The conclusion of the Timewyrm story arc and the first professional Doctor Who work by Paul Cornell.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: The Doctor dances with Death. Literally.
- Arbitrary Scepticism: When Paul questions the idea of an alien the Doctor replies "You're on the moon inside a sentient church, waiting to see if you have any part to play in the rescue of a woman's soul from the clutches of a near-omnipotent being. Broaden your mind."
- Ascended Fanfic: The novel is a substantially expanded and revised version of a fanfic Cornell wrote and published in a fanzine, which originally featured the Fifth Doctor and Tegan.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Half of the book takes place inside the Doctor's mind, although at first we don't realize it (the presence of the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Doctor is a constant series of hints though). The TARDIS even manages to materialize there!
- Big Bad: The Timewyrm to Chad Boyle and Lieutenant Hemmings.
- Body Horror: When the Timewyrm bursts out of the skin of Hemmings and Boyle.
- Calling the Old Man Out: The Doctor is Ace's father figure, after all, but a rather toxic and manipulative one at that.
- Eldritch Location: Many of those.
- I Have Many Names: The Timewyrm. It was originally called Qakata, to the ancients of Earth it was Hel and to the Daleks she is Golyan Ak Tana, the twister of paths.
- Genius Loci: Saul the living Church.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Ace gets pulled into the Seventh Doctor's psyche by the Timewyrm.
- Literary Allusion Title: To the Book of Revelation.
- Raise Him Right This Time: At the end of the novel, the Timewyrm is trapped in the body of a baby, which the Doctor gives to a childless couple in Cheldon Boniface to raise with a proper sense of right and wrong.
- Refusing Paradise: Following the Doctor's final confrontation with the Timewyrm, he has the opportunity to be one with the universe or return to the physical world. He opts to return.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: The Timewyrm uses Chad to murder Ace as a child and then nukes the town of Cheldon Bonniface. Don't worry, though: the Doctor resets the timeline to its proper state just like he did in Timewyrm: Exodus and everybody's happier.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Ace does this many times to the Doctor over the course of the book, and even the Timewyrm and his previous incarnations and victims (dead companions included) join in. It seems to work, and the Doctor actually repents and makes peace with his inner demons, promising Ace not to involve her in his games anymore.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: from the first pages of the book it's a race against time for the Doctor and Ace (or rather, a race against the Timewyrm), and every step forward they make, they seem to be one step away from victory...yet they are immediately put back to square one once again, even worse for wear than before. The Doctor eventually wins by refusing to play games anymore, and lets the Timewyrm consume him...only to deposit the consciousness of the Timewyrm from his mind into that of a cerebrally inert newborn girl.