Therefore, its known narrative elements are not a part of the Doctor Who universe as we, on this Wiki, choose to define it. It may have been the basis for a similar story in another medium, however — and that story may indeed be valid.
To Hold Back Death was a planned Lance Parkin BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures novel set immediately after Escape Velocity. The synopsis was published in the 2009 reference book Time, Unincorporated 1.
The TARDIS is in transit with the Fitz Kreiner, Anji Kapoor, and the amnesic Eighth Doctor inside, but none of them can figure out where they're going or how long it will take. Each character has their own struggle: the Doctor and Anji are frustrated with Fitz for not knowing more; Fitz blames the Doctor for not better appreciating what Fitz does know; Anji is still mourning the death of her boyfriend Dave. They begin to feel trapped.
As the characters explore the shadowy and sinister corners of the TARDIS, escalating acts of sabotage begin to put their lives in danger. One of the three must be responsible, and the characters start blaming each other, their trust eroded. (Parkin describes the tone here as "that of a haunted house movie - claustrophobia, paranoia, distrust.") Fitz remembers the TARDIS' sentience and speculates that the ship itself might be to blame.
Finally, it is revealed that it is the Master who is meddling with the crew. His spirit has been freed from the Eye of Harmony and is trapped in the TARDIS. He tempts each character in turn: he knows how to fly the TARDIS; he knows who the Doctor is; he could even save Davy. However, his attempts to turn the crew against each other fail, and he starts trying to kill them. Overcoming their mutual distrust, the team joins forces and defeats the Master, and the Doctor seals him into the depths of the TARDIS, leaving the crew with a smaller, First Doctor-style TARDIS console room. Finally, the TARDIS lands and they begin their next adventure.
Behind the scenes
- This TARDIS-bound spirit incarnation of the Master would later appear in Lance Parkin's The Gallifrey Chronicles, as well as Sometime Never... and Scream of the Shalka.
- Like The Edge of Destruction, this story would have been set entirely inside the TARDIS.