Literature / Eighth Doctor Adventures

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Break, damn you! Break! You've never had a spanner like this thrown in you! Chew on me till your teeth crack. Grind me up till your gears lock. I'm the nail in your tyre, the potato jammed in your exhaust pipe, the treacle poured in your petrol tank. I'm the banana peel beneath your foot, the joker that ruins your straight flush, the coin that always comes up heads and the gun you didn't know was loaded. I am the Doctor!
The Eighth Doctor, Camera Obscura

After the Seventh Doctor's part in the Doctor Who New Adventures came to an end in 1997, BBC Books picked up the licence to produce new Doctor Who literature from Virgin Publishing. Realising Virgin had the right idea, BBC decided to have an honest crack at it, moving on from wiley ol' McCoy onto the newly regenerated Paul McGann.

Running from 1997 to 2005, a series of 74 novels revolving around the exploits of the Eighth Doctor and his companions were published. These books, commonly referred to as the EDAs, were notable for fleshing out the character of the Eighth Doctor after his short run in the television movie, for having a very compelling cast of characters, for having several interconnected Story Arcs, and for having been seemingly written on drugs.

The tone of the novels is a bit Darker and Edgier and more mature than the television series (usually not as "edgy" as the New Adventures, but arguably "deeper"). No Hugging, No Kissing is averted, people get hurt, the "right thing" is often not cut and dried, the Doctor happily snogs his male companion just because he feels like it, and there's a quite a bit of sex, albeit not explicit.

Aside from the 74 novels, several audio plays also take place in this range's continuity: "Bounty", "Dead Time" and "The People's Temple" (collected as "Earth And Beyond") by BBC audio, and "Fitz's Story" by Big Finish.

The title "New Eighth Doctor Adventures" was also used for several series of Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas starring the Eighth Doctor. To prevent a Continuity Snarl between Eight's adventures in the novels and in their own audio ranges, Big Finish explicitly references the novels as adventures that happened to an alternate version of Eight in a different timeline (though with a few exceptions, and the occasional Flash Sideways).

As with the Virgin Books, a companion range featuring the previous Doctors (i.e. One through Seven) was published alongside the Eighth Doctor novels, doing much the same thing. This line was called the slightly-more-clunky "Past Doctor Adventures" (as opposed to the "Missing Adventures" that Virgin had called their similar line).

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This series provides examples of:

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     A-C 
  • A-Cup Angst: Trix MacMillan. Her breasts aren't big enough for her to have what you'd call cleavage. This only seems to bother her when she's feeling especially self-conscious, though.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: The Fall of Yquatine has Fitz deal with one of these as a coworker at a pub: a much older woman, who also has a "flat, predatory face" and a mouth so big as to scare him, who wears tacky, revealing clothing which wouldn't even really suit a younger woman. She has a crush on him, to the point of touching his arse on the sly and getting jealous when he chats up an attractive customer around his age. However, this trope is subverted in that he's obviously trying to make an effort to be nice to her as a coworker, and she's just "an ageing and lonely woman".
  • Adaptational Sexuality: This series marked the first time that the Doctor was portrayed as having some degree of sexual interest in people of the same gender, traces of which carried over to Scream of the Shalka and, shortly afterwards, to the television series proper.
  • After Action Patch Up: Somehow the Doctor very often suffers wounds, almost always on his torso, that are just bad enough to apparently require someone to help patch him up (if possible; sometimes he's alone), but not bad enough to require anyone with actual first aid knowledge or constitute Fan Disservice. It's really too bad the series isn't televised...
  • The Alleged Car: The Doctor's Trabant in Father Time. He brought it all the way from East Germany to England! Nobody knows why...
  • Alternate Universe: Several.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Erasmus in Timeless is a Gentle Giant who's generally perceived as having something wrong with him, but basically all it amounts to is being naive enough to think his ward, who looks and generally acts about eight years old, has good ideas. Besides that, he's articulate and responsible enough to seem basically normal. It seems that there's just something a little childish about his mannerisms, although you could say the same thing about the Doctor.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Eight, much like in the TV Movie and in Big Finish, spends a good deal of his stories with some kind of amnesia. He's constantly finding new and exciting ways to lose his memory.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Spoofed in Trading Futures:
    "The conspiracy theorists had been saying it for decades - there was a group of people, small enough to fit round a table, who were the secret masters of the world.
    "Cosgrove knew of at least nine organizations, of which six were still active, who thought it was them."
  • And the Adventure Continues: After spending the entire novel haphazardly tying up the series' leftover plot threads, the final book The Gallifrey Chronicles ends just as the Doctor and friends finally set off to confront the Monster of the Week.
  • Animal Motifs
    • The Doctor is repeatedly compared to a cat, possibly because Cats Have Nine Lives, or some sort of allusion to the ability of a cat to land on its feet, or because cats are mysterious and cuddly at the same time. He's represented by a stray cat in Seeing I and goes native among the tigers in The Year of Intelligent Tigers.
    • Apparently, Sabbath is some sort of canid; he's compared at one point to a mastiff, and at another point Anji, talking about how he's an ineffective, annoying villain, compares him to Wile E. Coyote.
    • Trix's Green Eyes are repeatedly described as "catlike".
    • In "Fear Itself," Fitz and the Doctor are asked what animals they think they are most like. Fitz says he is a dog, "probably a golden retriever," while the Doctor thinks of himself as a unicorn.
  • Anything That Moves: Fitz ogles a surprisingly large range of things that move, including thirteen-year-old girls (he cut it out in both cases after discovering their age), women more than twenty years older than him, the Doctor... He's shagged Human Aliens and a woman possibly a whole foot taller than him, and has a Temporary Love Interest or Girl of the Week in almost every book. And he apparently got off on being stripped and collared by space poodles. He's implied to be bi beyond his crush on the Doctor, too.
  • Arc Words: The word 'interference' crops up quite often. Obviously, in the book Interference it's taken Up to Eleven, but the word floats around quite a bit, especially in the books leading up to The Shadows of Avalon and The Ancestor Cell. This is somewhat notable because, if one watches the Classic Series, particularly the Tom Baker era, 'interference' pops up a bit as well, though probably in that case unintentionally.
  • Armed with Canon: Some writers take thinly-veiled, snarky potshots at each other, which can get really hilarious.
  • Artificial Human: Interference introduces a whole society of these. When one of them dies, a new copy is created based on what those who knew them remember about them. (Side-effects include infertility.)
  • Ascended Fanboy:
  • Ascended Fanfic: Portia da Costa's erotic fiction novel The Stranger sees her heroine having lots and lots of sex with an amnesiac hero who's a blatant Expy of the Eighth Doctor (or just Paul McGann himself, given the flashback with the Withnail & I slash) - the last EDA namechecks this book's main character in a list of the Doctor's offscreen 'companions'.
  • Author Appeal: Kate Orman is known for making the Doctor suffer. She also often has him avert Limited Wardrobe. And Lloyd Rose is known for making him suffer even worse.
  • Badass Longcoat: Sabbath wears a loose, grey, military-style overcoat, like Napoleon wears. It's ironic, because he thinks the military is absurd. (Since he was choosing his clothes to convey anti-authoritarian irony back in the 18th century, that might just make him the first hipster.) Not everyone is impressed; Anji considers it "stupid" and "embarrassing" and guesses that, like his name, he "thinks it's cool". He occasionally pulls various weapons out of it.
  • Bad Dreams: Happens to both Fitz and the Doctor.
    • Nightmare Sequence: Fitz has a particularly unsettling one about his late mum at one point.
  • Bad Future: The Time War arc (not to be confused with the Last Great Time War in the 21st-century TV series), which has the Time Lords fighting a Hopeless War against a mysterious enemy in the future and dominates the first half of the series.
  • Bedlam House: Subverted in The Sleep of Reason, in which Mausolus House looks like Bedlam House, but is actually run by a very caring and progressive doctor (well, for 1904; he's specifically contrasted with the previous governor, who believed the House's purpose was simply to keep the inmates away from normal folk). In 2004, it's been rebuilt as the Retreat, a proper modern care home.
  • Big Eater: Both Fitz and the Doctor, although it's portrayed in different ways. There's no particular reason Fitz stays rail-thin despite consuming enough fat and sugar for a small army, but it's implied that stuffing your face with no consequences is a perk of being a Time Lord. Anji finds it all somewhat distressing.
  • Bigger on the Inside:
    • Sabbath turns up wearing a suit which is bigger on the inside. It functions surprisingly well as a disguise, proving that although he's maybe twice the Doctor's size, he also just might have twice the Doctor's brainpower. Not only is it slimming, it allows him to unexpectedly pull out a gun.
    • The Doctor, on the other hand, states that his pockets aren't magically bigger on the inside, he's just taken out the lining so that the entire lining of his jacket is effectively one big pocket.
  • Biodata: It's a recurrent theme in the novels, especially the ones involving Faction Paradox, where it serves as a sci-fi counterpart to Blood Magic.
  • Bi the Way:
    • Fitz. He doesn't seem to be out to any of the other characters, but in one scene, the audience is privy to his thoughts about how much he'd like to have sex with Iris Wildthyme (a female time traveller), or, actually, the Doctor. Also, his first scene has him in his home era, the 1960s, idly daydreaming about life as a Radio Drama and gay marriage. What with his Brief Accent Imitations of people such as Greta Garbo, one suspects some of the other characters view him as a little camp...
    • The Doctor, who, along rather the same lines, is stated to be bisexual in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of way — Sam comments on how she's noticed him checking out both men and women. He also mentions having been "more than friends" with Alan Turing (yes, the real person), gets embarrassed when he accidentally says he "loved Shakespeare" rather than "loves Shakespeare", and has an unusually close relationship with another male character, and a Slash Fic about the pairing received a thumbs-up from the author of that book. He also kisses and has implied but very obvious sex with a water nymph, and gets married to a brothel madame...and, like Fitz, he has some mild but evident camp tendencies. And the Doctor has actually kissed Fitz on the lips, on more than one occasion.
    • Sam(antha) Jones, who's also a queer rights activist. She madly fancies the Doctor and has a long relationship with a woman named Chris in Seeing I.
  • Big Damn Kiss: The Doctor gets a few with his companions. Fitz is very surprised when the Doctor snogs him; (dark) Sam actually puts some effort into the seduction, which involves a sensual massage and a very happily purring Eight being her, quote, "back-rub slut".
  • Black Eyes of Evil: A sign of possession by some kind of alien superweapon in The Fall of Yquataine.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Sam, Anji, and Compassion, respectively, and their personalities contrast interestingly. Sam is too emotional and idealistic, while Compassion is too cold and cynical. Anji, the brunette, is more balanced.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Quite a lot. The Doctor is injured in probably a majority of the books, sometimes in ways that would kill a normal person.
  • Brainy Brunette: Anji Kapoor is a genius or very close to it when it comes to economics, to the point of seeming to be a bit of a nerd when you get her started on the topic.
  • Break the Cutie: Eight gets both mentally and physically broken quite a few times over. Notable instances involve losing a heart, experiencing Fitz' emotions, and one unfortunate encounter with a meathook.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Fitz and Trix both make a bit of a habit of it, although Trix sometimes takes it to unsettling excess. Even Sabbath gets in on the fun. In The Domino Effect, he puts on a fake Upper-Class Twit accent just to be sarcastic,note  and in The Last Resort he does an odd accent for no reason at all:
    "Hi matey. Fancy a chip?"
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Fitz once either pissed himself or came very close when trying to rescue the Doctor from the living personification of Future Me Scares Me, or possibly just the Doctor's own paradoxical and terrifying future self, in what he describes as a "surrealist hell". True to this trope, he was quite happy about the fact he was too soaked for anyone to notice.
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: In one of the books, there's a footnote that mentions that due to traumatic events that also caused him to lose his memory, the Doctor went a bit extra-batty for a while and started getting weird ideas about underwear from Superman, and suicidal depression from tragic soap operas.
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Anji, toward Fitz. She once fantasized about hitting him with a chair, and is often annoyed by his old-fashioned opinions and mannerisms. However, he's sort of her Not Love Interest, whom she cares about just as much as she would about a love interest;note  she's just as grief-stricken, if not more, over his apparent impending doom as she was about the death of her boyfriend of five years. His opinion of her, however, seems to be less conflicted.
  • Cartwright Curse: Fitz, the poor dope. The Doctor tends toward this with the few love interests he has, but it was subverted in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street: Scarlette faked her death just because she knew he should leave.
  • Casual Kink: Fitz doesn't stop at casually coming out to the reader, he also makes what seems like a semi-sincere crack implying this trope:
    ‘Fitz,’ Anji hissed. ‘Are you telling me you really don’t mind trotting around starkers in a collar and lead?’
    He grinned. ‘Are you kidding?’
  • Character Filibuster: In Sometime Never, after a couple pages of building up to it by talking in paragraphs, Sabbath talks for almost four whole pages. And it's not clear if the Doctor was even listening until he responds.
  • The Chick: Notable because in most team set-ups, this role falls upon Fitz and not the female companions.
  • Children Raise You: Where do all these little blond Time Moppets come from, anyway? The Doctor seems to be too Oblivious to Love for the matchmaking element of the trope to really work out. In Anji's case, Chloe seems to actually realize that as the adopted daughter of a slightly lonely and troubled businesswoman, she's supposed to help her find a love interest, so she wanders off and gets escorted home by an eligible bachelor who Anji ends up engaged to.
  • Cloning Blues: Fitz's main story arc hinges on his being a clone of his original self, brought back by the TARDIS after Fitz 1.0 joins the Faction Paradox and becomes a bad guy. Okay, you want a full explanation? 
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: One of the novels introduces a new incarnation of the Doctor's old companion Romana, who the author modelled on Louise Brooks.
     D-F 
  • Denser and Wackier: In relation to the TV series: more Talking Animals, more breaches of the laws of physics for cheap tricks, more McDonaldses in Ancient Egypt, more Badass Normals who do things that seem like they should involve a wizard somewhere, more Rule of Funny, and far, far more Meta Fiction. Yet it still manages to be at least as serious, in other ways, as the TV series.
  • Depending on the Writer: The major details are maintained, but some fluctuate wildly depending on who the author is. For example, Stephen Cole and Orman-Blum disagree severely on Fitz's height, Lance Parkin has Alternative Character Interpretations of everyone, Sabbath's portrayal and staturenote  shift from book to book, and everything gets gayer when Paul Magrs is writing.
  • Different World, Different Movies: Fitz has assembled a collection of parallel universe Beatles records, including "Feel the Love", their Live Aid song.
  • Distressed Dude: The Doctor ends up captured and often tied up in most of the books, sometimes more than once per booknote . He often seems to enjoy getting the chance to annoy someone. And he almost always gets himself out of his own predicaments, although sometimes with a bit of help. This happens to Fitz, too, although since he's less badass, he's less likely to save his own ass.
  • Ditzy Genius: The Doctor.
  • Dreaming the Truth: The Obverse!Doctor. Or maybe not.
  • Drunken Song: One novel has Fitz waking up on a bench, trying to reconstruct what he did last night:
    The last thing he remembered was joining in a singsong with a group of drunken tourists at Il-Eruk's Tavern. He'd sung the song about the turnip fish.
  • Everyone Can See It: Between Fitz and the Doctor, although canon never really confirms their relationship as more than a close, affectionate friendship with some occasional one-sided fantasizing on Fitz's part. Anji has at least noticed the Ho Yay a bit and comments on it, and in Timeless a One-Shot Character decides that out of Trix, Anji, or Fitz, at least one of them must be shagging the Doctor, and if he had to guess, Fitz is the most likely by far.
  • Everything's Better with Cows:
    • One of the novels reveals that the TARDIS has a cow, which is implied to provide their supply of milk.
    • Another one takes place on an alien planet where the local fauna is much like that of Earth, except the cows are disconcertingly enormous:
      What I Learned in Outer Space by Anji Kapoor – impressive pause – They have bigger cows.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Father Kreiner scares Fitz.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Sabbath's voice has been described as a "low rumble" and a "resonant bass".
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Just... a lot. Deconstructed in Timeless, where Chloe thinks it's okay to chuck out people's alternate selves so that there can exist one copy who has a nice life. Other characters disagree.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Romana, over several appearances, is shown to have been changed for the worse by getting involved in Gallifreyan politics.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: For a while, it seemed like there are three constants in the EDAs: Fitz will always smoke, the Doctor will always have amnesia, and Anji will never get back home. But eventually the Doctor gets Anji home. And then she comes back, mostly for Fitz. And then the Doctor gets her home again. And in The Gallifrey Chronicles, the Doctor seems to be regaining his memories. But Fitz will always smoke.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Despite this being cited as one of the reasons the Doctor Who New Adventures were halted, there are times when the EDAs get at least as bad.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Becoming TARDIS breeding stock, being vaporized into the Time Vortex, turning into a monster with a clock for a face, madness-inducing brain slugs... etc., etc., and so forth.
  • Fictional Document: A fictional document plays a major role in the plot of Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
  • First Gray Hair: In Camera Obscura or earlier, the Doctor notices he's got some grey; Fitz is startled to notice that Anji seems to have some grey hairs in The Last Resort; and by Timeless, Fitz has started obviously greying.
  • Foreshadowing: Around the end of the run and the time when the new series was being announced, the Ninth Doctor was getting mentions and small cameos.
  • Forgets to Eat: The Doctor has a bit of a habit of this. Mostly when he's angsting, but also when he's doing science. Fitz once brought three meals a day to his door when he was locked away angsting. For four days. They all went uneaten. Somewhat justified by the fact that as a Time Lord he apparently needs to eat less than a normal human being.
  • Friend to All Children: Fitz Kreiner — Deadpan Snarker, chain-smokes, has Perma-Stubble, is a Lovable Sex Maniac or at best a Chivalrous Pervert... you know the type. Also, in one story, happily gets a job working at a home for kids who mostly have special needs (or are at least about as screwed-up as he is), and in another becomes a good friend and confidant to a thirteen-year-old prostitute-in-training (who thinks he's "very sweet"). And he's very empathetic toward the Mystical Waif in Timeless. Apparently he's terrified by the merest possibility of having kids of his own, though.
  • Funetik Aksent: Often used when Fitz is doing a Brief Accent Imitation. Otherwise, generally averted.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Grandfather Paradox is the personification of this trope.
    The Grandfather was his future self. He was everyone's future self... He was what you swore you'd never become when you were an adventurous youth, and he was always watching, waiting to strike.
  • Futuristic Pyramid: Parallel 59 features a futuristic Uncanny Village where many of the buildings are pyramids. Fitz is constantly reminded of ancient Egypt, but all the planet's other residents are used to them.
    [...]the pyramids rising over the skyline. Like a nice clean Egypt. Mystery. Power.
    The girl yawns, it makes me smile. The pyramids are here to reassure, not to inspire. To the Homeplaneters, they're mundane, just the way dwellings are built. None of the resonances or associations they have for me are flitting through her mind, I can tell.
     G-K 
  • Geek Physique: Fitz is described as looking like he's made of pipecleaners. He's quite into Speculative Fiction, particularly The Lord of the Rings, and once dubbed a sea monster "Cthulhu", although his characterization generally isn't overtly geeky.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Fitz smokes, because it was much more common in his era. He quickly catches on that it's an evil trope and tries to cut down after a while. In one of the books, Sabbath is smoking a cigar for some reason; the Good Smoking, Evil Smoking page says this means he must be evil, a self-important jerk, or Winston Churchill.
  • Happily Adopted: The Doctor and his adopted daughter in Father Time. She still ends up running away from home, though.
  • Healing Factor: As the novels are a bit Bloodier and Gorier than the TV series, it's much more evident that the Doctor has a certain degree of this. The Doctor regrows a tooth at one point. He walks on a severely broken leg, is severely stabbed, gets shot full of buckshot, has one of his hearts ripped out, etc., and always gets better with a minimum of fuss and no medical attention.
  • Heart Trauma: The Doctor loses one of his hearts. Long story short, it's not much fun for him.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sabbath, of course ending in Redemption Equals Death.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: After having to destroy Gallifrey (for the first time), the Doctor went through one that took a hundred years on Earth to recover from.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Endgame seems to mostly use it as an excuse for gratuitous Info Dump. Mad Dogs and Englishmen features Noël Coward. Oh, and The Domino Effect reintroduces an Alternate Universe version of a previously seen Historical-Domain Character, to fairly sad and touching effect, and then more or less Shoots The Shaggy Dog at the end.
  • Hotter and Sexier: A bit. Eight's half-naked makeout session with Sam is damned hot, for one.
  • House Husband: The Doctor takes on this role in Father Time (though as a single adoptive father, not as a husband).
  • How Unscientific!/Science Fantasy: Some books, such as Vampire Science, introduce seemingly fantastical elements with a sufficiently sci-fi explanation. Paul Magrs' books tend to take a Magical Realism approach to plots which are passably sci-fi. City of the Dead features distinctly more fantasy (water nymphs! summoning rituals!) than science fiction. The Adventuress of Henrietta Street is also very fantasy-ish, and suggests that the sudden profusion of fantasy elements has something to do with the absence of Time Lords or the general progression of the universe or something like that, and the Doctor is sort of a relic of an outdated genre.
  • Hurt/Comfort Fic: Although not strictly fanfiction (although given how many fans there were writing the novels, the line between fanfiction and not did start to blur at times), more than a few of the novels in this range seemed to involve something very nasty happening to one of the characters at some point — the Doctor or Fitz were popular candidates — from which both their physical and emotional wounds would need to be nursed back to health by the others. Generally, if the name 'Kate Orman' appeared on the front cover, you could be assured of at least one chapter of this nature showing up at some point.
  • I Am Who?: The Doctor, after losing his memory after the destruction of Gallifrey.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Timeless has Fitz doing this with a chunk of "cheese" he found in Anji's flat, which had been abandoned for months anyway. She says she didn't have any cheese, and he is understandably perturbed.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: In one of the novels, the Doctor does this as an oddly casual greeting:
    The Doctor took Fitz's hand, kissed it delicately, then shoved him aside. "Now, out of my way!"
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Fitz and the Doctor are both occasionally guilty of these, and, probably unsurprisingly, Fitz's name makes him a bit of a Phrase Catcher for bad puns.
  • Indy Ploy: The Doctor's favourite strategy. From Coldheart:
    ‘I never have a plan. Plans can go wrong. That’s why the villain never wins – villains always have a plan.’
  • Intelligent Gerbil: The inhabitants of Dogworld in Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
  • It Runs in the Family: There's a reason Fitz's family is like this. But that's not a reason for why he's sometimes a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes:
    • The Doctor apparently has eyes like this, although they really are usually blue (and the descriptions aren't usually this overwrought).
    [...] his eyes were something else again. As he strode towards her, they glittered, seeming to change colour from moment to moment – first an honest brown of earth and nature, then a peaceful green of inner strength and eternal hope, then finally a piercing electric blue.
    • Sabbath's eyes can be brown, green, or black.
  • Kid from the Future: In Father Time, the Doctor's adopted daughter Miranda turns out to be really his biological daughter from the future.
  • The Klutz: Fitz.
  • Kudzu Plot: Plotlines are often set on the backburner to be addressed later, some more than others. And some of them still aren't resolved at the end of the series. For example, between Father Time and a brief Call-Back in The Gallifrey Chronicles, it's apparent that the Doctor is Miranda's biological father and eventually becomes The Emperor of the entire universe... it's left unclear when and how this happens.
     L-N 
  • Last Minute Hookup: Fitz and Trix get together at the beginning of The Gallifrey Chronicles. But the rest of the book focuses heavily on their relationship, so it's not an egregious case of this.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Fitz ends up replaced with a clone; the Doctor gets Trauma-Induced Amnesia and spends about a hundred years Walking the Earth. If you've read this far down the page, You Should Know This Already. But it's about the journey, not the destination!
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In The Taking of Planet 5, the Doctor provides an example that's similar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Dawn's in trouble. Must be Tuesday," alluding to the time slot in which the show aired when there was a show.
    The Doctor shrugged. ‘There was a time when it always seemed to be Saturday when I was on Earth, and the children’s programmes were excellent, if my memory doesn’t cheat.’ He made folding motions with his hand and muttered something that sounded to Fitz like ‘robots in disguise’.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Fitz, with the TARDIS's aid and apparent blessing, spends a lot of time keeping the Doctor from remembering what happened before the Earth Arc.
  • Multiple-Choice Past:
    • Unnatural History suggests that the Doctor's many contradictory origins - being loomed, having parents, being half-human, coming from the 49th century, etc. - could all be true.
    • In Sometime Never, one of the Council of Eight, a group of antagonistic beings who resemble the eight Doctors, absorbs the Doctor's personality and flees in a timeship with the Doctor's granddaughter Zezanne. If you take the view (popular at the time but contradicted later) that Gallifrey is Ret Gone, this provides an alternate origin for the First Doctor and Susan.
  • Mundane Utility: Sabbath's use of the technology that makes the TARDIS Bigger on the Inside to... create clothing that makes him look slimmer.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: The Doctor can easily carry a grown man around, has threatened one of his companions with the fact he could break any bone in said companion's body (he was really stressed out at the time), and once stabbed a guy with his thumb. He's 5'8", "slight", and "bony".
  • Mystical Waif: In Timeless, ticking off a surprising number of the trope's boxes for a character who doesn't even appear much: pure, kind, mysterious, last of her kind to within a small margin of error, Really 700 Years Old, menaced and manipulated by the baddies, highly plot-relevant powers, and something about crystals.
  • Myth Arc: Concerning a future "War in Heaven" between the Time Lords and an unknown enemy, and the implications for the rest of the universe when the Time Lords lose.
  • Mythology Gag: In The Fall of Yquantine, Fitz mentions having worked at "the Mother Black Cap in Camden Town in the sixties."
  • Naked People Are Funny: Talking poodles strip the TARDIS crew naked and fit them with dog collars. The Doctor plays along, Fitz is amused, and Anji is utterly humiliated.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Occasionally applies to Fitz's cursing. In The Blue Angel the Doctor is said to have "swore profusely" at one point, which is a bit shocking considering the fact later books have him say "sugarmice" rather than swear or specifically note that the only reason he's using fairly mild vulgarity ("arse" and "wankerish") is that Fitz is a bad influence.
  • Neuro-Vault: The Amnesia Arc ends with the revelation that the Doctor's amnesia was caused by downloading the entire Time Lord matrix into his mind, thereby enabling Gallifrey to be restored from backup at a future date.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Mad Dogs and Englishmen has No Celebrities Were Harmed versions of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, George Lucas, and Ray Harryhausen. (And the actual Noël Coward.)
  • No Equal-Opportunity Time Travel: Anji has clearly had it up to here with people who want to know about the wonders of the mysterious Orient. In Victorian Britain, conforming to social expectations by wearing a sari seems to help, but she has some hangups about her heritage and doesn't like it. And Fitz's lower-middle-class accent is also a bit of a problem.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Thrown right out the window. This book series was the first Doctor Who franchise to show a romantic and rather sexual Doctor (after Eight's first Big Damn Kiss in the TV movie). Aside from snogging his companions with some frequency, it's very strongly hinted that he dated Alan Turing.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Inverted with Miranda. Everyone who sees her and the Doctor think they look very, very similar, and they're the only two of their species around, but she's just his adopted daughter and as they see it that's all there is to it. She's implied to be his Kid from the Future.
     O-R 
     S-U 
  • Sad Clown: Fitz. Hardly ever stops cracking jokes, to the point people get mildly annoyed on principle. He was born in London four years prior to the beginning of World War II and is half-German, for which he was severely bullied. By the time he turned eighteen, his father was dead and his mum was insane. In the first novel he appears in, he's told a joke he makes about his own angsty backstory is Dude, Not Funny!. He also tends to make jokes when he's nervous about things like aliens that want to eat his face. The more nervous he gets, the worse the jokes.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: The Doctor, which occasionally produces odd interactions with the fact that he has one or two Deadpan Snarkers traveling with him basically at all times.
  • Secret Stab Wound: In Fear Itself, the Doctor does this after getting more or less harpooned in the stomach while on a space station because he doesn't trust any of the medical staff around to help him. He buttons up his frock coat and Fitz performs some very basic first aid on him when they're back in their cabin.
  • Security Cling: In Timeless, Fitz showed up in the nick of time to try to help rescue a woman (whom he'd been trying to impress) from her abusive boyfriend from an Alternate Universe who just tried to kill her. She turns out to be more in need of a hug than a rescue, though.
    ‘Fitz “Danger” Kreiner,’ she said softly, ‘do you think you could shut up and just hold me, please?’
  • Self Stitching: The Doctor once pops his own dislocated shoulder back in. He's not even alone; Fitz is right there being concerned about it.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Theoretically impossible, or, more accurately, just an extremely bad idea, so the Doctor has to keep reminding people not to even try it.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Subverted by Fitz and the Doctor. The Doctor seems like the "sensitive type" whereas Fitz is more of an average bloke, but the Doctor is actually The Stoic and Fitz is much more open about his feelings. Fear Itself overtly juxtaposes their outward demeanors in this department: they're trying to mingle and get to know people on a spaceship, so the Doctor ends up sipping wine and waltzing at a fancy party while Fitz drinks beer and hangs out with blue-collar types and dances to more rock-type-music. And then it's followed by some Action Hero heroics by the Doctor and Fitz fussing over his resulting injuries like a mother hen.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Fitz plays guitar and wants to be a rock star some day. He also smokes thirty a day, gets quite drunk quite often and occasionally gets extremely drunk, tried laudanum once or twice, and has an active love life.
  • Ship Tease: Between Eight and Sam and between Eight and Fitz, frequently in the same paragraph. Sam has a particular talent for getting the Doctor naked (sometimes even on purpose) and subsequently completely failing to get into his trousers. Eight gets in a good snog with both of them, but he's an absolute Master of the Mixed Message.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Trix falls in love with Fitz because he's honest and trustworthy. The degree to which these particular positive traits are only relative to the fact she's a bit of a Femme Fatale and a Master of Disguise to boot is debatable, but he is indeed caring, sensitive, and dependable. He's also a consummate Deadpan Snarker, a Man Child to the point of getting on her nerves, and a Chivalrous Pervert, but all told, he is indeed a good man.
  • Slap Yourself Awake: The Doctor gets a bit carried away with this in The Deadstone Memorial, causing Trix to ask him if he's enjoying it or something.
  • Slipping a Mickey: In Timeless, the Doctor gives everyone else on the TARDIS drugged hot cocoa just because he has to pilot the TARDIS through the Big Bang and he's not sure it'll make it, and he doesn't want his companions freaking out about it because they'd get in the way and he doesn't want to put them through that. Also, if they don't make it, he doesn't want them to die scared. Still... it's a bit of a dick move.
  • The Slow Path: Both Father Kreiner and the Earth Arc. The Sleep of Reason contains a rather sensible and convenient solution to this.
  • Spaceship Girl: Ultra-advanced TARDISes from the future could use their chameleon circuits to take human form. The one we meet appears as an attractive young woman (in an amusing Continuity Nod we're told she was once stuck as a 1960s policewoman). The Doctor's cyborg companion Compassion later takes on characteristics of the TARDIS and became the prototype for the class.
  • Spot of Tea: In one of the novels, there's a part where the TARDIS has been lost and Fitz is reminiscing about how they used to drink tea together when they did have the TARDIS. He goes on at quite some length about their little rituals and favorite types of tea.
  • Stacy's Mom: In Father Time, the Doctor's adopted daughter has a friend who squicks her with constant comments about the Doctor being "gorgeous" and "hunky". The fact he's wealthy and brings them homemade lemonade probably doesn't hurt.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: It's a bit of a bad habit for the Doctor. Aside from him, this trope is apparently easier the less probable it seems. The narrator constantly belabors the point that Sabbath is holy crap so huge, especially when he employs improbable sneaking abilities to suddenly show up while you're not looking. Even aside from when he could teleport in The Last Resort.
  • Story Arc: Apart from the series-long character arcs, the series can be divided up as:
    1. The "War in Heaven", as the Doctor learns of a future Time War between the Time Lords and an unnamed "Enemy", and contends with the mysterious Faction Paradox.
    2. The "Earth Arc", in which, following the Doctor's derailing of the war, he spends a century literally Walking the Earth (but mostly Britain)
    3. The "Sabbath Arc", where the Doctor meets with Sabbath and tries to stop his benefactors, who are trying to get a stranglehold on all of space and time.
    4. Epilogue, as not long after the above was resolved, a new series was green lit, and most novels attempted to resolve the ongoing character and myth arcs.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: The Doctor and Miranda, his adopted daughter/Kid from the Future in Father Time.
    If he hadn’t known she was adopted, he’d never have guessed. She looked just like her stepfather – same height, they stood the same way, very upright. They had the same blue eyes and pale skin. The Doctor also had that same unnerving stare. Miranda could look into his eyes and it was as if she was staring into his soul.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: Caused primarily by time travel. The Doctor is reunited with his daughter Miranda when she's caught up to his apparent age and seems to have more grey hair than he does.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Usually, the perspective is third person, but sometimes some or all of the characters use first person. In Parallel 59, only Fitz uses first person because he's writing a diary. But even in third person, First-Person Smartass-type editorializing often comes through, even to the point of interjections. The Doctor's narration is surprisingly snarky at times.
  • Talking Animal: There are talking poodles in Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
  • The Team Normal: Fitz, while Compassion is a TARDIS. But you could say, since Fitz is an Artificial Human with an assortment of massively lame barely-superhuman abilities, Trix and Anji fit this role better when they're onboard the TARDIS. Anji in particular has the surrounded-by-weirdos attitude often typical of a Team Normal, and it's actually possible (thanks to Trix's Multiple-Choice Past) that she's the only completely normal human who's been on the team since Sam left.
    • Given the Alternate Self weirdness involved with Sam, it's possible Anji is the only completely normal human companion in the EDAs period.
  • The Teaser: The first chapter of any given book is generally something thrilling, spooky, and/or cryptic that won't make much sense until later, and the main protagonists usually don't appear in it.
  • There Is Another: Fitz mentions it by name in Mad Dogs and Englishmen, when the Doctor realizes Iris has a TARDIS, so he's likely not the Last of His Kind.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Anji and Trix's stock-tips arrangement.
  • Transplant: Iris Wildthyme was originally a Time Lord in all but name from some Magical Realism novels by Paul Magrs. When Magrs began writing for the Whoniverse, he transplanted Iris into it as the Doctor's New Old Flame.
    • Iris was later spun back off by Magrs and Big Finish into a new line of audio adventures and novels which have since gone right back to writing around the Doctor Who trademarks.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: After the events of ''The Ancestor Cell'', the Doctor suffers from this.
  • Trenchcoat Brigade: Fitz. He smokes, wears a leather coat most of the time and a trench coat some of the time, swears more than basically anyone he knows, has Perma-Stubble (because he's bad at shaving), and is a lower-middle-class Londoner and a Guile Sidekick. He's also basically quite sweet and sensitive, but most characters, upon first meeting him, distrust him.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: The Doctor does this, while rocking back and forth, in one of the novels, during a conversation about the imminent destruction of the multiverse and the fact the few remaining survivors of his own species have dubbed him "the Blessed Destroyer", for reasons he just barely remembers. It probably doesn't help his state of mind that he also just had something close to a near-death experience.
  • Twisted Ankle: Fitz twists his ankle quite badly at least twice in the series. Once he later manages to get himself shot in the same leg, which results in a cute girl tending to his wound and the Doctor carrying him around, so it turns out pretty well for him. In general, delay-causing injuries happen a lot; even though it'd take more than a mere twisted ankle to slow the Doctor down, he tends to get shot, stabbed, and squashed a lot. Oddly, female characters are less likely to be incapacitated by random injuries, although falling about fainting for plot-related reasons is likely.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The books tend to immediately split the TARDIS crew up and alternate between the Doctor and the others as the story progresses. It's rare for them to stick together for even half the plot.
     V-Z 
  • Villains Blend in Better: There are quite a few instances of Sabbath managing to insinuate himself behind the scenes while the Doctor is still having trouble keeping on top of things.
  • Walking the Earth: The Doctor, during the Earth Arc. And by Earth, I mostly mean England, but we are later told he also became a sailor in the South Seas and traveled through China and Thailand.
    • There are shades of the Wandering Jew as well, since it doesn't seem like he particularly wants to be traveling around alone like this.
  • Weird Aside: Fitz sometimes casually brings up his Dark and Troubled Past without fully realizing it's awkward, then tries to pass it off as a joke. Anji eventually stops giving a damn whether people in the future or the past understand her Turn of the Millennium references, causing them to come across like this. And the Doctor has a tendency to namedrop improbably; in a modern-day setting, he might suddenly start talking about his dear old friend William Shakespeare.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Sometimes explored in relation to the Doctor, actually, and it's a thing with Fitz after Interference, particularly in Earth World.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Gallifrey Chronicles opens up a number of plot threads which never get resolved (especially Trix's criminal record and whoever Fitz is talking about in that song), and lampshades the fact it's not going to bother telling you a damn thing about how Anji is doing with Chloe.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Fitz, in The Banquo Legacy, tried doing a German accent, which could easily be mistaken for Scottish. It lasts for one hilarious line before slipping:
    ‘Ach,’ said Kreiner, ‘always ye haff mishaps. Again and again. Time after time.’
  • What Would X Do?: A chapter in The Gallifrey Chronicles, in which Trix finds herself facing an alien invasion on her own, is titled "WWDWD?"
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: Let's just say the TV revival wasn't the first to pull the Doctor blowing up Gallifrey trick.
  • Wild Card: Sabbath tends to do a lot of becoming mortal enemies with everyone he allies himself with and shifting his goals because of it.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: A Grace Holloway expy, some thinly-veiled Daleks...
  • You Are Fat: The Doctor knows that if you want to upset a human, just tell them their weight variance is above the norm. Actually, Sabbath tends to be unfazed.
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea: A group of Time Lords (the Celestis) take this concept literally, and convert themselves into ideas for this very reason. Unfortunately for them, a later book reveals that the Whoniverse also contains creatures which can kill — and eat — ideas.
  • Your Size May Vary:
    • The Doctor is often described as tall, but on occasion, such as in Seeing I when Sam's friends say they expected him to be taller, he's suggested to be not all that tall actually. In some books, Fitz is described as tall whereas the Doctor isn't, implying Fitz is taller than the Doctor. However, in Vanishing Point, Fitz seems to find it remarkable that a girl who's about 6'6" is "tall enough to look down even at" the Doctor, implying the Doctor is probably taller than Fitz.
    • Sabbath is initially described as not especially tall, but some of the books seem to suggest he's borderline freakishly tall.
  • You Watch Too Much X: The Doctor gets accused of watching too much TV in The Taking of Planet Five.
    ‘I’d prefer reptiles: eighty-seventh-century Earth Reptiles with transforming T.rex time machines.’ His face lit up.[...]
    ‘Someone,’ Compassion said, ‘has been watching too much Saturday-morning TV.’
    The Doctor shrugged. ‘There was a time when it always seemed to be Saturday when I was on Earth, and the children’s programmes were excellent, if my memory doesn’t cheat.’ He made folding motions with his hand and muttered something that sounded to Fitz like ‘robots in disguise’. The Doctor grinned, disarmingly. ‘My third childhood is showing.’

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