A Doctor Who novel, written by John Peel. The first of Virgin Publishing's New Adventures.
Previous story: Prime Time | Next story: Timewyrm: Exodus
WARNING! LOTS OF SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Seventh Doctor
In an attempt to destroy Qataka, the Doctor is
responsible for her transformation into the Timewyrm. The Timewrym
escapes into the vortex, harbouring a hatred for the Doctor.
The first Doctor Who book to be written with an older reader in
mind, this book tries hard to be adult in places, opening with Ace
waking up naked in bed, and featuring many bare breasted temple
prostitues in Ishtar's temple. The plot, however, is simplistic and
many of the plot twists are quite contrived. While some of the
characters are given some decent characterisation, the fairly
important character of Gilgamesh is just a cliche. All in all, a
pretty pedestrian beginning for the New Adventures. If you want
to see where the Timewyrm came from it's worth a read, but I'd say
skip it otherwise.
Following a partial warning the Doctor receives from his fourth
incarnation about the Timewyrm, an evil creature known to the Time
Lords in legends, the Doctor and Ace land in ancient Mesopotamia.
Here they meet Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk, and investigate strange
goings on in nearby Kish.
It transpires that Qataka, an alien whose experiments in
cybernetics have given her the ability to transfer her mind into
machines and given her the power of mind control, has crashed on
Earth and is masquerading as the Goddess Ishtar.
Qataka has ordered intricate patterns of copper to be inlaid in the
temple walls, and the Doctor discovers that, when completed, these
will transform the temple into a powerful beacon that will enable
Qataka to control everyone in the surrounding area. This, the Doctor
realises, would seriously disrupt the course of Earth's history.
A story told by a friendly songsmith leads the Doctor to belive
that there are other aliens from Qataka's world in the nearby
mountains, and he sends Ace with Gilgamesh to investigate while he
returns to Kish.
In the mountains Ace discovers Utnapishtim, who had built a space
ark to save the last of his people from the cobolt bomb that Qataka
had used to destroy their home planet after they had attempted to
execute her for her crimes. Utnapshtim's ark crashed on Earth soon
after shooting down Qataka's ship, and they lack the power to leave
again. Ace discovers that Utnapishtim has a computer virus that could
The Doctor, meanwhile, has been captured by Qataka and has
discovered that she has rigged a cobolt bomb to destroy the Earth
if she dies. She is about to drain his mind for the secrets of time
travel when Ace returns with Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim. Before the
Doctor can warn them about the cobolt bomb they successfully infect
Qataka witht he virus. The Doctor transfers her mind into the TARDIS'
telepathic circuits to convince the bomb that she is still alive
while he defuses it.
The bomb is defused, and is given to Utnapishtim to provide power
for his ark. The Doctor and Ace return to the TARDIS, where they
dsicover that Qataka has survived and has taken control of the
TARDIS. The Doctor tricks her into inhabiting the secondary control
room, which he jettisons into the vortex. Instead of destroying her,
however, Qataka uses the knowledge and technology she has gained
from the TARDIS to adapt into a creature of the vortex, names
herself the Timewyrm and escapes into the vortex.
The Doctor realises that his fourth incarnation was trying to warn
himself that he would create the Timewyrm.