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Doctor Who spin-off novels published from 1997 by BBC Books. Where the Eighth Doctor Adventures featured the new Doctor introduced in the 1996 TV movie, the Past Doctor Adventures told new adventures featuring the first seven Doctors. (In other words, much like Virgin Publishing's Doctor Who Missing Adventures, except that the Seventh Doctor was now Past instead of being New.)

This series was seemingly abandoned after the revival of the TV series, but from 2012 BBC Books started intermittently publishing novels featuring pre-1989 Doctors. Although not officially branded Past Doctor Adventures, these further books were again aimed at an older audience than the New Series Adventures. They were also unusual in being written by "name" writers well known for works outside the Doctor Who universe.

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    Novels in this series 
  • The Devil Goblins from Neptune (June, 1997) by Martin Day and Keith Topping. Features the Third Doctor, and Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw.
  • The Murder Game (July, 1997) by Steve Lyons. Features the Second Doctor, Ben Jackson, and Polly.
  • The Ultimate Treasure (August, 1997) by Christopher Bulis. Features the Fifth Doctor, and Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.
  • Business Unusual (September, 1997) by Gary Russell. Features the Sixth Doctor, Melanie "Mel" Bush, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
  • Illegal Alien (October, 1997) by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace.
  • The Roundheads (November, 1997) by Mark Gatiss. Features the Second Doctor, Ben Jackson, Polly, and Jamie McCrimmon.
  • The Face of the Enemy (January, 1998) by David A. McIntee. Features the Third Doctor, the Master, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, and Harry Sullivan.
  • Eye of Heaven (February, 1998) by Jim Mortimore. Features the Fourth Doctor, and Leela of the Sevateem.
  • The Witch Hunters (March, 1998) by Steve Lyons. Features the First Doctor, Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton, and Barbara Wright.
  • The Hollow Men (April, 1998) by Martin Day and Keith Topping. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace.
  • Catastrophea (May, 1998) by Terrance Dicks. Features the Third Doctor, and Jo Grant.
  • Mission: Impractical (June, 1998) by David A. McIntee. Features the Sixth Doctor, and Doctor Who Magazine companion Frobisher.
  • Zeta Major (July, 1998) by Simon Messingham. Features the Fifth Doctor, Tegan Jovanka, and Nyssa of Traken.
  • Dreams of Empire (August, 1998) by Justin Richards. Features the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, and Victoria Waterfield.
  • Last Man Running (September, 1998) by Chris Boucher. Features the Fourth Doctor, and Leela of the Sevateem.
  • Matrix (October, 1998) by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace. Alternate Universe versions of the other Doctor incarnations and a few of their companions also figure into the plot.
  • The Infinity Doctors (November, 1998) by Lance Parkin. Features an unspecified incarnation of the Doctor.
  • Salvation (January, 1999) by Steve Lyons. Features the First Doctor, Steven Taylor, and Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet.
  • The Wages of Sin (February, 1999) by David A. McIntee. Features the Third Doctor, Jo Grant, and Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw.
  • Deep Blue (March, 1999) by Mark Morris. Features the Fifth Doctor, Tegan Jovanka, and Vislor Turlough.
  • Players (April, 1999) by Terrance Dicks. Features the Sixth Doctor, and Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.
  • Millennium Shock (May, 1999) by Justin Richards. Features the Fourth Doctor, and Harry Sullivan.
  • Storm Harvest (June, 1999) by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace.
  • The Final Sanction (July, 1999) by Steve Lyons. Features the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, and Zoe Heriot.
  • City at World's End (September, 1999) by Christopher Bulis. Features the First Doctor, Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton, and Barbara Wright.
  • Divided Loyalties (October, 1999) by Gary Russell. Features the Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa of Traken, and Tegan Jovanka.
  • Corpse Marker (November, 1999) by Chris Boucher. Features the Fourth Doctor, and Leela of the Sevateem.
  • Last of the Gaderene (January, 2000) by Mark Gatiss. Features the Third Doctor, Jo Grant, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sergeant Benton, and Captain Yates.
  • Tomb of Valdemar (February, 2000) by Simon Messingham. Features the Fourth Doctor, Romana I, and K-9.
  • Verdigris (April, 2000) by Paul Magrs. Features the Third Doctor, Jo Grant, and Iris Wildthyme.
  • Grave Matter (May, 2000) by Justin Richards. Features the Sixth Doctor, and Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.
  • Heart of TARDIS (June, 2000) by Dave Stone. Features the Second Doctor, the Fourth Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, Victoria Waterfield, and Romana I. Two versions of the Doctor work the same case.
  • Prime Time (July, 2000) by Mike Tucker. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace.
  • Imperial Moon (August, 2000) by Christopher Bulis. Features the Fifth Doctor, Vislor Turlough, and Kamelion.
  • Festival of Death (September, 2000) by Jonathan Morris. Features the Fourth Doctor, Romana II, and K-9.
  • Independence Day (October, 2000) by Peter Darvill-Evans. Features the Seventh Doctor and Ace. The Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon appear in the introduction.
  • The King of Terror (November, 2000) by Keith Topping. Features the Fifth Doctor, Tegan Jovanka, Vislor Turlough, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
  • The Quantum Archangel (January, 2001) by Craig Hinton. Features The Sixth Doctor, Melanie "Mel" Bush, and the Master. An Alternate Universe version of the Third Doctor also appears. There are cameos of Katarina, Sara Kingdom, Adric, and Kamelion.
  • Bunker Soldiers (February, 2001) by Martin Day. Features the First Doctor, Steven Taylor, and Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet.
  • Rags (March, 2001) by Mick Lewis. Features the Third Doctor, and Jo Grant.
  • The Shadow in the Glass (April, 2001) by Justin Richards and Stephen Cole. Features the Sixth Doctor, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
  • Asylum (May, 2001) by Peter Darvill-Evans. Features the Fourth Doctor, and Nyssa of Traken.
  • Superior Beings (June, 2001) by Nick Walters. Features the Fifth Doctor, and Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.
  • Byzantium! (July, 2001) by Keith Topping. Features the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, and Vicki.
  • Bullet Time (August, 2001) by David A. McIntee. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Psi-ence Fiction (September, 2001) by Chris Boucher. Features the Fourth Doctor, and Leela of the Sevateem.
  • Dying in the Sun (October, 2001) by Jon de Burgh Miller. Features the Second Doctor, Ben Jackson, and Polly.
  • Instruments of Darkness (November, 2001) by Gary Russell. Features the Sixth Doctor, Melanie "Mel" Bush, and Big Finish companion Dr. Evelyn Smythe.
  • Relative Dementias (January, 2002) by Mark Michalowski. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace.
  • Drift (February, 2002) by Simon A. Forward. Features the Fourth Doctor, and Leela of the Sevateem.
  • Palace of the Red Sun (March, 2002) by Christopher Bulis. Features the Sixth Doctor, and Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.
  • Amorality Tale (April, 2002) by David Bishop. Features the Third Doctor, and Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Warmonger (May, 2002) by Terrance Dicks. Features the Fifth Doctor, and Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.
  • Ten Little Aliens (June, 2002) by Stephen Cole. Features the First Doctor, Ben Jackson, and Polly.
  • Combat Rock (July, 2002) by Mick Lewis. Features the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, and Victoria Waterfield.
  • The Suns of Caresh (August, 2002) by Paul Saint. Features the Third Doctor, and Jo Grant.
  • Heritage (October, 2002) by Dale Smith. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace. A daughter of Mel is a major character.
  • Fear of the Dark (January, 2003) by Trevor Baxendale. Features the Fifth Doctor, Tegan Jovanka, and Nyssa of Traken.
  • Blue Box (March, 2003) by Kate Orman. Features the Sixth Doctor, and Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.
  • Loving the Alien (May, 2003) by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace.
  • The Colony of Lies (July, 2003) by Colin Brake. Features the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, and Zoe Heriot. The Seventh Doctor and Ace appear in a number of chapters.
  • Wolfsbane (September, 2003) by Jacqueline Rayner. Features the Fourth Doctor, the Eighth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, and Harry Sullivan. Two versions of the Doctor work the same case.
  • Deadly Reunion (November, 2003) by Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts. Features the Third Doctor, Jo Grant, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
  • Scream of the Shalka (February, 2004) by Paul Cornell. Novelization of the animated series. Features its own version of the Ninth Doctor, along with Alison Cheney, and the Master.
  • Empire of Death (March, 2004) by David Bishop. Features the Fifth Doctor, and Nyssa of Traken. A "ghost" version of Adric figures into the plot.
  • The Eleventh Tiger (May, 2004) by David A. McIntee. Features the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, and Vicki.
  • Synthespians™ (July, 2004) by Craig Hinton. Features the Sixth Doctor, and Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown.
  • The Algebra of Ice (September, 2004) by Lloyd Rose. Features the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
  • The Indestructible Man (November, 2004) by Simon Messingham. Features the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, and Zoe Heriot. The novel includes Dystopian versions of the characters and organizations from Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and UFO.
  • Match of the Day (January, 2005) by Chris Boucher. Features the Fourth Doctor, and Leela of the Sevateem.
  • Island of Death (July, 2005) by Barry Letts. Features the Third Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
  • Spiral Scratch (August, 2005) by Gary Russell. Features the Sixth Doctor, and Melanie "Mel" Bush. Alternate Universe versions of the other Doctor incarnations and a few of their companions also figure into the plot.
  • Fear Itself (September, 2005) by Nick Wallace. Features the Eighth Doctor, Fitzgerald "Fitz" Kreiner, and Anji Kapoor.note 
  • World Game (October, 2005) by Terrance Dicks. Features the Second Doctor, and original companion Lady Serena.
  • The Time Travellers (November, 2005) by Simon Guerrier. Features the First Doctor, Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton, and Barbara Wright.
  • Atom Bomb Blues (December, 2005) by Andrew Cartmel. Features the Seventh Doctor, and Ace. Last novel in this series.

Later unbranded novels:

  • The Wheel of Ice (August 2012) by Stephen Baxter. Features the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, and Zoe Heriot.
  • Harvest of Time (June 2013) by Alastair Reynolds. Features the Third Doctor, Jo Grant, and UNIT.
  • The Drosten's Curse (July 2015) by A L Kennedy. Features the Fourth Doctor.
  • Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen (January 2018) by James Goss. Features the Fourth Doctor, Romana II and K-9.note 
  • Scratchman (January 2019) by Tom Baker and James Goss. Features the Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: In The Ultimate Treasure, the Fifth Doctor is forced to join one of a group of expeditions competing against each other for a mythical treasure; many of the traps encountered in this case are justified as part of a series of tests left by the treasure’s original owner and maintained by its current guardians as part of their research into the human condition.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: Deconstructed (along with various other Gerry Anderson tropes) in The Indestructible Man. SKYHOME is derided as a pollution-spewing technological white elephant that uses the power of a small country just to remain stable (it has a tendency to lurch at unpredictable moments, sending equipment everywhere) and is too expensive to break up, yet can't be allowed to degrade for fear it'll crash on everyone's head.
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  • Aliens Steal Cable: In Synthespians™, human colonists in the future do this with broadcasts from Earth. It's pointed out that until they had the help of the Nestene Consciousness, the shows were so degraded it was like watching it through a snow storm.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • Eye of Heaven is told in the form of various 'diary extracts' written by various major characters, but not presented in chronological order
    • Festival Of Death starts with the Doctor and Romana arriving on a space station after the main crisis has been resolved by their future selves, requiring them to go back in time three more times to create the situation they discovered upon arrival and ensure that everyone who met them this time around knows who they are.
  • And I Must Scream: Festival of Death ends with Doctor Kole Paddox being trapped as this; he has spent most of his life researching the Arboreteans, a race with the unique ability to relive their lives over and over again every time they die, with the goal of allowing himself to recreate their ability so that he can go back and relive his life to prevent the death of his parents in a shuttle accident when he was six years old. However, while he succeeds in sending himself back after his experiments have driven the Arboreteans to extinction, Paddox only learns at the moment of his parents' deaths that he can't actually exert any influence on his past self, condemning him to witness his crimes over and over and over without ever being able to change a single thing.
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  • Apocalypse Hitler: In The Shadow in the Glass, the Sixth Doctor and the Brigadier discover a Fourth Reich led by Hitler's son using alien technology (albeit alien technology that the Nazis have mistaken for a supernatural artefact), but this trope is defied as the Doctor proclaims that even Hitler Junior knows that there is no place in the modern world for his father's philosophy, justifying why he continues to hide away rather than mount his new campaign even though he is now the same age as his father was when Hitler committed suicide.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: In Imperial Moon, the threat of the Vrall being unleashed on Victorian England is so serious that the Doctor, Turlough and Kamelion retrieve advanced weaponry specifically designed to eliminate the Vrall, as the Doctor doesn't have time to try and find a more peaceful way to contain the Vrall and take them somewhere else.
  • Been There, Shaped History:
    • In Byzantium!, the First Doctor assists in the original translation of the Book of Mark, and in The Witch Hunters, his presence unwittingly helps instigate the Salem Witch Trials.
    • In The Wages of Sin, the Doctor, Jo and Liz accidentally travel to Russia in 1916 and witness the events leading up to Rasputin’s death; the novel even concludes with the Doctor watching Rasputin drown, even though he has learned that Rasputin isn’t the monster he’s portrayed as by history, because he has to preserve the timeline.
    • Players in particular sees the Sixth Doctor assist in Winston Churchill’s escape from a Boer prison in 1899 and then work with Churchill in thwarting a complex Nazi conspiracy that would have seen Edward VIII dismiss the government and officially ally with Hitler in 1936; The Shadow in the Glass also sees the Doctor present in the Berlin bunker on the date of Hitler’s suicide.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: While normally a pacifist, the events of Warmonger force the Fifth Doctor to become a military leader of a vast alliance that includes some of his more regular enemies- the Sontarans, the Ice Warriors and the Cybermen in particular- against an army led by the renegade Time Lord Morbius, mounting a successful year-long campaign that earns him the respect of all of his normal foes (and he does this while using an alias so that he doesn’t have his usual reputation as the Doctor as ‘evidence’ that he knows what he’s doing).
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Not full-on brainwashed, but while in Victorian London in Matrix, the Seventh Doctor almost succumbs to the influence of a dark force that drives him to try and kill Ace.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Blue Box by Kate Orman features the Bainbridge Hospital and the Doctor's Apple ][ computer, both of which were previously seen in the EDA novel Seeing I by Orman and Jonathan Blum.
    • World Game, being one of the first novels in the series to be published after Doctor Who returned to TV in 2005, took the opportunity to introduce the psychic paper as an invention of the Gallifreyan CIA they gave to the Second Doctor.
  • Changed My Jumper: Averted in Players, The Shadow in the Glass and Blue Box, when the Sixth Doctor changes into more conventional attire as part of a long-term investigation into current events (although in Blue Box he returns to his regular attire as soon as the situation escalates).
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In Salvation, faced with beings who gain power based on the belief others have in them, the First Doctor not only survives being hit by a fireball in front of a crowd of believers because his belief that he can’t be hurt outweighs the crowd’s belief in his attacker, but later drives these beings away by dropping a dud bomb on the park and making everyone present think it can hurt their ‘gods’.
  • Continuity Nod: The Infinity Doctors sees an interesting use of this trope, as it incorporates elements from every official version of Gallifrey up to its publication in November 1998. Every version, including the contradictory ones.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Infinity Doctors is a deliberate use of this trope. Word of God says it's situated somewhere in Doctor Who continuity... the trouble is, it doesn't seem to fit anywhere, because there's always one piece of continuity that seems to contradict a specific placing. Even the incarnation of the Doctor it features is left unspecified. All of which is entirely intentional.
  • Crapsack World: In Matrix, the Seventh Doctor witnesses an alternate version of 1963 where the Ripper murders led to a heightened period of civil unrest, atrocities in the First World War contributed to something evil following them back to England. Since then, London has been under siege from the walking dead, social order has broken down, and gangs of youths who worship Jack as the new Messiah roam the streets. America basically took control after the war with Hitler and put London under quarantine, but at best they've contained the problem, and shortly before the Doctor arrived in this timeline, President Kennedy was torn apart by zombies while making what was intended to be a morale-boosting appearance in London.
  • Creating Life Is Bad:
    • Explored in Heritage, in which a scientist who has become obsessed with becoming the first to produce a perfect human clone has resorted to murder to further his ends. When the Doctor confronts the scientist, he reveals that the scientist actually isn't the first to discover human cloning — but the secret has always been forgotten. Not, interestingly enough, because cloning is somehow 'unnatural', but because in trying to create life artificially the people involved forget how precious life is, no matter how it is created, and end up treating it as a disposable commodity — just as the scientist has done. Upon being confronted with both the futility of his life's work and precisely what a monster he's ultimately let himself become, the scientist doesn't react well.
    • Also the Savant in Blue Box. While the Doctor seems pretty horrified by its creation, he reluctantly concludes that its creators are better suited to looking after it than anyone else.
  • Cross Through: A Story Arc in which the companions of various Doctors were seemingly killed in Timey-Wimey Ball situations (Sarah Jane is apparently shot in Bullet Time, Ace is 'killed' and replaced by an alternate version of herself in Loving the Alien, Mel seemingly dies on a distant colony that she had no real 'right' to be on in Heritage, and Harry Sullivan may or may not have become a werewolf in Wolfsbane). This tied into the "Sabbath" arc in the Eighth Doctor Adventures. One of these PDAs, Wolfsbane, also featured the Eighth Doctor during the EDAs' "amnesiac on Earth" arc.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Flashbacks in Divided Loyalties reveals that the Doctor’s first trip off Gallifrey saw one of his oldest friends being possessed by an ancient entity and another was kept as a permanent prisoner by that same entity despite the Doctor’s efforts to save them.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Ian, Barbara, UNIT and the Master in Face of the Enemy, as the Doctor was involved in "The Curse of Peladon" at the time.
    • From a certain perspective, Harry Sullivan gets this in Wolfsbane, as he is technically the most experienced time traveller dealing with the biggest problem in 1936 for most of the novel, as the Eighth Doctor is currently suffering from amnesia and doesn't know anything about his past and the Fourth Doctor and Sarah are tying up loose ends in December after Harry stopped the main threat in November.
  • Deadly Dodging: In The Eleventh Tiger, the Doctor does this to the Gung Fu School bully who challenges him to a duel.
  • Deconstruction: The Indestructible Man by Simon Messingham is a deconstruction of all Gerry Anderson's work, asking why Jeff Tracy founded the Thunderbirds, what SHADO personnel would really be like (yes UFO was Darker and Edgier to begin with, but Messingham takes it further), and how the ordinary people of the Supermarionation world might feel about so much money being channeled into Awesome, but Impractical vehicles. Most notably, the title Indestructible Man is a Captain Ersatz Captain Scarlet who feels detached from humanity and wishes he was able to die.
  • Deface of the Moon: "Moon Grafitti" in More Short Trips.
  • Discontinuity Nod: Business Unusual demotes "A Fix With Sontarans" to All Just a Dream.
  • Dreadful Dragonfly: In Island of Death, the Doctor mentions the Sclaponian Dragonflies. Not much is known about them, but since he nearly lost an entire leg to the creature, one can imagine how humongous those insects are.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: Eye of Heaven reveals that, like most things in the Whoniverse, the moai were put there by Ancient Astronauts. They're alien computers that run a Transmat network.
  • Everything Is Online: In Millennium Shock, the Big Bad has spent years planting alien microchips in all kinds of things, precisely so they can do this.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Mission: Impractical features Frobisher the shape-shifting penguin from the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip (and shamelessly declines to offer any hints about what he's doing in a novel supposedly based only on the TV series).
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once: In Festival of Death, the Doctor and his allies prevent an Eldritch Abomination from eating the universe. So far, just another day in the office for the Doctor. But there are several time loops involved, so there's a sense in which the adventure is happening over and over again forever — and if the Doctor and his allies slip up even once, it's goodbye universe.
    "Yes," said the baby, opening its eyes. "The Doctor succeeded. This time."
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: Essentially comes up in the novel Psi-Ence Fiction, as the resolution of the plot involves the destruction of the timeline that the Doctor was visiting; technically everyone lives because the chain of events the Doctor witnessed was erased to protect the wider multiverse, but they never experienced that specific version of history, and the Doctor and Leela will forget what happened the next time they step out of the TARDIS.
  • Face Death with Dignity: The Sixth Doctor accepts his fate in Spiral Scratch:
    Don't cry, Mel. It was my time. Well, maybe not, but it was my time to give. To donate. I've had a good innings you know, seen and done a lot. Can't complain this time. Don't feel cheated.
  • Famous Last Words: Spiral Scratch gives the Sixth Doctor's last words as "Local...tractor beam". Still more dignified than "Carrot juice?"
  • Fate Worse than Death: Palace of the Red Sun gives this to Glavis Judd and Dexel Dynes when the Doctor sets things up so that they are sent over five centuries into the future; Dynes is relegated to making documentaries when he considers himself an active news reporter, and Judd is sent to an insane asylum filled people who think they're him, last shown starting to doubt his own identity.
  • Flaming Meteor: In City at World's End, the moon of the planet Sarath is set into a descending orbit after it is struck by a meteor, with serious geological implications even before it strikes the planet; by the time the TARDIS arrives, there is just over a month before the moon will hit and destroy all life on Sarath
  • Fix Fic:
    • Salvation smooths over the lumps in the introduction of Dodo, who was added to the series at short notice and written inconsistently for her first few episodes, and lays groundwork for the departure of Steven, which on-screen seemed abrupt and unmotivated.
    • Spiral Scratch turns the Doctor's Bridge Drop in "Time and the Rani" into a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Foil: The Suns of Caresh features the Third Doctor confronting the Time Lord Roche, who also has an interest in interfering with other planets to save them from imminent threats, but decides to prioritise saving certain lives or civilisations at the cost of endangering other, ‘lesser’ lives where the Doctor would always try to save everyone.
  • For the Evulz: Obviously comes up for a few of the Doctor’s villains, but a particular example occurs in the Doctor’s encounters with the Players, with the Second and Sixth Doctors each denouncing the Players’ claims to be ‘masters of Time’ by calling them spoiled children who manipulate history for nothing more than their own amusement, while the Players see nothing wrong with turning all of Earth into their own personal battlefield to liven up their dull immortality.
  • Friend to All Children: Par for the course with the Doctor. Grave Matter has a scene where the Sixth Doctor entertains some local schoolchildren with card tricks.
  • A God Am I: Defied; The Quantum Archangel sees the Sixth Doctor temporarily ascend to a god-like state using the last dregs of a source of cosmic energy, but he rejects the idea that he is worthy of this power and only uses it long enough to convince the titular Quantum Archangel to abandon her own power.
  • The Greys: The Nedenah in The Devil Goblins From Neptune. Sha'ol the Tzun in Mission: Impractical.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Festival of Death features a race with this as their hat; after they die, they loop around back to the start and remember exactly how they screwed up. Because everybody has it, they're not limited to fixing the errors of a single day, or a single lifetime: they can adjust the course of their entire history. (If fixing a screw-up requires action more than one lifetime ago, a message can be passed back by a newborn child telling an adult, who waits to be reborn then passes the message on in the same way.) Fortunately for everyone else they're not interested in using their abilities to conquer other planets, or anything petty like that; the messages that have been passed back from the end of their history have given them something far more important to worry about.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Master, during a John Woo-esque fight scene in Face of the Enemy.
  • Historical Domain Character:
    • Various people associated with the Salem witch trials in The Witch Hunters.
    • Various people associated with the English Civil War in The Roundheads.
    • Rasputin the Mad Monk et al. in Wages of Sin.
    • Queen Victoria in Empire of Death (and a briefer appearance in Imperial Moon).
    • Winston Churchill in Players and Adolf Hitler in The Shadow in the Glass
  • Homeworld Evacuation: Essentially the case in City at World's End; Sarath is all-but-explicitly identified as a human colony that lost all records of its origin and had to start its space program from scratch, with the result that, by the time of the novel's events, they can only build a rocket capable of evacuating the inhabitants of the city of Arkhaven, which all evidence suggests is the last surviving city on the planet, and even their research is not able to create an engine large enough to power the ship in question.
  • Identical Grandson: The Eleventh Tiger teases the idea that Ian Chesterton has crossed his own time stream as the amnesiac Major Chesterton, before revealing the Major is actually Ian's Identical Great-Great-Grandfather.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Essentially the reason the Vrall are exposed in Imperial Moon; they claimed to take knowledge of English via a telepathic download from Turlough, but they use terms such as 'mechanical servants' that would actually be used by an educated man from the Victorian era, allowing the Doctor to deduce that they actually took knowledge of English from eating the brains of Sub-Lieutenant Granby and were far more dangerous than they appeared.
    • Suggested in the novels Heart of TARDIS and Wolfsbane, where the younger Doctors are apparently ignorant of their future selves' involvement in the current crisis, and the Eighth Doctor is even more ignorant than the Fourth in Wolfsbane due to his current amnesia.
  • Immune to Mind Control: A minor character whose car the Master steals in the novel Face of the Enemy can't be hypnotised. So the Master kills him instead.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: One of the characters in Corpse Marker, by Chris Boucher, previously appeared in his Blake's 7 episode "Weapon".
  • Interquel: Nearly every Past Doctor novel is set between two episodes of the TV series, with the exception of Fear Itself (published after the Eighth Doctor Adventures wrapped up, and set between two earlier EDAs) and possibly also of The Infinity Doctors (deliberately ambiguous as to placement). A sizeable number of Sixth Doctor novels and audios (basically everything where he isn't travelling with Peri) are set in the increasingly-large gap between his trial and his regeneration. Most of the Seventh Doctor novels are set in the long gap between the last episode of the ongoing series and the 1996 TV movie.
    • Where this puts them in respect to the NAs, set within the same gap, is up for debate, since the BBC's policy was to neither confirm nor deny the Virgin novels' canon status, and certainly not to provide official guidance on how they fitted into the continuity (although the PDA Millennium Shock is an explicit sequel to MA novel System Shock).
      • Having said that, the epilogue to Algebra of Ice has the Doctor say that, on his most recent visit to Earth, "I visited your Moon. Also my own mind", which must mean Timewyrm: Revelation, and means the main story takes place before the NAs.
    • The novel Wolfsbane is also partly set during the time of the Eighth Doctor Adventures, as it features the Fourth and Eighth Doctors dealing with two different ends of a crisis, the Eighth Doctor facing a threat in November 1936 during his amnesic exile on Earth while the Fourth Doctor ties up the loose ends a month later.
  • Landmarking the Hidden Base: Canary Wharf is the headquarters of the British time travelling military in an alternate 2006 visited by the First Doctor in The Time Travellers.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The fate of Koel Paddox in Festival of Death, after he wipes out an entire species in an attempt to recreate their ability to resurrect at the beginning of their lives with memories of how the last one went, in the hope of doing this himself to change his own past. He succeeds, but because he isn't one of this species, he is unable to change anything, only watch from inside his own mind as he lives all the tragedies and atrocities of his life over again. And again. And again...
  • Last of His Kind: Sha'ol in Mission: Impractical.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: On p229 (of 280) in the deeply Mind Screw-y The Infinity Doctors, the Doctor, confronted with a book of infinite pages, says:
    "The best thing about a book is that you can always tell when you're getting to the end. No matter how tricky the situation the hero's in, you hold the book in your hand and say 'Hang on, I'm two hundred and twenty-nine pages in, with only another fifty-one to go. It started slow, but it's building to a climax.'"
  • Leave Behind a Pistol: The Devil Goblins From Neptune features a subversion; a spy who's been acting to undermine UNIT has discovered that his superiors have betrayed him, and has been captured and tortured by them as a result when he tried to defect. Later, one of his minders appears to leave a gun behind to end the spy's misery; he tries to, only to learn it's not loaded. His former boss then enters the room and bluntly tells him that he'll be the one to decide when it ends for him.
  • Man in the Iron Mask: The central character in Dreams of Empire.
  • Mechanical Evolution: Comes up twice in Palace of the Red Sun, when Green-8 and Oralissa develop sentience after being left online for so long; the process that triggered sentience in such an individual case is unique, but the Doctor notes that it's far from impossible in these circumstances.
  • Millennium Bug: Millennium Shock. Of course, in this case, there are aliens involved.
  • Mirror Universe: Face of the Enemy, which returns to the mirror 'verse from "Inferno".
  • Multiple-Choice Past: In The Infinity Doctors, the Doctor meets four Knights at the end of the universe, who don't remember their pasts but who each have a different theory as to who they are: the last surviving Thals; a group of human/Gallifreyan hybrids; the only People of the Worldsphere who didn't Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence; or the High Evolutionaries. Since a couple of these theories involve Alternate Continuities to the BBC books, this may be interpreted to give the entire Whoniverse a Multiple-Choice Past.
  • Mythology Gag: In Face of the Enemy, the mirrorverse Master was stranded on Earth when the Great Intelligence destroyed his TARDIS, leaving only the console. This was considered as an idea for how the Third Doctor would be exiled to Earth in Spearhead from Space, but subsequently rejected.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Sixth Doctor almost has a breakdown in The Quantum Archangel when his interference accidentally escalates a minor conflict he was trying to prevent into a global nuclear holocaust, with the failure being so great that Mel nearly decides to leave him; the entire conflict is erased at the conclusion of the novel as a few higher-dimensional beings decided that they owe the Doctor a favour, but he has to acknowledge that it still happened even if it didn’t any more.
  • Never My Fault:
    • An interesting example of this, as Heart of TARDIS sees the Second Doctor claim that his difficulties in piloting the TARDIS are actually the result of security protocols that inhibit a thief’s ability to control a stolen TARDIS rather than just that he doesn’t know what he’s doing (although the evidence suggests that he was at least exaggerating the impact these protocols have on his ability to control the ship).
    • In Festival of Death, Rochfort, captain of the Cerberus, takes this to a particularly twisted extent; when the Cerberus is caught in a closing hyperspace tunnel, ship's computer ERIC told Rochfort to let him stop the ship, but Rochfort kept insisting that they could make it up until the moment they crashed into the now-sealed tunnel exit, and subsequently tells ERIC that he should have overridden Rochfort's orders even though ERIC's programming specifically forbids him from doing such a thing. The resulting conflict between what ERIC is being told he should have done and what he was actually capable of doing drives him into a suicidal depression that lasts for almost two centuries, while Rochfort's attempt to escape responsibility sees him possessed and essentially killed by an other-dimensional entity of pure death.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • The Final Sanction sees the Second Doctor almost alter history so that the planet Ockara and the ruthless Selachian natives aren’t destroyed in 2204, to the point that a group of surviving Selachians nearly destroy Earth in retaliation.
    • In Tomb of Valdemar, the Fourth Doctor makes the situation worse when he helps Magus Paul Neville ‘wake up’ an ancient palace because he assumed Neville had no way to control its more dangerous resources.
    • In Loving the Alien, after receiving a ‘warning’ of the future in the form of discovering the corpse of Ace from a point in her not-too-distant future, the Seventh Doctor attempts to prevent Ace’s death by going to the time and place where her dead body will be discovered, and then leaves her alone without warning her about what he’s trying to accomplish; leads into a Heroic BSoD when her body is discovered later.
  • Rogues Gallery: Jennifer Richards, Josh Randall, Koel Paddox, Lady Hakai, Living Ice, the Repulsion, Sandminer robots, SASV 1, & Voracians.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The British Prime Minister Terry Brooks in Millennium Shock is a caricature of Tony Blair.
  • "Noah's Story" Arc: City at World's End looks at the last surviving city of the planet Sarath as it attempts to construct a vast spaceship to take its population to the neighbouring planet Mirath before Sarath's moon crashes into the planet and destroys it. In the end, construction issues and internal conflicts mean that only just over a thousand survivors can make it to Mirath out of a population of over eighty thousand.
  • Officer O'Hara: Illegal Alien, which transposes a number of American hardboiled detective tropes to Britain, plays with it by having a Northern Irish Chief Inspector in the Met, who says things like "Saints preserve us", but also suspects all Irish-Americans of being IRA sympathisers.
  • Official Couple: Ian and Barbara in... pretty much every novel featuring them. Byzantium! establishes that they married sometime after returning to 1966.
  • Old Master: Particularly invoked in The Eleventh Tiger, when the First Doctor is played in charge of a Chinese school in 1865 and proves himself in combat against another former student.
  • Ominous Message from the Future: Essentially comes up in Imperial Moon; the whole plot starts because the Doctor and Turlough receive a diary in the TARDIS's Time Safe, detailing an expedition to the Moon by the British Imperial Space Fleet in 1878, and learn after reading it that they will be involved in the expedition.
  • Origins Episode: Business Unusual finally explains how Mel first met the Doctor.
  • Overly Long Name:
    • Lady Serenadellatrovella in World Game.
    • Inverted in Heart of TARDIS, where there's a Time Lord with the overly short name of Wblk.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In World Game, the Second Doctor disguises himself as Napoleon to take important messages through enemy lines on behalf of the Duke of Wellington to avert the interference of the time-manipulating Players. While the Duke and his immediate allies acknowledge that the Doctor only bears a slight resemblance to Napoleon, with the right clothes the Doctor makes a convincing enough Napoleon to the average Frenchman who would never come that close to his Emperor but only see him at a distance.
  • Playful Hacker: Bob Salmon in Blue Box.
  • Present Tense Narrative: Tomb of Valdemar.
  • Pure Is Not Good: In The Algebra of Ice, the Doctor is somewhat impressed by Brett's commitment to being a total Omnicidal Maniac.
    Even pure darkness was, after all, pure.
  • Race Against the Clock: When the TARDIS arrives on Sarath in City at World's End, the Doctor soon establishes that he has just over a month to replace the TARDIS key and help the natives get their ship in working order before the decaying moon crashes into Sarath; the situation escalates when the moon fractures in advance of the predicted schedule, leaving them with eight hours to get everything together and off the planet.
  • Rasputinian Death: The original, in Wages of Sin, which turns out to have been partly down to a time-traveller trying to keep Rasputin alive by, for instance, surreptitiously disposing of the poison before Rasputin consumed it.
  • Retcon: Discussed and deconstructed by the Doctor and the Big Bad in The Infinity Doctors.
  • Robotic Reveal: Prion in Dreams of Empire is actually an android built to appear human. His under-chassis is based on the VETAC troopers that assault Santespri.
    • Technically in Palace of the Red Sun, when it is revealed that the 'Lords' are actually just holographic projections.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: The Devil Goblins From Neptune
  • Shout-Out:
    • The King of Terror has a character from Southern California mention Dingoes Ate my Baby, Oz's band in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as one of his favorite bands.
    • The Infinity Doctors shows a TARDIS in its true/default state: a smooth featureless obelisk. This might be a reference to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, where this is the original form of the time machine before it's turned into a phone booth. This might be a coincidence, but considering the author is Lance Parkin, probably not.
    • World Game has Wellesley (the Duke of Wellington) musing on the field commission he's just given Sergeant Sharpe.
  • Significant Anagram: SeneNet in Business Unusual.
  • Space Romans: In Dreams of Empire, the Doctor encounters the Haddron Republic which is essentially, "What if Caesar crossed the Rubicon unsuccessfully?" IN SPACE!
  • Spanner in the Works: In Corpse Marker, an elaborate Batman Gambit is in progress when the Doctor and Leela arrive. Because the gambit didn't account for their presence (and another complicating factor that shows up later), to the point that the man who created it knew of the Doctor and Leela's existence but thought they were just a group hallucination, it gradually falls apart through the course of the book.
  • Splatter Horror: Rags, in which a demonically-possessed undead punk rock group spread a Hate Plague wherever they play, with gruesome results. One of the darkest works ever to be produced under the Who banner in any medium.
  • Spotting the Thread: The Fifth Doctor displays this particularly keenly in Imperial Moon, although it takes him nearly falling into a coma from oxygen starvation to put the pieces together and realise the full extent of what he’s up against.
  • Status Cell Phone: Mel's dad from Business Unusual is a businessman who's extremely proud of his mobile phone. The Doctor, who knows that in ten years they'll be a fraction of the size and a lot more common, isn't impressed.
  • Steampunk: Suggested in Imperial Moon; while the propulsion system for the spaceships created for the British Imperial Spacefleet are indirectly inspired by alien influence, the Doctor notes that Victorian Britain could have built a structurally sound spaceship on their own, but would have had no way to get that ship into the air.
  • Stronger Than They Look: In Ten Little Aliens, the First Doctor is able to telepathically hold back a neural pulse capable of immobilising himself and seven other people with only the power of his mind, despite the fact that he is drawing ever closer to the moment when he will regenerate for the first time.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In Grave Matter, the Doctor is trapped in a Big Scary House with a character who is slowly being taken over by microscopic aliens. Since she is possessed, she is unable to overtly help the Doctor, but she discovers that she is able to obviously mislead him. They are thus able to escape, due to her saying things like: "There is not, I repeat NOT, a secret passageway hidden behind that bookshelf."
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: "Inspector LeMaitre" in Last of the Gaderene and "Gospodar" in The Quantum Archangel as aliases adopted by the Master; the Doctor explicitly wonders in Archangel if the Master's running out of languages.
  • Time-Travel Tense Trouble: Imperial Moon explicitly features the Fifth Doctor regretting that the English language doesn't have the right tenses for time travel, when he says "We will have been here before" after the TARDIS has just materialised on the Moon in the twenty-first century due to crossing their own temporal wake of a journey they will make to the Moon in 1878 in the TARDIS's own personal future.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball:
    • The novel Asylum sees the Fourth Doctor- estimated to be from a point between “The Deadly Assassin” and “The Face of Evil”- meeting Nyssa long after she parted company with the Fifth Doctor (“Terminus”), the novel concluding with both aware that the Doctor will now have to be sure of the younger Nyssa’s safety when she becomes his companion in his future.
    • Warmonger forces the Fifth Doctor to spend a year leading a military campaign against Morbius to set up the events that will lead to Morbius being defeated and his brain extracted so that it can be destroyed by the Fourth Doctor (“The Brain of Morbius”).
  • Trope Codifier: Festival Of Death codified the timey-wimey Temporal Paradox plot style that would later become commonplace in the TV series (The Doctor arrives on a space station, learns he's going to die saving it from destruction, goes back in time by a day to find out what he did, has to go back again to do everything for the first time while avoiding the second version...).
  • Tuckerization: Business Unusual features a character named after real-life American fan Trey Korte.
  • The Tunguska Event: The Doctor takes his companions to watch (from a safe distance) in Wages of Sin.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Blue Box is an In-Universe book by Intrepid Reporter Chick Peters. While some of what he says about events he wasn't present for is speculative, none of it seems to be exactly inaccurate ... except that most of the alien stuff is being kept from him and he refuses to accept the little he's told. So for example, he thinks of the Doctor as an English hippie who has some kind of boat.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Instruments of Darkness mentions that the Sixth Doctor has some telepathic potential, but he doesn’t use it very often due to his lack of training, with another telepath musing that it’s a shame he hasn’t explored this trait.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In The Eleventh Tiger, while the Doctor and his companions are staying at a 19th century gongfu school (Note that Ian and Barbara are from ten years before the song came out, but the Doctor clearly recognises the accidental reference):
    [Ian:] "One minute those kids are just running around chaotically, but the next minute they're all focused, and everyone's kung-fu fighting."
    "Those kids are as fast as lightning," Barbara added.
    The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Are they indeed? And was it, perchance, dear boy, a little bit frightening? Hmm?"

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