The Shadow in the Glass
May 17th 1944: A squadron of Hurricanes shoots down an unidentified aircraft over the Dorset village of Turelhampton. A routine operation. So why is the village immediately evacuated?
2001: Troops still occupy Turelhampton, guarding the village’s dark secret. When a television documentary crew break through the cordon looking for a story, they find they’ve recorded more than they’d bargained for.
Meanwhile, in Cornwall, a journalist is witness to a terrifying ceremony: agents of the worst evil in history plan to unleash a new, unthinkable horror on the world.
Caught up in both a deadly conspiracy and historical mystery, retired Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart calls upon his old friend The Doctor. Half-glimpsed demons watch from the shadows as The Doctor and the Brigadier discover the last, and deadliest, secret of the Second World War.
As World War Two draws to a close, a Russian patrol in the ruins of Berlin finds a circle of Tibetans, dressed in uniforms of the Reich, who have committed suicide with cyanide capsules. Meanwhile, Hitler knows that the end is coming, and chooses to die rather than witness defeat. Himmler has foreseen the end, and after failing to make a deal with the Allies, he flees from the Fuhrerbunker and commits suicide. Hitler brands him a traitor, and tests the cyanide capsule Himmler had supplied to him on his dog Blondi, to be sure that Himmler wasn’t trying to slip him a tranquilliser and turn him over to the Allies. On 30 April, Hitler marries Eva Braun in a rushed civil ceremony; the next day, they enter their rooms in the Bunker, while Hitler’s adjutant Otto Gunsche stands guard outside. There is the sound of a shot from inside. Eva has taken cyanide, while Hitler has shot himself while biting through his own capsule. Hitler’s most trusted doctor declares them both dead, and the bodies are taken to the garden and burned beyond recognition. But why are the Russians subsequently so slow to accept that they have indeed captured Hitler’s corpse? And why was there blood on the bed in the next room?
The answers may be related to an event which took place the previous year. In 1944, Flight Lieutenant Smithson shot down an unidentified flying object over the English Channel, and it swerved inland and crashed in the village of Turelhampton. The village was evacuated, and the soldiers detailed to guard the UFO decided to have a look inside… The soldiers went their separate ways after the war; Lassiter died in Europe and Spinney vanished after suffering a nervous breakdown, but in 1955, Sergeant Henderson finally tracks down the third man, Watson. He demands that Watson hand over the glass-disc”souvenir” he took from the wreck, and when Watson refuses, the shadow of an imp emerges from Henderson’s own shadow and kills Watson…
Over fifty years after the war, Turelhampton remains off-limits, and Conspiracy Channel reporter Claire Aldwych takes her cameraman Simon through the cordon to film footage for a documentary. When they reach the bomb crater, they see that something’s still down there, but before they can investigate further they are spotted by a patrol. Claire flees with the video, leaving Simon to take the rap in the belief that he’ll just be shouted at for a while and then released. But Under-secretary Henderson, apparently the son of the officer who was placed in charge of the object when it first landed, demands a more intense interrogation. Simon eventually directs them to Claire, but as Henderson has no authority to act off-site, he’s reluctantly forced to call in UNIT to get the tape back. Captain Palmer of UNIT visits Claire, to find her terrified by what she’s seen; the camera has picked up footage of tiny, demonic imps watching her as she narrated, oblivious to their presence. Palmer investigates, and learns that a UFO did indeed crash in Turelhampton — and it’s still there. Henderson refuses to let UNIT anywhere near the site, and Palmer decides to call in the retired Lethbridge-Stewart for advice. After viewing the tape, the former Brigadier decides to call in his old friend, The Doctor.
Claire receives a cell phone call from a terrified colleague, Brian Goldman, who remembers her documentary on the last days of Adolf Hitler, and has an unbelievable story to tell her. He had tracked down a neo-Nazi cult meeting at a reclusive millionaire’s country home, but while taping their ceremony, intending to expose them to the world, he saw a hooded figure who spoke in a Tibetan accent, using a crystal ball — a”Scrying Glass” — to show the Nazis images of their future; a red sky over a blasted, scorched earth. But that’s not the worst of it — moments before Brian was spotted and had to flee, he saw another man present at the ceremony, and recognised him. Adolf Hitler is alive. Claire dismisses his claims at first, but soon realises that she has no Turelhampton documentary and no cameraman; Simon has been released, but unsurprisingly isn’t returning her calls. She decides to follow up on Brian’s phone call, only to find that he’s been killed in a suspicious car crash. When she tries to investigate, two men in a blue car try to run her off the road and shoot at her as she flees; the Nazis who murdered Brian, Hanne Neumann and Klaus Venkel, had found his mobile phone and know that she was the last person Brian called before they caught him. Terrified, Claire calls Palmer and gets herself placed under UNIT protection.
The Sixth Doctor responds to the Brigadier’s call for help, and accompanies him to Turelhampton to investigate. There, they bluff their way past the patrols, and examine the spaceship; an intense gravity field pins it in place, which is why the village has remained MoD property to this day. The Doctor recognises the crystalline technology inside the ship; this is a Vvormak cruiser, and its crew lie dormant in hibernation tanks, connected to longevity crystals which extend their lives while the ship travels through space. The imps are psychic extensions of the Vvormak’s corporeal bodies, and cannot be seen directly by the human eye; they can only be seen through peripheral vision, reflections, shadows, and camera images. One tank and its crystal are missing; if the crystal has fallen into human hands, it could conceivably extend a person’s life by a thousand years. Also missing is the ocular celluprime, a vital component of the navigational system, which allows the Vvormak to perceive the immediate future and navigate accordingly. But The Doctor is puzzled; why is there nothing else missing? If the ship has been here for 55 years, why hasn’t it been stripped bare — why does it look instead as though it’s been repaired?
The Doctor and the Brigadier trigger a gas trap while investigating, but escape when a patrol arrives to arrest them; however, the soldiers aren’t expecting to encounter gas, and The Doctor and the Brigadier overpower them and escape. The Doctor realises that the gas trap was meant to keep all humans out of the ship, even those who are supposedly guarding it — which suggests that somebody on the outside is working for the Vvormak. He and the Brigadier decide to speak to Henderson, but when they contact Palmer they learn that Henderson’s already on his way down, apparently to investigate the breaches in security. As they wait for him to arrive, they see the soldiers evacuating the village, and when Henderson arrives The Doctor realises that he’s carrying a portable nuclear device in a briefcase. Henderson had laid contingency plans some time ago, and sold state secrets to the KGB in exchange for this device; now that he’s close to being exposed, he can no longer wait for the ship to continue charging itself naturally, and must prepare for a quick getaway. The Doctor and the Brigadier try to stop him, but Henderson flies into a rage upon seeing The Doctor, recognising him as the one who allowed the Vvormak to be diminished upon their arrival. Henderson’s imp familiar attacks The Doctor, and the delay allows Henderson to place the bomb in the crater. The Doctor can’t defuse it in time, and he thus throws it into the ship, hoping that it will at least muffle the force of the explosion. As Henderson had intended, the ship absorbs the energy — but as The Doctor had feared, there is a certain amount of wastage, which spills out of the ship in the form of a force field which incinerates everything it touches. And the field is spreading.
The Fuhrer has ordered Venkel to remain in England and deal with Claire, while he and Hanne return to their secret base, in the heart of a snowy wilderness. They are satisfied with their work so far; there will be further meetings across the world, the Nazi sleeper cells will wake, they will show the world the danger it faces from the “inferior” races, and the Fourth Reich shall rise. Another ceremony is held with the Scrying Glass, and Rinchen, the new Tibetan High Elder, shows them images of their future; the red sky over the wasteland, and the face of a demon, one of the forces of darkness which will help the Nazis to triumph. At that moment, the bomb goes off in Turelhampton, and a creature with the face of the demon from the glass smashes its way out of the Nazis’ sacredits casket, stumbles forward and dies. The Fuhrer declares this to be a sign; the time of the Fourth Reich is now.
Back at UNIT, the Brigadier despairs when The Doctor openly discusses the situation in front of Claire, but it’s just as well; she recognises his description of the missing ocular celluprime as the Scrying Glass Brian described. The Doctor decides to speak to Brian’s widow, and learns that Brian mailed himself a package on the day of his death — the tape on which he recorded the neo-Nazi ceremony. And there, caught on tape, is the face of Adolf Hitler. If Hitler is still alive he’d be over a hundred years old, but there was a longevity crystal missing from the Vvormak ship… They need to know how the Nazis got hold of the Glass, and Claire thus takes The Doctor and the Brigadier to speak with Peter Spinney, one of the men who stood guard over the UFO when it first crashed. After the war he became a recluse, crushed by the guilt of standing guard over an empty village while his friends died in Europe; however, Claire managed to track him down while researching her documentary. Spinney reveals that the Germans raided the village in August of 1944, and made off with one of the caskets from inside the ship. The Doctor and his friends leave Spinney to his solitude, but there are still too many unanswered questions. Was Sergeant Henderson a traitor who led the Nazis to the ship? Are they facing an alliance between Nazis and alien invaders? they’re still unaware of two vital facts — Spinney still has the glass keepsake he picked up inside the ship, and Henderson monitored the phone call between the Brigadier and Palmer and now knows where Spinney can be found. at the moment he’s still too shaken by the other Vvormak’s death to respond, but soon he will be able to confront Spinney in person…
The powerfield continues to expand in Turelhampton, and Palmer calls former sergeant Osgood out of retirement to advise, as he has experience in such matters. Meanwhile, The Doctor and his friends compare notes, but decide that they still don’t have enough information; therefore, The Doctor decides to go back in time and infiltrate the German raid himself, while Claire and the Brigadier conduct research from the vantage point of 2001. The Doctor goes to 1944, contacts his old friend Winston Churchill and arranges to be smuggled into France with false documents identifying him as Major Johann Schmidt, an expert in matters of the occult. His credentials attract Himmler’s attention, and after interviewing The Doctor, Himmler assigns him to the Turelhampton mission. They need an occult expert to identify important artefacts on the ship, and for some reason Hitler himself claims to trust”Major Schmidt” implicitly. The Doctor is smuggled into England to await the raiders’ arrival, but once there he sneaks a peek inside the ship first… and realises that he’s already too late. The ocular celluprime is already gone. Spinney’s friend Lassiter took it as a keepsake, and when he was killed in France, it passed into the hands of the Nazis and eventually reached Himmler. Himmler found that Tibetan lamas possessed a mental stillness which enabled them to draw out images of greater clarity from the glass; and it was through the glass that he learned of Turelhampton in the first place. The Doctor has learned nothing of importance, and is now committed to helping the Germans steal the hibernation cubicle.
Claire and the Brigadier research reported sightings of Hitler after his alleged death, but dismiss most of them as apocryphal and decide to concentrate on the cloudy historical details of his suicide. Official Russian documents on the death indicate that Hitler’s personal pilot, Hans Baur, later flew three people to Hamburg, where a submarine was waiting; one of the three was a woman, and another was party secretary Martin Bormann. The Russians found a near-double of Hitler in the water tower, with a bullet in his head; perhaps the Nazis were looking for a look-alike, and this one failed the test. The Brigadier decides to visit Russia himself and see what else they have buried in their archives, but Claire is forced to stay in England. In Moscow, the Brigadier is greeted by Irina Kobulov, who takes him to the State Special Trophy Archive; there, he determines that the bodies from the Bunker were moved several times before finally being incinerated and dumped in the river in 1970. Only Hitler’s skull fragments, and bodily fluids from his and Eva’s autopsies, remain. The Brigadier is surprised and irritated when Claire then telephones him; she’d smuggled a webcam into his briefcase to keep tabs on him, but she must warn him that she’s seen an imp watching him, and has heard Irina speaking in German on a cell phone. The Brigadier tricks Irina into stealing his briefcase, which he has left empty. He returns to England with vital evidence — samples of Hitler and Eva Braun’s bodily fluids, and a partial transcript of an interview with Hans Baur, which strongly implies that there was indeed a double, a substitution was made, and the bodies in the bunker were a deliberately arranged tableau.
1944 – the German raiding party arrives in Turelhampton under cover of darkness, and The Doctor leads them to the ship, knowing that British soldiers will die but hoping to keep the carnage to a minimum. He identifies the hibernation tank, and Captain Voss decides to steal it; with a demon on their side the Reich will surely triumph. However, to The Doctor’s surprise, Voss then smashes the longevity crystal, believing it to be a part of the lock. Reinforcements then arrive in the village, as The Doctor had arranged with Churchill, and The Doctor pretends to be shot while knocking a British officer out of the way of a German machine-gun blast. But to his surprise the man he’s saved is Henderson, who blames The Doctor for allowing the casket to be stolen and diminishing them. Henderson flees, but The Doctor now knows he’s the same man who recognised The Doctor in 2001; but if he shared the life essence from the longevity crystal, how has Hitler apparently survived? The Doctor, no closer to an answer than before, returns to 2001 and compares notes with the Brigadier. When they watch the footage from Claire’s webcam, they see Irina taking the briefcase into a building in the heart of a snowy wilderness — and see the face of Adolf Hitler staring out at them moments before the camera is destroyed.
The Doctor realises that Spinney must have lied; the soldiers guarding the ship must have taken “souvenirs” out of it before the Germans ever set foot in Turelhampton. He, Claire and the Brigadier set off to confront Spinney again, and arrive just in time to save him from Henderson and the imp, who are about to kill him as they killed Watson in 1955. The Brigadier demands answers, and Henderson admits that he was allowed to share in the Vvormak life essence in order to help them repair their ship. The Vvormak don’t trust mankind, who shot them down without provocation, and they don’t trust The Doctor, who allowed one of them to be taken away. The missing crewmate has since died; the energy released by the nuclear explosion was enough to wake him, but not enough to preserve his life outside the cabinet. The Doctor insists that he just wants the Vvormak to leave peacefully, and promises to help recover the Scrying Glass — but only if they agree to launch their ship without allowing the energy expenditure to destroy most of Southern England. Before he and Henderson can come to an arrangement, however, Nazis led by Venkel attack the house. Spinney dies of shock, and as the others retreat, Henderson sets his imp on the attacking Nazis — but lets Venkel live, in order to take him to the Glass.
The Doctor needs to know if Hitler really did survive, and there’s only one way to find out. He and the Brigadier travel back to Germany in August 1942, and infiltrate a party at the heart of the Third Reich. The Brigadier can barely control his distate when they are introduced to Hitler in person, but The Doctor play-acts marvellously, identifying himself as Doctor Johann Schmidt, and agreeing when the question arises that he’s here to conduct blood tests on Hitler and Eva Braun. As he draws their blood, he chats about the Eastern campaign, impressing Hitler with his insight; unlike the gullible Himmler, he and Hitler agree that the occult is hogwash, but that it’s a useful propaganda tool nonetheless. Hitler will remember Major Schmidt’s name if he needs an occult expert in the future… The Doctor and the Brigadier return to the 21st century with samples of Hitler’s and Eva Braun’s blood, and as this is something not easily explained The Doctor finally allows Claire inside the TARDIS — insisting first that she leave her camera outside. In the TARDIS laboratory, he conducts DNA tests on the body fluids, skull fragments and blood, and finds to his surprise that Hitler did indeed die in the Bunker… but Eva Braun didn’t. The Russian autopsy results seem to suggest that the woman identified as Eva Braun died of shrapnel wounds before the cyanide capsule was placed in her mouth. Suddenly, it all fits together; the reason for the blood tests, the sudden marriage, the fact that Eva was saved but Hitler wasn’t… Eva Braun was pregnant, with Hitler’s child.
The power field continues to expand in Turelhampton, and despite Osgood’s expert advice, the machine built to buffer the molecular movement of the air overheats and explodes. It’s no more than Osgood expected; that’s just what happened last time. Meanwhile, Henderson waits in his cell in the Nazi compound for The Doctor to release him, while his imp and the familiar of the deceased crewmate observe the Nazis preparing for the final ceremony. Bormann set this all up well in advance, taking secret funds out of Germany, setting up sleeper cells all across the world, and preparing for the rise of the Fourth Reich. Himmler sent the original Tibetans out into the ruins of Berlin to commit suicide, fueling the Scrying Glass with the emotional energy of their deaths. Now the Nazis are almost ready to release those powers, and reveal themselves to the world…
The Doctor and his friends now know their enemy — Adolf Hitler, Junior — but they don’t know where to find him, until Claire recalls the snow on the webcam pictures and suggests looking in Antarctica. The original Nazis sent several expeditions to Antarctica, supposedly looking for the legendary entrance to the Hollow Earth; but perhaps that was a cover for the construction of a secret military base. The Doctor uses his TARDIS to scan Antarctica for heat traces, and detects one particular heat signature in the shape of a swastika… The TARDIS materialises in the underground base, where The Doctor finds and releases Henderson — but whereas The Doctor advises caution, Henderson has already seen the future in the Scrying Glass, through the eyes of his familiar. He thus barges into the anteroom of the scrying chamber, where Hitler’s son and Hanne Neumann are waiting for them. The Doctor provokes Hitler into a rage, claiming that his father would never have taken all of this occult nonsense seriously, and the furious Hitler takes them to watch the ceremony and witness the triumph of the Fourth Reich.
Much to Hitler’s shock, the powers he was expecting to manifest themselves do not do so. The Doctor reveals the truth; the Glass only showed the Nazis what they wanted to see, in order to manipulate events so that it would be returned to the ship. Henderson releases the psychic potential of the two imps, and the Nazis flee in terror as a storm rips through the room. The Doctor tries to grab the Scrying Glass, but is distracted by an image he and Hitler both see inside — an image of the Doctortaking Hitler back in time to the Fuhrerbunker, to reunite him with his father. Henderson is shot while trying to seize the Glass, but the imps tear apart his killer and then transfer themselves into the Glass, waiting to be taken back to the ship. The Doctor, Claire and the Brigadier flee to the TARDIS with the Glass — but Hanne is waiting for them, and she holds Claire at gunpoint, forcing The Doctor to fulfill prophecy and take Hitler back in time to meet his father.
The TARDIS materialises in the garden of the Reichschancellory, and the duty guard waves them into the bunker, assuming Hitler’s son to be Hitler himself. Once inside, The Doctor creates a distraction, enabling the Brigadier and Claire to escape. The Brigadier slips the TARDIS key to Claire and tries to lure Hanne away, but he finds himself trapped in a store room with no way out. However, he finds a box marked “Blondi” on the shelf, and with seconds to spare, he recalls that this is the name of the dog on which Hitler tested his cyanide capsules. There is a spare capsule still in the box, and the Brigadier surprises Hanne, overpowers her, and forces the capsule into her mouth. He’s just given the Nazis a body they can use as a substitute for Eva Braun’s. As he leaves, however, he runs into Hitler himself, who is being escorted to his rooms by Martin Bormann; Hitler recognises the Brigadier from the party and inquires after The Doctor, and the Brigadier is forced to accompany him back to his room. There, they find The Doctor and Hitler’s son waiting — but Hitler’s son is shocked to see his father a broken shell of a man, not the legend he was expecting. Hitler is just as shocked to see a man with his face standing in his private rooms, spouting a story that sounds like the ravings of a madman. The Doctor claims that it’s all lies, and Hitler’s son is stunned when his father takes The Doctor’s word over his. He digs himself in deeper by claiming that Himmler will understand the truth; Himmler has already fled and been declared a traitor. When Eva arrives, and Hitler’s son calls her mother, that’s the last straw; the enraged Hitler shoots his own son through the forehead, spilling his blood over the bed in the next room, and tells Bormann to dispose of the impostor’s body in the water tower.
All seems resolved, but The Doctor and the Brigadier fear that Claire may have given in to her journalistic instincts and remained in the bunker to shoot surreptitious footage of Hitler’s death. They remain in the bunker, searching for her, until Hitler finally shoots himself; as there’s no sign of Claire, The Doctor fulfills his role in history by declaring Eva Braun dead. He and the Brigadier then return to the TARDIS… where they learn what a terrible mistake they have made. Although sorely tempted to remain in the bunker, Claire couldn’t bring herself to betray her new friends, and she returned to the TARDIS as instructed — but Bormann caught her on his way back from the water tower, realised that she was perfect for his needs, and threw her out of the bunker into the path of a descending shell. They’re burning the bodies now in the garden of the Reichschancellory, and the body which will be identified as Eva Braun is not Hanne Neumann, but Claire Aldwych. Shattered, The Doctor and the Brigadier take the Scrying Glass back to 2001, where The Doctor makes a deal with the Vvormak; rather than exact revenge on the Earth, they will go peacefully, dispersing the waste energy from their launch into space rather than incinerating Southern England. The launch of the Vvormak ship causes the power field to dissipate, and for a while a red sky illuminates a wasteland scorched by the field — the image the Nazis saw in the Scrying Glass. UNIT will use information from the Antarctica base to break up the remaining Nazi sleeper cells. They’ve won… but The Doctor remembers Claire, and doesn’t count it a victory.
- The Shadow in the Glass was the forty-first BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel.
- When reunited with the Brigadier, The Doctor mentions Sarah Jane Smith when convincing him to trust Claire. (The Time Warrior)
- Lethbridge-Stewart is living in a country estate. (Battlefield)
- Palmer was seconded to UNIT during “that time-bending business” with The Master. (The Time Monster)
- This is The Doctor’s first recorded involvement in World War II. He is involved again in Special Weapons, Illegal Alien, The Curse of Fenric, Timewyrm: Exodus, Colditz, Just War, Autumn Mist, and The Turing Test.
- the Seventh Doctor will deal with an earlier attempt to set up the Fourth Reich in Silver Nemesis.
- The Doctor meets Hitler again in Timewyrm: Exodus, as he fights to ensure that history remains unaltered.
- The Brigadier compares the Vvormak familiars to Bok. (The Dæmons)
- Palmer was seconded to UNIT during”that time-bending business” with The Master. (The Time Monster)