Literature: Eighth Doctor Adventures
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).Has a character page.
Please keep most of the character-specific tropes there.
Now also has the beginnings of a recaps page
. Please help to fill it in.
This series provides examples of:
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- 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".
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Or actually father. 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.
- Adaptational Sexuality: This series marked the first time that the Doctor was not portrayed as straight, which very much 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 Aggressive Drug Dealer: The Eight Doctors has a Very Special Subplot involving one of these.
- 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 Reality Episode: The Obverse, from The Blue Angel, where the Doctor is a mentally ill human with two hearts who has dreams about the events in the main universe, and his companions are his tenants.
- 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.
- Ambiguously Gay: The alternate-reality human Doctor in The Blue Angel. He's something of a Supreme Chef, and certainly a very dedicated cook (he panics about having overcooked the potatoes). He's apparently interested in gardening and interior decorating, and listens to Bette Davis soundtracks. Freud might find the fact that he's a Momma's Boy to be rather significant. (A screenplay version which circulates online added some additional, and significantly more blatant, hints.) Most interestingly, in the parts taking place in the normal continuity, he's referred to as a "fussy old confirmed bachelor", which is basically a euphemistic way of saying Camp Gay.
- 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. In EarthWorld, Anji tries to decide which animal from The Jungle Book he reminds her of, and after initially thinking of and then dismissing the tiger, can't decide between the snake, the bear, and the panther, but is quite sure Fitz is the orangutan.note
- 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 "Frontier Worlds," Compassion says that she and Fitz are like the Doctor's pets. She compares herself to a cat, which thinks "My owner loves me and feeds me and takes care of me so I must be god." Fitz, she says, is a dog, thinking "My owner loves me and feeds me and takes care of me, so he must be god."
- 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.)
- Art Initiates Life: Demontage
- Ascended Fanboy:
- Fitz is more into fantasy and spy fiction than sci-fi, but it seems he won't turn his nose up at any fiction more interesting than regular existence. He's also very Genre Savvy, especially in his first appearance, where he's all but a Fourth Wall Observer (he comments on which act it would be if the story were a play). It's still not quite a straight example, though, as it turns out he's pretty damn scared of the kind of stuff he likes reading about in real life.
- Subverted in Escape Velocity; the fanboy dies, and his long-suffering girlfriend, who finds all that sci-fi stuff silly and prefers Jane Austen, starts traveling in the TARDIS against her will.
- 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'.
- Aside Glance: Sam, in The Taint, is so unimpressed with Fitz's flat that she forgets she's in a book.
Sam looked wryly to an imaginary camera.
- Asleep for Days: In The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, the Doctor sleeps for a week after losing one of his hearts.
- Auction of Evil: In, Alien Bodies, agents of the most formidable powers in the galaxy gather at an auction to bid for the deadliest weapon ever created.
- 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 Black Barf: A symptom of the Doctor's illness in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street. As his condition worsens, his eyes turn black too.
- Bad Dreams: Happens to both Fitz and the Doctor.
- Flashback Nightmare: In Camera Obscura, the Doctor falls asleep on a train and brings the reader up to speed on one of the salient points of the story arc.
- Nightmare Sequence: Fitz has a particularly unsettling one about his late mum at one point.
- Bear Hug: In Halflife:
And with that, the Doctor bounded over and gave Fitz a huge, rib-cracking hug, lifting him clear off the ground.
- 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.
- This Bed of Rose's: The Doctor, Fitz, and Anji are staying at Scarlette's brothel for most of The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, and the young ladies working there help them to save the world from extradimensional apes and whatnot.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Karl Sadeghi in Year of Intelligent Tigers, big time.
- The Master learns this the hard way when Susan subjects him to major Mind Rape for killing her husband in Legacy of the Daleks
- 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.
- Bi the Way:
- 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.
- 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...
- 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".
- Bizarre Human Biology: The Blue Angel features an Alternate Reality Episode in which the Doctor is theoretically human. He has two hearts, no navel, and an unusual aversion to the cold. It's probably related to the fact that his mother is a mermaid.
- 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.
- Blood from the Mouth: In The Book of the Still, this happens to Fitz. He gets better, though.
- 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 Baby: In The Blue Angel, it's mentioned that among other abnormalities, the alternate Ambiguously Human Doctor could speak as a newborn.
- 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.
- Bride and Switch: In The Book of the Still, between Fitz and the Doctor. Well, it never really happened; it's actually a virtual reality world where the Doctor is a Card-Carrying Villain trying to force some poor girl into marriage, but gets a Disguised in Drag Fitz instead. It's a sort of Lotus-Eater Machine for Fitz, since he gets to be a swashbuckling hero... wearing a Fairytale Wedding Dress and marrying the Doctor isn't actually stated to be part of the appeal for him, but one never knows.
- 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:
- 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.
- Canon Immigrant: The Brigadier's American counterpart, General Kramer, who appears in Vampire Science by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman, originated in one of Blum's fanworks.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: In Camera Obscura, Sabbath gives Fitz and Anji brandy, and Fitz falls asleep/passes out after one glass. Which is odd, because he usually seems to have an above-average tolerance for alcohol; he once drank a whole bottle of wine and remained capable of walking, talking, and assisting in the Doctor's Indy Ploy. Maybe he was just tired, poor dear.
- 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:
- Cat Folk: The tigers in the novel The Year of Intelligent Tigers. They're just intelligent tigers who have Bizarre Alien Biology, lay eggs, and have two opposable thumbs on each paw.
- 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.
- City of Weirdos: San Francisco is depicted as this in Unnatural History. Dragons? Unicorns? Streets rearranging themselves? Nobody thinks much of it.
- 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?
- Clone by Conversion: The fate of Kode in Interference, as detailed above.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Happens to the Doctor for most of book one of Interference.
- 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.
- Compliment Fishing: Vanishing Point features a scene where a deformed-but-still-attractive Ingenue has a heart-to-heart with Fitz. He accuses her of doing this, but she seems to genuinely mean what she's saying about herself:
'No one would wish to. I am deformed. I am ugly.'
'Are you fishing, here, by any chance?'
She laughed at him. 'Fishing?'
'For compliments, I mean,' Fitz said. 'Look, Vettul, if it helps, you're not ugly... I mean, you're...' He felt himself growing flustered.
- Continuity Nod: Stacy and Ssard, companions of the Doctor from a relatively obscure line of comic strips in the Radio Times, feature in Placebo Effect. It's revealed in the story that the Doctor had those Radio Times adventures while Sam was dropped off somewhere, but returned for her before she knew he'd been gone.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: In Interference, the Doctor winds up using his own blood to cover the floor of his cell with arcane mathematical formulae.
- Creative Sterility:
- In The Year of Intelligent Tigers, this comes up regarding the Doctor. He complains of being like "an idiot savant" because while he's amazing at playing instruments, particularly the violin, he cannot improvise or come up with any of his own material. This is part of an overarching subplot/motif of his being not quite human.
- Interference includes a group of cloned people who are sterile and effectively asexual.
- Creator Provincialism: Taken to extremes with the end of the Earth Arc. Escape Velocity author Colin Brake seemed to bend over backwards to make sure the Doctor didn't actually have to go to America to get to "St. Louis."
- Curse Cut Short: In Unnatural History, a Faction Paradox member taunts the Doctor with a parody of a Gallifreyan rhyme:
"Sing the past to me, 'cause I'm the one who wrote the song
I made it up next week so all the words will come out wrong
The past won't keep you warm tonight, the future's blown to bits,
And everything that you believe is really full of —"
The door slammed behind him.
- Deconstruction: The Crooked World is a deconstruction of Looney Tunes-esque cartoons as the Doctor lands in a cartoon world and begins to influence its inhabitants' behaviors towards naturalism.
- Delivery Stork: One of the cartoon tropes played with in The Crooked World.
- 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.
- Disguised in Drag: In The Book of the Still, Fitz is in a sort of Lotus-Eater Machine On Drugs, whose creators are trying to come up with an interesting adventure scenario for him. He ends up marrying an evil, lecherous version of the Doctor, disguised in a Pimped Out Wedding Dress as Evil!Doctor's unwilling bride, then having a swordfight, rescuing his Girl of the Week, and flying around with a jetpack, still in the dress.
- 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.
- Easily Forgiven: Karl Sadeghi at the end of The Year of Intelligent Tigers. A week after committing mass murder on their fellows, Karl is fielding requests from tigers to join his orchestra. The Doctor's reaction, on the other hand, seems far more proportionate.
- End of Series Awareness: In The Blue Angel, the Doctor experiences thinly disguised existential angst about the fact it's actually a bit late for that and the series is already over.
- 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:
- 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".
- Expecting Someone Taller: In Seeing I, Sam has some new friends who meet the Doctor after she's had the chance to talk him up a bit, and this trope is nearly quoted verbatim. Based on the height of the actor who played him in the film, he's 5'8".
- 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.
- Expendable Clone: Particularly evident in The Last Resort, where almost everyone gets extremely prone to dying, just because almost everyone suddenly has all these doppelgangers. Or else can teleport and therefore safely make fun of everyone else's mortality rate.
- Eye Scream: Seeing I. The ordinary implants needed to use INC technology are bad enough, but in OBFSC prison an invasive contact lens becomes the stuff of nightmares — especially for the Doctor.
- Face-Heel Turn: Romana, and to a lesser extent Original!Fitz in The Ancestor Cell. Some fans were annoyed by the former, and a bit confused by the latter.
- 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: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, in a way, is one, since it's supposedly a piece of nonfiction involving the Doctor. And it also contains a number of other fictional documents, which end up showing that the Doctor writes like he's on something and Sabbath has a stenographer who, stranjly, can't spell. Fictional Documents play major roles in the plot of Time Zero and Mad Dogs and Englishmen. And there's one in The Blue Angel which is... significant for some reason.
- 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. In Camera Obscura, while he's already under the weather for several other reasons, Anji has to remind him to eat:
‘Do you want some food? You haven’t eaten in days.’
‘That’s right,’ he said wonderingly, as if she’d made a point that hadn’t occurred to him. ‘You know, I bet that’s one reason I feel so bad.’
- For the Evulz: Fitz's description of his behavior while in a failed Lotus-Eater Machine in The Slow Empire (although what he describes as "evil" never got worse than oblique references to "something in the key of C" which even he wouldn't usually say, hurtful remarks, and trying to smash his guitar on his bandmates before they managed to restrain him).
[‘I]t was like, “I’m an evil person and I’m going to do this evil thing because I’m evil, and now I’m going to go and do something else evil over there.” You know what I mean?’
- 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.
- Funbag Airbag: Narrowly avoided by the alternate Doctor in The Blue Angel, who almost jams his nose into someone's bosom while walking up stairs. Too bad he's Ambiguously Gay and probably didn't enjoy it.
- Funetik Aksent: Often used when Fitz is doing a Brief Accent Imitation. And in The Book of the Still, he gets a bit self-conscious about how unsophisticated he is, and his third person narration mentions, "you can take the boy out of Norrrrf Laaanden, but you couldn’t take the Norrrrf Laaanden out of the boy", which is pretty clearly a self-deprecating exaggeration. And, yes, that's funetikspeak for "North London". Otherwise, generally averted.
- Future Imperfect: The theme park on New Jupiter, EarthWorld, is filled with this. It's meant to put different eras of Earth history on display. Their research needs a little work.
- 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.
- Gainax Ending: Is the ending of The Blue Angel symbolic, or just a Real Hallucinations Are Weirder sort of thing? And how much of it is real?
- 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.
- Genius Ditz: Oh, Eight.
- Genre Savvy: Most of the characters have their moments.
- Genre Shift: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street reads like a historical non-fiction work instead of the usual style. Therein lies the heart of its Love It or Hate It status.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: It's morally acceptable for Fitz to smoke, because it was much more common in his era. 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.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: In Camera Obscura, one of the regular cast is rendered effectively immortal, and inevitably suffers a series of otherwise-lethal injuries over the course of the plot.
- Happily Adopted: The Doctor and his adopted daughter in Father Time. She still ends up running away from home, though.
- Hard Head: Lampshaded in Interference.
- 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 BSOD: A couple.
- After having to destroy Gallifrey (for the first time), the Doctor went through one that took a hundred years on Earth to recover from.
- In EarthWorld, Fitz has a truly massive one, about the fact he's a clone of the original Fitz Kreiner that's been "improved" by the TARDIS. It's worth noting it took him over ten books to finally have his meltdown over this. He must be very good at denial.
- In Seeing I, the Doctor has one that is absolutely epic.*spoilers*
- High Times Future: In Alien Bodies, Sam Jones, in the near future and surrounded by aliens, focuses on a cigarette packet as a "normal" thing. Then she notices it says "CLOUD NINE — The original cannabis cigarette". As smoked by UNISYC troopers. When she mentions the one time she got stoned, the future soldier the cigarettes belong to replies "One time? Are you sure you're human?"
- Historical-Domain Character: Surprisingly rare; they all seem to be concentrated between two adjacent books; The Turing Test and Endgame. The latter 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.
- Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: Fitz, in The Taint, cleverly scares the two villains of the week away from Sam by hiding around a corner and putting on a number of voices to make it sound like he's ten guys who are all probably much tougher than he is himself and intent on clobbering said villains.
- Homoerotic Dream: Played with in Half Life. Fitz dreams he and the Doctor are naked and back to back, and the Doctor reassures him it doesn't necessarily mean anything about his sexuality. However, any hint of eroticism is quickly lost when they start melding together. It turns out to be a sort of manifestation of the Freaky Friday thing they're about to go through.
- 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.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Actually justified in Time Zero. Clothes that are bigger on the inside are useful for more than just super-effective Spanx. Although they are useful for that, too.
- 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.
- Identical Grandson: In The Taint, Fitz's great-grandfather's Obliviously Evil twin is recognizably similar to Fitz himself: same long nose, straggly hair, and thin face and build. Fitz keeps finding him "infuriatingly familiar", and, unsettlingly, he has moments of acting like a Psychopathic Manchild version of Fitz.
- Ignore the Fanservice: In Camera Obscura, the first chapter concerns Sabbath meeting his Morality Pet du jour. She's a violent, troubled, crazy teenage girl. Being used to men sexually harassing her, she decides to Show Some Leg to get him interested, as she's in a Bedlam House and would like to leave. He ignores what she's doing until she gets bored of it. When she suggests that he might have prurient motives for hiring her, he's neither startled nor interested by it. By the end of the book, it's implied that they're having some sort of chaste love affair.
- 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. He even mentions a reasonably subtle one his mum made once in Frontier Worlds.
- 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 tigers in The Year of Intelligent Tigers. They're intended as a thematic parallel to the Doctor's apparent-but-sometimes-misleading similarity to another Earth species.
- The inhabitants of Dogworld in Mad Dogs and Englishmen. This time it's apparently just because it's the kind of novel where arbitrarily weird stuff happens.
- I Shall Taunt You: The Doctor does this a lot, but in Camera Obscura he goes all out in one scene, mostly just to get back at Sabbath for making his life very, very difficult. He does all kinds of intentional Foe Yay things (complete with innuendo-laden references to Sabbath stealing his heart), hides a whoopee cushion in his sofa, flops on his desk like a cat while Sabbath is looking at something, folds his papers up into penguins, sings to him, etc. Do not piss off the Doctor, or he'll teach you how it's done.
- It Makes Sense in Context: For many stories, the authors seemed to have taken a twisted glee in just honestly summarising the premise of each novel in the blurb. This being Doctor Who, the results are...unique. For example, The Year of Intelligent Tigers starts with:
The weather is going to hell. The tigers are coming to town. And the Doctor has taken his violin and vanished.
- 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.
- Jewish Mother: The Doctor's mother in The Blue Angel comes across as a little controlling, and has a thick Eastern European accent, creating an impression of Ambiguous Judaism. She also fusses a lot over his health, although since he's technically human but has two hearts, you can't blame her.
- 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.
- Lady Drunk: The Doctor's mum, again. She also never really left the 1920s. She's basically a Shout-Out to Bette Midler's Delores Delago, so she's implicitly a White-Dwarf Starlet. Oh, and she's a mermaid.
- 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!
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Camera Obscura had an appearance of William the Bloody Awful Poet, which was the nickname Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer had as a human.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Blue Angel has the Doctor start complaining about the Series Hiatus. In-story, his concern is that, being lost in some tunnels, he's afraid his story is over, but it spills over into a Meta Guy-type ramble about stories. The story contains three plotlines; one deals with an alternate Doctor who's an insane human. He frequently refers to his "episodes", which are in fact psychotic episodes, the content of which is quite a bit like episodes of the TV series. The whole book is just very, very meta.
- 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’.
- Legal Jailbait: A water nymph in The City of the Dead.
- Like Brother and Sister: In EarthWorld, Anji considers the Doctor to be like a sister to her.
- 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.
- Madwoman in the Attic: In Vanishing Point, this trope is reconstructed with a woman keeping a number of deformed and disabled people away from society. But in a bit of a twist, she's quite nice to them, treating them almost like family, and refers to them affectionately as "mooncalves". The story takes place in a Dystopia where they wouldn't be safe anywhere else.
- Magic Realism: The Blue Angel. The Doctor's mum is a mermaid, so she's confined to a wheelchair and he has to mow her lawn for her. His two hearts are just a strange birth defect which she worries about. Almost all the weirdness takes place Through the Eyes of Madness. Fitz is theoretically sane, but has a conversation with a talking dog, but maybe he's just extremely drunk.
- The Man They Couldn't Hang: Juliette, from The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, is an unusually young example; she's only thirteen. It's implied she'd attempted to hang herself, but not only did she not do it properly, the Doctor showed up to rescue her.
- Marshmallow Hell: Lightly implied in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street; Katya, whose buxomness is one of her defining characteristics, bids farewell to Fitz in such an affectionate manner he nearly suffocates.
- The Men in Black: In Alien Bodies, there are a number of men at Area 51 who wear dark suits despite the heat, and dark glasses despite the fashion in the 2060s being for light-reactive contacts.
- Mind Screw: The Blue Angel. Full stop.
- Interference, the book right before it, has a truly bizarre Framing Device and segments that suddenly become a screenplay just to be meta and confusing.
- Momma's Boy: The alternate-reality human Doctor in The Blue Angel.
- 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.
- Necromantic: The part in Interference where the Doctor turns Kode back into Fitz could be seen this way. Good job talking a teenage kid into suicide so you could be reunited with your friend, Doctor. Considering the fact he fibs to Sam about it, he obviously knew it was wrong, but he did it anyway.
- 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.
- Newspaper Thin Disguise: Played with twice in Unnatural History. In the first instance, Fitz doesn't seem to be attempting to hide, but came across as shady nonetheless. The second time he does it, this time actually trying to camouflage himself, he realizes that the newspaper is in Chinese, and, unluckily for him, while he does speak Chinese, he can't read it.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed:
- 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.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Alien Bodies makes the Krotons a lot more intimidating. Just for starters, their leader arrives in a Dalek ship he's hijacked — along with the digested corpses of the original owners.
- 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.
- Old, New, Borrowed and Blue: In The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, the Doctor has to get married because it'll somehow save the world from extradimensional baboons. Fitz mentions it's too bad they can't bring the TARDIS into the chapel, because it would count as all four.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: In Sometime Never..., and a paragon of vagueness and sitting-aroundness. They also bicker a bit.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Mentioned by name by the Doctor in Frontier Worlds, about, not very surprisingly, being shot in the shoulder. Of course, it's his mild Healing Factor that makes the wound so easy to shrug off, not just a writer leaning too heavily on artistic license.
- Parody Episode: The Blue Angel is in part a parody of Star Trek.
- Phantom Zone Picture: Demontage features a device that can trap people in paintings; if they remain there too long, they're trapped permanently.
- Playing Pictionary: In Camera Obscura, everyone who sees the Doctor's attempted map of a London neighborhood wonders about the round shapes he's drawn. Fitz tries to guess what they might be ("trees", "gardens", or "duck ponds") until Anji gets annoyed and sarcastically suggests they're "gigantic pools of jam". It's never explained what they were actually meant to be.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: At least two villains have made disparaging remarks about the Doctor's apparent sexuality (he's rather dandyish, and whether this has anything to do with his sexuality is his own affair). He always handles it with complete savoir-faire: in one book, a villain shouts "Queer!" at him and then beats him up for good measure, and he shags the guy's wife, which was almost certainly not intended as a Take That but would have been a pretty awesome one if it was. He endeavored to convince a Mook who'd called him a "poof" that he was a cop and would write him up for discrimination, and when that didn't work he poked him in the ear with his pencil and shoved him off a boat. So, homophobes take warning: the Doctor bashes back.
- Generally averted when it comes to Anji: the bad guys might brainwash her and kick her around and whatever else, but have not been noticed to say anything about her ethnicity, even though various minor characters sometimes do. Also, despite the fact that Sabbath, one of only a scant few recurring villains, is from the 18th century, he also usually averts this trope.note There is one instance where he tells Anji to go put the kettle on. Like the proverbial 800-lb gorilla, he gets away with it even though she's seething.
- Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Anji in particular makes a lot of references other characters don't get. In Camera Obscura, she insults Sabbath with a pun on "phat"/"fat", causing him to "[stare] at her in complete incomprehension." In History 101, she sings a snippet of "Mulder and Scully" by Catatonia, which neither Fitz nor the Doctor has apparently heard.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: Almost everyone. Fitz has been known to reference HP Lovecraft, James Bond, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek, and he's very into music, particularly from The Fifties and The Sixties. He also has a Cut Song (yes, you didn't think that happened in books) that just listed a bunch of It Was His Sled moments, designed to irritate people who skipped to the end of the last book. The Doctor apparently likes X-Men and Transformers, not to mention a scene where he starts quoting "All Along the Watchtower". Anji makes some odd reference in almost every book, and seems to have given up on caring whether some Fish out of Temporal Water gets it. And even Sabbath makes a rather hilarious reference to The Wizard of Oz in The Infinity Race.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: In the audio play The Company of Friends (Fitz's Story), the only story to date from another medium to take place within EDA continuity, Anji spends the whole adventure sleeping off a strong drink in the TARDIS so the story can focus on the Doctor/Fitz team.
- Psychic Surgery: In The Book of the Still, the Doctor is rendered Brainwashed and Crazy by a device that's been inserted into his brain. Fitz is shortly thereafter rendered conveniently intangible (among other things), and the Doctor instructs him to remove the device for him. Fitz is then somewhat perturbed to find his hand covered in slime, and the Doctor thanks him "for not taking a bigger handful". Some vague version of this also happens to the Doctor in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, although the details/explanation are concealed by the semi-Lemony Narrator who basically admits he/she doesn't know exactly what happened.
- Pungeon Master: Fitz, the Doctor, and everyone who's introduced to Fitz.
- Rear Window Witness: Fitz, in Timeless, witnesses a woman being brutally attacked while snooping through the window of her house. Shaking and horrified, he works up the courage to go into the house, and finds seemingly the same woman, denying that anything happened. Hmm...
- Retcon: War of the Daleks tries this on "Remembrance of the Daleks". While the retcon doesn't get directly addressed again for a number of reasons, some later books explore what the personal impact of having your history rewritten would be for someone.
- Right on Queue: In The Book of the Still, Anji spends more or less an hour, although it apparently feels more like sixty years, queuing to visit the Doctor in jail. It annoys her that being English has made her so good at queuing that she can't bring herself to complain about it.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: The Crooked World, wherein the TARDIS lands on a cartoon planet. The cover suggests that the normal characters have been cartoonified, but they never remark on any such thing, suggesting they haven't been.
- Running Gag: Probably an accidental example, but in Eater of Wasps, Timeless, and The Sleep of Reason, a One-Shot Character gets in a car with Fitz and is lucky to survive his driving intact. Even though it's probably a coincidence, it works out like this trope because it happens just enough times to be kind of funny.
- 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.
- Scaramanga Special: Demontage featured, as part of its James Bond pastiche, an assassin disguised as a wineglass salesman, whose sample glasses could be transformed into a knife and a single-shot gun — neither of which would set off metal detectors.
- Scarlet Fever: Scarlette is the name of the rather badass high-class madam in The Adventuress of Henrietta Street.
- 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. In The Janus Conjunction, the Doctor manages it anyway.
- 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 Dressed: Gets Fitz in trouble in Vanishing Point.
- 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.
- Shout-Out: In Camera Obscura, a group of circus freaks exhibit "The Giant Rat of Sumatra". It also seems that the Doctor and company are subletting their flat from Sherlock Holmes, which Sabbath lampshades in typical enigmatic fashion. Also, in the same book, Sabbath uses the pseudonym "G.K. Thursday", a reference to G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday, which, given his name, size, and Nietzschean pretensions, is a stunningly appropriate reference. Also, The Man Who Was Thursday is about a mysterious council of seven men; there's a council of eight extradimensional beings who boss Sabbath around. Coincidence? Yeah, maybe.
- 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.
- Something Only They Would Say: In book two of Interference. Kode asks, ‘Why are you people all so stupid?’, and the Doctor realizes who Kode actually is because it's very similar to the first thing he ever heard Fitz say.
- 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.
- Speech Impediment: Karl Sadeghi, in The Year of Intelligent Tigers, has a slight stutter.
- 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.
- Starving Artist: Averted in The Year of Intelligent Tigers; Hitchemus has a system in place whereby all musicians get enough money to get by. It's not very much, but starving isn't an issue.
- 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. And in Vanishing Point, Fitz has a six-and-a-half-foot-tall Disabled Love Interest with a congenitally malformed leg that causes her to hobble along slowly and noisily. But she gets around pretty well anyway, and Fitz notes her "uncanny" ability to "just appear".
- Story Arc: Apart from the series-long character arcs, the series can be divided up as:
- 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.
- The "Earth Arc", following the Doctor's derailing of the war, he spends a century literally Walking the Earth (but mostly Britain)
- 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.
- 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.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: The Doctor, in Frontier Worlds. He's impressively calm about the whole thing, except for when he Screams Like a Little Girl just to be aggravating, especially considering the fact he's naked and facing a device that's supposed to bite out his heart.
- 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.
- 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. The Adventuress of Henrietta Street largely averts this, being mostly narrated by an unnamed historian, but uses Scrapbook Story to get some of the same effect.
- Talking Animal: The aforementioned intelligent tigers. There are also talking poodles.
- Talking the Monster to Death: The Doctor comments on the implications at the end of Dreamstone Moon.
After a while, the Doctor realised that he'd just killed a man with the force of an argument.
It wasn't a very pleasant thought.
- 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.
- Tears of Blood: In Seeing I, the Doctor gets a mild case of this when the surveillance device implanted in his left eye is activated.
- 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. The Book of the Still lampshades this; the first chapter is titled "Obligatory Spectacular Opening". However, it turns out at the end that, for once, it does feature a main character.
- 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.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: The Blue Angel is a less-disturbing variant than most: the Alternate Universe human Doctor has already been diagnosed as mentally ill, generally doesn't take his delusions too seriously, and generally stays on his meds, so it seems that he's unlikely to become too terribly confused. However, it does render the story very confusing, especially as some of the things he has delusions of certainly seem to be actually happening in one of the story's other plotlines, and the reader really can't tell if the story contains Magical Realism or the Doctor simply hallucinates that his mother is a mermaid, one of his friends has a talking dog which tells his other friend that all realities and stories are equally real, and other strange things. It also creates the impression that perhaps the TV series is basically All Just a Dream — the Doctor just has delusions about Daleks and Cybermen and weird phallic monsters made of cellophane and such.
- Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Anji and Trix's stock-tips arrangement.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: In Vanishing Point, Fitz's Girl of the Week is at least 6'6". It's never quite clear how tall he is, and he sometimes seems to feel he's egregiously tall, but in this book he's implied to be shorter than the 5'8" Doctor. They're both skinny, though.
- 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.
- Trapped in TV Land: The Crooked World sees the TARDIS crew trapped on a cartoon planet populated by thinly-veiled parodies of Scooby-Doo, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Wacky Races, Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, and others. The Doctor's interference means that for the behavior of those parodies, Reality Ensues.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: After the events of ''The Ancestor Cell'', the Doctor suffers from this.
- Trenchcoat Brigade: Fitz. Being Genre Savvy, he seems to know it, too. 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.
- The Unsmile: From Camera Obscura:
The station manager, a portly little man in wire rims, crept timidly from the office. ‘Everything all right, gentlemen?’ he asked, more hopefully than sternly.
Sabbath and the Doctor both beamed at him. The station master didn’t really find this a reassuring sight.