The Romans


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The Romans


BOOK DETAILS

Pages 128
ISBN 0-426-20288-0
Publication Date 17 September 1987

SYNOPSIS

The TARDIS crew members have taken a break from their adventures and are enjoying a well-deserved rest in a luxury villa on the outskirts of Imperial Rome.

But in the gory grandeur that is Rome, things don’t stay quiet for long. If the time-travellers can save themselves from being sold as slaves, assassinated by classical hit-men, poisoned by the evil Locusta, thrown to the leditions, maimed in the arena and drowned in a shipwreck, they still have to face the diabolical might of the mad Emperor Nero.

As if that isn’t enough, they also discover that, although Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was burnt down in considerably less time…

NOTES

CHAPTER TITLES

  1. Prologue: Epistle to The Keeper of the Imperial Archives, Rome
  2. Document I: First Extract from the Journal of Ian Chesterton
  3. Document II: First Extract from The Doctor’s Diary
  4. Document III: First Letter from Legionary (Second Class) Ascaris
  5. Document IV: Second Extract from The Doctor’s Diary
  6. Document V: Second Extract from the Journal of Ian Chesterton
  7. Document VI: Second Letter from Legionary (Second Class) Ascaris
  8. Document VII: Third Extract from The Doctor’s Diary
  9. Document VIII: Third Letter from Legionary (Second Class) Ascaris
  10. Document IX: Third Extract from the Journal of Ian Chesterton
  11. Document X: Fourth Extract from The Doctor’s Diary
  12. Document XI: First Extract from the Commonplace Book of Poppea Sabina
  13. Document XII: Fourth Extract from the Journal of Ian Chesterton
  14. Document XIII: First Selection of Jottings from Nero’s Scrapbook – An Ode to Barbara
  15. Document XIV: Fourth Letter from Legionary (Second Class) Ascaris
  16. Document XV: Fifth Extract from The Doctor’s Diary
  17. Document XVI: Fifth Extract from the Journal of Ian Chesterton
  18. Document XVII: Second Extract from the Commonplace Book of Poppea Sabina
  19. Document XVIII: A Poisoner Remembers (Extract from The Auto of Locusts)
  20. Document XIX: Letter from Barbara Wright
  21. Document XX: Second Selection of Jottings from Nero’s Scrapbook
  22. Document XXI: Sixth Extract from the Journal of Ian Chesterton
  23. Document XXII: Third Extract from the Commonplace Book of Poppea Sabina
  24. Document XXIII: Fifth Letter from Legionary (Second Class) Ascaris
  25. Document XXIV: Sixth Extract from The Doctor’s Diary
  26. Document XXV: Seventh Extract from the Journal of Ian Chesterton
  27. Document XXVI: Seventh Extract from The Doctor’s Diary
  28. Document XXVII: Sixth Letter from Legionary (Second Class) Ascaris
  29. Document XXVIII: Third Selection of Jottings from Nero’s Scrapbook
  30. Document XXIX: Eighth Extract from The Doctor’s Diary
  31. Epilogue: A Second Epistle to The Keeper of the Imperial Archives, Rome

DEVIATIONS FROM THE TELEVISED STORY

  • Rather than write a straightforward narrative, Cotton chose to write this novelisation in the form of letters and journal entries.
  • Ascaris continues to appear in the second half of the story, accidentally killing the Centuredition, being pursued into the arena by leditions unwittingly unleashed by The Doctor during Ian and Delos‘ gladiatorial fight, and fleeing Rome during the Great Fire, with the epilogue stating he is currently working on Hadrian’s Wall and could be blamed for the fire. The novelisation also makes him a legeditionary first class and Locusta‘s son.
  • Other characters have their parts reduced: Sevcheria disappears after recapturing Ian and Delos in Rome, Locusta‘s death is omitted, Delos departs after the gladiatorial fight and Tavius only meets The Doctor briefly, with his status as a Christian and conspirator against Nero only established in the epilogue.
  • The Doctor encounters Barbara at the palace and bustles her and Ian away from the scene when Nero and Poppaea are distracted by the leditions he released earlier, before accidentally starting the fire himself by dropping the burning plans into the sewer.
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