“Someone is tampering with the fabric of the human cell, “ The Doctor said darkly, “perverting its secrets to his own dark purposes.”
Sarah Jane wants to meet her fellow journalist Rudyard Kipling, and The Doctor sets the co-ordinates for England, Earth, in the Victorian Age. As usual, the TARDIS materialises in not quite the right place, and the time travellers find themselves pursued across Devon moorland by a huge feral hound.
Children have gone missing; at the local boarding school, the young Rudyard Kipling has set up search parties. Lights have been seen beneath the waters of the bay, and fishermen have been pulled from their boats and mutilated. Graves have been robbed of their corpses. Something is going on, and Arthur Conan Doyle, the ship’s doctor from a recently berthed arctic whaler, is determined to investigate.
The Doctor and Doyle join forces to uncover a macabre scheme to interfere with human evolution – and both Sarah Jane and Kipling face a terrifying transmogrification.
- Evolution was the second novel in the Virgin Missing Adventures series. It was written by John Peel. It featured the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.
- The outfit The Doctor is seen wearing on the cover of this story is also the same one he will wear in The Talons of Weng Chiang.
- A crashed Rutan ship is key to the back-story. In the personal timeline of The Doctor, Evolution takes place before the television story Horror of Fang Rock, which is also about events set in motion by a Rutan crashing in an isolated part of the English coast.
- Queen Victoria is said to have secret agents who investigate unusual occurrences. This story was written twelve years before the television episode Tooth and Claw, so any intentional reference to the Torchwood Institute is impossible.
- Sarah refers to the planet Karn and the encounter with Morbius. (The Brain of Morbius)
- The Doctor mentions Metebelis III and Argolis. (Planet of the Spiders, The Leisure Hive)
- Sarah compares the moors to Karn and observes the effect that adventure has had on The Doctor’s mood. (The Brain of Morbius)
- Sarah refers to her first trip in the TARDIS to 13th century England and her encounter with Sutekh in 1911. (The Time Warrior, Pyramids of Mars)