First Frontier was the thirtieth New Adventures novel. It featured the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice Summerfield. This novel also featured the first in-novel regeneration of a character from the TV series: the Master. It was one of three novels written by David A. McIntee that feature the Master, with Virgin Missing Adventures' The Dark Path following in 1997 and BBC Past Doctor Adventures' The Face of the Enemy being published in 1998.
- Ace raised her blaster. "You've already killed me once, girl," Kreer said. "Didn't you learn anything from that?"
When Bernice asks to see the dawn of the space age, the Doctor takes the TARDIS to the United States of America in 1957 — and into the midst of distrust and paranoia. The Cold War is raging, bringing the world to the brink of atomic destruction.
Two nuclear warheads have been stolen; there are traitors to the human species in the highest ranks of the army; and alien infiltrators have assumed human form. Only one person seems to know what's going on: the army's mysterious scientific advisor, the enigmatic Major Kreer.
On May Day, 1957, the Soviets launch Sputnik I. After it begins its orbit, the signal begins to fade and the satellite is lost. The mission will be erased from history, and when Sputnik II is launched, it will be renamed "Sputnik I."
to be added
- Seventh Doctor
- Bernice Summerfield
- The Master
- Joe Manco
- Allen Dulles
- Jack Finney
- Ken Andrews
- Marion Davison
- Robert Agar
- Jack Siegel
- The Master and Ace can detect each other because they are both infected with the Cheetah Virus.
- The Master used Tzun genetic engineering to remove the Trakenite DNA from his body to restore him to a full Time Lord.
- Brady watches I Love Lucy.
Cultural references from the real world
- The Doctor makes a sly reference to Santa Mira.
- The Master respects Bernice and has read her paper on Martian Feudalism.
- Shadow is the name of a Kitling named by the Master. It took him from the Cheetah World to 1950s America.
- Bandraginus Five was a shipyard for the Vegans.
- Before being trapped on the Cheetah World the Master tried to start a war between Antari Two and Antari Three.
- The Cheetah World had an atmosphere rich in artron energy.
- Bernice is immune to the Master's hypnotism.
- The Nestene Consciousness controls a section of the Tau quadrant.
- The Tzun are from the planet S'Arl.
- The Sidhe are mentioned.
- First Rank is a rank of Time Lords.
- Other species mentioned include the Rutan Host, Venusians, Cybermen, and the Sontarans, whom the Tzun feel are inferior warriors who do not develop their tactics and so become stagnant.
- It is best (supposedly) to have five arms and five legs when using Venusian aikido.
- The Master constructs a Stattenheim remote control to retrieve his TARDIS.
Theories and concepts
- There is some discussion of dimensional transcendence, which in turn leads to discussions of Gallifreyan warp matrix engineering and Block Transfer Computations.
- The Master claims to be a Time Lord of the First Rank.
- The Master uses his Tissue Compression Eliminator once more.
- Sophie Aldred later posed for photographs wearing an outfit based upon the one worn by Ace on the cover of this novel, for her memoir, Ace! The Inside Story of the End of an Era.
- A prelude was published for this novel in DWM 216.
- This is the first published work to feature the Master post-Survival. Later stories would contradict First Frontier, which follows on directly from Survival. The Master is still infected by the Cheetah virus in Housewarming and Prime Time, and is returned to his last crispy incarnation (before Tremas) in Dust Breeding.
- The regenerated Master's appearance is based on Basil Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood, according to McIntee, First Frontier's author (DWM 222).
- The Master rids himself of his Trakenite DNA, (TV: The Keeper of Traken) which the Doctor theorises was most affected by the Cheetah Virus. (TV: Survival)
- The Sidhe are mentioned as existing in some of the upper dimensions above Earth. (PROSE: Autumn Mist)
- The Tzun later appear in PROSE: Mission: Impractical, and a single Tzun appears in PROSE: Return of the Living Dad.
- Bandraginus Five was mined and squashed to a ball by Zanak. (TV: The Pirate Planet)
- The Master later reappears to cause havoc for Benny. (PROSE: Happy Endings)
- The Master and a Kitling escaped the Cheetah Planet's destruction together. (TV: Survival)
- The Seventh Doctor had a dream where his foes chased him around a soap opera. (Dimensions in Time)
- Ace has previously calculated her birthday in the TARDIS. (PROSE: Shadowmind)
- She can sense the Master via the Cheetah Virus, something she hasn't felt for a while. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Genesys)
- Ace is still affected by Paul Richmann's death. (PROSE: White Darkness)
- The Doctor mentions Homo Reptilicus, (PROSE: Blood Heat) while the Master mentions their aquatic branch. (TV: The Sea Devils)
- The Master asks Benny if she thinks the Nestenes have ever reached Earth, to which she says no. (TV: Spearhead from Space, Terror of the Autons)
- The Master retrieves his TARDIS via a Stattenheim remote control. (TV: The Mark of the Rani)
- He states the Doctor is "predictable as ever", (TV: The Deadly Assassin) while the Doctor claims the Master gets dizzy walking in straight lines. (TV: The Mark of the Rani)
- The Tzun want to incorporate the Time Lords' symbiotic nuclei to allow them access to time. (TV: The Two Doctors)
- The Tzun have access to the Master's recorded encounters with the Doctor. Record "Alpha.1" shows the Third Doctor attempting to disarm a bomb left by the Master. (TV: Terror of the Autons)
- When the Master betrays and kills the Tzun, Ace compares it to the Daleks in 1963, (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) the Cybermen in 1988, (TV: Silver Nemesis) and the Hoothi on Heaven. (PROSE: Love and War)
- Prelude to First Frontier as published in DWM #216
- The Discontinuity Guide to: First Frontier at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: First Frontier