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The Clockwise Man (novel)

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The Clockwise Man
The Clockwise Man cover
Doctor: Ninth Doctor
Companion(s): Rose
Main enemy: Shade Vassily
Main setting: London, 1924
Key crew
Publisher: BBC Books
Writer: Justin Richards
Release details
Release number: 1
Release date:
19 May 2005 (Hardcover)
3 May 2012 (Paperback)
31 July 2013 (Kindle)
Format:
Hardcover, 255 pages
Paperback, 256 pages
ISBN 0-563-48628-7 (Hardcover)
ISBN 1-84990-544-4 (Paperback)
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BBC New Series Adventures
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Audiobook
The Clockwise Man Audio
Publisher: RNIB, AudioGO
Read by:
Release date:
November 2007 (RNIB)
9 August 2009 (AudioGo)

The Clockwise Man was the first BBC New Series Adventures novel released. It was written by Justin Richards and featured the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler.

Publisher's summary Edit

In 1920s London, the Doctor and Rose find themselves caught up in the hunt for a mysterious murderer. But not everything is what it seems. Secrets lie behind locked doors and inhuman killers roam the streets.

Who is the Painted Lady and why is she so interested in the Doctor? How can a cat return from the dead? Can anyone be trusted to tell — or even to know — the truth?

With the faceless killers closing in, the Doctor and Rose must solve the mystery of the Clockwise Man before London itself is destroyed...

Plot Edit

Peter Dickson can see the black cat from where he is standing, and recalls how superstitious his mother was. He watches it as it disappears. He is heading back to where he works.

Inside the TARDIS, the Ninth Doctor says that they are heading for 1924, England. Rose is worried about her choice of clothes as she prepares for the new sights outside.

Dickson is sure he can hear something now, coming from all around him. A mystery figure pounces on him and he begins to choke.

Exiting the TARDIS, Rose sees the Doctor trying to open a locked gate that blocks their way out of an enclosed space. They can hear a man struggling for his life, choking and shouting in terror. They open the gate to see two figures locked in a fight. The Doctor charges at the attacker, but is winded by the collision. When Rose arrives, the assailant decides to leave. Dickson thanks them and with the help of the newcomers, leads them to his work place.

Two figures watch from the shadows as they walk down a street.

Sir George Harding and his wife, Lady Anna are preparing for their party tonight. Sir George is having trouble with his clothes. His wife just laughs. The maid arrives, flustered, and says that Dickson has been hurt.

The Doctor and Rose help Dickson into the house to the drawing room. There he explains to them and Sir George, about the assailant. He was asking about the evening's guests. His master orders him to gain some rest, but he is stubborn and wishes to help Rose find the lavatory to wash her hands after falling and drawing blood. All the guests are present except for the Painted Lady.

Rose loses her way in the corridors and finds a small boy called Freddie to help her to the library. He takes her to a gallery and explains who all the guests are. There's Colonel Oblonsky, a regular visitor; Uncle Alex and Auntie Nadia; and a Lord Chitterington who works for the government. There are also two characters Freddie didn't know: Major Aske and Repple.

After returning Freddie to his room, Rose finds her way to the library and tells the Doctor about all the people Freddie has named. Feeling out of place, they head back to the TARDIS. It has disappeared.

They are searching for the TARDIS, when the Doctor realises that it was probably stolen. They should return to the house for dinner. A black car arrives at the house and Dickson appears on the threshold with an umbrella. He holds it for the woman from the car. She is obviously the Painted Lady. She announces that she is Melissa Heart. They enter the house.

Dessert is being served. Lord Chitterington and the Koznyshevs have left. The Doctor seems keen to talk about the conspiracy. The room falls silent. Colonel Oblonsky thinks that the Doctor is an agent. Repple says he would know if the Doctor is an agent. To Major Aske's disappointment he announces that he wants his rightful country returned to him, some place called Dastaria.

Melissa Heart seems to be enjoying herself. The others are talking about Russia and how they can regain their titles, how Lady Anna returned from there with her first husband and child, Freddie. Rose concludes that the small boy is actually the Tsar of Russia.

Everything comes out now. Anna is actually Anastasia, a relative of Tsar Nicholas II and Queen Victoria. Her first husband was related to the late Tsarina. With the Tsar and others in his family dead, Freddie is the next in line. Colonel Oblonsky is head of the Tsar's personal guard, the Koznyshevs are supporters and Lord Chitterington gives help from the government, but merely diplomatic help. Repple is just another supporter who hopes to regain his title. Everyone moves to the drawing room. As Melissa Heart leaves, Rose notices Freddie wave to her and Melissa Heart return the wave.

In the drawing room, Rose decides the revolution is hopeless. Repple is talking with Oblonsky. Aske asks for a quiet chat with Sir George. Dickson arrives and the Doctor asks about the assailant. He is about to describe a noise when his master and Aske return. Suddenly there's a ticking noise. Dickson says it is the same as when he was attacked. The Doctor heads into the hallway and says two Latin words: Tempus fugit.

The Doctor is displeased to note that he has lost his leather jacket. Rose and Dickson agree that it has probably been tidied up by accident, so he is forced to walk to the Imperial Club, without an overall. Aske explains that if he and Rose are going to stay for a few nights, they will have to have proof that they are of noble birth. Inside, they are led by Repple and Aske to a larger room where a man is sitting. This is Lord Wyse.

Lord Wyse is playing a chess game against himself and asks for the visitors to sit down. He explains that Crowther will sort out the rooms for The Doctor and Rose. There's a cat sitting on another chair nearby, which has a triangular patch of lighter fur under its chin. Repple is beginning to feel sleepy and Wyse offers to take him to his quarters. Aske explains that it is his condition. The Doctor is curious.

First off, there is no Dastaria. Apparently, after performing in a play, Repple fainted. After waking, he was slightly mad and claimed that he was rightful King of Dastaria. Aske explains that he had to agree. Crowther arrives and says that the rooms are prepared.

The Doctor and Rose find their rooms comfortable and look very expensive. After Crowther leaves, they hear a knock on the door. Repple is there, not looking tired at all. He says he needed to get away from Aske. He is the King of Dastaria, but he is also Aske's prisoner. Aske apparently carries a gun or a knife with him. The Doctor asks what the flag of Dastaria is. Repple says that it's a white triangle. He leaves and Rose notices the cat with a white triangle under its chin. Either he is lying or completely out of his head. The Doctor and Rose decide they need to get some sleep.

The was leaning on the window sill, looking out at the 20th century London, which won't change that much. He stays awake all night, taking everything in, the buildings that would survive another century. Morning comes and he decides it's time to get some answers.

Rose is awakened by a maid who appears very apologetic as she realises that Rose is still in bed. She guesses it was the Doctor's idea of waking her up. The maid is Beth who answers Rose's questions thoroughly. She talks about a mysterious figure who strangles people for information on people they work with and so on. Rose remembers the night before and shudders. She then heads down for breakfast.

Rose arrives in the lounge to find the Doctor is playing Wyse in a chess game. She has missed breakfast, to her disappointment, but Wyse offers her bacon and eggs and leaves, realising he's about to lose.

While Rose enjoys her breakfast, Wyse explains that he believes neither Repple or Aske are speaking the truth. He also believes that Aske is the one with delusions and not Repple. Being qualified as a psychiatrist is the delusional part of his story. Wyse then leaves the room. Crowther enters and says that a Melissa Heart is requesting the Doctor's presence in the gallery. The Doctor and Rose both leave.

Melissa Heart has come because she was given the Doctor's leather jacket by Lady Anna. The Doctor cries happily as he puts it on. When the Doctor announces that he would thank Sir George and his wife for retrieving it, Heart hesitates enough for Rose and the Doctor to notice that it was not them that had found it.

Inside her car, Heart relays some instruction to a blank-faced figure sitting next to her. The only sound is a ticking mechanism from within him.

WHen out for a stroll, Wyse finds another body, lying next to an upturned dustbin. It is Beth. He calls for Crowther to get the Doctor, knowing that he would know what to do.

After inspecting the body, the Doctor still doesn't seem to know much. To cheer up Rose, after seeing the body, he decides that they should see the British Empire Exhibition after all. Wyse comments that it is very good. They decide to stop by Harding's first.

The Doctor and Rose return to Sir George's and find Freddie who joins them for a short chat. He explains that he overheard the adults' conversation and knows nothing of his royalty. He remembers the time though, when his real father was killed. His mother arrives and practically explains the same thing and is worried about how Freddie would feel about the whole situation. Rose offers to take him to the Exhibition, but being worried, Anna says that he is only allowed in the car journey to Wembley.

Freddie enjoys the car ride. Rose enquires about the lack of cars in the area. The Doctor explains that there will be more cars soon. He then talks of the war and how the 1919 flu took many lives. When they arrive, Rose promises to Freddie that she will tell him of everything.

Inside the exhibition, Rose is interested by some things, but other she is completely bored. The final part of the exhibition brings them both to large building, which turned out to be Wembley Stadium, formally known as Empire Stadium. Rose is completely overwhelmed.

Ronald Cheshunt and Matty Black are being employed by a mysterious woman who is wearing a mask. She is keen for them to discover all the information they can on the Doctor and Rose Tyler. They are to search the imperial club also for any security measures as they enter. The men seem a bit uneasy about it, but when they are threatened, they start immediately. They don't notice the black cat, sprawled on the ground across the street.

The Doctor and Rose return from their journey in the exhibition. The Doctor, of course, is keen to play a little more chess with Wyse, who obliges. Rose heads up to her room, where she can't go to sleep even though she's tired. While living inside a very concerning dream featuring Aske trapped inside a box, she is awoken by a knocking sound from above her. She guessed it was Mr Pooter was back from his travels. After realising that the Doctor has not returned she finds some clothes to put on.

While playing chess, the Doctor and Wyse discuss how the empire is not working for the British people. The Doctor somehow, after losing his queen, succeeds once again in checkmate.

Cheshunt and Black are walking towards the imperial club. Due to the fact that the lights are out, they believe that everyone has gone to sleep. They are wrong when they realise that two men are playing a game in large chamber. They decide to search the corridor first and find a wooden chest, but they didn't count on the cat that came after them. It tears at their clothes like a mad thing and they are forced to scream out in terror. The two men appear, but are distracted by a young girl who calls for a Doctor. They take their chance and run for it.

Rose tries to follow the men, but they are too fast. Instead, she watches as they drop the bag containing the black cat they have kidnapped into the Thames. She returns to the imperial club, where Crowther offers her tea. After telling him, he explains that Mr Pooter has not returned from his travels. Rose decides to tell the Doctor, but finds him stroking the black cat with his hand.

The Doctor returns to George Hardin's house and finds Dickson. He tells the butler that he wishes to see Freddie and tell him about his and Rose's experience at the exhibition. Freddie enjoyed listening to the Doctor's endless explanations and was also keen to answer a few questions afterwards. It was about Melissa Heart and how Freddie had seen her take the Doctor's coat. Explaining that she discovered the sonic screwdriver, the Doctor grimly finds this displeasing. He thanks Freddie and sends him back to bed.

Deciding it would be good to find the elusive Mr Pooter, Rose deduces, the only way to see him inside the boardroom, where a meeting is being held, is to walk carefully down the fire escape. She manages to see Mr Pooter through a window and finds him stroking the same cat. Almost falling backwards on the gantry, the cat spots Rose, for just a second and then turns away. Rose breaths a sigh of relief.

Rose finds the Doctor in the lobby, who decides it is time to pay a visit to Melissa Heart, explaining that she has mentioned her address a few times in passing. They head to her house and she answers the door without a hint of surprise at their arrival.

A figure watches from the shadows as the Doctor and Rose enter Melissa's house. They think.

Melissa makes tea for them as Rose examines the many lined masks on a nearby table. The Doctor points out that there's one for every occasion. Melissa begins to comment on things, believing that the Doctor and Rose are 'exceptions' to the time zone. The Doctor asks what her job is. She explains that she is there to kill them both. After clicking her fingers, a knight comes alive from the far wall and charges for the Doctor and Rose.

The Doctor discovers that the knight is a Clockwork Robot. They start dodging it, avoiding its large sword. Freddie arrives outside a window and opens it enough so that The Doctor and Rose can escape. The knight is unable to follow.

They thank Freddie for his quick actions, but tell him to return home. He reluctantly complies. Rose and the Doctor return to the Imperial Club, where the Doctor is determined to explain the whole story to the residents. Rose goes to find Mr Pooter.

She knocks on the door to his room, but no one answers. It finally opens to reveal the black cat, which turns on her. It bares its teeth and blows red hot lasers from its eyes at Rose and she is forced to protect herself.

Down in the main room, the Doctor tells the story of the killer clockwork robots and a mysterious figure who is searching for someone important. Some residents leave the room, but others stay, not enough for an army, the Doctor points out. Wyse is to leave too, claiming that he is playing a chess game with a friend of his, and does it every Wednesday. The Doctor is disappointed by his departure, believing that he would have been a formidable ally.

Rose is still fighting the cat, discovering that it is actually clockwork. She slams the creature against the wall, and it slowly decreases to cogs and wheels, its fur tearing. Leaving only bits left, she escapes down the stairs. Another cat materialises from within Mr Pooter's room and follows her down.

Freddie has secretly followed the Doctor and Rose to the Imperial Club and is watching their progress as they prepare for the killers to arrive.

Wyse now leaves, unaware of the black cat behind him. He hums to himself in the darkness. Unknown to him, he passes bylarge figures in armour that are actually clockwork knights heading toward the Imperial Club.

The front door begins to splinter under the weight of the knights. The Doctor gathers everyone to prepare for battle, one that he believes they can't win. He is very interested in the reproductive cat, and how he appears from behind a panel in Mr Pooter's room. Rose goes to show him.

Freddie watches everything from outside and is surprised by the sudden arrival of Melissa Heart who grabs and pulls him by the shoulder.

The Doctor tries opening the door with his sonic screwdriver, but forgets that Heart has removed the battery. He, Repple and Aske then barge through the door and find a metal box room behind. There's a camera that travels throughout the Imperial Club, watching everything. There's also a line of cats. The Doctor has an idea and prepares something.

The two knights arrive outside the door and ask for the Doctor to surrender. The Doctor in reply, sends sparks into one of the knights' bodies and it pauses for a moment. Then, Melissa Heart arrives with Freddie and threatens to kill him if the Doctor doesn't give up.

Repple tries telling her that he is Shade Vassily, the criminal she is looking for. She doesn't believe him, but takes precautions, ordering the Doctor to put down the sparking cable. Using her electrical weapon, Melissa blasts the console, rendering it useless. Trying to protect Repple, Major Aske steps in front of him, claiming he is delirious. She kills him using her weapon. She then explains how she came to Earth and explains why she is known as 'the painted lady' telling them that her transformation operation went wrong. She removes her mask.

Wensleydale isn't sure about waiting while the Doctor suffers at the hands of the evil intruders. Preparing his firearm, he heads to find Crowther. They discuss something in private.

Back in the console room, Freddie is the first to notice Wensleydale and Crowther creeping up behind the clockwork knights. They sense them and soon turn, but too late as Wensleydale holds the pistol up to Melissa's face. He tells everyone to escape, but is distracted when Melissa attacks him with her electrifying weapon. He falls to the ground in honour. Melissa then explains that she will take both the Doctor and Repple for execution on Katuria.

While inside her house, they manage to escape the grasp of her mechanical servants, and find themselves in an underground passageway. The Doctor suddenly realises something and removes Repple's fake face to reveal a mechanical interior. In order to escape persecution, the Doctor uses Repple's head to smash through the glass and they tumble into the Thames.

Rose returns Freddie to his rightful home, where they were worried sick about him. She then leaves again to try and find the mysterious cat. The creature leads her to the clock tower where she is greeted by Wyse, who explains that he is the real Shade Vassily, the mass killer and murderer.

Freddie finds the Doctor and Repple with Melissa Heart, now working together. He tells them about what he saw Rose and how Wyse has captured her.

All three climb onto the roof to get to the small window. Freddie is worried about being cut on the broken mesh, but lets the Doctor lower him through. He cannot open the door, so he goes upstairs to find Rose, and sees blood on the steps.

Melissa returns the sonic screwdriver power pack, and the Doctor uses it and parts from one of the Mechanicals to fix the broken cat and use its eyes to open the door. The Doctor, Melissa and Repple go through, followed by the last Mechanical. Freddie hides as Rose and Wyse exit the room to go upstairs, but then Wyse slips slightly and sees the blood on the steps as the door below bangs open. Rose and Freddie try to escape, but are caught and taken to the clock room. Wyse tells the Doctor that the mechanism will activate when the clock strikes 10. The Doctor asks, "What if it doesn't?", and goes back to the room below, with Wyse following. Rose notices that Freddie is bleeding, realises that he is a haemophiliac, and starts yelling for help.

Melissa and the Doctor work on stopping Wyse, and Repple helps. The Doctor sends Repple to see what Rose is shouting about, and he puts a tourniquet on Freddie's leg. It helps, but the wound must be cauterised to stop the bleeding. Rose realises she needs the sonic screwdriver, and runs to find the Doctor.

The Doctor had given Melissa the sonic screwdriver to disable the mechanism while he tries to keep Wyse away. Rose finds them, and tells Melissa she needs the sonic screwdriver to save Freddie, but Melissa says that they will all die if she doesn't finish. She finishes and gives Rose the screwdriver, but Wyse snatches it and throws it into the mechanism. When Rose goes to save it, she is nearly crushed between two cog wheels. Repple saves her life by using his arm to jam the wheels, but loses his arm in the effort.

The Doctor and Wyse get into a fight, and Wyse manages to restart the mechanism. Realising something more substantial is needed to destroy it, Repple tries to throw himself inside, but the Mechanical knocks him out and sacrifices itself in his steed. Wyse is attacked by the broken cat, and falls from the tower. Freddie loses a lot of blood, but is fine, and Melissa returns the TARDIS. Repple's broken arm was replaced by the Doctor with one from the broken Mechanical, and he has another of the cats for company.

Characters Edit

References Edit

Bad Wolf Edit

  • The Doctor and Rose are accused of turning up "Like A Bad Wolf"

Others Edit

Story notes Edit

  • As Book 1 of the BBC New Series Adventures line, this book ushered in a new publication format for BBC Books. It released exclusively this and all future New Series Adventures featuring the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, as well as BBC Torchwood novels in hardcover format. The Quick Reads novellas were paperback releases and some limited-edition promotional paperback issues of Ninth and Tenth Doctor books would occur outside the UK. The Clockwise Man is the first Doctor Who novel to be released in hardcover since Target Books discontinued hardcover editions of its novelisations in the 1980s. It is the first original Doctor Who novel ever issued in the format.
  • Later reprints of this book removed the image of Billie Piper from the cover, presumably due to use-of-likeness issues after she had left the programme.
  • This story was also released as an ebook available from the Amazon Kindle store.

Continuity Edit

  • There is a mention of Rose 'dressing up' while the Doctor only has a 'new shirt'. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)
  • Rose has a conversation with one of the servants in the Imperial Club, who makes her think of Gwyneth in TV: The Unquiet Dead.
  • In the club, the Doctor looks at a painting of the French Revolution and says "That's not right". In the first episode of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child, the Doctor's granddaughter, Susan Foreman, reads a book about the French Revolution and says the same words.
  • The Doctor mentions to Rose at the end of the Season 2 episode TV: Tooth and Claw that Queen Victoria's descendants suffered from a condition called Haemophilia. This was also mentioned when The Doctor and Rose visit to the British Empire Exhibition.

Audio release Edit

  • The story was released as a DAISY Digital Talking Book in November 2007, read by Glen McCready.
  • An audiobook was produced by AudioGo in August 2011 on six CDs, and read by Nicholas Briggs. The audiobook was exclusive to the AudioGo website before the company went into administration.

Gallery Edit

External links Edit

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