A Doctor Who novel, written by Nigel Robinson. The third of Virgin Publishing's New Adventures.

Previous story: Timewyrm: Exodus | Next story: Timewyrm: Revelation


Regular characters

The Seventh Doctor


Recurring characters

The Timewyrm

Major developments

The Timewyrm is banished into the vortex again.

My opinion

I first read this book abuout seven years ago, and before I reread it a month or so ago I could remember almost nothing about it. A month after rereading it I could still remember almost nothing about it, and was forced to rely heavily on Cameron Dixon's synopsis at www.drwhoguide.com to produce the outline above. I read once that long term memory is better for events that produce strong emotional responses, and it appears that this book produced almost no emotional response in me at all, good or bad. This, I suppose, is something of an achievement. Read this only if the only other alternative is to do something you will actively dislike.

Quick outline

Following the trail of the Timewyrm, the Doctor and Ace land on the planet Kirith, billions of years in the future. Ace meets and befriends a local, named Raphael, and they learn that the (apparently physically perfect) Kirithons are ruled by the Panjistri (led by the Grand Matriarch), an alien race that transformed the Kirithons from savages into a peaceful and enlightened race. From time to time, talented Kirithons are selected to join the Brotherhood of Kandasi and go to join the Panjistri on their island home, Kandasi. Those selected are never heard of again.

The Doctor notices inconsistencies in the story of the Panjistri, and upon investigation some ruins that are purported to be the remains from a nuclear war millenia ago are in fact only centuries old and show no signs of radioactivity. Investigations undertaken by Ace, the Doctor and Raphael also reveal that the Panjistri have been engaging in genetic experimentation. Ace and Raphael encounter a homunculus full of pain and rage (which Raphael is reluctantly forced to destroy), and Ace later encounters a group of genetically damaged Kirithons.

It transpires that the Panjistri have genetically engineered the Kirithons from from specimens of the universe's finest races, and have been selecting the most talented of the Kirithons to create a single gestalt organism, the God Machine, that will be able to prevent the coming end of the universe. All the organism now lacks is pain and anger, which the Kirithons were unable to provide. The homonculus was to provide this, but now that it is destroyed the Grand Matriarch plans to use Ace instead.

The Doctor, Ace and Raphael journey to the Panjistri's home on the island on Kandasi, which actually turns out to be a teleportation device that teleports them to the space station that serves as Kirith's moon. Here they discover that the Grand Matriarch has been infected by the Timewyrm. After the Timewyrm was last defeated by the Doctor, the weakened Timewyrm had retreated into the Doctor's past and sheltered in the Doctor's mind just after his first regeneration. From there, she infected a young girl that the Doctor met, Lilith, who later became the Grand Matriarch. She plans to use Ace to complete the God Machine and gain complete control over time and space. Instead, Raphael is drawn to the gestalt entity and, having gained the necessary qualities through his contact with Ace, completes the machine. The completed God Machine uses its powers to expel the Timewyrm from the Grand Matriarch and restore Lilith to her innocent youth. The God Machine leaves to explore the universe, and the Doctor and Ace return to the TARDIS, where they device that they are using to track the Timewyrm indicates that she is still out there somewhere.