1997 BBC Books edition
Britain is at war. Night after night the Luftwaffe are bombing London. A serial killer dubbed the Limehouse Lurker is stalking the rubble-strewn streets. But a deadlier threat falls from the sky in the shape of a sinister silver sphere...
Cody McBride, ex-pat American private eye, sees the sphere crash-land and split open — and glimpses something emerging from within. But the military dismiss his account of events — the sphere is simply a new German secret weapon that has malfunctioned in some way. What else could it be?
Arriving amid the chaos, the Doctor and Ace are the only people to believe McBride. The sphere bears all the hallmarks of sophisticated alien technology — and whatever was inside it is now loose in London.
Before long, they have embarked on a trail that brings them face to face with hidden Nazi operatives — and some very old enemies...
2014 BBC Books edition
The Blitz is at its height. As the Luftwaffe bomb London, Cody McBride, ex-pat American private eye, sees a sinister silver sphere crash-land. He glimpses something emerging from within. The military dismiss his account of events — the sphere must be a new German secret weapon that has malfunctioned in some way. What else could it be?
Arriving amid the chaos, the Doctor and Ace embark on a trail that brings them face to face with hidden Nazi agents, and encounter some very old enemies.
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- Seventh Doctor
- Cody McBride
- George Limb
- The Cybermen
- The Limehouse Lurker
- Chief Inspector Patrick Mullen
- Major Lazonby
- Captain Hartmann
- Dr Peddler
- Colonel Schott
- Colonel T.P. Potter
- Dr Ruth Walsh
- Constable Quick
- SS Brigadier General Kraus
- General Schumacher
- Sid Napley
- Deputy Reichsführer Reinhard Heydrich
- When he is talking about the Daleks, the Doctor's voice develops a harder edge, which disturbs Ace.
- The Doctor is fond of baseball and once watched a game that included Babe Ruth in 1926.
- The Doctor doubts that Captain Hartmann would be able to pronounce his given name.
- The Cybermen that were featured in the story were capable of repairing themselves.
- The Cybermen have used different types of Cybermats which attacked in different ways, such as the injection of poison and a sonic scream. The Cybermats present in the story have metal teeth used for cutting flesh.
- The Cybermen are from the 30th century, where they still have a limited control of time travel.
- A baby is among those converted by the Cybermen at the end of Part Three. It is given regular-sized Cyber-arms but has the tail of a Cybermat.
- In a similar scene a Cyber-Conversion is witnessed, which Cybermats are used for in the surgical context.
- Many characters are mentioned or referenced throughout the novel, fictious or otherwise, that do not appear in person including Winston Churchill (who appears in a painting), Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, Admiral Canaris, General Hindenberg, Tyrus Cobb, Hack Wilson, Babe Ruth, Shreela Govindia, Midge, Ange, Flo, Stevie, Manisha Purkayastha, Darth Vader, Frank Dudman, Kathleen Dudman, Audrey Dudman, Delores, Mary Shelley, Dr Frankenstein, Prometheus, Jack the Ripper, Joe Louis, Max Schmeling and Bogart. Sid Napley and Reinhard Heydrich, meanwhile, do not appear but receive dialogue, speaking to other characters through a wall and over a phone call respectively.
- In a moment of contemplation, the Doctor admires the achievements of some of his greatest enemies, thinking of the Daleks as the creators of amazing technology and the Sontarans as great geneticists.
- This novel was originally submitted as a television story for Season 27 of the original series of Doctor Who. It was initially submitted under a pseudonym as Mike Tucker had been known within the BBC as having predominantly worked with special effects.
- Illegal Alien (the unproduced TV story) was a Cyberman story set in the 1940s, originally submitted just prior to the production of The Curse of Fenric. Tucker and Robert Perry were asked to re-submit it for the following season as Fenric was also set in the 1940s.
- The novel was released on 6 March 2014 as the Cyberman entry for The Monster Collection. Its new cover featured a 2006 Cybus/Cyber Legions-style Cyberman, with the 2013 variant introduced in Nightmare in Silver on the spine. The publisher's summary misspells 'McBride' as 'McBridge'.
- Mike Tucker noted in Doctor Who Magazine about the writing of the novel (and its TV heritage) that the novel's opening two parts were "damn near" what was in the scripted version. He also said that in making the novel, he effectively novelised the unmade TV story's script and dialogue.
- The novel was originally released the same day as War of the Daleks which was also the fifth novel of its line, the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures. War was also adapted from a scrapped TV story featuring a popular recurring enemy and is also split into four parts.
- As part of the epilogue, a hidden chamber full of dormant Cybermen is found beneath the streets of London waiting for a call that would be eventually activated in the television story The Invasion.
- Loving the Alien serves as the sequel to this story.
- The Doctor expresses disdain about his reputation as "the manipulator" and "the Chessmaster". (TV: The Curse of Fenric, et al.)
- The Doctor carries a UNIT pass dated 1980, purchased by either his third or fourth incarnation. (TV: Spearhead from Space, Robot)
- Ace mentions her grandmother (TV: The Curse of Fenric) and her gang in Perivale, (TV: Survival) including Manisha whose home was firebombed by racists. (TV: Ghost Light) She also shows a great dislike and fear of clowns. (TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy)
- The Doctor mentions the Dalek Invasion of Earth in the 22nd century. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
- Ace has a bar towel that says "Welcome to Iceworld". (TV: Dragonfire)
- Ace remembers encountering the Cybermen before. (TV: Silver Nemesis) That story also featured both a loose alliance and a battle between the Cybermen and the Nazis, albeit neo-Nazis.
- Cybermen repeatedly say: "You will be like us," a line taken from TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen.
- At the end of this novel, even more Cybermen are found "hibernating" within the sewers. The Cybermen would later activate their invasion of Earth through hibernating in the sewers. (TV: The Invasion)