|Publication Date||5 December 1985|
Disturbed by the time travel experiments of the evil Dastari and Chessene, the Time Lords send the Second Doctor and Jamie to investigate. Arriving on a station in deep space, they are attacked by a shock force of Sontarans and the Doctor is left for dead.
Across the gulfs of time and space, the Sixth Doctor discovers that his former incarnation is very much alive. Together with Peri and Jamie he must rescue his other self before the plans of Dastari and Chessene reach their deadly and shocking conclusion…
- Countdown to Death
- Massacre on J7
- Tomb in Space
- Adios, Doña Arana
- Creature of the Darkness
- The Bell Tolls
- The Doctor’s Dilemma
- Company of Madmen
- A Song for Supper
- Shockeye the Donor
- Ice Passage Ambush
- Alas, Poor Oscar
DEVIATIONS FROM THE TELEVISED STORY
- A scant prologue featuring what is implied to be the Time Lords in yellow robes in a violet, misty garden where the flowers grow as tall as trees is recounted briefly by Jamie.
- Much of the violence and gore has been exacerbated in the novelisation, featuring grisly details of the duty officer’s acidulous murder, the bullet-ridden corpses of massacredits scientists, the sanguineous method in which Chessene reads the Dona Arana’s mind, the Sontarans‘ merciless deaths, etc.
- The opening scene with the Second Doctor and Jamie’s approach to Space Station Camera is mirrored with the Sixth Doctor and Peri.
- A fire breaks out in the main computer room while the Sixth Doctor is focussing his mind for astral projection, forcing Peri and Jamie. to move him into the corridor as the flames consume the station.
- The Sixth Doctor hesitates to combat Dastari, telling Jamie he was once a champion sampola wrestler.
- Chessene’s use of coronic acid alarms Dastari as the Rutans are the weapon’s inventors. With it they decimated the Sontarans at Vollotha.
- The reference to Victoria Waterfield studying graphology is excised, although Jamie remains aware of who the Time Lords are.
- Shockeye’s musing that he has never eaten a Sontaran is replaced with him telling Dastari not to bother doing so, implying he has.
- The name of Oscar’s restaurant is changed from Las Cadenas to La Piranella. It is mentioned that, despite claiming to only be working there between roles, he has been doing so for three years.
- Jamie’s attack on Peri causes The Doctor to smash a glass tube in the box he is working on, explaining the gas jet.
- There are some minor dialogue alterations, such as Jamie’s line “It looks like Chessene’s won” being given to the Sixth Doctor.
- Oscar has a teddy which he asks Anita to look after along with his moths when he dies.
- Peri retrieves the wheelchair with her hand rather than her leg.
- When attacked in the station’s infrastructure, Peri punches Jamie out in self-defence.
- Jamie’s dirk embeds itself in Chessene’s arm rather than deflecting the beam of her shot at the nozzle.
- Some sequences are rearranged, tending to concentrate on certain groups of characters for longer than on screen. (This creates an odd moment when the Sixth Doctor is said to be being chased by Shockeye at the same moment Chessene dies, yet manages to arrive at the cellar straight afterwards as on screen.)
- The Sixth Doctor’s final vow to become a vegetarian is removed. Instead, the novelisation closes with a short summary of the authorities’ reaction to the destruction at the hacienda and the murder of Oscar.
- Shockeye kills the lorry driver with a neck snap rather than hitting him across the back with a log.
- Chessene’s use of coronic acid inwardly alarms Dastari, as the Rutans are the weapon’s inventors and chief distributors. With it, they decimated the Sontarans at Vollotha. The Sixth Doctor notes that it was specifically tailored to attack cloned tissue and the Sontarans still have no defence against it. When Varl perishes, shielding Stike from the canisters, he notes to himself to recommend his subordinate for the Golden Role of Heroes.
- The Sixth Doctor‘s dispatch of Shockeye is altered in emphasis. Rather than a postmortem quip of “Your just desserts,” he mutters the less ambiguous: “That was for Oscar.”
- It is revealed that The Doctor has invented the gumblejack as an excuse for Peri.
- A fire breaks out in the main computer room while the Sixth Doctor is focussing his mind for astral projection, forcing Peri and Jamie to move him into the corridor as the flames consume the station. He sings “Largo al Factotum” from The Barber of Seville to himself on the way back to the TARDIS.
- There are more lurid descriptions from Shockeye about how meat is prepared on Earth.
- Stike is wearing his helmet when Oscar and Anita see him, explaining their lack of reaction to his alien features.