wrong."
Gallifrey. The Doctor's home planet. For twenty thousand centuries the Gallifreyans have been the most powerful race in the cosmos. They have circumnavigated infinity and eternity, harnessed science and conquered death. They are the Lords of Time, and have used their powers carefully.
But now a new force is unleashed, one that is literally capable of anything. It is enough to give even the Time Lords nightmares. More than that: it is enough to destroy them.
It is one of their own.
Waiting for them at the end of the universe.
to be added
- Infinity Doctor
- Lord Savar
- The Magistrate
- Lord Hedin
- Castellan Voran
- Chancellery Guard Raimor
- Chancellery Guard Peltroc
- Technician First Class Waymivrudimqwe
- The Doctor thinks to himself that his father's name definitely wasn't Ulysses, and that he might be a professor at Berkeley.
- The Doctor was born in the House of Lungbarrow.
- The Sontarans and Rutans are brought to Gallifrey by the Doctor to make an attempt at peace.
- The Seal of Rassilon is an omniscate.
- The Doctor's rooms have six sides. They hold many bookshelves, a wooden globe of Sol Three and a wine rack with a dozen of the galaxy's finest vintages. On the mantel is an ormolu clock. There are also two paintings: one computer painted, the second hand painted (by the Doctor) of a woman holding a scroll with the words "Death is but a door" written in High Gallifreyan. Speaking those words opens a door to a zero room where thousands of candles burn, honouring the woman in the painting.
- The Doctor is a member of the High Council.
- The Doctor offers tea to guardsmen Raimor and Peltroc.
- The Doctor has a cat named Wycliff.
- Ohm is an ancient Time Lord god.
- Tyler's Folly is on the High Council agenda to be discussed as there are "disturbances" on the planet.
- The Time Lords know of names that will appear in history books of the future: Varnax, Faction Paradox, Catavolcus, the Timewyrm; these are threats that the Time Lords are destined to survive.
- The Time Lords know of a war against an implacable enemy, that will result in the destruction of Gallifrey, though even after several millennia of knowing about this they have not decided what action to take.
- The Founders of Gallifrey are six individuals: Rassilon, Omega, the Other and three others.
- Qqaba is a Population III star Omega deemed sufficient for detonation to give the Gallifreyans mastery over time.
- Rassilon paraded the captured Eye of Harmony through the streets in the largest parade in history.
- The Doctor uses a toy tafelshrew to distract a guard to get to his TARDIS.
- Marnal is mentioned several times as a Time Lord who lacked planning in the wars he fought.
- Morbius is also mentioned in the past tense.
- Hedin is compiling a comprehensive history on Omega.
- The Doctor is one of the highest ranking Prydonians.
- Larna is one of the Doctor's most promising students. She develops a friendship with the Doctor.
- Lord Savar lost his eyes a couple of regenerations ago. In his current body he is an accomplished telepath and has two distinct personalities.
- The Magistrate wears black. He's the Doctor's oldest friend and sparring partner and has a goatee.
- There is a clock tower in the Old Harbour that rings out bells throughout the Gallifreyan day.
- The clockwork figures inside the clock tower have developed sentience and may be the most intelligent things on Gallifrey.
- The Citadel is patrolled by the Watch.
- In the southern corner of the Panopticon is a statue of Omega wearing a space suit like the one he wore at Qqaba.
- If you enter the Panopticon from the north you would walk under the legs of Rassilon. Rassilon is (always) portrayed as wearing leather sandals.
- Another statue is of Apeiron, who wears spiky combat boots.
- The Citadel dates from the time of Rassilon and Omega; all Time Lords live in the Citadel, which is dimensionally transcendental.
- Olyesti is one of the Three Minute Cities east of the Citadel, reachable by rail.
- The Tomb of the Uncertain Soldier contains a body of a Gallifreyan soldier who fought in the Time Wars and chose at the critical moment to wipe out his own timeline.
- Flowers of Remembrance of the Lost Dead are either held or grown within the Citadel.
- Low Town is a shanty town that grew up around the columns that kept the Capitol dome stable.
- The Endless Library is a repository of Time Lord knowledge.
- The Doctor uses a Transmat to copy himself.
- The Time Lords use a time scoop to bring the Rutans and Sontarans to Gallifrey. The Doctor also builds a primitive time scoop to bring the delegates to his TARDIS.
- There were two Hands of Omega.
- The Doctor mentions Centro, the Klade, the Tractites and the Ongoing as possible groups who could have created the effect.
- The Doctor owns a (possibly Terran) cat called Wycliff.
- General Sontar is the mastermind behind the two thousand year war with the Isari.
- When experiencing memories and images from his past, the Doctor sees unnamed versions of Bernice Summerfield, Izzy Sinclair, and Sam Jones. In these images, Bernice is heavily pregnant.
- The Needle is what used to be Savar's TARDIS, stretched out across time and space by a black hole.
- Hindmost is a planetoid of baryonic matter so far from Gallifrey that a TARDIS would have to be re-engineered to be able to make the journey there.
- Huwyma was a Rutan world which was conquered by Sontarans.
- The territory of the Sontaran Empire is called Established Space.
- There is an area of Rutan space known as the Purple Areas of Rutan Space.
- Amongst the artefacts in the Librarinth were Jorge Luis Borges lost novel O Time Your Pyramids, the Gallifreyan prophecies the Other Scrolls, a battered segment of the Key to Time, and the Crown of the Fifth Galaxy.
- The Infinity Doctors was originally intended to be part of a two-novel series, with the other half called Mentor and written by Kate Orman and Jonathan Blum. Though Orman and Blum were too busy with Seeing I to write Mentor, they later used elements of it in Unnatural History, which featured the return of Larna and several mentions of the Needle.
- The Needle is specifically mentioned in Unnatural History as the homeplace of the antagonist, Griffin, who worked for the Society to restore his family's reputation following the collapse of his father's business ventures. In The Infinity Doctors, Helios, an aged inhabitant of the Librarinth, came to the Needle to continue his father's work, and the Doctor recognised him from somewhere in his past. One of the original plans for The Infinity Doctors and Mentor was that one book would feature the other book's homicidal villain as "an old librarian who just wanted to be left alone", leading to the reader getting a different impression depending on which they read first.
- At several points, The Infinity Doctors references the early 1990s proposed Doctor Who TV movies.
- For instance, the Doctor thinks to himself that his father's name definitely wasn't Ulysses and that he is a professor at Berkeley; Ulysses was the name of the Doctor's father in several scripts, and in Robert deLaurentis' 1994 rendition The Time of My Life, he taught at Berkeley College. Parkin's later Eighth Doctor novel The Gallifrey Chronicles introduced Ulysses as a Time Lord adventurer with a half-human son; Unnatural History would also feature a renegade Time Lord teaching at Berkeley and going by the name Daniel Joyce, a reference to the real-life author James Joyce of the novel Ulysses.
- Varnax is one of the threats the Time Lords are said to be destined to survive, alongside Faction Paradox from the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures, Catavolcus from the DWM comics, and the Timewyrm from the Virgin New Adventures. (Another version of this list of threats, expanded to include Omega, Tannis, and the Sontarans, would be mentioned by Larna in The Gallifrey Chronicles.) Varnax originated from a story idea by Peter Litten and George Dugdale that was later fleshed out into the script The Return of Varnax by Mark Ezra, which was printed in The Nth Doctor. In the story, the Doctor is put on trial by the Time Lords and condemned to stay on Gallifrey teaching the Laws of Time in the Academy, similar to the Doctor's position at the beginning of The Infinity Doctors.
- In an early chapter, the Doctor has a strange dream where he stands on Earth, watching the dying Sun be blotted out by a giant spaceship, alongside "a man his age, his height, but with flowing, shoulder-length hair." In Father Time, the Eighth Doctor would have the same dream, "a memory he'd never had", where he stood next to "a man his age, his height, but with closely cropped hair."
- A "print on demand" reprint edition of this novel was made available on 31 August 2011 as part of BBC Books' revisiting adventures featuring the first eight Doctors. This book is also available as an ebook from the Amazon Kindle store.
- Released on the same day as The Infinity Doctors was the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Beltempest. From the Eighth Doctor range's start in June 1997, each Eighth Doctor novel was released on the same day as a BBC Past Doctor Adventures book, so many fans classify The Infinity Doctors as the 17th Past Doctor Adventures novel. However, BBC Books didn't include The Infinity Doctors in its lists of the Past Doctor Adventures or the Eighth Doctor Adventures, as published in later books such as The Taint; instead, The Infinity Doctors was listed in an "Other Fiction" section alongside The Novel of the Film and the Short Trips anthologies.
Placement in the timeline
- By all accounts, author Lance Parkin intended for the story's placement in the Doctor's timeline to be uncertain. He has spoken about how, in the earliest stages of developing the story, he "realised that most of the readers would be expecting the bit where the universe goes all wobbly and turns back into the 'real' Doctor Who universe, and once I decided not to do that, it was very liberating."
- Despite this, in his timeline guidebook AHistory, Parkin places The Infinity Doctors in the main Doctor Who universe while still excluding deliberate alternate universe stories like Auld Mortality. In The Infinity Doctors, he resolved hanging plot threads from several prior novels set in the "real" universe, such as Patience from Cold Fusion and Savar from Seeing I, and he later referenced The Infinity Doctors in his later stories, most significantly The Gallifrey Chronicles, which featured the return of Larna and the Matrix prophecy, and Father Time, which reintroduced the Needle and the Klade.
- Parkin has provided a variety of possibilities for the Infinity Doctor's identity. On his website, he personally classifies The Infinity Doctors as both a First and Eighth Doctor novel, though he has specified that the Infinity Doctor "does look like Paul McGann" and is "clearly not the eighth Doctor of mainstream continuity.". In AHistory he acknowledged a "fan consensus" that The Infinity Doctors was set on a reconstructed Gallifrey following The Gallifrey Chronicles, but he simultaneously noted that this was not his intention, instead suggesting that "perhaps The Infinity Doctors is set in the universe where Virgin kept the [Doctor Who] licence" and the Doctor started working "as a teacher, raising the next generation of Time Lords, now the Time Lords are fertile again."
- Despite this opacity, The Infinity Doctors and several of Parkin's other novels hint at The Infinity Doctors' placement. For instance, when the Infinity Doctor looks through memories of his past, he sees Bernice Summerfield, Izzy Sinclair, and Sam Jones, who were the Eighth Doctor's companions in the Virgin New Adventures, DWM comics, and BBC Books novels, respectively. Furthermore, in the Virgin Books novel Cold Fusion, the Ferutu tell the Seventh Doctor that he will meet Patience again in his future; Patience's fate in that novel leads directly into her role in The Infinity Doctors.
- Several elements of the novel suggest a link to the War in Heaven plotline that was unfolding in the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures at the time: Faction Paradox is mentioned in a list of Gallifrey's potential opponents in an inevitable upcoming time war; Helios says that the Doctor had seen the enemy, which had occurred in Alien Bodies; and the Time Lords come close to deploying a planet-sized warship that they would later use as a last resort in Interference - Book Two.
- Later authors would reinforce the connection between The Infinity Doctors and the War. In The Taking of Planet 5, co-written by Simon Bucher-Jones and long-time Parkin collaborator Mark Clapham, the Time Lords' War-time President remembers a conversation between a friend and an alien general which perfectly matches an exchange between the Doctor and Sontar in The Infinity Doctors. The Book of the War later elaborated on this War King's history, describing his transformation from an infamous renegade to a high-ranking assistant to Lord President Umbaste in the years before the War, directly paralleling the Magistrate's role in The Infinity Doctors and explaining his connection with the Master.
- The Infinity Doctor's role as a diplomat lends further credence to the idea that The Infinity Doctors is set on the Homeworld shortly before the start of the War: in Alien Bodies, the Doctor's final incarnation tries to negotiate with the Celestis on the Time Lords' behalf just before the conflict begins on Dronid, and in The Book of the War he is described as an "rather optimistic House diplomat" who unsuccessfully tried making peace with the enemy in the last days before the Cataclysm. If the Infinity Doctor is indeed the Alien Bodies Doctor, then his ultimate fate would be dying on Dronid and his body being traded as the Relic.
- As decided in Forum:Is The Infinity Doctors canon? and Talk:Alternate timeline (The Infinity Doctors), this wiki harkens back to the original intent described by Parkin as the impetus behind writing The Infinity Doctors: that The Infinity Doctors represents an alternative timeline of some kind, where the Doctor's timeline has been collapsed in on itself such that he experiences events that simultaneously apply to his distant past and to his immediately pre-War future.
- The Doctor mentions several groups who could have created the Effect, including the Klade (PROSE: Father Time) and the Tractites. (PROSE: Genocide)
- Larna notes that a chair in the Doctor's room is upholstered in velvet like the coat "the Doctor used to wear." (TV: Doctor Who)
- Lord Savar appears and tells of how he lost his eyes. The Doctor later finds them and returns them. (PROSE: Seeing I)
- Voran suggests destroying the Needle with an ancient Time Lord weapon, a gargantuan disc marked with Rassilon's omniscate. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two)
- The Eighth Doctor visits a professor at Berkeley who had an assistant called Larna. (PROSE: Unnatural History)
- Patience was saved by Omega at the last moment after being shot in the head. (PROSE: Cold Fusion)
- An alien general notices that the Citadel was built as a fortress, surprising the Time Lords. (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5)
- The Eighth Doctor also interacted with people from the Needle. (PROSE: Unnatural History, Father Time)
- The Doctor dreams of standing on a beach with a wavy-haired man as Earth's dying sun is eclipsed by a dark shape. (PROSE: Father Time)
- The Doctor again remembers the day that the Lord President sent his guards to the Doctor's home searching for Susan's mother. (PROSE: Cold Fusion)
- Official The Infinity Doctors page at Penguin Books
- The Discontinuity Guide to: The Infinity Doctors at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: The Infinity Doctors
- Parkin, Lance (1 January 2004). Interview: Lance Parkin. BBC Doctor Who website. Archived from the original on 21 March 2005. Retrieved on 15 August 2012.
- Doctor Who: Infinity Doctors on Amazon Kindle
- Parkin, Lance. Doctor Who, Chronologically. Lance Parkin. Retrieved on 15 August 2012.
- Parkin, Lance. A Word with Lance Parkin. Doctor Who Reprint Society. Retrieved on 15 August 2012.