TARDIS Index File

Cold Fusion (novel)

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Cold Fusion
Doctor: Fifth Doctor
Companion(s): Adric, Nyssa, Tegan
Featuring: Seventh Doctor, Chris, Roz
Main enemy: The Ferutu
Main setting: An unnamed human colony, the 27th to 28th centuries
Key crew
Publisher: Virgin Books
Writer: Lance Parkin
Release details
Release number: 29
Release date: 5 December 1996
Format: Paperback Book, 319 Pages
ISBN 0-426-20489-1
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Cold Fusion was the twenty-ninth novel in the Virgin Missing Adventures series. It was written by Lance Parkin. It was the only multi-Doctor story involving televised Doctors ever told by Virgin Books. It involved the unusual pairing of the season 19 Fifth Doctor with the Seventh Doctor near the end of the Virgin New Adventures line.

Originally intended to be published alongside PROSE: So Vile a Sin to emotionally leverage Roz Forrester's death in that book, delays on Sin meant that people who read the book on publication didn't see this intended aspect of the book.

As a multi-Doctor story, its perspective was unusual. The Seventh Doctor was portrayed as largely disdainful of his earlier self's presence because of the dangers it presented. Though temporal paradoxes and other consequences of two Doctors meeting were touched upon in televised multi-Doctor stories, here they were more central. Moreover, the structure broke with the format of televised multi-Doctor stories, which held that the latest incarnation was the "current" Doctor and therefore the effective headlining "star" of the show. On balance, Fusion was a Fifth Doctor novel that happened to feature the Seventh, rather than a Seventh Doctor novel that used the Fifth.

Publisher's summary

"The entire universe is at stake and I'm locked in here with another incarnation of myself, and not even one of the good ones!"

More than one TARDIS lands on a barren ice world. The Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan find a once ordered society on the verge of collapse, as rebels wage a dirty war with Scientifica, the ruling elite. All that stands between order and anarchy is the massed presence of an Adjudicator peacekeeping force.

But is peace the only reason for the Adjudicator garrison? What exactly has been discovered deep below the planet's surface? Who are the mysterious Ferutu? And why is telling a ghost story a criminal offence?

The Fifth Doctor sides with the cause of justice and fairness as always. But, as a threat to the universe unfolds, he finds himself in conflict with his past... and his future.


to be added



Cultural references from the real world

  • Tegan has seen Blake's 7 and can cope with the idea of transmats.
  • The statement from the Train Computer, "The lever you have pulled – 'Brakes' – is not in service. Please make a note of it", is a reference to an episode of The Simpsons called "Marge Vs. The Monorail", where Homer's attempts to brake an out-of-control monorail are met with the same response.
  • On page 142, the line "The birds sing a pretty song and there is always music in the air..." is likely a direct reference to episode 2 of the American TV show Twin Peaks.

The Doctor

  • The Fifth Doctor is only just getting over his recent regeneration.
  • The Seventh Doctor has to hide his emotions upon seeing Adric again.

Foods and beverages


Individual Time Lords

  • Patience was in the house of Blyledge on "Glorious Gallifrey". She has/had thirteen children.
  • Patience's husband was one of the first to explore the vortex.
  • The Other's/Doctor's children were culled, but Susan Foreman was saved.


  • The Fifth Doctor claims to never use expletives.
  • The Fifth Doctor speaks a sentence in Gallifreyan to Patience. To Adric, the words sound almost musical, and remind him of a nursery rhyme.
  • Tegan studied several foreign languages.


  • Unitatus is what UNIT became; they use the old UNIT logo (a grid within a circle) as their herald.


  • The colony has a Skybase in orbit.
  • Alien technology from the Martian invasion onwards boosted human technology, helping their space program.


  • The Ferutu are beings from an alternate universe in which Gallifrey was destroyed shortly after Omega's experiments; they have assumed the role of the Time Lords, and actively engage in protecting and shaping the universe. Their "technology" (if it can be called that) is more akin to magic runes.
  • The Embodiment of Gris is mentioned by the Fifth Doctor.



  • The Fifth and Seventh Doctors both use a technique which they describe as being "beyond the science of the Humanian Era", namely reversing the polarity of the neutron flow to disarm several fusion bombs.
  • A SAM drone is a mass-produced drone.



Behind the scenes

  • The Gallifreyan sentence recited by the Doctor on page 124 is represented in the text by Greek letters: 'Ανδ Ι τυρνεδ αρουνδ ανδ τηεψ ωερε αλλ ωεαρινγ εψεπατχηεσ.' The passage doesn't actually mean anything in Greek, but if transliterated letter-by-letter to English the passage becomes 'And I turned around and they were all wearing eyepatches,' a sly reference to the infamous Eyepatch Story.

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