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Past Doctor Adventures

The Past Doctor Adventures (sometimes known by the abbreviation PDA or PDAs) were a series of spin-off novels based on the long running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who and published under the BBC Books imprint. For most of their existence, they were published side-by-side with the Eighth Doctor Adventures. The novels regularly featured the First through Seventh Doctors. The Infinity Doctors had an ambiguous place in continuity and featured an unidentified incarnation of the Doctor. The Eighth Doctor co-starred with the Fourth Doctor in one novel (Wolfsbane) and, after the Eighth Doctor Adventures had ceased publication, a novel (Fear Itself) featuring the Eighth Doctor and set between two earlier Eighth Doctor Adventures (EarthWorld and Vanishing Point) was published within the Past Doctor series.

Publication historyEdit

Between 1991 and 1997, Virgin Publishing produced successful spin-off novels under the New Adventures and Missing Adventures ranges. However, following the Doctor Who television movie in 1996, the BBC did not renew Virgin Publishing's license to continue publishing Doctor Who material. Instead, they opted to publish their own range beginning in 1997 with The Devil Goblins from Neptune by Martin Day and Keith Topping. The range continued to be published through to 2005.

Virgin had distinguished the New and Missing Adventures with different cover designs. BBC Books, however, did not differentiate their novels featuring the current and past Doctors in this way, although they were listed separately within the books. Fans, however, continued to distinguish the ongoing story of the Eighth Doctor from the more stand-alone adventures of past Doctors.

Despite moving to the BBC, the writers (many of whom wrote for the Virgin series) have broadly attempted to maintain continuity with the New and Missing Adventures and many elements from these series have appeared in the Past Doctor Adventures (which replaced the Missing Adventures). Indeed, one of the novels — Millennium Shock by Justin Richards — was a direct sequel to System Shock, a Missing Adventure published by Virgin. Another notable release was Scream of the Shalka, a novelisation of the webcast of the same title and the only release in the Past Doctor range that did not feature an "official" incarnation of the Doctor. The Infinity Doctors, written by Lance Parkin, featured an unidentified Doctor.

In addition to the Past Doctor Adventures and the Eighth Doctor Adventures, the BBC also published three short story collections under the title of Short Trips, which feature all eight (at the time of publication) Doctors. These were also inherited from Virgin, a version of their Decalog short story collections, and when the BBC ceased publishing them, a licence to continue was sought by Big Finish Productions, who continued to publish their own range of Short Trips collections until 2009.

The range has ceased publication. In the spring of 2005, BBC Books began publishing a series of hardcover books, the New Series Adventures. The BBC Past Doctor paperback series continued for the remainder of 2005, but no titles were announced after Andrew Cartmel's Atom Bomb Blues, which was released in November 2005. In a talk in July 2006, commissioning editor Justin Richards said that BBC Books have plans for the future of the Past Doctor Adventures, but that decisions had not yet been taken. (This is in the context of the BBC Books imprint being taken over by Random House and consequent managerial uncertainties.)[1]

Beginning in 2012, hardback books featuring past Doctors are being published, though at a much reduced rate compared with the pre-2005 output. The books are longer, in a larger format, and written by (or in once case, adapted from earlier work by) prominent science fiction authors. As of the mid-2014, the titles published are Shada by Gareth Roberts (a novelisation of the unbroadcast television story by Douglas Adams), The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter, Harvest of Time by Alastair Reynolds and Engines of War by George Mann.

List of Past Doctor AdventuresEdit

Including books featuring two of the Doctors, the numbers of books each appears in are as follows: Fourth and Seventh Doctors, 13 books each; Second and Third Doctors, 12 books each; Sixth Doctor, 11 books; Fifth Doctor, 10 books; First Doctor, 8 books; and Eighth Doctor, 2 books.

# Title Author(s) Doctor Featuring Published
1 The Devil Goblins from Neptune Martin Day and Keith Topping 3rd Liz, UNIT June 1997
2 The Murder Game Steve Lyons 2nd Ben and Polly July 1997
3 The Ultimate Treasure Christopher Bulis 5th Peri August 1997
4 Business Unusual Gary Russell 6th Mel and The Brigadier September 1997
5 Illegal Alien Mike Tucker and Robert Perry 7th Ace October 1997
6 The Roundheads Mark Gatiss 2nd Ben, Polly and Jamie November 1997
7 The Face of the Enemy David A. McIntee 3rd The Master, UNIT, The Brigadier,
Ian, Barbara, and Harry
January 1998
8 Eye of Heaven Jim Mortimore 4th Leela February 1998
9 The Witch Hunters Steve Lyons 1st Susan, Ian and Barbara March 1998
10 The Hollow Men Martin Day and Keith Topping 7th Ace 6 April 1998
11 Catastrophea Terrance Dicks 3rd Jo May 1998
12 Mission: Impractical David A. McIntee 6th Frobisher June 1998
13 Zeta Major Simon Messingham 5th Tegan and Nyssa July 1998
14 Dreams of Empire Justin Richards 2nd Jamie and Victoria August 1998
15 Last Man Running Chris Boucher 4th Leela September 1998
16 Matrix Mike Tucker and Robert Perry 7th Ace October 1998
17 The Infinity Doctors Lance Parkin Unspecified None November 1998
18 Salvation Steve Lyons 1st Steven and Dodo January 1999
19 The Wages of Sin David A. McIntee 3rd Jo and Liz February 1999
20 Deep Blue Mark Morris 5th Tegan, Turlough and UNIT March 1999
21 Players Terrance Dicks 6th and 2nd1 Peri April 1999
22 Millennium Shock Justin Richards 4th Harry May 1999
23 Storm Harvest Mike Tucker and Robert Perry 7th Ace June 1999
24 The Final Sanction Steve Lyons 2nd Jamie and Zoe July 1999
25 City at World's End Christopher Bulis 1st Ian, Barbara and Susan September 1999
26 Divided Loyalties Gary Russell 5th Adric, Nyssa and Tegan October 1999
27 Corpse Marker Chris Boucher 4th Leela November 1999
28 Last of the Gaderene Mark Gatiss 3rd Jo and UNIT January 2000
29 Tomb of Valdemar Simon Messingham 4th Romana I and K-9 February 2000
30 Verdigris Paul Magrs 3rd Jo 3 April 2000
31 Grave Matter Justin Richards 6th Peri May 2000
32 Heart of TARDIS Dave Stone 2nd and 4th2 Jamie, Victoria and Romana I2 June 2000
33 Prime Time Mike Tucker 7th Ace July 2000
34 Imperial Moon Christopher Bulis 5th Turlough and Kamelion August 2000
35 Festival of Death Jonathan Morris 4th Romana II and K-9 September 2000
36 Independence Day Peter Darvill-Evans 2nd and 7th3 Jamie and Ace3 October 2000
37 The King of Terror Keith Topping 5th Tegan, Turlough and The Brigadier November 2000
38 The Quantum Archangel Craig Hinton 6th Mel January 2001
39 Bunker Soldiers Martin Day 1st Steven and Dodo February 2001
40 Rags Mick Lewis 3rd Jo and UNIT March 2001
41 The Shadow in the Glass Justin Richards and Stephen Cole 6th The Brigadier 2 April 2001
42 Asylum Peter Darvill-Evans 4th Nyssa May 2001
43 Superior Beings Nick Walters 5th Peri June 2001
44 Byzantium! Keith Topping 1st Ian, Barbara and Vicki July 2001
45 Bullet Time David A. McIntee 7th Sarah Jane Smith August 2001
46 Psi-ence Fiction Chris Boucher 4th Leela September 2001
47 Dying in the Sun Jon de Burgh Miller 2nd Ben and Polly October 2001
48 Instruments of Darkness Gary Russell 6th Mel and Evelyn Smythe November 2001
49 Relative Dementias Mark Michalowski 7th Ace January 2002
50 Drift Simon A. Forward 4th Leela February 2002
51 Palace of the Red Sun Christopher Bulis 6th Peri March 2002
52 Amorality Tale David Bishop 3rd Sarah April 2002
53 Warmonger Terrance Dicks 5th Peri May 2002
54 Ten Little Aliens Stephen Cole 1st Ben and Polly June 2002
55 Combat Rock Mick Lewis 2nd Jamie and Victoria July 2002
56 The Suns of Caresh Paul Saint 3rd Jo August 2002
57 Heritage Dale Smith 7th Ace October 2002
58 Fear of the Dark Trevor Baxendale 5th Tegan and Nyssa December 2002
59 Blue Box Kate Orman 6th Peri March 2003
60 Loving the Alien Mike Tucker and Robert Perry 7th Ace May 2003
61 The Colony of Lies Colin Brake 2nd and 7th4 Jamie, Zoe and Ace4 July 2003
62 Wolfsbane Jacqueline Rayner 4th and 8th5 Harry and Sarah5 September 2003
63 Deadly Reunion Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts 3rd Jo and UNIT November 2003
64 Scream of the Shalka Paul Cornell Unofficial 9th Doctor Alison, The Master February 2004
65 Empire of Death David Bishop 5th Nyssa March 2004
66 The Eleventh Tiger David A. McIntee 1st Ian, Barbara and Vicki May 2004
67 Synthespians™ Craig Hinton 6th Peri July 2004
68 The Algebra of Ice Lloyd Rose 7th Ace September 2004
69 The Indestructible Man Simon Messingham 2nd Jamie and Zoe November 2004
70 Match of the Day Chris Boucher 4th Leela February 2005
71 Island of Death Barry Letts 3rd Sarah July 2005
72 Spiral Scratch Gary Russell 6th Mel August 2005
73 Fear Itself Nick Wallace 8th Fitz and Anji September 2005
74 World Game Terrance Dicks 2nd Lady Serena October 2005
75 The Time Travellers Simon Guerrier 1st Susan, Ian and Barbara 10 November 2005
76 Atom Bomb Blues Andrew Cartmel 7th Ace December 2005


  1. ^ Via the TARDIS thought scanner, the Sixth Doctor shows Peri a six-chapter flashback to his second incarnation's encounter with Winston Churchill and the Players.
  2. ^ Although both Doctors play crucial roles in the plot, and are even briefly simultaneously present in the TARDIS console room, the Second is unaware of the Fourth's presence; the Second Doctor unintentionally materializes in a dimensional anomaly while tinkering with the TARDIS, his presence causing the anomaly to become more unstable and the TARDIS losing its link to the interior dimensions, and the Time Lords are forced to make arrangements for the Fourth Doctor to travel to his past self's ship and restore its connection to the exterior, the Fourth Doctor and Romana hiding under the console at the opposite side from the younger Doctor and his companions after bringing interior and exterior back into alignment.
  3. ^ The Second Doctor and Jamie appear briefly at the beginning of the novel visiting the planet Mendeb Two, but do not interact with the Seventh Doctor or Ace; their actions during this visit prompt the Seventh Doctor to return.
  4. ^ The Seventh Doctor and Ace appear at the beginning and the conclusion of the novel, but Ace never meets the past Doctor and companions, and the Seventh's only contact with his other self occurs in an artificial reality simulation when the Second Doctor is attempting to access a ship's computer, the future Doctor providing his younger self with some discreet advice on how to deal with the current situation.
  5. ^ Although both Doctors play important roles in solving the crisis, their involvement takes place a month apart, with the Eighth Doctor and Harry Sullivan tackling the problem in November while the Fourth Doctor and Sarah deal with the aftermath in December. Also, Harry is the only person to interact with both Doctors (although the Fourth Doctor and Sarah learn of the Eighth's presence, neither of them appear to realise that he is the Doctor) to be fully aware of the Doctor's nature as an alien time traveller, and the Eighth's current state of amnesia — in the aftermath of The Ancestor Cell — prevents either the Eighth Doctor or Harry from recognising each other.

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