"You're on your own, Ace."
The TARDIS is invaded by an alien presence, and is then destroyed. The Doctor disappears.
Ace, lost and alone, finds herself in a bizarre deserted city ruled by the tyrannical, leech-like monster known as the Process.
Lost voyagers drawn forward from Ancient Gallifrey perform obsessive rituals in the ruins.
The strands of time are tangled in a cat's cradle of dimensions.
Only the Doctor can challenge the rule of the Process and restore the stolen Future.
But the Doctor was destroyed long ago, before Time began.
to be added
Crew of the Time Scaphe
- Sphinx of Thule
- Rassilon created the Looms to save Gallifrey from potential extinction caused by Pythia's curse of sterility upon Gallifrey.
- The Process is called "Amphisbaena" in the Book of Future Legends.
- Rassilon the God was written by Cardinal Borusa.
- The Pythia sends her sisterhood to Karn.
- The Doctor and Ace order a moussaka and chips, a baked Alaska, a glass of water and a glass of milk.
- The Time Scaphe crew live on dry biscuits from the TARDIS food machine.
Gallifreyan Chapter Houses
- The Doctor is one of forty-five cousins of the House of Lungbarrow.
- Sepulchasm is a board game on Gallifrey.
- Anmers-Tonastide was the Festival of the Timewright.
- Kithriarch equals "father" on Gallifrey before Rassilon.
- Treazant was the currency on Gallifrey.
- Pianalaika is related to music or bands.
- White sand was imported from Mirphak 2 to Gallifrey for the Games of Rassilon because it showed up the blood better.
- The Academia was a place of learning on Gallifrey.
- The Pythia were the ruler of Gallifrey before Rassilon.
- Pythia came from before the Intuitive Revelation which heralded the rise of Rassilon to power.
- The Court of Principals are an organisation on Gallifrey.
- The Council Police enforce the law.
- Neo-Technologists were aligned to Rassilon.
- Satthralope was house keeper in the Doctor's House on Gallifrey.
- Logistomancer is from A32K.
- Aubert Cluster demand independence from the Pythia.
- Thule had an empire.
- Menti Celesti are "capricious and all-powerful", "who saw all things but did nothing".
- Tafelshrew is a rodent from Gallifrey.
- Gallifreyans battled the Gryffnae and hunted the lacustrine Sattisar.
- There is a plague of batworms on the asteroid archipelago.
- Pythia had a Grelladian guard.
- Jagdagians were performers in circuses.
- In a market Pen-Shoza traders displayed fresh consignments of workers from Oshakarm and the Star Grellades.
Theories and concepts
- The Doctor mentions Blinovictual Theory, most likely a reference to the Blinovitch Limitation Effect.
- Banshee Circuits are what the TARDIS uses to survive when everything else fails. It uses whatever resources are available: people, places, dreams etc.
- This is the first novel in the Cat's Cradle trilogy.
- This story was adapted from an unproduced television story.
- Time's Crucible leads directly into Warhead, implying that the Doctor was planning to deal with the Butler Institute after having a meal with Ace in Ealing before the Process broke into the TARDIS.
- The Doctor claims that he has never been to Alaska. In reality, he visited the state in his fifth (AUDIO: The Land of the Dead) and would visit it again in his seventh (AUDIO: Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge) incarnations.
- No natural born child exists on Gallifrey since Pythia's curse; however, PROSE: Cold Fusion and Lungbarrow question this.
- Ancient Gallifrey is also seen and described in PROSE: Interference - Book Two.
- The Sisterhood of Karn first appeared in TV: The Brain of Morbius.
- Lady Peinforte mentioned mysterious secrets about the Doctor in TV: Silver Nemesis.
- Ace does not like black cats, which were prominent in TV: Survival.
- This is the first time it is suggested that the TARDIS is to be piloted by six people. This was later referenced on screen in TV: Journey's End.
- Ace has, on previous explorations of the TARDIS, found the courtyard that was a central location in TV: Logopolis and the room of cricket supplies seen in TV: Castrovalva.
- The Doctor eyes window display mannequins "with a mix of curiosity and suspicion", telling Ace, "Never be certain of what you think you see." (TV: Spearhead from Space)
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible
- Bewildering References guide to Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible