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You may be looking for the titular asteroid.

Zeta Major was the thirteenth novel in the BBC Past Doctor Adventures series. It was written by Simon Messingham, released 6 July 1998 and featured the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka.

This was the first novel since Virgin Publishing's PROSE: The Sands of Time to feature this combination of companions and Doctor. This novel is a sequel to the 1975 Doctor Who television story Planet of Evil.

Publisher's summary[]

You've decided to concentrate on deriving energy from the kinetic force of planetary movement...

A glib remark from the Doctor to a desperate scientist has had far-reaching effects on the empire of Morestra. Eminent Morestran scientist Sorenson, attempting to find a new power source for his planet, risked a universal catastrophe by attempting to steal anti-matter crystals from the distant planet of Zeta Minor. The Doctor averted disaster, but has in effect sent all Morestra up a technological cul-de-sac.

Now in his fifth incarnation, the Doctor becomes involved once again in Morestra's future. The empire has become a theocracy, and the all-powerful Church, finally discovering that Sorenson's world-spanning energy tower will never work, is attempting to save face by covertly returning to Zeta Minor to steal the powerful minerals they need. This time, they believe they are prepared for all eventualities...

With his companions embroiled in the ever-shifting loyalties and intrigues of the Morestran court, only the Doctor accepts that the forces of the anti-matter universe can never interact with our own. Can he stop something he started two thousand years ago?


to be added



The Doctor[]


  • Both Nyssa and Tegan are still thinking about Adric's death.
  • Nyssa is implanted with anti-matter and turned into a feral monster.



  • This is a sequel to the television story Planet of Evil.
  • This is the third novel featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan that is a sequel to a Tom Baker era story. The previous two being Goth Opera (a sequel to State of Decay) and The Sands of Time (a sequel to Pyramids of Mars).
  • Zeta Major (a word meaning big) is used for a small rogue asteroid, but Zeta Minor (meaning small) refers to an entire planet.
  • The Doctor says that "anti-matter" is an incorrect term and suggests "ante-matter" as a better idea.
  • When the brothers watch the historical record of the trip to Zeta Minor, there's a whirl of blue and green light, and then a logo followed by a man stumbling through an unnatural jungle with a spade. This is exactly how Planet of Evil starts.
  • This story is set between Arc of Infinity and Snakedance.


  • The Fourth Doctor's comment in Planet of Evil to Professor Sorenson about harnessing the kinetic energy of planetary motion led the the Morestran Empire down a 2000-year-long technological cul-de-sac, resulting in the creation of the useless Energy Tower.

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