The Land of Fiction
Time of Origin:
First Seen In:
The Mind Robber
The Mind Robber
The Crooked Man
City of Spires
The Wreck of the Titan
Legend of the Cybermen
The Wonderful Doctor of Oz
Journey Out of Terror
Time & Time Again
The Land of Fiction was a realm of make-believe, a pocket universe containing characters and places from fiction, mythology, and folklore. Whenever a story was written on Earth, its characters came into existence in the Land. (The Crooked Man) It was controlled by a computer known as The Master Brain, which abducted writers to feed on their imaginations. According to one such Master of the Land, this world consisted of “all the masterpieces written by Earthmen since the beginning of time,” with the Second Doctor adding that “only an Earthman-type creature has the power to create fiction. The power to imagine.” (The Mind Robber)
The First Doctor explained that the human species entertained the most extraordinary ideas in the dark corners of their mind: monsters, demons, creatures of the id, and that occasionally, in times of stress, these dreams could surface and have formidable power. When enough people believed in the same extraordinary things, sharing stories and combining those forces, they would be nurtured and grow: “When enough people all believe the same thing, it can achieve existence.” Venturing into the Land required making oneself receptive to these cumulative forces, allowing the generation of fictional concepts within the Land itself. (Journey Out of Terror)
The Second Doctor feared that becoming fictional would trap someone in the Land, (The Mind Robber) and indeed on the First Doctor’s trip there, he suggested that had they not discovered they were in a fictional land they were in, they would have become trapped and begun having fictional adventures in a fictional TARDIS. (Journey Out of Terror)
The Land was described by the Seventh Doctor as a unique space-time phenomenon, composed of fictional energy and implied to be housed in a fictional sub-dimension, (Head Games) solid and tangible but outside the normal universe of time and space. (Journey Out of Terror)
The structure of the Land of Fiction required a Master of the Land to write stories that would entertain, (Conundrum) and they could be connected to The Master Brain computer which could control them. Without The Master Brain, the Land would be destroyed (The Mind Robber) although a new Master could take control. (Legend of the Cybermen, Conundrum)
The Gods of Ragnarok created the Land of Fiction to be entertained, but they eventually grew bored and abandoned it for other things. (Conundrum) The First Doctor had heard tell of such domains. (Journey Out of Terror)
Rule of L. Frank Baum and Missy
Around 1903, Missy attended a women’s suffrage meeting in California, where she happened to meet the author L. Frank Baum. Since she had enjoyed his novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Missy approached Baum under the guise of an entrepreneur, offering to turn Pedloe Island into an Oz-themed amusement park where Baum would greet visitors in character as the Great Oz. In actuality, Missy took Baum to the Land of Fiction. She connected electrodes to his brain, telling him that this was a new technology designed to harvest his imagination, but in reality connecting him to The Master Brain. Baum’s imagination was given substance, transforming the Land of Fiction into a version of Oz that was twisted according to Missy’s desires.
When the Thirteenth Doctor took her friends to the 1939 premiere of The Wizard of Oz in Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, they discovered that the film had seemingly been erased from existence, along with all Baum’s sequel novels. When they attempted to analyse The Doctor’s copy of the book, the TARDIS was pulled into a cyclone and deposited in Oz, which she eventually realised was the Land of Fiction. They met Baum in the Emerald City and told him the truth. After convincing him to purge Oz of Missy’s influence, The Doctor took the safer electrode cap she had jury-rigged and gave it to Dorothy, a teenager who did not want to return to her unhappy life in 1939; Dorothy became the new Queen of the Land of Fiction, and the Doctor took Baum back to California to write his Oz sequels. (The Wonderful Doctor of Oz)
RULE OF THE ENSIGN WRITER
In the summer of 1926, a prolific English author, who had written weekly boys’ adventure serials such as Captain Jack Harkaway for the Ensign magazine, fell asleep at his desk. When he woke, he was bewildered to find himself transported to the Land of Fiction, where The Master Brain connected itself to him. He became its servant, though he denied that he was its prisoner.
The Doctor visited the Land of Fiction in his second incarnation, immediately after defeating the Dominators on the planet Dulkis. To escape a volcanic eruption there, he flipped an emergency switch in the TARDIS. (The Dominators) The ship materialised in a white void inhabited only by White Robots and a disembodied force that invaded the minds of the travellers. The crew returned to the safety of the TARDIS, which appeared in a black void. The TARDIS appeared to explode, leaving Zoe and Jamie clinging to the TARDIS console, spinning in space and the Doctor floating nearby, seemingly dead.
After a dream-like interval, the travellers found themselves in a world called the Land of Fiction, without the TARDIS. The White Robots re-appeared, this time as clockwork soldiers. In the Land, mythical and fictional characters such as Lemuel Gulliver and unicorns had a physical existence, as did puzzles, riddles and puns. The three travellers first found themselves in a Forest of Words, in which the trees were shaped as words, and when Jamie discovered this when he climbed up a tree which was the letter S, he saw that the letters made up proverbs, such as ‘Look before you leap’. The Doctor had to answer a riddle given to him by children. There was also a Redcoat residing in the Land of Fiction, and when Jamie went to attack him, he was shot, and he lost his face, which The Doctor had to put back together from a collection of eyes, noses and mouths, and he got the face wrong, so Jamie had a different face.
Next, after being faced with a unicorn, The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe travelled to the end of the forest where Jamie was shot by a Redcoat again and the Doctor, with the help of Zoe, reconstructed Jamie’s face properly. Then, all three travelled into a labyrinth where they used a ball of twine which would be used in mazes, but it ran out. Jamie was left to stay on guard where it ended, but he was forced to flee when a clockwork soldier found him and chased him out of the labyrinth. The Doctor and Zoe encountered the Minotaur and Lemuel Gulliver again, where The Doctor deduced that he was Lemuel Gulliver, a fictional character. Before escaping, they encountered and defeated Medusa. Jamie, meanwhile, found himself inside a castle in which Rapunzel was until she vanished. He saw a ticker-tape which reported the progress of the Doctor and Zoe’s test in the labyrinth.
Once near the citadel, The Doctor and Zoe, searching for Jamie, found themselves outside it and met with the Karkus, another fictional character. They managed to get inside the citadel and find Jamie, and allowed themselves to be captured and were taken to meet The Master of the Land of Fiction. (The Mind Robber)
On a mission at the behest of the White Guardian to reassemble the Key to Time, Bernice Summerfield encountered the travellers as they wandered a maze. (Time & Time Again)
They found this realm under the control of an unseen presence known as The Master of the Land. He attempted to turn Jamie and Zoe into fictional characters and to trick The Doctor into assuming his place and rule the Land. A futuristic computer, The Master Brain, had forced The Master of the Land to be its slave.
After learning that The Master was a benign old man, who had also been trapped in this universe and taken over by The Master Brain, Zoe and Jamie overloaded its systems, destroying it and freeing him. Once The Master Brain was destroyed, everything vanished, the central structure of the Land destroyed, (No Future and the TARDIS reassembled around the travellers (The Mind Robber) now returned to the normal universe. (The Invasion)
The Second Doctor later sent himself back to the Land to retrieve his recorder, but instead encountered Goth, who sent him to meet his future self to help deal with Omega. (Future Imperfect, The Three Doctors)
RULE OF JASON
As part of his elaborate scheme to gain revenge on The Doctor, Mortimus manipulated the timestream to reverse the Land’s destruction, and installed Jason, a mentally unstable boy from 1993 Earth, as its new Master. Jason constructed a town called Arandale, inhabited by various fictional characters such as the White Knight and Doctor Nemesis. He trapped the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Benny in a scenario where the power source that gave the White Knight his powers would soon explode and destroy the town unless The Doctor either went along with the story and thus became trapped in the Land for good, or took The Master’s place. By tricking Jason into introducing highly disruptive McAllerson’s Radiation into the Land by claiming that it could be the source of the White Knight’s powers, The Doctor escaped after the Radiation release damaged the Land long enough for him and his companions to return to the TARDIS. At his request, the Time Lords retuned Jason to Earth, placed beacons around the Land to warn away space-time travellers, and attempted to nullify the Land by counteracting the energies that had restored it. (Conundrum, Head Games)
In 2001, Jason was writing in a bedsit, and found himself able to created Dr Who, a living copy of the Seventh Doctor, complete with his own TARDIS. It emerged that Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart’s time travel experiments in the future (Set Piece) had opened a dimensional rift, allowing energy from the Land of Fiction to bleed into the real universe. This also created the Miracle, an energy source which for a time sustained the dying planet Detrios. Jason’s lingering connection to the Land enabled him to control the fictional energy and bring his creations to life once again, this time in the real universe. He employed Dr Who in a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. Although the Queen was killed by Dr Who, Jason’s distaste for bloodshed made him use his powers to restore her to life. Jason helped the real Doctor seal off the anomaly, after which The Doctor wiped Jason’s memory and returned him to Earth. (Head Games)
Shortly after Romana II became President of Gallifrey, Spandrell told her that the sensor buoys still reported the Land of Fiction to be a void. When Romana suggested that it was time to re-form it and annex it to the Matrix, Spandrel replied that, according to the official historical record, the Land had always been part of the Matrix. (Happy Endings)
ATTEMPTED INVASION OF REALITY
In the early 21st century, the Land of Fiction became overcrowded due to the proliferation of new media such as the internet, e-publishing, print-on-demand, YouTube, and tabloid exaggeration. It reached the point where lesser-known and obscure fictional characters that had been forgotten about over time had to be erased to make room for new characters. During this time, in the English town of Eastwold, a young mother named Laura Corbett, recently abandoned by the man who had impregnated her, invented a fictional father to tell friends and family about. The imagined father, whom she named Simon Corbett, came to exist in the Land; his devotion to his “son” Edward was so strong that it created a breach between the universes, allowing him to enter the real universe. Because Simon was seemingly the perfect man for her and her child, Laura accepted his existence, although Simon himself was unaware of his true origins.
Eventually, this breach in Eastwold was discovered by the more selfish obscure characters within the Land of Fiction, who would do anything to avoid having their existences being erased. The Crooked Man—a book-dwelling monster created in a manuscript by Laura’s father, Geoff Corbett, whose existence was also being threatened—led an invasion of Eastwold by crossing over into reality and murdering the town’s residents, allowing for obscure fictional characters to come through the breach and take their place. After Jeff Corbett’s death, Laura sold all his books at a local bookshop, accidentally leaving the manuscript for The Crooked Man among them. Knowing that destroying the manuscript was the only way of killing him, the Crooked Man made the shop’s owner, Rance, his thirteenth victim and stole the manuscript.
At this time, the Fourth Doctor and Leela arrived in Eastwold where they began investigating the murders. Their investigation eventually led them to the Corbett’s house, where the Crooked Man kidnapped baby Edward in order to lure Simon, The Doctor, and the others into the Land of Fiction so that could trap them there and keep the breach open. In the end, however, the Crooked Man’s tricks were no match for Simon’s seemingly super-human feats fuelled by his determination to protect his child, allowing The Doctor to take possession of The Crooked Man manuscript and tear it up, erasing him from existence. As they were being pursued by the other fictional characters that the Crooked Man brought through, The Doctor confronted Laura about Simon’s origins, revealing the truth to all, including Simon. Realising that Simon is the cause of the breach, The Doctor told him that the only way to save Laura, Edward, and the rest of reality was for him to stay behind and close the breach. Simon agreed to do so, easily fighting off the remaining characters as the others escaped through the breach, allowing him to close it for good. (The Crooked Man)
RULE OF ZOE HERRIOT
After the Time Lords suppressed Zoe’s memories of travelling with The Doctor and returned her to the late 21st century, she found that she had aged two years but did not understand how. Months later, Cybermen attacked the Wheel and attempted to convert her; she escaped, but the process unlocked her memories. Zoe sent a feedback wave at the Cybermen’s ship, punching a hole in space-time and sending them to Land of Fiction, where she pursued them. She connected herself to the damaged Master Brain and made herself the Mistress of the Land, giving the characters free will to help them fight the Cybermen.
Zoe created another hole in space-time and summoned the Sixth Doctor. He arrived in a fictional version of the Scottish highlands in 1780, which he mistook for reality, and met a fictional, aged version of Jamie McCrimmon. This Jamie, calling himself the ruthless Black Donald, led a group of rebels in fighting the Redcoats. Despite having no memories of the Doctor, Jamie agreed to journey with him through events involving what seemed to be advanced, oil-pumping technology from 1884 on the moors, the mysterious Overlord, who was after “black water”, and the creation of the Red Caps. (City of Spires)
Jamie accompanied The Doctor into what they realised was the Land of Fiction, where they seemed to have become involved with the RMS Titanic on 14 April 1912, which abruptly became the similarly ill-fated, but literary Titan from 1898. The adventure continued in Captain Nemo’s famed submarine, the Nautilus, which faced an attack from a giant squid. After the Nautilus was attacked, The Doctor and Jamie found themselves in the white void. (The Wreck of the Titan)
While facing clockwork soldiers, Jamie found an unaged Zoe Heriot, whom he didn’t remember. Zoe helped return a flood of Jamie’s memories with the data clusters. Jamie and Zoe met up with The Doctor and an interdimensional secret agent version of the Artful Dodger. After Oliver Twist was found to have become a partly-converted Cyberman, the group travelled to the fairy-filled Magic Forest where they met an armoured Lt Alice Liddell in the company of Dracula. The group was attacked by cyber-converted Wagnerian Valkyries. Coming across Sleeping Beauty and her spindle, like Alice, Jamie was found to be fictional, with blood of black ink, even though he had believed himself to have been a real person with a full life. The Doctor told the fictional characters to exercise their free will regardless. Jamie was rescued by The Doctor from metafictioning himself out of existence by the Cybermen in a glass cupboard.
The fictional Jamie was upset about The Doctor never coming back to his companions and worried The Doctor had never checked on the real Jamie, who might have been hanged by the Redcoats after the Battle of Culloden. Moby Dick was discovered to be cyber-converted and Cpt Long John Silver’s Hispaniola faced sinking from its torpedoes, but they were saved by Cpt. Nemo and Rob Roy MacGregor, who returned the barnacle-covered TARDIS to The Doctor.
The Doctor met the real, older Zoe, who told him the truth. After a Datamat, which looked similar to a Cybermat, started climbing up Jamie’s kilt, the Zoes were told to work on writing the fictional Cybermen, who had been converted from fantasy creatures, out of existence. Cpt Nemo, finding himself with a cyber-converted Dracula, was rescued by the soon-to-be-killed Karkus, sent by Zoe. The Doctor used the Datamat to erase the fictional Cybermen from existence. The fictional Zoe was killed. The Doctor asked Jamie to take charge of the Land, but he declined, saying he was more of a fighter, and suggested Alice instead. Jamie told The Doctor to find the real Jamie if he ever found himself in the Scottish highlands again. Zoe was taken back to the real universe, but lost her memories again as the Time Lords’ conditioning reactivated. Meanwhile, Alice became the new Mistress, the Queen of Hearts, and the Land of Fiction began to transform into a strange new Wonderland. (Legend of the Cybermen)
While being chased by Daleks, the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, and Vicki Pallister passed through the House of Horror at the Festival of Ghana. Mistaking the attraction for a real haunted house, The Doctor said it was “neither time nor space” but “an area of human thought,” (The Chase) a realm of solidified dreams and nightmares. (The Chase) The Doctor realised he had left Vicki behind; unable to bypass the TARDIS’s time mechanism, he instead programmed the conceptual geometry and aligned the telepathic circuits, explaining that they could return to the world of fiction by focusing their imaginations. Ian’s book Monsters from Outer Space! changed to contain a comic depicting the travellers meeting a family and their dog on a rocket. The TARDIS then landed on this rocket, where they met a young girl called Julia Jett, created from their minds as a substitute Vicki. Julia tried to leave in the TARDIS with them, but this was impossible, as she and her dog were fictional. The TARDIS departed, leaving Julia behind, aware of her own fictionality. (Journey Out of Terror)
The Master visited the Land of Fiction and destroyed a council of 19th century literary villains who resided there. (Character Assassin)
After her companion Panda was lost in the Time Vortex, the renegade Time Lady Iris Wildthyme searched for him in the Land of Fiction. (Iris Wildthyme and the Claws of Santa)
The Tenth Doctor mentioned having met numerous fictional characters in the Land of Fiction. He told Rose Tyler he could take her to meet her childhood heroes and have honey with Winnie the Pooh, who is a right laugh. Rose thought Mr. Tickle would be annoying and had had enough of fictional characters at the time. (Infamy of the Zaross) When trapped inside The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage, he explained to Martha Jones that the Land of Fiction tasted like boiled cabbage and smelt like wet dog. This helped him to rule out this pocket universe as their location. (The Mystery of the Haunted Cottage)
BEHIND THE SCENES
For some time there was ambiguity as to whether the travellers had simply imagined the Land of Fiction. However, later accounts more or less confirmed the Land of Fiction as “real”.
In the 2012 Blue Peter special, the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Williams became trapped in the white void of the Land of Fiction and asked for British schoolchildren to help develop an adventure for them so they could escape.