Alien Bodies was the sixth in the series of BBC Eighth Doctor Adventure novels. It was written by Lawrence Miles and first published in 1997. It was the first novel to feature the War in Heaven, which would become a major arc element in the Eighth Doctor Adventures and the Faction Paradox spinoff series.
Publisher's summary Edit
On an island in the East Indies, in a lost city buried deep in the heart of the rainforest, agents of the most formidable powers in the galaxy are gathering. They have been invited there to bid for what could turn out to be the deadliest weapon ever created.
When the Doctor and Sam arrive in the city, the Time Lord soon realises they've walked into the middle of the strangest auction in history — and what's on sale to the highest bidder is something more horrifying than even the Doctor could have imagined, something that could change his life forever.
And just when it seems things can't get any worse, the Doctor finds out who else is on the guest list.
Years later, the Doctor (now in his eighth incarnation) is playing a game of chess with General Tchike of UNISYC, when suddenly the general pulls a gun on him. Tchike tells the Doctor that the only reason the various Earth governments he has encountered down the years have never done this before is because they never really believed that the Doctor could be actually killed. Now they have received information from a source in what was once Borneo that suggests differently. Before Tchike can shoot however, the Doctor dives out a nearby window. Tchike knows he won't hit the ground; after all, he's the Doctor. In fact the TARDIS has been hovering outside and reunited with Sam the Doctor heads to Borneo to investigate.
In Borneo (now referred to as East Indies Revit Zone) two other UNISYC soldiers, Colonel Kortez and Lieutenant Kathleen Bregman arrive at what appears to be the ruins of an ancient city, but it is really a block-transfer computational structure known as the Unthinkable City. The City is a venue for the auction for an artefact, known as the Relic. In addition to the two UNISYC soldiers, other bidders include a dead man named Trask, a conceptual entity referred to as the Shift, a Time Lord called Homunculette and two representatives from Faction Paradox, Cousin Justine and Brother Manjuele. The auction is being organised by Mr Qixotl, who is awaiting the arrival of one more party before the bidding can begin. When the TARDIS materialises at the City, the Doctor and Sam are attacked by leopards that are programmed to attack anyone whose biodata they do not recognise. However, the Doctor locates one of their control pads and adds his own and Sam's biodata to the guest list. Qixotl, horrified, recognises the Doctor and tries to hide his identity from the other quests.
Homunculette is a Time Lord from sometime in the Doctor's future where the Time Lords are entangled in a war with their mysterious enemy. The Time Lords want to possess the Relic because they think it will give them an advantage in the war and Homunculette has been pursuing it across history. At some point it fell into the hands of Earth governments and Homunculette attempted to retrieve it after the Dalek invasion, but Qixotl had already claimed it. His companion Marie is actually his TARDIS, disguised as a woman. In the City, Marie's weapons systems are suddenly turned against her and she explodes. While the Doctor is amazed by the future evolution of TARDISes, Homunculette assumes that Faction Paradox are responsible, since they are natural enemies of Time Lords. Faction Paradox also once possessed the Relic, which they unearthed from the ruins on Dronid, where the first battle between the Time Lords and the Enemy was fought. However, its discoverers didn't realise its significance and fired it off into the vortex as part of a ritual (where it eventually came to Earth).
Sam finds Bregman has gone into culture shock at the presence of so many alien beings and wonders why she has never felt such feelings. The pair is drawn into the Faction Paradox shrine, which resembles a TARDIS crossed with a voodoo shrine, where Brother Manjuele attacks them and takes a biodata sample from Bregman. Both Bregman and Sam begin hearing voices in their heads which appear to come from the Relic and follow them into the heart of the City. The Doctor confronts Qixotl and demands to known what the Relic is. Qixotl reveals the truth; the Relic is a coffin containing the Doctor's own future dead body.
Flashbacks reveal Qixotl was once on Dronid just prior to the battle. He was stranded there following the collapse of various criminal activities and learnt from local gossip that the Doctor was on his way to Dronid, but no-one is sure whether he has sided with his own people or the enemy. The current Doctor presses Qixotl for more information, but is appalled when he reveals that the Daleks are the last bidder to arrive. Outside, a black spaceship descends and Qixotl and the Doctor go to meet it. But instead of the Daleks, a Kroton called E-Kobalt emerges, having killed the Dalek passengers and taken their ship. The Krotons are also aware of the future war from captured Time Lord prisoners and believe they can use the conflict to further their empire.
Sam and Bregman reach the Relic in a vault at the centre of the City, but suddenly the City's internal defences are activated which use the intruders biodata to create a psychic attack unique to the individual. Bregman is filled with a sense of self-loathing and despair and Sam is attacked by giant babies that appear out of the walls, but the only result is to make her confused. Forced to ignore the auction, the Doctor rushes to shut off the system and rescue them. Finding Sam and the dead embryos, he realises that Sam has two sets of biodata; the Sam he knows and another dark-haired version. This confused the security system and it couldn't generate a proper attack. The Doctor concludes that someone has re-written Sam's biodata to make her the perfect travelling companion for him. His conclusion is confirmed by the dead body in the coffin. Despite being dead, a Time Lord's mind remains active to some degree and the Doctor more so than usual and it has been calling out to Sam, Bergman and the current Doctor.
Back in the Faction shrine, Manjuele attempts to take over Bregman's mind while it is in a confused state. But the Doctor realises what is happening and touches the dead mind inside the Relic to give himself enough energy to push Manjuele out. Repelled from Bergman, Manjuele realises the Doctor's identity and bursts into the auction to tell the others. The various groups assume they have been set up and turn on each other. As the Doctor intervenes, he suddenly recognises Qixotl from his past and is consumed with a desire for bloody revenge on the man who tried to profit from his death. As he is about to strangle him, he suddenly realises that they are all being manipulated by the Shift, that has got into all their minds and exploited their various insecurities to set them against each other. The Doctor deliberately falls into a catatonic state, trapping the Shift inside his mind. It reveals that it works for the Enemy. It was originally a Gabrielidean soldier who fought on the side of the Time Lords and encountered a future Doctor, before dying and being turned in a conceptual entity for the Enemy. When the Doctor wakes up, it can no longer influence the bidders, so retreats inside E-Kobalt to await another chance.
The chance arrives soon for E-Kobalt has summoned re-enforcements and the Doctor's actions have deactivated the security systems. Abandoning the auction the bidders attempt to flee. In the chaos, Qixotl is mortally wounded, only to be approached by Trask. Trask is an agent of the Celestis, a future version of the Celestial Intervention Agency who have removed themselves from existence and become beings of pure thought who observe the war from outside the universe. They maintain influence through their agents who bear their mark. They brought Trask back from the dead as such an agent and they can save Qixotl in the same way, if he gives them the Relic. The Doctor uses a piece of crystal discharged by the Krotons weaponry as a biodata sample, which he uses to activate the Faction shrine so the bidders can escape. Meanwhile, Marie has been slowly repairing herself and makes contact with the Doctor. He materialises the Shrine around the attacking Krotons, who accidentally destroy themselves attempting to blast their way out of the Shrine. The Doctor seizes the moment and traps the Shift in a mental prison inside his mind. Stepping out to reclaim his own body, he finds Qixotl has surrendered it to the Celestis, who have taken it to their extra-dimensional home, Mictlan.
The Doctor follows Trask and arrives in the castle at the centre of Mictlan where the Celestis watch the universe through a portal in the floor. In addition to the Celestis the world is also populated by their servants, who made deals with them across history and now live a terrible existence as slaves. Just before the battle on Dronid, a future (and possibly the final) Doctor made his own deal with the Celestis to stop them interfering on Dronid. Now they are going to take his body in payment of this debt. The current Doctor makes a counter offer; they can mark his current body and he will be their agent in return for releasing the Relic to him. They agree and place a mark on his hand; but in fact the Doctor has tricked them and they have actually marked the Shift inside his mind.
Returning to the real world the bidders go their separate ways; Qixotl dismantles the City (glad the Doctor never learnt the truth about how he got his hands on the Relic and that those involved did not discover the somewhat questionable pedigree of the corpse), Marie and Homunculette return to the war, the Shift is downloaded into the TARDIS memory. Bregman returns to UNISYC, taking comfort from the fact that although humanity is such as small part of the universe, the higher powers still need human beings to define their existence. The Doctor chooses not to tell Sam about the Relic or what he's learnt about her biodata. He takes the Relic to Quiescia and buries it next to the grave his third self dug. He then uses a bomb to destroy his own body forever.
- Eighth Doctor
- Samantha Jones
- The Shift
- Cousin Justine
- Cousin Manjuele
- Kathleen Bregman
- Kristopher Patrick Englund
- Genetic Politics Beyond the Third Zone by Gustous R Thripsted contains a preface about cross species translation conventions.
- The Doctor accesses the things he needs in his pockets from reading Karma and Flares: The Importance of Fashion Sense to the Modern Zen Master.
Cultural references from the real world Edit
- The Doctor mentions Ace when talking about Sam and popular cultural reference.
- The Raston Hardware Company made the Raston cybernetic lapdancers Qixotl has in the auction room.
Dalek history Edit
- In the "late twenty-first century...by now, most of the Daleks are scattered around the edges of the Mutters' Spiral, trying to build up a decent galactic powerbase. The ones who got left behind on Skaro are just starting to think about putting together their own little empire. The 'static electricity' phase of the Dalek development".
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor recalls finding his (faked) gravestone on Necros.
- In his sixth body the Doctor had begun to see the logic in cold-blooded murder.
- The Doctor, in thinking about Homunculette (being the High Council's puppet), considers the ways he's been pushed around in the past: "Gallifrey had pushed him around, too. A show-trial here, a subtle manipulation there. Exarius. Peladon. Solos. Skaro."
The Doctor's items Edit
- The Doctor uses his mark one sonic screwdriver which was destroyed "centuries ago".
- The Doctor at one point had a winklegruber neural parameter predictor; you tell it what you're looking for and it works out the last place you'd think of searching.
- UNIT was superseded by UNISYC, "the militant wing of the UN's 'Security Yard'" This implies UNISYC stands for United Nations Intelligence Security Yard Corps.
- Kathleen Bregman joined UNISYC to fight Cybermen.
- Cannabis cigarettes are manufactured in Birmingham and are legal at some time after 2069.
- The Toy Store is where the Americans store their alien technology.
- Mr Shift can only manipulate ideas or work with them. He is working the enemy.
- Homunculette was taught escapology by the War Cardinals in the training complex on Gallifrey XII.
- Colonel Kortez is a member of UNISYC. He was part of the ISC division of UNISYC during the Cyberbreaches in the 2030s.
- Trask is dead. He's representing the Celestis' interests. He was from era of Earth's history where the White House and the House of Commons were political centres.
- Homunculette swears in Old High Gallifreyan.
Time Lord enemies Edit
- The Doctor has met the Faction Paradox once before, in his previous incarnation.
- The enemy are time-active.
- The Faction's Shrine is like a TARDIS modelled out of pure mathematics.
Gallifreyan artefacts Edit
- Wearing the Sash of Rassilon changed elements of the Doctor's biology, giving the Doctor's biodata the High Council's security codes.
- The Doctor liked to take the Hand of Omega around for walks when he was on Earth.
- Qixotl is called the god of ludicrous profit on Golobus.
- A "couple of weeks ago", Sam says she was in the 40th century.
- Faction Paradox cultists came to Dronid from far-off places like as Lurma and Salostopus.
- The organic ships of the Zygons and the thinker-weapons of the Selachians are mentioned with regard to the Faction Paradox's Shrine.
- The Celestis are Time Lords who saw the war coming and removed themselves from existence and turned themselves into idea based lifeforms.
- Inside a Dalek spacecraft, the walls are luminescent black, not visible by humanoid eyes.
- The Shift was a Gabrielidean, a liquid-based lifeform on Simia KK98. He was fighting as part of the military, for the Time Lords.
- The Kroton's original homeworld was called Krosi-Aspai-Core. The Kroton Absolute evolved from a quasi-organic tellurium-based crystal.
- Qixotl and the Doctor last saw each other in an incident involving the Antiridean organ-eaters.
- Marie is a Type 103 TARDIS. She started her life on Simia KK98. She mated with a Type 105. When the mini-TARDIS had grown in her womb the Time Lords took it from her.
- The Shift introduces the concept of paranoia to Marie, making her turn her weapons systems on herself.
Time wars Edit
- "The Time Lords had fought the first battle of their war on Dronid almost half a century ago...the off worlders liked to think of it as a war in heaven, all hellfire and thunder".
- The Time Lords need the Relic for the biodata codes.
- The De-mat Gun and Sash of Rassilon were among items wiped out by the enemy toward the start of the War.
- A future Doctor, probably "the last one", visited Mictlan and made a deal with the Celestis for them not to involve themselves in the attack on Dronid, for his body, with a few stipulations attached.
- At some time around the local Dronid year of 15367, the Time Lords launched an offensive on Dronid; the enemy took counter-measures.
Theories and concepts Edit
- Silverberg energy is present when there are signs of psychic energy.
- Learning about future history is against the Laws of Time.
- Displacer syndrome is the likelihood of going mad/committing suicide after seeing the things UNISYC deal with.
- The Doctor says in passing that Susan was the psychic one in the family.
Time Lords Edit
- Homunculette spent time in his house on Simia KK98 sealed in under silos and permafrost trying to go mad or get drunk.
- Homunculette claims he (like all Time Lords) is alcohol-immune.
- The Doctor has childhood memories that "the Spirits of the Faction had been numbered among time's bogeymen just like Rassilon's Mimic or the Great Vampires."
- Biodata goes deeper than DNA and genetics, though it is part of the biodata matrix, as certain experiences (particularly those involving time travel) get encoded into the biology of the being whose biodata it is. Time Lords have certain mechanisms built into their biodata that make them sensitive to distortions in the biodata around them, and Presidents and ex-Presidents are granted access to various Time Lord secrets upon their rise to power as their biodata is altered by the presidential relics.
- Homunculette thinks about the Last Wave.
- Colonel Kortez gives the Doctor a Selachian thermosystron bomb, which he uses to destroy the Relic.
- Bio-induction pumps genetic material into an eco-system. It was also used as a security system that protected the Relic using biodata.
- Homunculette is paranoid about Anarchitects when visiting 22nd century Earth to look for artefact.
- DWM 282 features an interview with Lawrence Miles about Alien Bodies and Interference.
- According to Lawrence Miles
- "...there's at least one Celestis agent in each of the seven "flashback" stories; the Celestis have been watching the Relic's progress for quite a while, just waiting for the right time to seize it (as the narrator notes on p.288). All these agents finally line up on p.295."
- The nine members of "Mictlan's finest" are: the Black Man from "Homunculette's Story", two members of the Men in Black from "UNISYC's Story", two sharp-toothed allies of Sanjira from "The Faction's Story", Don XaPristi from "Qixotl's Story", qQqa=mo+rna=t from "E-Kobalt's Story", an individual wearing a parody of Time Lord ceremonial robes from "The Shift's Story", and Trask from "The Dead Man's Story".
- "If you want to know the history of the Relic - and, indeed, some of the history of the War - all you have to do is read the seven "flashback" stories in reverse order. Qixotl hears about the Doctor's demise in Mr Qixotl's Story, and thereafter begins his search for the Relic. It's Faction Paradox who finally dig it up from the ruins of Dronid, and thereafter send it into the vortex, from whence it eventually finds its way to Earth in 2069. The American authorities hide it in the Toy Store, where it stays for a hundred years, until the planet's invaded by the Daleks and the Relic falls into the hands of the Black Man (in 2169, as we see in Homunculette's Story). It's here that Qixotl finally catches up with it, and takes it to the Unthinkable City in time for his auction. However, if p.309 is anything to go by, Qixotl has learned something about the Relic while he's been searching for it. Something he's not sharing with us, natch."
- In 2002, Miles would explain his usage of the Krotons by saying, "One of the points of Alien Bodies was to do something that felt like a Robert Holmes story, but set in the same universe as the TV Movie. I felt the TV Movie was only half a Doctor Who story, it was like a cross-breed of Doctor Who as we knew it and American SF television. So, the idea was to do a kind of second-generation cross-breed, kind of 75 per cent Doctor Who instead of just 50 per cent. It needed an "old" monster for it to work properly, and I felt fairly confident about using Krotons because... well, it's not really as if anybody's that bothered about them."
- On Dronid's name Lance Parkin notes: "In the note about Drornid it's claimed that I got the name of the planet wrong in A History of the Universe. The spelling 'Drornid' appears in the script which came with the video (of Shada). The spelling 'Dronid' first appeared in The Universal Databank - the joke that Lawrence is making is that so many people read the 'guidebook' without checking the facts that the name 'Dronid' stuck in the end! For the record, it's spelt 'Drornid' in A History of the Universe (p.251)."
- In 2012, Miles said "Alien Bodies shares 95% of its DNA with its closest relative, 4-D War", which influenced both his view of Gallifrey's future and Marc Platt's view of Gallifrey's past. 
- The Black Man has Ice Warrior relics from "before they dropped the rock". (PROSE: Legacy)
- The Doctor pulls a sink plunger from his pocket to operate a Dalek craft, similar to the one he used in TV: Remembrance of the Daleks.
- The final events of TV: Earthshock are mentioned by the Doctor's psychosis.
- The Doctor remembers witnessing a fake version of his grave on Necros (TV: Revelation of the Daleks).
- The Eleventh Doctor witnesses another version of his future grave on Trenzalore in TV: The Name of the Doctor; he eventually managed to avert that timeline in TV: The Time of the Doctor.
- The Second Doctor caused Trask's death in TV: The Highlanders.
- The TARDIS's protocol for disposing of the Doctor's body in the case of his death would later be called the Laika Protocol. (PROSE: The Many Hands)
- Alien Bodies at the Faction Paradox wiki
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Alien Bodies at The Whoniverse
- Doctor Who Bewildering Reference Guide to - Alien Bodies with notes by Lawrence Miles
- The Cloister Library: Alien Bodies