It is the first BBC Books novel to feature the death of a companion, although the death is retroactively prevented through the use of a temporal orbit by the Doctor.
The planets Janus Prime and Menda are diametrically opposed in orbit around a vast Red Giant star. But while Menda is rich and fertile in the light of the sun, Janus Prime endures everlasting night, its moon causing a permanent solar eclipse.
When the Doctor and Sam arrive on Janus Prime, they find themselves in the middle of a war between rival humans colonising the area. The planet is littered with ancient ruins, and the Mendans are using a mysterious hyperspatial link left behind by the planet's former inhabitants. But what is its true purpose?
The Doctor and Sam must piece together a centuries-old puzzle. How can Janus Prime's moon weigh billions of tons more than it should? Why is the planet riddled with deadly radiation? As the violence escalates around them, will the time travellers survive to discover the answers?
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- Eighth Doctor
- Sam Jones
- Lunder's mother
- Captain Gustav Zemler
- Sergeant Jon Moslei
- Anni Zeck
- Jonah Gilly
- Big Henrietta
- The Doctor and Sam pull the "Number Eleven" manoeuvre upon seeing a spidroids outside the TARDIS.
- The Doctor mentions being shot in San Francisco.
- The Doctor trained to fly a shuttle on the Mars-Venus run in 2511.
- The Doctor says he isn't afraid of spiders.
- The Doctor talks to Lunder about UNIT.
- Kleiner saw military combat in Alphan Kundekka conflict of 2198.
Fashion and clothing
- The Doctor gives Sam a white panama hat that can be rolled up.
Foods and beverages
- The Doctor still carries a bag of jelly babies.
- Sam gets extreme radiation poisoning and then dies of Janusian radiation poisoning at 019.04 Mendan time. However she is (retroactively) saved via a temporal orbit and the Doctor developing a cure.
- Gustav Zemler has already gone quite mad from radiation poisoning. Because of said radiation poisoning, he can access the Janusians' alpha waves and communicate (after a fashion) with them.
- Moslei was born in 2162.
- The Doctor and Sam meant to be heading for Earth, Egypt, 1871 for the inaugural performance at Cairo Opera House.
- Sam has been to a theme park in the Cronns system.
- Menda has a stable climate with no carnivorous wildlife and edible plants.
- Janus Prime has glowing blue sand, and radiation that destroys lipids and makes humans turn into porridge.
- Rho Priapus was invaded by the Selachians, but taken back by the Space Marines.
- The Doctor mentions meeting the spiders of Metebelis III.
- Sam compares Janus Prime with Skaro and Hirath.
- Lunder's mother was deported to Rho Priapus
- Sam recalls the two Arachnons she met whilst on the Dreamstone Moon as she considers the Janusians.
- Gustav Zmerler's Special Forces unit fought the Selachians, Veltrochni and the Cybermen. It was an assault of Titan 317 that led to their discharge by Earth Control.
- The Arcturans and the Mentors currently trade with humanity.
- Janusians are the native spider-like beings native to Janus Prime. A grown one is about the size of a Ford Transit.
- Spidroids are native Janusian spiders that have had their brains removed and been cybernetically augmented.
- The Doctor has taken Sam to an opera performed by silicon-based life-forms on Thurakzima 7.
- The Link is thought to be a matter transmitter, but isn't. It's actually used to put Janus Prime's moons into conjunction and destroy the solar system.
- The Link affects space by warping in hyperspace.
- The Doctor has in his pockets a sub-etheric beam locator.
- Humans travelled out into the galaxies using star charts and technology left behind by the Daleks after the 22nd century Dalek invasion.
- The Doctor states that "matter transmitters were pretty crude affairs in the early twenty-third century."
Theories and concepts
- Korman radiation scale is a measurement scale used aboard the TARDIS.
- Alpha waves are somewhere close to telepathy.
- The Doctor "parks" the TARDIS in a temporal orbit to spend time working on a cure for the Janusian radiation sickness.
- Sam is shot at; her shoulder gets glanced by a laser rifle and gets infected.
- The "Korman radiation scale" is most likely named after Kate Orman.
- Sam knows there's a cubbyhole above the "P" of the TARDIS outside Police Box. TV: Doctor Who.
- The concept of a "temporal orbit" first appeared in TV: Doctor Who.
- The Doctor isn't afraid of spiders despite the whole Metebelis 3 thing in TV: Planet of the Spiders, which is odd because in PROSE: The Scarlet Empress he said he was afraid of spiders. While presumably unintentional, this might be explained by the later events of PROSE: Interference, in which Faction Paradox initiate the Third Doctor's regeneration prematurely, overwriting his visit to Metebelis 3 altogether.
- Sam visited Skaro in PROSE: War of the Daleks, Hirath in PROSE: Longest Day and the Dreamstone Moon in PROSE: Dreamstone Moon.
- The Doctor and Sam saw similar space/hyperspace warping in PROSE: Vanderdeken's Children.
- The Doctor plays with his train set whilst the effects of the Janusian Radbuster take effect in his body. (PROSE: Model Train Set)
- Sam claims she has never heard the Doctor's real name, despite being told it in PROSE: Vanderdeken's Children.
- The Tenth Doctor will recall Thurakzima 7. (COMIC: Signs of Life)
- The Discontinuity Guide to: The Janus Conjunction at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: The Janus Conjunction