1st Doctor 2nd Doctor 3rd Doctor 4th Doctor
5th Doctor 6th Doctor 7th Doctor
Decalog 2: Lost Properties
edited by Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker
Cover Blurb
Decalog 2


Imaginatively entitled DECALOG 2, this is the second collection of Doctor Who short fiction. And this time the theme is the Doctor's home - inasmuch as a peripatetic Time Lord can be said to have a home.

As before, the editors have gathered a galaxy of star writers to illuminate the theme. Many of the contributors will be well known to readers of the New Adventures and the Missing Adventures series of novels: Daniel Blythe, Paul Cornell, Andy Lane, David McIntee and Gareth Roberts are prolific Doctor Who authors. And as before this volume also includes contributions from new writers.

In these stories, among many other unexpected occurrences, the Doctor meets a pretender to the English throne, Nyssa meets a ghost, Zoe gets lost in time, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is dismissed from UNIT, and K-9 is in electrifying form. And the Kandyman is on Tara in a verse play in iambic pentameters.

  • Decalog 2 is the second collection of Doctor Who short fiction published by Virgin.
  • Released: 1995

  • ISBN: 0 426 20448 4
Vortex of Fear by Gareth Roberts 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe

The TARDIS nearly collides with a hotel in the space-time Vortex, where business executives from the planet Dephys 49 are allowed to spend a year in temporal suspension without paying taxes. Something appears to have gone wrong with the communications unit, and they have thus been cut off from Dephys for several months. When the Doctor arrives, the occupants believe him to be an Agency representative, here to repair the damage -- but the Doctor fears that the damage is beyond repair, and when he examines the hotel’s control unit he realises that this is the case. Meanwhile, Zoe finds the rooms of the hotel apparently shifting around her, and finds a dead body in the service corridors -- and then time shifts, allowing her to intervene before the murder takes place. She then finds herself back in the hotel itself, where a man named Brachinnen begs her to take him with her when she leaves. But the Doctor cannot help him. A business rival sabotaged the hotel’s control unit before it entered the Vortex, exposing the occupants to the Time Winds; there is nothing left of them now but ghosts, randomly reliving moments from the last year of their lives as the time winds rip through the hotel. The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe must depart, but Zoe realises that by preventing Kaldor’s murder and thus creating a time paradox within the hotel, she and her friends have become a part of the unfolding events; in a way, their own time ghosts will be trapped in the hotel forever, unable to escape and unaware that anything is wrong.

Time-Placement: In the story Zoe remembers some events from her time with the Doctor, including the Ice Warriors whom she first met in The Seeds of Death. Since she does not mention anything from The Space Pirates, I assume the story takes place before it.

Crimson Dawn by Tim Robins 4th Doctor, Leela and K-9

While fishing in the canals on the terraformed Mars, the Doctor discovers that the environment has been sabotaged by a genetically constructed “red bloom”. While trying to draw the attention of the Ares Corporation to the potential ecological disaster, he is caught up in a terrorist attack and is mistaken for the leader of the Crimson Dawn, an eco-terrorist organisation which split off from the legitimate organisation Redpeace. Redpeace wishes only to restore Mars to its rightful owners, the Ice Warriors, but the Ares Corporation has staked a prior claim to the planet based on the fact that its CEO is a “true” Martian, an octopedal creature grown from a frozen embryo found embedded in the polar permafrost. The Last Martian, however, is suffering from a strange illness, and when the Doctor finally confronts it he determines that it is in fact a genetically engineered fake, created by the corporation’s managing director Paul Ares to back up his company’s claim to own Mars. The furious Last Martian kills its creator and pursues the Doctor and his friends to the canals, where it falls victim to the red bloom and dies. The Crimson Dawn itself turns out to be a front which the Ares Corporation has been using to discredit Redpeace. The Doctor, having discredited the Ares Corporation, awakens the cryogenically frozen Ice Warriors sleeping inside the artificial moon Phobos and restores their planet to them.

Time-Placement: This story takes place between The Invisible Enemy and Image of the Fendahl. For one thing, Leela still has a few janis thorns left in this story and she didn't use any after K-9 joined. It's not like she could get any more so she likely runs out shortly after this story. Her personality is also much fiercer than shown after Image of the Fendahl which suggests this is an earlier story for her. It's also possible that K-9 takes damage from the drain on his batteries when he electrifies the canal boat, as well as water damage from the canals, which would explain how he's suffering from "corroded circuitry" in Image of the Fendahl.

Continuity Note: Features the Ice Warriors, a recurring alien species introduced in the TV episode The Ice Warriors.

Where the Heart Is by Andy Lane 3rd Doctor, Jo and UNIT

Penny-pinching bureaucrats in the British government decide to suspend UNIT’s funding and transfer its duties to the Royal Navy. Unaware of the crisis, the Doctor investigates the disappearance of a number of Cabinet ministers and discovers that they were kidnapped and vivisected by Doc Dantalion, an alien physician making a study of human physiology. Dantalion claims that the murders were justified by his planet’s laws, as he intends to make use of his studies to provide the human race with medical assistance and thus save countless lives, far more than he took originally. But when the Doctor brings him in to UNIT, Dantalion is taken prisoner by the Royal Navy’s representative Rear-Admiral Zecca, who doesn’t listen to the Doctor and instead decides to torture Dantalion until he reveals the “truth” about the invasion Zecca assumes he’s spearheading. Finally realising that UNIT is about to be shut down, the Doctor admits to the Brigadier that he only trusts him to deal with the alien invasions Earth has faced, and reluctantly calls on the help of the Time Lords. The Time Lords allow the Doctor to use his TARDIS to rescue Dantalion from under Zecca’s nose. In return, before leaving the Earth, Dantalion signs over to the Doctor ownership of the country manor which he’d been using as a front for his experiments. As UNIT now has rent-free accomodations and the Navy has apparently bungled the entire Dantalion incident, Jo Grant’s uncle is able to bring pressure to bear, and UNIT’s funding is reluctantly restored.

Time-Placement: Beyond Jo and UNIT the only detail that helps is the fact that UNIT moves its residence. The Doctor's lab is different in The Mutants, The Time Monster and The Three Doctors, placing it within either of these gaps.

Continuity Note: The house which Doc Dantalion signs over to the Doctor is presumably the same one in which UNIT is based in The Three Doctors.

The Trials of Tara by Paul Cornell 7th Doctor and Bernice

The Doctor returns to the planet Tara to visit old friends, but finds that King Reynart vanished months ago and is now presumed dead. The laws of Tara demand that Queen Strella remarry, and she has set a series of perilous tasks for her suitors to discourage Count Grendel from approaching her. The Doctor, and Benny -- who is disguised as a man -- end up at Strella’s palace, and are forced to take part in the contests, in the course of which the Doctor discovers that his rival Prince Augmentio is in fact an android constructed by Grendel, programmed to woo the Queen and then kill her. Meanwhile, Benny meets Oberon, king of the rejected androids who live in the forest, and learns that Count Grendel has kidnapped Oberon’s wife Titania in order to force Oberon to do his bidding. The Doctor reprogrammes Augmentio and sends him to rescue Titania, thus breaking Grendel’s hold over Oberon. Meanwhile, the Kandyman of Terra Alpha crashes on Tara, and Grendel’s technicians repair him and recruit him for Grendel’s cause. When his other plans fail, Grendel attacks the castle and has the Kandyman kidnap Strella; but Reynart then returns, revealing that he’s been held prisoner all this time in a temporal trap engineered by three witches who had been promised power by Grendel. The trap was broken by the arrival of the TARDIS. When the Kandyman threatens to kill Strella, Grendel’s technicians rebel and shut it down, and Grendel retreats to fight another day.

Time-Placement: The 7th Doctor and Benny are together placing it between Set Piece and Original Sin.

Housewarming by David A. McIntee Sarah Jane Smith, Mike Yates and K-9

Sarah and K9 join Mike Yates on a field trip to a haunted house, along with a number of graduate students and the rich, eccentric Count Marius Castillo. Ghostly apparitions are indeed appearing in the house, but something else is also going on, and someone disables K9 to keep him out of the picture. The student Peter is murdered while trying to repair K9, and Mike finds the corpse, which has been shrunken to the size of a doll. The Count is in fact the Master, who reveals that this house is owned by the Doctor and is built over a time fissure. The Doctor’s TARDIS is approaching even now, and the artron energy is being conducted out of the time fissure and through the house’s plumbing, causing temporal distortion and the ghostly apparitions. The Master has calculated the exact moment of the Doctor’s arrival and has installed a device in the house which will release the energy from the time fissure when the TARDIS materialises, destroying it. Mike locates the device which is draining away K9’s energy, and K9 locates and destroys the Master’s time vector filter, forcing the Master to abandon his plans and flee.

Time-Placement: Non-Doctor story.

The Nine-Day Queen by Matthew Jones 1st Doctor, Ian and Barbara

The TARDIS is invaded by an energy being known as a Vrij, which amplifies and feeds on human arrogance and anger. The creature first possesses Barbara and tries to drive her to kill Ian, but she resists it and it passes out of the TARDIS into the night outside. The Doctor and his companions pursue it, but it invades a wolf and tries to kill them. The wolf is killed by young Jane Grey, who has gone out hunting, and when the Duke of Northumberland accuses the newcomers of trespassing, Jane saves their lives again by claiming that the Doctor is her tutor. Although well aware of the fate which history has in store for Jane, and although he’s developing some fondness for the youngster, the Doctor is unable to intervene and must watch history unfold while trying to track down the Vrij’s new host. This turns out to be the Duke. Jane is being used as a political pawn, and when she reluctantly becomes the Queen of England she is challenged by Mary. The Duke gathers an army to defend Jane’s right to the throne, and the Doctor realises that the Vrij is acting through him, drawing more followers to his side. However, the Doctor confronts the Duke and draws the Vrij out into the open, where he traps it inside a vortex unit built for this very purpose. The army flees in terror, believing that the Duke had been possessed by a demon. The Doctor hopes to rescue Jane, but he is too late; Mary’s supporters take the city, and despite her innocence, Jane is taken to the Tower to await her inevitable execution for treason.

Time-Placement: Between The Dalek Invasion of Earth and The Rescue.

Lonely Days by Daniel Blythe 5th Doctor and Nyssa

The Doctor and Nyssa visit an asteroid which the Doctor once won in a game of cards to see how its sole inhabitant, Earth Colony agent Sebastian Musgrove, has been developing it. Mulgrove’s only companion is a static hologram of his dead lover Tarla McCall, who was killed in a Dalek attack. The base has recently been affected by strange power losses and telekinetic storms, and the lonely Sebastian fears that something living in the wilderness is trying to kill him. Desperate, he offers up the Doctor and Nyssa in his place, but the Doctor manages to communicate with the life form, Telxzana, and discovers that she is the last of her kind and means Musgrove no harm. Rather, she wishes to warn him that she is dying, and as her life force inhabits this asteroid’s sole continent her death will result in the destruction of the world. The Doctor and Nyssa agree to contact Earth and have Musgrove taken to safety, while he waits out the world’s last days with Telxzana inhabiting the hologram of Tarla and providing him with much-needed company.

Time-Placement: Between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity. It is almost certainly the earliest of the Fifth Doctor/Nyssa short stories as it is one of the few that makes reference to Tegan's recent departure.

People of the Trees by Pam Baddeley 4th Doctor and Leela

A telepathic cry for help summons the Doctor and Leela to Dascaria, where one of the Doctor’s former incarnations once purchased a plot of land in order to protect the native People of the Trees from the “civilised” urbargalim. The urbargalim believe in a spiritual bond between the land and its owner, which they call verevan, and as they regard the People as subhuman, the Doctor’s desire to protect the People is thus interpreted as love for their land. Although his verevan levels prove his right to own the land, the People’s troubles are not over; their distress has been caused by the theft of two of their three sacred idols, symbols of their civilisation’s gods. The thief, Zusala, was hired by a woman named Aurelian, a direct descendant of the man who gambled the People’s land away to the Doctor; she still bears the family shame of a broken bond with the land, and will do anything to atone for her ancestor’s actions. The Doctor realises that Aurelian is responsible for the “accidental” deaths which have enabled her to buy up the land around the Doctor’s holdings. Aurelian kills Zusala and kidnaps Leela, threatening to kill her unless the Doctor hands over the third idol. The People allow the Doctor to take the idol, and focus their prayers on him as he goes. In the confrontation which follows, Aurelian is distracted by a psychic force emanating from the idols, and while trying to shoot the Doctor she accidentally fires into the force field behind which Leela is trapped, thus vapourising herself. The Doctor returns the stolen idols to the People, realising that the call came from the People themselves; as symbols of their civilisation, the idols serve to focus the People’s latent psychic powers.

Time-Placement: K-9 is mentioned, setting this somewhere between The Invisible Enemy and The Invasion of Time.

Timeshare by Vanessa Bishop 6th Doctor and Peri

Peri stumbles across a note in the Doctor’s coat pocket, which directs him to a certain set of co-ordinates; however, he misreads the final digit and stubbornly refuses to accept Peri’s correction. Their destination is an H.O.P. timeshare building in the year 1929, where temporal technology has been used to place the same building in several different time zones simultaneously. The Doctor finds that he’s been signed in for the first week of November, and fills the meter, paying for his week of time; however, when he and Peri enter they find that Godfrey and his sister Milly, who usually take the last week of October, noticed that the Doctor had never used his week in the past -- and since Godfrey wasn’t feeling well, they decided to stay on an extra week. Thus, the Doctor has filled an already full meter and crammed fourteen days into a single week, creating a potential temporal disaster. The timeshares begin to overlap, and Godfrey and Milly flee in terror after seeing the “ghosts” of people who have bought the first week of November in other time periods. Worse, one of the “ghosts” takes on the form of a hideous alien corpse. A Time Lord then arrives, incognito, and patiently explains to the irritated Doctor that the corpse belongs to a vampiric alien life form which died in 1920; the Doctor was supposed to remove the body and shut down the timeshare building, but since he misread the final digit of the co-ordinates he’s arrived nine years too late. The Doctor returns to 1920 to dispose of the alien body, and then rewires the timeshare meter to use up time at an accelerated rate, thus setting things to rights.

Time-Placement: The 6th Doctor and Peri still seem very bitchy to each other, so this story must be set during Season 22.

Question Mark Pyjamas by Robert Perry and Mike Tucker 7th Doctor, Ace and Bernice

The TARDIS materialises on a distant asteroid, where the Doctor is extremely surprised to find that his house from Kent has been uprooted and placed in a theme park. The Doctor confronts the park’s owner, Garpol, who is delighted to meet the house’s owners -- and uses his security robots to force them into the house, intending to make them live there as permanent on-site exhibits. The Doctor plays along with Garpol for the time being, and tells Ace a bedtime story about a girl who finds a magic ornament on the mantlepiece of her home’s fireplace. The next day, Ace finds a snowstorm paperweight on the mantlepiece. Garpol orders Ace to play in the yard like a good girl, and the Doctor sends her to the garden shed to fetch her bike -- which turns out to be a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Ace uses the Harley to evade the robot guards and find her way back to the TARDIS, where she plugs the paperweight into a depression on the console. The Doctor, meanwhile, takes Benny into the wine cellars, ostensibly to fetch a bottle for lunch; in fact, the paperweight has opened a dimensional link between the cellars and the TARDIS, enabling them to walk straight to the console room. As the furious Garpol sends in his security robots, the Doctor deactivates the link, materialises the TARDIS around his house and returns to Earth, intending to inform Irving Braxiatel and have action taken against Garpol.

Time-Placement: The 7th Doctor, Ace and Benny are all together, placing it between Lucifer Rising and Set Piece. They all seem to be getting along rather well, certainly placing it after No Future.

Continuity Note: Garshak is referred to briefly in Storm Harvest, thus presumably setting this story in the same historical era.

Source: Cameron Dixon
[Back to Main Page] [Decalog 1] [Decalog 3]